Eighteen U.S. athletes to compete at Skate AmericaOpening Grand Prix event features all four reigning U.S. champions
Eighteen U.S. athletes will compete at 2013 Hilton HHonors Skate America, the first event of the 2013 Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series, Oct. 18-20, at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.
NBC will air live coverage of the ladies free skate and highlights of the men's free skate from the previous day on Sunday, Oct. 20, from 4-6 p.m. (ET). Tom Hammond will call the action alongside Scott Hamilton, Sandra Bezic, Tracy Wilson and Andrea Joyce. In conjunction with NBC's live coverage, icenetwork will broadcast live backstage coverage with host Tanith Belbin. The feed will be free for all registered users.
Icenetwork Season Pass subscribers will have access to live video from all three days of competition. Icenetwork's broadcast team includes Mike Mancuso, Tonia Kwiatkowski and Belbin. To become a registered user or a Season Pass subscriber, please click here.
Tickets are still available by visiting www.2013skateamerica.com or the Joe Louis Arena box office.
All four reigning U.S champions are set to compete in Detroit, including Meryl Davis and Charlie White, the 2010 Olympic ice dancing silver medalists and reigning world champions who look for their fourth straight Skate America title. Davis and White are Detroit-area natives and students at the University of Michigan.
The international field boasts Olympic and world medalists. Japan's Mao Asada is the 2010 Olympic silver medalist and a two-time world champion, while her countrymate, Daisuke Takahashi, is the 2010 Olympic bronze medalist and reigning Grand Prix Final champion. Russia's Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov enjoyed an undefeated season last year that included Skate America, Grand Prix Final, European and world titles.
Ashley Wagner is the two-time reigning U.S. champion and Grand Prix Final silver medalist. She will look to defend her 2012 Skate America title in Detroit. Caroline Zhang has competed on the Grand Prix circuit since 2007 and owns three medals. Samantha Cesario, who began her season with a third-place finish at the 2013 U.S. International Classic last month, will make her Grand Prix Series debut.
Max Aaron, the 2013 U.S. champion, will make his Grand Prix Series debut in Detroit. Aaron successfully defended his U.S. International Classic title last month. Adam Rippon, the 2012 U.S. silver medalist, will compete at Skate America for the third time and first time since placing fourth in 2010. Jason Brown will also make his Grand Prix Series debut at Skate America. He was invited to the event in early October after Evan Lysacek withdrew due to injury.
Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir are the 2013 U.S. champions and Four Continents pairs bronze medalists. They will make their third Skate America appearance. Caydee Denney and John Coughlin began their season by winning the gold medal at the 2013 U.S. International Classic. They won a pair of medals on the 2012 Grand Prix circuit last fall before Coughlin's hip surgery signaled the end of their season. Felicia Zhang and Nathan Bartholomay will make their Grand Prix debut as reigning U.S. bronze medalists.
Davis and White are five-time reigning U.S. champions and 2013 world champions. They have won 12 straight Grand Prix events, including a record four straight Grand Prix finals. Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani have won four Grand Prix medals, including bronze at 2010 Skate America. The sister-brother team has medaled at the last three U.S. championships. Madison Hubbell and Zach Donohue began their third season together with a win at 2013 Nebelhorn Trophy in late September.
The Grand Prix Series, now in its 19th season, consists of six international events in a cumulative point-scoring format. Approximately 300 athletes from 30 countries are expected to participate in the series. Each athlete is eligible to score points in up to two of the six scheduled events. The top six point-earners in each discipline qualify for the 2013 Grand Prix Final, set for Dec. 5-8, in Fukuoka, Japan.