A woman had never landed a quadruple jump in the Olympics before February 7, 2022.
Ten days later, we saw 10 quads attempted in the women’s free skate at the 2022 Winter Olympics.
With two of these quads, the Russian Olympic Committee skater Anna Shcherbakova added an Olympic gold medal to his 2021 world title. After an incredible and historic five quads, his teammate Aleksandra Trousova won the money.
After the third ROC skater, Kamila Valievawho finished first in the short program, fell twice and failed to land cleanly on any of her three quads, she finished fourth.
It’s from Japan Kaori Sakamoto who won the bronze medal.
Editor’s note: Relive the event as it unfolded in real time with updates from our live blog below.
Group 1 feat. Schizas
The first of four groups will have seven skaters, followed by six in each subsequent group. This is because the International Olympic Committee and the International Skating Union have decided that 25 skaters will move to free skating, one more than usual, if Valieva is among the top 24, in light of the case in course surrounding his December 25 positive test for trimetazidine which came to light on February 8.
5:15 a.m. ET: Finland Jenni Saarinen, who benefited from this rule, struggles in this Rachmaninov program, falling on his first triple flip and two more jumps; begins the free skate with 96.07 points and a total of 153.04.
5:23 a.m. ET: Great skate for Ekaterina Kurakova Poland, who scores 126.76 points for a total of 185.84 which will move her up the standings.
5:31 a.m. ET: A missed free for the Bulgarians Alexandra Feigin, who sub-spins almost all of her jumps and lands on a triple loop. She is second with 100.15 points and a total of 159.31.
5:38 a.m. ET: Dutch skater Lindsay van Zundert keeps us all awake and alert with the sounds of a ringing phone and a siren in its music. Kurakova continues to progress as van Zundert scores 116.57 points (175.81 overall).
5:46 a.m. ET: If you were looking for a more popular track, Estonia Eva Lotta Kiibus delivers with “Shadow” and “I’ll Never Love Again” from the 2018 film “A Star Is Born.” A drop here and she scores 112.20 for a total of 171.75.
5:53 a.m. ET: Canada Madeleine Schizas ends her Olympic debut with her fourth skate here (she beat Canada in both parts of the team event). Falls on his last jump, a triple loop, scoring 115.03 and finishing third (175.56).
6:01 a.m. ET: Skate for Switzerland, born in Connecticut Alexia Paganini ends this group with a double Olympian performance Johnny Weier calls “cautious”. She is fifth so far with a score of 107.85 (168.91).
Current top 3: Kurakova (POL), van Zundert (NED), Schizas (CAN)
Group 2 feat. Karen Chen
6:18 a.m. ET: Olga Mikutina start the group. Fun fact: she finished eighth at the 2021 World Championships for the highest placing by an Austrian in 24 years. After a handful of questionable jumps (underrotations), she’s second with 121.06 points (182.20 overall) and won’t do worse than 19th here.
6:24 a.m. ET: Belarus’ Viktoria Safonova closes in on longtime leader Kurakova, gaining 123.37 points for a total of 184.83 – in second and 1.1 points off first.
6:32 a.m. ET: Azerbaijani Ekaterina Ryabova collects 118.15 points for “Notre Dame de Paris”, one of the most famous musical selections in the world of skating. She is fourth with a total of 179.97.
6:40 a.m. ET: Japan Mana Kawabe, who won a Grand Prix silver medal this season, is ninth with 104.04 points (166.73 overall). The 17-year-old under-rotated and came out of her first triple axel attempt, and fell on both triple lutzes.
6:48 a.m. ET: Nicole Schott from Germany now, skating to “Rain, in Your Black Eyes,” which some American fans may know from Amber Glenn’s free skate over the past two seasons. With a score of 114.52, she passes fifth (179.93 in total).
6:55 a.m. ET: The first of three Americans, Karen Chen, has produced remarkable and exquisite performances during her career – even placing fourth twice at the world championships – but once again, she can’t seem to muster them at the Olympics. She lands her hand on a triple loop, does a triple lutz, lands on another triple loop and is currently fifth with a free skate of 115.82 points and a total of 179.93.
