Team competition to open Olympic figure skating program


In all, a awful display of men's figure skating on the morning before the evening opening ceremony of the XXIII Winter Olympics.

Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford made up for teammate Patrick Chan's shaky short program to give Team Canada the lead after the opening day of figure skating's team competition.

It was simply a 40-minute practice session on the rink designated for that goal, with a low ceiling and fluorescent lights, tucked just below the Gangneum Ice Arena, where Chen and Rippon will make their Olympic debuts later this week in the team event. They trailed only the Olympic Athletes from Russian Federation pair of Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov, who scored 80.92 on a commanding skate.

Japan's Shoma Uno took first, Israel's Alexei Bychenko came in second, and Patrick Chan of Canada took third place.

Team competition to open Olympic figure skating program

Expect to hear Tennell's name come out of the mouths of Olympic commentators in the buildup to the women's competition, as some will bill the 20-year-old as the next best American hope to win gold in the prized event. "I took Adam five years ago, when he was (22), couldn't jump at all".

Indeed, the way skaters are approaching the team competition varies widely. "This is a long two weeks and I am not going to look back too much and it's a good opportunity to get the early jitters out".

Chan said the early start times were not compatible with the finesse needed to execute quality jumps, adding that it could be particularly hard for Chen, who is known for his numerous quads. "I am going to be here a awhile and there are a lot of programs to be competed". No American is a medal favorite, but Brad Wilson will be the best hope for the USA men's team. Virtue and Moir now hold the 2017-18 record for the best short dance score with 82.68 made at Skate Canada, 0.61 points ahead of Papadakis and Cizeron. All the spins were still good quality, fast, footwork was clean.

The U.S.'s men's entry, 18-year-old Nathan Chen, a gold medal favorite in the individual men's event that starts on Feb 16, finished fourth after an uncharacteristically error-filled program. Disappointed that he didn't perform to the best of his ability; disappointed, in his words, that he had let his teammates down.

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"I need to mentally adjust to what happened, " he said. All of the mistakes that I did.

Just because Osmond took silver, doesn't mean you should count her out. We had just won a medal, we just competed.

"I just wasn't thinking of the right technical things before the jumps", Chen told USA Today. "I'm a bit of a night owl but I'll just wake up a little bit early and adjust my schedule". Obviously, that's not what I wanted to do on my first Olympic run but I'm also upset that I sort of let the rest of the team down'.

Taking one for the team is good.

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Alexa Scimeca-Knierim and Christopher Knierim also placed fourth (69.75) with a near-perfect program which featured a triple twist, side-by-side triple Salchows, and a throw triple flip, however, Scimeca-Knierim had a stumble which was reflected in the program component scores.

"Anything between 75 and 80 is a really high score for us, so we're happy with that", said Duhamel.

He fell on a triple axel, doubled a planned quadruple jump and downgraded a combination jump. Canadian Mikael Kingsbury has won six-straight world cups in the men's event. About a month out from the January trials, everything started to click for her. Shimabukoro says it was ideal timing.

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