SOCHI, Russia - It's a battle between a defending champion, a 15-year-old Russian prodigy and an American sweetheart.
The stage is set for the ladies figure skating event on Wednesday – and in addition to the customary sequins and dazzling jumps, it's sure to bring plenty of drama as 30 women take the ice to duke it out for the gold.
It's a big, talented field, but we found six skaters who we think will stand out from the crowd. Be sure to watch NewsChannel 5 at 7 p.m. to watch the competition unfold! :
Yuna Kim (skating 17th): She obliterated the field in Vancouver (setting a world record in the process!) and she's hoping to score a repeat medal in 2014. It's Yuna Kim's final Olympics, and while she remains humble, all indications are that she's in it to win it. You can read more about Yuna here: http://on.ksdk.com/1oPgMhB.
Gracie Gold (skating 22nd): The favorite Team USA figure skater to win a medal in Sochi, 18-year-old Gracie skyrocketed to fame after placing first at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships last month in Boston. She told the Denver Post last year she believes her last name puts added pressure on her to win. Learn more about Gracie here: http://on.ksdk.com/1gTzgcG
Yulia Lipnitskaya (skating 25th): Called the "human pretzel," Russia's 15-year-old skating phenom has already won one gold medal…and could be on her way to another. Known for the sort of prowess and compelling back story that can make even Vladimir Putin crack a smile, Yulia is already Russia's sweetheart, and a gold medal could further cement that status. Read more about Yulia here: http://on.ksdk.com/1htAoXU.
Adelina Sotnikova (skating 29th): You hear a lot about Yulia, but 17-year-old Adelina beat her in this year's Russian Championships, and rang in a close second place to the 15-year-old during the European Championships. Winning the national championship isn't that big of a deal for Adelina – she did it when she was just 12-years-old! Read more about Adelina here: http://on.ksdk.com/1oPi1NX.
Ashley Wagner (skating 27th): She almost didn't make the 2014 women's Olympic figure skating team after falling twice at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Boston last month. She was named to the three-person team instead of third place finisher Mirai Nagasu, causing controversy on social media. Despite the drama, Ashley is confident she will perform well in Sochi, and help Team USA bring home another medal. Read more about Ashley: http://on.ksdk.com/1bjW8CR
Mao Asada (skating 30th): After winning the silver at Vancouver in 2010, Mao has her sights set on gold. With plans to retire from skating after Sochi, this is the two-time world champion's last chance to reach her dream. Read more about Mao: http://on.ksdk.com/1ffqbLq