Current top 3: Kurakova (POL), Safonova (BLR), Mikutina (AUT)
Group 3 feat. Mariah Bell, Alysa Liu
7:23 a.m. ET: Alright, the ice has been redone and we’re back with the second-to-last group. Eliska Brezinova — sister of the quadruple Olympian Michael Brezina — starts things off in a dress that, according to an NBC colleague, “is fire.” Ends looking relieved after crashing twice later in the program. Drops to ninth in the standings with 111.10 for his free program and a total of 175.41.
7:32 a.m. ET: Team USA Mariah Bell takes ice cream to kd lang’s version of “Hallelujah”. She brought that back for Olympic season after knocking the house down at the 2020 U.S. Championships. The oldest woman in the field at 25, Bell seems just plain thrilled with how her Olympic moment turned out, as does men’s best friend and olympic gold medalist Nathan Chen from the stands. This should move her up from 11th place in the standings. And she is clearly ahead with 136.92 points and a total of 202.30. It’s been a long and beautiful reign for Kurakova, who jumps at least 13 spots from the short program to the free skate.
7:39 a.m. ET: An emotion Anastasia Goubanova, who skated for her native Russia until this season when she began representing Georgia, has her own Olympic moment with a personal best 135.58 points for that performance. She is right behind Bell with a total of 202.30.
7:47 am ET: It has become apparent that we are nearing the end of this event, which is to see the best skaters in the world! – as we hit one awesome skate after another. south korean Yelim Kim also seems pleased with her triumphant performance, which nets 134.85 points for the lead (202.63 overall).
7:54 a.m. ET: The American Trio Finals, Alysa Liu, lands a triple axel on one foot (however called underrotation). She seems to be loving every second of this program and the 16-year-old has made it clear that she is officially enjoying being an Olympian. After a big hug from teammate Bell after her program, Liu scores 139.45 points and is first with a total of 208.95. His triple lutz-triple toeloop that was to be in the second half of the program (for a 10% bonus) missed that mark by literally a second. No worse than eighth for her and 10th for Bell.
8:02 a.m. ET: Belgium Loena Hendrickx, fifth at the 2021 World Championships, jumped her last jump (a salchow), which cost her the lead. Anyway, she will have the best Olympic result in figure skating by a Belgian woman. Second behind Liu with a score of 136.70 and a total of 206.79.
Current top 3: Liu (USA), Hendrickx (BEL), Kim (KOR)
Group 4 feat. Kamila Valieva
8:17 a.m. ET: South Korea young you kicks off the latter group, which is half full of ROC skaters, to the music of “Les Miserables.” Underturns his triple axel attempt. “She’s a very smooth jumper – that’s the key to figure skating, to make it look easy even though it’s so hard,” said the 1998 Olympic champion. Tara Lipinsky said. Guarantees himself sixth or better with 142.75 points and a total of 213.09.
8:25 a.m. ET: “IS IT THE LION KING?!” a colleague exclaims that Japan Wakaba Higuchi skates. And yes, yes, it does – especially the live-action version of 2019. The 2018 world silver medalist starts with a clean triple axel, then drops to her triple lutz-triple toeloop combo. Her score is 140.93 and she takes first place (214.44 overall).
8:34 a.m. ET: Quad Alert! Trusova opts for the five quads provided in this “Cruella” soundtrack program and seems to rotate four completely. Stepped on his curl and his lutz was a quarter underturned. A personal best of 177.13 for this free skate and waaaay ahead of the peloton with a total of 251.73.
8:42 a.m. ET: Sakamoto has a strong skate but lacks triple axles or quads and is no match for the ROC team. She earns 153.29 points in the free and places behind Trusova with a total of 231.33.
8:49 a.m. ET: Defending world champion Shcherbakova lands her two quad flips, plus six triples. She remains ahead of Trusova with 175.75 points for her free program and a total of 255.95 points.
8:58 a.m. ET: Short program leader Valieva makes several startling errors in this performance, falling twice and unable to land any of her three quad attempts cleanly. The 15-year-old looks completely crestfallen at the end of her performance. The performance scores 141.93 points and finishes fourth with a total of 224.09.
Women’s figure skating medalists: Shcherbakova (ROC) – gold, Trusova (ROC) – silver, Sakamoto (JPN) – bronze