The Winter Olympics are fast approaching. The games will be held in PyeongChang, South Korea in February, and the buzz has already started surrounding the athletes. Many competitors have become household names, and I definitely have a running roster of people I look for. Meryl Davis and her ice dancing partner, Charlie White, took home the gold during the 2014 Sochi games, and have become a staple in the competition. Are Meryl Davis and Charlie White competing at the 2018 Olympics? Sadly, they are not, but the reasoning behind their decision makes a lot of sense.
Davis and White are some of the best ice dancers literally in the entire world. According to Sports Illustrated, their 17-year partnership has earned them a ton of accolades. The list includes, "2014 Olympic champions, the 2010 Olympic silver medalists, two-time World champions (2011, 2013), five-time Grand Prix Final champions (2009-13) and six-time U.S. national champions (2009-14)." I'm tired just reading the list, let alone actually having to ice dance for it.
If you're wondering the difference between ice dancing and ice skating — there are quite a few details that set the two apart. White told Sports Illustrated,
Ice dancing is a discipline of figure skating. Most people confuse pair skating and ice dancing but ice dancing is much more, 'Dancing With the Stars' on ice, more of a ballroom feel.
Ice dancing makes for one gorgeous sport. Davis and White have been ice dancing together since they were 8 and 9 years old, respectively, in Detroit, Michigan. However, the two have decided to sit out the Olympics in order to take some time for themselves, according to CBS News. In fact, the two say they are done with competitions in general for now. Davis told Sports Illustrated,
No, no more competitions. We still have a passion for the sport and we don't take the opportunity lightly to be able to do what we love for a living, but we don't want to put ourselves through the stress and work of another competition.
Considering it takes A LOT of time, dedication, and hard work to become Olympic champions — I understand the need for a break.
Davis explained that they still cheer on their fellow athletes, but have shifted their focus to giving back. Davis and White are using their Olympic background to help teach kids through Classroom Champions. Davis said,
Well we're still involved in the sport and we'll still cheer for our friends but we've also been involved in an organization called Classroom Champions since 2010, which we're really passionate about. Essentially the program pairs athletes with high need classrooms and we record videos once a month that is sent to our teachers and classrooms. And teachers can create lesson plans around these videos because each video has a theme like goal setting, perseverance, community, healthy living - all things that are essential to the development of children. But this stuff is presented to the kids in a way they can understand and often with the example of sports. Sometimes we use our experiences and those of our fellow athletes to highlight failures and successes. Being able to talk to an Olympian piques their interest enough that they're actually receptive to hearing the lessons.
I'll definitely miss these two on the ice this year, but they have already given a lot of themselves to win an incredible amount of awards. Take a rest and enjoy the Olympics from home, you two. Competition at the games officially begins on Feb. 8, and the Opening Ceremony will happen on Feb. 9. The games air on NBC — you won't want to miss a minute of the action.
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