Figure Skating

CBC Sports - Sunday Feb. 9, 2014 13:07 ET

Tessa Virtue, Scott Moir wrap up Canada's silver-medal team performance

Canada reaches podium in inaugural figure skating team event

Canadian ice dancers Tessa Virtue, Scott Moir finished second in the team event Sunday following their performance in the free skate. (Brian Snyder/Reuters)
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Canada won an Olympic silver medal in the inaugural figure skating team event Sunday at the Iceberg Skating Palace in Sochi.

The medal became official after Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir finished second in the ice dance free skate.

Russia won the team event with 75 points. Canada finished second with 65 points, while the U.S., placed third with 60 points.

The silver was secured following the performance of Kevin Reynolds in the men's free program early Sunday.

That left Virtue and Moir to use the ice dance free skate primarily as preparation in defence their gold medal.

But if Sunday’s outcome is any indication, beating two-time world champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White of the U.S., will be a monumental task.

The Americans broke their own world record by scoring 114.34. In contrast, Virtue and Moir could only register 107.56 to finish second.

The teams clearly have different styles. 

Davis and White, who have gone undefeated since winning the 2012 world championship, brought their technically sound, high-intensity free program to the ice on Sunday. In contrast, Virtue and Moir are more of a classical and emotional team. 

Canadians lose by almost 7 points

Although the Canadians were beaten by almost seven points, Moir took a positive approach when discussing the preparations for the individual ice dance competition next week.

"It was a good skate, but the levels weren't where they needed to be," he said. "We skated strong and we put in a lot of hard work, so we're happy to bring home a medal for Canada.

"Five or five and a half points are on the technical side and we can work on that. We're happy with our performance. It's a very demanding programme but we're still building on it. Up until now, I've only thought about the team, but now it's time to move forward. It's about the individual event now. That's where my mind is now. We're going to keep building."

Former Canadian figure skater Elizabeth Manley agrees.

Manley, who was providing commentary during her CBC Olympics live chat, believes Virtue and Moir scaled back their performance in an effort to conserve energy for the upcoming individual event. 

“Personally I feel Tessa and Scott may have held back just a little bit, which for me is fine because I don’t want them to burn out in the team event,” said the 1988 Olympic silver medallist in Calgary. “I just feel that the Americans today were beyond polished. They were just exquisite.

“I truly believe that Tessa and Scott still have an amazing opportunity to win this, especially with their short program. Their short program is just spectacular. And as long as they can get a good point lead after the short program, that will give them a bit of a buffer.”

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