Meryl Davis Opens Up About The Proposal, Her Custom-Made Engagement Ring And Sharing Her Personal Life With The World

By Brandon Penny | July 19, 2017, 10:30 a.m. (ET)
Meryl Davis and Fedor Andreev, pictured here on their trip to Italy and Greece, got engaged on July 13 while on a trip in California.

 

Meryl Davis has spent more than a decade in the public eye – often receiving attention worldwide for her record-breaking feats in figure skating (three Olympic medals, two world titles, six national championships) or on “Dancing with the Stars.” All the while, America’s greatest female ice dancer has intentionally kept her personal life just that: private.

Until now.

Sharing perhaps the biggest news of her personal life to date, Davis, 30, revealed on Instagram Sunday night that she became engaged to Fedor Andreev, 35, on Thursday, July 13.

Andreev, who has been largely hidden from Davis’ social media and interviews for over six years, is a former figure skater who competed in men’s singles for Canada and briefly as an ice dancer for Russia until he retired in 2010. A 2014 graduate of University of Michigan’s Stephen M. Ross School of Business, Andreev worked for Boston Consulting Group until recently moving on to a position with a Detroit startup company.

In her first interview since the proposal, Davis spoke to TeamUSA.org about the proposal itself (which she calls her “favorite weekend of all time”), why Andreev is the one and the new experience of sharing her personal life with the world.

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What have the past few days been like for you?

We got engaged on Thursday on a hike outside of San Francisco, and even before we had planned on going to Napa and Sonoma with my parents for the weekend. It was just the most beautiful weekend. We went on a hike and got engaged. We drove to Napa and met up with my parents and just had a lovely, relaxing weekend in wine country. It might be my favorite weekend of all time – great memories and perfect celebration.

How did Fedor propose?

We went on a hike right by Stinson Beach, which was a five- or six-mile hike. One of our favorite things to do is to go on a hike together, so we had the best time. As we approached the water, towards the end of the hike – which was coming towards the beach – I was looking towards the water and I turned around and he was down on one knee. We both got a little bit teary; I was pretty surprised. It just was one of the most beautiful moments that I will definitely cherish for the rest of my life.

Did you suspect it was coming?

We’ve talked about it before and we were confident that we want to spend our lives together, and that’s something we’ve talked about for a while now. But I had no idea it was coming that day at all.

Did he say anything in his proposal that you want to share?

The funny thing is a couple hours after it happened, we were thinking back and trying to remember what each of us said, and we were just so in the moment and so overwhelmed and emotional that neither of us can remember what we said. We know that I said yes, but we were caught up in the moment. Fortunately, it was incredibly beautiful, but unfortunately I was so swept up in the moment that I can’t remember what either of us said.

Your ring has been receiving a lot of attention. What’s the story there?

We went on the most amazing vacation to southern Italy and Greece this past fall, and we were walking around Santorini (an island southeast of Greece’s mainland) and I saw this really unique-looking ring in a jewelry store there and I commented on how beautiful it was. And now I know that he recreated that ring. He found the perfect yellow diamond. I didn’t know before that that I was particularly drawn to colored diamonds, but I fell so in love with that ring that we found in Greece. So the yellow diamond is an elongated cushion cut, and it’s set in rose gold with a halo of white diamond. He had it made, and so there’s two little hearts in rose gold on either side of the diamond. To me it’s the most beautiful piece of jewelry I’ve ever seen, specifically because it has so much meaning and we had such an amazing vacation walking around Santorini and it reminds me of that. I was just blown away, and it’s really beautiful and I’m excited to wear it.

There’s been a lot of media coverage of your announcement, as well as many excited fans. How has all the attention felt?

It’s interesting because it’s very different from anything else that I’ve ever been in the public eye for. I’ve been in the public eye for professional things, whether it’s skating or “Dancing with the Stars,” so it’s interesting to have your personal life covered and I’m just grateful that people are supportive, congratulatory and kind. People have been really, really gracious and we certainly appreciate all the congratulations and well-wishes that people have been sending.

You’ve spent most of your career intentionally keeping your personal life private. Why?

We have been very private for quite a long time, and we like it that way. It’s nice to be able to have your relationship for yourself. But at the same time, with something like this, we were really excited to share it with people. We really enjoy keeping things to ourselves, but this is something we were excited to share.

What was behind the choice to start opening up about your relationship in recent months and sharing Fedor more with the public?

Our relationship has really evolved over many years. Fedor is a pretty private person, and I definitely wanted to wait until we felt like this was it for us to really put anything out there. I think it’s important to still maintain a lot of privacy when it comes to your personal life, but I feel like I’ve known for a while now that Fedor is the person I wanted to spend the rest of my life with, so that certainly gave me encouragement and excitement in sharing just little bits and pieces of our relationship and our personal life with other people.

What is it about Fedor that makes him the one for you?

Fedor is one of the kindest people that I’ve ever met. He has such a pure, beautiful heart, and I think that’s what draws me to him the most. We both just like to enjoy life to the fullest, and I think we really try to bring that out in each other. And so whenever we’re together, we have the best time. He’s my best friend, and I just feel so incredibly lucky that I get to marry my best friend.

You and Fedor have a lot in common, from figure skating to your college. When was it that you first met and when did you start dating?

I don’t even know when we met, to be honest. We knew of each other and we were in the same space for many years in the skating world. And the skating world can be pretty small, especially when you’re training in the same city and know all the same people. I couldn’t even pinpoint a moment when we met. He’s five years older than me, and so when you’re young that’s a big age difference. We probably didn’t start hanging out and spending time together until I was in my 20s, and then we hung out with the same circle of friends at that point. I would say we started dating somewhere in the fall of 2010.

Wedding planning is obviously in the early stages now, but what are your initial thoughts on the big day?

We’ve touched on it very, very briefly, and both acknowledged that we’re not in a huge rush at all. We would love to do it sometime in the next two years. We would really love something relatively intimate with our closest family and friends – nothing too big. We would love a couple day-long celebrations, just making memories and spending time together. We’ll definitely go on a hike! And Bilbo Baggins (the couple’s Sheepadoodle) obviously will be the ring bearer.