It's a light day of Olympic figure skating action on Day 4 in Sochi, as the only event on the schedule for Tuesday is the pairs short program.
There are 20 teams scheduled to compete in this event, and competition will be fierce for the top marks in this upcoming short program, as well as in the free program two days later.
Russia has already staked its claim as the nation to beat going forward after winning the gold in the team competition, with Canada and the United States coming in second and third in that days-long contest.
Here's a look at the television schedule for Day 4's figure skating action, along with predictions for the top finishers:
When: Tuesday, Feb. 11 at 10 a.m. ET
Where: Iceberg Skating Palace
Watch: NBC Sports Network
TV Time: 10 a.m. ET
Live Stream: NBC Olympics Live Extra
1st Place: Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov, Russia
The current world champs are the team to beat in Sochi.
The dynamic duo of Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov comes into Sochi with plenty of positive momentum, and the team gold only amplifies this all the more. It was because of Volosozhar and Trankov that Russia won that gold, as they outclassed their competition when their number was called.
"They were so good they even overshadowed [Evgeni] Plushenko — not an easy thing to do in Russia," writes the Associated Press, via the Washington Post.
This team owns current world records in the combined total, short program and free skate scores, and given the performance on home ice already, it's hard to bet against the Russian duo.
2nd Place: Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy, Germany
If any team is poised to take down the Russians, however, it's going to be Germany's Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy. They have been trading gold medals with Volosozhar and Trankov the past three years and have won four world titles together.
Additionally, Germany's duo won bronze in Vancouver in 2010, and the experience will serve this team well in the upcoming competitions.
Alice Cook of She's Game Sports, via Boston.com, likes this team to win the gold: "This team's chemistry on the ice is second to none. They will be skating to Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker in the free skate. If they perform the Pas De Deux like they did at the 2013 Grand Prix Final, they should win."
No doubt, given past success, Savchenko and Szolkowy will give the Russians a run for their money. It'll be interesting to see if the home crowd has any bearing on the outcome.
3rd Place: Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir, USA
This projection hinges on whether or not Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir can execute their quad throw, which is something few teams are capable of pulling off.
If they do manage to execute the dangerous throw cleanly, along with a reasonably clean run the rest of the way, then the Americans will put themselves in excellent position for a medal. If not, then they'll be well behind the eight ball heading into the free program.
The U.S. champions won a bronze in the team event, and they can help themselves match that accomplishment—or better—with a stellar showing in the short program.
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