The ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating 2013/2014 kicks off this week with the first of six events in Detroit (USA). In the Olympic season, the series features three reigning World champions as well as Olympic Champions and medalists, European Champions, Four Continents Champions, World, European and Four Continents medalists as well as all current World Junior Champions. The world's top figure skaters are competing for a prize money of US $ 180,000 per individual event of the Grand Prix.
126 skaters/couples from 16 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 Fukuoka (JPN), December 6 to 8, 2013.
The skaters are seeded and invited to the six Grand Prix of Figure Skating events based on the results of the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2013. Skaters/couples who have placed 1 to 6 in each of the four categories are seeded and assigned to two events. Skaters/ couples who have placed 7-12 at the ISU World Championships 2013 are selected for two ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating events, and skaters with a top 24 high seasons best score as well as those placed in the top 24 of the World Standings can also be invited. Medalists from the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships and the ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final gold medalists are guaranteed one spot.
In order for a skater/couple to be eligible to compete at a Grand Prix event, a minimum total score or minimum technical score must have been achieved in the previous or current season in an ISU event (GP, JGP, Championships, WTT or U.S. International Figure Skating Classic, Nebelhorn Trophy, Ondrej Nepala Trophy, Finlandia Trophy, Coupe de Nice). Exceptions apply to host country skaters, previously ranked skaters or split ranked couples who return with new partners.
The minimum score for the 2013/14 season is as follows:
130.98 points for Ladies (minimum technical score 22.11 SP, 44.85 FS)
160.68 points for Men (minimum technical score 31.62 SP, 53.43 FS)
135.42 points for Pairs (minimum technical score 20.00 SP, 36.00 FS)
113.73 points for Ice Dance (minimum technical score 22.98 SD, 32.19 FD)
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.
The series kicks off with Hilton HHonors Skate America in Detroit (USA), October 18 to 20 and is followed by Skate Canada International in St. John, NB (October 25 to 27), Cup of China in Beijing (November 1 to 3), NHK Trophy in Toyko, Japan (November 8 to 10), Trophée Bompard in Paris, France (November 15 to 17) and Rostelecom Cup of Russia in Moscow (November 22 to 24).
Skate America is headlined by current World Ice Dance Champions Meryl Davis/Charlie White (USA) and World Pairs Champions Tatiana Volosozhar/Maxim Trankov (RUS). Other top contenders include 2010 World Champion Daisuke Takahashi (JPN), 2011 World silver medalist Takahiko Kozuka (JPN), 2013 World bronze medalist Mao Asada (JPN), European Pairs bronze medalists Stefania Berton/Ondrej Hotarek (ITA), European Ice Dance bronze medalists Anna Cappellini/Luca Lanotte (ITA), U.S. Champion Ashley Wagner and reigning World Junior Champion Elena Radionova (RUS). 2013 World silver medalist Denis Ten (KAZ) had to withdraw due to illness on October 16.
For full entry lists of the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating 2013/14 please refer to www.isu.org under Single& Pair Skating/Ice Dance then select Grand Prix.
The schedule of Hilton HHonors Skate America is as follows:
Friday, October 18: Men's Short Program, Short Dance
Saturday, October 19: Pairs & Ladies Short Program, Men's Free Skating, Free Dance
Sunday, October 20: Pairs & Ladies Free Skating, Exhibition Gala