This year’s ice dance podium at the 2011 World Figure Skating Championships is historic in a number of ways. It’s the first time the World ice dance champions have been from the U.S.; both the gold and bronze medalists are from the U.S.; the bronze medalists made the podium in their first Worlds; all the medalists are North American ice dancers; the medalists are all young ice dancers; each of the teams has been together for a long time; and they all have the same coaching team (Shpilband/Zoueva).
The 2011 World Champions, Meryl Davis and Charlie White, have been together since 1997. The 2011 World Silver Medalists (and 2010 Olympic and World Champions), Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir from Canada, have also been together since 1997. And the 2011 World Bronze Medalists, Maia and Alex Shibutani, at 16 and 20, have been ice dance partners since 2004.
Two quotes explain a lot of the success of the world medalists. And those same qualities needed for success in figure skating can be applied to life in general. Legendary college basketball coach John Wooden emphasized the importance of perseverance.
I wrote about John Wooden’s ideas and inspiration a little over a year ago: Figure Skaters Need Patience to Create Excellence.
Roger Staubach, Heisman Trophy winner and Hall of Fame former quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys, attributes much of success to two qualities: perseverance and resiliency.
Here’s the complete quote:
It comes down to perseverance and resiliency… When you get knocked down, you don’t give up. You hold onto your values, and you keep your faith. – Roger Staubach
In figure skating partnerships, there’s a special unison and beauty that comes naturally for teams who have been together for many years. While there can be many good reasons for a team to end their partnership, it’s wonderful to see three top teams who have persevered and made the most of their partnerships. And everyone who’s been involved in figure skating (or any sport) knows that resiliency is required to handle the ups and downs of both training and competition.
If you haven’t seen the free dances of the 2011 World Ice Dance Medalists, here they are:
Meryl Davis and Charlie White (USA), 2011 World Champions
Tess Virtue and Scott Moir (Canada), 2011 World Silver Medalists
Maia and Alex Shibutani (USA), 2011 World Bronze Medalists