A record-breaking short dance has Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir in the lead of the ice dancing competition at the 2018 Winter Olympics.
The Canadian duo scored an 83.67 Sunday night in the U.S. (Monday in Pyeongchang, South Korea), the highest mark ever in a short program to put them in first place of 24 competitors. Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France currently sit in second place, 1.74 points off the lead.
The leaders will now try to secure a gold medal in the free dance portion of the competition.
Ice Dance Standings
1. Tessa Virtue/Scott Moir (CAN) - 83.67
2. Gabriella Papadakis/Guillaume Cizeron (FRA) - 81.93
3. Madison Hubbell/Zachary Donohue (USA) - 77.75
4. Maia Shibutani/Alex Shibutani (USA) - 77.73
5. Anna Cappellini/Luca Lanotte (ITA) - 76.57
6. Ekaterina Bobrova/Dmitri Soloviev (OAR) - 75.47
7. Madison Chock/Evan Bates (USA) - 75.45
8. Kaitlyn Weaver/Andrew Poje (CAN) - 74.33
9. Piper Gilles/Paul Poirier (CAN) - 69.60
10. Penny Coomes/Nicholas Buckland (GBR) - 68.36
Full results available at Olympic.org.
Virtue and Moir came in with high expectations and lived up to them with a magnificent performance:
NBC commentator and former gold medalist Tara Lipinski expects gold:
The skaters led all competitors in both team events they participated in on the way to Canada's gold medal to kick off the Pyeongchang Games. They also earned gold in the 2017 World Championships as well as the 2010 Winter Olympics, although they were forced to settle for silver in 2014.
With defending champions Charlie White and Meryl Davis choosing not to compete in 2018, Virtue and Moir entered this event with a good chance of getting back on top of the podium and are in even better shape after the first day of action.
Meanwhile, two-time world champions Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron remain in contention thanks to a components score that was even better than Virtue and Moir.
The only negative from the effort was a wardrobe malfunction. A few elite skaters gave their thoughts on the situation:
It was also a good day for the Americans, with all three teams in the hunt for a medal.
Maia and Alex Shibutani put on a great show with an impressive technical routine:
The Shib Sibs enjoyed themselves on the ice:
Meanwhile, fellow Americans Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue passed them in the standings, while Madison Chock and Evan Bates are just off the pace in seventh place.
However, it was nearly impossible to keep up with Virtue and Moir.
The top 20 competitors will now return to the ice Monday night (Tuesday locally) for the free dance, which will decide the medal winners and final standings.