Olympic Figure Skating 2014: Rising Stars Who Will Shine on World's Stage

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Olympic Figure Skating 2014: Rising Stars Who Will Shine on World's Stage
Elise Amendola/Associated Press

Huge names in the figure skating world often emerge at the Winter Olympics, the biggest stage of them all.

Whether it was Evan Lysacek winning the men's singles gold medal in the 2010 Olympics or Sarah Hughes shocking the world by winning the 2002 ladies' singles gold medal, there have been lasting memories for the U.S. in figure skating over the years.

An entirely new crop of figure skaters is once again heading to the Winter Olympics and each of them will be looking to put on a performance just as brilliant as their predecessors.

Now that the Winter Olympics are officially underway, here are a few emerging skaters to watch.

 

Winter Olympics Information

What: 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia

Where: Fisht Olympic Stadium

Opening ceremony: Feb. 7, 12:14 PM (ET)

Closing ceremony: Feb. 23

TV: NBC; NBCSN (figure skating)

 

Figure Skaters to Watch

Jason Brown

In one of the biggest surprises of the 2014 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, Jason Brown pulled off a huge performance, dazzling the judges and putting him in second place and onto the Olympic team.

The 19-year-old was thrust into stardom following the performance and now has a chance to compete on the world's biggest stage for figure skating. But according to Bill Chappell of NPR.org, the young star is simply happy to be on the biggest stage.

"If I'm able to go out there and do my best performances, then I'll be happy no matter where it puts me," Brown said. "And I couldn't ask to do anything more."

With a deep field that includes fellow teammate and 2010 Olympian Jeremy Abbott, the odds look stacked against Brown. But after a stunning display at the U.S. Championships, Brown could translate that into a great showing in Sochi.

 

Gracie Gold

The figure skating darling over the last month has been Gracie Gold. After coming into the 2014 U.S. Figure Skating Championships as an underdog to teammate Ashley Wagner, Gold lived up to her name and took the gold medal.

Since then it's been a whirlwind ride for Gold, including everything from being featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated to being a guest on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno before its final episode. She tweeted out:

Along with all of the recent fame, she's also earned a huge endorsement from a fellow breakout star. Hughes spoke about the fact that she'll be cheering Gold on, according to The Today Show:

"She's fabulous, and I'm really rooting for her because she's such an exciting skater," Hughes said. "[...] She does these phenomenal jumps, these triple-triples, and she just sparkles."

With Gold riding high after a huge performance and plenty of media coverage, the 18-year-old appears primed for a great showing in Sochi. After performing her best under pressure in Boston, hopefully Gold doesn't crumble under the pressure as the top U.S. skater.

 

Meryl Davis and Charlie White

Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

It's difficult to call Meryl Davis and Charlie White emerging stars in the world of figure skating, but if the duo want to become true superstars they will need to take gold this time around.

The two ice skaters won their sixth U.S. ice dancing title to make a second trip to the Winter Olympics, and did so in dominant fashion. But the duo fell short in the 2010 Olympics by finishing second to the Canadian pair of Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir.

Their consistent approach to the sport of ice dancing has them once again in a spot to pull off a gold for the U.S. Though the stage may seem like a large one, White knows the pair won't be fazed, according to Quinn Klinefelter of NPR.org.

"We've had a career where we've really lived in the moment," White says. "It hasn't mattered in the past how big the moment is. You know, we always kind of have the same approach."

Thanks to a loaded field that includes Virtue and Moir, Davis and White will need a nearly perfect performance to win their first Olympic gold.

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