New Olympic Program Photo


Skating News is a series of blogs on what's happening in the figure skating world by Jo Ann Schneider Farris, About.com's Figure Skating Expert. In this article, Jo Ann shares information about the new team Olympic figure skating event which will take place for the first time in Sochi, Russia.

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The 2014 Winter Olympic Games will take place very soon. In fact, a new figure skating event, the Olympic Team Trophy Figure Skating event, will take place even before the Olympic Opening Ceremonies begin!

Listed below are ten things you might not know about this new figure skating event:

1.  Figure skaters taking part in the Olympic figure skating team competition must first qualify to compete in the individual Olympic figure skating events. In other words, unlike Olympic gymnastics, the skaters who participate will also be competing for individual Olympic figure skating medals.

2.  The ten nations that will be competing in the 2014 Olympic Team Trophy Event were determined based on scores from major international figure skating competitions that took place in 2012 and 2013.  The nations participating are Canada, Russia, USA, Japan, Italy, France, China, Germnay, Ukraine, and Great Britain.

3.  Each country's team includes one female singles skater, one male singles skater, one pair team, and one ice dance team.

4.   After the first phase of the team competition, the short program or short dance, the five countries that accumulate the most points will participate in the final phase of the team competition, the free skate or free dance.

5.   Countries that make the "final five" for the team figure skating event can have different skaters participate in each phase. This means the USA could perhaps have Ashley Wagner do her short program, but have Gracie Gold do her free skate.

6.   Japan qualified as a country for the 2014 Olympic team event, but did not qualify to send an individual pair team to the upcoming Winter Olympics, so the pair skaters representing Japan at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games will only be taking part in the team event in Sochi.

7.   Great Britain also qualified to take part in the Olympic figure skating team event, but did not qualify to send an individual male skater to the 2014 Winter Olympics, so Matthew Parr, the 2014 British Figure Skating Champion, will compete for Great Britain in Sochi only in the team competition.

8.   When he did not win Russia's 2014 national championships, 2006 Olympic Figure Skating Champion and 2002 and 2010 Olympic figure skating silver medalist, Evgeni Plushenko, asked his country to allow him to compete in the new Olympic figure skating team event, and have Russia's 2014 men's figure skating champion, Maxim Kovtun, compete in the individual men's event. It seemed as if Plushenko did not understand the guidelines for the Olympic Figure Skating Team Trophy set by the International Skating Union since skaters competing in the Olympic team event must be the skaters competing in individual Olympic figure skating events.

9.   Competing in the Olympic Figure Skating Team Trophy event means that the competitors will have used up a tremendous amount of energy for the Olympic figure skating team competition. Will they still have the energy to skate their best in the individual figure skating events? Will participation in the team event affect their chances of earning medals as individual skaters?

10.   Skaters who participate in the Olympic Team Trophy figure skating event could possibly leave the Sochi Olympics with two Olympic medals! How cool is that?!

2014 Olympic Team Trophy - Schedule of Events

Thursday, February 6, 2014:

  • Team Trophy Pair Short Program
  • Team Trophy Men's Short Program

Saturday, February 8, 2014:

  • Team Trophy Ice Dance Short Dance
  • Team Trophy Ladies Short Program
  • Team Trophy Pairs Free Skate

Sunday, February 9, 2014:

  • Team Trophy Men's Free Skate
  • Team Trophy Ice Dance Free Dance
  • Team Trophy Ladies Free Skate