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Figure Skating

Virtue and Moir announce they're 'stepping away' from figure skating

Olympic ice-dancing champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir are thanking Canadians for years of support as they prepare to leave the sport, saying in a video released Tuesday that their current tour will be their last.

Champions thank fans for years of support, praise next generation of skaters

Canadian figure skating legends Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir are "stepping away" from the sport after 22 years and numerous Olympic and world titles. They won ice dance and team gold medals at last year's Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images/File)

Canadian figure skating icons Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir said in a video posted to Twitter late Tuesday night that they will be "stepping away" from the sport after 22 years and numerous Olympic and world titles.

The pair, who are preparing for the Rock the Rink Tour, thanked fans for their support with an emotional message.

"We feel like the most fortunate kids in Canada, still," said Moir, 32, who announced in early August he's engaged to be married to Jackie Mascarin. She was his skating partner prior to Moir becoming a pair with Virtue in 1997.

"It just feels for us like it's the right time to say goodbye, while we're still loving and enjoying the sport as much as we always have," he said in the video, which featured the pair on the ice and included highlights from their long career.

WATCH | Virtue and Moir move on after 22 years of ice dancing:

CBC Sports figure skating analyst Pj Kwong discusses the legacy Olympic champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir leave behind. 5:55
Added Virtue: "After 22 years, it feels like the right time to step away from the sport. This is so personal and emotional for both of us. We're just so grateful. How lucky are we really that we got to share all of this together and with all of you?"

The 30-year-old, thanked fans for their "unwavering" support.

Double Olympic gold in Pyeongchang

The pair, who were both born in London, Ont., won two gold medals at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang and helped Canada reach the top of the podium in the team event.

"They were always finding ways to push the limits with dance, be it technically, be it artistically, they explored so many different genres that they didn't kind of have one style and skate for their [entire] career," said Skate Canada's high performance director Mike Slipchuk. "Every year they came out with something new. They did classical, they did movies, they did Pink Floyd, they did Gene Kelly, they've done it all.

"That's what always made them unique is they always came out with something new and innovative and it pushed more teams to explore outside the box also, which is what we see now."

WATCH | Virtue and Moir win ice dance gold in South Korea:

The Canadian duo reigned supreme in South Korea. 2:20

They also captured gold at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and a pair of silver medals at the 2014 Games in Sochi. 

Virtue said the next generation of skaters in Canada is going to "blaze new trails, break all of our records — and we can't wait to cheer them on. 

"We'll be there watching," Moir said. 

WATCH | Virtue and Moir capture 1st gold medal in Vancouver:

Watch Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir's gold medal ice dance skate from the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. 6:26
The Rock the Rink Tour begins Oct. 5 in Abbotsford, B.C., and ends Nov. 23 in St. John's.

Their 2018 gold was their fifth Olympic medal. They also won gold in ice dancing at the Vancouver Games in 2010, silver in Sochi in 2014, and one gold and one silver in the team figure skating event in Pyeongchang and Sochi, respectively.

WATCH | Roxanne: Behind the scenes of Virtue and Moir's Olympic journey:

Go behind the scenes as Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir developed their 2018 Olympic gold-medal winning free dance, set to the music of 'El Tango de Roxanne' from the film Moulin Rouge! 24:31

Virtue and Moir became household names after capturing Olympic gold on home ice in 2010 and have been melting hearts ever since. Fans swooned over their on-ice chemistry during their final Olympic appearance.

They performed alongside other Canadian skaters on a Stars on Ice Tour exhibition tour last spring, but haven't competed since Pyeongchang.

WATCH | Virtue and Moir named CBC Sports' top Canadian athletes for 2018:

Scott Russell, host of CBC Sports' Road to the Olympic Games, joined Heather Hiscox to discuss CBC Sports' choice for the Canadian Athletes of the Year. 6:16

With files from The Canadian Press

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