Ice Dancing

Meryl Davis, Charlie White
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Meryl Davis, Charlie White out for entire 2016-17 season

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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.”

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Where Meryl Davis, Charlie White stand on possible comeback

Meryl Davis, Charlie White
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NEW YORK — Meryl Davis and Charlie White are still open to returning to ice dance competition but don’t need to compete next season if they want to make a run for the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics.

“We would probably want to decide at some point during the [2016-17] season, 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 at a Figure Skating in Harlem event on Monday. “Whether we get to any competitions 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.”

Davis and White have not competed since becoming the first U.S. couple to win an Olympic ice dance title in Sochi.

Meanwhile, their longtime Canadian rivals and former training partners Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir have announced a comeback for the 2016-17 season that begins in late summer/early fall.

Virtue and Moir also have not competed since the Olympics, where they took silver behind the Americans.

Virtue and Moir reportedly mandated last May that they needed to decide before the 2016-17 season if they were coming back, giving them buffer time before the Olympic season.

The return of Virtue of Moir and the evolution and competitiveness of the ice dance field, both internationally and domestically, has no bearing on Davis and White’s plans.

“Whether we come back or not, it’s unrelated to what is definitely a very strong dance field,” White said. “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.”

Davis and White still spend many days together on the ice. They practice and perform for non-competition shows, such as Stars on Ice tours in the U.S. and Japan.

“[Shows are] different enough that we would definitely need a lot of preparation to get back into competition mode,” Davis said. “Despite a lot of preparation that would be needed, we’re still on the ice almost every day and still in fighting shape.”

They just returned from a swing of shows in Japan, begin U.S. stops on Friday in Hershey, Pa., and could do three different tours in Japan again this summer.

“This whole idea of whether or not you come back is completely new to us,” said Davis, pointing out that the longest they were previously out of competition mode was two months in 2004-05 when White broke an ankle. “It’s definitely possible, but we have no idea.”

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Olympic skater Nancy Kerrigan remembers slain Colorado officer, a childhood friend

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Former figure skating champion Nancy Kerrigan remembers the Colorado police officer who was killed in a shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic as loyal, caring and a true friend.

She told media outlets that Garrett Swasey was “one of my best friends” as they grew up together practicing figure skating in Melrose, Massachusetts. Before he became a police officer, Swasey was a junior national couples ice dancing champion.

An emotional Kerrigan says she wasn’t surprised he took a career path where he helped others first. She says he always had fun and did everything with a smile.

Swasey’s father has told the Boston Globe that his son moved to Colorado in the 1980s to pursue competitive figure skating and became an officer six years ago.

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