Virtue and Moir break their own world record

Virtue and Moir break short dance record to sit first in ice dance at Olympics

Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir are a step closer to ending their Olympic careers with gold medals around their necks.

The three-time world champions and ice dancing partners for two decades scored 83.67 points in Monday’s short dance to “Sympathy for the Devil,” “Hotel California,” and “Oye Como Va,” to sit first at the Pyeongchang Games. The score topped their own previous world mark of 82.68 set at Skate Canada International in October.

“That’s something we are really proud of,” said Moir. ”That is every athlete’s goal here and to come out and do the best you can. And to do it on this stage, we’re really, really proud of that. We know our work isn’t over. It’s a long event. The biggest chunk is tomorrow and we have to stay on our game.”

French rivals Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron scored 81.93 for second.

Virtue, a 28-year-old from London, Ont., and the 30-year-old Moir, from Ilderton, Ont., won Olympic gold in Vancouver in 2010. They lost to Americans Meryl Davis and Charlie White four years later in Sochi, and then took two seasons off, returning in hopes of reclaiming gold.

Virtue and Moir, who will retire after Pyeongchang, were undefeated in their return until losing to Papadakis and Cizeron in the Grand Prix Final in December.

Canada’s other duos also qualified for the free dance, with Andrew Poje and Kaitlyn Weaver sitting eighth with 74.33 points and Piper Gilles and Paul Poirer earning 69.60 for ninth. The free dance is Tuesday.

“We tried to go there and really soak in the environment and the energy that is the Olympics,” said Poje. “It’s an amazing experience to be part of the team here and the great environment of all the athletes.”

Related: Virtue and Moir lead Canada into 2018 Winter Olympics opening ceremony

Related: Canada brings home first gold in figure skating team event in PyeongChang

#VirtueMoir #XX #PyeongChang2018 📸 @danielleearlphotography / @goldsk8

A post shared by Tessa Virtue (@tessavirtue17) on

Skier Cassie Sharpe is off to a promising start in the women’s halfpipe, taking the top spot in qualifying.

Sharpe, from Comox, B.C., scored 93.40 on her second run after a 93.00 on her first time down the halfpipe. In halfpipe, the best score from two runs counts.

“On my first run I just really wanted to land, that’s like my biggest thing for my confidence,” said Sharpe. ”If I don’t land my first run, I have a hard time coming back from that, so I just really wanted to land my run, and then after that I was like ‘OK, I want to qualify first because I want to drop last in the final’.

“Because if you do well through that, you can drop last, and it’s your victory lap. It’s the best feeling in the world. So if I can get another one of those, I mean, I’m so excited.”

Calgary’s Rosalind Groenewoud qualified 11th with a score of 73.20. The top 12 competitors move on to Tuesday’s finals.

France’s Marie Martinod was second with 92.00 points and Brita Sigourney of the United States was third with 90.60 points.

In women’s big air, Laurie Blouin of Stoneham, Que., was fourth after the qualifying round. She scored 92.25 in her second qualifying run for the big air competition, landing a cab double underflip, the same trick she tried in her first run. In big air, the best score from two runs counts.

“I did one of my biggest tricks that I have 100 per cent on lock to make sure I make it through to final,” said Blouin. “For the final I have another big trick, so I’m going to have to work hard in practice.”

Blouin suffered a head injury when she fell during training for the women’s slopestyle on Feb. 9, but went on to win a silver medal in that event.

Spencer O’Brien of Courtenay, B.C., was 11th after earning 76.75 points in her second run. The top 12 competitors advance to Friday’s finals.

Austria’s Anna Gasser was first in qualifying with 98.00 points in her second run, followed up by Japan’s Yuka Fujimori (94.25) and Reira Iwabuchi (92.75).

In curling, the losing streak continues for Kevin Koe’s curling rink. The Calgary skip lost his third straight game Monday, a 9-7 decision against the U.S. in extra ends.

The loss drops Canada’s record to 4-3, but still has Koe in a playoff position. He’s tied for third with Britain.

The top four make the semifinals.

On the women’s side, Rachel Homan pulled her rink into playoff contention with an 8-3 win over Japan.

The Canadians have won three straight after beginning the tournament with three losses.

“We had to let go of the past and focus on the present, one game and one shot at the time,” said Homan of the turnaround. ”Stay in the moment, but still enjoying our time here and our experience as Olympians. I’m really proud that we’re here representing Canada and we’re going to give it our all and leave it out there.

“If it’s good enough, awesome, and we can’t wait to hopefully make playoff. If it’s not good enough, the team comes out that plays better than us deserves to win.”

The win put Canada into a tie for fourth with China and Britain at 3-3.

Later Monday, Canada plays the team from Russia in the women’s hockey semifinals.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

REFLECTIONS: They came from Nova Scotia to the pristine countryside near Ponoka

By Mike Rainone for the News The rugged, challenging, and colourful saga… Continue reading

Proposed health care changes would be “devastating” to rural family practice: president of AMA

AHS, AMA and MLA Ron Orr chime in on recent health care announcements

There’s still time to stamp your Passport to Christmas

There are 50 Ponoka businesses participating

Photos: 2019 Ponoka CP Holiday Train stop

Featuring Madeline Merlo and Scott Helman

Ponoka Food Bank doubles number of hampers given away last month

Comparing the first two weeks in November in 2018 and 2019

Fashion Fridays: Ethical and sustainable gifts for the season

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Conservatives urge Morneau to deliver ‘urgent’ fall economic update

Morneau says the first thing the Liberals plan to do is bring in their promised tax cut for the middle class

Kovrig clings to humour as ‘two Michaels’ near one year in Chinese prison

Their detention is widely viewed as retaliation for Canada’s arrest of Chinese high-tech scion Meng Wanzhou

Man accused in toddler son’s death inept parent, not murderer: defence

Toddler’s body was found outside Good Shepherd Anglican Church in April 2017

Job numbers disappointing, but oil and gas growth expected in 2020: Kenney

Unemployment rate in Alberta rose to 7.2 per cent from 6.7 per cent last month

‘Things haven’t changed enough:’ Ecole Polytechnique anniversary prompts reflection

Fourteen women were fatally shot by a gunman at the Montreal school on Dec. 6, 1989

Feds approve Alberta’s carbon tax on big industrial emitters

Tax will be applied on 10 per cent of emissions produced by the province’s biggest polluters

Appeal denied: Alberta’s top court upholds conviction of triple-murderer

Douglas Garland was convicted of first-degree murder in the deaths of a couple and their grandson

Second warning on romaine lettuce from California region as another E. coli case reported

Two cases of E. coli have been reported in relation to the illness in the U.S.

Most Read