- Figure Skating
Abingdon skaters demonstrate skating as team sport
ABINGDON, Md. -- For the first time in Olympic history, figure skating will become a team sport, and some local skaters are putting their best skate forward.
"I think the Olympics are a cool thing to do and, one day, I really want to go to the Olympics also," Autumn Grimsley said.
In honor of the Sochi Games, Autumn Grimsley, her mom and their friends with the Chesapeake Figure Skating Club are staging their own inaugural team event.
"Think of it like a relay, or in the Olympics, the all-around gymnastics event," Kim Grimsley said.
They're doing a modified version of the Olympic setup, but it helps get the idea across. At Ice World in Abingdon, there are teams of four to five skaters with each girl doing one of her strongest elements.
Each element is scored and the scores are added up for each team. The team with the most points wins.
"The purpose of the event is to get the skaters excited, get the public excited and catch the spirit of the Olympics," Kim Grimsley said.
In the Olympic version, members of Team USA will be picked to compete in each of the four traditional disciplines: Ladies, Men's, Pairs and Ice dancing. Ten teams will compete in the first round, the short programs. The scores are added up and the top five teams remaining will proceed to the second round, the long programs.
There's some strategy in that teams are allowed to swap out two members in between the two segments, and in the end, the team with the most points gets the gold.
Embedded video_content_type: Meet the 2014 U.S. Figure Skating Olympic Team
The club kids know from experience that competing as a team is an opportunity to join forces in an otherwise solitary discipline.
"You're together and you can have more people rooting for you, and when you're by yourself, it's just like, you're by yourself," Autumn Grimsley said.
In Sochi, this new event is a test of depth for the nations competing as a well-rounded team. The U.S. will be in the medal hunt, getting two shots at gold.
VIDEO: New events at the Winter Games
Embedded video_content_type: New events at the Winter Games
Best of Sochi