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An exuberant Jason Brown roots on his teammates.


disciplines in a three-day tournament modeled after the ISU World Team Trophy. T e U.S. has twice won gold in that event since it began in 2009. “We took that fun and that excitement that we always


have at [World] Team Trophy and we made it a little more businesslike because it’s an Olympic event,” Abbott said. “You can still see the teams were having fun with each oth- er and really kind of pushing each other along. T ere was great camaraderie.” For Gold, who shied away from team sports growing


up, the extra pressure turned into extra support. “It’s another chance to watch fi gure


skating,” Gold said. “It’s another chance to cheer on, not just a specifi c skater, not just a specifi c team but cheer on your country.”


An enthusiastic cheering section off ers invalu- able support for Team USA. Right, The U.S. Team displays all of its bronze medals for this inspiring photograph.


Team USA gets fi red up following the Team Event fl ower ceremony.


T e three-day event began on


Feb. 6, a day prior to the formal start of the Winter Games and before any of the individual events. As a result, the Team Event provided a chance to acclimate to an Olympic competition.


“For most of us fi rst-timers, we don’t know what


to expect,” Wagner said. “Going into the individual event now, we know what to expect. We know what it’s going to feel like as soon as we step out there. As soon as we hit that fi rst pose and that music starts up, we know how to deal with it.” Also skating at their fi rst Games, Castelli and


Shnapir credited their run at the Team Event for their new personal records. “Getting a feel for the ice and the energy of the


crowd and trying to take everything from the Games here really gave us another advantage almost,” Shna- pir said.


Castelli added, “I said to Simon before, ‘It feels like our second Olympics we’re going into.’” For Brown, the experience in Sochi was in a way


reminiscent of the support he experienced at the U.S. Championships. “When I heard them screaming from the booth,


it just brought that rush of support and that feeling of home,” Brown said of his teammates. “It’s truly some- thing that I’ll never forget.”


SKATING 15


CLIVE MASON/GETTY IMAGES


PHOTO BY JOSH ELLIS


DARREN CUMMINGS/POOL/GETTY IMAGES


DARRON CUMMINGS/AFP/GETTY IMAGES


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