Yesterday, both the men and women of the Pairs and Ice Dancing skating world competed for the U.S. National Championship in each sport as well as for a spot of the U.S. Olympic Team.
The Pairs division had an early favorite with team Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir [featured above left] not only skating in their training town of Boston but also after skating a nearly flawless short program, they had a 6 point lead going into the long program. After skating a Bond themed long program the pair defended their title and took home the gold. The pairs team of Felicia Zhang and Nathan Bartholomay finished second while Caydee Denney and John Coughlin landed in third.
So who will be going to Russia? In all skating events, it is up to the U.S. Figure Skating officials to determine who will make the U.S. Olympic Team, so even winners have no guarantees till the announcement is made.
Head to Sochi next month representing Team USA in the Pairs Skating event will be Marissa Castelli/Simon Shnapir and Felicia Zhang/Nathan Bartholomay.
If you’re wondering if there is a difference between Pairs and Ice Dancing that answer is a big YES. Ice Dancing is basically Ballroom Dancing on ice (see the full details here) and it is a magical to watch.
The favorites in this event were the five-time National Champions and 2010 Olympic silver medalist team of Meryl Davis and Charlie White [featured above right]. Davis/White managed to not just defend their title, winning their sixth U.S. Championship but they also broke their own record with final score of 200.19, making them the first to break 200 in the Ice Dancing event.
Madison Chock and Evan Bates who skated last managed to hang on to their silver medal thanks to an amazing routine set to Les Misérables while the brother/sister team of Maia and Alex Shibutani skated a program not just set to the music of Michael Jackson but also had help from one of Jackson’s choreographers took home the bronze medal.
As for who is heading to Sochi, it looks like the U.S. Figure Skating official found no reason to stray from the podium here as Meryl Davis/Charlie White, Madison Chock/Evan Bates, and Maia Shibutani/Alex Shibutani all made the cut for Team USA.
You can see the U.S. Women’s Figure Skating team here and we will have the Men’s team later tonight.