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Olympians Meryl Davis and Charlie White officially announced their joint decision yesterday morning, Feb. 22, to not compete in the PyeongChang 2018 Games and defend their gold title.
Having skated numerous times at the Rink at Rockefeller Center since 2012, it only seemed fitting that the ice dancing duo made their public announcement on the ice during NBC’s TODAY show.
“I hate to be a little bit of a downer maybe for our fans,” White told TODAY show co-host Willie Geist. “There’s so many positives to competing, but I think just expanding our lives outside of competitive skating is really what we’re enjoying so much in our life right now.”
Similarly Davis said the decision was not one that they took lightly.
“It was a huge decision - it’s one that took us three years to come up with,” Davis said. "We gave ourselves a lot of time to come up with that decision with the ability to explore what we really felt."
WATCH: "We've decided not to compete at the Olympics." @CharlieaWhite and @Meryl_Davis told @williegeist pic.twitter.com/CreFYufxsR— TODAY (@TODAYshow) February 22, 2017
Despite breaking the news, Davis and White were still all smiles both during and after their routine to the bubbly beat of Fleur East’s “Sax". They were genuinely having fun while showing off their dance moves, spins and lifts to the crowd who gathered above the Concourse. Those spectators watched in amazement as the two glided across the slick, smooth surface with flawless agility. Their routine was just a reminder as to why they have been named best in the world and fan favorites to the American public.
.@Meryl_Davis and @CharlieaWhite performed outside at the @rockcenterrink! pic.twitter.com/yqQYIia3ag— NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) February 22, 2017
When asked what their favorite moment was in their entire ice skating careers by NYCity News Service, both unanimously agreed it was becoming the first U.S. Olympic ice dance gold medalists during the Sochi 2014 games.
“There were so many special moments, so many great competitions and travels, and people we’ve met along the way - all those things really helped us become who we are, but none more so than winning the Olympics,” White told NYCity News Service. "That was really the highlight and something that we built towards our entire life. So to make that dream come true was pretty special."
Davis and White have been skating together as partners since 1997, when they were just 9 and 10 years old, in their homestate of Michigan. Together they have earned six straight national titles, two world titles and an Olympic medal of every color. Now twenty years later and looking to the future, the 30-year-olds are excited to start new chapters in their lives outside the sports world.
But don’t count them out for still participating in the South Korean games somehow — they could possibly be on the sidelines, cheering on their former teammates and newcomers on Team USA.
“I hope so,” Davis said when asked if she and White will go to South Korea as fans, not as competitors, for Team USA. "We just made the decision not to compete in Korea, so now we have to sort of figure out what the plan is. I think we hope to be there in some capacity."
Davis and White also announced that they will be take part in the nationwide tour of “Stars on Ice,” and "improving their show skating." It will begin in the spring and be at select U.S. cities - the closest one to New York being held in Hershey, Pennsylvania on May 4, 2017. According to the official tour site, World Medalists Ashley Wagner, Madison Chock, Evan Bates; U.S. Champions Gracie Gold, Jeremy Abbott, Adam Rippon; U.S. Bronze Medalists Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue; and other special guests will also participate in this "star-studded event leading up to the 2018 Olympic Games!"