The ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating 2012/2013 kicks off on October 19 with the first of six events in Kent/Seattle, USA. In this pre-Olympic season, the series features the World's top figure skaters who are competing for a prize money of US $ 180,000 per individual event of the Grand Prix.
126 skaters/couples from 18 ISU Members have been invited. The number of entries for each event is ten Ladies, ten Men, eight Pairs and eight Ice Dance couples. The top six qualifiers in each discipline will proceed to the Final in Sochi (RUS), December 6 to 9, 2012 which is also the figure skating test event for the Olympic Winter Games 2014.
The Grand Prix series 2012/2013 features reigning World Champions Patrick Chan (CAN), Aliona Savchenko/Robin Szolkowy (GER) and ice dancers Tessa Virtue/Scott Moir (CAN) as well as European Champions, former World Champions, Four Continent Champions, current and former Olympic and World medalists.
The series opens with Hilton HHonors Skate America in Kent/Seattle (USA), October 19 to 21. The event features 2012 World silver medalists Meryl Davis/Charlie White (USA), European silver medalists Ekaterina Bobrova/Dmitri Soloviev (RUS), World silver medalists Alena Leonova (RUS), Tatiana Volosozhar/Maxim Trankov (RUS) as well as 2010 Olympic silver medalists Qing Pang/Jian Tong (CHN) and World bronze medalist Yuzuru Hanyu (JPN).
The roster of Skate Canada International in Windsor (CAN), October 26 to 38, includes four-time and reigning World Champions Aliona Savchenko/Robin Szolkowy (GER), two-time World Champion Patrick Chan, World and Olympic Ice Dance Champions Tessa Virtue/Scott Moir (CAN), World bronze medalist Akiko Suzuki (JPN) and Grand Prix Final bronze medalist Javier Fernandez (ESP).
Cup of China is the third event and will be held in Shanghai November 2 to 4. The event is headlined by two-time World Champion Mao Asada (JPN), European Ice Dance Champions Nathalie Pechalat/Fabian Bourzat (FRA) and World silver medalist Daisuke Takahashi (JPN). Former World Champion Brian Joubert (FRA), World Junior Champions Victoria Sinitsina/Ruslan Zhiganshin (RUS), World Junior Champion Julia Lipnitskaia (RUS) as well as World bronze medalists Narumi Takahashi/Mervin Tran (JPN) and Four Continents Champions Wenjing Sui/Cong Han (CHN) are other top contenders.
The series continues with the Rostelecom Cup in Moscow (RUS) November 9 to 11 with Chan, Volosozhar/Trankov, Virtue/Moir, Leonova, 2011 World Junior Champion Adelina Sotnikova (RUS). Johnny Weir (USA) starts his comeback on the circuit.
The Trophée Bompard in Paris (FRA), November 16 to 18 is the next stop. Savchenko/Szolkowy will be challenged by two-time World bronze medalists Yuko Kavaguti/Alexander Smirnov (RUS), Amodio and Joubert will meet three-time U.S. Champion Jeremy Abbott and Weir. Four Continents Champion Ashley Wagner (USA) competes against Lipnitskaia and Elizaveta Tuktamysheva (RUS), while Pechalat/Bourzat lead the Ice Dance event.
The last spots for the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final then will be decided in Miyagi (JPN) at the NHK Trophy November 23 to 25. Top contenders include Takahashi, Hanyu, Fernandez, Asada, Suzuki, Davis/White, European bronze medalists Elena Ilinykh/Nikita Katsalapov (RUS), Takahashi/ Tran and Sui/Han.
The skaters are seeded and invited to the Grand Prix of Figure Skating based on the results of the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2012. Skaters/couples who have placed 1 to 6 in each of the four categories are considered to be seeded and are assigned to two events. Skaters/couples who have placed 7-12 at the ISU World Championships 2012 are selected for two ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating events, and skaters with a high seasons best score as well as those placed in the top of the World Standings can also be invited. In order for a skater/couple to be eligible to compete at a Grand Prix event, a minimum score must have been achieved. The minimum score for the 2012/13 season is 113.43 points for Ladies; 159.66 points for Men; 120.90 points for Pairs and 109.59 for Ice Dance.
Competitors collect points in their Grand Prix events towards the qualification for the Grand Prix Final.
The prize money is awarded to winners and placed skaters/couples as follows:
1st place US $ 18,000
2nd place US $ 13,000
3rd place US $ 9,000
4th place US $ 3,000
5th place US $ 2,000
The points are awarded as follows:
1st place 15 points
2nd place 13 points
3rd place 11 points
4th place 9 points
5th place 7 points
6th place 5 points
7th place 4 points
8th place 3 points
Pairs and Ice Dancers collect points up to 6th place. The global prize money for the Grand Prix Final is US $ 272,000.