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SOCHI 2014

Figure Skating

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PREVIEW

U.S. Figure Skating plans to send a strong team to the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games. Expected to lead Team USA are ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White, who won the silver medal at the 2010 Games and then defeated the Olympic champions for the 2011 world title. The veteran team earned its fourth consecutive title at the 2012 Grand Prix Final, then won its fifth consecutive U.S. title in January.

Ashley Wagner is poised to lead a very competitive group of women after becoming the first repeat ladies U.S. champion since Michelle Kwan. The group includes 2010 Olympian Mirai Nagasu, Christina Gao, Agnes Zawadzki and Gracie Gold, who took silver at the 2013 U.S. Figure Skating Championships. Like Davis and White, Wagner has been on a successful run, winning a pair of golds at two Grand Prix events, then placing second at the 2012 Grand Prix Final. On the men’s side, Olympian Jeremy Abbott entered 2013 as the top American, but marquee names – including 2010 Olympic champion Evan Lysacek and two-time Olympian Johnny Weir – are training for Sochi as well; however, it was Max Aaron who claimed the 2013 U.S. title, while Abbott finished third.

In their first season together as a pair, 2010 Olympian Caydee Denney and John Coughlin won the national title. However, in early December 2012, Coughlin underwent hip surgery to repair a torn labrum. He is expected to be fully recovered for the Olympic year, and the duo has successfully petitioned to compete at the 2013 World Championships.

Team USA will have another opportunity to medal in the team event, which will be contested for the first time at the Sochi Games. Much like gymnastics, scores will be amassed from each discipline and combined for an overall team score. Team USA will likely be the favorite in this event.

During the Sochi Games, figure skating will be held in the coastal cluster at the Iceberg Skating Palace, which is the same venue where Davis and White claimed their fourth-consecutive Grand Prix Final title in 2012.

QUALIFICATION

Qualification for the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games is determined based on results at the 2013 World Championships, scheduled for March 10-17. In order to secure three spots in any given discipline, Team USA’s two-highest placements must amount to no more than 13. For example, the U.S may place sixth and seventh to earn three bids in ice dancing. If the two-highest U.S. placements total between 14 and 28, only two spots will be secured.

SELECTION

U.S. athletes who are at least 15 years old as of July 1, 2013, and are in good standing with U.S. Figure Skating will be eligible for selection to the 2014 U.S. Olympic Team. The team will be selected based on athlete finishes at several events throughout 2013 and 2014, including the 2013 ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final, the 2013 World Junior Figure Skating Championships, the 2013 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, the 2013 Four Continents Figure Skating Championships, the 2013 Grand Prix Series, the 2013 ISU World Figure Skating Championships, the 2013 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final and the 2014 U.S. Figure Skating Championships.

Additionally, skaters meeting the above criteria who qualify, but do not complete, both segments of the competition at any of the eight events listed above due to injury or illness (as verified by U.S. Figure Skating medical personnel) may still be considered for selection by petitioning to the U.S. Figure Skating International Committee Management Subcommittee for nomination to the 2014 U.S. Olympic Team.

Entries for the team event are selected from the 2014 U.S. Olympic Team. The U.S. may not send additional athletes to compete only in the team event. Skaters do not have to compete in both segments of the team event if selected to participate.

KEY DATES


Feb. 6-11 ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships Osaka, Japan
Feb. 25-March 3 ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships Milan, Italy
March 10-17 ISU World Figure Skating Championships London, Ontario
April 11-14 ISU World Team Trophy Tokyo, Japan
Sept. 25-28 Nebelhorn Trophy Oberstdorf, Germany
Dec. 5-8 Grand Prix Final TBD, Japan
TBD ISU Grand Prix Series  
Jan. 5-14 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships Boston, Mass.