Olympics - Figure skating-US sensation Tennell cool as ice

Olympics - Figure skating-US sensation Tennell cool as ice

Olympics - Figure skating-US sensation Tennell cool as ice

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For many sports fans who tune into figure-skating only once every four-year Olympic cycle, Sunday's women's short program offered the first look at Tennell, the 2018 U.S. Champion, who had no global profile to speak of just six months ago.

Tennell's short program is set to music from the film "Taegukgi", a popular South Korean movie. On the first night, Nathan Chen faltered while the pairs team of Alexa Scimeca-Knierim and Chris Knierim put out their best short program of the year.

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The Russian athletes - competing under a neutral flag with their nation banned from the games after a massive doping coverup - are in second with 39 points.

Maia and Alex Shibutani placed second in the short dance - Team USA's highest segment finish so far in the team event. "We've been training so hard, and to be out on Olympic ice for the first time, we are really happy with it", Maia said following their skate. (Russia, whose name is not recognized at these Winter Games, is the defending gold medalist in figure-skating's team event). Tennell earned a score of 68.94, just one hundredth of a point behind the fourth-place finisher, Satoko Miyahara of Japan.

Germany excelled early on in South Korea and ascended to the top of the medal table with two golds on the first day of competition, but Sunday could provide a chance for the Netherlands to climb above them from second. Kostner will skate her free skate Monday for Italy.

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Figure skating coverage continues with the men's and women's free skate and free dance on Sunday, Feb. 11. Their short dance received a level two for their rhumba and a level three for step sequences, but they receive level four for their twizzles and rotational lift.

She started skating at age 2.

Asked if she ever got nervous, Tennell confessed to butterflies the moment before she takes the ice for competition. "The performance felt great and we felt good about what we did out there", Alex said.

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