Host City: Vancouver, Canada
Venue(s): Pacific Coliseum, Vancouver
Date Started: February 19, 2010
Date Finished: February 22, 2010
Format: Total of points from compulsory dance, optional set dance, and free dance.
The 2009 World Champions were Russians Oksana Domnina and Maksim Shabalin, but they had not competed much in the 2009-10 season, although they won the 2010 European Championship in January. The top couples in 2009-10 had been Americans Meryl Davis and Charlie White, winner of the Grand Prix Final and the 2009 Four Continents Championship. They were trailed by Canadians Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, who had been second at the Grand Prix Final. Also considered were the silver medalists from 2006, Americans Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto. Domnina and Shabalin took the lead after the compulsory dance, with Virtue/Moir second and Davis/White third. But after the original set dance, the Russians struggled and dropped to third, with the lead taken by the Canadian couple. Domnina and Shabalin chose to skate the original set dance in controversial aboriginal costumes (based on Australian aborigines), and it did not endear them to crowd, nor to the judges. They had done this at the Europeans, when they had also worn face paint, which they at least skipped in Vancouver. In the free dance, Virtue and Moir had the best performance, wowing their home Vancouver audience to win the gold medal. Davis/White placed second with the Russians bringing home a bronze medal, while Belbin and Agosto were fourth. This was Canada’s first figure skating gold medal since 1960 in pairs.