Adam Rippon made his PyeongChang debut on Sunday with a almost flawless routine in the men's free skate, part of the figure skating team event. The margin was surprising, and devastating for an OAR team that wants its performances here to show its displeasure in the International Olympic Committee's banishment of the nation due to its massive state-sponsored doping program.
So far, 2018 has turned out to be a completely different story for both Rippon and Nagasu who are roommates at the PyeongChang Olympics.
Rippon did not try any quadruple jumps while Kolyada and Chan did. "But I kept it together".
Rippon: I want to throw up. "Going into it, I was like a train, get on those tracks and get some speed". And I'm not just talking about his skating.
Then came Nagasu, 24, who had to be first out of the gate in the women's long program based on the finishes in the women's short program Sunday.
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Four years ago, American figure skater Mirai Nagasu was heartbroken after being left off the USA team for the Sochi Olympics in favour of a woman who ranked lower than she had at a key qualifying event. Now Nagasu has joined them. "It is a lot of pressure and stress to come out here".
"I'm proud to be on this team. And so today is a day of accomplishment for me", she continued. That put him in second place behind OAR's Mikhail Kolyada. Going into the event, the thinking was the American woman would finish fourth or fifth in a very strong field.
Skating a stellar routine in the women's free skate portion of the team competition, Nagasu began with a clean triple Axel and then went on to nail eight other triple jumps, including a triple flip and triple Salchow combination as she helped America claim bronze.
That pretty much left the program of US pair Maia and Alex Shibutani as an exhibition.