Meryl Davis and Charlie White: Did the Ice Dancers Get Gold?
02/17/2014 AT 01:50 PM EST
Americans Meryl Davis and Charlie White won the gold medal in ice dance Monday, the first Olympic title in the event for the United States.
Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada, the 2010 champions, took silver. Russia's Elena Ilinykh and Nikita Katsalapov captured bronze.
Davis and White won silver in Vancouver, but in the four years since have overtaken the Canadians, their training partners in Detroit.
The Americans scored 116.63 points in the free dance to finish with 195.52, 4.53 ahead of Virtue and Moir.
After a near-flawless performance to "Sheherazade," Davis rested her head on White's back in exhausted elation.
Five-time Dancing with the Stars champion Derek Hough, who helped choreograph the pair's My Fair Lady-themed short program for Sochi, got the golden news on his cell phone while stuck in an airport on a bad-weather layover.
"I've been rooting for them the whole time. It's just unbelievable. I'm so happy for them. It couldn't have happened to two nicer people," he tells PEOPLE.
Hough worked with them last year and witnessed their resolve after they narrowly missed gold at Vancouver, where they finished second.
"I could feel from their energy," he says. "Being so close to gold four years ago made them definitely want to bring it home this time. I'm so proud of them. I was so honored to help them and be a part of the process. It's amazing to see them performing and representing America and for me to be a part of it in a small way."