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US Olympic Figure Skating Team 2014: Predictions For Top Teams in Sochi

SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 06:  Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir of the United States compete in the Figure Skating Pairs Short Program during the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Iceberg Skating Palace on February 6, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Clive Mason/Getty Images
Patrick ClarkeCorrespondent IFebruary 7, 2014

The United States figure skating team is off to a tough start at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

After a disappointing performance from Jeremy Abbott in the men's short program on opening day, Team USA finds itself with plenty of ground to make up as the competition wears on.

The talented pairs unit of Simon Shnapir and Marissa Castelli was able to record a top-five finish in the pairs short program, but a deduction following a slight mishap from Castelli cost the tandem in its final score.

With several more events to go, there'll be plenty more opportunities for American competitors to shine. Below, I'll predict how Team USA's top figure skating teams will fare in Sochi this February.

2014 Winter Olympics Figure Skating Schedule
DATEEVENTSTART TIMETV (U.S.)TV (U.K.)
Thurs., Feb. 06Team: Men's SP, Pairs SP7:30 p.m. MSK, 10:30 a.m. ET, 3:30 p.m. GMTNBC, NBCSNBBC Two
Sat., Feb. 08Team: Ice SP, Ladies' SP, Pairs FP6:30 p.m. MSK, 9:30 a.m. ET, 2:30 p.m. GMTNBC, NBCSNBBC Two
Sun., Feb. 09Team: Men's FP, Ladies' FP, Ice FP7 p.m. MSK, 10 a.m. ET, 3 p.m. GMTNBC, NBCSNBBC Two
Wed., Feb. 12Pairs FP7:45 p.m. MSK, 10:45 a.m. ET, 3:45 p.m. GMTNBC, NBCSNBBC Two
Thurs., Feb. 13Men's SP7 p.m. MSK, 10 a.m. ET, 3 p.m. GMTNBC, NBCSNBBC Two
Fri., Feb. 14Men's FP7 p.m. MSK, 10 a.m. ET, 3 p.m. GMTNBC, NBCSNBBC Two
Sun., Feb. 16Ice SD7 p.m. MSK, 10 a.m. ET, 3 p.m. GMTNBC, NBCSNBBC Two
Wed., Feb. 19Ladies' SP7 p.m. MSK, 10 a.m. ET, 3 p.m. GMTNBC, NBCSNBBC Two
Thurs., Feb. 20Ladies' FP7 p.m. MSK, 10 a.m. ET, 3 p.m. GMTNBC, NBCSNBBC Two
Sat., Feb. 22Gala Exhibition8:30 p.m. MSK, 11:30 a.m. ET, 4:30 p.m. GMTNBC, NBCSNBBC Two
NBCOlympics

 

Meryl Davis and Charlie White

BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 12:  Meryl Davis and Charlie White perform during the Smucker's Skating Spectacular following the Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships at TD Garden on January 12, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

2010 Olympic silver medalists Meryl Davis and Charlie White promise to be formidable this winter in Sochi. The ice dancers are coming off their record sixth U.S. championship in Boston in January and have the Olympic experience other teams lack.

White points out their ability to live in the moment as one of the biggest reasons for their constant success, per MLive.com's Kyle Austin:

We’ve had a career where we’ve really lived in the moment. It’s helped define our skating and practice, and I think it’s really become just a second nature. So, really, it hasn’t mattered in the past how big the moment is, we always have the same approach, and I think that’s what’s helped us be so successful.

Davis and White are in their late 20s and grew up together in Michigan, skating together since they were kids. The chemistry formed over two decades has made them into one of the world's elite ice dancing teams and will have them in the hunt for hardware in Sochi.

Expect another brilliant finish from this duo.

Prediction: Ice Dancing, Gold 

 

Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir

The prolific pairs tandem of Simon Shnapir and Marissa Castelli represent one of Team USA's top shots at claiming gold in Sochi.

Shnapir, who was born in Russia and now resides in the United States, has been skating with Castelli for years, and the two boast a chemistry that's sure to propel them this winter. National championship victories in 2013 and 2014 have the duo entering the 2014 Games with lofty expectations, but given their consistency and confidence level, they are more than capable of living up to them and landing on the podium.

If there's anything that could hold them back, it's their lack of experience on a stage as massive as the Winter Olympics. 

Shnapir and Castelli posted the fifth-best score in the team pairs short program on opening day but will look to rebound in the pairs long program.

Prediction: Pairs Long Program, Silver 

 

Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter. 

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