Figure Skating - Winter Olympics Day 4

Russian pair wow a nation, set new world record in short

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Russians Tatyana Volosozhar and Maksim Trankov squared off against German rivals Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy in the figure skating pairs short program at the Sochi Olympics Monday evening in the Iceberg Skating Palace.

Savchenko/Szolkowy skated in the fourth group to a selection from “Pink Panther,” coordinating their outfits to match the music. Their score of put pressure on the Russians, who were skating the fifth group. Volosozhar/Trankov answered promptly, delivering a lights-out program that earned a world-record score and standing ovation from the audience.

WATCH: Russians impressive in short program

U.S. skaters Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir, who skated both the short and free programs for the inaugural team event, scored a personal best 67.44. After two groups finished they were in second place, but soon were knocked out by Volosozhar/Trankov and Savchenko/Szolkowy.

Felicia Zhang and Nathan Bartholomay, who made their Olympic debut for Team USA at the pairs short program, scored highly enough to land them in third, but were also bumped as the evening progressed.

Notable names rounding out the qualifications to the free skate program are teams from China, Germany, Russia, Canada, and France.

President Obama to female Olympians: ‘Y’all crushed it’ (video)

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President Barack Obama hosted the 2016 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams at the White House on Thursday.

Obama opened his speech by saying that he had planned on doing a floor routine with Simone Biles, before ultimately deciding that the room was too crowded. First Lady Michelle Obama interjected to remind the crowd that her husband “can’t touch his toes.”

The President then singled out the athletic accomplishments of Olympians including Biles, Michelle Carter, Simone Manuel, Claressa Shields, Kristin Armstrong, Kim Rhode, Allyson Felix, Brianna Rollins, Nia Ali, Kristi Castlin, Katie Ledecky, Michael Phelps and the men’s and women’s basketball teams.

He also recognized: Ibtihaj Muhammad, the first American to compete in the Olympics wearing a hijab, Sam Kendricks, the U.S. Army reservist who put down his pole and stood at attention when the national anthem started playing, Will Claye, who proposed to U.S. hurdler Queen Harrison after winning an Olympic silver medal, and Abbey D’Agostino, who helped an opponent to her feet after a crash.

“That is exactly what the Olympic spirit and the American spirit should be all about,” Obama said about the sportsmanship of D’Agostino.

The President was particularly enthusiastic about the performance of the female athletes.

“2016 belonged to America’s women Olympians,” Obama said. “Y’all crushed it.”

Watch Obama’s full speech here.

After Obama’s speech, Biles presented him with a surfboard autographed by the Olympians in attendance.

“I’m going to have a lot of time to surf next year,” Obama said.

MORE: Photos of Team USA at the White House

Photos: Team USA at the White House

Twitter: @TeamUSA
Twitter: @TeamUSA
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President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama hosted the 2016 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams at the White House on Thursday.

Below are some of the best photos of Team USA from inside the White House: