The 2014 Winter Olympics are in full swing, starting competitions Thursday (Feb. 6). While most sports, like slopestyle snowboarding, were staging qualifying runs, the team figure skating event started with high stakes — every program skated counts toward a country’s final total.
For the U.S. figure skating team, men’s singles skater Jeremy Abbott and pairs skaters Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir took the ice for day one of the competition, though neither short program was as good as it could have been.
Abbott in particular turned in a sub-par performance, falling on his first jump and then leaving out at least one rotation on his subsequent two jumps. After his score landed him seventh out of the 10 men competing, Abbot had this to say:
“You know, I’m not sure what went wrong. It just was one of those nights because I’ve been skating very, very well here in the practices, I love this ice,” says Abbott, adding that it wasn’t because he skated right after hometown hero Yevgeny Plushenko. “I’ve competed after many great skaters and triumphed plenty of times. In this instance, it happened to be very unfortunate that happened after such a great skate by Plushenko.”
Castelli/Shnapir fared slightly better in the pairs program, finishing in fifth place. However, they also had a stumble on their side-by-side triple salchows, so the U.S. has some ground to make up in the women’s and ice dancing short programs if they want to make the cut. Only the Top 5 countries after the four portions of the short program get to continue on to the long programs.