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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

All's Well That Ends Well for Skaters

APPelletier hugging Berezhnaya as Sikharulidze reaches for Sale at the special awards ceremony in Salt Lake City on Sunday.
SALT LAKE CITY -- These are gold medals to be shared, not divided.

Jamie Sale and Yelena Berezhnaya climbed the medals podium hand-in-hand to cheers of a packed arena, while David Pelletier and Anton Sikharulidze chatted like dear old friends.

Bound together in history by scandal, the pairs figure skaters are now linked forever by a medal.

Standing next to Berezhnaya and Sikharulidze, their Russian co-champions, Sale and Pelletier accepted the gold that was awarded Friday in an extraordinary move by the International Olympic Committee.

"We were just kind of laughing, saying 'This is so funny, we'll never experience this again,"' Sale said after Sunday night's ceremony. "It was a moment to be the four of us."

A week of bitterness, turmoil and tears was erased in a celebration of two very different couples, both champions.

"I am so happy because I think now it is finished," said Sikharulidze.

Sale and Pelletier accepted their medals from International Skating Union president Ottavio Cinquanta, who made the recommendation to award the duplicate golds and who suspended the judge in the middle of the uproar for misconduct.

But the magnitude of the moment did not seem to sink in for Sale and Pelletier until "O Canada" was played. As the Canadian flag rose beside the Russian flag, tears filled Sale's eyes and Pelletier began blinking rapidly, as if to keep from crying.

When a camera closed in on Sale, her grin spread a little wider and she winked.

"This was better than I expected," said Pelletier. "The four of us were part of history. It was a tough few days, but now we're happy to put some closure to it and we can go on and be happy with our gold medal."

When the anthem finished, the couples turned to the cheering crowd, waving their yellow roses in acknowledgment. Pelletier and Sikharulidze hugged; Berezhnaya and Sale did, too.

Skating has a long history of questionable decisions, but this one was bigger than any other.

"It was just a bizarre moment, it was so weird," said Sale. "But we said we will make the best of it, and we smiled and went out and had fun.

"We are never going to experience that again. We hope not, anyway."