We left some points on the table level-wise and that we’ll be looking to improve, but for end of October we’re very pleased.” 20 pics inside of Tessa Virtue, Scott Moir and more…There’s the come-hither look, the dramatic sprint into each others’ arms and finally, the near-kiss — sparking an eruption of cheers. For competitive pair and ice dance skating teams, a key part of performance is convincing audiences and judges of their deep, passionate and meaningful bond. But for others, against the backdrop of partnership in a high pressure sport, that on-ice chemistry sometimes blooms into off-ice romance — to the benefit or the demise of teams.Ontarians Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford claimed gold in the pairs Thursday, and Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje were in second after the ice dance short program. Teams like these are among the most-watched and scrutinized by Canadian skating fans — not just for their performances, but for their personal lives.

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Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir — arguably Canada’s most famous non-couple couple — have also been subjected to obsessive speculation about their personal lives. But they’re just “terrific friends,” said their former coach, Paul Mac Intosh.

The intrusive questions about romance come with the territory, though he’s sure Virtue and Moir find it a bit silly, he said.

Her one Olympic gold medal, two silvers and countless championship titles aren’t enough for some members of the media who scrutinize Virtue on her appearance more than they do her talent.

“I’ll show up at training camp (and) I’m told that maybe I should dye my hair blonde and asked about how my fat loss is coming along,” she tells Huff Post Canada’s Partner Studio.

“After a certain amount of time of being a couple . “It gets to the point where the illusion of a couple who maybe are having a romance is better than an actual couple who are.”The Toronto Star and thestar.com, each property of Toronto Star Newspapers Limited, One Yonge Street, 4th Floor, Toronto, ON, M5E 1E6. Please contact us or see our privacy policy for more information.

People say Tessa Virtue is too fat or too muscular to be good enough.“It’d be a piece of cake for it to go to that next step.”For ice dancers Mitchell Islam and Alexandra Paul, that next step came naturally.“Two people on a skating team know one another so deeply and intimately that you're either sure you love them — or you're sure you don't,” Islam said in an email to the Star from Shanghai, where the partners are competing.Islam and Paul began skating together in 2009, and they started dating two years later.Islam, 25, said he wasn’t prepared to deny his feelings for his partner just because they worked together.Some fans seem to crave this romance between skaters, clinging to fairy tales that are harmless to some athletes and hurtful to others.“It’s like signing them up for Match.com,” said Doug Leigh, owner of the Mariposa School of Skating in Barrie, who has coached the likes of Brian Orser and Elvis Stojko.