From skates to cowboy boots: Q&A with Canadian Olympian Scott Moir

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From skates to cowboy boots: Q&A with Canadian Olympian Scott Moir

By Stephanie Brooks

Growing up in Southern Ontario influenced Canadian Olympian Scott Moir’s love of country music. Photo: ©Skate Canada/Stephan Potopnyk)

Growing up in Southern Ontario influenced Canadian Olympian Scott Moir’s love of country music. Photo: ©Skate Canada/Stephan Potopnyk)

At the 2010 Winter Olympics, you saw him and ice dance partner Tessa Virtue grab the gold and our hearts. Just a few short months ago, we rooted for this deserving duo once again as they competed for the top prize in ice dancing in Sochi. He and Tessa have been skating together for 17 years and are Olympic Gold and Silver medalists, two-time World Champions and six-time Canadian National Champions. As a talented, energetic skater with an outgoing attitude, Scott Moir has travelled the world representing Canada and performing for millions. But no matter where in the world he goes, country music helps keep him connected to his roots. Off the ice and podium, this Ontario native is a country boy at heart who, during his down time, enjoys listening to country music back home with his friends and teeing it up on the golf course. Read more about what country music means to this accomplished Canadian athlete below.

Stephanie Brooks (SB): Your love of country music has been mentioned before in places like your W Network show. What do you like about the genre?

Scott Moir (SM): What isn’t there to love about country music? I like how they tell stories that are relatable and can “rip your heart out.” If you play something that is older, with a steel guitar, I am there every time.

SB: Did growing up in rural Ilderton, Ontario, influence your taste in music? Does country bring you back to these roots?

SM: Of course growing up in Ilderton has influenced my love of country music. Every song about a small town takes me right back to being with my buddies at Medway High School. I found I really started to connect with country music when I moved away from home. Whenever I got homesick, country was always there to help me through it.

SB: Do you listen to country music while working out or warming up on the ice… and if so, which artists or songs do you tend to lean towards?

SM: I listening to country non-stop. I was lucky enough to have a very private gym where I could blare the music and get in the zone. The one thing I struggle with is listening to country on the ice because not too many other figure skaters like it as much as I do. But I have done a good job of converting some of them – like Patrick Chan who was my Olympic roommate and who now says he listens to it because it reminds him of the Games.

SB: Have you ever skated to a country song?

SM: Not in a performance but I can tell you it is coming really soon.

SB: Obviously you put on your game face during competitions, but otherwise, you seem to have a laid-back and easy-going vibe – attributes representative of country music. What do you like to do on your days off?

SM: Most of the time I am pretty laid-back and easy-going, so on my days off I really just try and relax. I always seem to be heading back to Ilderton whenever I get the chance, to see my friends and family. Now that summer is around the corner, a lot of my time off will be spent on the golf course, but I don’t love the peace and quiet – I bring the iPod out and blare some good old tunes to get me in the mood. Perhaps that is why I don’t belong to a country club!

SB: Canadian Living reported you’re a shower singer – what country songs are your go-to hits? Do you have any real musical aspirations?

SM: I definitely think I am Garth Brooks in the shower, but sadly, I just don’t have the voice to have any musical aspirations. I feel like I could have the presence on stage but without the voice, that is pretty useless. My go-to would probably be some Eric Church hit.

SB: What would be your ideal lineup for a country show?

SM: Wow, what a question. This is a lengthy show but I couldn’t leave any of them out. If I was building the show, I would have this line-up:
Easton Corbin – Jason Aldean – Randy Travis – Luke Bryan – Alan Jackson – Eric Church – Blake Shelton – George Strait – Garth Brooks

SB: Are there any Ontarian or Canadian artists who stand out for you?

SM: I think there is a lot of upcoming talent in Canada for country music and you have to give credit to guys like Paul Brandt. I really liked “Jumped Right In” by Dallas Smith but there are so many great Canadian artists, I can’t wait to see what is next.