The team figure skating portion of the 2014 Winter Olympics is set continue in Sochi, Russia on Feb. 8 after a brief hiatus, which made room for the opening ceremony to the Games the day prior.
It was quite the spectacle on opening day for the team event on Feb. 6, where Japan's Yuzuru Hanyu blew away the field with a 97.98 score to give his country 10 points. Tatiana Volosozhar & Maxim Trankov did the same for Russia in the team pairs short program with a score more than 10 points better than the rest of the competitors.
The official Day 1 figures to be even better, with three events set to unfold highlighted by stars sure to leave their mark on the overall standings.
|Complete Olympic Figure Skating Schedule|
|Event||Date||Time (ET)||TV||U.K. Broadcast Time (BBC)||Sochi Time|
|Team Short Dance||Feb. 8||9:30 a.m.||NBCSN||14:30||6:30|
|Ladies' Short Program||Feb. 8||11 a.m.||NBCSN||16:10||8:00|
|Team Event||Feb. 8||8 p.m.||NBC||18:05||5:00|
|Team Event, Ladies'/Men's Free Skate||Feb. 9||10 a.m.||NBCSN||15:00||7:00|
|Team Event||Feb. 9||2 p.m.||NBC||6:05||11:00|
|Team Event||Feb. 9||7 p.m.||NBC||17:10||4:00|
|Pairs Short Program||Feb. 11||10 a.m.||NBCSN||15:00||7:00|
|Pairs Short Program||Feb. 11||8 p.m.||NBC||15:00||5:00|
|Pairs Free Skate||Feb. 12||10 a.m.||NBCSN||15:45||7:00|
|Pairs Free Skate||Feb. 12||8 p.m.||NBC||15:45||5:00|
|Men's Short Program||Feb. 13||10 a.m.||NBCSN||15:00||7:00|
|Men's Short Program||Feb. 13||11:45 a.m.||NBCSN||15:00||8:45|
|Men's Short Program||Feb. 13||8 p.m.||NBC||15:00||5:00|
|Men's Free Skate||Feb. 14||10 a.m.||NBCSN||15:00||7:00|
|Men's Free Skate||Feb. 14||12 p.m.||NBCSN||15:00||9:00|
|Men's Free Skate||Feb. 14||8 p.m.||NBC||15:00||5:00|
|Short Dance||Feb. 16||10 a.m.||NBCSN||15:00||7:00|
|Short Dance||Feb. 16||7 p.m.||NBC||15:00||4:00|
|Free Dance||Feb. 17||10 a.m.||NBCSN||15:00||7:00|
|Free Dance||Feb. 17||8 p.m.||NBC||15:00||5:00|
|Ladies' Short Program||Feb. 19||10 a.m.||NBCSN||15:00||7:00|
|Ladies' Short Program||Feb. 19||11:45 a.m.||NBCSN||15:00||8:45|
|Ladies' Short Program||Feb. 19||8 p.m.||NBC||15:00||5:00|
|Ladies' Free Skate||Feb. 20||10 a.m.||NBCSN||15:00||8:00|
|Ladies' Free Skate||Feb. 20||8 p.m.||NBC||15:00||5:00|
|Gala||Feb. 22||12:30 p.m.||NBCSN||N/A||9:30|
|Gala||Feb. 22||8 p.m.||NBC||N/A||5:00|
Note: All info courtesy of NBC Olympics unless noted otherwise.
Day 1 Preview
Team Short Dance
The United States enters the day in seventh place after a miserable start to a team competition that sees only the top five in the standings advance to the final.
Luckily for the U.S., the duo of Charlie White and Meryl Davis are favorites to take home a gold. They are two-time world champions and won silver in Vancouver. This time, they simply cherish the opportunity to compete twice thanks to the new team aspect says White, per the Associated Press, via the Alliance Review:
It's something we are really excited to be a part of. It is exciting for our sport. Really, figure skating is in the limelight during the Olympics, and for us to have an opportunity to share in even a bigger experience is amazing.
Obviously, getting to compete twice at the Olympics is something we are not going to take for granted.
While White and Davis are the top contenders, the Canadian duo of Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir figure to provide stiff competition to what is a very strong field.
Ladies' Short Program
Thanks to Jeremy Abbott's epic collapse that saw him post a 65.65 score on opening day, perhaps the most pressure of all is on Ashley Wagner of the United States.
As if she needed any more.
Wagner was already the subject of much scrutiny going into the games because she was selected over Mirai Nagasu, as Nancy Armour of USA Today details:
Wagner has the best international resume of any of the U.S. women over the last two years. She won a medal at the Grand Prix final for the second consecutive year, and her fifth-place finish at last year's world championships help secure a third spot in Sochi for the U.S. women.
But she finished fourth at last month's U.S. championships, and her struggles threatened her spot in Sochi. U.S. Figure Skating officials selected her over Mirai Nagasu, citing her consistency internationally.
Wagner surely has a chip on her shoulder, but the presence of another heavyweight in the competition will make this a must-see affair.
Japan's Mao Asada is a favorite in the program. The 23-year-old star is an international sensation, as one can plainly see by how much media lines up just to see her practice, as NBC Sports' Nick McCarvel illustrates:
Asada took home a silver medal in Vancouver and has been nothing short of dominant for the duration of her career. Her collision with Wagner, not to mention the rest of the strong field, will highlight a strong Day 1 lineup.