TUESDAY OLYMPIC REVIEWS Ice dance gold medalists Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir hold up the Canadian flag during the medal ceremony at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang on Tuesday, Jan.. February 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea. THE CANADIAN PRESS / Paul Chiasson
Both active and retired Olympic athletes have been at the fore in the fight against the pandemic
Tessa Virtue doesn’t feel the same sense of amusement or adrenaline rush as she does after a gold medal performance in the center of the ice.
« There are so many things that make me really happy and happy that I just couldn’t experience as an athlete in training, » said Virtue. « So there is some kind of compensation for the fact that where I might not get that adrenaline rush, I have so much passion and new goals to pursue – which is both scary and exhilarating. ”
Virtue and Scott Moir were among 114 athletes, artists, scholars and community leaders appointed to the Order of Canada on Friday. They are the most decorated ice dancers in history and have won five Olympic medals, including a pair of ice dance gold in 2010 and 2018.
When I found out that I was being invested in the Order of Canada, I had to think that as a kid I never knew I was dreaming so big.
Virtue is inundated with schoolwork these days as part of Queens University’s Executive MBA program – one of the new activities that has pushed them out of their comfort zone.
She typed frantic text messages to retired Paralympic swimmer Ben Huot, who completed the Queens EMBA program, saying, “Did I make a mistake? What am I doing? ”She laughed. “(Huot) gave me wonderful support.
« But I’m so glad I did. And it’s an extraordinary cohort, everyone is so impressive and has achieved such wonderful things and in so different areas, and so the conversations are so exhilarating and right now I’m so grateful for the chance to expand my mind in some way. ”
Virtue spent the first few months of the pandemic in North Vancouver with friend and defender Morgan Rielly of the Toronto Maple Leafs. The power couple was already dating Arkell’s frontman in an Instagram live stream in March. They appeared virtually a month later at the Great Kitchen Party: Home Edition.
The couple are now back in Toronto and recently bought a puppy named Zoe.
Virtue and Moir’s captivating free dance to the music of « Moulin Rouge » in Pyeongchang will be considered one of the greatest Olympic figure skating performances of all time. Only one of the numerous YouTube streams has over 1. 3 million views.
« I’ve seen parts of it here and there. And I love the feeling it evokes in me, ”she said. « Of course I’m still so proud of this moment. But I can’t decide if it feels like yesterday or, honestly, if I feel just a few lives away from it. So it’s like I’m breaking up with the feeling we had when the program ended.
« And when we think about it together, so much of our sports life seems so fresh that I’m sure there wasn’t enough time for perspective, right? »
Virtue and Moir from Ilderton, Ont. , competed for two decades. Receiving the Order of Canada award, she said, was an honor that made her reflect on her early days.
“We would never have dreamed of that. We weren’t seven and nine (years old) driving around the ice and talking about it, it seemed unfathomable, ”she said. “And yet we saw how so many of our friends and colleagues received this incredible honor along the way. I just feel humiliated and just so, so honored. ”
Tugend spoke by phone on Sunday before performing virtually at Hayley Wickenheiser’s « WickFest: Female Hockey Festival » and calling a few minutes early to make sure she didn’t have to get out too early.
Both active and retired Olympic athletes have been at the fore in the fight against the global pandemic. Wickenheiser, of course, teamed up with actor Ryan Reynolds and others for “Conquer COVID-19,” an initiative that provided hospitals with much-needed personal protective equipment. Numerous other athletes have virtual exercises, information sessions, etc.. . for Canadian children.
« It can be underestimated what this type of mentoring or connection with an athlete does, » said Virtue. « I think about the kids who are watching the next Olympics and how invested they will be and it’s pretty neat to share that. ”
The international figure skating schedule has been busting since last March when COVID-19 forced the World Cup in Montreal to be canceled.
Keegan Messing is the only Canadian who has competed so far this season (Skate America). . Skate Canada International has been scrapped, and if Stockholm, Sweden manages to host the World Cup in March – the organizers want it to be hosted in a « bubble » – there is no guarantee that Canada will be out for lack of preparation, quarantine restrictions, etc.. .
« I think everything has a caveat as it gives great perspective. They realize how insignificant ice dancing or skating can be, ”said Virtue. « But at the same time, in their relative areas and in terms of their goals and objectives, missing out on a competition, let alone a season, is enormous. « .
« I think just changing that benchmark to know when to prepare for something, like a climax, how to maximize your time, the unknown, the uncertainty, like so many people, has to be really challenging. And my heart goes to (the skaters). ”
« I also come from a family of doers. If something that is needed is not there, just find out. »
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