Meet Team USA: Figure skating

Meet Team USA: Figure skating

Nathan Chen, Ashley Wagner, Gracie Gold, and Maia and Alex Shibutani

The U.S. Figure Skating Team in PyeongChang will have its fewest entries since the first Winter Olympics in 1924, with 14 athletes.

The 2017 World Championships determined how many berths the U.S. would earn at the Olympics. In order to secure the maximum three entries per discipline, the best two results had to add up to no more than 13. For example, Karen Chen finished fourth and Ashley Wagner finished seventh in the ladies event, adding up to 11, and earning three berths for the U.S. in the ladies event in PyeongChang.

It’s important to remember that just because Chen and Wagner secured the spots, it doesn’t mean the spots are theirs for the Olympics. Skaters are chosen by selection committee after the conclusion of the 2018 National Championships in San Jose, Calif. in January.

Ladies event

The U.S. will have three ladies spots to fill for the field in PyeongChang for the first time since 2006 due to Chen’s and Wagner’s combined finishes at 2017 Worlds. In 2010 and 2014, the U.S. only sent two ladies to the Olympics.

Men’s event

The U.S. will have three men’s spots in the 2018 Olympic field, again for the first time since 2006. Nathan Chen and Jason Brown finished sixth and seventh, respectively, adding up to the magic number 13. In 2010 and 2014, the U.S. only sent two men to the Olympics.

Pairs event

Only one pairs team will represent the U.S. PyeongChang, based on the results of Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Chris Knierim’s 10th place finish at worlds. Normally, a top 10 worlds finish would secure two Olympic berths; however, in 2017, the teams that finished ahead of the Knierims maxed out the allotted berths, leaving only one for the U.S. to claim. The U.S. has had at least two pairs in every Winter Olympics, except for the first Games in 1924.

Ice dance event

For the fourth consecutive Games, the U.S. will send three ice dance couples to the Olympic stage. All three world championships ice dance teams from the U.S. finished inside the top 10 in 2017, but it was Maia and Alex Shibutani’s bronze medal combined with Madison Chock and Evan Bates’ seventh place finish that sealed the deal. Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue finished ninth.

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