Olympic Figure Skating 2014: Schedule, TV Info, Medal Predictions for Day 10

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Olympic Figure Skating 2014: Schedule, TV Info, Medal Predictions for Day 10
Darron Cummings/Associated Press

With three more events remaining in figure skating, the ladies and ice dancing pairs will take center stage. The pairs will finish their time on the ice first.

Ice dancing is one of the most polarizing sports in the Winter Olympics. The combination of theatrics, dance performance and athletics carves out a niche all on its own in the figure skating world.

On Monday, the free-dance portion of the event will take place in Sochi. It should create some exciting results.

On Feb. 19-20, the grand finale of Olympic figure skating will begin. The ladies' figure skating competition is the glamour event of the entire games. It can be filled with so much drama and grace. The unpredictability is just as inviting as the beauty.

Here's the current medal count and how you can watch the rest of the figure skating events in Sochi.

 

Date and Time - EST on NBC
Event
 
Feb. 17, 10 a.m.
Ice Dance – Free Dance
 
 
Feb. 19, 10 a.m.
Ladies – Short Program
 
 
Feb. 20, 10 a.m.
Ladies – Free Skating

 

The Ones to Watch

Ice Dance: Meryl Davis and Charlie White

Ivan Sekretarev/Associated Press

The American duo easily out-performed their Canadian rivals, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir. The two teams are clearly the favorites heading into Monday. Philip Hersh of The Los Angeles Times wrote:

Only two teams come in with a legitimate chance at gold. Reigning Olympic silver medalists Meryl Davis and Charlie White of the U.S. have become solid favorites with five straight wins over their longtime frenemies, reigning Olympic champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada.

After Sunday's strong performance in the short program, Davis and White are sending a serious message to the Canadians.

After putting up a score of 78.89 on Sunday to Virtue and Moir's 76.33, the Americans had this to say to reporters, per Nancy Armour of USA Today Sports:

I think we were really think we were in the moment enjoying it. I don't think I was ever really thinking about pushing, really, but rather enjoying it and enjoying each other's company out there. So, it was really special for us.

But we've trained this program so hard, and Marina Zoueva (the pairs coach) has done such a great job of preparing us both physically and mentally/emotionally for that moment that we can really focus on the performance and letting the skating kind of go for itself.

They certainly looked prepared on Sunday, but you can bet Virtue and Moir won't give up their spot on top of the podium without a spirited battle. This is why Monday's free-dance program could be one of the most epic finals of the Sochi Games.

If the Canadians answer the bell and put on a sparkling performance, it could apply pressure to Davis and White. How will they respond when they get push back from their rivals? Could they begin to doubt their ability to beat them on the world's largest stage? You'll have to tune in to find out for sure on Monday morning.

 

Ladies' Figure Skating: Gracie Gold, Kim Yuna, Mao Asada and Julia Lipnitskaia

Darron Cummings/Associated Press

The American hope is Gold, but there's a really good chance she won't medal at all. Two-time defending Olympic champion Kim is the favorite. At 23 years old, this is her last Olympics, and she's shown the ability to rise to the occasion on this stage. She should perform well.

Ivan Sekretarev/Associated Press

Asada has long been considered her toughest opponent. She settled for the silver medal at the 2010 Vancouver Games. She has abandoned her triple axel, so we'll see if a program without the daring jump can score high enough for her to win gold.

The last of Gold's biggest threats is Lipnitskaia, the 15-year-old Russian.

Bernat Armangue/Associated Press

She has enormous personality and skills. During the team performances, she stood out more than any other skater. With her home crowd behind her, she's a real contender and is not afraid of the moment.

After her spectacular, gold-medal performance in the team competition, Lipnitskaia told reporters this through an IOC translator, per Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! Sports: "I wasn't nervous at all. All the people who were with me were nervous." Perhaps it's her competitors who should be nervous now.

 

Medal Predictions

Ice Dance

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Davis and White look too strong and too confident to falter on Monday. Their time to overtake their rivals has come. They will continue their momentum and win the gold medal for the United States.

The Canadians will still pick up the respectable silver medal, and the Russian team of Elena Ilinykh and Nikita Katsalapov will take the bronze.

 

Ladies' Figure Skating

Alexander Zemlianichenko/Associated Press

Predicting the gold for ladies' figure skating is much tougher. It's hard to go against Kim, but something about Lipnitskaia says "star." Her spunky attitude may be just what the world is looking for in the competition. The fact that she's so dynamic on the ice makes it all the more intriguing.

She's the pick for the gold, with Kim taking the silver and Asada winning the bronze.

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