Meryl Davis and Charlie White, who won hearts and gold medals with their dazzling ice dancing performance at the Sochi 2014 Olympics, will be honored this weekend in Canton, where the duo trained.
The free ticketed celebration will be held from 3:30-4 p.m. Sunday at the Village Theater at Cherry Hill, 50400 Cherry Hill Road. WDIV 4 anchor Steve Garagiola will emcee the celebration. Autograph and photo opportunities are not available at the 30-minute event.
The ice-skating duo, who grew up miles apart in southeast Michigan, also won the bronze as part of the Team USA figure skating team in the Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. They are the first Americans ever to win the gold in ice dancing.
Davis, 27, grew up in West Bloomfield and White, 26, in Bloomfield Hills and have been skating together since 1977. They trained at the Arctic Edge Skating Club in Canton.
Among the topics that might come up at Sunday’s celebration is their selection earlier this week as celebrity headliners for the 18th season of ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” that premieres on March 17.
They were at Plymouth-Salem High School Friday morning at an event sponsored by Kellogg’s and answered students’ questions about which of them is the favorite to win DWTS, the Detroit Free Press reports.
Though they’ve skated together for years, they won’t be dancing together on the show.
White said he thinks both he and Davis have an edge over the other dancers on the program, but said “it’s pretty different at the same time” – a remark that earned a sardonic “He’s skating around the answer, isn’t he?” from announcer Michael LeMelle.
“I’m just going to say Meryl is the favorite,” White finally admitted. “S0 I'm going to need all of you to call in. Help that poor guy who doesn't have chance."
Davis said her skating partner was “playing the dark-horse card."
"I think we are finding it really different dancing on the floor from dancing on the ice,” she said “We have a lot of habits that we are taking to the floor that aren't necessarily helpful."
Duo Pull Out of World Championships in Japan
Davis and White announced last weekend that they won’t be competing 2014 ISU World Figure Skating Championships taking place March 24-30 in Saitama, Japan, the Detroit Free Press reports.
"Now that we've had some time at home to discuss our plan for the rest of the season, we've decided not to compete in the 2014 World Championships,” Davis said in a statement. “We're extremely pleased to have capped-off this Olympic cycle with our performances at the Olympic Games.”
White also released a statement, saying that he and Davis believe their “incredibly positive Olympic experience is the culmination of and perfect ending to a wonderful four-year cycle.”
“We will leave our options open for the future and are excited to cheer on our American teammates as they compete in Japan,” he said.
Two other Canton-trained Olympians, silver medalists Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, also announced they won’t compete in Japan. Silver medalist Patrick Chan, who trains at the Detroit Skating Club in Bloomfield Hills, is also out.
Second alternates Alexandra Aldridge and Daniel Eaton will instead will represent Team USA at the world championships. They also train in Bloomfield Hills.
Aldridge and Eaton got the nod because first alternates Madison Hubbell Zachary Donohue, who also trained at the Detroit Skating Club, won’t compete in the World Championships because Hubbell is recovering from a hip injury. Hubbell and Donohoe were the 2014 Four Continents champions.Three other ice dancers with southeast Michigan ties, Alex and Maia Shibutani of Ann Arbor and Michigan natives Evan Bates and Madison Chock, are part of the U.S. team and are expected to compete in the world competition in Japan.
DISCUSS: Who's your favorite on "Dancing with the Stars," Davis, White or someone else? Tell us below in the comments.