Sweet? Yes. This woman is the queen of uttering “thank you.”
Personable? Yes. She has an impressive talent for remembering the name of every person in the room.
Energetic? Of course. The height of her jumps on set are not very different from what she does on ice.
And strong? She’s the epitome of it.
Tessa Virtue’s Olympic-sized schedule didn’t have space for the minutiae of everyday life. Take university, for example, an institution most 19-year-olds take for granted. Virtue, who is completing her undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Windsor, is doing it later in life.
“I’m happiest when I have a purpose, and I’m bettering myself in something,” Virtue says. “Whether I’m doing my homework, competing in the Olympics, or taking out the garbage—I want to do everything to the very best of my ability.”
Since Virtue isn’t training for the competitions anymore, (her and longtime ice partner Scott Moir haven’t officially retired), she could’ve decamped on a lengthy beach sabbatical. Instead, she can’t sit still.“I find that one of my greatest thrills right now is negotiating a contract,” Virtue jokes. With brands like Nivea, Adidas, and BonLook lining up, and a recent induction to Canada’s Walk of Fame, there’s no shortage of marketing teams looking to align themselves with Canada’s number one millennial influencer.
Yet on social media, Virtue has remained decidedly wholesome. A stark contrast to Instagram’s steady flow of over-sexualized body types, from larger-than-real-life bums to Victoria Secret legs to plumped lips. Isn’t it easier to succumb to what’s now supposed to be the norm? Nah.
“It’s important to me that young girls have someone to look up to that’s healthy,” Tessa says. “It comes down to being kind to ourselves, and to our bodies; embracing all the quirks that make us unique and different, and realizing that being ‘fit’ is not one single thing.”
In 10 years what will we see of Tessa Virtue? I ask. She doesn’t want to cling to her identity as an ice dancer, she says.
“I hope I’m making an impact socially, and changing the conversation, you know…Into something meaningful, and substantial, and inspiring.”
A future that bright, takes strength.