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“And for the longest time before that they didn’t even know what was wrong with her.” Yes, it’s been quite the ride for Canada’s golden duo, the youngest ice dance gold medallists in history, and the first North Americans to win the event in its 30-year Olympic history.
It makes their victory, following a near-flawless skate on Monday, even more remarkable.
Then, in 1995, he teamed with Allison Gaylor to place 15th in the World Championships.
In 1998, he and Salé tried out together for the second time (the first time was in 1996), and decided that they had potential as a duo.
In their first competition as a pairs team, the 1998 Skate Canada competition, Pelletier and Salé placed third in a strong field, and in 1999 won the Skate America pairs event.
The year 2000 produced wins for the attractive young pair in Skate Canada, Skate America and the ISU Four Continents event, and a fourth-place finish in the World Championships.
In the days that followed, media exposure of a possible judging scandal in the pairs event raised Salé and Pelletier to superstar status and garnered them worldwide support.
Four days after the pairs competition, the International Skating Union, pressured by the International Olympic Committee to act quickly, found the French judge, Marie-Reine le Gougne, guilty of fraudulent judging, an act that may have prevented Salé and Pelletier from winning the gold medal many felt they deserved.
“I never coached my own boys,” says Alma, chuckling. I coached her daughters—that was our trade-off.” It was Carol who first thought of pairing Virtue, from nearby London, with Moir.Virtue, 20, and Moir, 22, missed most of the 2008-2009 season while she recuperated from surgery to both of her legs.Doctors had told them that “nobody recovers the same from this surgery,” Moir told .In 2002, the couple made their home in Edmonton, working with coach Jan Ullmark and choreographer Lori Nichol.Although the pair officially began competing in 1998, Salé developed tendonitis and required surgery, and the following year Pelletier sustained a back injury that kept them out of the 1999 World Championships.
On the ice, though, their talent couldn’t be contained.