I have no balance on skates, because of this, I have a deep appreciation for figure skaters. The ability to not only skate, but to twirl, flip, and launch themselves into the air is truly a feat. The first weekend of 2018 kicked off by the senior level National Championship for figure skating, and the ones who stood on the podium were almost guaranteed a spot on the U.S Olympic team for Pyeongchang. Unless people are involved in the sport – or wish they were involved – others don’t know much about the sport.
There are four categories: Men’s, Women’s, Pairs, and Ice Dance. Each league crowned a winner this past weekend, and each of them will be going to Pyeongchang. In each category, there are two competitions. The first is a short program where each competitor has to fulfill specific requirements, and are judged on how well they execute the tricks. The second is a free skate, where skater prepares a routine with 10 tricks, but they can be any tricks they want. The scoring is based on a technical and performance score, and thus each competitor is ranked on their scores.
The 2018 U.S Figure Skating Championship was a monumental year followed by monumental people. Names like Nathan Chen, Bradie Tennell, and Maia and Alex Shibutani will soon be household names. These skaters execute perfect techniques and beautiful performances that captivate the audience. I can’t accurately explain their performances, so you should watch for yourself; the 2018 U.S Figure Skating Champions.
First place went to reigning champion 18-year-old Nathan Chen. He is currently a shoe-in for gold at the Olympics.
Second went to an unexpected compeitior 26-year-old Ross Miner. Although he snagged the silver, he will not go to the 2018 Olympics.
Bronze went to 17-year-ol Vincent Zhou, and will be compeiting in Pyeongchang.
Although he finished in fourth, Adam Rippon will be the third member of the 2018 men’s team.
Another unexpected competitor Bradie Tennell snagged first place and a plane ticket to South Korea.
Mirai Nagasu placed third in 2014, but unfortunately was not selected to go to Sochi. However, this year Nagasu placed second and a spot on the Olympic team.
2017 Champion, 18-year-old Karen Chen finished third and will be making her Olympic debut.
The couple will be the lone pair travelling to Pyeongchang.
After placing third for three years, the duo placed first in the Ice Dance.
The brother and sister reigning champions were expected to place first, but unfortunately landed second. Regardless, they will still travel to South Korea.
A fan favorite and Olympic veterans, Chock and Bates obtained bronze and will travel with the 2018 National Ice Dance team.