Your Complete Guide to Figure Skating at the Beijing Olympics

Should you’re a determine skating fan, the Olympics are the fruits of the game’s continuously evolving abilities, its drama and the inevitable stress and controversy over the judging. The 2022 Winter Olympic Video games guarantees to ship on all cylinders, from insane jumps to rivalries and coaching mates turned rivals.

The 11 determine skating occasions promise to boost the bar on what’s potential within the sport, however as with the complete Beijing Video games, who finally ends up on the rostrum could have simply as a lot to do with who is ready to preserve COVID-19 free because it does about staying on ¾ inch blades on a slippery ice floor.
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Right here’s your full information to every determine skating occasion in Beijing.

The staff occasion: Feb. 4, 6 and seven

All of it kicks off in Beijing on the morning of Feb. 4—which is Feb. 3 for East Coast viewers—with the primary of three occasions within the staff competitors. Ten nations—Canada, China, the Czech Republic, Georgia, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia (competing as Russian Olympic Committee), Ukraine and Group USA—have certified to skate off for 3 medals. Within the staff occasion, every nation’s coaches can create no matter mixture of skaters they want to compete in eight occasions—quick and free applications for males’s, girls’s, pairs and ice dance.

Learn extra: Tips on how to Inform the Distinction Between the 6 Determine Skating Jumps You’ll See on the Olympics

The quick program in every self-discipline serves because the qualifying occasion; skaters can be scored in the identical method as within the particular person occasions, however the chief will earn 10 factors, the second-place finisher 9, and so forth down the road. Solely the 5 groups with the very best complete factors will compete within the closing with free applications in every self-discipline. The staff with essentially the most factors after the free applications will earn gold, the subsequent highest rating silver and the third-highest scoring staff will take house bronze.

Not one of the 10 certified nations is a slam dunk in all 4 occasions; the Russian staff will seemingly rating excessive within the girls’s, pairs and dance competitions, whereas the U.S. will pile on factors within the males’s and dance occasions, and Japan within the males’s and girls’s disciplines. For the skaters, the staff occasion is an efficient warm-up for the person competitors because it’s an opportunity to skate on Olympic ice and shake off any jitters.

When to look at:

  • Males’s quick program qualification, Feb. 3 at 8:55 p.m. ET
  • Ice dance rhythm dance qualification, Feb. 3 at 10:35 p.m. ET
  • Pairs quick program qualification, Feb. 4 at 12:35 a.m. ET
  • Ladies’s quick program qualification, Feb. 5 at 8:30 p.m. ET
  • Males’s free program, Feb. 5 at 10:50 p.m. ET
  • Pairs free program, Feb. 6 at 8:15 p.m. ET
  • Ice dance free program, Feb. 6 at 9:30 p.m. ET
  • Ladies’s free program, Feb. 6 at 10:35 p.m. ET

Males’s determine skating: Feb. 8 and 10

The day after the staff occasion, the lads take the ice, on Feb. 8 in Beijing (Feb. 7 for viewers within the U.S.). All eyes can be on the renewed Olympic face-off between Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu and Group USA’s Nathan Chen; Hanyu is the reigning Olympic champion and is armed with a jaw-dropping quadruple axel—technically not 4 rotations however 4.5 turns within the air—indisputably essentially the most tough leap in determine skating. Chen is searching for redemption after falling within the quick program in Pyeongchang in 2018 and ending up in 17th place earlier than rallying to skate the highest-scoring free program to finish up in fifth. He says he’s approaching this Olympics with a distinct mindset, and able to skate for his first Olympic medal.

Learn extra: 5 Issues to Know About Determine Skating Champion Yuzuru Hanyu

2019 ISU World Figure Skating Championships Saitama
Atsushi Tomura—Worldwide Skating Union by way of Getty PhotosSilver medalist Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan, gold medalist Nathan Chen of the U.S. and bronze medalist Vincent Zhou of the U.S. after the medal ceremony for the Males’s single on the 2019 ISU World Determine Skating Championships at Saitama Tremendous Enviornment on March 23, 2019 in Saitama, Japan.

