Olympic Figure Skating Schedule 2018: Sunday USA TV Start Time, Live-Stream Info

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistFebruary 18, 2018

Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani of the United States perform their routine during the ice dance short program in the team figure skating event at the Pyeonchang Winter Olympics Sunday, February 11, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press via AP)
Paul Chiasson/Associated Press

After the thrilling men's competition captured our hearts, the focus of figure skating at the 2018 Winter Olympics shifts to ice dance Sunday night.

The short dance portion of the event has a strong American presence led by Alex and Maia Shibutani, but a dominant duo from another North American nation enters as the overwhelming favorite.

Canada's Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir are chasing their third Olympic gold after winning ice dance in 2010 and capturing the team event title at the start of the action in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Unless something catastrophic occurs during their routine, Virtue and Moir are expected to lead the competition following Sunday's performances.

With the Canadian duo so dominant, the race for the other two spots on the podium will shape up throughout the short dance at Gangneung Ice Arena.


Sunday Figure Skating Information

Start Time: 8 p.m. ET (Event takes place on Monday, February 20 in Pyeongchang, South Korea) 


Live Stream: NBCOlympics.com


How Big of a Gap Will Virtue and Moir Open Up?

The biggest question surrounding Virtue and Moir doesn't involve if they'll win gold, it inquires about how much they'll win by.

The Canadian pair, widely regarded as the world's best ice dance team, enter Sunday with a ton of confidence, per Olympic.org.

"We've never trained so well and never prepared so well for a competition," Virtue said. "We are confident, we are ready and we are strong."

Paul Chiasson/Associated Press

In the team event, Virtue and Moir opened up a five-point advantage on the leaderboard between themselves and the Shibutanis after the short program.

The pair finished off Canada's gold in the team event by putting up a score of 118.10 in the free dance, which was six points better than the Shibutanis.

Winning a gold in Pyeongchang would end a terrific eight-year run at the top of the sport for the pairing that won an Olympic title on home ice in Vancouver and took silver in Sochi.


Shibutanis Searching for Spot on Podium

Even if they skate the best two performances of their lives, the Shibutanis might not be able to catch Virtue and Moir for gold. 

However, there's a good chance, based off the results in the team event, that the siblings can finish on the medal podium.

PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 12: Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani of the United States react after their routine in the Figure Skating Team Event Ice Dance Free Dance on day three of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Gangneung Ice A
Amin Mohammad Jamali/Getty Images

The pair of second-place finishes produced by the brother-sister duo allowed the United States to take bronze in the team event.

With their nerves cast aside due to the success in the team event, the "Shib Sibs" are expected to skate with little fear and leave it all out on the ice like we saw the American men do in their individual competition.

If they deliver one of the best short programs of their career, the Shibutanis should be in a good spot to add to a trophy case that includes a pair of U.S. Championships and a silver and bronze from the last two World Championships.


Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

Statistics obtained from Olympic.org.