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1/5 Madison Chock and Evan Bates of the USA during Ice Dancing competition in the...


Madison Chock and Evan Bates of the USA during Ice Dancing competition in the Capital Indoor Stadium at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics on Monday. Photo by Richard Ellis/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 6 (UPI) — Team USA clinched the silver medal in the figure skating team event at the Beijing Olympic Games on strong performances from ice dancing pair Madison Chock and Bates Evan on Monday, though the Russians ran away with the gold on spectacular skating from 15-year-old Kamila Valieva.
Valieva, who had finished first in Sunday’s short program by a resounding 15 points ahead of second-place finisher Wakaba Higuchi of Japan, put up an impressive 178.92 on the board during Monday’s final free skate event, which put her 30 points ahead of Higuchi who again finished in second.

In doing so, Valieva became the first women to a quad jump in Olympic competition.
The United States Karen Chen, who finished fifth in the short skate, improved to a fourth place finish during her Monday’s program, which kept the United States in silver medal place.

The eight-segment event consisting of a short program and a free skate in the four skating disciplines is scored based on the team’s ranking with skaters who finish first in any event earning 10 points for their country with second taking 9 and so forth.
The Russian Olympic Committee took the top of the podium on Monday with 74 points followed by the United States with 65, which was good enough for silver. Japan with 63 points earned bronze.

The Russians had all but secured a gold-medal finish even before Valieva took to the ice for her team’s final skate as they had scored no worse than a third-place finish in any of the eight events, which it only did once during the men’s single skate short program on Friday.

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The Americans had originally lead the score card following Day 1 of the competition on strong skating by Nathan Chen who finished first in the men’s short program, but they were eventually over taken by the Russians who did not look back following Valieva’s skate on Sunday.
However, Team USA was able to hold Japan back from overtaking them on Monday with Madison and Bates winning their free dance segment by less than point over ROC’s Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov.
“We’re celebrating silver,” Bates said, according to USA Today. “Winning a silver medal at the Olympic Games is an incredible achievement, and the fact that we all get a silver medal, the whole team — I’m so happy. I’m so happy.”

Kamila Valieva performs a spin during the Women’s Single Figure Skating Short Program competition in the Capital Indoor Stadium at the Beijing Winter Olympics on February 6, 2022. Photo by Richard Ellis/UPI | License Photo


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