After securing Olympic gold for Canada in the team figure skating competition on Sunday, all eyes are on pair skaters Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir. The longstanding Canadian duo put on a memorable show to a mashup of Moulin Rouge songs — including the iconic “Roxanne” and “Come What May” sung by Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman. Even Moulin Rouge director Baz Luhrmann was feeling their performance, tweeting his appreciation of their dramatic portrayal of the ill-fated lovers. (They even toned down some of the choreography to remove a potentially risque lift.)
Virtue and Moir’s natural chemistry on ice has lifted them to three World Championship wins, eight Canadian championship wins, two Olympic golds and two silvers. It also has many viewers wondering what their relationship is like when the skates come off. To the surprise of many, the truth is that the pair are avowedly not romantically involved. Here’s everything we know about the skaters who have won the world’s hearts — platonically.
How did Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir meet?
Virtue and Moir have a long history. Moir’s aunt, a skating coach for both of them as singles, decided to try pairing them as dancing partners when they were just kids. “We were terrified to hold hands for quite a while,” Moir has recalled. But that changed. Apparently there was a little love early on: Things got “romantic” for them as 9 and 7-year-olds for a time back in their halcyon childhood days. It lasted for about eight months, after which — thanks to some teasing from his friends — Moir called it off over the phone. “We just left it on the sidelines,” Moir explained back in a 2010 interview. Added Virtue: “It’s hard when you’ve grown up with someone.” They even dabbled in the world of reality TV with a show called Tessa and Scott.
How long have they been skating together?
Ever since that early romance failed to take flight, they’ve been focused on their expertise on ice as a duo, starting to make waves early on in junior competitions. They first made it to the Olympics in Vancouver in 2010, taking gold together with a free dance program. Back again in Sochi in 2014, they snagged silver. After a two-year break, they decided they hadn’t quite finished with their tenure in ice competition, and so returned for this round in PyeongChang, to the surprise of many. But after wowing crowds with their “Roxanne” routine at the Canadian nationals in earlier in the year, they silenced any naysayers.
Are Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir dating?
To the disappointment of many fans, especially longtime Canadian followers who have watched them for years, Virtue and Moir maintain that their relationship is strictly platonic — and has always been, except for that childhood blip. In a 2014 interview, Moir — who had a girlfriend at the time — admitted that being in a separate relationship could be “tough.” (Virtue said she’d make a terrible girlfriend, because of her commitment to their sport.) Virtue has also said that their relationship is “complicated,” given all that time they’ve spent together training over the years. They’re quick to share compliments about the other, and refer to each other as “best friends.”
Of course, that doesn’t mean ‘shippers haven’t seized upon all kinds of moments to make the case that there’s something more to their connection that pure professionalism. There’s this dramatic mid-performance kiss; a sweet celebratory handhold; an interview moment. But then again, these “clues” to something more than friendly affection may just be avid fans grasping at straws to make their dream come true.
“It’s a special partnership,” Virtue said in a recent interview. “We still really enjoy skating together and I think that’s why we still are.” As to their on-ice chemistry, they insist that the connection that people see means that they’re doing the job right. “We’re always telling stories, we’re supposed to be reacting, a man and woman on the ice, it’s romantic. What we have is such a cool relationship,” said Moir. “It’s more about a friendship, our working relationship is so strong. We take so much pride in that.”
And they seem able to shrug off the rumors with ease. “If that’s the by-product of having a great longstanding partnership, then we can deal with it,” Virtue noted.
What’s next for them?
After securing team gold for Canada on Sunday in PyeongChang, Virtue and Moir will continue on to dance in the individual events. They’ve said that, at ages 28 and 30, this is their last Olympics. But no matter how they choose to proceed after finishing their time in PyeongChang, it’s hard to imagine their relationship remaining anything but close.
“We both think the world of one another,” Virtue has said.