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Canada wins team figure skating; Nagasu makes U.S. history

Canada took home gold with 73 total points for the figure skating team event on Monday at Gangneung Ice Arena in Gangwon.

Figure skaters from Team Canada celebrate after winning gold in the team event at Gangneung Ice Arena in Gangwon on Monday. From left: Scott Moir, Tessa Virtue, Gabrielle Dalemen, Andrew Poje, Meagan Duhamel, Kaetlyn Osmond and Patrick Chan. [YONHAP]
Patrick Chan of Canada was the first to contribute his points to Team Canada on the final day of the event, winning the men’s singles with 179.75 points. Chan fell during his short program on Friday, but redeemed himself during the free skate to win his first Olympic gold medal in his third Winter Games. It was a memorable win for Chan, who said he plans to retire after PyeongChang.

Second place went to Mikhail Kolyada representing the Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR), scoring 173.57 points, while Adam Rippon of the United States won third with 172.98 points.

Canada also dominated the ice dance segment for free dance.

As expected, gold for ice dance went to Canada’s three-time world champions and Olympic champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir. Dancing to a medley of songs from “Moulin Rouge,” the pair received 118.10 points for their performance, adding another 10 points to Canada’s cumulative score.

U.S. siblings Maia and Alex Shibutani placed second with 112.01 points while OAR pair Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev came in third with 110.43 points.

The OAR team bagged silver, while the U.S. received bronze.

But the highlight of the event came from Mirai Nagasu of the United States, who made history with her triple axel during the ladies’ single free-skating program. She is the first American female figure skater to do so, and the third woman in history to land the risky jump at the Olympics. Making three-and-a-half rotations in the air, the 24-year-old landed solidly, receiving a standing ovation from the crowd.

While she is the first American female figure skater to land the triple axel at the Olympics, the feat has been done before by Midori Ito and Mao Asada, both from Japan. Only eight women have ever completed the jump at an international competition. The only other American to do so was Tonya Harding.

Despite the impressive feat, Nagasu did not place first for the event. She came in second with 137.53 points after Alina Zagitova of the OAR, who scored 158.08 points. Gabrielle Daleman of Canada was close behind Nagasu with 137.14 points.

BY LAURA SONG [song.hankyul@joongang.co.kr]
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