2013 ISU World Team Trophy | Tokyo
Congratulations to Team USA as they take home the gold medal from 2013 World Team Trophy. Team Canada won silver, while Team Japan earned bronze. The Americans have now medaled in each of the three World Team Trophy events (gold in 2009, silver in 2012).
“I couldn’t be more proud of Team USA,” team captain Ashley Wagner said. “Everyone went out and skated with their hearts and really pulled it together during a difficult time. It’s not easy to compete at the end of the season and a few weeks after Worlds. But here we are and everyone skated so well. I’m very proud.”
Simply put, Gracie Gold and Wagner were on fire for Saturday’s free skate with both ladies earning their best free skating scores of the season to propel Team USA to victory.
Wagner “overcame” an undone hair bun midway through her skate to earn 128.83 points for her final free of the season. She totaled 188.60 points and was second in the ladies event behind Japan’s Akiko Suzuki.
“I’m ecstatic,” she said. “I’m tired. It’s been a long season. But season’s best at the last competition of the year, I can’t be happier. Even with the hair mishap, it was a fun program for me more than anything else.”
Gold was equally strong in her performance and finished just behind Wagner with 188.03 points (also a personal best). Her free skate was worth 127.05 points. As Gold looks toward the Olympic season, she hopes to increase her second mark and become more consistent throughout the season.
“I need to work on choreography and have more intricate programs,” she said. “I also need to work on doing the same thing at every competition with less up and downs. Just ups – good performances for next year.”
Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir finish fifth with 172.30 points. The duo attempted their first ever competitive quad Salchow. Though Castelli fell, they take the confidence with them of putting it out in competition.
“I thought it was a great program,” she said. “It’s our first time putting out the quad Salchow. I went for it, it’s been good in practice. We are happy with how we skated overall.”
Due to their schedules, Castelli and Shnapir have had the most Team USA cheer time with Castelli choreographing many of the team’s Kiss and Cry celebrations.
“The week has been great. I never expected it to be this fun,” she said. ”
The 2013 U.S. pairs champs will take a few weeks off before beginning their title defense.
Said Shnapir, “We are going to take a couple weeks to relax. We will reconvene, get back into it and get our programs in May. It’s a quick turnaround. We’re ready for it though.”
Madison Chock and Evan Bates maintained their first-place standing after the short dance to win the event and earn 12 points toward Team USA’s final score. Max Aaron added nine points for his fourth-place finish and Jeremy Abbott seven for his sixth-place showing.
Team USA officially begins the offseason tonight, but there will be little rest as our athletes will soon begin, if they haven’t already, preparation for the all-important 2014 Olympic season!