Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Olympic Pairs Share Ice Once More

EDMONTON, Alberta -- They shared gold medals at the Olympics and, in all likelihood, will share the limelight for some time.

In Tuesday night's ice show billed as the "Golden Homecoming" for Canadian figure skating pair Jamie Sale and David Pelletier, there were two co-stars: Russians Yelena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze, with whom the Canadians shared gold at Salt Lake City.

As could be expected, the near-sellout crowd of 16,000 embraced Sale, 24, and Pelletier, 27, who train in Edmonton, leaping to a standing ovation and waving signs reading, "We Love You."

Their first number was "Love Story," performed in the same costumes they wore at the Olympics.

The reception was equally warm for Sikharulidze and Berezhnaya, who flew 20 hours from St. Petersburg to be in Edmonton with her partner.

"Before the show I can't imagine this kind of reception, and now I don't really know what to say," Sikharulidze said. "It's a really lovely crowd."

Pelletier said the Russians belonged on the ice.

"They [the Russians] were our friends before," Pelletier said at a practice session. "We're happy they're here. This just upgrades the show."

That friendship was undoubtedly strained after the Russians were initially awarded Olympic pairs gold over the Canadians last month. The result sent the skating world into a scandal when a French judge admitted having been pressured into voting for the Russians.

The furor lasted for days and only subsided after the International Skating Union and International Olympic Committee decided to award dual gold medals. The French judge has since changed her story, but the result stands and the two pairs will forever be inextricably -- and profitably -- linked.

"Obviously now we are linked together," Pelletier said. "We were part of history at the Olympics."

Asked how long it took him to accept the invitation, Sikharulidze joked: "I don't know how fast my brain works, but pretty fast."

The Russians will not skate competitively next year. The Canadians haven't publicly made up their minds, but their agent has said they are already worth millions. If they decide to tour, it is almost certain the two pairs will show up at many performances together.