- Figure Skating
Figure skating team event: Understanding the new Winter Olympic competition
The Sochi Games are home to the inaugural figure skating team event, which – much like gymnastics at the Summer Olympics – will give athletes a second chance to win an Olympic medal during the Games.
Here’s how it works:
Each nation entered will have one representative in men’s singles, women’s singles, pairs and ice dance skaters perform one short program and one free skate each. The event will include 10 nations and will be cut down to five after the all of the short programs are complete.
The teams are (No. 1 being the highest-ranked team):
1. Canada 6. France
2. Russia 7. China
3. U.S. 8. Germany
4. Japan 9. Ukraine
5. Italy 10. Great Britain
Teams will officially be announced on Feb. 5, the day before the team competition begins.
Team event schedule (listed for U.S. Eastern time zone):
Thurs., Feb. 6 at 10:30 AM for Team – Men’s short program
12:10 PM ET for Team – Pairs short program
Sat., Feb. 8 at 9:30 AM ET for Team – Ice dancing short dance
11:10 AM ET for Team – Ladies’ short program
1:05 PM ET for Team – Pairs free skate
Sun., Feb. 9 at 10 AM ET for Team – Men’s free skate
11:05 AM ET for Team – Ladies’ free skate
12:10 PM ET for Team – Ice dancing free dance
Est.: 1:30 PM ET - Medals awarded
Embedded owg_slideshow: Team USA figure skaters named for Sochi Olympics
Two skaters (or two couples or one skater and one couple) may be subbed out after the short program in any discipline. For example, the U.S. could enter Ashley Wagner in the women’s short and Gracie Gold in the women’s free skate. Team must be submitted to Olympic officials by Wednesday, Feb. 5.
Each and every score for programs count towards a team's cumulative total - including the short program and free skate - with the highest total winning the gold medal. A skater's (or skaters') placement will earn them points: 10 for first, nine for second and so on. The team with the highest point total as the end of all eight segments will win gold.
Canada is the heavy favorite going in with reigning and three-time world champion Patrick Chan leading the way, buoyed by reining Olympic gold medalists Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir in ice dancing. Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford are the country’s top pairs team, having won bronze at the 2013 World Championships.
Russia will also factor into the gold-medal conversation, led by four-time Olympian Yevgeny Plushenko. Their strongest skaters, however, are the reigning pairs world champions, Tatyana Volosozhar and Maksim Trankov. Teenagers Yulia Lipnitskaya and Adelina Sotnikova have been rising stars on the ladies’ international circuit while ice dancers Yekaterina Bobrova and Dimitry Soloviyev were third at the World Championships this past year.
Team USA also is a part of team arms race, led by reigning and two-time world champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White in ice dancing. The U.S. could see both reigning champion Gracie Gold and two-time Ashley Wagner skate as well as two-time Olympian Jeremy Abbott. The U.S. - along with other teams - will officially name their teams on Feb. 5.
Embedded video_content_type: Meet the 2014 U.S. Figure Skating Olympic Team
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