Scott Moir and Tessa Virtue arrive at the London International Airport, February 26, 2018. Photo by Scott Kitching.

Canadian Olympians Welcomed Home By Local Fans

Canadian figure skating champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir may have gotten off a plane in London, but the pair said they’re still on cloud nine.

Virtue, a London native, and Moir, who grew up in Ilderton, arrived home at London International Airport on Monday evening to the sound of hundreds of fans who greeted them by singing O Canada.

“What a warm welcome to come home to,” said Virtue. “We felt this love and support when we were over there in Korea. We knew we weren’t alone on the ice and to get home and see everyone, and to share in the celebration, it’s really special… It’s wonderfully touching.”

The pair gained international attention after winning gold medals in ice dancing and team figure skating during the Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Virtue and Moir are the most decorated figure skaters in Olympic history, having already won a gold medal and two silvers.

“We didn’t know what to expect but this community has really supported us through our whole career and we’ve really relied on them,” said Moir. “We haven’t come down off of cloud nine.”

Jane Burkman, who taught Virtue from Grade 1-6 at Stoneybrook Public School and also gave her piano lessons, was at the airport with her granddaughter on Monday to greet the figure skating champions.

“It gives me the chills just to see her on TV — just to be here and support what they’ve done,” said Burkman. “[Virtue] started when she was so young and devoted so much of her time to practice that we should devote our time to come and be here for her, and for Scott.”

Both Virtue and Moir said they plan to unwind with family first before heading back on the ice.  They plan to head on tour across Japan and Canada in the near future.