Ashley Wagner

Report: Ten kiss-and-cry areas for Olympic figure skating team event

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The new Olympic figure skating team event must make room to accommodate 10 nations’ worth of skaters watching their teammates compete.

With that in mind, there will be 10 kiss-and-cry areas at the Iceberg Skating Palace in Sochi, according to the Wall Street Journal.

“While ice rinks usually have only one area for ‘kiss-and-cry’ — the spangled histrionics that help make figure skating such great television — the Iceberg will have ’10 kiss-and-cry zones, one for each finalist team.'”

Ten nations will qualify for the figure skating team event. The medal contenders are thought to be the U.S., Canada, Japan and Russia.

The team event will begin the night before the Opening Ceremony with the pairs short program and the men’s short program. It will continue two nights later with the short dance, women’s short program and the pairs free skate.

That’s where it gets a little more complicated. The field will be narrowed from 10 to five after the short programs.

So, there will be 10 short dances and 10 women’s short programs, followed by a cut down to the top five teams, and then five pairs free skates on that Saturday night. (and, one could surmise, from 10 kiss-and-cry areas to five kiss-and-cry areas)

The team competition will conclude the next night, Sunday, Feb. 9, with the men’s free skate, free dance and women’s free skate.

Opinions mixed on figure skating team event

Diggins, Randall win historic gold medal for U.S. in cross-country

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The long, long wait is over.

Team USA ended their 42-year Olympic medal drought in cross-country skiing Wednesday and they made American cross-country history in the process.

Jessie Diggins and Kikkan Randall became the first American cross-country skiers to capture a gold medal by winning the women’s team sprint at the Alpensia Cross-Country Centre in PyeongChang, South Korea. Sweden captured silver and Norway took home bronze.

Diggins and Randall are the first American women to win an Olympic medal and join Bill Koch as the only American cross-country skiers to earn an Olympic medal.

The Americans advanced to the finals courtesy of their first place finish in the semifinals, beating Sweden and OAR in the process.

Diggins out-sprinted both the gold and silver medalists of the individual sprint (Stina Nilsson and Maiken Falla, respectively) in the final stretch to take the gold.

Results

Gold: Kikkan Randall and Jessie Diggins (USA)

Silver: Charlotte Kalla and Stina Nilsson (SWE)

Bronze: Marit Bjoergen and Maiken Falla (NOR)

Click here for a full recap of Team USA’s historic run

Czech Republic advance to medal round with shootout win vs. United States

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Petr Loukal scored the lone shootout goal as the Czech Republic defeated the United States and advance to the medal round.

Jan Kolar and Tomas Kundratek scored in regulation, while Pavel Francouz made 18 saves and stopped all five shootout attempts.

Ryan Donato scored his tournament-leading fifth goal, and Jim Slater added a shorthanded goal as the Olympics come to an end for the United States.