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Women’s Figure Skating took center stage today at the Olympics in Sochi. It is usually one of the more watched events and today’s short program competition did not disappoint. The Queen, Yuna Kim of South Korea was mesmerizing and finished in first place. She is the defending gold medalist (Vancouver) and the 2013 World Champion. She is looking to become the first women to repeat as a gold medalist in figure skating since Katarina Witt did so in 1984 and 1988. She is now twenty three years old and will retire after the Olympics. She is graceful and skates so beautifully, she glides across the ice and her technical scores match her beautiful choreography. Close behind in second is the “surprise” teen from Russia, Adelina Sotnikova. Yulia Lipnitskaia (the fifteen year old who dazzled for Russia in the team competition) had a rough short program, fell on one of her jumps and finished in fifth place. In third place is Carolina Kostner of Italy, another classically beautiful and graceful skater. In fourth place, Gracie Gold of the USA! Ashley Wagner of the USA is in sixth and the American fifteen year old, Polina Edmunds is currently in the seventh position. The points between the top three are miniscule, but all are within striking position. The scoring will be interesting but I think Yuna Kim will win gold if she skates a clean long program. Sadly, Mao Asada of Japan had a disastrous short program and sits in 16th. She is a two time world champion and like Yuna, will retire after these Olympic games. So, tomorrow the long program will determine the gold medal with live coverage beginning at 10:00 am EST on NBC Sports channel and tape delayed coverage will be on NBC tomorrow evening.
Meanwhile, the Russian hockey team failed to make the semifinals, falling to Finland, 3-1. Not a great day for the home team. USA advanced with a solid beating of the Czech team, 5-2 and will face Canada who prevailed over Latvia, 2-1. The team from Finland will face Sweden (winners over Slovakia, 5-0). Would be great if the USA and Canada could have faced each other in a “gold medal” game but that is not how the brackets played out.
So until tomorrow…