TEAM SKATING TAKES A BOW IN SOCHI

Before the official opening ceremony took place in Sochi on February 7th the inaugural team figure skating program had already began. This was a much anticipated event for me, as it was a chance to see all four skating disciplines together as one entity. With both short and free programs for the men’s and ladies singles, pairs and ice-dance all included, the countries with a strength of depth would always do very well. Each country had the opportunity to switch a maximum of two performers over all four disciplines. This meant that the perceived “strongest” contenders for the short/free programs could be used by each nation (within reason). However nations with a weaker skating heritage (GB) had to rely on their sole representatives in each discipline covering both the short and free sections.

Results would be given a points allocation, with the highest score receiving 10 points down to the lowest receiving 1 point. Medals would be awarded to the nations with the highest amount of points accumulated.

OVERALL TEAM FIGURE SKATING RESULTS

Gold RUSSIA (75pts): Silver CANADA (65pts): Bronze USA (60pts)

Team Figure Skating Individual Section Winners

PAIRS: Short Program: TATIANA VOLOSOZHAR & MAXIM TRANKOV (Russia)

PAIRS: Free Program: KSENIA STOLBOVA & FEDOR KLIMOV (Russia)

LADIES: Short Program: JULIA LIPNITSKAIA (Russia)

LADIES: Free Program: JULIA LIPNITSKAIA (Russia)

MENS: Short Program: YUZURU HANYU (Japan)

MENS: Free Program: EVGENI PLUSHENKO (Russia)

ICE DANCE: Short Program: MERYL DAVIS & CHARLIE WHITE (USA)

ICE DANCE: Free Program: MERYL DAVIS & CHARLIE WHITE (USA)

From a personal point of view it was a joy to see Evgeni Plushenko skate in his home Olympics. Being an elder statesman on the rink at the age of 31, I remember him bursting onto the scene as a precocious teenager full of talent. This could be said about his young compatriot Julia Lipnitskaia aged 15 who was electrifying performing to music from the film Schindler’s List. It was not lost on me young Julia wearing a vivid red dress, replicating the red coat emblem in the movie. A youngster standing out from the crowd with all that vulnerability. Brilliant though Julia is, I can’t help but wonder, if her childhood has been somewhat sacrificed for the sake of skating glory. Perhaps the same could be said about Evgeni too, because his injury ravaged body today, may well be the result of over work when a youngster.

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