Sochi Olympic Daily Recap & Medal Count: Day 5

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A gold medal performance from American snowboarder Kaitlyn Farrington tops today’s whip-around through the Sochi Olympics.

Farrington (pictured) eclipsed a field that featured the previous three Olympic women’s halfpipe champions to win Team USA’s third gold of these Games (all of which have come from snowboarding) by a narrow margin over the most recent title-holder, Torah Bright of Australia.

The U.S. also nabbed the bronze, as 2002 champ Kelly Clark hit the podium on the final run of the event. Unfortunately, another American snowboarder, Arielle Gold, was unable to compete today due to an injury sustained just before qualifying…

For the first time ever, two gold medals were handed out in the same Alpine skiing event. Dominique Gisin and Tina Maze posted identical times of 1:14.57 in the women’s downhill to create the Olympic first. As for Julia Mancuso of the U.S., she failed to medal in the event after winning bronze in the super combined – but more opportunities in Sochi are coming her way…

Complete recap of Team USA from Day 5

A surprise took place in the men’s 1000m speedskating event today as Shani Davis, the two-time defending Olympic champion, finished eighth and off the podium. The race went to Stefan Groothuis of the Netherlands, with Canada’s Denny Morrison taking the silver. You’ll see more about the latter two later tonight on OlympicTalk…

In figure skating, the Russian romp continued. Tatyana Volosozhar and Maksim Trankov won the gold in pairs competition, while their compatriots, Ksenia Stolbova and Fedor Klimov, earned the silver. The top American pair was Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir in ninth…

Rounding out the medal events, Germany earned two golds today from Eric Frenzel in the Nordic combined individual normal hill/10km and “The Tobis” – Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt – in doubles luge…

Men’s hockey officially got underway with a pair of games and you can go here and here for those recaps. The Canadian and American men both get started tomorrow, and have made decisions regarding goaltenders for their opening games…

Meanwhile, in women’s hockey, arch-rivals Canada and the U.S. collided in round-robin play and the Canadians held on for a 3-2 win that came with some controversy. NBCOlympics.com’s Jason Brough has a special report from that tilt

Out of competition, we did some looking back on the dramatic finale of yesterday’s men’s halfpipe final, which saw Iouri “I-Pod” Podladtchikov topple Shaun White

Erin Hamlin’s hometown celebrated her bronze in women’s luge, the first U.S. Olympic luge medal in singles competition…

The four-year anniversary of the death of Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili was observed…

The Olympics’ ice hockey venue is a show in itself

And the “Wolfpack” was at it again.

MEDAL COUNT – Feb. 12
(Country – Gold/Silver/Bronze – Total Medals)
1. Germany – 6/1/1 – 8
2. Canada – 4/4/2 – 10
3. Norway – 4/3/5 – 12
4. Netherlands – 4/2/4 – 10
5. United States – 3/1/5 – 9
6. Switzerland – 3/0/1 – 4
7. Russia – 2/4/3 – 9
8. Austria – 1/4/0 – 5
9. Slovenia – 1/1/2 – 4
10. France – 1/0/2 – 3
T-11. Belarus – 1/0/0 – 1
T-11. Korea – 1/0/0 – 1
T-11. Poland – 1/0/0 – 1
T-11. Slovakia – 1/0/0 – 1
15. Sweden – 0/3/1 – 4
T-16. Czech Republic – 0/2/1 – 3
T-16. Japan – 0/2/1 – 3
18. Italy – 0/1/1 – 2
T-19. Australia – 0/1/0 – 1
T-19. China – 0/1/0 – 1
T-19. Finland – 0/1/0 – 1
T-22. Great Britain – 0/0/1 – 1
T-22. Latvia – 0/0/1 – 1
T-22. Ukraine – 0/0/1 – 1

Isabeau Levito, 15, delivers in figure skating nationals short program as favorite

Isabeau Levito
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Isabeau Levito, the 15-year-old favorite, delivered in the U.S. Figure Skating Championships short program, taking the lead into Friday’s free skate.

Levito, third in her senior nationals debut last year, tallied 73.78 points in a clean short on Thursday in San Jose, California.

She edged the comebacking two-time U.S. champion Bradie Tennell by two hundredths of a point. Starr Andrews was third, one hundredth ahead of Amber Glenn and 1.53 points ahead of Gracie Gold.

A committee selects the three-woman team for worlds shortly after the free skate.

“I was kind of aiming for this placement,” Levito said on USA Network.

