Winter Olympics: US figure skating pair competes with heavy hearts

The Latest Americans land quad twist in pairs free skate

The Latest Americans land quad twist in pairs free skate

The United States claimed bronze in the team figure skating event Sunday evening, with Canada taking home the gold and the Olympic Athletes from Russian Federation earning the silver.

The Gangneun Ice Arena was surrounded by hundreds of uniformed police officers, alternately facing toward and away from the building, as the identically outfitted North Korean cheerleaders filed in roughly an hour before the competition, in red warmup suits and red-and-white knit caps.

Moments later, they were on Olympic ice. After opening with a lovely quad twist lift, one of the discipline's more hard maneuvers, the toll of the past week of competition became apparent. Their score of 120.27, six below their season best, dropped them from 14 after the short program to 15 overall. Sui Wenjing and Han Cong of China took silver.

Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov of Olympic Athletes from Russian Federation were in second place with a score of 81.68, followed by Canadians Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford with a score of 76.82. "We wanted a tribute to the USA for their loss".

"We wanted to skate for the 17 children that died in the Florida shooting, and today was much more than about us", Scimeca-Knierim said.

Before we get too sappy it should be noted that both of them are fierce competitors, with a strong desire to show why they are two-time national champions to get into the mix in Pyeongchang.

It's been an emotional but fulfilling week for the Knierims, whose primary job as the only US pairs in Korea was in the team competition.

Maia and Alex Shibutani competed for the the team portion, finishing second to the Canadian duo of Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, who are viewed as one of the gold-medal favorites.

Two days later, they had a bronze medal around their necks.

According to U.S. Figure Skating, the pair became the fist U.S. pair to do a quad twist at the Olympics.

NBC reported that, after hearing the news, Alexa Scimeca-Knierim and Chris Knierim made a decision to dedicate their final Olympic skate to the victims of the shooting.

Valentine's Day short program coming up soon! This, then, was a small measure of redemption. They said they felt an immediate connection. "It was the highlight of our program, unfortunately".

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