USA figure skaters take matters into their own hands with a record night in an Olympic team event
Group 1 feat. Michal Brezina and Jin Boyang
With the starting order of each discipline in the team event based on the world ranking, Germany Paul Fentz started the contest. The German team competes without its entry pairs of Minerva Hase and Nolan Seegert after Seegert tested positive for COVID-19 once in Beijing. Their teammates hold a sign reading “We miss you” in the team box.
Fentz scored 68.84 in what will be his only Olympic performance here. Germany did not qualify as a male skater, but were granted a male-only spot for the team event based on the country’s overall ranking and an entry for the remaining three disciplines.
canadian Roman Sadovsky passed Fentz with 71.06 points. Canada won the gold medal in the 2018 Olympic team event, but did not consider medal talk for those Games due to the retirement of two-time Olympic dance champions on ice. Tessa Virtue and Scott Moire2014 olympic silver medalist patrick chan and Olympic bronze medalists in pairs in 2018 Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford.
At his fourth Olympic Games, 31 Michael Brezina from the Czech Republic took first place with a score of 76.77 points. Brezina trains at Great Park Ice & FivePoint Arena in Irvine, CA with Chen and their trainer Raphael Aroutiounian.
China Jin Boyangwho finished fourth in the men’s singles in PyeongChang, fell on his quadruple toe but still had the highest score yet with 82.87 points.
Group 2 feat. Uno and Chen
Final group to come, which includes (in order) Mark Kondratyuk (ROCK), Shoma Uno (JPN), Morisi Kvitelashvili (GEO), Chen (USA) and Daniel Grassl (ITA).
ROC’S Kondratyuk easily placed first with a short program that started with a quad toe and ended with a quad salchow for 95.81 points.
Uno, the 2018 Olympic silver medalist, kicks off the Japanese team’s quest for their first medal in the event with a personal best 105.46 points. His clean short program included an opening quad flip, quad toe-triple toe combo, and triple axel.
The Georgian team got off to a good start in their first appearance in an Olympic team event thanks to Kvitelashvili finishing third with 92.37 points, behind Uno and Kondratyuk, in the country’s quest to advance to the free skating/dancing portion .
With American teammates Mariah Bell, Ashley Cain Gribble and Timothee LeDuc, Karen Chenand Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Boulanger cheering her on in the team box, Chen avenges her performance at the 2018 tag team event with a virtually flawless performance to Charles Aznavour’s version of “La Bohème”. The 22-year-old had an international personal best of 111.71 points.
“Honestly, I’m just here to have fun, so I’m really happy,” Chen told NBC reporter Andrea Joyce.
Grassl then put Italy in fifth place with 88.10 points.
In Rhythm Dance, the United States is ranked first (with 10 points for the team event), followed by Japan (9), ROC (8), Georgia (7) and Italy (6) who complete the top five. China (5), Czech Republic (4), Canada (3) and Germany (2) are in danger of being eliminated following the short/rhythm routines.
Ukraine is the 10th team in the event but has yet to start as the men’s entry, Ivan Shmuratkotested positive for COVID-19.