However Hanyu and Chen aren’t the one rivals with an opportunity to gather {hardware}. Nipping at Hanyu’s heels are fellow Japanese skaters Shoma Uno and Yuma Kagiyama, although Hanyu has stated the quad axel is his weapon to face above the competitors. Kagiyama, simply 18 years outdated, earned silver on the 2021 world championships, behind Chen and forward of Hanyu’s bronze and has stated that skating is “indispensable in my life.”

Chen will even have a detailed rival in teammate Vincent Zhou, who’s the one skater to interrupt Chen’s successful streak for the reason that 2018 Olympics by incomes gold to Chen’s bronze at Skate America final fall. Russian contender Mikhail Kolyada received’t be competing in Beijing after testing constructive for COVID-19 weeks earlier than the Video games.

When to look at:

  • Males’s quick program, Feb. 7 at 8:15 p.m. ET
  • Males’s free program, Feb. 9 at 8:30 p.m. ET

Ice dance: Feb. 12 and 14

Following the lads’s occasion, on Feb. 12, comes the rhythm dance portion of the ice dance competitors. Every season, the Worldwide Skating Union assigns a dance theme for the rhythm dance, throughout which groups should execute abilities particular to that style of dance. This season, it’s road type, a broad class that includes every part from hip hop, krump, funk and popping to disco, swing and jazz. Groups are required to include no less than two totally different dance types of their routine, and the extra up to date music has allowed them to interpret the rhythm dance in wide-ranging methods, with music that could be extra acquainted to the viewers. Count on to see a nod to waacking and to listen to every part from Tina Turner and the Commodores to Daft Punk.

ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating - NHK Trophy
Atsushi Tomura—Worldwide Skating Union by way of Getty PhotosMadison Chock and Evan Bates of Group USA compete within the Ice Dance Rhythm Dance throughout the ISU Grand Prix of Determine Skating-NHK Trophy at Yoyogi Nationwide Gymnasium on Nov. 12, 2021 in Tokyo.

After a day of relaxation, on Feb. 14 in Beijing the ice dance groups will compete within the free dance, the place their personalities begin to emerge. The highest groups to look at are Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron from France, the reigning Olympic silver medalists, U.S. groups Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue and Madison Chock and Evan Bates, all of whom prepare collectively on the Ice Academy of Montreal. Russians Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov, who beat Papadakis and Cizeron on the European Championships within the 2019-20 season, are additionally robust contenders, together with Charlene Guignard and Marco Fabbri of Italy, who completed on the rostrum at this yr’s European Championships and are educated by Olympic medalist Barbara Fusar-Poli and Roberto Pelizzola, and Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier of Canada, the bronze medalists from final yr’s world championships.

With so many proficient groups, reigning Olympic gold medalist Scott Moir predicts “it’s going to be a massacre to get on that podium. I can’t keep in mind an ice dance Olympics the place there are going to be so many good athletes going for therefore [few] medals,” he tells TIME. “It’s all going to play out in entrance of us, and people two days are going to be extraordinarily dramatic. Buckle your seat belts, it’s going to be a wild trip.”

When to look at:

  • Rhythm dance, Feb. 12 at 6 a.m. ET
  • Free dance, Feb. 13 at 8:15 p.m. ET

Ladies’s determine skating: Feb. 15 and 17

The next day, on Feb. 15, it’s the ladies’s flip, and a extremely anticipated potential sweep of the medals by the Russian squad—headlined by nationwide and European champion Kamila Valieva, Anna Shcherbakova and Alexandra Trusova. Between the three of them, count on to see no less than half a dozen or so quadruple jumps of their free applications—they’re unlawful within the quick program for ladies.

