2017 Skate America, the final event of the Grand Prix Series, takes place in the 1960 Olympic village of Lake Placid, New York.
There will likely be nothing placid about 2017 Skate America, which could close out the Series with a bang given the lineups in all four disciplines. This event takes place during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, and no doubt the Americans will be looking for extra reasons to celebrate. With only a few places remaining at the Grand Prix Final, the competition should be fierce.
Get ready for a showdown in the men’s event with Nathan Chen of the U.S. and China’s Boyang Jin set to battle it out in what could be a quad extravaganza. If that scenario plays out, the remainder of the field will be chasing the bronze medal, with Sergei Voronov and Adam Rippon at the top end of the mix. Following his victory at NHK Trophy two weeks ago, Voronov needs to place top four to book a place at the Grand Prix Final. Rippon needs to medal to secure a place in Nagoya.
Canada’s Gabrielle Daleman heads into this competition as the top-ranked skater in the ladies field. After a disappointing sixth place finish at Cup of China, she will be looking for redemption in Lake Placid. Her toughest challenges will come from Karen Chen, the reigning U.S. champion, and her teammate Ashley Wagner. Russia’s Anna Pogorilaya has withdrawn. Serafima Sakhanovich, who won the Challenger Series event, 2017 Warsaw Cup, this past weekend has been assigned the spot. Her coach, Evgeni Plushenko, was on tour this week but hopes to be in Lake Placid Saturday morning.
Polina Tsurskaya, third at NHK Trophy, and Wagner, third at Skate Canada, need to place in the top two for either to have a shot at making the Final.
In the pairs event, Germany’s Aljona Savchenko and Bruno Massot square off against the Canadian team of Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford for the second time in the Series. Their teammates, Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro, will be in the hunt for a podium finish at this event, as will China’s Xiaoyu Yu and Hao Zhang.
Vanessa James and Morgan Ciprés of France — along with their coaching team — will be watching the outcome of the pairs competition with much anticipation. If Moore-Towers and Marinaro place ahead of Yu and Zhang, the French team will earn a place at the Final for the first time.
Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani will be aiming to be part of the Thanksgiving celebration and the top spot on the ice dance podium. Italy’s Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte, third at NHK Trophy, will be looking for a silver medal finish to earn a place at the Final.
It’s go big or go home this weekend in Lake Placid.