For the first time in history, Team Figure Skating made its debut at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics in Russia. Despite the fact American Ice Dancing partners Meryl Davis and Charlie White received the highest ice dancing score in history, Russia skated away with the gold, leaving America to bring home the Bronze medal.
Traditionally heavy favorites in ice skating competitions, Russia failed to bring home gold in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. It had been since 1960 that either Russia or the Soviet Union had failed to bring home gold in the Figure Skating competition. Since 2010 no expense has been spared for the athletes of Russia in hopes they would not be embarrassed again, especially on their home turf. It has cost Russia an estimated $51 million to bring the 2014 Winter Olympics to Sochi.
The eyes of Russian President Vladimir V. Putin were solely on the Russian skaters at Iceberg Skating Palace on Sunday. Putin was not seen on the slopes or at any other competitions that day. President Putin greeted the Russian Figure Skating Team, and even hugged mega skating star Evgeni Plushenko after the team gold was announced. The Gold medal was practically in hand for Russia after 15-year old skating sensation Yulia Lipnitskaia and veteran skater Plushenko each captured the individual free skate for the team competition. The Russian Figure Skating Team nabbed Russia its first gold medal of the 2014 Sochi games.
Americans can also hold their heads high as they added to the United States (US) Winter Olympics medal count by bringing home a Bronze medal in the team Figure Skating competition. Not to be overshadowed by the Russian win, American ice dancing partners Meryl Davis and Charlie White made history in Sochi. Davis and White, who have been skating together since 1997, received the highest score ever in pairs ice dancing competition. Even though Russia had clinched the gold medal, Davis and White skated a virtually flawless performance.
On hand for the historic performance were the mothers of both Davis and White, who reportedly go everywhere with the dynamic duo. This may be in part because the two were introduced by their mothers and have been partners since. This is not their first time in the Olympic arena, Davis and White received the Silver medal in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. First place went to the Canadian ice dancing pair Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir. The four have much more in common than going for Gold in 2014. Davis and White and Virtue and Moir are all coached by the same woman, Marina Zoueva. They also share the training rink at the Arctic Edge in Canton Michigan. Coach Zoueva was spotted several times making a wardrobe change from a team Canada jacket to a team USA jacket.
With the first ever Winter Olympic team Figure Skating competition behind them, Davis and White can now concentrate on their individual pair ice dancing performance. Since the two have now made history twice in Sochi, once for receiving the highest score and once for their Bronze performance in the first team competition ever, the medal favorites hope to make history for a third time and bring home the Gold in the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
By Shannon Malone