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Winter Olympics: Figure Skating

Nathan+Chen+posted+this+on+his+Instagram.+Everyone+that+competed+in+the+Team+Event+for+the+United+States+received+a+bronze+medal.
Nathan Chen posted this on his Instagram. Everyone that competed in the Team Event for the United States received a bronze medal.

Nathan Chen posted this on his Instagram. Everyone that competed in the Team Event for the United States received a bronze medal.

Photo Credit: Nathan Chen (@nathanwchen on Instagram)

Photo Credit: Nathan Chen (@nathanwchen on Instagram)

Nathan Chen posted this on his Instagram. Everyone that competed in the Team Event for the United States received a bronze medal.

Kareena Keswani, Staff Writer

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The 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea are just getting started, and the competition is heating up in Figure Skating. The United States’ athletes earned our country a bronze medal in the Team Event, with Canada winning gold and the Olympic Athletes from Russia* winning a silver.

The main person who contributed to the medal was Mirai Nagasu. She was the first American woman to land a triple axel and the third woman overall to complete it. The 24-year-old came back from her Olympic break after she did not compete in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, along with Adam Rippon.

Rippon is the first openly gay American Olympic skater, and he made his debut at this Olympics. Two other skaters that were placed ahead of him fell, but Rippon did not fall at all. “He did a great job, did not fall once, and had a very clean skate unlike the other competitors,” Freshman Emily Racz said. Many people believe the judging was biased, and Rippon joked on Twitter that they should be on the panel rather than the current judges.

Nathan Chen was placed fourth in the Men’s Short Program after he took a fall. He earned Team USA seven out of the ten possible points he could have earned, which is still phenomenal for an 18-year-old. He is the only Olympic skater competing with five different types of quadruple jumps, and he fell on the triple axel. A quad jump is a jump where a skater spins at least four times, but no more than five, in the air.

Maia and Alex Shibutani have a great following on social media, which people think contributed to their big score. “The Shibutani siblings have a large social media following, and I do believe that it does have an influence on some viewers’ opinions,” Junior Mikayla Thomas said. They have a YouTube channel, where they document their crazy lifestyle and gives fans an exclusive behind-the-scenes view of the Olympics. They were definitely favorites to win the medal for Team USA.

Other favorites were married couple Alexa and Chris Knierim. They have endured a lot to be at the Olympics, like knee surgery and severe stomach issues. “They are adorable together and they have been hospitalized through the last few seasons, so to see them rising up from that made a lot of people feel good,” Freshman Kakalina Dervaes said.

More Figure Skating events are to come, which means more opportunities for Team USA to win the gold.

*Russian officials were not invited to the Olympics because some of their athletes were accused of taking performance-enhancing drugs. The athletes that could prove they were clean were invited to the Games.

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Winter Olympics: Figure Skating