Although it was predicted that it would be a closely fought contest between Canada and the Olympic Athletes from Russia, the destination of the 2018 Olympic Games Team Event gold medal was more or less decided in the opening session of the competition.
Patrick Chan fell twice in the short programme and appeared to have opened the door for other countries with a score of 81.66. Fortunately for him and Canada, other teams fared even worse in what was a rather poorly skated event. The three-time World champion secured third place. In the pairs short that followed immediately afterwards, a bobble by Meagan Duhamel on a side by side triple Lutz did not affect her and partner Eric Radford too much and they finished in second place to give Canada the lead after the first day.
Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir got Canada off to the best possible start on the second day of competition with a comfortable victory in the short dance to extend the lead. Kaetlyn Osmond had to work hard to salvage a triple flip-triple toe loop in the ladies short where she placed third. Canada qualified top for the second stage with four points breathing room. Duhamel and Radford improved on their placing in the short with a convincing first place in the pairs free skating to extend Canada’s lead overnight.
Chan had a much better outing in the men’s free and landed an excellent quadruple toe-triple toe combination as his opening element. Despite a fall on a triple Axel, he claimed maximum points for Canada. Gabrielle Daleman matched Osmond’s short placement in the ladies free which was enough to wrap up victory for Canada. Virtue/Moir put the icing on the cake with another first in the free dance. No Canadian team member finished lower than third in any segment of the competition.
Russia had won the inaugural Team Event title in Sochi and Russian skaters were back under the Olympic Athlete from Russia banner to defend the gold medal. However, a disastrous performance by Mikhail Kolyada in the men’s short, where he fell on both a quad Lutz and a quad toe and singled a triple Axel, put his team in a position from which they never recovered. The Russians won the pairs short and both segments of the ladies competition to pick up the silver medal behind the Canadians.
The United States of America were in a tussle with Italy for the bronze medal until the ladies free. Mirai Nagasu outperformed expectations and became only the third woman to land a triple Axel at the Olympics. Japan’s Midori Ito and Mao Asada are the other two. In the end, the Americans repeated their result from 2014.