Turning Individual Athletes Into Team Players

Health & Family

The debut of the team figure skating event Thursday at the Olympics didn’t go so well for the Americans. After less than stellar performances by both the men’s entrants and pairs members, the U.S., a gold medal favorite going into the Games, is in danger of not making the second round of competition.

That’s the danger of a team event – or, in this case, a hybrid team event – in which athletes compete as individuals but their standing depends on the performance of others. In team figure skating, each discipline – ladies, men, pairs, and ice dance – accumulates points for a each team’s total. Only those with the top five point totals go on to skate off for a medal in the finals.

MORE:Team Figure Skating at the Winter Olympics: What You Need to Know

Tying their fate to the performance of others isn’t something that figure skaters…

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