Following Charlie White and Meryl Davis winning a gold medal at the 2014 Olympics for pairs ice dancing, rumors have ramped up again that the pair are dating.
However, these rumors are not true.
White and Davis grew up together in Michigan and have been competing as a pair for 17 years.
But White’s actual girlfriend is Tanith Belbin, a former ice dancer who won a silver medal at the 2006 Olympics, with partner Ben Agosto.
In 2010, Belbin and Agosto got fourth while White and Davis got the silver medal.
White told Team USA in an interview that the most awkward situation for the pair is when people ask about them being a couple.
” It’s awkward because a lot of people like to ask if we are a couple off the ice. Because we are such good actors and it’s a vital part of being an ice dancer to show we’re in love on the ice, everyone just assumes, ‘Hey, they probably are a couple off the ice,’” he said. “We get that question a lot and it’s a little bit awkward but we’re used to it.”
At the same time, the two do have a “great relationship” and “we genuinely care for each other,” White added.
“I guess the funny thing is, especially at this point, we know each other so well that it’s scary most of the time,” said Davis. “We have spent the majority of the last 16 years together and we’ll say the same thing at the same time or finish each other’s thoughts. I think people would be shocked to learn exactly how well we know each other and how creepy it can be.”
White explained to Yahoo! that it has been important to keep his romantic relationship out of the public eye.
“We don’t really talk about it. As an ice dancer, we take our on-ice relationships so seriously, and that’s really the way we like to go about it,” he said. “[Davis and I] are just presenting ourselves as a team, and all the rest of that [with Belbin] can wait for later.”
White was asked whether it is odd to portray being in love with someone who is not his romantic partner.
“It’s just sort of the way we all fall in,” he said. “Because we’ve been doing it for so long it just seems so natural. Meryl and I have been skating together for 16 years. We’ve known each other for our whole lives. It just feels really natural that that’s how we sort of present ourselves to the world that cares about us as skaters.”
The frequent questions about them being a couple are actually a good thing, White said.
“Obviously we get a lot of questions about whether the two of us are dating, and that’s a good thing, because that means we’re doing our job out on the ice. Meryl and I are oftentimes trying to portray people who are in love. We’ve always been great friends, and we have a special relationship, but we’ve never been romantically involved.”
Belbin transitioned from skating after the 2010 Olympics into broadcasting and other work, including a host on “Skating With the Stars” on ABC.
She moved to attend school in Michigan in order to be closer to White, who attends the University of Michigan. She did say that since White is out training so much, she enjoys spending time outdoors with her dog and got started with a new hobby–cooking.
She said that she watches the performances of White and Davis closely.
“I do have an objective eye,” she said, “to a certain degree of course. I’m also nervous watching them skate. I want them to succeed.”