The second event of the 2021 Junior Grand Prix Series was originally scheduled to take place in Edmonton, Canada, but on June 23, Skate Canada announced it had cancelled the competition due to ongoing restrictions with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic. The French federation stepped up and offered to host back-to-back events in Courchevel. This second Junior Grand Prix competition takes place Aug. 25-28.
There are currently 67 skaters/teams — 19 men, 28 women and 20 ice dance teams — slated to compete. No skaters from Japan or China are on the rosters.
The men′s field is a mixed bag of new faces and those with some experience. Russia′s Mark Kondratiuk had a breakout domestically last season. The 17-year-old, who seemingly came out of nowhere, finished third at the 2021 senior national championships, won the free skate at the Channel 1 Trophy (over Mikhail Kolyada) in February, and skated into fifth place at the Russian Cup Final. He will likely have no challengers for the top step of the podium. Ariel Levandi of Estonia is one to watch. The 15-year-old won the Tallink Hotels Cup in both 2020 and 2021 and captured the 2020 Budapest Trophy. He is coached by his mother Anna Levandi (Kondrasheva), the 1984 World silver medalist and a four-time European bronze medalist.
In ladies, it will be anyone’s game with many new faces competing at this event. Russia will be represented by two newcomers: Elizaveta Berestovskaia, 14, and Veronika Zhilina, 13, who has a quad toe in her arsenal and, in the past, has executed a quad Salchow and a triple Axel. Canada and the U.S. are fielding the reigning junior champions: Kaiya Ruiter, 15, and Isabeau Levito, 14.
The ice dance discipline will also have a mix of experienced juniors along with those making their respective debuts. With most of the top Russian junior teams from the 2019-2020 season now competing as seniors, podium positions at this competition are up for grabs. Miku Makita and Tyler Gunara of Canada and Oona Brown and Gage Brown of the U.S., both competing in their third season on the junior circuit, are the ″veterans″ in the line up and are top picks for a podium finish.
START ORDERS/RESULTS (TBA)