BEIJING (NEXSTAR) — The men and women of Team USA figure skating should be leaving Beijing with a silver medal. But, because of the controversy surrounding Russian figure skating star Kamila Valieva, they are going home empty-handed.
There would be no medal ceremony for the team competition, as the world got word of the doping investigation into Valieva. Team USA say they are finding the silver linings even though they’re frustrated.
“We were all changed and went to meet to all go to the ceremony together,” says Madison Chock. “As soon as we got down there, we heard it was canceled and it was just a bit of a shock and a disappointment.”
“Honestly, it was just kind of bizarre,” says Evan Bates. “You know I think coming into the games we were prepared for some uncertainty and maybe some strangeness, but this was stranger than I think we were even anticipating.”
And now, as the investigation continues, the team will leave Beijing with no silver medal in hand.
“To not be able to share in that moment together as a team, to be able to celebrate that is something is definitely something that’s missing,” says Zach Donahue.
Bronze medalist and, now coach, Adam Rippon says standing on the podium was for his family, friends and coaches.
“It was a moment for them to celebrate everything that had gone on to be here at the Olympics and now those moments are stolen from their families and their coaches and their friends.”
But despite the disappointment, they’re finding the positives.
“If it’s not happening in Beijing, that means it’s going to happen when we get back to the states and that means our families could be there and that would be really cool, definitely,” says Madison Chock.
“And Vincent would be able to join us which is another kind of, maybe a silver lining that Vincent wasn’t able to do it on the day it was scheduled,” says Evan Bates
They say they are looking forward to the day this is resolved.
“As an athlete that has competed for a long time, I think we just want fairness and we want to be able to trust that the system is working.”
If Kamila Valieva medals in the individual event, there will not be a medal ceremony for that event as well.