Meryl Davis and Charlie White, Olympic ice dancers, chat with Kidsday
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We met 2014 Olympic gold medalists Meryl Davis and Charlie White when they were in Manhattan recently. We have enjoyed watching them on "Dancing With the Stars," too. We were so happy when Meryl won this season's competition.
Have you ever had other jobs besides figure skating?
Meryl: I think the closest we've come to having another job was being students, which we take very seriously. Education has always been very important to us. Our families come first, but other than that, our education and our skating have been our other priorities.
Who inspires you?
Charlie: We're actually really inspired by our families. They're such amazing people and great role models. We've had the pleasure of knowing each other's parents for a very long time and, as you guys know, having them around all the time is really awesome. So we've drawn a lot of inspiration from them.
Did you each get your own gold medal?
Meryl: Yes, we did.
Who came up with your routine?
Meryl: Charlie and I work with a really talented figure-skating coach and choreographer. She's Russian. Her name is Marina Zoueva and we were working with her for a very long time.
What advice would you give to kids who are starting to figure skate?
Charlie: I think if you're passionate about figure skating, if you really enjoy it and you feel like it's something that you want to really continue to do, I think there's no easy way to be successful. It's just really hard work and just like in anything and that's something that we think we really embodied and what has helped us win this gold medal. And anything in life, if you want to get to the top, you just have to work really, really hard.
Can you get rich figure skating?
Charlie: The popularity of figure skating isn't where it once was. It's steadily climbing now. Obviously the Olympic Games help a lot. And so the opportunities presented are also increasing. It's basically right now a full-time job for us. We're able to support ourselves. I don't know about getting rich, per se.
Who came up with your great costumes?
Meryl: Actually our moms are really helpful. Charlie just gives the yes or no, but I work with our moms in picking out our costumes -- thinking of fabrics, thinking of shapes and everything. Then we actually worked with a ballroom company called Randall Designs for one of our costumes this year.
Do you have a secret to figure skating?
Meryl: The secret is hard work.
Charlie: No secrets, unfortunately. We've been together for 17 years, and as ice dancers that makes a huge difference. Having that trust and respect for the person you're out on the ice with. And at the biggest moments, like at the Olympics, it made such a difference for us trying to win this gold medal.
Do you two ever argue?
Charlie: Sometimes you come to disagreements; what exactly the best way to do something is. But because we're always trying to get to the same place, it's always easy to come to an agreement. We're really fortunate to find each other, we're both very easygoing, we just want to succeed and so a lot of times it means just putting aside anything and working toward agreements.
Do you think you're going to be in the next Olympics?
Meryl: We don't know. We kind of take it year by year just because it can get kind of overwhelming sometimes if you look at too much of a big picture. So we set our goal on the Olympics this year and we haven't really got too far past that, to be honest. We're not sure yet.
Have you ever been recognized on the street?
Charlie: Yeah, we've just been saying how funny it is since we got back. Quite a few people have stopped us to congratulate us on becoming Olympic champions. We're just so proud to be able to represent the United States and come back and celebrate with everybody. So it's been fun.