Among the seven events being proposed as new events at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia, is a team skating event. International Skating Union President Ottavio Cinquanta is "99.9 percent sure this will happen," according to the LA Times.
According to Phil Hersh, the best cumulative score will win. Each team will compete one woman, one man, one pair, and one ice dance team, although they can switch which teams/skaters they use between the short and long programs. The top five countries will advance after the short program.
Here is a good explanation of why the top skaters are cringing right now:
The trick, of course, will be for a country's skating authorities to convince a skater with a strong shot at an individual Olympic medal -- especially gold -- to enter the team event as well. Some skaters might think of it as a good warmup. Some might think it is too physically and mentally taxing. Some might worry about ``wasting'' a great performance in the team competition.
The team event will lead to some rejiggering -- but not compression -- of the rest of the figure skating program.
Cinquanta actually envisions adding a second day of rest between the singles' short programs and free skates. That would be feasible by mixing the events: instead of each discipline running consecutively, you could have the pairs short followed by the men's short and then the pairs final, men's final, etc. And skating has gained one competition day with the elimination of compulsories in ice dancing.
I don't really see how this would work.. I am a skating fan but I don't even know how interested I would be in seeing skaters do the exact same routines twice in one competition. I would also be surprised that skaters would be willing to interrupt their focus on their individual (or pair, or ice dance) competition by competing in the team event. But then again, maybe it's just because I'm not really used to seeing skating as a national team sport (outside of Japan Open and...um...Ice Wars?).
Also, Hersh mentions that Cinquanta envisions controversy (the example in the article is that...say the US finishes second with Jeremy Abbott but then Evan Lysacek wins the Olympic gold medal with a score that would have helped the US win the team event). Cinquanta likes the idea of the controversy that could arise from that. Hey, at least it will provide fodder for us bloggers!
So, what do you think? The more skating, the better? Or is this overkill?