Russia leads the U.S. going into the final day of the figure skating team event.
When the figure skating team event resumes on Monday for its third and final day, the Russian Olympic Committee should be prepared to celebrate. It is in first place and favored to win, thanks in part to Kamila Valieva, the 15-year-old star who nearly set a world record for points in the women’s short program on Sunday. She won by more than 15 points, skating’s equivalent of a mile.
The Russian athletes passed the Americans in the standings to take over the top spot. The United States, now in second, is guaranteed a medal, with the pairs free skate, free dance and women’s free skate remaining. Japan is in third place.
The U.S. team will try to redeem itself after two disappointing showings on Sunday, including one from Karen Chen, who finished a surprise fifth in the short program after falling on a triple jump. Vincent Zhou also had a bad day, finishing third in the free skate after popping a planned quadruple jump and rotating only once instead of four times. Chen and Zhou, both two-time Olympians, said nerves played a part in their subpar performances.
The United States has won the bronze medal at the past two Olympics. The skaters for Monday are Chen in the women’s free skate, Madison Chock and Evan Bates in the dance, and Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier in pairs.