Canadian ice dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir held onto their lead from the short dance to capture the gold medal with a sensational free dance at the Pyeongchang Winter Games on Tuesday.

The Vancouver Olympic champions performed another sensual routine to the soundtrack from Moulin Rouge for a season-best free score of 122.40 points and a total of 206.07. Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France took the silver and Alex and Maia Shibutani of the United States the bronze.

"I am thrilled with this competition. That performance was really special and truly memorable. The gold medal is the cherry on the cake," said Virtue.

"We are so grateful to our team for having prepared us for this. We are taking in every single moment."

Moir said it was difficult to compare their victory here to their gold medal win on home soil in Vancouver.

"Extremely different this time," he said. "Obviously, 2010 we were in our own country. Those are moments we will never forget. But eight years later we're completely different people, we're completely different athletes."

"We still love what we do. It's personal this time. It was for each other, we skated with each other in mind the whole way and we skated with our hearts. It's extremely fulfilling."

Three-time world champions Virtue and Moir have only been beaten once since coming out of retirement in late 2016 and helped Canada win the team competition here last week.

Asked about going back into retirement, Moir said, "If it is the end we are extremely pleased with that. We'll probably make an announcement in the coming days, but for us we just want to enjoy this right now and let the dust kind of settle and figure out what's next."

Papadakis and Cizeron, the world silver medalists, took second on their Olympic debut with 205.28 and the Shibutani siblings scored 192.59.

"We knew it was possible and we wanted it (the gold). But we did our best and we have nothing to regret," said Papadakis.

"I am very moved right now. I think I'd start to cry if you tell me now that the dog of your grandmother died. There are lots of emotions coming out right now."

Kana Muramoto and Chris Reed scored 160.63 for 15th place, matching Japan's best Olympic performance in ice dance turned in by Nozomi Watanabe and Akiyuki Kido at the 2006 Turin Games.

Muramoto and Reed, who were 15th after the short dance, delivered a clean, graceful skate to Ryuchi Sakamoto's "Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence."

"I thought we delivered one of the best programs to date for a long program," said three-time Winter Olympian Reed. "It's one of my favorite free dances to skate so this performance here at the Olympics is a dream come true."

Muramoto said, "I think it is the most composed we have been this season and were able to nail all our elements so I am really satisfied."

"We were really disappointed about the short skate but we have really practiced hard and we just wanted to skate with confidence."

More on the Olympics:

Olympics: Japanese ice dancers Muramoto, Reed target top 10 at worlds

Olympics: Back-to-back Olympic champ Hanyu's next goal is quad axel

GALLERY: Figure skating gold medalist Hanyu and rivals