NEW YORK — Olympic ice dance champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White will not compete this season, but Davis said they need to decide “very soon” if they are coming back at all.
Davis and White have not competed since becoming the first U.S. Olympic ice dance champions in Sochi but also have not retired.
“It’s too late this season to come back,” Davis said at the Women’s Sports Foundation Gala on Wall Street on Wednesday night. “We would probably want to return for the [fall] Grand Prix season next year, if we decided to.”
If anybody can afford to leave a 2018 Olympic run that late, it may be Davis and White. They have skated together since 1997 and continue to “work together almost every day still,” performing in ice shows and traveling, Davis said.
This week, Davis returned from a trip to Greece to her native Michigan for one day and saw White at a rink before flying to New York. They have shows booked throughout the winter in North America, Europe and Japan.
“To be quite honest, we don’t really talk about it very often,” Davis said of a competitive comeback. “We are sort of just going with the flow.”
White said in April that he and Davis would want to decide at some point during the 2016-17 season if they want to make a run for the 2018 Olympics.
“So that we can be basically competitively ready, even if it’s halfway through the season or towards the end of the season,” White said then. “Whether we get to any competitions [in 2016-17] doesn’t, I think, make as big of a difference. As long as we could have been competing. I would say that would probably make the most sense.”
If Davis and White return, they will go up against an ice dance field that includes France’s Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron, the two-time reigning world champions, and longtime Canadian rivals and training partners Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, who are back this season after two seasons off.
Plus, U.S. Olympic teammates Maia and Alex Shibutani and Madison Chock and Evan Bates took silver and bronze at last season’s world championships.
“Whether we come back or not, it’s unrelated to what is definitely a very strong dance field,” White said in April. “Whether it’s strong or weak, having accomplished what we’ve accomplished and our relationship with the sport, it’s about whether we feel fulfilled with what we’ve accomplished. We’re still figuring that out.”Follow @nzaccardi