Feb 26, 2014, 1:05 PM EDT
NEW YORK — Meryl Davis shivered. Charlie White clenched his hands.
How did it feel to be Olympic champions? Freezing cold at The Rink at Rockefeller Center on Wednesday morning.
The first U.S. Olympic ice dance gold medalists started a hectic day of appearances with their first skate on American ice since their Sochi triumph. They performed in costume to their “My Fair Lady” short dance music as flurries began to fall in 27 degrees.
They’ve skated at the famous rink before, but chills aside, it meant more this time.
“Doing it as an Olympic champion,” White said afterward in a TODAY Show green room, “it’s just a different level.”
Davis and White’s planner called for trips from the Rockefeller rink to Kathie Lee and Hoda to a Visa appearance to a Ralph Lauren store autograph signing to a Stephen Colbert interview.
They’ve managed to fit in sleep this week — “here and there,” White joked — amid going to the Closing Ceremony in Sochi on Sunday night, flying to Moscow overnight for a special skate in the Russian capital Monday and then to New York on Tuesday. They’re slated to get home to Detroit, finally, on Thursday.
“The last week, a little over a week now, has just been a whirlwind,” Davis said. “It’s an experience that we’re trying not to miss a moment of.”
It’s a different mindset than they took after winning Olympic silver four years ago.
“It was hard for us to not think ahead right away,” Davis said of 2010. “We need to do this, we need to do that to get to the next level. We’re in a different place at this point. We’re in the moment and the present as opposed to thinking ahead.”
In 2010, Davis and White competed in the World Championships one month after the Vancouver Olympics wrapped, taking their second straight silver to Canadians Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir.
They haven’t decided if they will compete in this year’s World Championships in Saitama, Japan, beginning March 28. They will talk that over after they get back to Michigan.
They’re already committed to the 20-city “Stars on Ice” tour starting April 4 in Fort Myers, Fla. There’s also been speculation about a “Dancing With the Stars” appearance, boosted by show mainstay Derek Hough helping choreograph Davis and White’s short dance.
“We would be so honored to be part of a show that has brought so much attention to dance and really opened up the culture in the U.S.,” White said.
The attention is on Davis and White for now. Some of their favorite words of wisdom on handling the golden life came from 1984 Olympic champion Scott Hamilton.
“His only advice was to enjoy the moment, soak it all in,” White said. “Our lives have changed forever.”
Davis and White were among the last U.S. Olympic champs to tour the Big Apple.
Alpine skiing slalom gold medalist Mikaela Shiffrin made her rounds on Monday before returning to Europe for the rest of the World Cup season.
Her highlight came on “The Tonight Show,” where she played a game of “Catchphrase,” teaming with actress Reese Witherspoon against host Jimmy Fallon and Usher.
Ted Ligety, who won giant slalom gold, went on “The Late Show” with David Letterman on Tuesday and discussed the snow conditions in Sochi as well as his future.
Ligety said he’s all in for the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympics, mentioning that he’s seven years younger than Bode Miller, who won a bronze medal in Sochi.
“As long as I’m having fun doing it, feel like I’m competitive, then I feel like I might as well do it,” Ligety said.
Perhaps slopestyle snowboarding gold medalist Sage Kotsenburg has all of them beaten, though. Take a look at this spot from Conan O’Brien.
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