Team event scores perfect marks

Plus, it gives the skaters a chance to hone their routines under Olympic pressure while better introducing viewers to the top skaters from around the world.

"Think of other Olympics when they have the preliminary round," Carroll said. "You make it to the final, and it's a whole new ballgame. Who is really going to run the fastest? Now it's like who is really going to skate the best."

The scoring system needs changing, though. As it stands, the short program is essentially more important than the free program. That's because the difference between finishing first and last in a free program is just four points (team points range from 10 to 6), compared to nine points in the short program (team points range from 10 to 1).

That steals some drama because teams' fortunes can rise or fall only so much. Russia's gold, Canada's silver and America's bronze were already mathematically assured Sunday before the final dance routine started.

"I didn't do a whole lot of the math myself," White said. "What we really focus on as skaters heading into it is just putting out the best performance we can. We feel like it was very drama-filled from start to finish. But from a numbers standpoint, I think it's really hard to evaluate.

"I think this was a great first Olympic team event, something that will go down in history and that we're proud to be a part of. But who knows, maybe they will tweak it a bit. We'll see."

Oh, and one more thing to tweak: As I've suggested before, to really set this competition apart, I would like to see the skaters wear team uniforms rather than their normal costumes. Or at the very least, require them to wear sequins, rhinestones and feathers that reflect the national colors.

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