Castelli And Shnapir Lead Team USA Into Pairs Competition
Two-time U.S. pairs figure skating champions Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir already have earned a bronze medal in their short time in Sochi, having been a part of the team figure skating competition. Now they will be competing in their second event, the traditional pairs event. In this event, there will be another pairs team from the United States — Felicia Zhang and Nathan Bartholomay — who wowed the crowd last month in Boston with a dazzling "Les Miserables" free skate. The Americans will have their work cut out for them for a medal with several strong teams from Russia, most notably from reigning world champions Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov. The Russians are trying to regain their top spot on the pairs skating podium in the Winter Games as teams representing Russia, the Unified Team and the Soviet Union won the Olympic pairs crown from 1964-2006 but had their streak snapped in Vancouver in 2010. Volosozhar and Trankov were part of Russia's gold-medal effort in the team competition and could become the first figure skaters to win two gold medals in one Winter Games.