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There are few athletic pairs who have been enthusiastically embraced by an entire nation quite like Canada’s (on-ice) power couple, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir. The Olympic ice dance champions just turned their mega success up a degree with honorary doctorates from Western University.

Earlier today, the school’s 314th convocation welcomed Virtue and Moir to the stage to deliver their commencement speech — an event which turned out to be equally special for the former champions. Virtue herself is a London native who attended Western University briefly. “This has to be the highest honour of our entire career,” she explained after the ceremony. “It’s something we wouldn’t have even known to dream of or aim for, and what a recognition and an absolute privilege to be here . . . It’s just incredible. What a day.”

In his speech, Moir noted that they felt especially connected to the graduating class. Just as the students head into the next chapter of their lives, Virtue and Moir find themselves in a similar transition and period of growth. Having skated together for over twenty years, the Olympians leave behind an impressive legacy while they prepare for life beyond skating.

“Even now, as we too step into the unknown, for us, a life away from the sport, the joy, it seems, comes from the process,” said Virtue. “It’s the hard work, the obstacles faced, the sweat, the fears overcome, that is where the crux of it lies . . . In an age of instant everything, nothing can be more invigorating than investing in the pursuit of something that takes time, energy and patience.”

Virtue also hinted at the possibility of pursuing her MBA next year, and Moir was quick to chime in. “In many ways retirement opens up those opportunities for us. Speaking for myself, I’m not certain where I want to go, but I’m very excited about the next chapter.”

Virtue later took to Twitter to describe the recognition she and Moir received as a “privilege of a lifetime”, and we can’t wait to see what the future has in store for them both.

Practically childhood sweethearts (ahem, in the professional sense), Virtue and Moir have been sharing the stage — or should we say, rink — since 1997, at the ages of seven and nine. Since their humble beginnings, they’ve become the most decorated Canadian ice dance team of all time with five Olympic medals, three world championship titles, and eight national titles before announcing their departure from the sport this past year. With a resume like that, it comes as no surprise that Virtue and Moir have developed a devout fan base over the years, earning the title of local heroes to many who followed along their journey. For now, fans can catch the duo live, on-ice, during their cross-country Rock the Rink tour.

BRB, just binge-watching Tessa & Scott episodes forever.