The International Skating Union (ISU) announced today the athlete selections for the 2012 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series. The Grand Prix begins Oct. 21-23 with 2012 Hilton HHonors Skate America from Seattle/Kent, Wash.
The Grand Prix Series, entering its 18th season, incorporates six international figure skating competitions as a unified point-scoring series that awards prize money to eligible skaters. At the conclusion of the series, athletes’ points are totaled, and the top six ladies, men, pairs and ice dancing teams are invited to compete at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final. The Grand Prix Final is scheduled for Dec. 5-9, 2012, in Sochi, Russia, site of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. The event will run concurrently with the ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final.
Skate America will feature the four reigning U.S. champions including Ashley Wagner (ladies), Jeremy Abbott (men’s), Caydee Denney and John Coughlin (pairs) and Meryl Davis and Charlie White (ice dancing). Other notable competitors include Russia’s Alena Leonova, the 2012 World ladies silver medalist and Michal Brezina of the Czech Republic, who is the 2011 Skate America champion. Pairs team Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov, also of Russia, are two-time reigning World silver medalists.
Gracie Gold, the 2012 U.S. junior champion and World Junior silver medalist, will make her Grand Prix debut in the Series’ second event, Skate Canada. She will compete at Rostelecom Cup alongside Johnny Weir. Weir, a three-time U.S. champion and two-time Olympian, is set to return to competition for the first time since the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, when he takes the ice at Rostelecom Cup (Moscow) and Trophée Eric Bompard (Paris).
Two newly formed American pairs teams received one assignment each with Caitlin Yankowskas and Joshua Reagan competing at Cup of China (Shanghai) and Lindsay Davis and Mark Ladwig skating at NHK Trophy (Miyagi, Japan). With the exception Davis, each skater competed on the Grand Prix Series with their previous partners.
The full list of Team USA’s assignments, as well as the full international lineup for Skate America, are below (listed alphabetically). Visit www.isu.org for the full list of selections across the Grand Prix Series.
2012 Hilton HHonors Skate America — Seattle/Kent, Wash. — Oct. 19-21
Rachael Flatt – Will make her fourth Skate America appearance; earned the silver medal in 2009, ‘10
Christina Gao – Made Gran Prix Series debut in 2011, placing fifth at Cup of China and 10th at Rostelecom Cup
Ashley Wagner – Makes Skate America debut as reigning U.S. and Four Continents champion
Jeremy Abbott – Begins sixth Grand Prix Series with first-ever appearance at Skate America
Douglas Razzano – Placed seventh at 2011 Skate America in Ontario, Calif.
Caydee Denney and John Coughlin – Finished fourth at 2011 Skate America in their Grand Prix debut
Gretchen Donlan and Andrew Speroff – Only other international completion included a fourth-place finish at 2010 Nebelhorn Trophy
Meryl Davis and Charlie White – Look for third consecutive Skate America gold; finished fourth in 2007
Lynn Kriengkrairut and Logan Giulietti-Schmitt – Return to Skate America after finishing sixth in 2010
Skate Canada International — Windsor, Ontario — Oct. 26-28
Gracie Gold – Is the 2011 JGP Estonia gold medalist
Caroline Zhang – Makes third Skate Canada appearance; finished fifth in 2008, eighth in 2009
Ross Miner – Looks to improve on sixth-place finish in 2011
Mary Beth Marley and Rockne Brubaker – Debuted on Grand Prix in 2011 with seventh-place showing at Skate America
Tiffany Vise and Don Baldwin – Also competed on Grand Prix for the first time at 2011 Skate America (6th)
Madison Hubbell and Zach Donohue – Begin second season together; are the 2012 U.S. bronze medalists, finished 10th at 2012 World Championships
Cup of China — Shanghai — Nov. 2-4
Mirai Nagasu – Makes fourth straight Cup of China appearance; reigning silver medalist; owner of two Grand Prix Series medals
Adam Rippon – Starts fifth Grand Prix season; has won two Series medals
Caitlin Yankowskas and Joshua Reagan – First Grand Prix assignment as a partnership.
Madison Chock and Evan Bates – Begin second season; finished fourth and fifth, respectively, at 2011 Skate Canada and 2011 Trophée Eric Bompard
Rostelecom Cup — Moscow — Nov. 9-11
Agnes Zawadzki – Competes at third straight Rostelecom Cup (fourth in 2010, seventh in ’11)
Caroline Zhang – Has competed on Grand Prix circuit since 2007; first appearance in Russia
Richard Dornbush – Starts second Grand Prix season after finishing fourth at 2011 Skate America, sixth at 2011 Cup of China
Johnny Weir – Has medaled in four of five entries at Rostelecom Cup
Caydee Denney and John Coughlin
Ice Dancing: Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani – Commence third Grand Prix season; have medaled at all four Grand Prix assignments, qualified for 2011 Grand Prix final and placed fifth
Trophée Eric Bompard — Paris — Nov. 16-18
Ashley Wagner – Won bronze in only other appearance at this event (2007)
Jeremy Abbott – Has won seven Grand Prix medals, including 2008 Grand Prix Final gold
Johnny Weir – Won 2004 Trophée Bompard title
Madison Hubbell and Zach Donohue – Finished sixth at 2011 Skate America in only other Grand Prix experience
NHK Trophy — Miyagi, Japan — Nov. 23-25
Alissa Czisny – 2012 marks ninth Grand Prix season; finished sixth at only other appearance at NHK Trophy (2007)
Agnes Zawadzki – Finished eighth at 2011 NHK Trophy
Ross Miner – Reigning NHK Trophy bronze medalist
Adam Rippon – Placed sixth at 2009 NHK Trophy
Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir – Placed seventh at 2011 NHK Trophy; have competed on Grand Prix since 2009
Lindsay Davis and Mark Ladwig – First Grand Prix assignment of their partnership.
Mary Beth Marley and Rockne Brubaker
Meryl Davis and Charlie White – Won this event in 2009, ’10; placed fourth in only other appearance (2006)
Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani – Reigning NHK Trophy champions and 2010 bronze medalists