I read this 2003 article (excerpted in large part here), written by the late, great photojournalist Barry Mittan, long after it was originally published. It remains my favorite. Mittan gets out of the way, and Virtue Moir aren't control freaking their way through the Q&A, jackhammering themselves into their respective rigid public personas.
"South Carolina" might seem like a random dream destination for Scott Moir circa 2003, until one reads that girls can get married in South Carolina at age fourteen.
Skating is a family tradition for the Moirs. “Everyone in my family skated,” he said. “My mother is a figure skating coach, my dad played hockey and coached and my two older brothers skated. I started skating at three, got my first dance partner at age eight and started skating with Tessa at nine.” Virtue had a slightly different reason when she started at the age of six. “I didn’t want to be the only one in my class who couldn’t skate when we went on a school field trip to the arena,” she said.
Virtue began dancing with Moir when she was seven. “I am still trying to do singles, but once I got a dance partner, things just kind of clicked,” she said. She competed in singles last year and finished second at the All Ontario Championships. She almost has her double Axel and is working on triple jumps. Both skaters decided to try dance due to the influence of Moir’s brother, Danny, a senior ice dancer. The two teamed up when Moir’s aunt, Carol Moir, who coached both of the skaters for singles, decided they would make good dance partners.
The dancers train in Kitchener-Waterloo with Paul MacIntosh, Suzanne Killing and Rebecca Babb. They train for three hours on ice Monday through Friday before school and two hours off ice after school Monday to Thursday. That includes conditioning, aerobics, weight training, and balletics, although they each have approach the barre differently. Moir, who also plays hockey, was adamant that he takes ballet “only for skating purposes,” while Virtue, who has had classes since she was three, said, “One of the highlights of my life was the summer I spent at the National Ballet School when I was nine.”
Killing also choreographs the couple’s dances. Moir’s favorite compulsory dances are the Blues and the Golden Waltz, while Virtue likes the Paso and the Samba. He listed the Rocker Foxtrot as his hardest compulsory so far while she thought the Rhumba was the hardest. This season they skated to “Les Poissons” and “Concerto Sopra Motivi dell’Opera” for the original dance and “Malaguena”, “Eres Todo En Mi”, and “Tres Deseos” for their free dance. “I like to skate to anything interesting and fun,” Moir said, while Virtue noted that she liked “something lively, dancy and fun.” Off ice, Moir listens to the top 40 while Virtue listens to almost anything. She also plays the piano.
For fun, Moir likes to hang out with friends and plays sports. “I try to play as many sports as I can,” he said. He plays forward on a house league hockey team. Virtue likes to dance, spend time with friends, and shop. “I study ballet and modern dance,” she said. Moir likes to read action books and watch action movies, while Virtue likes mystery and comedy books and almost any kind of movies. Both are dog lovers. He has a dog named Diamond, while she has two dogs, Keeta, a Shepherd Cross and Maddie, a Rhodesian Ridgeback. She also lives with a family in Kitchener-Waterloo with a dog named Duffy. Both skaters keep the stuffed animals that are thrown on the ice.
For holidays, Moir enjoys going to a lakeside cottage in Muskokas, north of Toronto and enjoy time off at his family’s home. Virtue said, “My family often tries to add in a few days of vacation time around a skating event or competition.” She has enjoyed traveling to Chicago, Lake Placid and Vienna and hopes to go to Paris, Italy and Spain one day, while Moir wants to see Hawaii and South Carolina.
Both of the skaters are attending Bluevale High School, where Moir is in tenth grade and Virtue in ninth. The dancers have not decided on a post-skating career although Moir listed airlift paramedic and Toronto Maple Leafs trainer as possible careers, while Virtue has thought of being a lawyer or a teacher.
Moir said that he most enjoyed skating because of “the experiences, performing and the people you meet.” Virtue said she’s enjoyed “friends I’ve made, performing in front of a crowd and the dresses!”
