Mirai Nagasu of Arcadia will make her 2018 OIympic debut Sunday, skating the ladies free skate portion of the figure skating team event.
Image by David W. Carmichael – http://davecskatingphoto.com/photos_2010_teb_ladies.html
The U.S. is in third with 36 points, one more than fourth-place Italy. Canada leads with 45 points. Olympic Athletes from Russia is second with 39.
“The U.S. has an awesome opportunity in this team event to take silver or bronze,” NBC analyst Johnny Weir said during Saturday’s broadcast. “I think Canada has set themselves in a different league, but the U.S. is fighting real hard.”
The team event consists of men’s and ladies singles, pairs and ice dancing. Teams are allowed to make two changes to their lineups from the short programs or dance to free skate or free dance.
Points are based on the finish in each event. A first-place finish is worth 10 points, with each place further down worth one less.
Bradie Tennell was fifth in the ladies short program for six points in her Olympic debut Saturday.
Sunday’s competition in the team event in Gangneung, South Korea will begin at 5 p.m. (California time) with the men’s free skate with Adam Rippon, who trains at The Rinks Lakewood Ice in Lakewood, skating the men’s free skate for the U.S. in his Olympic debut.
The ladies free skate will be next, set to start at 6:10 p.m. The team event will conclude with the free dance, with the brother-and-sister duo of Maia and Alex Shibutani skating for the U.S. It is set to start at 7:20 p.m.
The team event will be carried live by NBC.
Nagasu was fourth in ladies singles in the 2010 Winter Olympics. She was not among the three U.S. skaters chosen to compete in ladies singles in the 2014 Winter Olympics despite finishing third at the national championship.
The 24-year-old Nagasu is the first U.S. woman figure skater to return to the Olympics after missing an edition.
Nagasu was chosen for a spot on the Olympic team by a U.S. Figure Skating committee based on her performance in a series of events, including a second-place finish in last month’s U.S. Figure Skating Championships.