Figure skating 101: Competition format


The Olympic figure skating competition consists of five medal events: team event, men’s singles, ladies’ singles, pairs and ice dancing.

The singles and pairs events consist of two portions: the short program and the free skate. In the two singles events, 24 of the 30 competitors advance from the short program to the free skate. In the pairs event, 16 of the 20 pairs advance to the free skate.

The ice dance event also consists of two portions: the short dance and the free dance. In the ice dance event, 20 of the 24 ice dancing couples advance to the free dance.

The 2014 Olympic Winter Games marked the first time the team event was held. The team event consists of eight portions, two (short program/dance and free skate/dance) for each of the four disciplines. The five highest ranked countries after each of the short program phases will advance to the free skate phase.

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