Salam Toronto

February 22, 2018 Salam Toronto Weekly English G It was a golden farewell for Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir but an Olympic debut to remember for Cassie Sharpe. In what was likely their final competitive performance, Virtue and Moir won ice dance figure skating gold at the Pyeongchang Games after scoring 122.40 points in Tuesday’s free skate for a world-best combined score of 206.07. They had also won gold in the team event earlier in the Olympics. Freestyle skier Sharpe topped the halfpipe event in her first Olympic competition. Fans at the Gangneung Ice Arena roared during Virtue and Moir’s steamy skate to music from “Moulin Rouge” and the Canadians were all smiles as they took what will likely be the last bows of their career. The skaters have said they will retire after Pyeongchang. “It’s an overwhelming feeling because it’s something we have envisioned for so many years,” Virtue said about their centre-ice hug. “That moment has replayed in my mind over and over but you just never know what will go through your head. “I couldn’t help but think about the 20 years we’ve spent working for this moment and the incredible team of people behind us.” France’s Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron were second with a combined score of 205.28. American siblings Alex and Maia Shibutani finished third with 192.59. “Amazing,” said Virtue. “It was a special moment to come out last. “It was a strong last group, there was a lot of pressure, but I’m so happy with how we performed.” Sharpe, of Comox, B.C., delivered on all of her tricks for an opening score of 94.40. She was even better on her second run with a 95.80 score. “I feel like I grabbed every trick and went big,” she said. “It’s definitely a run that I’m super proud of.” Skiing last in the 11-athlete field, Sharpe didn’t need her third and final run. France’s Marie Martinod had a 92.60 in her second run and was gunning for Sharpe but crashed out on her third trip, guaranteeing Sharpe gold. The 25-year-old Canadian was watching from the top and with victory in hand, high-fived coach Trennon Paynter before heading down to showcase a few more tricks. She extended her arms in joy as she reached the bottom of the pipe. “I’ve put in a ton of work into having consistency with this run,” Sharpe said. “So was I expecting a dominant performance? Maybe not so much those words but I was expecting a consistent and clean performance. “It doesn’t feel real yet, but once I see my family and feel the love, it’ll sink in. So much hard work has gone into this, I’m elated.” American Brita Sigourney took third with a 91.60 in her final run. Calgary’s Roz Groenewoud finished 10 th with a score of 70.60. The Canadian Press Virtue and Moir end ice dance careers with gold; Sharpe wins halfpipe With five medals, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir are now the most decorated figure skaters in Olympic history. (Twitter Photo)