FROM US FIGURE SKATING:
U.S. Figure Skating Confirms Short Program Entries for Olympic Team Event in Pairs and Men's
(2/5/14) - Fifteen U.S. athletes will compete at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, Feb. 6-23, in Sochi, Russia. Figure skating competition begins Thursday, Feb. 6, with the team event pairs and men's short programs.
Team USA will be led into Sochi by reigning ice dance World champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White. The reigning Olympic silver medalists are joined by Olympic veterans Jeremy Abbott and Evan Bates.
The networks of NBC and NBCOlympics.com will broadcast live, tape delayed and primetime coverage of all 11 days of figure skating competition. The primetime schedule is below. Please visit www.nbcolympics.com for more information.
Team USA's first opportunity to medal will come in the inaugural Olympic Figure Skating Team Event. Each member of the U.S. Olympic Figure Skating Team is eligible to compete in the team event. Each team will consist of one woman, one man, one pairs team and one ice dance team to be selected from athletes who have qualified in their individual disciplines. Each nation, however, will be allowed to make up to two exchanges after the short program/dance. The team event will consist of the 10 best national teams from NOCs/ISU members. The five teams with the highest number of points after the short program/dance will qualify for the free skate/dance. In the team event, athletes will receive points based on their finishes in each segment of competition. The team with the most aggregate points through eight segments of competition will win.
U.S. Figure Skating confirmed today the athletes/teams that will represent Team USA in the team event short programs in pairs and men's. They are Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir (pairs) and Jeremy Abbott (men's). Future entries will be confirmed as follows:
Short program/dance - ladies and ice dance - 10:00 a.m., Friday, Feb. 7
Free skate - pairs - 9:40 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 8
Free skate/dance - ladies, men's, ice dance - 10 a.m., Sunday, Feb. 9
U.S. Figure Skating will provide additional coverage from the 2014 Olympic Games. Fans will be able to visithttp://www.usfigureskating.org/Sochi2014, the online headquarters for U.S. Figure Skating at the Olympic Games for daily schedules, important links and more. U.S. Figure Skating will also provide up-to-the-second information from their Twitter account, @USFigureSkating throughout the Games. Icenetwork will provide daily news, features and photo galleries from Sochi. Visit www.icenetwork.com for more information.
Gracie Gold, 18, won her first U.S. title at the 2014 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships last month in Boston. Gold is the 2012 U.S. junior champion, 2012 World Junior silver medalist and 2013 U.S. silver medalist.Ashley Wagner, 22, the 2012 and '13 U.S. title holder, has won the most medals of any American woman over the last three seasons including six on the Grand Prix Series. The combined finishes of Wagner (fifth) and Gold (sixth) at the 2013 World Championships earned Team USA three spots at the Olympics. Polina Edmunds, 15, will make her senior international debut in Sochi. She won silver at the 2014 U.S. Championships after qualifying for the 2013 Junior Grand Prix Final.
Abbott, 28, won his fourth U.S. title in record-setting fashion in Boston. His short program score of 99.86 points helped him retake his spot atop the U.S. podium. Abbott will become a two-time Olympian, having finished ninth in 2010. Jason Brown, 19, won the U.S. silver medal to earn his spot on the team. His season included a fifth-place finish at Skate America and a bronze medal win at 2013 Trophee Bompard. Brown is a two-time World Junior medalist.
Marissa Castelli, 23, and Simon Shnapir, 26, are two-time reigning U.S. champions. The Boston-based duo have skated together for eight years, making them the most veteran American pairs team. Felicia Zhang, 20, and Nathan Bartholomay, 24, have medaled at the last two U.S. Championships, winning silver in 2014 and bronze a season ago.
Davis, 27, and White, 26, have won a record six consecutive U.S. titles and a record four straight Grand Prix Final titles. The team, who have skated together since 1997, are undefeated dating back to 2012 Skate America. They will be joined in Sochi by training mates Maia Shibutani, 19, and Alex Shibutani, 22, who have medaled at four straight U.S. Championships and are the 2011 World bronze medalists. Madison Chock, 21, and Bates, 24, are two-time reigning U.S. silver medalists. Bates finished in 11th at the 2010 Olympic Games with former partner Emily Samuelson.