Figure skating gains attention at Sochi Olympics

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photo courtesy of bleacherreport.com

 
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With the start of the 22nd Winter Olympic games, one sport in particular has gained well-deserved attention for its incredible athletes and debut of the team all-around final. Figure skating has been a very popular sport this year and continues to draw viewers attention as U.S. athletes strive for gold.

This year marks the first time in Olympic history that figure skaters compete with teammates in the team all around final. Each team chooses one athlete or pair in men’s figure skating, women’s figure skating, ice skating pairs, and ice dancing pairs. Then they compete and the scores are combined into a total that decide their overall places.

In the end, it was no surprise that the Russian team came out on top. With the debut of 15-year old Julia Lipnitskaia, who only qualified to compete by days, and four-time olympic hero Evgeni Plushenko, the skaters helped to put the team into the lead. The Canadian team followed, earning the silver medal and the U.S. team came in third, earning the bronze- our first medal in figure skating.

The men’s figure skating competition followed and surprised some with controversy. After his outstanding performance in the team, Evgeni Plushenko complained of pain and dropped out of the men’s free skate. He was Russia’s only competitor in this event and hurt Russia’s chance for medaling in the event.

In figure skating pairs, the Russian team again came out on top winning both the gold and silver in two separate showings. Americans Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir who were favorites in this competition placed ninth along with the American rookies who placed twelfth. The German duo came in third behind the Russians winning the bronze.

In ice dancing, the duo of Meryl Davis and Charlie White from the U.S. went into the final program in first, closely trailed by the Canadian pair. In the exciting long program competition, it came down to Russian, Canadian, and U.S. pairs. In the end, Davis and White won the gold, bringing the U.S. their first gold medal in ice dancing. The canadians took the silver and the rookie Russian duo took bronze.

The last event of figure skating is the women’s competition. Front runners in this event include Lipnitskaia, who shocked the world with her incredible performance in the team competition, ranking first. She is known for flexiblity and incredible spins, but many believe her lack of experience will affect her chances. Other competitors include Mao Asada and Yuna Kim who are both veterans and are expected to challenge Lipnitskaia with their experience. Gracie Gold, of the U.S. is also a contender with her performance in the team competition currently putting her in second place.

 

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