Americans fail to medal in women's figure skating; Gold finishes 4th

Secondary to Russia's first-ever gold in women's figure skating and the budding scoring controversy was the performance of the three Americans in the field.

Gracie Gold had the best chance to medal heading into Thursday's free skate, but an early fall doomed her chances and she finished in fourth place. Ashley Wagner finished seventh, and Polina Edmunds was ninth.

It marks the first time since 1936 that the United States did not win a medal in a men’s or ladies’ individual figure skating event at the Olympics.

"When I went down on it, I thought, 'Dang it! That's what Frank Carroll (her coach) told me not to do: 'Don't drop that right arm.'" Gold told Reuters. "I went down on the triple flip but, at the end of the day, skating these three programs at the Olympics was wonderful."

Gold, who entered the day in fourth place following the short program, finished 11 points back of third place finisher Carolina Kostner of Italy.

Gracie Gold fell during her free skate and finished fourth.
Gracie Gold fell during her free skate and finished fourth. (Reuters)

Adelina Sotnikova upstaged defending champion Kim Yuna to become the first Russian woman to win the Olympic individual figure skating gold medal. The 17-year-old was all smiles as her total of 224.59 left her 5.48 points ahead of silver-medalist Kim.

Despite finishing behind Gold, Wagner had a somewhat redemptive showing after a dreadful performance at nationals last month. She had an overall clean skate but didn't do nearly enough to threaten the podium.

"I learned a lot about competing here and I learned a lot about putting things in perspective," Wagner told Reuters. "I'm so proud of what I did at these Olympic Games. Coming in, I was an underdog and some questioned whether I belonged on the team."

Edmunds was the third-best American, finishing ninth overall. The 15-year-old fell during her final routine, but was otherwise solid in her first career international event.

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