They were the golden couple of the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Charlie White and Meryl Davis, the Michigan-born ice dancers paired together since they were 8 and 9 years old, respectively, blended art and athleticism to capture the gold in Sochi. And along the way, they won over an international audience -- she with her Disney mermaid-like costumes, he with his floppy blonde waves.
Now, a few months post-Olympics, White and Davis are still dancing. Their days are a whirlwind mix of "Dancing with the Stars" rehearsals and competitions and "Stars on Ice" performances -- which means they haven't had a day off since the Olympics.
Judging by the looks of their steamy "DWTS" tangos and fox trots, they aren't complaining.
During an interview with U.S. News, Davis, 27, was being shuffled from one spot to the next with White and their "DWTS" partners, Max Chmerkovskiy and Sharna Burgess. (That's right -- for the first time, she and White are technically competing against, not with, each other, though they're perhaps each other's biggest fans.) Davis opened up about the transition to "DWTS" and how she stays healthy through a hectic schedule. Her responses have been edited.
Congratulations on all your successes! How are you feeling
It's crazy! We're getting into a car right now, because we had dance rehearsals all morning and now we're getting ready to go to rehearsals for "Stars on Ice." We're having so much fun -- we have crazy schedules, but we're definitely trying to embrace both opportunities.
How is dancing on a floor on "DWTS" different from dancing on the ice?
It's definitely an adjustment. I think the mechanics of movement are a little different -- we're used to taking a push and moving a certain amount of space, and what we've been accustomed to on the ice is certainly very different from what we're doing on the floor. It's been a big adjustment, but we have amazing teachers so we're doing the best we can.
And we'll absolutely be able to apply what we're learning to the ice. From the different styles of dance to just performance, we'll take it with us in the future -- whether it's on the ice or off.
You and Charlie have been a team for 17 years. What's it like to be dancing with a new person?
It's definitely different. But it's a different dynamic already, because our partners on "DWTS" are also our instructors. So that's very different from the dynamic Charlie and I have had in our career, just being partners.
How much time are you spending on the ice these days?
Well, Charlie and I have shows maybe five nights a week, so we practice about an hour a day. Then our shows are two and a half hours, so we're spending quite a bit of time on the ice.
What's your exercise routine like?
It's different now than it was leading up to the Olympics. I'm pretty much sticking to cardio -- the elliptical is my go-to. But our gym days have been very limited since the Olympics, because if we're not on the ice or in the studio, we're traveling from one city to the next.
Before the Olympics, Charlie and I worked out three days a week, for about an hour and a half each day -- so it was a lot. Wednesdays were usually our cardio days, and Monday and Friday were weights or plyometrics. Our trainer was really great about mixing it up and helping us get the most out of our abilities on the floor to take to the ice.
What's your daily diet like? Has it changed post-Olympics?
Absolutely. We were such creatures of habit while we were training -- you're eating little things all day long, and Monday to Friday was very homogeneous. Now we're really trying to eat the best we can when we're on the road. (Long pause while Meryl breaks into laughter.) I'm sorry. I'm in a car with Charlie, Sharna and Max, and we just left the Cheesecake Factory, so that question is a little ironic.
Did you have any cheesecake?
Yes, we had three. You might be able to tell that things have changed a little bit since the Olympics -- we're definitely a little more lenient with our training and our diet. As Olympians, you become so focused on everything you can possibly do to get to where you want to go. So now that we're on the road so often and bouncing back and forth between "DTWS" and "Stars on Ice" shows, it's definitely a little more challenging to eat as healthy as we had before. We don't have the luxury of doing our own grocery shopping and things like that. But we have learned over the years how to eat what made us feel good and to focus on being as healthy as we could.
What's your favorite healthy snack?
I'm a big fan of Nutri-Grain bars -- I like strawberry.
How much sleep do you get these days?
Leading up to the Olympics, Charlie and I both tried to get around eight hours a night. But at this point, we're getting closer to three or four. It's been quite a change. And with both "DWTS" and "Stars on Ice" at the same time, we feel like we have two full-time jobs, so that doesn't allow for a lot of down time when we're not on the road. But we're so excited to be part of both the tour and the show, so that really keeps us going.
How do you keep from getting stressed?
We were putting so much pressure on ourselves leading up to the games that we aren't that stressed out right now. We're tired, and of course we're busy. But it's a different kind of stress. I think we're really able to enjoy all these experiences without feeling like we're too burdened or too stressed about it.
When you look back, what's your best memory from the Olympics?
Standing on top of the podium, listening to the national anthem, watching the American flag be raised. That was a moment I think we'll never forget.