Thirteen U.S. Athletes to Compete at 2011 Junior Grand Prix Final and Grand Prix Final
|Meryl Davis and Charlie White perform at 2011 Hilton HHonors Skate America (photo by Getty Images/Stephen Dunn)|
Competition Notes (PDF)
(12/5/11) - Thirteen U.S. athletes will compete at 2011 ISU Grand Prix Final and Junior Grand Prix (JPG) Final this week in Quebec City, Canada.
Competition begins Thursday with all four junior disciplines taking the ice, while the seniors begin competing Friday at the Pavillon de la Jeunesse at ExopCite.
NBC Sports will broadcast the Grand Prix Final ladies and men's free skates on Sunday, Dec. 11 from 12-2 p.m. (ET) with additional broadcast coverage on Universal Sports. Coverage of the event will also be available to UniversalSports.com subscribers. Visit www.UniversalSports.com for more information.
For full coverage, including news, photos and results, visit www.icenetwork.com. Live and on-demand video coverage of the Grand Prix Final will be available to icenetwork.com Season Pass subscribers.
Grand Prix Final
LadiesAlissa Czisny is the reigning Grand Prix Final champion. The 2011 U.S. titlist began the season by winning gold at 2011 Hilton HHonors Skate America, the first event of the Grand Prix Series.. She went on to secure bronze at Trophee Eric Bompard in Paris in mid-November.
MenJeremy Abbott, the 2008 Grand Prix Final champion, makes his third trip to the Grand Prix Final and first since placing fourth in 2009. Abbott's season includes a gold medal from Cup of China and a bronze from Rostelecom Cup.
Ice dancingThe United States will send two ice dancing teams to the Grand Prix Final for the first time since 2008. Meryl Davis & Charlie White enter the event having won eight consecutive events dating back to 2010 NHK Trophy. The 2011 World champions, Davis and White are two-time reigning Grand Prix Final titlists and added the bronze medal at this event in 2008. Maia Shibutani & Alex Shibutani earned their spot at the Grand Prix Final thanks to a gold medal at NHK Trophy, their first Grand Prix Series win, and silver at Cup of China. Both teams train in Canton, Mich., under coaches Marina Zoueva and Igor Shpilband.
The Grand Prix Series, now in its 17th season, consists of six international events in a cumulative point-scoring format. Approximately 300 athletes from 30 countries participated in the series. Each athlete is eligible to score points in two of the six scheduled events. The top six point-earners in each discipline qualified for the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final in Quebec City, Canada, Dec. 8-11. Athletes will compete for a total of more than $1.35 million in prize money throughout the series and Grand Prix Final.
Junior Grand Prix Final
LadiesVanessa Lam qualified for the JGP Final following first- and third-place finishes in Austria and Australia, respectively.
MenJoshua Farris looks to improve on a sixth-place finish at this event a year ago. Farris won a pair of gold medals in Estonia and Poland to qualify for his second JGP Final. He is joined by Jason Brown, who won the JGP Australia title and added a silver medal at JGP Italy.
PairsFor the first time since 2007, the U.S. qualified two pairs teams for the JGP Final. Britney Simpson & Matthew Blackmer joined forces last spring and enjoyed immediate international success, winning the JGP Poland title and following that up with a silver medal at JGP Estonia. Jessica Noelle Calalang & Zack Sidhu clinched a spot in the JGP Final after finishing third in Estonia and fourth in Poland. However, the duo withdrew from the JGP Final on Nov. 30, due to an injury to Sidhu.
Ice dancingAlexandra Aldridge & Daniel Eaton, who began competing internationally in 2010, secured a pair of medals with silver in Austria and bronze in Latvia.
Now in its 15th season, the JGP Series consists of seven international events in a cumulative point-scoring format. Approximately 400 athletes representing more than 35 countries participated in the series. Each athlete is eligible to score points in two of the seven scheduled events (pairs can compete in two of four designated events). The top six point-earners in each discipline qualified for the Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final, Dec. 8-11 in Quebec City, Quebec.