Gold Medal-Winning Ice Dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White Will Not Defend Title at 2018 Olympics
On Wednesday, the ice dancing pair who took gold at the Sochi 2014 Games announced that they will not make another run for the top prize at the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics.
“I hate to be a little bit of a downer maybe for our fans, but we’ve decided not to compete at the Olympics,” White said on Today.
The 29-year-old athlete added that although they are continuing to skate, including performing in their successful Stars on Ice tour in the spring, they are also focusing on their personal lives.
“There are so many positives to competing, but I think just expanding our lives outside of competitive skating is really what we’re enjoying in our lives so much right now,” White said.
Davis, 30, added that the choice was not easy to make.
“It was one that took us three years to come up with. We gave ourselves a lot of time,” she said. “With the ability to explore what we really felt, I think we’re really happy with that decision.”
Although White told NBC Sports that they are not retiring from the sport, not competing in the next Olympics is bittersweet.
“It’s still really weird to say that out loud,” he said. “I’m not really sure what tone to use. It’s not like we’re celebrating it. It’s a little bit disappointing, but at the same time, it’s nice to finally come to a decision.”
Davis agreed, sharing that she truly doesn’t miss the intense side of the sport.
“People ask me now at competitions, do you wish you were out there?” she explained. “After giving it a lot of thought, I always say, no, I feel really good about the capacity I’m here in right now. I think that was really telling for me.”
The Michigan natives teamed up in 1997, when Davis was 10 years old and White was 9, under coach Seth Chafetz at the Detroit Skating Club. Since then, the Americans have won six straight national titles, two world titles and medals of each color over two Olympic appearances.
After the 2014 Olympics, both skaters competed on the 18th season of Dancing with the Stars, with Davis winning the competition. They have also taken up commentating on ice skating, most recently at the U.S. Championships last month.
While Davis and White have not competed in three years, they have continued to skate and train together, performing in Stars on Ice tours.