The 2013 World Championships had greater significance this year as it was a determining factor on how large the US Figure Skating Team would be for the 2014 Olympic Games. So what was the result?
Ashley Wagner and Gracie Gold were very successful, despite neither of them making the podium. Their fifth and sixth place finish, secured three spots for the ladies’ US Olympic Figure Skating Team. Wagner knows first hand the importance of that third spot, as she was edged out from the 2010 Games due to only two available slots and landing third in Nationals, just missing the Olympic Team. Wagner was determined to do well at this World Championships to ensure that third spot was given to the US.
Many were apprehensive about Max Aaron’s debut at the World Championships, but he held up exceptionally well under pressure and landed himself in seventh place, while teammate Ross Minor struggled and finished 14th. Due to their placement, the men’s US Figure Skating Olympic Team will have two openings. With the possibly of Johnny Weir and Evan Lysacek retuning, it’s unfortunate to not have that third slot. Yet all things considered, having two slots is satisfactory.
With Caydee Denney and John Coughlin out of the picture, due to injury, there was fear that the US would only earn one pairs’ spot for the Olympics, which has not happened since 1924. Alexa Scimeca and Chris Knierim, have been skating for less than a year together, and this was Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir’s first World’s, so there was reason for concern. These pair teams had to have a combined placement of 28 to secure two Olympic spots, which they successfully achieved. Scimeca and Knierim placed ninth and Castelli and Shnapir landed in 13th, earning two spots on the pairs US Olympic Team.
With Meryl Davis and Charlie White winning the gold and Madison Chock and Evan Bates skating into seventh place, while teammates Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani landed in eighth place, the US will have three spots open for the ice dancing US Figure Skating Team. Their top ten placements, prove just how far ice dancing has come in the United States.
Because of the amazing athletes who performed so well at the World Championships, it gives the United States a strong chance of bringing home some medals from the Sochi Winter Olympic Games.