Top Story Lines for the Short Program
• If there is anything to concern Medvedeva’s fans, it is that she broke her foot in November. But she looked sharp in the team event, earlier in the Games, getting comfortably the top score in the short program. She will skate to a Chopin nocturne.
• Her main threat could be her countrywoman, Alina Zagitova, who beat her at the European championships. Zagitova is a double-take worthy 15 years old. At the team event, she was chosen for the free skate and crushed the field, miles ahead of the heralded performance of Mirai Nagasu of the United States. She will skate to music from the film “Black Swan,” which came out in 2010, when she was 8 years old.
• With the one-two punch of Medvedeva and Zagitova, Russia could be looking at its first gold medal of the Games.
• Other medal contenders include the 31-year-old veteran Carolina Kostner of Italy, who has been competing at the Olympics since 2006 and won a bronze four years ago, and Kaetlyn Osmond of Canada, the world silver medalist. Kostner and Osmond finished 2-3 behind Medvedeva in the team event short program.
• The American who has received the most attention is Nagasu, a 2010 Olympian who was passed over for the team in 2014. Her fine team event performance signaled she is back. Karen Chen, 18, was fourth at the world championships last year. Bradie Tennell rounds out the field. She will be the first woman to skate in the field of 30.