Canada's Scott Moir and Tessa Virtue, seen at the world championships last March in Turin, Italy, will make their season debut at the Four Continents figure skating championships on Feb. 15-20 in Chinese Taipei. (Damien Meyer/AFP/Getty Images)
The impressive thing about champions is they don't know the meaning of the word quit.
Self-satisfied accomplishment runs counter to the nature of a champion.
It was heartening this week to hear straight from the horse's mouth that Olympic gold medallists and world champions in the ice dance, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, are returning to the field of play.
"We will be back at Four Continents in two weeks and I can't wait to compete again," Moir said via e-mail from the training base in Canton, Mich. "We still have the fire and I hope it will last for many more years."
That Virtue and Moir have committed to compete at the Four Continents figure skating championships in Chinese Taipei is welcome news. In October, Virtue underwent a second surgery on her shins and calves in the space of two years to relieve the pain of Chronic Exertional Compartment Syndrome (CECS). Now it appears they are determined to qualify for the world championships in Tokyo with a view to defending their crown.
"We wanted Tessa to be healthy," Moir stressed. "That became our number one priority and we knew the surgery was 100 per cent necessary. Still, it is always frustrating for an athlete not to be able to perform."
Last February in winning the Olympic gold medal in Vancouver, Virtue and Moir delivered one of the greatest performances in the annals of figure skating. It's been compared favourably to Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean's historic win at the 1984 Olympics in Sarajevo, which featured an icy rendition of Bolero.
Goal of multiple titles
Virtue and Moir are still young, both in their early 20s, and could achieve unprecedented success in their sport. While Torvill and Dean won four consecutive world championships, they did not repeat as Olympic champions. Indications are Virtue and Moir, will try to raise the bar on both accounts given that the world championships in the year prior to the Sochi 2014 Games will be held in their own backyard in London, Ont.
"I will gladly share my thoughts on this," Moir said. "Tackling a post-Olympic season is very tricky especially after the success we had last year.
"However, we are just as hungry if not more than we have ever been. I am very motivated by the challenge of repeating as world champions."
That sounds definitive.
The talk of a champion revived who will never say die.
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