*They forgot to mention Kate Virtue relocated to Kitchener-Waterloo and Tessa lived there with her. Maybe because she didn't.
P.S. - About twitter sightings and other social media fakery:
Who has Jessica Dube dated since her sham stint ended after Worlds 2012? She's not sharing on her facebook, when her facebook used to chronicle every step she took with Scott Moir. Even after it was restricted, her profile picture did the job. How come when she was "dating Scott Moir" she was spotted thither and yon according to fans, not just with Scott, but in full make out? Since her sham stint terminated, she's been on Battle of the Blades, a program that has more of an audience than any single program Jessica ever skated in her competitive career. She works at Journey to Excel, in the high profile city of Toronto. She attended fashion week last year. Are we to presume Jessica Dube hasn't been on a date since she was replaced in the sham by Cassandra Hilborn? She's invisible now? Where are the lower ranked skaters who admire her, where are the people whose aunts know her sister and are at the same wedding as Jessica, what happened to various fans who claimed to recognize her in bars or restaurants or airports? Where were the sightings around the BOTB venue and the Journey to Excel facilities?
David Pelletier has a womanizing reputation thanks to getting with Jamie while still married to his first wife. Has he become a monk? He's been on BOTB as well, as a competitor (and won) and on the sidelines. He's on twitter. Did he have plastic surgery to change his appearance? Is there a vow of celibacy? How come he hasn't been "spotted" with anyone since Tessa moved on with Ryan Semple? For that matter, how come all of those people who "spotted" Tessa and Pelletier never had their phones or cameras with them, but the people who "spot" Tessa now so often do? Who is David dating?
Then there's Meryl Davis and Charlie White. They wore gold medals in Sochi and stood on top of the podium. They were stars of one of ABC's top-rated programs and Meryl Davis was announced as the winner. The program had fun keeping Davis fans guessing about her relationship with Maks (and boy did Maks bolt from that the second the show ended, even if it meant people had to think he was getting with JLo). Thanks to frequent close-ups of her in the audience and frequent shout-outs by Charlie, Tanith Belbin's profile rose as well. They're publicly engaged. Where are all the tweets telling us that Charlie and Tanith are right here in this restaurant? Meryl Davis and Charlie are such stars, the paps stalked them to the group vacation they took with the DWTs pros and papped Charlie/Tanith's engagement canoodling. Is Meryl in the same religious order as David Pelletier? She's never out with a guy. Nobody ever sees her with Fedor.
I think she's not seen with Fedor because fans don't WANT her to be with Fedor, so they don't make it up. And because thus far, her relationship with Fedor is by implication only, not ramped up like Tessa and Scott, so Meryl isn't causing it to be done (unlike how the pap stuff on the post-DWTs vacation was - a set up).
I just find it amazing that Tessa is spotted out and about so consistently with Ryan Semple, when she went years without ever being spotted by people on social media, not even when she "dated" Ryan Semple in the past. She gets a twitter account and - voila! She's spotted with him all the time, and it's documented with photos. Was she just not famous enough before she joined twitter?
Has Scott, the guy who partied so hard he was said to be a creepy, coked up hooligan this past spring, reformed so much he never goes out anymore? How can he go so long without being "spotted" #greatpeople, #goldmedalistsx2, #staycool. Or is he just so in love he and Kaitlyn never leave the hotel?
Tessa gets a twitter; suddenly it's Tessa who is being spotted left and right. Before she got twitter, she must have been invisible at every wedding, restaurant, bar, and next day event at both TIFF and fashion week. She gets twitter, suddenly every random on the street can spot her blocks away. Scott's facebook worked the same way. So did Jessica's.
I'm also curious about when Ryan Semple became more famous than Scott Moir. Someone tweeted that her sister was at a wedding, seated at the same table as Scott and Tessa. Why didn't the sister whip out her phone and commemorate the honor, since it was exciting enough to pass on to her sibling? How come this only happens when it's Scott/Kaitlyn or Tessa/Ryan?