Not even a violent fall could derail the Russian Olympic Committee in team figure skating as a command performance from 15-year-old Kamila Valieva propelled them to the top of the Olympic podium on Monday.
Valieva followed up her historic performance in Sunday's short program with another master effort in Monday's free skate to secure gold for the Russians. She made a rare mistake with a fall on a quad. But the two quad attempts that she did land were the first ever by a woman in Olympic competition.
Her effort left her well ahead of the competition with a score of 178.92 after Monday's free skate, more than 30 points ahead of second-place Kaori Sakamoto of Japan, who finished with a score of 148.66.
Chock, Bates star for USA in best-ever finishs
Meanwhile Madison Chock and Evan Bates' first-place effort in ice dancing meant that Karen Chen needed just a fourth-place finish in the women's free skate to secure silver for the United States. She delivered. Japan won bronze.
Valieva's free skate capped the competition that featured men's and women's singles and pairs competition as well as ice dancing. Her effort marked a victory lap for the Russians, whose score of 74 points was nine points better than the second-place Americans (65). Japan secured bronze with a score of 63. The second-place finish is the best ever for Team USA in team figure skating competition since the event debuted in Sochi in 2014.
Russian pair finishes first despite frightening fall
The Russians also secured first place in pairs competition despite a frighting fall from Anastasia Mishina and Alexander Gallyamov at the end of their free skate on Monday. The pair delivered a nearly flawless effort before Gallyamov lost his footing on the final lift of the performance, sending himself an Mishina crashing to the ice (3:55 below).
They completed their performance without immediate sign of injury, and Galliamov was able to lift Mishina back up into the air for a final pose before the music stopped.
Like Valieva, their fall didn't hurt them in the standings as their final score of 145.2 bettered Japan's duo of Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara, who finished in second with a score of 130.60.
Nathan Chen's first-place finish in the men's short program and Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue's first-place effort in rhythm dance on Friday helped propel the United States to silver.