- Associated Press - Thursday, February 6, 2014

SOCHI, Russia (AP) - At the inaugural Olympic team figure skating competition, the special sections for skaters to watch their compatriots were packed.

The stands, not so much.

On Thursday night at one of the Sochi Games’ first events, 10 viewing areas were set up next to the ice for the athletes not competing - perfect for fans and television viewers to catch their reactions. Each had two rows of seats, decorated with images of the country’s flags. Appropriate since they’re the medal favorites, the Canadian, Russian and American skaters had the best turnouts, all wearing their official team gear. The U.S. contingent also had flags to wave. Japan was the only nation with no athletes in the box at the start of the men’s short program.

The stands, though, were not as full. While there were few empty seats in the upper deck, there were plenty in the lower bowl.

- By Rachel Cohen - Twitter http://twitter.com/rachelcohenap

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Associated Press reporters will be filing dispatches about happenings in and around Sochi during the 2014 Winter Games. Follow AP journalists covering the Olympics on Twitter: http://apne.ws/1c3WMiu

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