Las Vegas, USA

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Two-time ISU World Figure Skating Champion Nathan Chen (USA) cruised to his fourth Skate America title in Las Vegas Saturday. Vincent Zhou (USA) earned the silver medal and Keegan Messing of Canada took the bronze.

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Vincent Zhou (USA), Nathan Chen  (USA) and Keegan Messing (CAN)  at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating (USA) 2020 © International Skating Union (ISU)

Chen reeled off a quad flip-triple toe, a quad toe-Euler-triple flip, quad toe-triple toe combination as well as two other triples and difficult spins and footwork in his program to music by Philip Glass. However, the US Champion popped his Axel into a single and the planned quad Salchow into a double. Nevertheless, he easily ranked first in the Free Skating with 187.98 points to rack up 299.15 overall.

“Of course, I'm a little disappointed about the jumps that I missed. I should have done that,” Chen admitted. “I'm just thrilled to be here at this competition, so thankful to everyone who has been involved, to bring us together and how smoothly it went so that skaters just could focus on skating,” he continued.

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Nathan Chen (USA) at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating (USA) 2020 © International Skating Union (ISU)

Performing to “Algorithm” by Muse, Zhou fell on his opening quad Lutz but recovered to produce a quad Lutz-triple toe, two triple Axels and three more triples. He also stepped out of an underrotated quad Salchow. The 2019 World bronze medalist scored 175.74 for a total of 275.10 points. Zhou gave himself an early birthday present: the 2017 World Junior Champion turns 20 on Sunday and claims his first ISU Grand Prix medal.

“Obviously, there were a few hiccups in the program but overall I am very proud of myself for what I did in this competition, especially considering I’ve done some pretty stupid stuff in the practices,” Zhou noted. “I am proud of my fight this week. I am proud of getting that second quad Lutz and also I’m happy with the way I performed both programs. Obviously, there is big room for growth,” he added.

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Vincent Zhou (USA) at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating (USA) 2020 © International Skating Union (ISU)

Messing’s dynamic performance to “November Rain” by Guns N’ Roses was highlighted by a quad-double toe, another quad toe, two triple Axel as well as three more triples and fast, well-centered spins. The 2018 Olympian picked up 174.02 points, giving him 266.42 overall.

“I am pretty stoked on how I skated today. I had two little bobbles in the program but this is one of the few times that I've actually been able to go out and leave everything I had out on the ice,” Messing shared. “Going into the long program, right before I stepped into my starting position, I thought this is for you guys, in Canada, to everybody who has to stay home. I am so proud that I was able to come here and have a safe competition and just have the opportunity to compete.” 

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Keegan Messing (CAN) at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating (USA) 2020 © International Skating Union (ISU)

2019 ISU World Junior Figure Skating Champion Tomoki Hiwatashi (USA) remained in fourth place at 245.30 points. Fifteen-year-old- Ilia Malinin (USA) landed a quad toeloop and Salchow to move up from seventh to fifth place. 2016 ISU European Figure Skating silver medalist Alexei Bychenko (ISR) finished sixth.

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ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating 2020

The ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final that was to be held as an Olympic Test Event on December 10-13 has been postponed. The ISU, in consultation with all stakeholders and considering the pandemic developments, is evaluating the continuation of the 2020/21 season, in particular the re-scheduling possibilities for the important Olympic Test Events.

About ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series

The ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series started in 1995 (previously known a s the ISU Champions Series) and consists of six invitational international senior events and the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final. Due to the current situation, the usual selection criteria do not apply. Please see the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating page for further information.