U.S. figure skaters set for Olympic team event

Tony Avelar  AP

Maia and Alex Shibutani, three-time world medalists, Madison Chock and Evan Bates, two-time world medalists, and Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue, reigning USA champions, have each stood atop the US podium. Twice he's stood on the second step of an Olympic podium, an infuriating few inches from what would be the pinnacle of his career.

Chen was visibly disappointed after his performance and felt that he let both himself and the team down, stating that it was not a representation of who he is and what he can do.

The bottom line is Canada has an excellent chance of winning Olympic gold here.

"The medal is what you make of it", Chan said, when asked whether a team gold medal would in some way be lesser than an individual gold.

The team competition continues on Sunday and concludes Monday.

With the results, South Korea ranked 10th with eight points in total after three disciplines, while Canada is leading the race with 27 points, followed by the United States with 23 points and the Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR) with 21 points.

Rippon, competing in his first Olympics at age 28, said Thursday he already was raring to go.

Veteran Meagan Duhamel/Eric Radford and Patrick Chan of Canada took the lead at the figure skating team event after the pairs and men's short programs here on Friday. Definitely need to work harder for the next couple of days.

"We're at the Olympic Games and we'll do six programs if we need to", said her partner and husband, Knierim regarding their busy competition schedule.

"I'm glad I got the opportunity to come out here, put the programs down, learn from it, but right now, all I can do is try to analyze what I did wrong, and just let it go and move on", he said.

The powerhouse nations certainly seem to be putting more emphasis on the team event.

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Traditionally an afternoon or evening event, figure skating has been moved to the morning with a majority of 10 a.m. (0300 GMT) starts accommodating prime-time North American television broadcasts at the risk of disrupting skaters' routines. "It may be different if we were going for a medal".

Husband-and-wife pairs combo Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Chris Knierim turned in a better performance, surviving a near fall from Scimeca Knierim, but still finished fourth in their portion of the event for another seven points.

"I hope he knows that it's very normal not to have a great skate", the Canadian said.

He'll compete next at the men's individual event next Friday.

"I really looked up to her". It's true, I may have a slight bias, but these are the three teams who've best positioned themselves for bronze and are best equipped to challenge the aforementioned top two teams. "If I had gotten to do a short program in the team event, it would have been a lot easier".

Mikael Kingsbury is the heavy favorite to win gold in the men's moguls and he had no problem in the first round of qualifying.

USA -born Gamelin also felt the warm support from the fans in his new home country.

Chen then revealed that two weeks ago, the two sat down again "at the same exact café, the same exact table, the same exact chairs, and we had the same exact drinks". We had just won a medal, we just competed. "I think we felt that energy throughout the entire program".

Slowly but surely, the Olympic team competition logically has to start growing on the nay-sayers.

One by one, some of the biggest names in figure skating tumbled to their backsides inside Gangneung Ice Arena, the opening day of their Pyeongchang Olympics program going nothing like planned. She is 19 years old, and has not competed in the Olympics.

Figure skaters are accustomed to practicing in the morning; Italian skater Carolina Kostner said she actually prefers it. "I'm very excited and very honored to represent my country".

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