The Canadian Skating Duo That Will Change Your Life

Scott Moir and Tessa Virtue’s love story is one that will never be forgotten


Scott Moir and Tessa Virtue. If you haven’t heard their names yet, you are at fault. If you have seen any ice skating sports in your life at any time and have not heard of them, then you are certainly an outlier of the world. The two are a fierce ice skating duo hailing from Canada, and have been competing in the Olympics since 2010, but have been skating together for so much longer. 

Scott Moir and Tessa Virtue at a young age versus present day
Moir and Virtue after a win

The famous Canadian skating duo began ice skating together in 1997 at the ages of seven and nine. Moir’s aunt thought they would be good together, and when they started training together they already had natural chemistry. They started to gain momentum when they won the Canadian Junior National Championship and the ice dancing world junior champions. In 2010, they participated in the Winter Olympics’ ice dance competition. They placed second in the compulsory dance, first in original dance, and scored remarkably high in the free dance, which led to them winning the gold medal by 5.83 points. The judges gave them four 10.00 marks on their free dance, which means they were given four marks at full points, with absolutely no errors, essentially perfect execution. This had never been done before by a figure skater or figure skating team while under the International Judging System. These performances set them apart from the rest, earning them significant records such as the first Canadian and North American team to win at their category in the Olympics, the youngest ice dance team to win, and the first ice dance team to win on home soil. Not to mention they were the first ice dance team to win gold in their Olympic debut since 1976. 

Canada’s 2010 Winter Olympics performance
Canada’s 2010 Winter Olympics performance
Moir and Virtue after their 2010 Winter Olympics performance

Their second Olympic appearance was at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, where they stated that the duo might be retiring after their performances that year. However, they won silver in both ice dance and skate events, a huge blow after winning gold their debut year. This second place win was shadowed by coaching and judge controversy, as Moir and Virtue’s coach was coaching both their team and the American team that won gold. To top it off, their coach marched with the American team in the opening ceremony, and seemed to be prioritizing the Americans over the Canadian team, which Scott and Tessa expressed their concern about after the fact, but did congratulate the American team on their win. With regards to judging, a French sports publication wrote about how they suspected that the Russian and American judges had conspired to give the American team gold for ice dance and the Russian team gold for the team event. 


Canada’s 2014 Winter Olympics performance

Though they were incredibly successful, they began to hit a wall after the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. They had been figure skating for as long as they remember, and were incredibly burnt out after such a long time. After a long three year break, the pair found themselves on a charity trip to Scotland. While hanging out in a bar, “they were showing an Olympic video,” Moir remembers. “I looked over at Tessa. We kind of have our own language. And I was like, ‘We’re going to do one more Olympics, aren’t we?’ And she was like, ‘Oh, yeah’. I turned around to the bartender, ordered three more beers and just thought, ‘Okay, here we go.’”  This comeback period caused changes in attitude, coaching, and motivation. With coaching by former Canadian ice-dancers Marie-France Dubreuil and Patrice Lauzon, they trained intensively to push former boundaries and methods of thinking. “We weren’t conforming to any one thing,” Virtue says. “We lost this sense of trying to appease everyone else.” She reported that they regained their spark in Montreal at the Skate Canada Autumn Classic. They did an electrifyingly captivating dance, which was a tribute to Prince. Beating out Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron, reigning champions of the competition for the past two years, seemed highly unlikely. So when they ended the year on the top of the Grand Prix Podium for the first time, it was incredibly exciting and encouraging.

The 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang was the precise moment where the duo got back in the game and truly skated to their full potential, Tessa coming in with so much more energy and emotion, and Scott echoing those emotions and developing so much more strength in these final dances. They danced to the Rolling Stones, the Eagles, and Moulin Rouge!, to make it a performance that will never be forgotten. 

All the while they had been training and competing, the internet fell in love with them. Their natural chemistry had been captivating to watch, on and off the ice. When they competed, it was easy to notice how deeply they cared for each other. This is especially noticeable in the 2018 Olympics during their performance to Moulin Rouge! The spellbinding performance was a culmination of two entire lives dedicated to the sport, and their partnership. The sensual and intimate dance starts with a slow start, and as the music swells and crescendos, so do Scott and Tessa. As they perform, the audience can see the nerves melting away to reveal the love they have for the sport, and each other. The performance earned them a well deserved gold medal in the ice dancing category. While standing on the podium, Virtue welled up jus thinking about “the little seven and nine-year-old kids who got together, who didn’t speak and who just skated around a rink holding hands. On the world’s biggest stage, with all of that pressure, in that very moment … I was just very proud of Scott. It’s funny. We both have this thing where it’s hard for us to acknowledge our own success but we’re able to see it in each other.”

Canada’s 2014 Winter Olympics performance
Moir and Virtue after their 2014 Winter Olympics performance, hearing they’ve won gold








This performance, similar to every other performance in their career, heightened the sense of passion, emotion, and genuine love and intimacy that they have for each other and have developed throughout the years of their relationship with one another. With every move, there is no questioning the comfort they feel with one another on the ice, and how natural it is for them to be dancing with one another. With every look shared, you can see the trust in their eyes and the love they hold for one another carrying them through the performance, not just carried by their technical skill and love for the sport, but by their care for one another.