With the official reveal a day away, a Feb. 4 report by USA Today leaked the identities of the 12 athletes chosen to represent the U.S. in the inaugural team figure skating event, which will begin Feb. 6 with the men's and pairs' short program round, at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.
Per the leak, four-time U.S. national champion and 2010 Olympian Jeremy Abbott will skate the men's short program, while 19-year old fan favorite Jason Brown, who captured a surprise silver medal behind Abbott at nationals in January, will perform the men's long. Brown wowed the audience --and arguably, the world-- with his spirited, emotional "Riverdance" themed free program in Boston, and though he lacks a quad jump, his near-unparalleled artistry should benefit him on the Olympic stage.
Reigning national pairs champions Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir with skate both the short and long team programs, as will world, U.S. and Grand Prix Final champion ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White.
The most controversial choice surrounds the ladies selected to compete. While 2014 national champion Gracie Gold will perform the long program, Ashley Wagner, who now-famously imploded at nationals, finishing a disappointing fourth behind Gold, phenom Polina Edmunds and Mirai Nagasu, will skate the short program.
The team event will combine the scores posted from each routine. The nation with the highest final mark will win the first-ever Olympic figure skating team gold medal.
Competition from Sochi begins officially with the Feb. 7 opening ceremonies, though Abbott, Castelli and Shnapir will skate their team short programs on Feb. 6.