Wednesday saw a showcase of hometown talent for those in London and Ilderton, Ont. as Canada’s figure skating darlings Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir celebrated their spots on Canada’s Walk of Fame.
The day began in Ilderton Arena — the rink where it all began for the most decorated figure skaters in Olympic history.
The first of two celebrations on Wednesday saw Moir offer praise to his hometown and all of its residents.
“It takes a village to raise a champion and for Tessa and I, Ilderton was that village,” Moir said as he jokingly asked the crowd to not let Londoners know of the praise.
“It was right over in that corner, when I was seven and Scott was nine, that we were paired up,” Virtue said to reporters inside the facility on Ilderton Road.
“We couldn’t see over the boards and it was awkward as anything.”
— Andrew Graham (@andrewjwgraham) August 7, 2019
Often regarded as the greatest ice dancing pair of all time, Moir and Virtue were generous in their gratitude for friends and family attending Wednesday’s celebrations.
A $10,000 donation to the Ilderton and District Lion’s Club was announced in Moir’s name with a matching donation given to the London Abused Women’s Centre in Virtue’s name.
The hometown tour also saw a tender moment shared between the figure skating duo and their former coaches, Marie-France Dubreuil and Patrice Lauzon.
The biggest surprise of day came during Virtue’s celebration at Museum London.
Friends, fans and family packed into the museum’s atrium for remarks by Virtue, Canada’s Walk of Fame CEO Jeffrey Latimer, London Mayor Ed Holder and poet Wali Shah.
As the speeches drew to a close, the sound of brass instruments began to fill the air as Hamilton rock band Arkells arrived for a surprise performance.
“Just the fact that they took time from their busy schedules to be here with us today… they never cease to amaze me,” Virtue said of the surprise.
“They’re great Canadians, those boys. I mean, what they did to come over and support the Canadian Olympic team in Pyeongchang… it gave us a boost in the last couple of days,” Moir added.
Coming up later this year, the pair will spend their time away from the competitive stage performing in the cross-county Rock the Rink tour.
WATCH: (Oct. 29, 2018) Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir say Thank You Canada
Joined by other famed figure skaters such as Kaetlyn Osmond and Patrick Chan, the show will see fans treated to a performance similar the one found in last year’s “The Thank You Canada Tour.”
“We’re really fortunate to be able to have Rock the Rink… and be able to go out and still skate for our fans. That’s really fulfilling for us right now,” Moir said.
“It would seem highly unlikely that we’d be back for another Olympics, but we have to make that decision and sit down together.”
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