SOCHI, Russia — As run-throughs go, this one was delightfully productive. Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir still have the Olympic pairs competition ahead of them but no matter how they fare this week they’ll leave the Games with a bronze medal.
“It was a great warm-up, getting our legs under us,” Shnapir said Sunday night after he and Castelli had contributed significantly to the cause as the Americans placed third behind Russia and Canada in the inaugural team figure skating event at the Games.
The two-time national champions, who are the first Olympic medalists from the Skating Club of Boston since Paul Wylie won silver in 1992 in Albertville, skated both the short and long programs, as did dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White, and scored 13 of the Americans’ 60 points. Since the team pairs segment ended on Saturday, Shnapir, a Russian emigre who lives in Sudbury, and Castelli, a Cranston, R.I., resident, had the pleasure of being cheerleaders for the finale before becoming the first US pair to collect an Olympic medal since Jill Watson and Peter Oppegard in 1988.
“I said to Simon, it feels like another Olympics we’re going to because we’ve already skated two programs,” said Castelli.
Next up are the pairs’ short program on Tuesday, followed by the free skate on Wednesday.
Low ceiling for Hendrickson
Questions about Sarah Hendrickson’s right knee supposedly were answered a few weeks ago when it was confirmed she’d compete at the Sochi Games in the first women’s ski jumping competition at the Olympics.
She’s here all right, but only a shadow of her former self.
The 19-year-old defending World Cup champion from Park City, Utah, has had a challenging start in her Olympic training sessions in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. On Sunday, she passed on the first round of jumps, then finished 27th of 29 jumpers in Round 2, and 23d of 25 in Round 3.
On Saturday, she finished last and next-to-last in her two jumps.
Even worse, she admits her surgically-repaired knee is still hurting, making her an unlikely top finisher in the gold medal final on Tuesday at the RusSki Gorki Jumping Center.
Hendrickson said she requested a lower gate than the other jumpers Sunday, meaning she will have no chance to jump as far as her competitors because of her lack of speed off the ramp.
‘‘My coach and I decided,’’ Hendrickson said. ‘‘I still have pain in my knee. There’s no need to jump too far. I don’t want to sacrifice anything.’’
And she said her problems might be as much psychological as physical.
‘‘Of course, I have this in the back of my head,’’ she said. ‘‘I know I can get injured again, but I have to push it out of my head.’’
Five months ago, Hendrickson, who has won 13 World Cup events since 2011, crashed in a training session, tearing the ACL and MCL off the bone, and damaging 80 percent of her meniscus. She had surgery Aug. 29 and appeared extremely doubtful for Sochi.
But she returned to jumping Jan. 11 and was named to the US team in late January.
However, she was unable to compete before Sochi, and it’s showing.
Daniela Iraschko-Stolz of Austria dominated the training sessions Sunday, proving her first-day performance was no fluke. Perhaps as important, she’s sending a message to 17-year-old gold medal favorite Sara Takanashi of Japan.
Iraschko-Stolz relegated Takanashi, who has 10 World Cup victories this season, to second place in two of three training jumps Saturday. She finished first in two training runs Sunday before deciding not to bother with the third. Takanashi was first in the third session, after coming in second and third in the others.
Jessica Jerome had finishes of eighth, ninth, and 15th, while fellow American Lindsey Van was seventh, 13th, and 16th.
Schaus in net
Former Boston College goalie Molly Schaus will be between the pipes for the US women’s hockey team’s second game of the tournament, Monday against Switzerland. Jesse Vetter started the first game, a 3-1 victory over Finland. The Americans face rival Canada on Wednesday . . . Jenny Jones made history in the women’s slopestyle final, grabbing bronze with a precise run through challenging Rosa Khutor Extreme Park to become the first British athlete to win a medal in a snow-based Olympic event. ‘‘It feels incredible, absolutely incredible,’’ Jones said. ‘‘I'm just in a moment right now.’’ Skier Alain Baxter briefly gave Britain its first medal on snow when he came in third in the slalom in Salt Lake City in 2002, but his medal was later stripped for a failed drug test . . . Haavard Klemetsen of Norway finished first in two of three ski jumping sessions on the opening day of Nordic combined training for the individual Gundersen normal hill event in Krasnaya Polyana. Not far behind was Jason Lamy Chappuis of France, who won gold in the event at Vancouver in 2010, with a second and two thirds. Taihei Kato of Japan was the top finisher in the third session. Nordic combined features ski jumping and a cross-country ski race, but the 10-kilometer race training is optional. Many competitors skied just parts of the new course adjacent to the ski hill. Todd Lodwick, who carried the US flag at the Opening Ceremony, had two jumps that placed him in the back of the field.
Material from the Associated Press was used in this report. John Powers can be reached at email@example.com.