The crowd in the Iceberg Skating Palace was boisterous and loyal to the Russian skaters, but once they recognized the opening notes to the Germans' music, which was from the classic Tchiakovsky ballet, The Nutcracker, the fans began to cheer.
Shortly after the Germans opened their program, though, Szolkowy fell on a triple toe loop and the crowd cheered again, this time knowing full well that the gold would end up in Russian hands. The cheers were not lost on the Germans. Savchenko and Szolkowy did not give up on their program, even attempting the throw triple Axel at the very end, but Savchenko fell, and so did their gold-medal hopes.
"For me, it was not the best to skate here," Szolkowy said. "We are in Russia and Russian skaters are on the ice. I would say it would be the same in Germany. At least they clapped after our performance.
"This is a really hard time for us right now," Szolkowy added. "Yesterday, we were in second place after the short program and we wanted to fight to win. Now, it feels like we lost a lot."