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Fun’s the key for U.S. ice dancers Davis and White

Meryl Davis, Charlie White

Meryl Davis and Charlie White of the United States perform during the Ice dance short dance of the NHK Trophy Figure Skating in Tokyo, Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

Koji Sasahara

Competing in the Olympics can be a nerve-wracking experience. That sense of anxiousness can be even more magnified when you’re the one the world expects to be atop the podium in the end, with the gold medal around your neck and your country’s national anthem playing in the background.

But for U.S. ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White, the 2010 Olympic silver medalists that enter Sochi with a sixth consecutive national championship in their back pockets, their ability to remain calm and have fun in the face of such lofty expectations could be what gets them one step higher on the podium this time around.

As’s Joe Posnanski details in his latest story, there’s no greater pressure on the duo than the pressure they themselves place on each other. That, along with their familiarity with one another (they’ve skated together since they were kids), helps enable them to, in White’s words, “skate free” and make a demanding sport look so easy to observers.

“There are a lot of ways you can look at pressure,” White says to Posnanski. “We’ve studied that a lot. You can let it lock you up, I don’t think we look at it that way. We’ve been training for this for a long time. We’re ready and excited.”

Davis adds: “We both think we still have our best skate left in us.”

For figure skating fans the world over, those are very promising words. Davis and White begin their latest bid for Olympic gold on Feb. 16.

MORE: For Team Canada figure skaters, it’s about strength in numbers

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