Women's Figure Skating begins in Sochi - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Women's Figure Skating begins in Sochi

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SOCHI, RUSSIA -

Good weather is back in Sochi, and it's show time in ladies figure skating

There are three Americans competing, including Gracie Gold and Ashley Wagner, who finished fourth at national championships, but got a place on the team based on her overall season. Her berth sparked outrage and now she wants to prove the selection committee made the right decision.

Ashley Wagner knows she isn't favored for a place on the podium, but says the critiques of her performance style are motivation.

"I really think one of my strengths is when I step out onto the ice, I am not a pretty, pretty princess," Wagner said. "But I totally embrace that I am a woman out there. I am strong. I am powerful. I am fierce and that is really what I am trying to show people. I am trying to bring a little bit of edge to figure skating."

The men's Vancouver gold medalist Evan Lysacek says, as disappointing as it is, the reality is that the American ladies are a long shot in Sochi.

"I got to go with the hometown girl, Yulia Lipnitskaya, on home ice," Lysacek said. "But she is going to have pretty fierce competition. Yuna Kim is back - the reigning Olympic champion from Vancouver. The South Korean, Mao Asada, wants that gold medal. She had to settle for silver in Vancouver.  And then, other international skaters are very strong - Carolina Kostner from Italy. I mean, it's an extremely deep field."

The USA Men's hockey team plays the Czech Republic today.

They are expected to win that match with more formidable opponents, perhaps Canada or Russia, ahead.  Remember these USA teammates are in the NHL as competitors.  They are 3-0 coming into the match tonight, which helps them feel confident. But still it's a work in progress. 

"We know we came here with really seven days to come together as a team and that doesn't happen with a magic potion," said Coach Dan Bylsma. "But I think you have seen our team do quite a bit of sacrificing for each other and how we play. We play tough and seen guys block shots and lie down in front of it and that has all happened in hours, not weeks and years. So it will be put to the test in game one."

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