Felicia Zhang and Nathan Bartholomay of the USA perform in the pairs free skate program during the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games at Iceberg Skating Palace. Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
Sochi, Russia (WTSP/USA TODAY) -- Teammates Felicia Zhang and Nathan Bartholomay from Ellenton placed 12th in pairs figure skating with a score of 110.31 in the free skate and 167.21 overall Wednesday.
This was the duos first Olympics, and they trained all year locally for the opportunity to compete in Sochi. The pair skated their way to a silver medal on Jan. 11 at the U.S. Championships earning them an Olympic spot.
Related: Ellenton skaters representing Team USA in Sochi
RECAP: Pairs figure skating analysis
Fellow Americans Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir placed ninth in the event.
Castelli and Simon Shnapir just missed in their attempt to become the first to land the throw quad salchow at the Olympics. She stayed upright but two-footed the landing. But their score of 120.38 in the free and 187.82 overall gave them a ninth place finish overall. They were 13th at the world championships last year.
"It was right there," said Castelli told USA TODAY Sports. "This was the first time I felt a little nervous on the ice. It's our last performance at the Olympics, we didn't have two or three more. But we pulled through. I wish I had landed it. I was right there."
Shnapir said their Olympic experience was all positive. They'll leave with a bronze medal in the team event.
"We came here to compete, we came here to show off our strengths. I think we did that," he said. "We couldn't be more happy with our results. We got season bests in all four programs.''
Castelli and Shnapir skated both the short and the free skate in the first Olympic team event.
"I think we felt it today," said Shnapir. "We were trying to conserve energy, or be smart with how much energy we were using earlier in the week. Going into today, we knew we had to put everything we had left in the gas tank out on the ice and we did that. But we're exhausted."
So the drought continues for the USA. It hasn't won an Olympic pairs medal since Jill Watson and Peter Oppegard took bronze in 1988 in Calgary.
"We're ready to move forward," said Castelli. "We've got worlds in two months, and we're ready to improve there as well."
Russian pair Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov took gold posting a score of 152.69 in their free skate and 236.86 overall to move into first place.
"It was our obligation to bring the gold back to Russia. The whole country was expecting that," Trankov said after a finale in which another Russian pair claimed the silver.
"I believe today my enormous country should celebrate this victory with us."
Russia's silver medalists were Ksenia Stolbova
and Fedor Klimov. The 2014 European silver medalists posted a 143.47 in the free skate and 218.68 overall.
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