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[PyeongChang 2018] Korean ice dance team finishes 18th after Arirang free dance

GANGNEUNG, South Korea -- South Korea's sole ice dance team of Min Yu-ra and Alexander Gamelin finished 18th in the PyeongChang Winter Olympics after performing their emotional "Arirang" free dance.

Min and Gamelin scored 86.52 points in the free dance at the Gangneung Ice Arena and posted an overall 147.74 points to finish 18th. They were 16th after the short program on Monday with a score of 61.22.

The gold medal went to three-time world champions and former Olympic champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada, who received a record 206.07 points overall, edging out the reigning European champions Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France by 0.79 points.

Min Yu-ra and Alexander Gamelin of South Korea compete in the Ice Dance Free Dance (Yonhap)
Min Yu-ra and Alexander Gamelin of South Korea compete in the Ice Dance Free Dance (Yonhap)

The Canadian couple now has two gold medals at PyeongChang as Canada also won the figure skating team event last week.

US siblings Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani, the bronze medalists at last year's World Figure Skating Championships, won bronze with 192.59 points.

Dressed in the traditional Korean attire of hanbok, Min and Gamelin skated to "Arirang," one of the best known folks song in Korea. Their costumes and movements were harmonized with the music sung by Korean pop singer Sohyang.

They chose the folk number, symbolizing Korean sentiment and culture, as a tribute to the Korean fans and the country that gave them the chance to be on Olympic ice.

After their performance, the arena burst into thunderous applause, with cheers and shouts by the home crowd, who held their breath during the familiar four minute and five second "Arirang" free dance.


The duo was satisfied that they showed their free dance to the home fans although their rating Tuesday was far below their season high of 91.27.

"I wish it isn't an ending now. I almost like, (want to) go out there and do it again," said Min, who was born in California to South Korean parents. "The program was so easy. I breezed through it. The whole crowd was with us, and we were with the crowd. The whole performance was just amazing."

Her partner Gamelin, who was naturalized as South Korean last year to skate under the Korean flag at the PyeongChang Olympics, said their free skating was good enough to meet their goal.

"It wasn't the most perfect technical skate, but we think we really brought the story to everyone here," the US-born Gamelin said. "I'm happy with this emotion, (feeling) gratitude (for the) program." (Yonhap)