DETROIT - The excitement is building as Olympic competition begins in just two days with the figure skating team event.
Four years ago, Metro Detroit's Meryl Davis and Charlie White skated into history as the first American ice dancers to win Olympic gold. Life hasn't stopped for Davis since the Olympics, and she will be taking on a new role during this year's events.
Millions watched as Davis and White brought home the gold in Sochi. They had been ice dancing together since they were 8 or 9 years old.
But this year, they're sitting out the Olympics in South Korea and retiring from competing.
"Now that we're nearing the games, it feels very right for me to embrace another challenge," Davis said. "Embrace something different."
Davis isn't hanging up her skates completely. She's still skating professionally, traveling the world doing skating tours and shows for entertainment.
She's also giving back to the community by teaching figure skating to young girls in a program called Figure Skating in Detroit.
"I didn't know how much it would affect me, and just how much it would teach me," Davis said. "So Figure Staking in Detroit's an educational program for young girls that uses figure skating as a tool to teach them lessons like setting goals, persevering through the challenges. But it also has a large academic component."
Davis is in school herself, working toward a degree in anthropology.
"I've been going to school at the University of Michigan since 2006," Davis said. "It's been a long haul, so I'm hoping to be done in about a year."
That's when she's planning to get married. She got engaged last year to Fedor Andreev, a former professional figure skater whom she's been dating for more than six years. She broke the news to her fans on Instagram, posting a picture of a square-cut canary yellow diamond.
She and Andreev also have a new addition to the family.
"I mean, nothing makes you de-stress like watching a little puppy," Davis said. "I told myself, after the Olympics are over I'll be able to get a dog."
Her dog is a miniature sheepadoodle named Bilbow.
"It sounds ridiculous but I feel like it's made me a better person because I can just appreciate authenticity and just enjoying life and that's something that I think, being a very goal-oriented person, I haven't always been able to do," Davis said. "So it sounds crazy, but she's been a really beautiful part of my life."
Davis is also joining the Local 4/WDIV team during the Olympics to provide feature reports and commentary for our Olympic Zone, which will air at 7:30 p.m. most nights during the games.
"I'm excited to be working with Channel 4, and it was time for us to step away from competitive skating, and the Olympics Games are always going to be a huge part of my life, and it's a huge part of who I am, and those experiences, but I'm really excited to be home in Detroit and working on a new challenge," Davis said.
Davis is leading a GoFundMe campaign during the Olympics with a goal to raise $25,000 for Figure Skating in Detroit. You can visit the GoFundMe page by clicking here.
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