If you watched last night’s first-ever Olympic ice dancing competition, you’ll know that—spoiler alert!—Meryl Davis and Charlie White took home the gold.
The American duo—who have been skating together for a staggering 17 years—executed a flawless routine set to Sheherazade, and beat out their biggest rivals by 4.53 points, Canadian team Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, who nabbed silver (and, interestingly, who are also trained by Davis and White’s coaches, Marina Zoueva and Igor Shpilband.)
While watching, we were fascinated by Davis’ poise, skill, and beauty and decided to do a little digging about the 27-year old. Below, 5 things you need to know about figure skating gold medalist, Meryl Davis.
1. She’s got a long history with partner Charlie White.
Michigan natives Davis and White teamed up in 1997, and they’re currently the longest-lasting dance team in the United States. In a 2009 interview with the News-Herald, Davis said: “Charlie and I grew up 10 minutes apart from each other. Our parents are best friends. We’ve grown together and know each other so well.”
2. She’s in college now.
Davis attends the University of Michigan part time, where she’s studying in cultural anthropology and Italian. “My dream is to work for National Geographic or the Discovery Channel or something along those lines,” she told SkateToday.com in 2010. She’s also a sorority girl, having joined Delta Delta Delta. Davis was diagnosed with dyslexia in the third grade and she struggled with reading until her third year of high school, according to reports.
3. She’s active on Twitter.
Davis currently has just under 60,000 followers on Twitter (including Ellen Degeneres.)
4. She’s worked with a “Dancing With the Stars” pro.
As fans of “Dancing with the Stars,” Davis and White contacted five-time winner Derek Hough through their mutual friend, Olympic gold medal ice skater Kristi Yamaguchi, who won season 6 of the show.
“We met and talked music and ideas,” Hough told People earlier this month, who then reviewed YouTube videos of them before choreographing a My Fair Lady-themed short program for Sochi and working with them first in the studio and then on the ice. “I’ve been rooting for them the whole time. It’s just unbelievable. I’m so happy for them. It couldn’t have happened to two nicer people,” Hough told People after last night’s win.
5. Sorry, she and White aren’t dating.
In a 2012 interview with the New York Times, the duo laughed at the idea that becoming a couple could be a valuable marketing tool to gain endorsements.
“There are some other skating pairs who sort of play with the media, pretending they might be a couple,” Davis said. “But I think people respect and appreciate Charlie and my relationship, and we would never want to pretend it was something else.” White added: “Yeah, but we are getting quite good at looking at each other, when we skate like we are one another’s whole world.”