What to Know – NBC Chicago

Team USA comes top of Saturday’s figure skating team competitions after stunning performances from the team’s biggest stars, but can they hold their own?

Saturday’s events will feature two more competitions before the final team competitions culminate in the first figure skating medal in Beijing on Sunday.

Here’s how you can watch all the figure skating action this weekend and across the rest of the Games.

What is the program for figure skating at the 2022 Winter Olympics?

The figure skating started on February 3 and will continue until February 19. The first week of programming will consist entirely of team events, while the second week will feature individual competitions. One of the final events of the Winter Olympics will be the Exhibition Gala, where fans can enjoy more personality-focused performances featuring some of the Games’ most popular skaters.

Below is the full event and streaming information for each day of figure skating competition.

NBC 2022 Winter Olympics Figure Skating Coverage Schedule*

Date/Time (ET)

Event

TV/Streaming

game | February 3 | 8:55 p.m.

Team Event – SP Men and Pairs, Rhythm Dance

BNC | peacock, NBCOlympics.com

Sat | February 5 | 8:30 p.m.

🏅 Team Event – Women’s SP, FS Pairs

BNC | peacock, NBCOlympics.com

Sun | February 6 | 8:15 p.m.

🏅 Team Event – M/F FS, Free Dance

BNC | peacock, NBCOlympics.com

Mon | February 7 | 8:15 p.m.

Men’s Singles Short Program

NBC, United States | peacock, NBCOlympics.com

Sea | February 9 | 8:30 p.m.

🏅 Men’s Singles Free Skating

NBC, United States | peacock, NBCOlympics.com

Sat | February 12 | 6:00 am

Ice Dance Rhythm Dance

United States | peacock, NBCOlympics.com

Sun | February 13 | 8:15 p.m.

🏅 Ice Dance Free Dance

United States | peacock, NBCOlympics.com

Tue | February 15 | 5:00 a.m.

Ladies’ Singles Short Program

United States | peacock, NBCOlympics.com

game | February 17 | 5:00 a.m.

🏅 Women’s Singles Free Skating

United States | peacock, NBCOlympics.com

Fri | February 18 | 5:30

Short program in pairs

United States | peacock, NBCOlympics.com

Sat | February 19 | 6:00 am

🏅 Couples Free Skating

BNC | peacock, NBCOlympics.com

Sat | February 19 | 11:00 p.m.

Exhibition gala

BNC | peacock, NBCOlympics.com

* TV channels reflect live events, times may differ for reruns; see the full schedule for detailed information.

Who will compete next for Team USA?

There is one portion left in the first half of the team event: the women’s short program. Ten women from 10 of the best figure skating countries in the world compete at 7:30 p.m. CT on Saturday. Watch live on NBC, peacock Where NBCOlympics.com.

After that, the field is halved and the last five nations are excluded from the team event (their final result being their ranking at that time).

Then the remaining five countries must name their men’s entry in the free skate and this segment begins one hour after the end of the women’s short program.

Meanwhile, women competing in the free skate don’t have to submit until Sunday morning US time. The last day of the team event is Sunday night (USA) with the pairs free skate, ice dance free dance and women’s free skate.

The women named to the short program are as follows (listed in starting order)…

China: Zhu Yi

Ukraine: Anastasia Shabotova

Czech Republic: Eliska Brezinova

Georgia: Anastasia Gubanova

Italy: Lara Gutman

Canada: Madeleine Schizas

Germany: Nicole Schott

Japan: Wakaba Higuchi

United States: Karen Chen

ROC: Kamila Valieva

Who faces elimination on Saturday?

Before the women’s short, Canada is sixth (16, two points behind Italy), Georgia seventh (15), the Czech Republic eighth (12), Ukraine ninth (4) and Germany 10th ( 3). Germany and Ukraine are short of an entry in the team event due to positive COVID tests.

Who has already dominated the sport at the Winter Games?

The history of Olympic figure skating is so iconic that it predates the Winter Games themselves. Originally contested at the London Olympics in 1908, it has been a staple of the Winter Olympics since the first Games in 1924.

The United States led figure skating with 51 medals, followed by Russia, Austria and Canada, all of which have 20 or more medals. In PyeongChang, Canada led the way with four medals – two gold and two bronze – paving the way for a competitive field in 2022.

The Americans are hedging their bets on Nathan Chen, 22, of Salt Lake City. Chen, known for his very difficult jump attempts, entered PyeongChang with high hopes but eventually struggled on the ice, coming away with a fifth-place finish in the individual event. Since then, Chen has emerged as the overwhelming favorite and the best chance for the United States to win an individual medal.

In the team events, Team USA got off to a strong start as Chen clocked a personal best 111.71 in the men’s short program, just 0.11 off the world record.

Illinois skater Alexa Knierim also made her Beijing debut as she and new partner Brandon Frazier scored a personal best, placing them third in the pairs short program for Team USA.

Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue came in first for the rhythm dance team event with their performance, leaving Team USA in the lead for the team events with more to come.

Who are the favorites for the gold medal in figure skating?

The Beijing Olympics are dubbed American Nathan Chen’s redemption tour. In PyeongChang, the then 18-year-old put up a strong performance in the team event but struggled in the individual event, eventually dropping back to fifth after slipping to 17th. Eventually, his Olympic experience was cut short after he contracted the flu.

Since 2018, Chen has established himself as the overwhelming favorite and the best chance for the United States to return to the podium in the men’s individual competition. Evan Lysacek’s gold medal in 2010 was the last individual medal for an American in figure skating.

In the women’s competition, Russian women historically dominate the individual event and could easily take the podiums. Meanwhile, China has more gold medals in the pairs competition than any other country. However, Chinese duo Sui Wenjing and Han Cong will have their work cut out with France, the United States and the Russian Olympic Committee all expected to enter competitive pairings.

Who is on the USA Figure Skating Team?

The US roster was finalized in mid-January after the nationals, with sixteen athletes making the cut for Beijing.

This list includes a wide range of experiences, with seven athletes making their Olympic debuts. At one end is 16-year-old Alysa Liu, the youngest member of Team USA’s figure skating delegation. On the other side, five athletes over 30, crowned by Evan Bates, 33, who is making his fourth Olympic appearance.

They are all supposed to compete in a single event, with some being selected for the team event at the mid-Olympiad.

The full list of American figure skaters is as follows:

  • Jean-Luc Baker (ice dancing)
  • Evan Bates (ice dancing)
  • Mariah Bell (ladies’ singles)
  • Jason Brown (men’s singles)
  • Ashley Cain-Gribble (Pairs)
  • Karen Chen (ladies’ singles)
  • Nathan Chen (men’s singles)
  • Zachary Donohue (ice dancing)
  • Brandon Frazier (Pairs)
  • Kaitlin Hawayek (ice dancing)
  • Madison Hubbell (ice dancing)
  • Alexa Knierim (Pairs)
  • Timothee LeDuc (pairs)
  • Alysa Liu (ladies’ singles)
  • Vincent Zhou (Men’s Singles)
  • Madison Chock (ice dancing)

How do athletes qualify to represent the United States in figure skating?

Unlike many other Olympic sports, figure skating does not have a unique Olympic Trials in the United States. All selections are instead made on a discretionary basis, with priority given to the US Figure Skating Championships in early January. The coaching staff evaluated athletes based on their performances at several competitions in the year leading up to the Olympics.

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