Olympic ice dancing will conclude on Day 10 at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi as 20 pairs teams take aim at a spot on the podium.
Americans Meryl Davis and Charlie White posted the top score in the short dance on Day 9 and are the favorites to secure gold heading into Monday's pressure-packed free dance.
However, Davis and White will need to bring their A-game to Iceberg Skating Palace in order to build on Team USA's gold-medal count.
Meryl Davis and Charlie White beat their own short dance record with a 78.89! #Sochi2014— NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) February 16, 2014
After all, Canada's reigning Olympic gold medalists Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir are right on their heels after locking up the second-best score in the short dance to qualify for Monday's free dance.
With competition set to get underway, let's get you set with everything you need to know.
Date: Monday, February 17, 2014
Location: Iceberg Skating Palace, Sochi
|Date||Event||Time (local time)||Time (ET)||Time (GMT)||TV||Live Stream|
|Feb. 17||Free Dance||7 p.m.||10 a.m.||3 p.m.||NBCSN (U.S.), BBC Two (U.K.)||NBCOlympics.com (U.S.), BBC Sport (U.K.)|
Day 10 Predictions
Meryl Davis and Charlie White Will Take Home Gold
Americans Davis and White have been sensational thus far in Sochi and are in prime position to take home gold in Monday's ice dancing competition.
The talented duo won silver in this event in Vancouver four years ago and carries the top score into Day 10's competition, boasting a total segment score of 78.89.
Unsurprisingly, White and his partner are locked in with one program left to go, per USA Today's Nancy Armour: "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."
Davis and White are without a doubt the most dangerous tandem heading into the final ice dancing program of these Olympics.
Not only are they executing flawlessly and with unrivaled confidence, but they are no strangers to this pressurized stage and have the chemistry to outduel anyone as USA Today's Christine Brennan highlights:
Meryl Davis and Charlie White, together since age 10, on the ice now to begin their quest for the Olympic gold medal.— Christine Brennan (@cbrennansports) February 16, 2014
Assuming the veteran unit can put down one more impressive score in Sochi, it'll be Team USA's gold medal to lose on Day 10.
Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir Will Settle for Silver
Reigning Olympic ice dancing gold medalists Virtue and Moir will surely be disappointed with anything other than gold this February.
However, with Davis and White coming on strong in Sochi, it appears the Canadian superstars will have to settle for second best.
Davis and White were one step ahead of Virtue and Moir during the team competition in the first week of the Games and again during Sunday's short dance. As a result, the Canadians will have to push the limit in order to leapfrog their rivals in the free dance.
Despite the fact he and his partner currently trail the Americans heading into the free dance, Moir remains confident, per Armour: "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."
If there's any pair capable of topping Davis and White on Day 10, it's definitely the reigning Olympic gold medalists.
Elena Ilinykh and Nikita Katsalapov Will Score Bronze for Hosts
The Russian pair of Elena Ilinykh and Nikita Katsalapov are in bronze-medal position heading into Monday's free dance.
And based on how well they performed in the team ice dancing competition during Week 1, it's awfully difficult to see the duo missing the podium on home soil this winter.
Ilinykh/Katsalapov (RUS): 73.04 WOW into 2nd place. There you have it. Bronze medalists I tell you. #Sochi2014— Elkin (@nikle84) February 16, 2014
After all, Ilinykh and Katsalapov finished third in the team ice dancing event last week, finishing right behind the two pairs they currently trail in the individual event.
With the pair trailing by more than five points through the short dance program, it's tough to see them securing gold. Plus, the experience factor isn't in Ilinykh or Katsalapov's favor.
Therefore, they'lll likely need one of the teams at the top to slip up in order to make up enough ground in the free dance to claim anything other than bronze.
Still, a bronze would be nothing to sneeze at as it would add to Russia's impressive medal tally and give the hosts yet another reason to celebrate.
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