JKLM's Snowflake Tribune

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Why's Everyone Talking About Figure Skating Anyways?

Feb. 5, 2014

It is just days before the 2014 Sochi Olympics start and new events for the sport of Figure Skating have been added to the list, which is kind of a big deal. Although Figure Skating has been included in the Olympics since 1908, the events then only involve singles and pair skaters. Later on, in 1976 Ice Dancing was included in the Olympic Games instead of it being just a demonstration sport, which started only in 1972. Now, in 2014, there has been a change; instead of athletes competing individually or just as pairs, scores will be added together to form a team score for what is now deemed as team figure skating. There are 10 countries that will participate in these events (scheduele can be found here) and of those 10 is the United States. Snowflake Tribune resides in the US- specifically Indiana and even more specific Gary, Indiana- and so we (Katie, Liz, Maranda , and myself, Jasmine) find it only right to report on the US figure skating team. Here is where I stop rambling on and let you anxiouslly wait for all the hard hitting updates, and the interesting stories in between, my team and I will bring you.
Now that you know the basics of the sport find out how it became a sport by viewing this timeline and who created it by reading the article below

How it was created

Figure Skating History Part1

Hey sup you're invited to the Olympics

Meryl Davis and Charlie White: The long lasting partnership

Feb. 7, 2014

It isn’t everyday that you get a text telling you you were nominated for the US Olympic Team but it seems like its a text Meryl Davis has become somewhat acquainted to. I mean, she has gotten the text twice in her 27 years of life (Okay, maybe 4 years ago she got a Facebook message instead of a text??? Who knows).

In 2010 she participated in the Winter Olympics where her and her partner, Charlie White, took home a silver medal for their performance in Ice Dance. Spoiler alert: the duo perform ice dance and have been dancing together for 17 years. I know. Crazy right? That’s longer than a lot of marriages last these days. Zing. Their partnership is also longer than any other dance team in the US. They’ve won a countless number of medals although if you would like to count there are the big ones listed below. It is obvious that Charlie White and Meryl Davis have come a long way and it all started with one 8 year old, one 9 year old, and one “simple skate” around an ice rink in Michigan. Read about it here



They Didn't Do it Alone

Meryl and Charlie have came a far way in their Ice Dance career, I mean they are in the olympics and it isn't even their first time but they didn't do it alone. As Davis put it, "There's no way Charlie and I could have possibly achieved what we've achieved without 'the moms'." So check out the mom's talk about the figure skaters' journey.

(Even though this is supposed to be all heartfelt about family and how you can't do stuff without them but CHECK OUT THAT MOVE AT 2:26 ... HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE!)

Raising an Olympian: Meryl Davis and Charlie White | P&G Thank You, Mom | Sochi Olympic Winter Games

Career Highlights... This might take a while

Olympic Winter Games

2nd place

  • 2010 Vancouver, BC, CAN

World Championships

1st Place

  • 2013 London, ON, CAN
  • 2011 Moscow, RUS

2nd Place

  • 2012 Nice, FRA
  • 2010 Torino, ITA

Four Continents Championships

1st Place

  • 2013 Osaka, JPN
  • 2011 Taipei, TPE
  • 2009 Vancouver, BC, CAN

2nd Place

  • 2012 Colorado Springs, CO, USA
  • 2008 Goyang, KOR

Grand Prix Final

1st Place

  • 2013/2014 Fukuoka, JPN
  • 2012/2013 Sochi, RUS
  • 2011/2012 Quebec, QC, CAN
  • 2010/2011 Beijing, CHN
  • 2009/2010 Tokyo, JPN

3rd place

  • 2008/2009 Goyang, KOR

Best performance per season in Grand Prix events from 2010/2011

Grand Prix performances in current season

1Ice Dance2013/2014NHK Trophy, JPN

1Ice Dance2013/2014Skate America, USA

ISU World Standings (as of 03 Feb 2014)

1Ice Dance

Break News: Partners NOT Connected at the Hip as Rumors Claimed

The skating pair is usually always seen together but, believe it or not, they are two different people. If this is surprising to you and you just can’t wrap your head around this idea, I have some evidence to prove it.

Meryl Davis was born on January 1 of 1987 making her 27 years old while Charlie was born almost a year later and is now 26 (they were born in the same hospital: a weird addition to all their already numerous similarities). Both were born in Royal Oak, Michigan but but Meryl was raised in West Bloomfield. She began skating when she was 5 because she lived next to a lake and thought it would be cool if she could skate on it in the winter. That little desire ended up being something huge.

As of now, when she isn’t traveling the world, Davis lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan where she goes to the University of Michigan to study anthropology and Italian. When she graduates to wants to get a job at National Geographic to put that major in anthropology to good use. Like anybody away would when they’re always away from home, she gets homesick. To kind of cope with the homesickness she takes a scented candle to events with her. It’s supposed to make her hotel room smell like her home. Good thinking, Davis.

Alright enough about her past lets see what she’s up to now.

A Few Facts from Mrs. Davis Herself

In the video above Meryl Davis and Charlie White talk to a classroom about their most memorable olympic expierence from 2010 and how they plan on going in the Olympic Games this year.

Schedule For Meryl & Charlie (Ice Dance Events)

Feb 8 Team Ice Dance - Short Dance

Feb 9 Team Ice Dance - Free Dance

(end of all Team Events)

Feb 16 Ice Dance - Short Dance

Feb 17 Ice Dance - Free Dance

(end of all Ice Dance Events, other events carry on)

Take it Back Now Ya'll Ok Now You Have to Bring it Back

The video above shows the gold medal winners of Ice Dance from the 1976 Olympics,

Lyudmila Pakhomova & Aleksandr Gorshkov, and Meryl Davis and Charlie White when they won their 6th US Championship in Boston last month (Jan. 11, 2014) where they also set a new perfect record .

