US Women's Olympic Figure Skating 2018: Reaction to Sunday's Top Performers

Steve Silverman@@profootballboyFeatured ColumnistFebruary 12, 2018

Mirai Nagasu helped the United States earn a bronze medal in the team figure skating competition.
Mirai Nagasu helped the United States earn a bronze medal in the team figure skating competition.Associated Press

Maia Shibutani and her brother Alex Shibutani skated an inspired and precise performance in the ice dancing portion of the team competition Sunday night (in North America), and that allowed the United States to clinch the bronze medal in the hotly contested event.

The Shibutanis scored a 112.01, and that was the second-highest score in the ice dance behind Canadian superstars Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir. Those two were expected to put on a dominant performance, and they did not disappoint with their artistic performance throughout their dance.

Virtue and Moir were awarded a score of 118.10, more than six points better than the Shibutanis.

The Shibutani siblings were quite happy with their performance. "Yeah, I thought we brought it," Alex told reporters after skating, per People Magazine.

Maia Shibutani added her reaction. "I mean the audience, you guys can hear it, they're amazing. The energy is unlike any other event we've been in," she said. "So I feel like Alex and I really just took the time to enjoy the moment and I'm really proud of the skating we showed today."

Canadian men's skater Patrick Chan had a couple of mistakes on triple axels, but he still scored a 179.75, and he was happy to be a part of the team that earned the gold medal.

"At the end of the day, a medal's a medal and I'm going to hold this medal tight to me and it's going to be as good as the individual event," Chan said, per the Canadian Press (h/t TSN.ca). "I'm sorry, that's how I'm going to see it, that's how I'm going to enjoy it, and that's for me to decide."

Former Olympic ice dancing champion Meryl Davis added her congratulations to the Americans.

Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev of the Olympic Athletes from Russia scored 110.43 in the ice dance.

Canada won the gold in the team event, and the Russians secured the silver medal. Italy finished just outside the podium in fourth place, while Japan finished fifth.

Virtue and Moir are also expected to win the gold medal in the singles ice dancing competition, and the Shibutanis also have an excellent chance to medal in that event as well.

     

Team Figure Skating Results

1. Canada, 73 points (Gold)
2. OAR, 66 points (Silver)
3. United States, 62 points (Bronze)
4. Italy, 56 points
5. Japan, 50 points

     

Mirai Nagasu of the United States skated brilliantly in the women's free skate Sunday night, and her performance was instrumental in the Americans winning the bronze medal.

Nagasu scored a 137.53, which was second among the competitors. Nagasu's highlight was her attempt and completion of a triple axel, the first American female skater to complete that maneuver successfully in Olympic competition.

Nagasu seemed a bit overwhelmed by her performance when she was interviewed by NBC's Andrea Joyce. "I'm super happy to feel my teammates' support," Nagasu said. "There was a lot of excitement and this is why we're here. This has been a cool and unforgettable experience."

While Nagasu put on a brilliant show, she could not come close to topping Alina Zagitova from Russia. She dazzled the crowd in Pyeongchang with a series of athletic and challenging jumps that she landed successfully, and she scored a 158.08.

Gabrielle Daleman of Canada was third with a score of 137.14. Carolina Kostner of Italy was fourth with a score of 134.00.

Adam Rippon was part of the U.S. team, and he substituted for Nathan Chen in the men's free skate. He scored a 172.98 performance.

Rippon was happy to execute his challenging performance. "I wanted to do something no one else has done," Rippon said, per Icenetwork.com (h/t Rodger Sherman of The Ringer). "It shows I'm more than a skater, that I'm trying to put my whole heart and soul into the performance."

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