Olympic Figure Skating Results 2014: Scores, Recap and More from Day 1

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Olympic Figure Skating Results 2014: Scores, Recap and More from Day 1
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During the first full day of the 2014 Winter Olympics' figure skating, teams dazzled to position themselves for the upcoming medal rounds.

By the time the last event of the day wrapped up at the Iceberg Skating Palace in Sochi, Russia, the host nation had already ensured a top spot in the team standings.

Undeterred by an already comfortable cushion, Ksenia Stolbova and Fedor Klimov rocked the raucous venue by topping the team pairs free skate event with a 135.09, stretching Russia's lead from five to six points over Canada.

That's not to say there was a scarcity of competition, though. Here is a look at the team standings after Saturday's action, courtesy of Sochi2014.com:

Figure Skating Team Standings - 2014 Winter Olympics
Rank Team Total Points
1 Russia (Q) 47
2 Canada (Q) 41
3 USA (Q) 34
4 Italy (Q) 31
5 Japan (Q) 30
6 France 22
7 China 20
8 Germany 17
9 Ukraine 10
10 Great Britain 8

Source: Sochi2014.com. Q = qualified

To kick things off, the USA's team dance tandem of Meryl Davis and Charlie White put on a flawless performance, winning the ice dance event with a score of 75.98. Renowned figure skater Michelle Kwan couldn't help but admire the presence Davis radiated, per Fox Sports' Peter Schrager:

It was a landmark 10 points gained for the Americans, who needed a first-place effort to ensure a top-five spot for the team free skate. The formidable Canadian duo of Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir wound up in second at 72.98, bolstering Canada's efforts to place second.

Team Trophy Ice Dancing Short Dance Results
Rank Skaters Country Score
1 Meryl Davis & Charlie White USA 75.98
2 Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir CAN 72.98
3 Ekaterina Bobrova & Dmitri Soloviev RUS 70.27
4 Nathalie Pechalat & Fabian Bourzat FRA 69.15
5 Anna Cappellini & Luca Lanotte ITA 64.92
6 Nelli Zhiganshina & Alexander Gazsi GER 58.04
7 Penny Coomes & Nicholas Buckland GBR 52.93
8 Cathy Reed & Chris Reed JPN 52.00
9 Siobhan Heekin-Canedy & Dmitri Dun UKR 49.19
10 Huang Xintong & Zheng Xun CHN 47.88

Source: Sochi2014.com

However, the big story on the ice continued to be the host Team Russia, which held strong in the ice dance with the duo of Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev placing third. That kept the momentum alive and aided Russia's effort to maintain the lead in the team standings.

Yulia Lipnitskaya, a 15-year-old Russian prodigy, wound up being the big source of buzz, as she scored highest (72.90) in the ladies short program, notching 10 points in front of the home crowd with an excellent array of moves.

The New York Times' Juliet Macur even went as far to compare Lipnitskaya to prolific American skater Sasha Cohen:

With such a precocious all-around skill set, fantastic rotation and peerless execution in all areas, Lipnitskaya was undoubtedly deserving of the highest acclaim from the judges.

That put the onus all the more on controversial USA selection Ashley Wagner, who fell twice at the U.S. Championships in Boston but still got a spot on the squad that would represent in Sochi.

Team Ladies Short Results - 2014 Winter Olympics
Rank Skater Country Score Team Points
1 Yulia Lipnitskaya RUS 72.90 10
2 Carolina Kostner ITA 70.84 9
3 Mao Asada JPN 64.07 8
4 Ashley Wagner USA 63.10 7
5 Kaetlyn Osmond CAN 62.54 6
6 Mae Berenice Meite FRA 55.45 5
7 Kexin Zhang CHN 54.58 4
8 Natalia Popova UKR 53.44 3
9 Nathalie Weinzierl GER 52.16 2
10 Jenna McCorkell GBR 50.09 1

Source: Sochi2014.com

In a pivotal program that needed to be a hit with the judges, Wagner managed to deliver a 63.10, good enough for fourth—even if she wasn't thrilled with the result, as captured by Roxanna Scott of the USA Today:

The score was still enough for seven points and it gave the Americans a shot at pulling closer to Russia in the team skate. USA Today's Christine Brennan felt that Wagner had exonerated herself from her prior mishaps with the run:

Team USA needed to kick it up a notch, though, because closing the gap on Russia would prove to be difficult in the team pairs free skating with only five countries participating.

Team Pairs Free Skating Results - 2014 Winter Olympics
Rank Skaters Country Score Team Points
1 Ksenia Stolbova & Fedor Klimov Russia 135.09 10
2 Kirsten Moore-Towers & Dylan Moskovitch Canada 129.74 9
3 Stefania Berton & Ondrej Hotarek Italy 120.82 8
4 Marissa Castelli & Simon Shnapir United States 117.94 7
5 Narumi Takahashi & Ryuichi Kihara Japan 86.33 6

Source: Sochi2014.com

Thus, Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir attempted a quadruple Salchow jump, which the judges rewarded handsomely. The degree of difficulty of the trick—even though it wasn't landed gracefully—brought a pleasantly stunned reaction to the rink, per NBCOlympics.com's Nick McCarvel:

Such risky tactics were only enough to secure the Americans fourth place out of five, which helped widen the gap between the third-place USA and Russia.

Catching Canada for the silver would even be a valiant effort at this point for the USA, who should hope to just make the podium at this point.

Look for Russia to win the team figure skating gold medal. Barring some sort of epic collapse, its talented squad is deep enough and has established a strong enough lead that it should hold. 

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