|The younger days|
|With our moms, Jacqui White (L) and
Cheryl Davis (R)
|Being honored at a Michigan game|
As kids beginning our journey together in the fall of 1997, we didn’t have a great idea of what it was we were doing on the ice. In those early years, our greatest hurdle was to achieve the daunting task of making eye contact with each other.
Fifteen years in, we’re four-time American ice dance champions, Olympic medalists and world champions. I can’t say that we totally expected to be here. In fact, we didn’t begin with any expectations at all.
Today, we’re a little over a year out from the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, and “expectations” are running high for all those who’ve set their sights on Sochi. Still, it’s not all about the next 15-odd months for us leading up to the Games. Our journey began well before our Olympic ambitions took off.
Somewhere between running back and forth between school, hockey, soccer, skating and music practice, we developed a rhythm. Our families living just ten minutes down the road from one another, our mothers, or “the moms,” quickly became an integral part of our team. Whether they were toting us from one activity to another or leading us on a tour of one of the many cities we visited together, the similar convictions of our mothers may have been the backbone of our career.
In truth, our mothers are still the backbone of our career. Even today, they’ve hardly missed a single one of our skating events between the two of them. In retrospect, I don’t know how they did it. Both working, they somehow managed to find the time to be our support systems in every way. Over the years, we were encouraged to maintain a balance between school and athletics as well as spending time with our friends and families.
It is that similar outlook on balance that has best served us over the years. Currently students at the University of Michigan, we feel so fortunate that we’ve been able to pursue our athletic and academic goals while remaining so close to our families. With such opportunities made available to us, we’ve been able to develop our skill on the ice as well as develop a comfort zone upon which we’ve come to rely.
For the last 15 years, we’ve spent just about every day together. Our unique relationship is one built of hard work as well as years of memories and experiences that have shaped our lives, as a team and as individuals. Thus, it seems fitting that when we take to the ice to compete, it is on each other we most rely.
We’ve just begun this pre-Olympic season and are halfway through the Grand Prix Series. Looking to take gold at our second assignment at the NHK Trophy in Japan, this would allow us to attend the Grand Prix Final of Figure Skating this December in Sochi. During what would be our first visit to the 2014 Olympic venue, we hope to defend our title at that championship event. We’ll be blogging with TeamUSA.org over the course of the next few months. We hope you’ll join us as we share our adventure!