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Men’s figure skating: Top 8 to watch at the Olympic Games

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The 2014 Winter Olympic Games has begun and men's individual figure skating event will commence on Thursday, February 13. The men's event consists of an incredibly deep and talented field with some returning veterans as well as some fresh faces. So who should you watch and just who are these skaters? Here are the contenders.

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Patrick Chan attempts to lift Canadian curse
Patrick Chan attempts to lift Canadian curse Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Patrick Chan attempts to lift Canadian curse

Three-time world champion, Patrick Chan, is the favorite going into the men's individual event. With seven national titles underneath his belt, he is certainly a decorated skater who is just missing Olympic gold. The amazing thing about Patrick is that he has both athletic and artistic abilities, which makes him one of the greatest skaters out there, unfortunately his nerves can sometimes get the best of him.

Though Canada has a rich history of male figure skaters, like Brian Orser, Elvis Stojko and Kurt Browning, they have yet to win gold in male figure skating. So will Chan be able to keep it together and break the gold drought? It will be certainly be exciting to watch and find out.

Patrick Chan: WATCH

Yuzuru Hanyu on the rise
Yuzuru Hanyu on the rise Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Yuzuru Hanyu on the rise

One of the few men that has been able to overtake Patrick Chan, is Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu. Hanyu has a very different style than Chan, but he is another brilliant skater that has the whole package. Hanyu won the bronze at the 2013 World Championships and overcame Chan to win the Grand Prix Final back in December. He is a strong competitor armed with a fantastic quadruple toe loop. He is certainly one to watch and could very likely capture a medal, which might just be gold.

Yuzuru Hanyu: WATCH

Daisuke Takahashi's last hurrah
Daisuke Takahashi's last hurrah Photo by Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images)

Daisuke Takahashi's last hurrah

Capturing the bronze medal at the 2010 Olympic Games, Daisuke Takahashi could very well find himself in the mix once again. He has announced that this will be his final season and what an interesting season it has been for him thus far. From a dismal skate at Skate America to a phenomenal first place finish at NHK, you never know what will happen when Daisuke takes the ice. He found himself in fifth place at the Japanese national championships and yet was still named to the Olympic Team as his country knows what he is capable of. Hopefully he can end his career on a high note competing at his best and be remembered for the amazing skater he truly is.

Daisuke Takahashi: WATCH

Javier Fernandez wants to make history--again
Javier Fernandez wants to make history--again Photo by Oleg Nikishin/ Getty Images

Javier Fernandez wants to make history--again

Spain’s Javier Fernandez  has had a bumpy start to his season, but has gradually improved winning the European Championships only a few weeks ago. Javier is a very athletic skater, so be sure to keep an eye on his tremendous quadruple jumps, they are remarkable.

Javier has already made history for Spain by becoming the two-time European Champion and he hopes to continue to write his name in the history books in these Olympic Games, winning what would be the first ever figure skating medal for Spain.

Javier Fernandez: WATCH 

Russian sensation: Evgeni Plushenko
Russian sensation: Evgeni Plushenko Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Russian sensation: Evgeni Plushenko

Russian favorite, Evgeni Plushenko, is competing at his fourth and presumably last Olympic Games, having won silver in 2002, the gold in 2006 and the silver in 2010. Plushenko has only competed a handful of times since 2010.

Though he came in second at the Russian national championships, the Russian Federation still determined to name Evgeni to their one man Olympic figure skating team. Plushenko has had some serious injuries, but still managed to come back during the Olympic Figure Skating Team Event and show everyone that he is still capable of greatness.

Evgeny Plushenko: WATCH

Tatsuki Machida fights for his place
Tatsuki Machida fights for his place Photo by Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images)

Tatsuki Machida fights for his place

Another powerful Japanese contender is Tatsuki Machida. Machida won two Grand Prix events this season, but faltered in the final landing in fourth. He’s been a strong competitor this season and is capable of sneaking into the mix and causing a major upset.

Tatsuki Machida: WATCH 

Jeremy Abbott: Sink or swim?
Jeremy Abbott: Sink or swim? Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Jeremy Abbott: Sink or swim?

Coming off an amazing skate at the U.S. Championships and then a disastrous skate at the Olympic Figure Skating Team Event, no one is quite sure what to expect from four-time national champion Jeremy Abbott.

Abbott came in ninth at the 2010 Olympic Games and this being his final season, he is hoping that this second and final chance at the Olympic Games will be redemption for him. If he skates the way we know he is capable of, he will definitely be a contender. Hopefully he got all of his nerves out at the team event.

Jeremy Abbott: WATCH

Jason Brown's Olympic debut
Jason Brown's Olympic debut Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

Jason Brown's Olympic debut

Internet sensation Jason Brown will definitely be one worth watching. Without a quadruple jump it is doubtful that he will medal, but it will still be thrilling to watch him skate on Olympic ice. This is Jason’s first season as a senior and he has had the experience of a lifetime with over three million YouTube hits on his U.S. Championships free skate, he is a new favorite. His popularity has soared virtually overnight and he has become the new face of U.S. mens figure skating. He will truly be a joy to watch at these Olympic Games.

Jason Brown: WATCH

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