Ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White have been working together for so long, they’re in perfect sync on nearly everything. The duo is not only one of the winningest teams in ice dancing history, but they’re the longest-lasting team in American history with 17 years spent on the ice together.
In addition to winning 13 Grand Prix Final Championships, they each took home a silver medal at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, and have also won five straight U.S. National Championships. As far as Sochi goes, they’re considered one of the teams most likely to medal (second only to reigning Olympic champs Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, of Canada).
The duo is quick to attribute their success to their lasting friendship and teamwork and a mutual respect for one another and their sport.
“We’ve been a part of each other’s lives for so long, and I think it’s had a huge impact on each other both as a team and individually,” Meryl tells SHAPE. “It’s impacted our growth both on and off the ice.”
Davis and White, both from the suburbs of Detroit, began skating together when they were 9 years old. Now 26, their partnership is better than ever, say both their mothers in an interview with Procter & Gamble.
Even though they have a few personality differences, they trust each other implicitly, according to Jacqui White. “They have to,” she says. “He’s lifting her up in the air and spinning her around in all kinds of crazy ways. Their relationship is now is much better than it was even five years ago, 10 years ago.”
Not a lot of people know that ice dancing begins off the ice, Meryl says. Although the goal of ice dancing is to make everything look as seamless as possible, it requires a lot of core strength, Charlie adds. Subsequently, the pair spend upwards of 10 hours a day with each other, lifting weights, running, and practicing their programs. Then of course, there’s the time spent at the rink, perfecting the little details.
“We’re really lucky to have amazing families who’ve helped us along the way,” Charlie says. “When we first started, none of us knew what we were getting ourselves into, so we’ve all kind of learned together, but we both have great sets of parents who mean the world to us.”
And with an attitude like that—plus the talent and skill to match—it’s hard to imagine the dynamic duo won’t bring home gold from Sochi.
Scroll down to watch a short video from Kellogg's and learn more about how Meryl and Charlie have kept their winning partnership going for almost 20 years. —Alanna Nuñez