That was flawless! Alina Zagitova, 15, just took the gold, while Evgenia Medvedeva, 18, took silver in the women’s figure skating event at the Winter Olympics on Feb. 22!
It’s arguably the event at every Winter Olympics, and the 2018 games in Pyeongchang, South Korea were no exception. The athletes took to the ice on Feb. 22 for the climax of the women’s figure skating event, and the whole sporting world paused to watch. After a short program that saw Evgenia Medvedeva, 18, set a world record that Alina Zagitova, 15, would break fifteen minutes later, all eyes were on these two Olympic athletes from Russia. And guess what? They took both gold and silver by night’s end, shutting out all Americans in the event.
Evgenia scored 239.57 points, while Alina scored 238.26. What’s astounding is that these girls, who brought their A-game at the Gangneung Ice Arena on Friday, took the top two spots for the first time in the same Games. And it’s the second consecutive Olympics a Russian woman has taken gold. Of course, Kaetlyn Osmond of Canada, who won bronze, can’t be forgotten. She was also just as amazing on the ice. America, however, was completely shut out. The highest U.S. finisher was Bradie Tennell at ninth. Maybe USA will have better luck in 2022.
Sadly, we had a feeling USA would be shut out. Following the short program, Canada’s Kaetlyn Osmond, 22, was in third place. The Americans were far, far, far behind. Mirai Nagasu, 24, Karen Chen, 18, and Bradie Tennell, 20, began the free skate program in ninth, tenth, and eleventh place. This performance was called the “worst short program ever for the U.S. women’s figure skating” by USA Today. Bradie, who fell just once all season, came crashing down 30 seconds into her Olympics debut. Mirai became the third woman ever to land a triple axel in Olympic history earlier in the games, but she too fell down to the ice. Karen Chen nearly fell, but the damage was over.
“I think that’s just part of the nerves getting to us,” Karen said, per USA Today. “I always want to nail that first jump. Right when you nail it, it’s the best feeling in the world, it’s instantly a confidence boost. So in a way, there’s the most pressure on nailing that first jump. Because there’s that much pressure, the nerves get to us a little bit and we just kind of anticipate everything or just hesitate slightly and that’s enough to make a difference.”
I’m not going to lie,” she added. “I am pretty disappointed in myself. I definitely felt the pressure. I felt the nerves. I wanted this moment to be special and to skate so well.” Well, there’s always next Olympics…in four years. It’s not too soon to think about Beijing 2020!
HollywoodLifers, who did you want to win the gold?