Warning: Don’t keep reading if you would like to remain spoiler-free for the team figure skating opening competition, the men’s short program. It will be featured in primetime Thursday (Feb. 6) on NBC.
The men launched figure skating at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics Thursday with the short programs that will count toward the new team figure skating event. The scoring is done the same way as in the individual competition, but then for the team score, each man is ranked 1-10, with first place earning 10 points, second earning nine points and so forth.
U.S. skater Jeremy Abbott (above, left) wasn’t the favorite to finish first, but he was expected to do fairly well. That’s not what happened. He earned the lowest score he’s received in competition in years after a fall and then turning a couple triple jumps into a double and a single.
Hometown boy Yevgeny Plushenko (above, right), who is skating in his fourth Olympics at age 31, skated to raucous cheers from the crowd, though was edged out of first place by Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu.
Abbott’s poor showing leaves the U.S. in seventh place in the team competition so far, but there are still seven events left before Sunday’s medal ceremony. The pairs short program is up next, we’ll update the post with the results as soon as the pairs have skated.
Final standings, men’s short program:
Yuzuru Hanyu, Japan, 97.98
Yevgeny Plushenko, Russian Federation, 91.39
Patrick Chan, Canada, 89.71
Han Yan, China, 85.52
Florent Amodio, France, 79.93
Peter Liebers, Germany, 79.61
Jeremy Abbott, U.S., 65.65
Yakov Godorozha, Ukraine, 60.51
Matthew Parr, Great Britain, 57.40
Paul Bonifacio Parkinson, Italy, 53.94
UPDATE: The pairs short program portion is concluded (full results below). The U.S. pair of Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir skated well, though Castelli put her hand down on the side-by-side triple salchows and that was a sizable deduction.
The final standings for the pairs:
Russia, Tatyana Volosozhar and Maksim Trankov, 83.79
Canada, Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford 73.10
China, Cheng Peng and Hao Zhang, 71.01
Italy, Stefania Berton and Ondrej Hotarek, 70.31
U.S., Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir, 64.25
Germany, Maylin and Daniel Wende (married), 60.82
France, Vanessa James and Morgan Cipres, 57.45
Japan, Narumi Takahashi and Ryuichi Kihara, 46.56
Ukraine, Julia Lavrentieva and Yuri Rudyk, 46.34
Great Britain, Stacey Kemp and David King, 44.70
After two events, the U.S. is tied for fifth with 10 points. The team had hoped for a better skate from Abbott, which could have possibly earned the U.S. a couple more points, though he isn’t really a strong enough skater to have jumped into the Top 3.
The women’s and ice dancing short programs, plus the pairs free skate start Saturday, Feb. 8 at 9:30 a.m. ET, live stream available here.
The team standings:
Russian Federation, 19 points
Canada, 17 points
China, 15 points
Japan, 13 points
Germany, 10 points
France, 10 points
U.S., 10 points
Italy, 8 points
Ukraine, 5 points
Great Britain, 3 points