Nathan Chen to lead U.S. skaters in Olympic team event

Nathan Chen training at Olympics - Credit: Getty Images

Nathan Chen training at Olympics – Credit: Getty Images

When the 2022 Olympic figure skating competition gets underway, three-time world champion Nathan Chen will lead a U.S. team looking to improve on its two Olympic bronze medals in the team event.

U.S. Figure Skating announced that Chen, ice dancers Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue and the pair of Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier will compete Friday local time on the first of three days for the team event.

The competition will stream live starting at 8:55 p.m. ET Thursday on Peacock, and NBC. The event starts with the men’s short program, followed by the rhythm dance at 10:35 p.m. ET and pairs short program at 12:15 a.m.

Figure skating’s Olympic team event features 10 of the top nations in the world vying for one set of medals. Each participating country has one entry in the men’s/women’s/pairs short programs and the rhythm dance. The field is then narrowed to the top five teams, which have one entry each in the men’s/women’s/pairs free skates and the free dance.

SEE MORE: Germany to compete in figure skating team event without a pair

Teams are able to make two changes apiece from the short/rhythm to the free, meaning Jason Brown or Vincent Zhou could compete in the men’s free skate instead of Chen, for example; the men’s free skate for the team event falls two days before the men’s singles event begins.

Russian teams won both gold medals awarded in the team event since its Olympic debut in 2014 (first as Russia, then Olympic Athletes from Russia). Competing this time as the Russian Olympic Committee, the team is again the odds-on favorite to top the podium.

Japan has a solid chance to earn its first Olympic medal in the event.

Chen will aim to avenge his poor short program performance from the 2018 Olympic team event that placed him fourth in that segment.

SEE MORE: Nathan Chen reflects on highs and lows of 2018 Olympics

At their second Olympic Games, Hubbell and Donohue will make their first team event appearance, though the three-time ice dance world medalists did help the U.S. team to a win at the 2019 World Team Trophy.

Knierim is an Olympic team event bronze medalist from 2018 with her husband and then-skating partner Chris, but she and Frazier are competing in their first team event together. They were on the WTT squad that earned bronze last year.

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