American ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White took home silver at the 2010 Olympics – and this year they have their eyes on the big prize.
“We feel really great about everything,” White tells PEOPLE. “We’ve had a lot of success over the last four years since the Vancouver Olympics and we have a lot of momentum. This year, maybe more than any other year, we feel really confident in all of our material.”
So since they’re feeling so good about their routine, we wondered: what else is on the minds of these two Olympic favorites? Well, they spilled:
When to graduate college
Davis, 27, and White, 26, have been enrolled at the University of Michigan since a while ago. But they definitely want degrees – it’s just not happening this year. “We’re taking this year off, just because of the time we needed for Olympic season,” White explains. “We’ve always loved being able to skate and go to school but there are so many things that we really have to be able to take care of off the ice.”
“We made the mistake of predicting our date of graduation years ago, and that date has come and gone. So we’re going to stop guessing,” Davis jokes.
Thanking their moms – again
“Charlie is very anti-superstition – we don’t have any concrete good luck charms we rely on,” Davis shares. “But I think our moms are as close to good luck charms as we have.” The pair’s moms, Cheryl Davis and Jacqui White, have never missed a competition, Davis says, “and one tradition we have is that before we compete, we take a moment to give our moms a hug before we warm up.”
Davis and White are involved with P&G’s’ “Thank You, Mom” campaign, which gave them the chance to recognize their mothers in a video about their lifelong support. “We’re so grateful to have them with us wherever we go in the world,” Davis says.
Feeling the love from famous friends
The two have at least one celebrity fan; Dancing with the Stars‘s Derek Hough actually helped choreograph Davis and White’s My Fair Lady-inspired routine, doing a “boot camp” with the pair last spring.
“What was so special abut working with Derek was how he was able to express to us what we needed to do, but also visualize and recognize the way we’d use his moves on the ice, as well. He was really quite genius,” White says. Adds Davis, “He’s just fantastic. He has an infectious, positive energy.”
Overcoming their own moments of awe
Even though they’re pretty famous themselves, Davis and White admit that they can get starstruck when in the Olympic Village or out promoting their sport.
“For me, going to the last Olympics and just getting to meet all the Olympians was amazing,” White says. “We’re in Detroit, and I grew up playing hockey and am still a huge fan. And all the best hockey players in the world are at the Olympics, so to eat lunch with these guys is really amazing. That was my biggest starstruck moment in Vancouver, going table to table introducing myself.”
For Davis, the speechlessness doesn’t hit until a little further up the fame food chain. “When you meet movie stars and athletes it’s surreal because you think to yourself, they’re just normal people,” she explains. “But meeting the leader of the free world – he’s definitely not a normal person! So meeting Barack and Michelle Obama after the 2010 Olympics was definitely a special moment for both of us.”
Here’s hoping for a second meeting with the POTUS and FLOTUS! Watch Davis and White go for gold in prime time on NBC Sunday and Monday.