Chicago / United States

The ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating 2014/15 kicks off this week with the first of six events in Hoffman Estates (Chicago), USA. Skaters compete for points to qualify for the Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final and a prize money of US $ 180,000 per individual event of the Grand Prix.

Overview of the top contenders
Olympic bronze medalist Denis Ten (KAZ) and World silver medalist Tatsuki Machida (JPN) headline the Men’s event. They are joined by three-time U.S. Champion Jeremy Abbott, Jason Brown (USA) and 2011 World bronze medalist Artur Gachinski (RUS). 2014 World Junior Champion Nam Nguyen (CAN) and World junior silver medalist Adian Pitkeev (RUS) debut at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating (senior level).

Two-time World Junior Champion Elena Radionova (RUS) will face U.S. Champion Gracie Gold and Elizaveta Tuktamysheva (RUS) in the Ladies event. Other contenders include Samantha Cesario (USA), Mae-Berenice Meite (FRA) and two-time European bronze medalist Elene Gedevanishvili (GEO).

In the Pairs event, two-time World bronze medalists Yuko Kavaguti/Alexander Smirnov (RUS) aim to continue their comeback after sitting out the Olympic season due to injury. The challenge should come from ISU Grand Prix Finalists Cheng Peng/Hao Zhang (CHN), 2013 World Junior Champions Haven Denney/Brandon Frazier (USA) and 2014 Four Continents bronze medalists Alexa Scimeca/Chris Knierim (USA).

Madison Chock/Evan Bates (USA) and Maia Shibutani/Alex Shibutani (USA) lead the Ice Dance event at Skate America. 2013 World Junior Champions Alexandra Stepanova/Ivan Bukin (RUS) and Charlene Guignard/Marco Fabbri (ITA) are aiming at the podium as well.

A total of 55 skaters/couples from 18 ISU members is competing at Hilton HHonors Skate America.

The schedule of Hilton HHonors Skate America is as follows:
Friday, October 24:       Men's Short Program, Short Dance
Saturday, October 25:  Pairs & Ladies Short Program, Men's Free Skating, Free Dance
Sunday, October 26:     Pairs & Ladies Free Skating, Exhibition Gala