Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Olympic Countdown: 1 day!

Only one day until the start of the Sochi games! Thursday night will feature the brand new team figure skating competition. I'm really interested to see how this turns out, and which skaters each country will pick to compete in this event.

So, this is the last installment of Gail's completely biased and non-expert opinions on the US figure skating team. Today's topic: ice dance!

Ice Dance...

Meryl Davis and Charlie White
Used under a Creative Commons license;
attributed to Ludwig Welnicki
First up: Meryl Davis and Charlie White. If you watched the 2010 ice dance competition, you might remember the rivalry for gold between Davis and White, and their training mates, Canadians Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir. Well, buckle up, because it's happening again! Both teams are considered the top contenders for gold in Sochi. But this time around, David and White, who were the 2010 silver medalists, have a slight edge. Not only did they win the Grand Prix Final in December (as they did in 2010, and, well, every year since 2009), they're also the reigning World champions. But that slight edge is definitely slight, as both teams are really equal in the quality of their skating. It also means that neither team can make the tiniest mistake in either the short dance or the free dance. This should be a very exciting competition to watch!

In somewhat unrelated but sweet news, Charlie White has been dating former Olympian ice dancer Tanith Belbin since 2010...awwww! More awwww to watch for: adorable clips of Davis and White skating together as little kids. Awww....  Also, Charlie has really great hair, don't you think?

Madison Chock & Evan Bates
Used under a Creative Commons
license; attributed to Luu

Madison Chock and Evan Bates won silver at Nationals and a spot on the Olympic team. These two have skated together since 2011. That's not very long, but they both had some success with previous partners. (Bates skated with Emily Samuelson at the 2010 Olympics.) And if anyone ever says that ice dancing isn't tough, you can tell them that Bates once ended up with a completely lacerated Achilles tendon after a lift went wrong. Ouch! Chock and Bates placed third at both of their Grand Prix competition assignments this past fall, and are definitely a team to watch.

Maia Shibutani &
Alex Shibutani
Used under a Creative Commons
license; attributed to
David W. Carmichael 

Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani are siblings who captured bronze at Nationals and are now headed to the Olympics. They train with Davis and White, and Virtue and Moir, in Michigan. They've been skating on the senior level since 2010, and have gathered quite a bit of international experience. This past fall, they won bronze at both of their Grand Prix competitions. These two are great skaters and a lot of fun to watch.

Did you miss some of my Olympic Countdown? Here are my opinions on the US ladies' team, the men's team, and the pairs' team.


  1. You're quite the ice skating expert, Gail. Have you been invited to the Olympics as a commentator? You should be--where's the ballot! :)

    1. ha! Thanks, Karen. Don't know that they'd want me to be a commentator. I'd be all, "Look at his cute hair!" heehee.