ISU European Figure Skating Championships - Tallin
Jurij Kodrun—Worldwide Skating Union by way of Getty PhotosGold medal winner Kamila Valieva of Russia, silver medal winner Anna Scherbakova of Russia and bronze medal winner Alexandra Trusova of Russia pose with medals throughout victory ceremony after the ISU European Determine Skating Championships at Tondiraba Ice Corridor on Jan. 15 in Tallinn, Estonia.

Trusova is the primary feminine skater to land a quadruple Lutz, quadruple toe loop and quadruple flip in competitors. Teammate Valieva, from Kazan, is simply 15 years outdated and owns the very best recorded scores for each the ladies’s quick program, free skate and complete scores; she set the primary on the 2022 European Championships and final two at Rostelecom Cup in 2021, and Shcherbakova has whipped off a quadruple flip and quadruple Lutz in competitors. Beijing is prone to be a battle between these teammates, who all prepare collectively in Moscow with coach Eteri Tutzberidze, vying for the three medals within the girls’s occasion.

When to look at:

  • Brief program: Feb. 15 at 5 a.m. ET
  • Free program: Feb. 17 at 5 a.m. ET

Learn extra: Inside Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir’s Rise From Olympic Determine Skaters to Beloved Commentators

Pairs determine skating: Feb. 18 and 19

Final however actually not least is the pairs occasion, the place powerhouse Russia will seemingly earn one if not two medals if they’ll maintain off China. Anastasia Mishina and Aleksandr Galliamov, and country-mates Aleksandra Boikova and Dmitrii Kozlovskii of Russia are hoping to regain a pairs medal after Russia didn’t end on the rostrum in 2018. They’ll face robust competitors from reigning Olympic silver medalists Sui Wenjing and Han Cong from China, the hometown favorites, Wenjing and Cong are coached by Zhao Hongbo, a 2010 Olympic pairs champion. The pair set a excessive technical commonplace; their applications have included throw quadruple Salchow and quadruple twists—in each, Wenjing turns or twists within the air 4 occasions earlier than touchdown after Cong throws her into the air—so look ahead to some crowd-pleasing feats of athleticism.

ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating - Skate Canada
Matthew Stockman—Worldwide Skating Union by way of Getty PhotosSui Wenjing and Han Cong of China skate within the Pairs Free Skate throughout the ISU Grand Prix of Determine Skating-Skate Canada at Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports activities Centre on Oct. 30, 2021 in Vancouver, British Columbia.

It’s additionally enjoyable to look at pairs skaters return to Olympic ice with totally different companions. 2018 Canadian bronze medalist Eric Radford will compete with Vanessa James from France; the duo began skating collectively in 2021 after gliding round on the ice collectively and feeling an on-ice chemistry that satisfied them to accomplice competitively. James obtained permission from the French federation to skate for Canada, however their determination has already generated controversy after they pulled out of Canadian nationals in January following the quick program as a result of they felt they weren’t ready sufficient to proceed competing since each skaters had simply recovered from COVID-19 in December. Radford’s former Olympic accomplice, Meagan Duhamel, has additionally expressed disappointment on social media by Radford’s sudden determination to accomplice with James, saying she and Radford had deliberate on skating in exhibits.

From the U.S., Alexa Knierim can be again on the Olympics with a brand new accomplice, Brandon Frazier. Knierim was a part of the U.S. staff with husband Chris that earned bronze within the staff occasion in Pyeongchang in 2018, and determined to proceed skating with a brand new accomplice when Chris retired. The duo has solely been coaching since spring of 2020, and Chris joined their teaching staff that’s led by world and nationwide medalists Todd Sand and Jenni Meno. The pair was compelled to withdraw from the U.S. nationwide championships in January when Frazier examined constructive for COVID-19, however was named to the Olympic staff primarily based on their performances this season. The pair remains to be studying to refine their collaboration, with Frazier getting suggestions from Chris on making their explosive twist factor extra constant.

When to look at:

  • Brief program: Feb. 18 at 5:30 a.m. ET
  • Free program: Feb. 19 at 6 a.m. ET

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