Best of the U.S.: Two-time U.S. champions Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir.
Best of the rest: Reigning world champions Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov of Russia; four-time world champions and reigning Olympic bronze medalists Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy of Germany. The Russians are looking to regain the Olympic pairs supremacy that ended in 2010 after 12 straight Russian/Soviet golds (one shared.)
U.S. chances to medal: None. Top-eight finish would be surprising. The last U.S. pairs medal came in 1988.
Little-known fact: The much-discussed yellow pants Trankov wears in free skate while portraying Jesus to music from "Jesus Christ Superstar" have their own Twitter account: @trankovspants.