FIGURE SKATING NATIONALS: Full Scores | Broadcast Schedule

Levito, a New Jersey native who started skating at 3 and a half and has been with the same coach since age 4, developed a steely reputation as a competitor. That mixes with her artistic comparisons to 2006 Olympic silver medalist Sasha Cohen and her inspiration, Johnny Weir. She hasn’t missed a podium at a competition she has completed at any level since November 2016.

It’s seemed like Levito has been destined to be the leading U.S. woman in the 2026 Olympic cycle, leading up to the Winter Games in her mom’s hometown of Milan. She was too young for last year’s Olympics, but would have just missed the team had she been age-eligible.

None of the three 2022 U.S. Olympians are competing this season — Alysa Liu and Mariah Bell retired; Karen Chen is studying at Cornell — paving the way for Levito to ascend.

That she did, winning April’s junior worlds to become the first U.S. woman to win a global title — junior or senior — since 2008.

Then this past fall, Levito placed second in her first two senior Grand Prix starts, then placed a surprising second at December’s Grand Prix Final, which gathered the world’s top six women from across the series.

Granted, the Final was her lowest point total of her five international events this season. All six skaters had multiple jumping errors in the free skate.

Levito ranks fifth in the world by best total score this season, fourth among seniors and a whopping 18.13 points better than the No. 2 American. Note the absence of Russia, which has dominated women’s skating for the last decade.

Levito won’t be worrying about her international standing while sitting on an overnight lead. She has work left in Friday’s free skate to win what could be the first in a series of national titles.

Tennell, 24, had her best short program since coming back from a 19-month competition break due to foot and ankle injuries. She was unable to defend her national title last year, ruling her out of Olympic contention.

“Even just making it back onto the ice again was a struggle,” Tennell said while in the arena where she made her Olympic team in 2018. “I stepped on the ice today and I looked up and I closed my eyes and I took a deep breath, and I was like, ‘You can do this,’ which is the exact same thing I did five years ago.”

Andrews, 21, is coming off a fall Grand Prix Series where she became the first Black U.S. skater to win a medal on the circuit.

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2023 U.S. Figure Skating Championships scores, results

2023 U.S. Figure Skating Championships
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Full scores and results from the 2023 U.S. Figure Skating Championships in San Jose …

Women’s Short Program
1. Isabeau Levito — 73.78
2. Bradie Tennell — 73.76
3. Starr Andrews — 68.97
4. Amber Glenn — 68.96
5. Gracie Gold — 67.44
6. Lindsay Thorngren — 62.64
7. Clare Seo — 61.48
8. Ava Ziegler — 61.09
9. Audrey Shin — 60.76
10. Ting Cui — 57.11
11. Josephine Lee — 55.60
12. Lindsay Wang — 52.19
13. Sonja Hilmer — 51.16
14. Michelle Lee — 46.71
15. Gabriella Izzo — 45.73
16. Alexa Gasparotto — 45.00
17. Elsa Cheng — 44.36
18. Hanna Harrell — 42.84

Pairs Short Program
1. Alexa Knierim/Brandon Frazier — 81.96
2. Emily Chan/Spencer Howe — 66.86
3. Ellie Kam/Danny O’Shea —- 65.75
4. Valentina Plazas/Maximiliano Fernandez — 63.45
5. Sonia Baram/Danil Tioumentsev —- 63.12
6. Katie McBeath/Nathan Bartholomay —- 56.96
7. Nica Digerness/Mark Sadusky — 50.72
8. Maria Mokhova/Ivan Mokhov —- 46.96
9. Grace Hanns / Danny Neudecker — 46.81
10. Linzy Fitzpatrick/Keyton Bearinger — 45.27
11. Nina Ouellette/Rique Newby-Estrella — 43.99

Rhythm Dance
1. Madison Chock/Evan Bates — 91.90
2. Caroline Green/Michael Parsons — 81.40
3. Emilea Zingas/Vadym Kolesnik — 78.18
4. Christina Carreira/Anthony Ponomarenko — 77.37
5. Lorraine McNamara/Anton Spiridonov — 76.23
6. Emily Bratti/Ian Somerville — 75.91
7. Eva Pate/Logan Bye — 75.52
8. Isabella Flores/Ivan Desyatov — 73.91
9. Oona Brown/Gage Brown — 72.80
10. Katarina Wolfkostin/Jeffrey Chen — 69.05
11. Angela Ling/Caleb Wein — 68.53
12. Leah Krauskopf/YuanShi Jin — 52.59
13. Cara Murphy/Joshua Levitt — 50.88
14. Caroline Depietri/TJ Carey — 48.28
WD. Raffaella Koncius/Alexey Shchepetov

FIGURE SKATING NATIONALS: Broadcast Schedule | New Era for U.S.

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