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Memories From the 2010 Olympic Figure Skating Competition in Vancouver

By

Evan Lysacek - 2010 Olympic Figure Skating Champion

Evan Lysacek - 2010 Olympic Figure Skating Champion

Photo by Matthew Stockman - Getty Images

The Olympics Were in Vancouver, Canada:

The 2010 Winter Olympic Games took place in Vancouver, Canada from February 12 through February 28, 2010. About.com's Guide to Figure Skating, Jo Ann Schneider Farris, traveled to Vancouver and attended all of the Olympic figure skating competition.

This article summarizes each day of the Olympic figure skating events.

Sold Out Crowds:

All of the Olympic figure skating events took place in Vancouver's Pacific Coliseum. It should be noted that that arena was quite small inside, with limited seating, so most events were sold out. Many people were forced to buy leftover tickets from scalpers who stood on the street.

Sunday, February 14, 2010 - Pairs Short Program:

Xue Shen and Hongbo Zhao, of China, were the first skaters to compete in Vancouver. They had returned to the competitive skating scene after retiring in 2008. They won the short program. 2009 World Pair Skating Champions, Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy, of Germany, were close behind in second place. Yuko Kavaguti and Alexander Smirnov of Russia placed third. Two pairs from China, Qing Pang and Jian Tong, and Dan Zhang and Hao Zhang placed fourth and fifth respectively. When the short program ended, ice skating fans knew that any one of the top four teams could win the event or medal. The scores were close.

Monday, February 15, 2010 - Pairs Freeskate and Awards:

History was made at this Olympics because China won its first figure skating Olympic gold medal. It was also the first time since 1960 that Russian pair skaters did not stand on the Olympic podium.

Xue Shen and Hongbo Zhao, of China, won gold, even though they made one mistake during one of their lifts. Qing Pang and Jian Tong won the freeskate and pulled up to second overall. Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy of Germany dropped from second to third. They struggled with side by side jumps and their spin. The Russian pair also had a flawed performance and dropped to fourth.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010 - Men's Short Program:

2006 Olympic champion Evgeni Plushenko returned to competitive figure skating just for this Olympics and placed first. 2009 World Figure Skating Champion and US figure skater, Evan Lysacek, placed second. In third was Daisuke Takahashi of Japan. Their scores were very close. Almost every man planned to do a triple Axel, and most that attempted that jump landed it. When Evgeni Plushenko stepped on to the ice and landed his quadruple toe loop, fans knew he would take the lead, since a quad means "mega points." Everyone knew that one of those three men would be the next Olympic Champion.

Thursday, February 18, 2010 - Men's Freeskate and Awards:

Evan Lysacek of the United States placed first and became the first U.S. man to win the Olympic gold medal since Brian Boitano won in 1988. He skated a perfect program, but he did not do a quadruple jump. Evgeny Plushenko of Russia placed second and won silver. He did a quadruple toe-loop/triple toe-loop combination, but some of his other jumps had shaky landings.

Plushenko was not pleased with his silver medal. "You can't be considered a true men's champion without a quad," Plushenko said.

Daisuke Takahashi of Japan placed third and became he first Japanese man in history to win an Olympic figure skating medal.

Friday, February 19, 2010 - Ice Dance Compulsory Dance:

The compulsory dance the Olympic ice dancers performed was the Tango Romantica. Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin of Russia took the lead. Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada placed second. U.S. ice dancers Meryl Davis & Charlie White and Tanith Belbin & Benjamin Agosto followed close behind placing third and fourth respectively.

The 2010 Olympics is the last Olympics where the compulsory dance phase of ice dance events was included. In 2014, a combined dance will replace the compulsory dance and original dance phases.

Sunday, February 21, 2010 - Ice Dance Original Dance:

Placements changed for Olympic ice dancers after the original dance. The Russian team, Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin, performed an original dance that had caused controversy at the 2010 European Championships. They dropped to third place. Canada's Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir pulled to first and U.S.'s Meryl Davis and Charlie White moved to second.

Monday, February 22, 2010 - Ice Dance Free Dance and Awards:

Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir became the first Canadians, and also the first North Americans, to win the Olympic ice dance title. Meryl Davis and Charlie White of the USA won silver, and Oksana Domina and Maxim Shabalin took the bronze. U.S. ice dancers and 2006 Olympic Ice Dancing Silver Medalists Tanith Belbin and Benjamin Agosto stayed in fourth.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010 - Ladies Short Program:

In the short program ladies event, Japan's Mao Asada did her trademark triple Axel, but placed behind the favorite, Korea's Kim Yu-Na. In third place was Canada's Joannie Rochette. Rochette finished her short program performance with much emotion since her fifty-five year old mother, Therese Rochette, died suddenly shortly after arriving in Vancouver on Sunday morning, February 20, 2010. In fourth was Japan's Miki Ando. U.S. skaters, Rachael Flatt and Mirai Nagasu followed close behind in 5th and 6th place. All of the top six skaters had performed near perfect short programs.

Thursday, February 25, 2010 - Ladies Freeskate and Awards:

Most ice skating fans will agree that Korea's Kim Yu-Na was the best. She earned a total score of 228.56, which is a world record. Many say she did one of the greatest performances in figure skating history. Some wondered if she could handle the pressure of the Olympics, but it did not seem that she was affected by it at all.

Mao Asada of Japan became the first lady to do a triple Axel in the Olympics since Midori Ito landed one in the 1992 in Albertville. She also did her trademark spiral.

Canada's Joannie Rochette missed two jumps, but stayed in third place, and won the bronze.

Mirai Nagasu of the United States pulled into fourth place. Many felt she deserved the bronze for her perfect performance. U.S. Ladies Champion, Rachael Flatt, dropped from fifth to seventh. She skated to what some thought was a perfect program, but some of her triple jump scores were downgraded to double jumps.

Saturday, February 27, 2010 - Exhibition of Champions Gala:

The Olympic medal winners gathered together on Saturday, February 27, 2010, to rejoice in their Olympic glory. The skaters performed in the Pacific Coliseum before a sold out, emotional, and excited crowd.

Remember Vancouver With About.com's Guide to Figure Skating, Jo Ann Schneider Farris:

About.com's Guide to Figure Skating, Jo Ann Schneider Farris, traveled to Vancouver and attended all of the Olympic figure skating competition. She blogged regularly during the Games. Some of her blog posts are below.

Further Reading:

  1. About.com
  2. Sports
  3. Figure Skating
  4. Tests and Competitions
  5. Olympic Ice Skating Events
  6. Olympic Figure Skating 2010 - Summary of the 2010 Olympic Figure Skating Events in Vancouver

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