The new figure skating team event kicked off today, February 6 at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. First up was the men’s short program and what an exciting and interesting event it was.
American, Jeremy Abbott, struggled in his short program falling on his quad toe and singling his triple axel. It was a disappointing performance leaving Team USA in a tough position, now trying to dig the team out of a ditch.
The only silver lining is hopefully Jeremy got his nerves out and is ready to skate the way he did at the U.S. Championships in the individual event. His short program skate put him in seventh place and gave Team USA four, out of a potential, ten points.
No one was sure what to expect from Evgeni Plushenko as he has only competed a few times since the 2010 Olympic Games and has been injured. Yet in true Plushenko form, he took to the ice and lit up the stadium. The crowd cheered wildly as he landed a quad toe-triple toe combination and brought out his Russian swagger once again. It was an impressive performance, putting him in second place.
Three-time World Champion, Patrick Chan held onto his quadruple toe-double toe combination but then stepped out of his triple axel having a subpar performance. It was not an ideal skate for Chan, yet Team Canada is a strong team and will not be hurt by Chan’s performance, as he still came in third place. If anything it just adds to the angst of what will happen in the individual event.
Yuzuru Hanyu was the final man to skate and it was unclear if he could overtake Plushenko, but he skated brilliantly. He looked so relaxed and comfortable going into this quadruple toe loop and triple axel. Hanyu not only got some points for his team, but made a statement to the other men to “look out." He is certainly a contender.
The top five teams will advance and preform a free skate in each of the disciplines. Team USA will have to fight to be in the top five during the pairs short, dance short and ladies short. It will be an uphill battle for Team USA. To watch today’s event, tune into NBC’s primetime tonight at 8:00pm PST.
Standings after the men’s short program:
1. Yuzuru Hanyu JPN - 97.98 --10 team points
2. Evgeni Plushenko RUS - 91.39 --9 team points
3. Patrick Chan CAN - 89.71 --8 team points
4. Han Yan CHN - 85.92 --7 team points
5. Florent Amodio FRA - 79.93--6 team points
6. Peter Liebers GER - 79.61--5 team points
7. Jeremy Abbott USA - 65.65--4 team points
8. Yakov Godorozha UKR - 60.51--3 team points
9. Matthew Parr GBR - 57.40--2 team points
10. Paul Bonifacio Parkinson ITA - 53.94--1 team point