SOCHI, Russia -- Our long national ice dancing nightmare is over.

Alert the authorities. For the first time in the history of the United States, we can now claim Synchronized Twizzle and Diagonal Step Sequence superiority.

Those were two of the elements that Meryl Davis and Charlie White performed in their routine here Monday night, when they did something no American couple had ever accomplished:

They earned a gold medal in their event, which has been contested at the Olympics since 1976.

"It's a dream come true to skate how we did under all of that pressure," White said. "To do that and come away with an Olympic gold medal is unreal."

The country should probably be excited about this, too. Not sure if that will happen. Ice dancing is the least breathtaking figure skating event. There is no jumping. Lifts are minimal. Speed is nominal. Nobody slips and takes awful pratfalls. Nobody falls, period.

However, ice dancing might also be the most aesthetically pleasing figure skating event, because of the gliding movements and creative artistic showmanship that involves acting as much as footwork.

Of course, in reality, ice dancing is a cutthroat competition, subject to all the usual tomfoolery and rumor-mongering of any event that is decided by subjective judging.

Monday was a fine illustration. Davis and White earned a silver medal at the Vancouver Winter Games in 2010. The gold medal winners that year were Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, of Canada.


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Both teams were back for more here in Sochi -- but this time, the finish was reversed. Virtue and Moir won silver. Davis and White took the gold. This was no shock. Davis and White had won the 2013 world championship. They merely continued their winning streak.

"Ultimately," said Virtue, "we weren't really competing against them. We did our job. They did theirs. It comes down to preferences."

Going by the judges' scores, the judges preferred Davis and White by several touchdowns and a few field goals. They had built a healthy lead in Sunday's short program. In Monday night's free skate, Virtue and Moir went out first. They looked fabulous. They earned good marks. Davis and White then skated last, knowing that they needed a combined score of 190.1 to win.

Hah. Piece of frozen cake.

Davis and White put their blades on the ice and rolled out a perfect four minutes. Their total score was 195.22. Davis, dressed in a purple outfit that stood out against the white ice, locked hands with White and spooled out four minutes of ... well, forget the technical terms. It was superior viewing.

Once, White lifted Davis so that her legs stuck straight out and they did a sort of a helicopter-type spin. Another time, White lifted Davis and held her in front of him as if she were the prow on a ship as they sailed across the rink.

Did they deserve the gold? You bet. But naturally, because this is figure skating, the medal comes with the usual dose of controversy. Last week, a French sports magazine reported that the fix was in for Davis and White.

According to the story, Russian and American judges had cut a secret deal to boost the scores of each others' skaters. That way, Russia could win the new figure skating team competition last week and the USA could win Monday night.

The conspiracy theory was boosted by the fact that Davis and White are coached by a Russian woman, Marina Zoueva -- who, incidentally, also coaches Virtue and White out of her rink in Detroit.

Of course, all the involved parties deny the conspiracy. But the murmurs will continue, because that's what happens in the sport.

Virtue and Moir were very classy in defeat. They are longtime acquaintances with Davis and White, if not best friends, because of their shared coach and shared rink back in Michigan.

"No athlete likes to sit here in this situation," said Moir of the second place finish. "But it is easier when you see each other work so hard every day. ... We left it all out there on the ice. I have no regrets."

Neither do Davis and White. They come with a very cute back story. They first met in 1997 as grade schoolers, when their parents thought it would be fun for them to skate together.

"That's true, but Charlie and I did know each other casually before then," Davis said. "Or at least as casually as 8-year-old kids can know each other."

The two kids grabbed hands and started dancing across the ice. Seventeen years later, they made history.

Contact Mark Purdy at mpurdy@mercurynews.com. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/MercPurdy.