Detroit skaters compete in 1st ever Olympic team event

Canton's Meryl Davis and Charlie White expected to skate both their short and free dance programs in team event

Metro Detroit will be well represented during the first ever Olympic team figure skating event.

Ten countries will compete in the team competition: the United States, Canada, Russia, Japan, Italy, France, China, Germany, Ukraine and Great Britain.

Each country can have one skater in the men's, women's, pairs and ice dance events.   After the short programs are completed, five countries will be eliminated.  

In the second round, the remaining countries can make two changes to their skating line up if they choose to do so.

"I think it's amazing that skating finally gets more than one opportunity to win a medal," said US men's figure skater Jeremy Abbott.

Abbott, who trains at the Detroit Skating Club in Bloomfield Hills, will skate his short program in the team competition.

He is not the only skater from Detroit expected to represent the United States in this event.

"It's something that we're looking forward to," said Charlie White.

The skaters for ladies and ice dance will be announced Friday, but it's expected that Meryl Davis and Charlie White will skate both their short dance and free dance to help the US win a medal.

Canada is one of the favorite to win gold  in the team event with world champion Patrick Chan and gold medal Olympic ice dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir.  All three of them also train in metro Detroit at the Detroit Skating Club and the Arctic Edge of Canton.

"I think it's going to be really fun for the audience.  I feel that they'll be able to watch and be more invested into these athletes, get to know them better even now before they go on and do their individual competition," said Tara Lipinski.

Lipinski, who won an Olympic gold medal in ladies figure skating in 1998, told Local 4 she is not sure she would have loved competing in a team event ahead of her individual event.   She brought up a concern for the athletes to consider while competing.

"I think the biggest challenge is how to reign in that energy and to make sure that you don't give it all out all in the team event and don't save some of it for your individual event," Lipinski said.

The scores from each individual skater gets will count towards a country's overall total.   The country with the highest score wins the gold medal.

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