Adam Rippon will be taking to the ice a bit earlier than some expected in these Winter Olympics, as he has been tapped to represent Team USA in the men’s free skate in the final night of the team event.

This might be a bit of a surprise to some, as the other two men representing the United States at the Olympics — national champion Nathan Chen and Vincent Zhou — both outperformed Rippon in the free skate at the Nationals last month.

Yet Rippon brings tons of experience to the event. After watching Chen underperform a bit in the short program of the team event, and wanting to save his legs a bit for the individual competition, Team USA went with the “elder statesman” of the team to close out the competition. This has likely been part of their plan all along.

Also competing for Team USA on the final night of the team event are Mirai Nagasu, and the sibling ice dance pair Maia and Alex Shibutani.

Team USA is currently in third place in the team event, three points behind the Russians and one point ahead of Italy. So it will be a big night ahead!

You can find complete Winter Olympics 2018 coverage on SB Nation, and Outsports will have the LGBT angle.