The men's short program had a little bit of everything: a record-setting performance, a horrific fall, and the career-ending withdrawal of a legend.
Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan set a world-record score after his dynamic program. He landed a huge quadruple toe loop, triple Axel and triple Lutz-triple toe late in the program. His score of 101.45 is the first to break the double-digit mark.
Canada's Patrick Chan was second after stepping out of his triple Axel. He still scored an impressive 97.52, just under four points behind the leader.
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Russia's Evgeni Plushenko, who helped the host nation win team gold, was expected to contend. The four-time Olympic medalist injured himself on a triple Axel during the warmup and withdrew from the competition. "I almost cried there," he said backstage, adding, "this is the end of my career." He reportedly retired after the event.
American Jason Brown was a breakout star. Although he lacks the quadruple jump that the top skaters landed, he skated clean and is currently in sixth, less than a point behind third-place skater Javier Fernandez. Brown's score was his highest to date. "It's so exciting — every competition I've gone to I've gotten a personal best," he said afterward.
[Photos: Russian Olympians who are also models]
The battle for the bronze will be tight, with five points separating third from 13th place.
Brown's teammate Jeremy Abbott had a horrific fall on his quadruple jump attempt, crashing into the boards and staying down for few seconds. Somehow, he managed to recover and catch up with his music and hit the rest of his elements. "As much of a disappointment as this is, I am not in the least bit ashamed. I stood up and finished this program, and I am proud of what I did in the circumstances." He's currently in 15th.
The full standings after the short can be found here.
The medals will be decided during Friday's free skate. Coverage begins at 10am ET/7am PT.