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Beijing Rewind, Feb. 12: US in medal position in ice dancing, women's monobob

Some great performances by Team USA on Saturday is putting them in position for a medal haul on Sunday.

BEIJING, China — Two skating couples are in the running for another Team USA medal and bobsledder Kaillie Humphries started her first Olympics as a U.S. citizen strong with a legendary teammate right behind her. Here's some Olympic happenings to know from Saturday. 

Ice dancing

Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France broke their own world record in the rhythm dance, giving them a buffer from their closest rivals heading into the free dance to decide the medals Sunday. 

Those rivals? Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov, reigning world champions from Russia, who stayed within striking distance of gold.

Next came the U.S. contingent: Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue, who just missed the medals four years ago, then Madison Chock and Evan Bates.

RELATED: Who's the bad guy? Madison Chock and Evan Bates skate to Billie Eilish

The two American teams are already assured of at least one medal from Beijing after helping take silver in the team event last week. That could eventually be upgraded to gold depending on the outcome of a Russian doping inquiry.  

Humphries excels in first Olympics as US citizen

Kaillie Humphries, who became a U.S. citizen just nine weeks before the Beijing Olympics, grabbed control in the first two runs of the inaugural monobob competition. The reigning world monobob champion finished two runs with a massive lead over second-place Christine de Bruin of Canada. 

Three-time Olympic medalist Elana Meyers Taylor of the U.S. was fourth --staying right in the medal hunt.

RELATED: Here's how monobob is making an impact on female bobsledding

Decision on Russian figure skater could come Sunday night

Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva remains on the preliminary start list for the short program at the Olympic Games, drawing a spot in the final group among 30 figure skaters due on the ice Tuesday morning at Capital Indoor Stadium in Beijing.

Valieva will start 26th if the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which is meeting later Sunday, allows her to perform. The court released a statement saying it expects a ruling by Monday afternoon in Beijing, which would be late Sunday night or early Monday morning in the U.S.

Valieva’s status was thrown into question this past week following a flagged drug test taken in December. She's favored to win if she's allowed to compete.

Credit: AP
Kamila Valieva, of the Russian Olympic Committee, trains at the 2022 Winter Olympics, Thursday, Feb. 10, 2022, in Beijing. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Tough day for U.S. curling teams

The U.S. men's curling team dropped games to Norway and Canada. The defending gold medalists are now 2-3 in round robin play and are now in a virtual must-win situation for their final four games. 

The U.S. women lost their first Beijing Olympics game to Great Britain on Saturday and are now sitting at 3-1 in the standings with five games to play.

RELATED: Rules of the game: Olympic curling explained

Also worth knowing:  

American Katie Uhlaender finished just off the podium in women's skeleton on Saturday, ending up sixth after her final run -- less than 0.8 seconds from bronze. She's one of four U.S. athletes in Beijing who qualified for their fifth Olympics, an exclusive group that also includes snowboarders Shaun White and Lindsey Jacobellis and curler John Shuster. 

Credit: AP
Katie Uhlaender, of United States, slides during the women's skeleton run 3 at the 2022 Winter Olympics, Saturday, Feb. 12, 2022, in the Yanqing district of Beijing. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky)

Gao Tingyu thrilled the home crowd in Beijing by becoming the first Chinese man to claim an Olympic gold medal in speedskating, winning the 500 meters in Olympic record time.

The women’s Olympic skiing slopestyle qualifying event has been moved to Sunday with the final the following day. The competition was postponed Saturday due to wind, snow and low visibility. 

The men’s slopestyle qualification has switched from Sunday to Monday. The final will now be Tuesday.

Jennifer Campbell-Hicks contributed to this report.

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