US Women's Olympic Figure Skating 2018: Highlights, Reaction from Monday

Brian Pedersen@realBJPFeatured ColumnistFebruary 20, 2018

Canadians Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir won gold in the ice dancing competition, their second gold in the event and fifth medal overall.
Canadians Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir won gold in the ice dancing competition, their second gold in the event and fifth medal overall.Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The Canadian pair of Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir became the most decorated figure skaters in Olympic history. And like it was eight years ago, that record-breaking fifth medal was a gold in ice dancing.

Virtue and Moir were in first after Sunday's short program (dates/times ET) but got a hard challenge from France's Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron in Monday's free skate. In the end, though, Virtue and Moir won their second gold of the 2018 Winter Olympics to go with the one they earned in helping Canada win the team championship last week.

At 206.07 points, they were only 0.79 points ahead of Papadakis and Cizeron.

There were no wardrobe malfunctions this time around for Papadakis and Cizeron, unlike in Sunday's short program when Papadakis' neck clasp came undone early in their routine. She assured the same thing wouldn't happen by going with an almost full-coverage outfit that was devoid of any movable—or removable—parts:

With the fear of exposure not an issue, Papadakis and Cizeron logged a tremendous 123.35 to give them 205.28 overall, their personal best. But in the end, it was only good enough for silver.

American brother-sister combo Maia and Alex Shibutani, almost universally known as the "Shib Sibs," turned in one of the best performances of their career on Monday. Skating to "Paradise" from Coldplay, they were particularly electric toward the end of their routine.

Their routine was good enough to earn them the bronze medal, bypassing fellow U.S. skaters Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue by almost five points.

The American team of Madison Chock and Evan Bates, who were seventh after the short program, ended up falling to ninth after they both fell during a combination spin. Falls are very rare in ice dancing, and this one eliminated any chance of them getting onto the podium.

"I wish I could have that moment back," they told reporters afterward.

Prior to their performance, though, it was time for a trip to the wayback machine. Meryl Davis, one half of the U.S. gold medal-winning ice dance team from Sochi, took to Twitter to remark on how long the 28-year-old Bates has been skating at the highest level:

Ice dancing is maybe more about matching the performance to the music than any other skating competition, and to further that mission requires having the right outfit. Canadians Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier, who took eighth place, performed to music from James Bond movies and made sure to dress the part:

And no Olympic figure skating competition would be complete without some commentary by celebrity superfan Leslie Jones. The Saturday Night Live player, who follows the sport like most Americans watch the NFL or NBA, live-tweeted the entire free skate—shaky video included—with an emphasis on apparel, music choice and "dope" moves by the competitors.

With ice dancing in the books, three of the four Olympic figure skating events are complete. All that's left is the women's singles, which begins Tuesday with the short program and continues with Thursday's free skate.

     

Follow Brian J. Pedersen on Twitter at @realBJP.

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