I like to consider myself a reasonable person. I can watch two people skate together in the Winter Olympics and objectively say that the story they tell on the ice does not equate with the partnership they share off the ice.
By my own standards, I shouldn't still be sitting here, in October, staring blankly into space while desperately trying to figure out if gold medalists Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir are in love.
(They have to be, right? Have you seen him kiss her shoulder on the Olympic podium? That's not platonic, right?)
You might remember Virtue and Moir as the Canadian ice-dancing dream team who took the Olympics by storm this February. Their sultry-free dance to the soundtrack of Moulin Rouge won them two gold medals in both the team and individual events, making them the most decorated figure skaters in Olympic history after winning a gold medal in 2010 and two silver medals in 2014.
Watching the exhibition gala, and during the line "and I know that I deserve your love" from "This Is Me" they just have Virtue and Moir in a spotlight. THEY KNOW.— Gabby Velasquez (@not_gabriela) February 25, 2018
It goes without saying that these two have accomplished more professionally in 20 years than many can only hope to in their entire lives. But in order to figure out if their on-ice chemistry translates into a real-life romance, I need to approach this investigation with a cool head.
I am so determined to figure this out that I am doing something highly irregular: utilizing something I learned in high school.
The scientific method is supposed to be a foolproof manner of solving life's greatest mysteries, right?
Well, here we are, folks. I'm sure my biology teacher is so proud.
Virtue and Moir: Friends or More?
Observation: Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir act with more intimacy and affection than some married couples I know.
Question: Are they in love?
Hypothesis: They're totally in love. Shut up.
Method: I will read Tessa and Scott: Our Journey from Childhood Dream to Gold to ascertain if Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir are friends or something more.
Findings: This book was first released shortly after Virtue and Moir, then in their early 20s, won their first gold medals at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. It's essentially a long profile of Virtue and Moir written by Canadian sports journalist Steve Milton. Following their victory at Pyeong-Chang this February, they announced they would be re-releasing the book with new chapters to tell how they reclaimed their place at the top of the sport.
It's a wildly entertaining read. Milton's storytelling skills shine as he, Virtue and Moir manage to cram two decades' worth of hard work into a digestible 200+ pages.
And when I say hard work, I mean hard work.
The drive that this couple has to not just excel in their sport, but to push it forward, is unbelievable. They are competitors in the purest sense of the word, pushing boundaries both athletically and artistically in a world where judges' marks can make or break you.
Tessa and Scott provides a fascinating glimpse into the reality of amateur figure skating. Everything from meals to exercise must be carefully regulated, otherwise athletes risk injury. And life does not stop during competition season. They discuss going through emotionally draining personal losses, overcoming their insecurities and the challenges of remaining at the top of a sport eight years after reaching its pinnacle.
Conclusion: Tessa and Scott say that their relationship is indefinable. Therefore, I'm inclined to believe them.
After reading this book, I cannot state with 100 percent certainty that Tessa and Scott are together. Nor should I, for that matter, because their partnership belongs to them and no one else.
I know, I know, that's not the answer any of us were looking for.
However, I can state that they love each other. It rings in every word of their book. How that love manifests might not be exactly how my romantic little heart might want it to, but that doesn't mean it isn't there. This partnership that we witnessed in February was intimate, mysterious and wonderful to watch.
We're obsessed with attaching labels to everything we see, especially things as heartwarming as the love that Tessa and Scott have for each other. We admire the level of respect and care they have for each another so much that we cling to the idea that their partnership is that elusive "something more." Perhaps it's because it feels unfair for two people to have such magnetic chemistry piled on top of a 20-year friendship ... but still not be together.
"I think in all of this discussion about what our partnership means, we're the two people, right in the center of it, who understand the least about it because it's all we know," Tessa says on the back cover.
I guess I'll just have to accept that answer.