Winter Olympics Figure Skating 2018: Top Stars, USA Schedule and Live Stream
The 2018 Winter Olympics continues to chug along, with figure skating remaining a prominent staple on the schedule over the next week.
A total of six figure skating events will take place over the next seven days, including four medal events. The women’s free skate has the main-event slot on Feb. 23, but there is no shortage of competition to focus on until that date.
Here is a look at the remaining figure-skating schedule from Pyeongchang, South Korea, how to watch the events and who to watch go for gold.
2018 Olympics Figure Skating Schedule (Start Times ET)
Thursday, Feb. 15: Men’s Singles Short Program (8 p.m.)
Friday, Feb. 16: Men’s Singles Free Skating (8 p.m.)
Sunday, Feb. 18: Ice Dance Short Program (8 p.m.)
Monday, Feb. 19: Ice Dance Free Dance (8 p.m.)
Tuesday, Feb. 20: Women’s Singles Short Program (8 p.m.)
Wednesday, Feb. 21: Women’s Singles Free Skate (8 p.m.)
All events can be streamed on NBCOlympics.com
Men’s Singles Star to Watch: Yuzuru Hanyu (Japan)
Even under normal circumstances, Yuzuru Hanyu would be the top star to watch in the men’s singles figure skating, because he’s the reigning gold-medal winner.
These are not normal circumstances for Hanyu, who is making his first appearance in a competitive event since November. He suffered ligament damage in his right ankle after an awkward landing during practice leading up to the NHK Trophy event.
Brian Orser, Hanyu‘s coach, offered a brief update on Hanyu‘s ankle before the Olympics began.
"He’s back jumping and…the whole past week was really good," Orser told reporters on Feb. 5. "Every day he was getting stronger and stronger. He’s training without pain and being cautious and smart."
Hanyu was on a roll prior to suffering his ankle injury. The 23-year-old won gold at the 2017 World Championships last April and seemed like a safe bet to get back on the podium at the Olympics.
Now, though, Hanyu is going to be testing himself for the first time on the biggest stage the sport has to offer. Being able to successfully land his first jump will go a long way toward telling viewers how healthy and ready for this moment he is.
Ice Dance Pair to Watch: Guillaume Cizeron and Gabriella Papadakis (France)
The French duo of Guillaume Cizeron and Gabriella Papadakis have already set the bar high for themselves after setting an ice dance world record with 203.16 points at the European Figure Skating Championships last month.
Cizeron and Papadakis are ranked No. 1 in the International Skating Union standings. They are chasing their first-ever Olympic medal in the ice dancing competition.
Despite their success in high-profile competitions thus far, Cizeron and Papadakis are focused on how to sustain that momentum into the Olympics.
"We don’t think about records," Papadakis told ISU.org’s Tatjana Flade. "We want to better ourselves, to improve and improve as much as we can before the Olympic Games. This is our goal. If we can beat records each time on the way, people talk about them as world records, but for us it just means that we have improved and that is what is important for us."
They are also looking to end France’s 16-year Olympic medal drought in this event. Marina Anissina and Gwendal Peizerat won gold at the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City.
Women’s Singles Star to Watch: Evgenia Medvedeva (Olympic Athletes from Russia)
Evgenia Medvedeva already had her breakout moment at the 2018 Olympics when she set a world-record score of 81.06 in the women’s short program as part of the team event, helping the Russian team earn a silver medal.
She entered the Olympics in a position similar to what Hanyu is preparing for. The 18-year-old had to miss the Grand Prix final in December with a cracked metatarsal in her right foot.
It’s safe to say Medvedeva had no problem getting back into the swing of things on the Olympic stage. The pressure is on her now to follow it up with another spectacular routine, both in the short program and free skate, to walk away from her first Olympics with a gold medal.
Coming off that broken bone in her foot last month, Medvedeva settled for a silver medal with a score of 232.86 at the European Figure Skating Championships. Her compatriot Alina Zagitova came away with the gold on that day and will attempt to do it again in Pyeongchang.
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February 15, 2018 at 04:36AM