If patience is a virtue, then (Tessa) Virtue must be more virtuous than most. Not only has she endured surgeries on both of her shins – twice over the last 3 seasons – requiring lots of time off the ice to heal, but she has also been playing GOLF in her down time!! (As if she hasn’t suffered enough? Kidding.) Patience and grace and the ability to keep her eye on the prize is what defines Tessa Virtue for me.

In her words, she is eager to compete and credits the amazing team of professionals around her who have helped her to get back to normal.  “It’s great to train without any pain!”
Having said that they would take the decision to compete year by year, why this year? “Well a lot of it for me has stemmed from the prospect of competing a whole season. Feeling healthy; skating a whole season and what we can accomplish with competing during a whole season. Just competing a total of 1.5 times last season left something to be desired. Although we are very proud of our silver medal at worlds, we still have something to give. We have that fire; that determination. We are still true athletes and we love getting into that period of training. We feed off the grind and the regular routine and as long as we feel that we will continue to compete.”
So what are the goals for the season for Tessa? “We we would like to get our world title back. Oh and we would also like to win the Grand Prix Final which we haven’t done before.” She and partner Scott Moir will be competing at Skate Canada and at the Grand Prix of France before (presumably) heading the Grand Prix Final in Quebec City in December.
Looking for the perfect material to accomplish their goal is where our conversation heads next. Tessa describes her programs this way: “Our Short Dance is the music pieces from last year’s Free Dance re-cut by the brilliant Hugo Chouinard. It sounds completely different. We knew we loved the pieces of music and it is difficult to find Latin music to skate to and connect to.It is 3 minutes of high energy and a lot of fun for us to skate.”

The Free Dance is a nod to the romantic Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire movie classic ‘Funny Face’. Tessa had put the suggestion forward on a couple of occasions over the years but the timing wasn’t right until now. “It’s fun for us to get into character roles playing an exact story. The other time may have been our Umbrellas (of Cherbourg) maybe but we had our own take on it. For this Free Dance Scott has gotten so into it. It has a Broadway feel to it with a little more theatrical style with definite highs and lows and a really jazzy contemporary piece in the middle. It (Funny Face)  has always been one of my favourite movies. I love Audrey Hepburn and have seen most of her movies.The only struggle was narrowing down the music. The program is a good fit for us and there wasn’t much debate about that once we heard the music.”

Aside from developing programs this summer, Tessa and Scott were in Korea for Yu-Na Kim’s shows: “A great way to get back in front of (10,000!) people and a real testament to what Yu-Na has done for skating!” Just the kind of humble comment I could expect from this Olympic champion who has also left her mark on figure skating. Then again anyone who admits to keeping their Olympic hardware in their underwear drawer and says that their life is basically the same except for their own parking spot at the rink clearly has their priorities in order. Staying grounded: another of Tessa’s Virtue(s).

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