March 4, 2014 10:50 am
Updated: March 4, 2014 12:10 pm

Tessa and Scott open up about Sochi, figure skating controversies

ABOVE: Scott Moir and Tessa Virtue appear on Global’s The Morning Show.

TORONTO — Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir said Tuesday their decision to skip the world figure skating championships later this month in Japan was a difficult one.

“The feeling we had when we finished in Sochi — that’s the note we want to end on this season,” Virtue explained. “That’s the perfect way to say goodbye to those particular programs.”

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The pair won silver at the Sochi Olympics, finishing behind U.S. skaters Meryl Davis and Charlie White — with whom they share coach Marina Zueva at a Michigan rink.

Following the second-place result, many fans questioned Zueva’s loyalty to Virtue and Moir.

“Of course that’s crossed our minds,” Virtue said during an appearance on Global’s The Morning Show. “We do have faith in Marina and we appreciate her professionalism. If we didn’t have trust and respect in her we wouldn’t have stayed [with her].”

Scott Moir and Tessa Virtue appear on Global’s ‘The Morning Show’ on March 4, 2014.

John R. Kennedy / Global News

Moir said the pair have no ill-feelings towards Davis and White.

“A lot’s been made of that but we really do like Meryl and Charlie,” he said, “and we benefitted from training alongside them over the years.”

Virtue and Moir also said they were frustrated but not surprised by a report in a French sports magazine that alleged U.S. and Russian judges colluded to give higher marks to skaters from their countries.

“It sort of comes with the territory. We knew what we were getting into when we signed on for this,” said Virtue. “We were hoping if we did our job and left no room for doubt that it would be hard to deny us the gold.

“But that said, we couldn’t have done any more. We were so excited about our performances and the feeling we had when we finished both programs. There’s nothing better than that. It’s priceless.”

BELOW: Watch Scott Moir and Tessa Virtue talk about calls for a boycott of the Sochi Paralympics.

Moir said it was surprising to see judges fraternizing with skaters from their countries.

“We’ve always been taught as Canadians that you keep your distance from the officials,” he said. “Sometimes in the back hallways you see people hugging and you’re like, ‘What are you doing? You’re going to be on the panel in 20 minutes.’ It is kind of awkward and bad for the sport.”

Moir said there should be a competitive environment “where everyone can be safe and be out there and be free of controversy. I mean, have true sport.”

READ MORE: Full coverage of the Sochi Olympics

The duo also weighed in on calls for Canada to boycott the Sochi Paralympics over Russia’s threats to Ukraine and its crackdown on homosexuals.

“We feel most for the athletes. To rob them of their experience and their opportunity doesn’t seem right,” Moir said. “But at the same time there are major politics involved that are a little bit over our heads.”

Virtue agreed. “It would be just devastating to deny them their opportunity.”

Scott Moir and Tessa Virtue, pictured in 2010.

John R. Kennedy / Global News

Moir and Virtue said they plan to spend time with their families and rest before hitting the road with the Stars On Ice tour. There are 12 shows in cities across Canada starting April 25 in Halifax and ending May 15 in Vancouver.

“That’s really fun for Tessa and I,” Moir of Stars On Ice. “We get to just go out there and enjoy ourselves.”

BELOW: Scott Moir and Tessa Virtue talk to reporters at the Sochi Olympics in February 2014.

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