Elegantly, effortlessly, the couple glides across the ice, locked in a soulful embrace. Her filmy dress flutters behind her as his strong arms gently lift her skyward and the music swells.
Aww, isn't it romantic?
Ice skating is the undeniable sweetheart of the Olympic competition, snagging the gold for its romance factor. The history of the sport is laced tight as a skate with the real-life love stories of figure skaters and ice dancers.
With February ringing in both Valentine's Day and the 2010 Winter Olympics, let's take a look at five Olympic skating couples who have brought a little heat to the ice.
1. Golden love: Jamie Sale and David Pelletier. This pair made headlines during the judging scandal of Utah's 2002 Winter Games. Originally awarded the silver medal for what some called a "flawless routine," the Canadian duo was later upgraded to share the gold with a Russian pairs team.
Pelletier and Sale "knew each other ... every move was perfect, every move was matched," says figure skater Amanda Kovar, an Ogden Ice Sheet instructor and former skater with "Disney on Ice." She adds, "When you are in love with the person you are skating with, you can anticipate their movements before they even move."
"Canada's sweethearts," who married in 2005, will be figure skating commentators for the Vancouver Olympics.
2. Showstopping love: Rena Inoue and John Baldwin. Baldwin wowed the crowd -- and his girl -- when he got down on one knee on the ice to propose to Inoue after their performance in the 2008 U.S. Figure Skating Championships.
The American skaters, who are alternates for the Vancouver games, have skated together since 2000 and finished seventh in Italy's 2006 Winter Games. They made Olympic history as the first pair to land the throw triple axle, which has become "their trademark move," Kovar says.
Kovar says she and her husband Karel, skating director at the Ogden Ice Sheet, performed in a show with Baldwin and Inoue in Sun Valley.
"They're very affectionate with each other," she says.
3. Timeless love: Ekaterina Gordeeva and Sergei Grinkov. These Russian pairs skaters were the darlings and gold-medal winners of the 1988 and 1994 Olympics. Tragically, Grinkov died of a heart attack in 1995 -- at the age of 28.
"They were revered; they were the best that had ever been at that time. They were untouchable, really," Kovar says. She adds, "Their movements were perfect on the ice, and the love that they shared with each other was undeniable."
Gordeeva is still skating, sometimes with her daughters Daria (whose father is Grinkov) and Elizaveta, born in 2001 to Gordeeva and new husband Ilia Kulik, the 1998 Olympic men's gold medalist.
4. Cyber love: Melissa Gregory and Dennis Petukhov. Yes, these two met in an online message board as they searched for skating partners. The Illinois gal and Russian guy met in Colorado in 2000 and decided after their first skating session they were meant for each other.
The two were married in Las Vegas in 2001, but had a second wedding that same year in Russia so Petukhov's family could attend. On the ice, the duo have medaled multiple times at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships and competed in the 2006 Winter Olympics; they now coach at the International Skating Center of Connecticut.
"What makes how we skate so special is that we carry our marriage connection with us," Gregory once said in a magazine interview. "We try to bring it to the ice. We don't try to downplay it. It makes us closer and our relationship is stronger because of it."
5. Charming love: Jenni Meno and Todd Sand. The 1994 Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, was the setting for the engagement of these American pairs skaters, who pledged their love to each other the same day they performed their short program.
After competing in two Olympics and medaling at three World Figure Skating Championships, the couple skated professionally with the "Stars on Ice" tour. They now live in Los Angeles and are skating coaches for, among others, Baldwin and Inoue.
As skaters, Meno and Sand "had that sweet and wholesome quality -- they still do," says Kovar, adding that this duo is very well-liked, "real" and approachable.