Beating the Post-Olympic Hangover | Review of “Tessa & Scott: Our Journey from Childhood Dream to Gold” by Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir. As told to by Steve Milton

It has been a few weeks since the drama of the winter Olympics has ended. We were all glued to the TV sets with the latest medal counts and it seemed nothing else mattered. But now that the games are over, life has become a bit dull. Perhaps it is time we look at the lives of some of the stars who worked hard at the games. One such book is about the figure-skating darlings of the games Scott Moir and Tess Virtue called Tessa & Scott.

The Early Years – Page 17

In the vast media centre, scores of journalists hunched over their laptops hammering out their stories on deadline, trying to capture the beauty of the mood piece they had just witnessed, and recounting the seemingly mercurial rise of the youngest ice dancers, and the first from North America, to win the Olympics.

But only Tessa and Scott, and their families, really knew how long and difficult their journey had been, and how the most important part of it was that they had travelled it . . . together.

Columnist Steve Milton has created a fantastic book about the duo, starting with their upbringing until their achievements at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, where they won the hearts of many figure-skating fans.

Page 21

Tumbling about with her much older siblings, trying to keep up despite their superior size and strength, helped fill the deep well of competitiveness inside of Tessa Virtue. Her mother says that she wasn’t as overtly  competitive as her brothers and sister, but that she “had resolve.”

“I’m pretty reserved and I guess I’m shy until you get to know me. But when I get down to any activity, school too, I’m kind of a perfectionist,” Tessa explains. “I see that trait in my siblings as well. And my parents are both that way, so I think it’s just a part of me.”

The book became a favourite in my household. My mother often fell asleep at night with the volume pressed against her nose. We had lived in the same region where Scott and Tessa came from so many of the locales are familiar to us.

Competitive Edge – Page 42

The young team were still getting most of their ice time in Ilderton and were preparing for the Western Ontario sectionals in the juvenile category, but in late autumn of 1998, just a week before sectionals, Scott broke his right arm playing flag football. (In later years, when Scott was trying to recall the incident, Tessa would have to remind him which arm he had broken.) “My doctor said to me, ‘I’m going to put you in a cast, and you could go skating, but this is the arm you have to use for the rest of your life.’ My grandfather was with me and he told my parents, ‘No way, I was there talking to the doctor, he can’t go.’ So we had to skip sectionals and decided to go to the all-Ontarios, which is what you do when you can’t go to sectionals and then Nationals. We went there and we won that.”

The book is also illustrated with brilliant photos that highlight their career.

Snap of Pages 80-81 of “Tessa & Scott”

While the drama of the Winter Olympics seems to have faded, no doubt many fans of the games will want to relive some of the experience again. Tessa & Scott: Our Journey from Childhood Dream to Gold is a great book to live the excitement again.


Link to Steve Milton’s columns at The Hamilton Spectator

Link to House of Anansi’s website for “Tessa & Scott”

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