Host City: Sochi, Russia
Venue(s): Iceberg Skating Palace, Adler
Date Started: February 16, 2014
Date Finished: February 17, 2014
Format: Total of points from compulsory dance, optional set dance, and free dance.
The gold and silver medals were somewhat pre-ordained as Canadian defending gold medalists [Tessa Virtue] and [Scott Moir] and the 2010 silver medalists, Americans [Meryl Davis] and [Charlie White] had dominated the event since Vancouver. They had been 1-2 at the last four World Championships, with Davis and White winning in 2011 and 2013, and Virtue and Moir winning in 2010 and 2012. But Davis and White had not lost since the 2012 World Championships and came to Sochi as slight favorites. Making things more interesting was that they both were coached by former Russian Marina Zouyeva, and trained at the same rink in Detroit.
The ice dancing event was changed for the 2014 Olympics. Previously dancers had completed an original set dance and either 1, 2, or 3 compulsory dances (one since 2002), and then a free dance. But making the event consistent with the other figure skating events, the competition had been changed since Vancouver and now consisted of a short dance and a free dance. This format had been in place in all ISU events since Vancouver so the ice dancers were prepared for it.
As expected Davis/White and Virtue/Moir went 1-2 in the short dance, with the Americans taking a slight lead. The little known Russian couple [Yelena Ilyinykh] and [Nikita Katsalapov], silver medalists at the 2012 and 2013 European Championships, was in third place. In the free dance, Davis/White skated to Scheherazade and edged out Virtue/Moir both in that phase and for the gold medal. As always with ice dancing, there was little to choose between them and the results seemed pre-determined. There was some mild controversy that this was the case and that there had even been a deal between American and Russian judges with a quid pro quo between the pairs and dance competition, but this went nowhere quickly. Ilyinykh/Katsalapov won a very surprising bronze medal.