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Team USA Moves into Third Place

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of Elena Vasileva

On the second day of the Team Event the short dance, ladies short and the pairs free skate all took place. Currently Team Canada is in the lead, while Team Russia (OAR) vaulted up to second and Team USA moved down to third.

Short Dance

Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir lit up the arena during their short dance. It was not surprising to see them at the top of the leaderboard. This was probably a great chance for them to get out any jitters before going up against their biggest competitors, Papadakis and Cizeron who did not compete in the Team Event.

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Maia and Alex Shibutani came in second place after giving a strong short dance performance. The Shibutanis seemed a little concerned about their scores, as they were lower than expected. This judging panel did seem to be strict, but they seemed to be strict on most of the other teams as well.

“We are a little surprised by the score, to be honest,” Alex said following the short dance. “We have been scoring much higher. We will have to go back and see the levels. The performance felt great, and we felt good about what we did out there.”

Russia’s Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev came in third, while Italy’s Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte finished in fourth.

Ladies Short Program

Evgenia Medvedeva proved that even though she was defeated at the European Championships just a few weeks ago, she is still a champion. She gave a stunning performance and beautifully landed each of her jumps. She was a bit tight on her double axel, but other than that it was a great showing for Evgenia. She earned a world-record score of 81.06 points. It was not only important for Medvedeva to win this event for Team Russia (OAR), but it was just as important for her to perform this well prior to the individual event.

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Carolina Kostner delivered a fantastic short program for Team Italy. Her programs are so reminiscent of pure classical skating where deep edges and beautiful lines were highly valued. Unlike some of the ladies, Kostner does not backload her programs, but instead she embeds her jumps within her programs. It is so much more captivating, yet earns less points. Carolina finished in second place, giving Team Italy a nice boost.

Team Canada’s Kaetlyn Osmond had some trouble with her opening triple-triple. She managed to pull it together, but it was not the strongest skate that we have seen from Osmond. She finished in third place, giving Team Canada another eight points.

It was somewhat surprising to see that the judges placed Team Japan’s Satoko Miyahara behind Osmond, but her under-rotations were costly. Finishing in fifth place was Bradie Tennell from Team USA. This may have been somewhat of a reality check for Bradie fans who believe that she will medal in the individual event. Tennell had no trouble with her jumps and she gave a solid performance, but her skating quality isn’t quite there just yet. It is very exciting that Bradie can perform under this kind of pressure, but she still does need some refinement and development before she can contend on the international stage.

“It felt like I was doing another program on a practice session,” Bradie said. “I get butterflies before the music starts, but then when the music starts I go on auto-pilot and loose myself. I couldn’t have asked for a better first program at the Olympics.”

Pairs Free Skate

There were some great moments in the pair Team Event. Valentina Marchei and Ondrej Hotarek from Team Italy delivered the best free skate of their career. It’s hard to believe that at the 2014 Olympics Valentina Marchei competed as a singles skater for Team Italy and in the last four years she has transformed into a pair skater. They gave a fantastic performance and finished in second place.

Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford gave Team Canada their second win of the day. Meagan and Eric fought for each element and event attempted their throw quad salchow. It wasn’t clean, but Meagan managed to stay on her feet and only put her hands down on the ice. It was a terrific showing from this team.

The Olympic Athletes from Russia, Natalia Zabiiako and Alexander Enbert finished in third place. Right behind Russia, was Alexa Scimeca-Knierim and Chris Knierim. Alexa and Chris looked more nervous and tense then they had during the short program. They opted not to include their quad twist, which was an interesting decision. The team managed to land their first set of side-by-side jumps, but Chris was unsuccessful on landing the second set of jumps. Alexa seemed visibility winded by the end of the program, but overall their fourth place finish shouldn’t hurt Team USA.

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The Team Event concludes tomorrow with the ladies free skate, the men’s free skate and the free dance.

Current Team Standings:

(Results after the pairs free skate)

1. Canada – 45
2. Olympic Athletes from Russia – 39
3. United States – 36
4. Italy – 35
5. Japan – 32

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