The 2021 Nebelhorn Trophy, the most anticipated competition of the Challenger Series, takes place in Oberstdorf, Germany, Sep. 23–25. This competition will offer the final opportunity for skaters to earn a berth for their nation at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games.
With only 20 spots across four disciplines up for grabs — Men 7, Women 6, Pairs 3, Ice Dance 4 — there will be some showdowns at this competition, given the number of countries chasing places in Beijing.
Of the 30 entries in the men′s field only five will not be vying for an Olympic berth. Vincent Zhou has been assigned to capture a third spot for the U.S.; Mark Kondratiuk will attempt to secure a third berth for Russia, and Roman Sadovsky will be chasing a second spot for Canada.
In the women’s event, 33 of the 37 entries will be in the hunt for a place in Beijing. Alysa Liu has been assigned to qualify a third berth for the U.S.
One of the tightest battles at Nebelhorn will be in the pairs event with 13 of the 16 entries looking to book one of the three places available at the Olympic Games. Georgia, Belarus, Israel and France did not earn any places at Worlds. Italy earned two berths but only one team competed in Stockholm; China earned three berths but also needs to secure the third at Nebelhorn.
There are currently 21 entries in the ice dance field, 17 of which will be battling it out for one of the four remaining places. Italy and Great Britain each earned two spots in ice dance at the World Championships, but as both nations only had one team at that competition, those countries will be in the hunt to secure the second in Oberstdorf.
Australia has no berths secured at the upcoming Olympic Winter Games. Kailani Craine, Brendan Kerry and Holly Harris and Jason Chan will be chasing a place in their respective disciplines: women, men and ice dance.
There will be no North Korean figure skaters at the 2022 Games. On Sep. 8, the International Olympic Committee suspended the nation until the end of 2022 for not sending any athletes to the 2020 Summer Olympics.