Gracie Gold & Ashley Wagner to skate at Sochi 2014 Figure-Skating Team event this weekend: Wagner positive for team medal
The 2014 Winter Olympic Team skating event kicked off today at the Iceberg Skating Palace in Sochi, Russia.
Representing the U.S. for the Team skating event will be Gracie Gold and Ashley Wagner for the Ladies , Jeremy Abbott for the Men's and Marissa Castelli/Simon Shnapir for the Pairs.
The Team program began Feb. 6, 2014, with the Team Men Short and Pair Short program.
Day 1 results show Japan leading in the Team Men Short program and Russia leading in the Team Pair Short program.
The Team events will resume Saturday after tomorrow's Olympic Opening ceremony.
Ashley Wagner will be leading the U.S. Team and will be on the ice for the Team Ladies Short skate on Saturday, followed by Gracie Gold for the Team Ladies Free skate.
Gracie Gold, 18, has become the face of NBC's Olympic coverage and has appeared in multiple campaigns since she won the U.S. National Championships in January.
Ashley Wagner's inclusion in the U.S. Olympic Team has been somewhat controversial. Her performance at the National Championships in Boston fell apart and she came in fourth. But despite her poor performance, her overall track record and merit earned her a spot on the Olympic team, with the committee choosing Wagner over Mirai Nagasu, who placed fourth at the 2009 Vancouver Olympics and third at this year's national championships.
Wagner expressed that she believes Team USA can earn a medal at the team event. "The United States is a very strong team," she said. "Absolutely hands down, I think the U.S. is one of the front-runners for a medal in the team event. It's an opportunity to receive another Olympic medal. Being team leader, I realized there was a great sense of camaraderie with our team, which made it so much fun."