Vladimir Putin watched the Russian figure skating team clinch the host country’s first gold medal of the 2014 Olympic games.
The Russian president, who wore a red track jacket, was brought to his feet after Yulia Lipnitskaya, 15, turned in a flawless performance for the host country in the women’s free skate.
The Russians dominated the event, which is new to the Olympics, earning 75 points. The Canadians garnered 65 points, which earned them a silver medal, while Team USA took bronze with 60 points.
The American team, which was favored to clinch gold, suffered a setback early on when Jeremy Abbott stumbled during his men’s short program.
A strong performance by Gracie Gold, who is expected to be a top contender for gold in the women’s individual event, helped prop up Team USA’s score. Ice dancing power couple Meryl Davis and Charlie White finished first in their category, bringing a much-needed 10-point boost to Team USA’s final score.