Winter Olympic team competition feels very contrived


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Martin Rogers

 |  Usa Nowadays Sports

GANGNEUNG, South Korea – Some Wintertime Olympic functions are thrilling. Some, let’s encounter it, are a little little bit boring. And some are just kind of weird.

Determine skating’s staff event drifted previous its halfway level on Sunday afternoon at the Gangneung Ice Arena, and sits firmly in the final classification.

It is like the mixed doubles at a Grand Slam tennis event, where by it is nice to acquire, but no just one pays way too significantly focus, and beyond the individuals there is scarcely a soul alive who remembers who won a 12 months later on.

In determine skating the teams do their matter on the key ice, clearly, but in conditions of worth it doesn’t have a lot in common with the intensity and prestige of winning in an person discipline.

It all feels contrived.

The staff members who are not skating demonstrate up to enjoy occasionally and much more typically never. When they do, they have a nice purple bullpen to sit in at rink stage, and are encouraged to provide together national flags to wave.

More: Usa in medal situation as staff determine skating reaches midway level at 2018 Wintertime Olympics

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Nathan Chen hasn’t been noticed in the cheer section since his having difficulties overall performance in the men’s brief software on Friday. You get the perception that when compared to regardless of what achievement comes his way in the men’s person event, the bronze Chen will acquire in the teams is really worth little.

Bronze medal? Dangle on, doesn’t the staff event nonetheless have 3 of its sessions nonetheless remaining?

Yep, it does, but barring a sabotage plot from a rogue North Korean cheerleader the People in america are heading to acquire bronze, just like they had been heading to acquire bronze ahead of the event. They have no prospect of breaking into the top rated two monopoly of Canada and Russia, little prospect of dipping out of the top rated 3.

It is as predictable as it will get, there currently being more than enough house between the mixed talents of the squads at the head of the checklist to strip absent any aggressive drama. Perhaps unsurprisingly, half the crowd had left by the time the pairs took the ice for Sunday’s 3rd session, pursuing on from the much more well-liked women’s software an hour previously and the ice dance prior to that.

The skaters want to do their ideal, of course they do, but it has the feel of a heat-up.

Chen, the fantastic U.S. hope, fell on his butt on Friday and slipped to fourth, but it did not bring about a mortifying response in Bradie Tennell, the American women’s champion, who was the fifth-placed out of 10 woman skaters.

“It doesn’t definitely have an effect on me simply because we are two unique people today,” Tennell claimed, when requested about Chen’s fall. “Everybody handles tension in another way so clearly I desire him all the ideal. Yeah.”


Alex and Maia Shibutani went for the American staff in ice dance and have been around-frequent fixtures in the staff aid section.

How to cheer, and when to cheer, is portion of the course of action.

“You know your teammates and you want them to set on their ideal overall performance,” Alex Shibutani claimed. “Everyone is unique, some of them like whistling and hooting and hollering, other individuals like to continue to be in their zone.”

This is a activity where by selfishness and introspection are a prerequisite for achievement. Cracking that icy wall a little little bit and owning a collective factor on the timetable isn’t the worst plan. The stop item isn’t undesirable, just weird, and in real truth, it feels like the determine skating competition hasn’t definitely begun yet.






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