Tennell got the nod over Mirai Nagasu and Karen Chen.
Tennell, who was chosen Saturday over U.S. teammates Mirai Nagasu and Karen Chen to compete in Sunday's event, earned her spot on the U.S. team by winning the U.S. Figure Skating Championship women's title January 5 in San Jose, California.
The injury then deteriorated and by 2016, some thought her career might be over. Scott Moir and Tessa Virtue finished in first place Saturday with a score of 80.51 and helped Canada get out to a powerful lead overall with 45 points. Skating to "Taeguki" by Korean composer Dong-Jun Lee, Tennell landed a triple axel and triple jump, earning applause from the sold-out crowd of about 10,000 spectators at Gangneung Ice Arena and a roaring ovation as she concluded the routine. "I've done this 1 million times, and this was just 1 million and one".
Olympic buzz began about her in 2015 when she won the US junior title, before she suffered the back injury.
But OAR vaulted ahead of the United States after a handsome short program by defending world champion Evgenia Medvedeva, 18, that earned a record score of 81.06 and thrilled a cheering section of Russian fans who brandished their nation's colors on hats, scarves, signs and banners. "There's no sense in worrying about something that's out of my control", she said. "I don't think I could have asked for a better first program at the Olympics".
Virginia gets No. 1 overall seed in preliminary NCAA Tournament bracket
With Duke, Clemson and North Carolina also included, the ACC comprised 25 percent of the top 16. The No. 2 seeds are: Auburn (22-3), Kansas (19-6), Duke (19-5) and Cincinnati (22-2).
"Other skaters have complained about the early time for the competitions, which are normally held in the evening, but this, too, Tennell takes in stride". She said her only nerves were "butterflies" she felt briefly before her routine began.
"I've been in Chicago", she responded.
She's not the only member of her family with the skating bug, either-her two younger brothers play hockey.
"My family has been here with me on this insane journey from the beginning, so I feel that it's only right they be here to see this destination".