Canada win gold in team figure skating
Canada took gold in the team figure skating event at the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games after brilliant performances by Patrick Chan and Gabrielle Daleman. Chan landed two quads early in his free skate to finally taste Olympic triumph.
After the women’s free skating, Canada had already secured first place, with ice dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir still left to compete. With the pressure taken off them, the pair were outstanding, finishing first with 118.10 points, six points ahead of US skaters Maia and Alex Shibutani, who helped the USA win bronze.
Olympic Athlete from Russia, with a stunning free skate by 15-year-old Alina Zagitova, the European champion, were guaranteed silver.
The 27-year-old Patrick Chan, who had struggled with his jumps in the team event’s short programme, landed the first two quads of his free skate. Skating in his third and final Olympic Winter Games, he earned a season’s best score of 179.75 points.
Chan masters nerves
“I’m just happy I did the best I could” said Chan. The Canadian admitted he was nervous and he “just had a conversation with myself” to get back his focus. I achieved a big thing, which was to land the two big quads in one programme,” he said. “I’m going to hold this medal tight to me.” Chan, who won silver in the team and men’s singles events at Sochi 2014, is a three-time world champion but has never won Olympic gold until now.
Daleman, who won bronze at the 2017 Word Figure Skating Championships, landed a series of triple jumps in a highly impressive performance that saw her finish third, only 0.39 points behind second-place finisher Mirai Nagasu of the USA.
Zagitova, skating at her first Olympic Winter Games, turned in a wonderful performance to composer Leon Minkus’s Don Quixote. The 15-year-old scored 158.08 for a season’s best to take first place.
Nagasu became the first US woman to land a triple axel at the Olympic Winter Games. She performed the jump cleanly at the start of her programme to gain a season’s best score of 137.53.
Triumph after tears
Clearly overjoyed, the 24-year-old Nagasu pumped her fists and gave a big smile as she skated off the ice. She is only the third woman to land a triple axel at the Olympic Winter Games after Japan’s Midori Ito and Mao Asada. “I feel really great. Going into it, I was like a train, getting on those tracks and getting some speed,” she said. “Out of the corner of my eye, I could see my team-mates standing in excitement.”