The dynamic duo of Meryl Davis and Charlie White got one step closer to overtaking their Canadian rivals Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir after a record-setting performance during Sunday's short dance program.
White and Davis may have set a world record with a score of 78.89 in the short dance program, but they are not without competition going forward. Virtue and Moir had a near-flawless performance of their own, producing a score of 76.33—2.56 points behind the Americans.
This certainly sets up a clash of the titans, as both teams look to be in top form heading into Monday's free dance.
Let's take a look at all of the viewing information and live stream for the free dance, as well as give a prediction as to which duos will find the podium when the dust settles on Monday.
What: Ice Dance Free Dance
When: Monday, Feb. 17
Where: Iceberg Skating Palace
TV Time: 10 a.m. ET
Live Stream: NBCOlympics.com
White and Davis produced the performance of their lives on Sunday. They simply seem to be improving with every passing day during the 2014 Olympics in Sochi. The dazzling display that they produced during the short dance left them feeling like they were in a dream.
During an interview with Nancy Armour of USA Today, Davis explained the notion, "I was telling Charlie in the middle of the program, I just felt like I was in a dream. It's such a surreal experience."
The Olympic gold medal in this event just slipped through the fingers of this extraordinary pair in 2010 in Vancouver. Despite all of the world-wide accolades and awards that White and Davis have received, they have yet to claim that elusive gold medal.
They are absolutely primed to do so, as the duo is riding a major hot streak. They carried the United States in the team ice dancing competition, finishing first overall. Now, after their performance on Sunday, they are at it again.
Nothing is set in stone yet; however, as they must compete with Virtue and Moir—the reigning ice dancing Olympic gold medalists.
Both teams have every right to be confident, and Moir expressed his feelings about the competition's current score during his interview with Nancy Armour. Said Moir, "We feel like we can make it up. We know the team sitting beside us is going to bring a great skate tomorrow. We train with them every day, so it's a task. But we think we can do it."
Moir and Virtue have plenty of talent, but a 2.56-point deficit is very difficult to overcome. This looks to be a two-horse race for the gold medal this year in Sochi.
There may be another interesting battle for the bronze medal as well. Russian duo Elena Ilinykh and Nikita Katsalapov have been very strong throughout the team and individual competitions. They placed third behind the United States and Canada in the team ice dancing competition.
They find themselves in familiar territory, as their score of 73.04 cements them in third place in the individual competition for the moment.
The Russian team will have to contest with Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat of France if they are to reach the podium on Monday. The French duo was solid on Sunday, posting a score of 72.78—just .26 points off Russia's pace.
Everything is setting up for an intense conclusion to what has been a breathtaking event.
It will certainly come down to the wire here, as the American skaters are set to go last on Monday. What this all comes down to is simple: Which team has the focus to get through this last performance?
At the moment, it appears to be the duo of White and Davis. White spoke to Nancy Armour about his desire to maintain composure throughout the duration of the competition:
We're focused on the moment and task at hand. We're not looking at the future or the color of medals. We had a really great start to this event, and we'll treat it just like every other event and that's going out to compete just like we've practiced.
That way of thinking is what will earn White and Davis the gold medal in Sochi.
Gold Medal: Meryl Davis and Charlie White, United States
Silver Medal: Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, Canada
Bronze Medal: Elena Ilinykh and Nikita Katsalapov, Russia
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