Sunday witnessed the first Olympic medals being awarded for team figure skating at the Olympic level, and team Russia proved its solid start was too much to overcome with a series of dominant performances. Team USA started the day in fifth place and improved to the bronze medal.
The remainder of the team contest was settled by three events, the Free Program Men, Free Program Ladies and Free Dance Ice Dance.
Free Program Men
The evening in the Iceberg Skating Palace began and Jason Brown of Team USA dropped a solid score of 153.67, but saw it quickly fall down the leaderboard. A hush went over the arena as Evgeny Plushchenko took to the ice and he did enough, despite some struggles. The veteran skater made some rookie mistakes, and didn't show the dominance of his early career performances but his program boasted two quads and a wholly impressive triple axel, double toe, double toe combination.
His performance was awarded a 168.20, which won the event and ensured his teammates were set up to make him the first athlete since 1932 to win four figure skating Olympic medals.
Free Program Ladies
Pressure was on Gracie Gold to keep Team USA in contention following a nine point deficit entering the program and the first-time Olympian rose to the occasion with a 129.38, a personal best score. Thanks to some mishaps by Canadian skater Kaetlyn Osmond everything hinged on the Ice Dance segment of the competition.
It became clear that Russia was going to be near-impossible to catch. 15-year-old Yulia Lipnitskaya continued her ascension as one of figure skating's rising stars with a scintillating performance that knocked Gold into the second position by scoring a 141.51, a personal best of her own.
Free Dance Ice Dance
Japan and Italy kicked off proceedings, but with neither country realistically vying for a medal it meant the wait was on to see the top three teams and where they would finish. Russia put on another strong effort and claimed gold with the pair of Elena Ilinykh and Nikita Katsalpov dancing to "Swan Lake." Despite the Ice Dance being the country's weakest event they managed to finish with a 103.48.
Canada had no significant errors, so it was on Meryl Davis and Charlie White of Team USA to capture the bronze medal for their country and the Americans won the Ice Dance with a score of 114.34 to win the event. They were head and shoulders above the competition, but individual event scores are unimportant, everything was about ranking.