The 2012/2013 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating opens this Friday with Hilton HHonors Skate America in Kent/Seattle, Washington. Skate America is the first of six events in the series. The skaters compete for a global prize money of US $ 180, 000 per individual event of the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating and receive points according to their placements.
48 skaters representing 11 ISU members will start their season at Hilton HHonors Skate America this week.
World silver medalists Meryl Davis/Charlie White (USA) headline the Ice Dance competition and will face 2012 European silver medalists Ekaterina Bobrova/Dmitri Soloviev (RUS) and 2012 Four Continents bronze medalists Kaitlyn Weaver/Andrew Poje (CAN). Other competitors are German Champions Nelli Zhiganshina/Alexander Gazsi, Lorenza Alessandrini/Simone Vaturi (ITA), Anastasia Cannuscio/Colin McManus (USA) and Lynn Kriengkrairut/Logan Giuletti-Schmitt.
Two-time and reigning World silver medalists Tatiana Volosozhar/Maxim Trankov (RUS) lead the Pairs. Competition should come from two-time World Champions Qing Pang/Jian Tong (CHN) and U.S. Champions Caydee Denney/John Coughlin (USA). Also competing are Danielle Montalbano/Evgeni Krasnopolski (ISR), Vanessa James/Morgan Cipres (FRA), Marissa Castelli/Simon Shnapir (USA) and Gretchen Donlan/Andrew Speroff (USA).
The Men's event is highly competitive with 2012 World bronze medalist Yuzuru Hanyu (JPN, 2011 World silver medalist Takahiko Kozuka (JPN), 2011 Skate America Champion Michal Brezina (CZE), 2008 European Champion Tomas Verner (CZE) and three-time U.S. Champion Jeremy Abbott (USA). The other competitors are Tatsuki Machida (JPN), Konstantin Menshov (RUS), Alexander Majorov (SWE), Armin Mahbanoozadeh (USA) and Douglas Razzano (USA).
The Ladies event features 2012 World silver medalist Alena Leonova (RUS), 2012 Four Continents Champion Ashley Wagner (USA), 2011 World Junior Champion Adelina Sotnikova (RUS) and 2012 Skate America bronze medalist Viktoria Helgesson (SWE). Mae-Berenice Meite (FRA), Sarah Hecken (GER), Valentina Marchei (ITA), Haruka Imai (JPN), Rachael Flatt (USA) and Christina Gao (USA) are also aiming at a succesful start of their season.
More information is available at www.isu.org
The schedule of Hilton HHonors Skate America is as follows:
Friday, October 19: Pairs and Men's Short Program
Saturday, October 20: Ladies Short Program, Short Dance, Pairs and Men's Free Skating
Sunday, October 21: Free Dance and Ladies Free Skating, Exhibition Gala