Among the most popular sports to watch at Winter Olympic Gamesfigure skating has always been a top contender.
This year, Team America seems more eager than ever to win the gold medal after being far behind countries like Canada and Russia. Olympic Committee and Japan at the last Olympics in Pyeongchang. In 2018, the US took home two bronze medals – one for the ice dance event and the other for the team event.
America looks to be off to a strong start so far in the team events, which begin on Friday and will end on Monday. Individual medal events will begin later, with men’s singles, ice dance, women’s singles and doubles running from Tuesday to February 19.
Some athletes have returned to the Olympics to make amends from previous Olympics, while others have come as first-time athletes.
Here, WWD shares all you need to know about figure skaters to follow Team USA. Scroll to know more.
Salt Lake City native Nathan Chen kicked off the team events in the men’s singles short skating program by taking first place after his near-perfect performance, taking the individual record. 111.71 to win 10 points for Team America.
He was followed by Japan’s Shoma Uno and ROC’s Mark Kondratiuk, with scores of 105.46 and 95.81 respectively to take second and third place.
Chen is the favorite to win this year’s gold, having placed fifth overall in the men’s singles in Pyeongchang at the age of 18. Now, at 22, Chen seems hungry to win a medal, and after placing first overall. team event, he has set the tone for what fans should expect from him for the rest of the Olympics.
Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue
Ice dancers Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue have returned to suffer retribution.
Last year’s Olympics, the duo finished fourth in the overall ice dance, just barely making it through. Instead, two brothers, Maia and Alex Shibutani of the US, won bronze, with Tessa Virtue of Canada and Scott Moir and Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France taking gold and silver respectively.
This time around, Hubbell and Donohue are letting everyone know they’re going to take the number one spot. Representing Team America in the ice dance team event, the two continued America’s hot streak as they shone in an impressive performance featuring a mix of Janet Jackson songs.
They have a personal best of 86.56 to take first place and take 10 points for the team, well ahead of Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov of ROC and Charlene Guignard and Marco Fabbri of Italy, who took place respectively. second and third.
Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier
Alexa Knierim will return to win a medal in doubles skating at the Winter Olympics, this time with a new partner in Brandon Frazier.
In Pyeongchang, Knierim skated with her husband Chris Knierim as her teammate. Although the two didn’t tie the knot, the Knierims became the first American pair, and the second in history, to pull off a quadruple twist at the Olympics.
With Frazier as Knierim’s teammate going to the Beijing Winter Olympics, the two achieved individual bests in doubles skating, hitting 75.00 for third place, in exchange fourth place for the last team event in Pyeongchang.
At 16, figure skater Alysa Liu is the youngest American to compete in Beijing. A two-time figure skating champion in the United States, Liu is the first female figure skater to achieve triples and quadriceps in the same program.
By her first Olympics, Liu hopes to win a medal as one of only three American women in women’s singles skating.
She was favored to win a gold medal at the 2022 US Figure Skating Championships, but after receiving a positive COVID-19 diagnosis, Liu had to withdraw from the competition.
Timothy LeDuc and Ashley Cain-Gribble
Timothy LeDuc makes history as the first public non-binary athlete to qualify for the Winter Olympics. In Beijing, LeDuc hopes to win a medal with partner Ashley Cain-Gribble in doubles skating later this month. This is the duo’s first Olympics.
At the 2022 US Figure Skating Championships, Cain-Gribble and LeDuc took first place for the senior doubles event.
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