As Meryl Davis and Charlie White took to the ice for their eventual gold medal performance in Ice Dancing, Getty Images staff photographer Matthew Stockman was ready. He knew the routine, where to be and was confident he would get the right pictures.

Having covered Team USA Ice Dancing since 2007, Stockman has been shooting Davis and White since they burst onto the scene. As the heir apparent to the American duo of Ben Agosto and Tanith Belbin, Davis and White came to Sochi as the favorites for the gold medal. However, no American duo had ever won gold in ice dancing. That is, until Monday’s flawless performance at the Iceburg Skating Palace. “They knew what they had to do to win,” said Stockman. “They were so confident and their routine looked so effortless. I think what makes them a great pair is that they appear to skate effortlessly and in flawless symmetry. Something you can't necessarily say about all dance teams.”

Meryl Davis and Charlie White of the United States compete in Ice Dancing at Iceberg Skating Palace on February 17, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Stockman is covering his ninth Olympics for Getty Images and has been the venue photographer based at the Iceberg Skating Palace throughout Sochi. Stockman has also covered every U.S. Figure Skating Championship in the last 10 years as well as many of the World Championships. “I love the artistry and athleticism,” he explained. “The challenge is to convey both. In general, many people do not consider figure skating a sport, but I completely disagree. These skaters work harder and more hours than many of the athletes here in Sochi.”

Stockman also loves the demands that come with shooting figure skating. With obstacles ranging from messy backgrounds, to closed eyes to the skater never facing the camera, it provides a challenge. “I’m very picky when it comes to what pictures I like for figure skating,” Stockman said. “I like tight photos that portray emotion.” Stockman prefers to shoot the events from ice level because it “provides the intimacy that is lost shooting overhead.” But shooting from ice level can lower the “percentages of 'keepers’ [and is] more of a gamble!” His favorite image from the gold medal routine was an intense moment where White stared into the eyes of Davis. “You could feel they have a real connection,” he said of the pair, who has skated together since 1997. 

Meryl Davis and Charlie White of the United States compete in Ice Dancing at Iceberg Skating Palace on February 17, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Stockman, who shot the event along with two other Getty Images staff photographers, Ryan Pierse and Clive Mason, was very happy with the team’s overall set.  He particularly liked the pictures after the event, of the pair skating with the American flag. Stockman will continue to be based at the Iceberg Skating Palace for the remainder of the Olympics, covering the rest of the figure skating events as well as short track speed skating.

Ice Dancing gold medalists Meryl Davis and Charlie White celebrate during the flower ceremony at Iceberg Skating Palace on February 17, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

 

About Matthew Stockman

Matthew is based in Louisville, Kentucky and has been on staff with Getty Images for 20 plus years. Stockman started his career as an editor but has been a photographer for over 10 years. He shoots all sports but specializes in tennis, horse racing and figure skating. This is Stockman’s ninth Olympic games.

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