Eight Americans in Paris
Meissner leads Team USA at Trophee Eric Bompard
|Kimmie Meissner will have to beat a very difficult field in Paris if she hopes to duplicate her gold medal-winning performance from Skate America. (Paul Harvath)|
More than 40 skaters from 17 countries are competing for points and prize money this week in the fourth Grand Prix event of the season. Eight skaters from the United States will compete in four disciplines: ladies, men's, pairs and ice dancing.
The Grand Prix Series, now in its 13th season, consists of six international events in a cumulative point-scoring format. Approximately 300 athletes from 29 countries are expected to participate in the series. Each athlete is eligible to score points in two of the six scheduled events. The top six point-earners in each of the disciplines then qualify for the Grand Prix Final in Torino, Italy, Dec. 13-16. Athletes will be vying for a total of more than $1.35 million in prize money throughout the series.
At last week's Cup of China, U.S. skaters took medals in all four disciplines. Three-time U.S. champion Johnny Weir brought home gold from his first Grand Prix event of the season. Weir edged teammate and two-time world bronze medalist Evan Lysacek, who won the silver. Caroline Zhang garnered silver for the ladies, as did pairs team Keauna McLaughlin and Rockne Brubaker. Ice dancers Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto continued their winning ways, securing their second Grand Prix gold this season.
Reigning U.S. champion Kimmie Meissner heads to Paris looking to repeat her gold medal-winning performance at Skate America. Meissner is the 2006 world champion and placed sixth at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games. Joining Meissner is Ashley Wagner, who is in her first year of competing on the senior international circuit after winning the bronze medal at the 2007 World Junior Figure Skating Championships. She placed fifth two weeks ago at Skate Canada.
Men U.S. bronze medalist Ryan Bradley makes his second Grand Prix appearance of the season in Paris. Bradley, who finished sixth at Skate America, will be joined by teammate Scott Smith. Smith earned a ninth-place finish in his earlier Grand Prix assignment, at Skate Canada.
Tiffany Vise and Derek Trent are the sole U.S. pairs team appearing in Paris. They finished fifth at Skate Canada and at the 2007 State Farm U.S. Championships.
2006 world junior bronze medalists Meryl Davis and Charlie White are in their second year competing on the senior level. They finished seventh at the 2007 World Championships and fourth at this year's Skate America.