For the first Olympics since 1936, the U.S. failed to win a medal in a singles figure skating event. But don't expect that to happen again in Pyeongchang. Hopes are especially high for three skaters who were rookies in Sochi.
Gracie Gold (above) finished fourth last week, just six months after switching to coach Frank Carroll, who changed her short program and refined her technique. Gold, 18, has already joked and juggled on The Tonight Show and has the moxie to stand up to a spotlight that will only shine brighter.
At 19, ponytailed Jason Brown, who dropped from sixth to ninth after some bobbles in his free program in Sochi, needs to incorporate higher-scoring jumps that he doesn't have and improve the ones he does. But his speed, stamina and contagious enthusiasm are fine just as they are.
Like Brown, 15-year-old Polina Edmunds needs to get physically stronger to complete her jumps, but she is already an elegant spinner with polish beyond her years.
AL TIELEMANS/SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (G. GOLD)