Sochi recap: Team figure skating, pairs long program

Russia and Canada will be dueling to the wire in this event, while the USA is still in great shape for bronze.

Date: 8- Feb

Sport: Figure skating

Event: Team event, pairs free skate

How U.S. fared: Give Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir this — they went for it. Shnapir threw, and Castelli twisted four times. And maybe a little more, causing her to lose control and put a hand on the ice. That brief bobble was no worry, but Castelli also fell on a triple jump. Still, the dazzling complexity of the program was enough to give them a season-high 117.94 points. That helped the USA add a point to its edge over Japan and almost put another point over Italy.

What happened: This is Japan’s weak spot, and they led off with a fairly mundane program. Then came Castelli and Shnapir, whose athleticism was astounding. Italy’s Stefania Berton and Ondrej Hotarek also had a couple of slips, but their 120.82 was enough to get the edge over the Americans.

Canada and Russia switched away from their top pairs, who did the short programs here and are expected to be on the podium in the pairs event down the road. But Canada’s Kirsten Moore-Towers and Dylan Moscovitch took care of business, with only a minor bobble on their way to leading through four pairs. Russia’s Ksenia Stolbova and Fedor Klimov, skating to Marc Shaiman’s Addams Family soundtrack, botched an early combination jump but were otherwise as solid as you’d expect from a country with such depth in this event. The judges put them in front.

So heading into the last day: Russia 47, Canada 41, USA 34, Italy 31, Japan 30

Quote: “She had that intensity and that fire in her, and we just took it we embraced it and used it in our performance as well.” – Marissa Castelli

Full results: Pairs | Standings

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Beau Dure

The guy who wrote a bunch of soccer books and now runs a Gen X-themed podcast while substitute teaching and continuing to write freelance stuff.

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