Jamie Salé, 24, of Calgary, and David Pelletier, 27, of Sayabec, Que., partnered up for the first time in March of 1998. They practiced so hard that Sale ended up with tendonitis and they then missed two months of training while she underwent surgery. Then, in December of the same year, Pelletier hurt his lower back right before the 1999 national competition. Despite the troubled start, they've had a successful relationship, winning gold at the 2001 World Championships in Vancouver and the 2001 Lou Marsh Trophy, given each year to Canada's best athletes.
Salé got her start on the ice early when her parents strapped double-bladed skates on her feet at age 3. At 5, she'd enrolled in gymnastics and figure skating, and by 7 she'd decided firmly on pursuing the later. At 16, Salé competed in the 1994 Lillehammer Games and placed 12th with partner Jason Turner. The pair split up that summer, and Sale pursued a singles. Her best solo finish came in the 1995 Canadian national competition where she placed fifth.
At age 15, Pelletier had to chose between hockey and figure skating. He chose the later because his mother liked it, and had to defend his choice with his fists as a teenager in small-town Quebec. He started his career skating singles, but didn't achieve success until he hooked up with his first partner, Julie Laporte. They placed seventh at the 1992 world junior championships. In 1995, he and Allison Gaylor placed 15th at the world championships. None of his previous achievements, however, came close to the success he has enjoyed with Salé.Video: Canada AM: Road to Salt Lake - Jamie Sale and David Pelletier (Jan. 10)