VANCOUVER (AP) -- The leaders of the North American uprising in ice dance will leave the Vancouver Olympics without a medal. Their place in history is secure anyway.
Tanith Belbinand Ben Agostotook their sport from a sideshow in the United States to center stage. During the last decade, they won five national championships and made the medals podium four times at the world championships.
They also own a silver from the Turin Games, only the second Olympic medal for American ice dancers and the first in 30 years. The third medal was added to the American trophy case Monday night, a silver by Meryl Davis and Charlie White, who finished behind Canada's Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir.
Belbin and Agosto wound up fourth, and almost certainly are headed to featured roles on the Stars on Ice tour.
"We're very grateful to have been a part of this surge and this wave of North American dance strength," Belbin said. "But truthfully, I think (with) the talent and the coaching that we have in the States now ... this surge has been inevitable."
Belbin, who was born in Canada and gained U.S. citizenship less than two months before the 2006 Olympics, would not commit to retirement. But the couple has suffered through a series of injuries the past few years, and they clearly weren't in the class of the Vancouver medalists.
"In our minds this was the way we would've wanted to skate if it was going to be our last," Belbin said. "We really feel so satisfied."
Belbin would like to become a broadcaster, and Agosto is eager to go back to school for physical therapy.