But OAR vaulted ahead of the United States after a handsome short program by defending world champion Evgenia Medvedeva, 18, that earned a record score of 81.06 and thrilled a cheering section of Russian fans who brandished their nation's colors on hats, scarves, signs and banners. The Shibutani siblings also skated in Sochi, where they finished ninth in ice dance, but this is their first time taking part in the team event at the Games.
They say they can't operate the gondola lift that would carry teams and officials up the mountain.
After Wednesday night's team event - which included performances from Nathan Chen married pairs team Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Chris Knierim - the United States sat in second place behind Canada.
While Tennell earned a season-high 68.94 points for her performance, it was only good enough, in judges' eyes, to place her fifth among the field of 10 women representing their countries in the team event at Pyeongchang Games. Canada leads with 35 points; the OAR is second (31), followed by the United States (29) and Japan (29).
Two-time U.S. Champions Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani finished behind Virtue and Moir in second place, retaining the second place spot for Team USA.
Bradie Tennell, the 2018 us national champion, placed fifth in her Olympic debut.
United States of America figure skating announced Adam Rippon will compete in the men's free skate, and Mirai Nagasu will skate in the ladies' free skate. They earned a 75.46, which was nearly four points lower than their season's best of 79.10 at Skate America, but felt that they had made improvements since the U.S. Championships last month.
The top five nations after their short programs advance to the free skate later Sunday.
"We are a little surprised by the score, to be honest".
The Shibutanis will compete in the free dance of the team event Monday. The athletes are judged as usual, but standings are determined by points. Team USA is again in position to medal when the event concludes in PyeongChang on February 12.
The free dance will conclude the team competition Monday at 12:10 p.m. Korea/ 10:20 p.m. EST Sunday.