Jessica Calalang and Brian Johnson (USA), Brandon Frazier and Alexa Scimeca Knierim (USA), Audrey Lu and Misha Mitrofanov (USA) at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating (USA) 2020 © International Skating Union (ISU)
Alexa Scimeca Knierim/Brandon Frazier (USA) have been skating together for only a few months and celebrated a golden debut at Guaranteed Rate Skate America in Las Vegas (USA) on Saturday. The silver medal went to Jessica Calalang/Brian Johnson (USA) while Audrey Lu/Misha Mitrofanov (USA) clinched the bronze. It was the first ISU Grand Prix medal for both Calalang/Johnson and Lu/Mitrofanov, while it was the first Grand Prix gold medal for Scimeca Knierim and Frazier who had stood on the podium before with their previous partners.
Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Brandon Frazier (USA) at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating (USA) 2020 © International Skating Union (ISU)
Skating last, overnight leaders Scimeca Knierim/Frazier put out an inspiring performance to “Fall On Me” by Andrea and Matteo Bocelli. The couple from California started strongly with a big triple twist, a triple toe-double toe combination and a beautiful throw triple loop. They produced impressive lifts, two of which merited a level four. Scimeca Knierim/Frazier notched 140.58 points and took the title with 214.77 points overall.
Jessica Calalang and Brian Johnson (USA) at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating (USA) 2020 © International Skating Union (ISU)
“It is always great to have a successful event and to place well, but more than anything I think inside we’re pleased with the progress and we fell like our hard work has paid off. We’re just excited for what is to come and excited to keep improving,” Scimeca Knierim said. “We’re very happy with the progress we’ve made this week. We had to make a lot of adjustments since our virtual competition a couple of weeks ago,” Frazier noted, and revealed that the throws and twist were the most challenging elements for them when they teamed up.
Calalang/Johnson’s program to “Who Wants to Live Forever” featured a triple twist, difficult lifts and good throw triple Salchow. Calalang struggled with the side-by-side jumps, doubling the toeloop and stumbling on an underrotated triple Salchow. The team scored 136.32 points in the Free Skating for a total of 207.40 points.
“At every competition all skaters always would like to be at their best. Getting this medal for us is a great stepping stone from the points challenge and from the previous season, but we just look forward to continue working and hopefully get a few more,” Calalang shared. “We’re a little disappointed about our long [program]. We had a couple of mistakes on elements that we know we can do. We go back home and keep on working,” Johnson commented.
Audrey Lu and Misha Mitrofanov (USA) at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating (USA) 2020 © International Skating Union (ISU)
Lu/Mitrofanov completed a triple twist, triple Salchow-Euler-double Salchow combination and triple toeloop. However, Lu fell on the throw triple loop and touched down on the throw triple Lutz. The ISU World Junior Championship competitors were ranked fourth in the Free Skating with 122.13 points but managed to edge out Cain-Gribble/LeDuc for bronze at 189.65 points overall.
“We are very happy and fortunate with this bronze medal and we are very proud of ourselves. This definitely gives us a confidence boost,” Mitrofanov told the press. “We definitely know there are certain areas where we need to improve. We continue to train hard to ensure that we’re able to improve our second marks and our technical side as well,” he added.
For full results, entry lists and further information regarding the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series please visit: https://isu.org/GrandPrix.
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ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating 2020
- 2020 Guaranteed Rate Skate America, Las Vegas (USA) – October 22-24
- SHISEIDO Cup of China, Chongqing (CHN) – November 6-8
- Rostelecom Cup, Moscow (RUS) – November 20-22
- NHK Trophy, Osaka (JPN) – November 27-29
- ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final – Beijing (CHN)postponed
The ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final that was to be held as an Olympic Test Event on December 10-13 has been postponed. The ISU, in consultation with all stakeholders and considering the pandemic developments, is evaluating the continuation of the 2020/21 season, in particular the re-scheduling possibilities for the important Olympic Test Events.
About ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series
The ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series started in 1995 (previously known a s the ISU Champions Series) and consists of six invitational international senior events and the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final. Due to the current situation, the usual selection criteria do not apply. Please see the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating page for further information.