Host City: Torino, Italy
Venue(s): Palavela, Torino
Date Started: February 17, 2006
Date Finished: February 20, 2006
Format: Total of points from compulsory dance, optional set dance, and free dance.
Tatyana Navka and Roman Kostomarov of Russia had been World Champions in 2004-05, and European Champions in 2004-06. They had also been solid in the 2005-06 early season. Their biggest challenge was expected to a team that almost was not qualified. This was Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto, skating for the United States. They had skated together since 2002, but the problem for the Olympics was that Belbin was Canadian. She received American citizenship only a few weeks before the US Trials, enabling her and Agosto to skate together at the Olympics. The bronze medalists from 2002, Barbara Fusar Poli and Maurizio Margaglio, won the compulsory dance with 38.78 over Navka/Kostomarov, with Belbin and Agosto well back in 7th place. In the insular world of ice dancing, in which couples rarely change their position during a competition, this seemed a death knell. But they came back to place second to Navka/Kostomarov in the optional set pattern dance, and were in second overall going into the free dance. Navka/Kostomarov won the free dance, while Belbin/Agosto struggled, placing fifth. But they were able to hold on for the silver medal, narrowly edging the Ukrainian couple of Olena Hrushyna and Ruslan Honcharov. The crowd favorites were Fusar Poli and Margaglio, but they fell twice during the original dance. The had come out of retirement because the Winter Games were in Torino, and wanted to win gold in front of the home crowd, but Fusar Poli was so mad at Margaglio that she would not even look at him as they came off the ice.