Olympic gold medalists Davis-White out of worlds

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) Olympic gold medalist ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White will not compete at the world championships later this month.

The Americans announced Monday that they would not defend their world title in Saitama, Japan, on March 24-30. As far as their competitive future beyond worlds, White said in a news release that ”we will leave our options open.”

Alexandra Aldridge and Daniel Eaton will take their spot after finishing fifth at U.S. Championships in January. Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue, who were fourth, are sidelined because Hubbell needs surgery on a torn labrum in her left hip.

Madison Chock and Evan Bates and siblings Maia and Alex Shibutani, who both finished in the top 10 at the Sochi Games last month, will also represent the United States in ice dance.

Davis and White became the first Americans to win Olympic gold in ice dance.

”We feel that our incredibly positive Olympic experience is the culmination of and perfect ending to a wonderful four-year cycle,” White said in the release.

The silver medalists, Canada’s Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, also said Monday they wouldn’t attend worlds. They are expected to retire after winning gold at their home Olympics in Vancouver in 2010, when their training partners, Davis and White, took silver.

The three women who represented the U.S. in Sochi – Gracie Gold, Ashley Wagner and Polina Edmunds – will go to worlds. Gold was fourth at the Olympics and could contend for a medal in Japan with Yuna Kim’s retirement.

Four-time U.S. champion Jeremy Abbott will skate at worlds before retiring. He will be joined by Max Aaron, the 2013 U.S. champ, who failed to qualify for the Olympics. In pairs, two-time reigning U.S. champs Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir, coming off a top-10 showing in Sochi, will compete along with Caydee Denney and John Coughlin, who were third at nationals to miss the Olympic team.