Winter Olympics Figure Skating 2014: Top Performances from Day 2 in Sochi

Chris RolingFeatured ColumnistFebruary 9, 2014

Julia Lipnitskaia of Russia competes in the women's team free skate figure skating competition at the Iceberg Skating Palace during the 2014 Winter Olympics, Sunday, Feb. 9, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
Bernat Armangue/Associated Press

The team event portion of the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia has concluded as the host nation took the gold medal, with Canada and the United States trailing behind for silver and bronze, respectively.

While a team event, it was individual performances from a select few that put things over the top for countries such as Russia.

Day 1 saw a few names rise above the rest in each spectacle, and this was also the case on Day 2. One name in particular dominated both days and is well on her way to making Olympic history.


Evgeni Plushenko

VANCOUVER, BC - FEBRUARY 18:  Evgeni Plushenko of Russia waves after the men's figure skating free skating on day 7 of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics at the Pacific Coliseum on February 18, 2010 in Vancouver, Canada.  (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty I
Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Russia needed a strong performance in the men’s free program to fend off contenders such as Canada, so it called on gold medalist Evgeni Plushenko on Day 2.

The 31-year-old veteran did not disappoint.

Plushenko scored Russia 10 more points thanks to his 168.20 total score, which was rather important in the grand scheme of the team event considering Canada's Kevin Reynolds finished right behind him at 167.92.

As if to show how prestigious of a career he has had to this point, Plushenko performed to an aptly titled “Best of Plyushchenko” (an alternate Romanization of his last name), according to Richard Demak of Sports Illustrated:

Plushenko's high-flying program featured stunning moves such as a quad toe loop-triple toe combination that wowed the home crowd and proved he was worthy of the selection to the team.

Russia can head into the individual events with a sense of confidence thanks to Plushenko's outstanding form. For now, Plushenko is looking forward to his day off, via Nick McCarvel of NBC Olympics:


Gracie Gold

Darron Cummings/Associated Press

Gracie Gold surprised everyone, including herself, with her score of 129.38 in her Olympic debut in the women's free event, per USA Today's Nancy Armour:

While Gold only finished in second place, the 18-year-old budding star did much to solidify her status as the next big face of the sport.

Given the magnitude of the stage, the ferociousness of her competitors and her inexperience, Gold's performance was a highlight of the day. As Gold said before the Games, per the Associated Press, via Fox Sports, she was going to leave it all on the ice with no pressure to qualify:

"We're here. There's nothing to qualify for. It's just about leaving it all out on the table and going for the gold."

Gold did just that as the leader of United States figure skating, and she is far from done in Sochi with individual competitions on the horizon.


Julia Lipnitskaia

Darron Cummings/Associated Press

It is hard to find words to describe how impressive Russia's Julia Lipnitskaia truly is.

On Day 1, she scored a 72.90 in the team ladies' short to give her country the win. Keep in mind, she is just 15 years old and meets the Olympic age-eligibility cutoff by 26 days, according to NBC.

Lipnitskaia was back at it on Day 2 and trumped Gold for first place with her harrowing performance to "Schindler's List," which earned her a 141.51 total segment score.

Little did Lipnitskaia know, a very important person was in attendance to see her:

At just 15, Lipnitskaia may very well be the favorite in the rest of the events despite stiff competition from more experienced names like Gold and Ashley Wagner. For now, the first two days of the 2014 Games have been all about Lipnitskaia.


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