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Figure Skating Team Event Kicks Off

Photo courtesy of Elena Vasileva

Photo courtesy of Elena Vasileva

Thank goodness that the pairs short did not follow the path of the men’s short program in the Team Event. The pairs event went a bit more as expected. There were not a whole lot of gasping surprises.

Team Russia was able to make up some ground after Mikhail Kolyada gave a poor performance in the men’s event, finishing in eighth place. Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov delivered a strong short program that landed them in first place. Team Russia is still at risk of not re-capturing their team gold, but at least they should still make it onto the podium.

Team Canada is currently in the lead and in a good position heading into the rest of the event. Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford gave a beautiful performance and finished in second place. Patrick Chan finished in a surprising third in the men’s event, so they are well on their way to a team gold.

German’s Aliona Savchenko and Bruno Massot had some trouble in their short program and finished in third place. Germany does not have a lot of strength in the other disciplines, so they may not even qualify for the free skate. Either way this was a great opportunity for Savchenko and Massot to get out there, get out any nerves and prepare for the pairs event.

Team USA

After Nathan Chen’s disappointing performance, it was that much more important that American pair, Alexa Scimeca-Knierim and Chris Knierim skated well. It’s amazing how quickly one performance can set a team so far back. Thankfully Nathan still managed to finish in fourth place and even in a stacked field, Alexa and Chris finished in fourth as well. This gave Team USA a total of 14 points and they are currently in second place behind Team Canada.

It was exciting to see Alexa and Chris go out there and give one of the best short programs we have seen from them since Alexa’s surgery. They finally hit their side-by-side jumps. I don’t think we have seen them land those side-by-side jumps all season long. Many were not expecting a whole lot from this team, but they really helped Team USA stay up on top.

“I have no expectations for us at all in all four programs,” Alexa said according to a U.S. Figure Skating press release. “We’re just having fun, and on our warm-up, we just looked at each other and said, ‘We’re at the Olympics.’ We are not looking at this as a competition—it is more of a celebration.”

The Team Event continues on Saturday, February 10 and is available to view on NBC.

Team Event – Pairs Short Program Results

1. Evgenia Tarasova/Vladimir Morozov OAR – 80.92 (43.78, 37.14)

2. Meagan Duhamel/Eric Radford CAN – 76.57 (41.08, 35.49)

3. Aljona Savchenko/Bruno Massot GER – 75.36 (39.33, 37.03, -1.00)

4. Alexa Scimeca Knierim/Chris Knierim USA – 69.75 (38.41, 31.34)

5. Xiaoyu Yu/Hao Zhang CHN – 69.17 (37.20, 32.97, -1.00)

6. Vanessa James/Morgan Cipres FRA – 68.49 (34.66, 33.83)

7. Nicole Della Monica/Matteo Guarise ITA – 67.62 (35.73, 31.89)

8. Miu Suzaki/Ryuichi Kihara JPN – 57.42 (32.13, 25.29)

9. Paige Conners/Evgeni Krasnopolski ISR – 54.47 (30.70, 24.77, -1.00)

10. Kyueun Kim/Alex Kang Chan Kam KOR – 52.10 (27.70, 24.40)


Team Standings after Men & Pairs Short Program

1. Canada – 17

2. United States – 14

3. Japan – 13

4. Olympic Athletes from Russia – 13

5. Israel – 11

6. China – 10

7. Italy – 10

8. Germany – 10

9. South Korea – 6

10. France – 6

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