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Bringing home the gold

Olympic ice dancer Meryl Davis’s grandmother cheers her on from Fox Run

Created date

March 21st, 2014
Meryl Davis and her grandmother

Millions of Americans spent much of February glued to their television sets watching the Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. For Run resident Marian Davis, watching the Winter Olympics was especially exciting. Her granddaughter, Meryl Davis, competed in the ice dancing competition with her skating partner Charlie White. Together they brought home America’s first gold medal in that sport. 

Marian traveled to Palm Springs, Calif., where some of her family members gathered to watch Meryl’s Olympic performances. 

“It’s terrifying to watch them skate because they have trained for 17 years, and it all comes down to four and a half minutes,” Marian says.

When Marian and her family learned that Meryl and Charlie did, in fact, win the Olympic gold medal, “We were jubilant,” Marian says. “It’s very exciting, and they are thrilled with themselves.”

‘We could tell she had something special’

Since long before Meryl became an Olympian, Marian has been cheering her on from the stands. For years, Marian and her husband would travel to see Meryl and her skating partner, Charlie White, dazzle audiences.

“My husband and I went to big competitions until they won national title in Cleveland,” Marian says. “They skated down to the end of the rink, and they looked like they were about three inches tall, so we watched it on the JumboTron. We said, ‘We could be home watching in our den,’ so after that we watched them on TV.”

Marian says she still gets to see Meryl and Charlie perform live when the Stars on Ice tour comes to Michigan. 

Meryl grew up in West Bloomfield and currently lives in Plymouth. Marian says she is proud—but not surprised—to see her talented granddaughter make it all the way to the Olympics.

“She is an athlete and has been from the time she was a year and a half old,” Marian says. “We could tell she had something special.”

A close-knit family

Marian says Meryl inherited her athletic ability from her mother, Cheryl, who traveled to Sochi with her daughter for the Olympics. 

Marian says her daughter-in-law Cheryl has always been a very involved mother. Cheryl frequently travels to competitions to lend support not only to Meryl, but also to other young athletes on the road. This year in Sochi, Marian says one young Olympian lost her passport, and Cheryl helped her sort out the situation.

“A lot of these kids are young and are traveling alone because it is expensive,” Marian says. “It can be a great hardship on the family.”

Marian’s son Paul, Meryl’s dad, also traveled to Sochi to watch his daughter compete in the Olympics. He’s called Marian a few times from Sochi to give updates. Marian says Meryl and Charlie were in good physical condition and their spirits were high before their highly anticipated ice dancing performances.

Marian says life has quickly changed for her gold-medal-winning granddaughter. Meryl and Charlie attended the Oscars in Los Angeles and were invited to exclusive parties hosted by Vanity Fair and Elton John. They also took a trip to New York, where they were personally greeted by their sponsor Ralph Lauren at his flagship store. Dancing With the Stars recently announced that Meryl and Charlie will compete against one another on the show.

“It’s all so unexpected and exciting,” Marian says.

As busy as she has been, Meryl has made time to check in with her grandmother on the telephone. Marian is eagerly awaiting the chance to congratulate Meryl in person and to get a glimpse of the shiny gold medal around her neck.

“Meryl comes and has dinner with me here at Fox Run,” Marian says. “She is a very attentive granddaughter.”