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Next Up on the Grand Prix Circuit: Skate America

NBC Sports and Universal Sports will present 14 hours of live coverage this weekend of the 2009 Skate America, the fifth stop on the 2009 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series. Reigning World champions Yu-Na Kim and Evan Lysacek headline the ladies and men's fields, respectively.

Skate America is being held Nov. 12-15 in Lake Placid, N.Y. where skaters from Team USA will compete against athletes from 18 other countries, all vying for points and prize money. Coverage on NBC Sports begins Sunday at 2 p.m. ET and coverage on Universal Sports begins Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET.

NBC Sports' broadcast will feature live coverage of the ladies free skate and next-day coverage of the men's free skate. Universal Sports will carry live coverage of the men's, pairs and dance finals and the men's, ladies, pairs and dance short programs.

NBC Sports Olympic figure skating broadcast team of Tom Hammond, Scott Hamilton, Sandra Bezic, and Andrea Joyce will call the action.

U.S. TEAM

LADIES: Competing from Team USA are 2008 World junior champion and two-time U.S. silver medalist Rachael Flatt, 2008 U.S. junior champion Alexe Gilles and 2007 U.S. silver medalist Emily Hughes. Flatt finished fourth at last year's Skate America and this is Gilles debut on the Grand Prix circuit. This is the fourth appearance at Skate America for Hughes, who came in fourth at this event in 2007.

Sasha Cohen was scheduled to compete at the event. She withdrew earlier this week. See our article with Cohen’s announcement.

MEN: Two-time U.S. and reigning World champion Evan Lysacek will attempt to win his first Skate America title in six tries. Lysacek won the bronze medal at last year's event. Joining Lysacek is 2007 U.S. silver medalist Ryan Bradley, who's making his third appearance at the event, and 2009 U.S. silver medalist Brandon Mroz.

PAIRS: Reigning two-time U.S. champions Keauna McLaughlin and Rockne Brubaker have medaled at every Junior Grand Prix and Grand Prix event they have entered and will look to continue the trend at Skate America, where they won silver last year. 2007 U.S. champions and 2008 U.S. bronze medalists Brooke Castile and Ben Okolski return to the Grand Prix Series for the first time since 2005.

ICE DANCING: Five-time U.S. champions and reigning World silver medalists Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto will look to claim their fourth Skate America victory in Lake Placid. Competing alongside Belbin and Agosto will be 2009 U.S. bronze medalists Kimberly Navarro and Bren Bommentre and 2009 World junior, U.S. junior and Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final champions Madison Chock and Greg Zuerlein.

INTERNATIONAL STARS

Reigning World champion Yu-Na Kim is the heavy favorite for gold in Lake Placid. Fumie Suguri (JPN) and Julia Sebestyn (HUN) are also in the ladies field.

The men’s event also will feature Tomáš Verner from the Czech Republic and rising French star Florent Amodio.

The battle for gold in the pairs event will likely be between the two Chinese teams Xue Shen and Hongbo Zhao and Dan Zhang and Hao Zhang. The American will also have to vie against Canada’s Meagan Duhamel and Craig Buntin.

In ice daace, reigning European champion Russia's Jana Khokhlova and Sergei Novitksi and Italy's Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte (fifth at European and 10th in the World last year) should be in the medal hunt.

The competition will be broadcast on NBC Nov. 15 from 2-4 P.M.

Universal Sports, available in more than 56 million homes, will broadcast 12 hours of live coverage of Skate America from Lake Placid. Details below (all times ET):

Friday 11/13
Pairs Short (Live) - 7:30 p.m.-9 p.m. ET Men's Short (Live) - 9-11 p.m. ET

Saturday 11/14
Original Dance (Live) – 2-3:30 p.m. ET
Pairs Free (Live) - 4-5:30 p.m. ET
Ladies Short (Live) – 7-9 p.m. ET
Men's Free (Live) - 9-11 p.m. ET

Sunday 11/15
Dance Free (Live) – 4:30-6 p.m. ET
Ladies Free – 7-9 p.m. ET Repeat of NBC Sports show

In Canada, CBC is broadcasting coverage of the competition. Its broadcast schedule is as follow:

Saturday 11/14 1-2 P.M. and 6 P.M. (Live)
Sunday, 11/15 2-6 P.M. (Live ONT, Delayed West)
Sunday 11/16 12-1 A.M. (Local)


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