Host City: Sochi, Russia
Venue(s): Iceberg Skating Palace, Adler
Date Started: February 19, 2014
Date Finished: February 20, 2014
Format: Total of points from short program and free skating.
Yu-Na Kim was the defending champion and considered the favorite but she was in an unusual position. She had rarely lost since Vancouver but after winning the 2013 World Championship, took a sabbatical and came to Sochi somewhat untested of late. If she did not win, the Russian crowd looked to 15-year-old hyper-flexible wunderkind Yuliya Lipnitskaya, who had recently won the European Championship and Skate Canada and had wowed the crowd with her performance during the team trophy competition in Sochi. Japan’s Mao Asada, the 2010 silver medalist, was also given consideration for the Olympic title.
In the short program, Kim showed she had little rust from the lay-off, skating ethereally, so much so that one Olympic writer tweeted, “Her skating would have made a lumberjack cry.” She led, but barely over Russia’s little known Adelina Sotnikova, with Italy’s Carolina Kostner, the 2012 World Champion but a veteran looking for her first Olympic medal, in third. Lipnitskaya struggled in the short and was only in fifth place, while Asada skated terribly for her, placing 16th, and ending her medal hopes.
Sotnikova had been runner-up at the 2013 and 2014 European Championships, and had been 2011 World Junior Champion, but had never skated at the World Championships or Olympics, and the gold medal seemed to be conceded to Kim. In the free skate she performed last and again skated beautifully, with no major flaws. But Sotnikova won the free skate and defeated Kim for the gold medal, by a fairly comfortable margin, presumably based on greater difficulty in her free skate, which included a triple Lutz-triple toe loop and a double axel-triple toe loop combination. Kostner took the bronze medal. Asada redeemed herself with a beautiful free skate that moved her up to sixth place overall.
After the competition there was some minor controversy about the judging, with fans and some experts claiming the result was flawed because of Russian bias. It appeared to die out quickly but then one month after the Olympics ended, the Korean Skating Federation protested the result to the International Skating Union (ISU), claiming prejudice on the judging panel, which had several judges from former Soviet republics.
Kim retired from Olympic-style competition after the Olympics ended. Lipnitskaya finished in fifth place, behind American Gracie Gold. For the first time since 1936 at the Olympics, no American man or woman won a medal in singles competition.
|2||Yu-Na Kim||23||South Korea||KOR||Silver||219.11|
|4||Gracie Gold||18||United States||USA||205.53|
|7||Ashley Wagner||22||United States||USA||193.20|
|9||Polina Edmunds||15||United States||USA||183.25|
|10||Mae Berenice Meite||19||France||FRA||174.53|
|16||Kim Hae-Jin||16||South Korea||KOR||149.48|
|21||Park So-Yeon||16||South Korea||KOR||142.97|
|22||Alžběta Ukolová||15||Czech Republic||CZE||136.42|
|23||Anne Line Gjersem||20||Norway||NOR||134.54|
|25 r1/2||Jenna McCorkell||27||Great Britain||GBR||48.34|
|26 r1/2||Kerstin Frank||25||Austria||AUT||48.00|
|27 r1/2||Viktoria Helgesson||25||Sweden||SWE||47.84|
|28 r1/2||Nataliya Popova||20||Ukraine||UKR||47.42|
|29 r1/2||Jelena Glebova||24||Estonia||EST||46.19|
|30 r1/2||Isadora Williams||17||Brazil||BRA||40.37|