Tanith Belbin

Ice dance champions Davis-White skipping 2018 Olympics

Meryl Davis and Charlie White won't be defending their Olympic ice dance gold medal in South Korea. They're confident they are leaving U.S. chances in good hands.

The Sochi champions haven't competed for three seasons, so their announcement Wednesday hardly was a surprise. But their decision, even as archrivals Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir have returned to competition, would seem to place an extra burden on their successors.

Not so, they say, noting that ice dance — once the ugly stepchild of U.S. figure skating but now a source of unmatched strength — has tremendous staying power.

Indeed, Maia and Alex Shibutani, the two-time American champions and current world...