Asthma doesn't slow skater Charlie White
Meryl Davis and Charlie White of the U.S. were fourth after the compulsory dance Tuesday, and the crowd’s reaction to their marks suggested popular opinion would have placed them higher.
The couple, Michigan natives who skate in Canton, Mich., near Detroit, have had a strong season highlighted by a third-place finish at the Grand Prix Final, a triumph at the U.S. championships and a comeback victory at the Four Continents Championships at the Vancouver Olympic arena last month.
They’re deservedly getting a lot of attention for their skating skills -- but few people know that White has had asthma all his life.
Asthma isn’t exceptionally rare among figure skaters or athletes in general, especially exercise-induced asthma.
"I take medication that keeps it under control," White said. "It’s not awful. But as long as I keep it under control it’s no problem. I just use an inhaler every morning and night."
It’s a bit more complicated than that. To avoid positive drug tests he must have certification from a doctor on file with U.S. Figure Skating officials and alert U.S. drug-testing authorities about the prescribed medications he is using.
"I just to make sure I have the correct paperwork," he said. "It’s no bother."
-- Helene Elliott
Photo: Meryl Davis and Charlie White compete in the Compulsory Dance competition during the 2009 World Figure Skating Championships at Staples Center. Credit: Harry How/Getty Images