But on Day 2, after tremendous performances from newcomers and veteran skaters alike, it’s hard to imagine these Olympics without the inaugural event.
There was a second helping of near-flawless skating from Russian frontrunner Evgeni Plushenko, in pursuit of his fourth Olympic medal, as well as another performance from 15-year-old wunderkind Julia Lipnitskaia. There was the debut of 18-year-old U.S. skater Gracie Gold, whose free skate earned her a personal best score (129.38). And, perhaps most memorably, the evening included a career highlight for American ice dancing pair Meryl Davis and Charlie White, who also scored a personal best to keep Team USA on the podium.
And although some of Sunday’s skaters will happily erase tonight’s performances from their memory — including Canada’s Kaetlyn Osmond and Italy’s Paul Bonifacio Parkinson, both of whom struggled to stay vertical in their respective skates — the first-ever team figure skating event came to a satisfying, and wholly exciting, conclusion.
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All told, Russia came away with its first gold medal of the Sochi games, with Canada earning silver and the U.S. clinching bronze.
Were you glued to the screen during Sunday’s team figure skating event? Or did your favorite moment come in the form of Olga Graf, whose surprising bronze-medal finish in the women’s speed skating final earned Russia its first medal of the Olympics? Perhaps the nail-biter men’s skiathlon was your most thrilling moment of Day 2? Sound off in the comments!Follow @rebeccaiannucci