figure skating

Two U.S. Duos Competing in Winter Olympics Pairs Figure Skating

China and the ROC are favorites heading into the pairs short program

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

Only three more figure skating medals are up for grabs at the 2022 Winter Olympics.

The pairs event begins at 5:30 a.m. ET on Friday with the short program at Capital Indoor Stadium. Nineteen duos will compete in the short program with the top 16 advancing to the free skate on Saturday.

Who is competing for Team USA in pairs figure skating at the 2022 Winter Olympics?

Team USA will have two pairs in the event.

Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier represented the U.S. in the pairs short program and free skate for the team event at these Olympics, placing third in the former with a score of 75.00 and fifth in the latter with a 128.97. While Frazier is making his Olympic debut in Beijing, Knierim earned bronze in the event at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics while competing with her husband and former skating partner, Chris Knierim.

Team USA’s other pair, Ashley Cain-Gribble and Timothy LeDuc, has been skating together since 2016. The duo is making its Olympic debut after coming in first at the 2022 U.S. Figure Skating Championships. LeDuc is making history in Beijing as the first publicly non-binary Winter Olympian.

Who are the favorites in pairs figure skating at the 2022 Winter Olympics?

Neither U.S. duo is expected to be a threat to medal.

The Russian Olympic Committee has three pairs in the event, with two expected to be in the running for gold. Anastasia Mishina and Aleksandr Galliamov are the reigning world champions, while Aleksandra Boikova and Dmitrii Kozlovskii earned bronze at the 2021 world championships. Yevgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov are also competing for the ROC and are the team’s only pairing with Olympic experience, placing fourth in PyeongChang.

Pairs skating offers the host nation its best – and final – chance at an Olympic figure skating medal. Chinese duo Sui Wenjing and Han Cong were less than a point away from winning gold in PyeongChang and are looking to move up from silver. China has medaled in the pairs event at four of the previous five Olympics.

During the team event, Wenjing and Cong placed first in the pairs short program, while Mishina and Galliamov placed first in the pairs free skate.

What is the starting order for the pairs short program at the 2022 Winter Olympics?

Here is the full start order: 

  1. Karina Safina/Luka Berulava, Georgia
  2. Alexa Knierim/Brandon Frazier, United States
  3. Vanessa James/Eric Radford, Canada
  4. Riku Miura/Ryuichi Kihara, Japan
  5. Miriam Ziegler/Severin Kiefer, Austria
  6. Laura Barquero/Marco Zandron, Spain
  7. Ioulia Chtchetinina/Mark Magyar, Hungary
  8. Jelizaveta Zukova/Martin Bidar, Czech Republic
  9. Hailey Kops/Evgeni Krasnopolski, Israel
  10. Nicole Della Monica/Matteo Guarise, Italy
  11. Minerva Fabienne Hase/Nolan Seegert, Germany
  12. Kirsten Moore-Towers/Michael Marinaro, Canada
  13. Ashley Cain-Gribble/Timothy LeDuc, United States
  14. Peng Cheng, Jin Yang, China
  15. Rebecca Ghilardi/Filippo Ambrosini, Italy
  16. Anastasia Mishina/Aleksandr Galliamov, ROC
  17. Sui Wenjing/Han Cong, China
  18. Evgenia Tarasova/Vladimir Morozov, ROC
  19. Aleksandra Boikova/Dmitrii Kozlovskii, ROC
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