Well, Russian or Soviet teams have won every Olympic pairs gold medal since 1964. Tonight, that streak has ended, as China's veteran pair of Xue Shen and Hongbo Zhao were able to finally get the one prize they were missing - the Olympic gold medal. They did not skate a perfect program (they had a freak error on a lift) but it was enough to keep them in the lead. Their countrymates Qing Pang and Jian Tong gave a thrilling performance to The Impossible Dream to win the free skate, but they could not do better than silver overall.
Two-time reigning world champions Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy of Germany made multiple errors and had to settle for the bronze medal for their beautiful Out of Africa program (they were way too close in score to Pang and Tong considering the skate). Russia's Yuko Kavaguti and Alexander Smirnov had a lackluster skate with numerous mistakes and found themselves off the podium entirely.
Imperfect but positive skates were seen from the American pairs of Amanda Evora and Mark Ladwig and Caydee Denney and Jeremy Barrett. They finished in tenth and thirteenth place, respectively.
Overall, the evening was error-prone and did not measure up to the promise of the short program last night, but the feel-good ending provided a great moment as all the hard work of Shen and Zhao finally paid off.
||Xue Shen and Hongbo Zhao||China||216.57
|2||Qing Pang and Jian Tong||China
|3||Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy
|4||Yuko Kavaguti and Alexander Smirnov
|5||Dan Zhang and Hao Zhang||China||194.34|
|6||Jessica Dube and Bryce Davison||Canada||187.11|
|7||Maria Mukhortova and Maxim Trankov
|8||Tatiana Volosozhar and Stanislav Morozov||Ukraine||181.78|
|9||Anabelle Langlois and Cody Hay
|10||Amanda Evora and Mark Ladwig||USA||171.92|
|11||Vera Bazarova and Yuri Larionov
|12||Nicole Della Monica and Yannick Kocon
|13||Caydee Denney and Jeremy Barrett
|14||Vanessa James and Yannick Bonheur
|15||Anais Morand and Antoine Dorsaz
|16||Stacey Kemp and David King||Great Britain||139.94
|17||Maylin Hausch and Daniel Wende||Germany||138.74
|18||Joanne Sulej and Mateusz Chruscinski
|19||Maria Sergejeva and Ilja Glebov||Ukraine||124.90
|20||Ekaterina Kostenko and Roman Talan