Host City: Sochi, Russia
Venue(s): Iceberg Skating Palace, Adler
Date Started: February 6, 2014
Date Finished: February 9, 2014
Format: Point-for-place scoring used for each of the 8 phases, and added together for final team score, with several tiebreakers. Top 5 teams after four rounds proceeded to final rounds.
The team event was new to the Olympic Program, and it had not yet even been contested at the World Championships. The event was a mixed one, with each team having a male singles, female singles, pair, and dance couple skating both a short and long program. The skaters could change after the short program, thus a full team could consist of 12 skaters. Ten teams competed with scoring on a reverse point-for-place basis, with 10 points to the winner of each segment, down to 1 point for placing 10th. After all four disciplines skated a short program, the lowest five ranked teams were eliminated and the top 5 skated long programs in each of the four segments, with teams then receiving 10-9-8-7-6 points for their placements.
Russia dominated the event. During the Sochi Olympics they would win 3 of the 5 figure skating events, but the team trophy started it off. The first segment was men's singles short program, which was led by Japan's Yuzuru Hanyu, who would eventually win the gold medal in the men's competition, but Russia's Yevgeny Plyushchenko, skating despite significant back problems, finished second. And in the second segment, when the Russian pair of Tetiana Volosozhar and Maksim Trankov won, Russia was in a lead which they never relinquished. After that segment, the battle would remain only for the silver and bronze medals.
The three favorites for the medals had always been Russia, Canada, and the United States, but the United States started out very poorly, with their men's skater, Jeremy Abbott, placing only seventh. Their pairs team of Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir was fifth, but the team remained in seventh after two segments, and there was some concern that the US would not make the cut after the short programs. This concern disssolved after the US eventual gold medal-winning dance couple of Meryl Davis and Charlie White won that segment, and moved the US into third place, trailing Russia and Canada.
And that was how the medals turned out. One problem with the event was that the scoring system did not allow for much movement up-or-down after the first few events, and the medals were basically determined after 6 of the 8 segments. There was discussion that the scoring system would have to be tweaked for future competitions, to make it more competitive and bring some drama to the final phases.