There are obvious differences between the 2 videos besides the quality of the recordings and the music choice. In modern Ice Dance the stunts are more intricate as you can see in Davis and White's performace at 1:14 and at many other portions of dance. There is also a difference in speed and power, which in 2014, the skaters have more of.

Although Ice dance was only intruduced to the Olympics in 1976 it was around waaaaay before then and therefore it also has evolved since before 1976. You can read about the changes in the link provided below.

Feb 8, 2014 - Team Event Update (FIRST UPDATE EVER AREN'T YOU EXCITED)

Today was the first day Davis and White participated an in event, Team Ice Dance Short Dance, and they came out strong and not to mention winning. The couple ranked number 1 out of the 10 countries, putting 10 points on the board for USA’s Figure Skating team. No doubt there will be a lot more exciting news from these 2 so keep a look out.

next update tomorrow 02/09/14

1999: Not Quite the Olympics but On the Right Track

In honor of the two partners helping out the team with their first place win on the first event I have a little video that shows them in one of their first major competitions. They're doing stuff that I could never do in my life let alone do when I was like 12.
Meryl Davis, Charlie White 1999 Thornhill Novice FD

Feb 9, 2014 - Team Event Update (Last Team Update: Left as Fast as it Came)

THEY’VE DONE IT AGAIN! Meryl Davis and Charlie White ranked number 1 and put another 10 up on the board. Two perfect scores for the two events the couple participated in; they really pulled in for their team.

This event marks the end of the team events for Figure Skating. Results are down below.

Team USA brings home the bronze medal trailing behind Canada who won second place silver, and Russia who won first gold. Congratulations Team USA! If you guys plan on going to Disney Land now that you’ve won, do you think you can take me? Don't worry I'll give you some time to think about it.

Next Event Update 02/16/14

Ice Dance, Ice Love, REAL LOVE???

If you have seen Charlie White and Meryl Davis on the ice you can see they have an incredible connection but is this the case off the ice too?

Spot the Difference: Ice Dance vs. Pair Skating Edition

Feb. 15, 2014

If you’ve been watching the figure skaters and paying attention to the events you might be saying, “Well, what’s the difference between ice dancers and pair skaters? I mean both events have 2 people in some skates, skating on some ice.. Hey mom grab your skates were gonna be ice dancers today.” And you’ll hear no discouragement from me, bud. FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS!!! But as it turns out I’m here to tell you that there are some differences.

The main difference is that ice dancers are actually like dancers, or at least supposed to be, where the routine could be done without skates. Ice dancers should be graceful and flowy, like a ballroom dancer (which is what they are thought of but just on ice) yet precise on their own moves- if you understand that - while pair skaters are more focused on how precise and connected the pairs footwork and moves are together.

Another major difference between the two is not so apparent to spectators but definitely to those that participate and the judges. Both disciplines have a short program/ short dance and a long program/ free dance which is a similarity but the main difference is in the short program/ short dance: there are certain aspects that skaters in ice dancing and pair skating are required to put in their routine. Those in pair skating have to include 7 elements in their performance every year, which is pretty straight forward for them, but for ice dancers it’s a bit different. Although the dancers do have 4 elements that are required every year they also get a change up: each year theres a new step pattern or dance that they must base their routine off of while also incorporating the 4 already required elements.

In the short program/ short dance both disciplines have an allowed time of 2 minutes and 50 seconds for their performances. In the long program/free dance the timing is a bit different. For the long program (pair skaters) their routine must be shown in 4 minutes and 30 seconds while the free dance (ice dancers) is performed in 4 minutes. In these programs, both disciplines have required elements but they are supposed to be more of their choice: there is no step pattern.

So now that you see the differences which do you think is harder? Leave your comments below in the comment box.

Feb 16, 2014 - Event Update

Today was the first day in a week the duo had a performance and they sure did not let the USA down. Davis and White did their short dance, one of the 2 dances they will compete in to win the gold medal. This is a performance the skating couple has practiced so many times and it definitely paid off. In fact, they set the new world record with a score of 78.89 putting them in the first place spot. As of now they are in the lead and if I do say so myself I think we all know who will win the gold tomorrow but I won’t jinx anything. We’ll all just have to wait and find out.

Next Event Update 02/17/14 (Last Event)

HUGE Shot to Beat Their Rivals/Training Partners

Meryl Davis and Charlie White WINS Gold Medal 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics YouTube

Feb 17, 2014 - Event Update MAKING HISTORY

Guess who won the gold for the USA? If you didn't guess Meryl Davis and Charlie White here's your chance again. SO WHO WON THE GOLD MEDAL TODAY? Yes, your guess was right.

Davis and White pulled the big W for not only for the US but more importantly, themselves. The two set another world record of 116.63 points for this event which was the free dance; yeah they won first place again making their total of first place wins in these Olympic games 4/4. This score plus their short dance score totalled out to be 195.52 points.

The seventeen years they spent training, practicing, laughing and bonding boiled down to four minutes in the rink and their connection obviously made a huge impact. Not only did they win gold, they were the first Americans to do so in figure skating. USA! USA! USA!

Meryl Davis's Hero, Sasha Cohen: "Meryl and Charlie are literally the best that we've ever seen"

Kristi Yamaguchi, another one of Meryl's heroes interviews the Gold Medalists

Gold Medalists Charlie White & Meryl Davis | Team USA in Sochi