Canada's Tessa Virtue, Scott Moir become most decorated figure skaters in Olympic history

GANGNEUNG, South Korea -- Canadian stars Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir won the gold medal in ice dancing at the Pyeongchang Games on Tuesday, becoming the most decorated figure skaters in Olympic history with a dazzling and dramatic free skate set to the music of "Moulin Rouge."

Virtue and Moir scored a personal-best 122.40 points for a record 206.07 total, pushing them past training partners and close friends Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France in a riveting competition.

The French couple broke their own record for a free skate with 123.35 points to their performance of "Moonlight Sonata." Their total of 205.28 points, also briefly a record, meant that Virtue and Moir needed to top their best performance by 3.28 points when the Canadians took the ice right after the French pair.

Virtue and Moir accomplished it with room to spare.

It was the second gold medal of the Pyeongchang Games for Virtue and Moir, who were instrumental in helping Canada win the team figure skating event. It was their third gold overall, after winning at their home Olympics in Vancouver in 2010, and their fifth medal in total after two silvers at the Sochi Games.

Virtue and Moir retired for two years after that disappointment in 2014, content with their place in history, only to decide a couple of years ago to make one more run at Olympic glory.

They finished it off exactly how they had imagined.

"It definitely feels like we are close to the end of our career, and we are very proud of this," Moir said. "We came back to win the second gold medal; that was the goal.

"This was a very intense competition, and we're happy the way things turned out for us. We have the greatest respect for [the French team], and they skated so well, and they push us to be at our best."

The Canadians' medal total broke a tie with Russia's Evgeni Plushenko and Sweden's Gillis Grafstrom for the most in Olympic figure skating, and their golden haul matched the record shared by Grafstrom, Sonja Henie of Norway and Irina Rodnina of the Soviet Union.

"We were able to rely on our team and our coaches and training -- and just go out there and savor it," Virtue said.

The Americans were assured of an ice dance medal when Maia and Alex Shibutani, who helped the U.S. win team bronze, laid down their best performance of the season for a second bronze. The so-called Shib Sibs' sharply choreographed program to "Paradise" by Coldplay was perfect until a shaky rotational lift late in the routine.

"This was the most incredible moment for us today," Maia Shibutani said. "We did four performances on Olympic ice we can be so proud of, and we got two Olympic medals. We did it for ourselves and Team USA and everyone who supported us."

The Shibutanis trailed teammates Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue by two-hundredths of a point after the short dance, and their near-season-best free dance allowed them to make up the difference.

The third American team, Madison Chock and Evan Bates, also was within sight of the podium after the short dance. But a rare fall entering their combination spin was enough to damage an otherwise beautiful performance to "Imagine" that still drew applause from the crowd. Chock has an ankle injury that she aggravated Monday during warm-ups.