Day 10 of the 2014 Winter Olympics brings the free dance portion of the ice dancing competition to Sochi. The free dance competition consists of a four-minute round to perform a routine, with a few designated requirements. Below is the full TV and live stream info for the event.
Day 10 Figure Skating Info
What: Ice dancing, free dance competition
When: Feb. 17
Time: 10 a.m. ET
TV Channel: NBCSN
Live Stream: NBC Live Extra
One of America's strongest gold-medal hopes competes in this event, but a tough rival to the north stands in the duo's way. In a tight medal race, as the table below illustrates, the U.S. can ill afford a slip-up at this event. So what can fans expect out of ice dancing? Check out the full preview and predictions below.
The American duo of Meryl Davis and Charlie White won both their events during the team competition and enter the event as solid favorites. The two have not lost an event since 2012.
While they enter the free dance as heavy favorites, both are wary of that status, per Filip Bondy of the New York Daily News: "There’s no shoe-in, nothing like that. It’s a real competition and that’s the way we like it. The new scoring system made it very competitive. Anyone can rise to the top. You have to skate great if you want to win."
Davis and White won the lone ice dancing event of the team competition with a 114.34 score. Though they were largely unchallenged then, the runners-up in those events figure to provide stiffer competition in the individual event.
The Canadian pair of Tess Virtue and Scott Moir represent the biggest challenge to the Americans, as the two finished second in the ice dance team event and are actually the defending gold medalists.
Virtue and Moir finished with a 107.56 score in their first ice dancing event, though that was well below their expectations. According to Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star, the Canadians left numerous points on the ice with small mistakes:
Virtue and Moir, performing both their short and long programs, committed significant if atypical errors. The Americans were better, though far from flawless. A wide gap in technical marks decided it as Davis and White finished nearly seven points up — an astronomical bulge in ice dance.
Zoueva insists she’s fixed the problem that has been identified in the jazz-infused Cheek-to-Cheek short program. The entry into the opening lift was awkward and that threw off the footwork that followed, out of sync, accounting for mere Level 2 marks.
Virtue and Moir do possess a routine difficult enough to shock Davis and White. They likely represent the only pair capable of posing a serious challenge to the defending world champions.
The race for the bronze is far more wide open, with two Russian pairs perhaps being slight favorites on home ice over the French pair of Nathalie Pechalat and Fabien Bourzat.
Davis and White are the closest things to a lock for gold of all the American Olympians. The subjective nature of figure skating can catalyze shocking upsets, but even Virtue and Moir are probably skating for second, barring a catastrophic mistake from the Americans.
Gold: Meryl Davis and Charlie White
Silver: Tess Virtue and Scott Moir
Bronze: Elena Ilinykh and Nikita Katsalapov