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Nagasu, Rippon, Shibutanis Tapped To Close Out Figure Skating Team Event For U.S.

By Laurence Heinen | Feb. 11, 2018, 1:50 a.m. (ET)


After winning team figure skating bronze medal in Sochi in 2014 at the event’s debut, Team USA is looking to medal once again heading into the final day of competition at the Olympic Winter Games 2018 PyeongChang.

Sitting in third place after five of eight programs, the U.S. announced Adam Rippon, Mirai Nagasu and siblings Maia and Alex Shibutani will compete in the remaining free skates. The husband-and-wife pairs team of Alexa Scimeca-Knierim and Chris Knierim placed fourth in their free skate on Sunday.

Monday’s action in South Korea will start with Rippon taking to the ice for the men’s free skate at 10 a.m. locally (8 p.m. ET Sunday), while Nagasu, a 2010 Olympian, will represent in the women’s free skate beginning at 11:10 a.m. (9:10 p.m. ET Sunday).

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The team competition will then conclude with the Shibutanis representing the U.S. in the free dance, which gets underway at 12:20 p.m. (10:20 p.m. ET Sunday).

As Team USA’s only pairs team in PyeongChang, the Knierims skated both pairs programs in the team event. The Shibutanis are also skating both programs, having finished second in Sunday’s short dance. Also on Sunday, Bradie Tennell finished fifth in the women’s short program. Nathan Chen skated the men’s short program on Friday, finishing fourth.

In the team event, countries compete in all four disciplines: men’s, women’s, pairs and ice dance. They’re scored as they normally are in competition, but an athlete’s placement earns points for his or her country. A first-place finish gets 10 points, second gets nine, etc. Five countries advance to the free skates.

U.S. Figure Skating selects the team participants based on an internal set of rankings and input from team officials. Countries are allowed two substitutions, which the U.S. used in the men’s and women’s events.

Laurence Heinen is a freelance journalist based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.

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Mirai Nagasu

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Maia Shibutani

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