Champion ice dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir leap to reality TV - InfoNews

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Champion ice dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir leap to reality TV

Canada's ice dance couple Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir go through their routine during a practice session at the World Figure Skating Championships Tuesday, March 12, 2013 in London, Ont. A seven-part TV series "Tessa & Scott" follows the 2010 Olympic Gold medal winners as they prepare for the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi while showing them in candid moments with friends and family. The half-hour "Tessa & Scott" debuts Thursday on W Network. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
December 30, 2013 - 5:01 AM

TORONTO - Champion ice dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir are used to performing on the ice.

But this week they promise to drop the act to offer Canadians a glimpse into their lives outside the spotlight. The seven-part TV series "Tessa & Scott" follows the 2010 Olympic Gold medal winners as they prepare for the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi while showing them in candid moments with friends and family.

The half-hour "Tessa & Scott" debuts Thursday on W Network.

The 24-year-old Virtue and 26-year-old Moir sat down with The Canadian Press during a break in late October as filming was underway. They talked about competing in sport's biggest arena, their on-ice connection and thriving under pressure. The interview has been condensed and edited.

The Canadian Press: You've obviously got a lot of other things to worry about these days, why do a TV show?

Scott Moir: Going into (the) 2010 (Games) it was such a whirlwind, we barely remember it. For us (this) is a great way for us to not only share with Canadians but also selfishly to look back on it and think what it was like going in right before the Olympic Games.

Tessa Virtue: Obviously, the focus this season is on competing our best at the Olympics and hopefully going for another title. We knew that anything we took on this year — be it a sponsorship or any kind of obligation, a show — we didn't want that to affect our training. And this series has not. Really, our lives haven't changed. The neat thing about this was that cameras were following us on what we do on a daily basis.

CP: Obviously, you're already so comfortable in front of the cameras, you are performers after all.

SM: Yeah, the cameras have been in our lives for a long time so it wasn't that much of an adjustment and the crew is really great. It actually feels more normal now to have the crew with us, it's like having six friends with us all the time.

TV: The life of an athlete is naturally isolating so I think one surprising thing about the series so far is how close we've become with the crew. It's nice to have people at the rink who we trust and we know want the best for us and they can give you a little smile or a wink and it really makes a difference. We feel that support.

CP: Does having a camera at training sessions affect how you train?

SM: Actually, that's been a funny thing. (Our coach) Marina (Zueva) makes fun of us now, (saying) that we skate our best when the cameras are there. She says to us a couple of days (ago), "Oh, I wish the cameras were here because you seem to give it a little bit more.... Before we took on this kind of adventurous little project we asked our team members and our advisers, we asked our head coach what they thought, we asked a sports scientist what he thought and a little bit to our surprise they thought it was a great idea, as long as it didn't take away from our training. So that was priority one, and we were able to do that so I think it really has pushed us.

CP: What do we learn about your lives off-the-ice?

SM: Some of the parts I'm most proud of is just following me home to see how I act with my family and to see my crazy buddies.

TV: We're quite different, Scott and I, when we're off the ice... so I think it's neat to see the contrast between who Scott is when he goes home and who I am when I go home.

SM: And you'll also see us interact with our friends that are in the sport. You'll see us with Patrick Chan and Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje and some of the different events.

CP: Do we see any of those uglier moments between you two?

SM: We're not really fighters, between the two of us, but yeah, you'll see some moments when maybe we don't agree on something.

TV: I have learned though that we don't really speak in full sentences. Like, we kind of have our own little language and we don't finish thoughts or we finish each other's sentences and we can communicate a lot just by a look or a squeeze of a hand or something. Sometimes at the end of the day someone on the crew will say, "Yeah, it was great but we didn't really understand what you were talking about."

CP: Doesn't all this emphasis on your Olympics training put more pressure on you to win the gold?

SM: We welcome that but we always say: No one puts more pressure on us than ourselves. We want to win that Olympic gold medal again, nobody wants that more for us than ourselves.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2013
The Canadian Press

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