U.S. Figure Skating announced Wednesday that Jeremy Abbott, who trains at the Detroit Skating Club, had been chosen to skate the short program today for the U.S. in the inaugural team event at the Winter Olympics.
This new 10-team competition is like a Ryder Cup of figure skating. The three-day competition starts today, the field is cut Saturday, and the medals are awarded Sunday.
Ten countries will compete in four disciplines: men, women, ice dance and pairs. After the short programs, the five countries with the highest cumulative scores will compete for the medals.
These same skaters will compete again later in the Games for gold medals in their discipline.
Which means you will see a double dose of ice dance teams like Charlie White and Meryl Davis, who will compete in short and free dance in the team event and as a dance team.
White grew up in Bloomfield Hills. Davis grew up in West Bloomfield. And they train at the Arctic Edge in Canton. They are the reigning world champions.
"For us, having another opportunity to compete in the Olympics is amazing in and of itself," White said recently. "America is certainly posed to be in the hunt for a medal in the team event. We are really excited to be part of that team and do our best for our teammates."
The U.S. should contend for a medal, but the Canadians -- led by world champion Patrick Chan, who trains with Abbott, and ice dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, who train with Davis and White -- are considered the favorites.
There is some strategy to the team event, deciding who will compete. Each member of the U.S. figure skating squad is eligible to compete in the team event. However, each country can have only one entry in each discipline. Each country, however, will be allowed to make up to two exchanges after the short programs.
For instance, Abbott, the reigning U.S. champion, will compete in the short program today (10:30 a.m. Detroit time), but national silver medalist Jason Brown is expected to replace him for the long program Sunday. Brown has a strong long program based on an Irish dance. At the U.S. championships, the crowd in Boston gave him a standing ovation before he was done.
Another interesting decision comes in the ladies event.
Two-time national champion Ashley Wagner, who finished fourth at the U.S. championships, will compete in the short program Saturday, but Gracie Gold, the 2014 national champion, will skate the long program Sunday, according to USA Today.
Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir, two-time national champions, will skate in the pairs, which will follow the men's short programs today.
U.S. Figure Skating officially revealed only the first two parts of its lineup Wednesday -- Abbott and the pairs teams. The organization said it would finalize its other skaters over the weekend.
"It's really cool to be part of Team USA, not just go there representing Team USA, but really actually be part of a team, because we never get to experience that," said Abbott, in his second Olympics.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
(c)2014 Detroit Free Press
Visit the Detroit Free Press at www.freep.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services
Sochi Olympics: Jeremy Abbott will start for underdog U.S. in debut of team skating event
Most Popular Stories
- Obama Administration Releases Proposal to Regulate For-Profit Colleges
- Elizabeth Vargas' Husband Marc Cohn Addresses Rumors
- Keurig Adds Peet's coffee, Alters Starbucks deal
- Quiznos Files for Chapter 11
- U.S. to Relinquish Gov't Control Over Internet
- Is Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 in Andaman Sea?
- Koch Brothers Step up Anti-Obamacare Campaign
- SoCalGas Reaches Record Spend on Diversity Suppliers
- Vybz Kartel Convicted of Murder
- U.S. Consumer Sentiment Falls in Early March