World silver medalists Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto have easily won the compulsory dance portion of Skate America.
The Americans, who took the silver medal at the 2006 Turin Olympics, scored 39.28 points for the golden waltz Friday. They were well ahead of Russia's Jana Khokhlova and Sergei Novitski at 36.94.
Ice dancing continues with the original dance Saturday and free dance Sunday.
Belbin and Agosto have won Cup of China and are on pace to qualify for next month's Grand Prix Final in Tokyo. Another U.S. team, Meryl Davis and Charlie White, already is in the final.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
LAKE PLACID, N.Y (AP) _ Think butterfly. And hawk.
That's Kim Yu-na.
The world champion from South Korea floats so gracefully across the rink it seems her skates never touch the ice. And when it comes time to jump, she attacks those triples as if they were prey.
She is not so stylish when the myriad cameramen from her country trap her in the interview area, as they did after she practiced for Skate America. First in Korean, then in an ever-improving English _ Kim trains most of the time in Canada _ she answers questions while seemingly seeking a way out.
Kim is not overwhelmed by the attention, nor is she curt or unquotable with her responses. She simply wants to get back to work, if you want to call it that because she makes her work look oh, so easy.
"I am very comfortable on the ice. My condition is very good," the 19-year-old Kim said. "I was worried I would feel more pressure to be a world champion, but it was a good chance to get more confidence for me. So I think it's all good for me."
Good would be an understatement. Kim blew away a strong field at Los Angeles in March, and she easily won the first Grand Prix event this season in Paris _ topping her record score from worlds in the process. Barring injury, she will go to the Vancouver Olympics as the favorite.
"It's the beginning of the season and my second competition," she said of Skate America, which began Friday with dance, pairs and men's events. The women's short program is Saturday and the free skate on Sunday, with her toughest competition American Rachael Flatt.
"I have felt a little pressure because my first competition was even better than the world championships and now everyone expects me to do clean competitions. I really try not to care about that, and try my best."
Her coach, Brian Orser, knows all about being the best. He won the 1987 world title, meaning he went into the 1988 Calgary Olympics in his home country under the brightest spotlight. Kim will never get away from that glare in South Korea, where she is a pioneer in the sport, nor in Vancouver, where women's figure skating rivals just about anything for Olympic attention.
Kim has been comforted by the fact her coach experienced exactly what she is going through.
"After worlds, we talked about it being something I am familiar with, going to Olympics as a world champion," said Orser, who won silver medals in the 1984 and 1988 Winter Games. "When we got back to Toronto to begin preparing for the Olympic season, we put that title on the shelf. It was move forward to the Olympics. It's great to have that mindset, to look forward, and that's what she's done."
Orser won't let his student get comfortable, always stressing there is something to work on. Neither he nor Kim has been satisfied with her triple flips, so they've become a point of emphasis in training.
Meanwhile, Orser wants to make sure Kim can escape to a comfort zone because skating shouldn't always be on her mind. He notes that she likes to sing and has done so in some of the many commercials she appears in back home.
"She loves karaoke," he added.
Reminded that karaoke is very popular in Vancouver, Orser smiles knowingly.
"When she's done with the games," he said, "she can do all the karaoke she wants."