2022 Olympic figure skating review: ROC dominates medals, conversation

The headlines for the 2022 Winter Olympics were overtaken by a problem off the ice: Kamila Valievaof the positive doping test of December 25 which was revealed on February 8 after taking part in the team event.

Figure skating was then marred by a debate over whether Valieva should compete in the women’s singles event and the question of team medal awards, but there was still much to celebrate on the ice. .

Gold medals for each of the four disciplines went to skaters from four different nations, although the figure skating medal table was dominated by the Russian Olympic Committee.

As the results stand, the ROC have won six medals – two more than any other nation – and, including the team event, are the only ones to have won two. Eteri Tutberidze, coach of the Sambo 70 club in Moscow, has students responsible for four of them.

No country has claimed so many medals in figure skating at a single Games since Britain achieved great success at its sparsely attended 1908 London Games.

The ROC won medals in four of the five events, while Japan’s four medals and the United States’ three each came across three events. Directed by Nathan Chenthe United States won its most medals in figure skating in 20 years.

Number of medals

Medal Table — Figure Skating
The country Medals Total
ROCK 🥇🥇🥈🥈🥈🥉 6
Japan 🥈🥉🥉🥉 4
United States 🥇🥈🥉 3
China 🥇 1
France 🥇 1

The team event sees records and has a new medalist

The figure skating team event joined the Olympic program in 2014 and at the Sochi 2014 and PyeongChang 2018 Games it was Canada, Russia (or Olympic athletes from Russia) and the United States on the stand medals. That changed this time around when Japan made their podium debut in an Olympic team event. The ROC won with 74 points overall, followed by the United States with 65 and Japan a close second with 63. Defending champion Canada was fourth this time with 53 points and China fifth with 50. Georgia , Italy, Czech Republic, Germany and Ukraine did not advance. at the free skating/dance portion. Among the history made, China Sui Wenjing and Han Cong set a new world record in pairs short program score of 82.83 points and ROC Kamila Valieva became the first woman to land a quadruple jump at the Olympics – and in the same program she was the first to land two. Also of note, the American ice dance teams from madison hubbell and Zachary Donohue (rhythm dance) and Madison Chock and Evan Bates (free dance) both beat reigning world champions Russia Viktoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov. The winners of each segment were Nathan Chen (men’s short program), Hubbell/Donohue (rhythm dance), Sui/Han (couples’ short program), Valieva (women’s short program), Japan’s Yuma Kagiyama (men’s free skating), ROC’s Anastasia Michina/Alexander Galliamov (pairs free skate), Chock/Bates (free dance) and Valieva (women’s free skate).

The first three*:

1. Russian Olympic Committee (Valieva, Mark KondratyukMishina/Galliamov, Sinitsina/Katsalapov), 74

2. United States (Karen Chen, Nathan Chen, Vincent Zhu, Alexa Knierim/Brandon FrazierChock/Bates, Hubbell/Donohue), 65

3. Japan (Wakaba Higuchi, Kaori SakamotoKagiyama, Shoma Uno, Riku Miura/Ryuichi Kihara, Misato Komatsubara/Tim Koleto), 63



*due to the ongoing Valieva case, medals were not awarded for the team event during the Games

Nathan Chen, the clear men’s champion

In what was to be an intense battle between reigning three-time world champion Nathan Chen and reigning two-time Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu, Hanyu instead finished nearly 50 points behind Chen in fourth. It was his Japanese teammates who gave Chen his toughest competition. Still, they fell short and Chen won with his “La Boheme” and Elton John/”Rocketman” medley programs, setting a short program world record of 113.97, raising the mark by more than two points. No longer haunted by the demons of his 17th-place short program four years prior, Chen had learned to appreciate the Olympic experience and not worry so much. It paid off with the first gold medal by an American singles skater in 12 years. Along with his team bronze in 2018 and (likely) team silver in 2022, Chen joins retired ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White like America’s most decorated Olympic figure skaters. 18-year-old Yuma Kagiyama won silver and bronze went to Shoma Uno, the 2018 Olympic silver medalist.


🥇 Nathan Chen (USA), 332.60

🥈 Yuma Kagiyama (JPN), 310.05

🥉 Shoma Uno (JPN), 293.00



France is dancing on gold

For four years, it was inevitable that the French ice dancing team of Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron would win the Olympic title. That became less clear when the pandemic forced Papadakis and Cizeron to go a year and a half without competition and three years between their last world championships and the Olympics. None of that showed when they took to the ice and set world records in both rhythm dancing (90.83 points) and total score (226.98). Papadakis and Cizeron’s victory was France’s first gold medal in figure skating in 20 years. The 2021 world champions and only team to beat Papadakis/Cizeron in the last four years, ROC Viktoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov were the silver medalists, while the Americans madison hubbell and Zachary Donohue picked up bronze after finishing fourth at the 2018 PyeongChang Games. Their American teammates and fellow Montreal trainers, Madison Chock and Evan Bateswere fourth.


🥇 Gabriella Papadakis/Guillaume Cizeron (FRA), 226.98

🥈 Viktoria Sinitsina/Nikita Katsalapov (ROC), 220.51

🥉 Madison Hubbell/Zachary Donohue (USA), 218.02



ROC releases quads in women’s singles

Kamila Valieva was favored to win the gold medal before the Games and again after her historic performances in the team event. The 15-year-old even excelled in the women’s singles short program and held a nearly two-point lead. Everything changed in the free skate when the pressure and stress of being scrutinized all week on social media, TV and more finally seemed to have an impact on Valieva’s performance. She fell physically several times, not landing cleanly on any of her three quad jump attempts, then fell in the standings to fourth. Instead, they’re 17-year-old sparring buddies Anna Shcherbakova and Aleksandra Trousova who represented the ROC quadruple team, all three coached by Eteri Tutberidze. World champion Shcherbakova added Olympic gold to her resume with two quads in her free skate, while world bronze medalist Trusova landed five en route to silver. With no quads or triple axles to show, Japan Kaori Sakamoto still won the bronze medal with clean, classic skating. This is the third consecutive Games where Russia (or OAR/ROC) has won gold in figure skating.


🥇 Anna Shcherbakova (ROC), 255.95

🥈 Aleksandra Trusova (ROC), 251.73

🥉 Kaori Sakamoto (JPN), 233.13



Sui/Han make China proud

The fifth and final pair figure skating competition was the most spectacular. The short program and free skate were master classes in the discipline, and the storylines did not disappoint. Double world champion and based in Beijing Sui Wenjing and Han Cong were chasing gold on home soil after missing gold four years ago by less than half a point. On the other hand, ROCs Anastasia Michina and Alexander Galliamovwho beat Sui/Han for the world title last year, and Yevgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov, who finished fourth at the 2018 Games and 2021 World Championships, were chasing the same top spot. Sui and Han broke their own world record in the short program with a score of 84.41 but led Tarasova and Morozov by a negligible 0.16 points. Both teams again gave their best in the free skating, but Sui and Han won gold – China’s second in the sport’s history – in front of a grateful audience, widening its margin of victory to an incredible 0.63 points and setting a new world record overall. .


🥇 Sui Wenjing/Han Cong (CHN), 239.88

🥈 Yevgenia Tarasova/Vladimir Morozov (ROC), 239.25

🥉 Anastasia Mishina/Aleksandr Galliamov (ROC), 237.71



SEE MORE: Watch 11 of the best performances from the Olympic Figure Skating Gala

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