Updated: Thursday, 06 February 2014 19:37 | By Agence France-Presse

Canada's Virtue and Moir warn US rivals in Olympic ice dance

Olympic ice dance champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir warned their American rivals Meryl Davis and Charlie White on Thursday that they were not ready to give up their title without a fight.

Canada's Virtue and Moir warn US rivals in Olympic ice dance

Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir speak at a press conference with Canada's figure skating team on February 6, 2014, in Sochi - by Andrej Isakovic

"This Games is for us," said Moir. "We feel like we're ready to take this one. We know the Americans will be strong, the Russians will be strong ... for us it's about having our own Olympic moment."

Virtue, 24, and Moir, 26, lost their world title last year to the Americans and also finished second in the Grand Prix final to the couple who they train with under Russian coach Marina Zueva in Detroit.

They will also be up against France's Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat and Russians Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev in Sochi.

"For us we want a moment that is more meaningful to us than a gold medal and yet we're such fierce competitors that of course we want to win and that's the goal," said Virtue.

"There's the fear of sounding arrogant and as proud Canadians that's the last thing we would ever want to be perceived as. We're not really afraid to say that we want to win." 

The couple from London, Ontario, are also in the running for a second gold in the new team event which starts on Thursday with the men's short programme.

The two-time world champions will get a chance to preview their own performances when they take to the ice on Saturday in the short dance.

"We're certainly not thinking about it as a 'B' event," said Virtue.

"If anything it's a great chance. It's a great chance to get a feel for our programmes on front of the crowd and judges and get some feedback because then we'll have six days to make some changes if necessary.

"What we do in practice is 100 times harder than what we face here in these next couple of weeks."

Moir added: "It's easy for some people to overlook the team event but it's an Olympic gold medal. We feel really lucky to be able to go after two gold medals. 

"We're envious of the speed skaters. We share a venue and it seems every other day they're going after another medal."

Virtue added they felt very comfortable on the ice at the Iceberg Skating Palace.

"It's interesting because after a home Olympics in Vancouver there was lot of talk about this being sort of enemy territory, but we don't feel that in the least," said Virtue.

"It's such a welcoming and warm place. We feel so connected to Russia probably in part because of Marina's influence in our career.

"With the programmes we chose with Russian classical music it was all with Russia in mind."

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