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2022 Olympic Winter Games

by Klaus-Reinhold Kany



Team Event Leads Off Figure Skating Schedule

(3 Feb. 2022)  For the third time, after taking place in Sochi, Russia in 2014 and in PyeongChang, South Korea in 2018, there are five full figure skating competitions at the Olympic Winter Games and not only the historical four.

In the team event at the beginning of the Games, one woman, one man, one pair and one ice dance couple from the ten most successful nations have to perform their short program or their rhythm dance. The skater who wins the short program gets 10 points, the second one 9 points, the third one 8 and so on. After the short program the numbers of points between 1 and 10 of the four categories are added. The usual points in a competition do not count in the team event, but only the placement points between 1 and 10. The skaters of the five nations with most points after the short program perform their free program one or two days later.

The usual points (70, 80 or 100) of the short program do not count and are not added. Therefore the short and the free program are two independent events. All skaters start in the free program from zero again. The best skater in each category gets 10 points, the second best 9 and so on until the fifth skater who gets 6 points. After the free program all country points from the short program are added to the points of the free program. The country with most points wins gold, the second best silver and so on.  

The ten countries were nominated according to the world ranking points which all skaters of this country (not only the best) won at all ISU events in the 12 months before the Games until December 2021. This time the competitions were the World Championships 2021, the Senior and the Junior Grand Prix 2021. Normally the European Championships 2021, the Four Continents Championships 2021, the Grand Prix Final 2021 and the Junior Final 2021 would also have counted, but due to Covid 19, these events were cancelled last year.

The ten countries in Beijing are ranked as follows:

1) ROC (Russian Olympic Committee)

2) USA

3) Canada

4) Japan

5) China

6) Italy

7) Germany

8) Georgia

9) Czech Republic

10) Ukraine

Unlikes in 2018, France, South Korea and Israel cannot take part this time because they qualified skaters only in two categories. A country can only participate in the team event if it has at least one qualified skater in at least three of the four disciplines. Seven of the ten nations qualified skaters or couples in all four categories, but Italy has no woman, Germany has no man and the Ukraine has no pair. In these three cases, their federations may nominate one skater or pair for the fourth category. But these skaters are only allowed to compete the team event and not in the individual event. Otherwise only skaters who plan to compete in the individual event, may also compete in the team event.

Countries who have two or even three spots in a category may nominate one of their skaters for the Short Program or Rhythm Dance and another skater or couple for the Free Skate. But this mix is allowed only in up to two categories. In the other categories the skater or couple who competes the Short Program or Rhythm Dance in the team event also has to skate the free program. In countries who have only one spot in a category, its only skater must compete in the team as well as in the individual event. Only skaters who competed at least in one part of the team event will get an Olympic medal.

The skaters of the Russian Olympic Committee are favored for the gold medal because they are very strong in at least three categories: the pairs, the women and ice dance. If everything runs normal, the USA might win the silver medal because the country is very strong in ice dance and in men. Japan might win the bronze medal, Canada and Italy might get the next places. If the countries have a choice, they will nominate their skaters only one or two days before the short programs and must nominate them for the free program ten minutes after the short program ends.