Sports

Nathan Chen, Knierims in second place after Team Canada

Nathan Chen, Knierims in second place after Team Canada

Canada jumped into first place in the figure skating team event at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, following a strong performance in the pairs short program from Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford.

The three-time world champion rose at 5 a.m., grabbed a coffee on the way to the bus for a 7 a.m. practice. Then it was back to the athletes village for some oatmeal, and a short rest before hopping the bus back to the Gangneung Ice Arena for a 10 a.m. competition.

And it put the United States well behind where it hoped to be (and likely needed to be) if it is to equal or improve on the bronze it claimed in the inaugural Olympic team event at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. But he wasn't the only one.

"I just wasn't thinking about the right thing technically".

OFSC Coach Annacaye Clark says, "They get so inspired watching the Olympians out there doing what they love to do and they want to come here and they want to try it". "But we're not in control of that". Alexei Bychenko of Israel sits second with 88.49.

Chen made an uncharacteristic fall on his triple axel after doubling his quad toeloop, although he hung on to land his opening quad flip but went on to double his quad toeloop and make an uncharacteristic fall on his triple Axel, earning him 80.61 points and leaving him in fourth.

Duhamel and Radford scored 76.57 points in their program to finish behind Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov, whose season-best 80.92 points dazzled a crowd full of Russian fans. Germany's Aljona Savchenko and Bruno Massot came next with 75.36.

In a ideal world, the United States would medal in all four individual disciplines as well as the team event.

The U.S. team was second, followed closely by Japan and the Olympic Athletes of Russian Federation. The competition concludes Monday (Sunday, 8 p.m. ET) with the free skates in men's women's and dance.

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Virtue, of London, Ont., took the first turn with the Maple Leaf before passing it to Moir, of Ilderton, Ont., halfway through their tour of the venue.

Russian Federation won gold in Sochi with 75 points.

Meanwhile, Kingsbury is off to a promising start in men's moguls. Her sister Chloe, who won silver four years ago, was 13th in qualifying. The dance and ladies short programs are Sunday, when the field is trimmed to five nations. Blouin was taken to hospital for further evaluation as a precaution.

Make sure you keep an eye out for sibling team Matt and Becca Hamilton from Wisconsin.

Curling is a staple at the Winter Olympics, but this is the first time mixed doubles curling will be played during Olympic competition. I apologize to Team USA.

Another 168 Russians have been invited as "Olympic Athletes from Russia", competing in neutral uniforms under the Olympic flag.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wished Canada's athletes good luck in a statement released Friday and said the team's diverse makeup is a reflection of the country.

The efforts of the two-time world champs, plus a third-place skate from Patrick Chan in the men's short program, gave Canada 17 points in the overall standings. They will compete together during the mixed doubles tournament.


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