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Nathan Chen to lead U.S. skaters in Olympic team event

Nathan Chen to lead U.S. skaters in Olympic team event
Posted at 11:39 PM, Feb 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-03 17:18:40-05

When the 2022 Olympic figure skating competition gets underway, three-time world champion Nathan Chen will lead a U.S. team looking to improve on its two Olympic bronze medals in the team event.

U.S. Figure Skating announced that Chen, ice dancers Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue and the pair of Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier will compete Friday local time on the first of three days for the team event.

The competition will stream live starting at 8:55 p.m. ET Thursday on Peacock, NBCOlympics.com and NBC. The event starts with the men’s short program, followed by the rhythm dance at 10:35 p.m. ET and pairs short program at 12:15 a.m.

Figure skating’s Olympic team event features 10 of the top nations in the world vying for one set of medals. Each participating country has one entry in the men’s/women’s/pairs short programs and the rhythm dance. The field is then narrowed to the top five teams, which have one entry each in the men’s/women’s/pairs free skates and the free dance.

SEE MORE: Germany to compete in figure skating team event without a pair

Teams are able to make two changes apiece from the short/rhythm to the free, meaning Jason Brown or Vincent Zhou could compete in the men’s free skate instead of Chen, for example; the men’s free skate for the team event falls two days before the men’s singles event begins.

Russia won the inaugural 2014 Olympic gold medal in the event, then (competing as Olympic Athletes from Russia) switched spots with Canada to take silver in 2018. Potentially with three reigning world champions on its team, the Russian Olympic Committee is expected to top the podium this time, while Canada does not have a strong enough team to factor into medal conversations.

Japan has a solid chance to earn its first Olympic medal in the event.

Chen will aim to avenge his poor short program performance from the 2018 Olympic team event that placed him fourth in that segment.

SEE MORE: Nathan Chen reflects on highs and lows of 2018 Olympics

At their second Olympic Games, Hubbell and Donohue will make their first team event appearance, though the three-time ice dance world medalists did help the U.S. team to a win at the 2019 World Team Trophy.

Knierim is an Olympic team event bronze medalist from 2018 with her husband and then-skating partner Chris, but she and Frazier are competing in their first team event together. They were on the WTT squad that earned silver last year.

Correction: An initial version of this article stated Olympic Athletes from Russia, not Canada, won the 2018 Olympic team event.

Team Event Entries

For the first day of the Olympic figure skating team event, the entries and start orders are as follows:

Men: Paul Fentz (GER), Roman Sadovsky (CAN), Michal Brezina (CZE), Jin Boyang (CHN), Mark Kondratiuk (ROC), Shoma Uno (JPN), Morisi Kvitelashvili (GEO), Nathan Chen (USA), Daniel Grassl (ITA)

Ice Dance: Misato Komatsubara/Tim Koleto (JPN), Natalie Taschlerova/Filip Taschler (CZE), Katharina Muller/Tim Dieck (GER), Maria Kazakova/Georgy Reviya (GEO), Oleksandra Nazarova/Maksym Nikitin (UKR), Wang Shiyue/Liu Xinyu (CHN), Madison Hubbell/Zachary Donohue (USA), Piper Gilles/Paul Poirier (CAN), Charlene Guignard/Marco Fabbri (ITA), Viktoria Sinitsina/Nikita Katsalapov (ROC)

Pairs: Sofia Holichenko/Artem Darenskyi (UKR), Jelizaveta Zukova/Martin Bidar (CZE), Karina Safina/Luka Berulava (GEO), Alexa Knierim/Brandon Frazier (USA), Riku Miura/Ryuichi Kihara (JPN), Nicole Della Monica/Matteo Guarise (ITA), Kirsten Moore-Towers/Michael Marinaro (CAN), Sui Wenjing/Han Cong (CHN), Anastasia Mishina/Aleksandr Galliamov (ROC)