Ashley Cain-Gribble and Timothy LeDuc entered Saturday’s free skate needing perfection to top their record-breaking competitors and reach the podium.
The duo had some perfectly-executed elements, like their throw triple salchow, but stumbled on others. They received a score of 123.92 in the free skate, which combines with their 74.13 in the short program for a score of 198.05.
Cain-Gribble and Timothy LeDuc received a technical score of 59.74 and component score of 66.18, losing two points on mandatory deductions after falls by Cain-Gribble on the side-by-side triple loop and jump combination.
With six pairs remaining, they currently sit in second behind Japan’s Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara, who have a combined score of 211.89 after receiving a 76.10 in the short program and 141.04 in the free skate.
Cain-Gribble and LeDuc finished seventh in the short program with a 74.13, receiving a 39.91 technical score and 34.22 component score in their Olympic debut. LeDuc made history by doing so, becoming the first publicly non-binary Winter Olympian.
Also with a chance of medaling for the U.S. are Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier, who took sixth place in the short program with a score of 74.23.
Still to perform in the free skate are gold-medal favorites, including China’s Sui Wenjing and Han Cong set a short program record with a score of 84.41. The ROC had the next three top finishers as Evgeniya Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov took second with a score of 84.25, Anastasia Mishina and Aleksandr Galliamov placed third with an 82.76, and Aleksandra Boikova and Dmitrii Kozlovskiy finished fourth with a 78.59.