Olympic, world champions mark Grand Prix slate
Kim, Lysacek make returns to Grand Prix Series during Olympic year
|Olympic gold medalist Yu-Na Kim will compete at Skate Canada and Trophée Eric Bompard. (Getty Images)|
141 skaters/couples from 19 nations have been invited. The number of entries for each event is 10 ladies, 10 men, eight pairs and eight ice dance couples. The top six qualifiers in each discipline will proceed to the 2013 Grand Prix Final in Fukuoka, Japan, Dec. 6-8, 2013.
The skaters are seeded and invited to the six Grand Prix of Figure Skating events based on the results of the 2013 World Figure Skating Championships. Skaters/couples who placed first to sixth in each of the four categories are seeded and assigned to two events. Skaters/couples who placed seventh to 12th at the 2013 World Championships are selected for two Grand Prix events, and skaters with a top-24 high season's best score, as well as those placed in the top 24 of the world standings, can also be invited. Medalists from the 2013 World Junior Figure Skating Championships and 2013 Junior Grand Prix Final gold medalists are guaranteed one spot.
In order for a skater/couple to be eligible to compete at a Grand Prix event, a minimum total score or minimum technical score must have been achieved in the previous or current season in an ISU event (Grand Prix, Junior Grand Prix, ISU Championships, World Team Trophy or U.S. International Figure Skating Classic, Nebelhorn Trophy, Ondrej Nepala Trophy, Finlandia Trophy, Cup of Nice). Exceptions apply to host country skaters, previously ranked skaters or split-ranked couples who return with new partners.
The minimum score for the 2013-14 season is as follows:
130.98 points for ladies
160.68 points for men's
135.42 points for pairs
113.73 points for ice dance
The 2013 Grand Prix series will feature all reigning world champions: Yu-Na Kim (KOR), Patrick Chan (CAN), Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov (RUS) and Meryl Davis and Charlie White (USA). It will also feature Olympic champions, European champions, Four Continents champions, former world champions and current and former Olympic and world medalists.
The series kicks off with 2013 Hilton HHonors Skate America in Detroit (USA), Oct. 18-20. The event features current world champions Davis and White, world pairs champions Volosozhar and Trankov and world silver medalist Denis Ten (KAZ). It will also showcase former world champions Daisuke Takahashi (JPN) and Brian Joubert (FRA), as well as 2010 Olympic champion Evan Lysacek (USA), 2013 world bronze medalist Mao Asada (JPN) and reigning world junior champion Elena Radionova (RUS).
Skate Canada in St. John, New Brunswick, Oct. 25-27, is headlined by three-time and reigning world champion Chan, Olympic ice dance champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir (CAN) and world champion Kim. Other competitors include 2013 world bronze medalists Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford (CAN), 2012 world bronze medalists Akiko Suzuki (JPN) and Yuzuru Hanyu (JPN), as well as Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje (CAN) and Yuko Kavaguti and Alexander Smirnov (RUS). World junior ice dance champions Alexandra Stepanova and Ivan Bukin (RUS) will debut on the senior circuit.
The Cup of China is the third event and will return to Beijing from Nov. 1-3. Four-time world champions Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy (GER), reigning world silver medalists Carolina Kostner (ITA) and Ten, 2013 world bronze medalists Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev (RUS), two-time European ice dance champions Nathalie Péchalat and Fabian Bourzat (FRA), as well as Olympic silver medalists Qing Pang and Jian Tong (CHN) and 2012 world junior champion Han Yan (CHN) are among the top contenders.
The series continues with the NHK Trophy in Tokyo, Nov. 8-10 with Volosozhar and Trankov, Asada, Suzuki, Radionova, Takahashi, European champion Javier Fernández (ESP), Davis and White and European silver medalists Elena Ilinykh and Nikita Katsalapov (RUS).
The Trophée Eric Bompard in Paris, Nov. 15-17, is the next stop. Kim will meet Adelina Sotnikova (RUS) and Ashley Wagner (USA). Chan is up against Hanyu and 2013 European silver medalist Florent Amodio (FRA). Virtue and Moir will compete against Péchalat and Bourzat, and Duhamel and Radford against Pang and Tong.
The last spots for the Grand Prix Final will be decided in Moscow at the Rostelecom Cup, Nov. 22-24. Top contenders include 2006 Olympic champion Evgeni Plushenko (RUS), Four Continents champion Kevin Reynolds (CAN), Joubert, Fernández, Savchenko and Szolkowy, Kirsten Moore-Towers and Dylan Moscovitch (CAN), Bobrova and Soloviev, Kostner, Elizaveta Tuktamisheva (RUS) and Julia Lipnitskaia (RUS).