Guaranteed Rate Skate America was the first ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Event in 2020 and it was a memorable one as the first ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Event held in the times of the COVID-19 pandemic. The event was live streamed on the Skating ISU Channel and videos on demand are available to relive the event. For a fee, fans were able to send in a photo to US Figure Skating and have a cardboard cutout made that was placed in the stands, among them were not only people, but also pets.
The ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating (USA) audience ©Jay Adeff-U.S. Figure Skating
On the ice, the skaters created many magical moments and all the Skaters and Couples were grateful for having the opportunity to compete again and to do so in an environment they felt safe in.
“It was definitely a big highlight just being able to be here and being able to see friends although not as together as we are used to. But at least being able to see them in person and talk to them has been really nice,” Nathan Chen (USA) said. “I'm just thrilled to be here at this competition, so thankful to everyone who has been involved, bring us together and how smoothly it went so that skaters just could focus on skating.”
“We are all so grateful to be here and that we have this opportunity,” Bradie Tennell (USA) said. “It’s been so long since we’ve been able to go out there and skate our programs for people. Even if they are not here in person with us, we appreciate all the support they give us from afar.”
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So happy and grateful to have had the opportunity to compete at #skateamerica this year. The amount of hard work that went into running this event safely was tremendous, and I want to thank everyone at @usfigureskating @unlv and @orleansarena for all of their efforts. I also want to thank all of the fans who tuned in and showed their support from afar. I can’t wait to perform for all of you in person! ❤️⛸
Two-time ISU World Figure Skating Champion Chen took home his fourth consecutive Skate America title. The “quad king” hit a total of five four-revolution jumps in the two programs – two quad flips and three quad toes. Just the day before his 20th birthday Vincent Zhou (USA) gave himself an early present with the silver, his first ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating medal at the senior level. Bronze medalist Keegan Messing of Canada felt that he skated not just for himself: “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.”
Mariah Bell (USA) celebrated her first ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating victory. It was very unusual that she wore the same dress twice. The reason was that she felt uncomfortable in her new Short Program outfit. “I didn’t have a backup and I just thought, my long program costume sits well, so I’ll just wear that,” Bell shared. Tennell, who had to overcome some injury problems, turned in two solid skates to repeat as the Skate America silver medalist. Sixteen-year-old newcomer Audrey Shin (USA) successfully debuted on the senior-level Grand Prix to claim the bronze medal with two strong performances.
Mariah Bell (USA) at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating (USA) 2020 © International Skating Union (ISU)
If you are going to take a gamble and change your skating partner, well there’s no place like the capital of gambling to do so. So, Las Vegas was probably the right place for the debut of the new pair of Alexa Scimeca Knierim/Brandon Frazier (USA). The team really stole the show and skated off with the title.
“I always like to dream big, but I did not expect to be where we are today so soon,” Scimeca Knierim said. “It is always great to have a successful event and to place well, but more than anything I think inside we're pleased with the progress and we feel like our hard work has paid off. We're just excited for what is to come and excited to keep improving,” she added.
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Thank you everyone for your continued support and encouraging words during an interesting ‘20/‘21 season. 💙💜 We are all so fortunate that @usfigureskating, @unlv & @orleansarena did everything in the power to ensure the health and safety for all athletes, coaches and officials during #SkateAmerica this year 🇺🇸 It sure was great to see all the athletes face to face again ❣️. We hope you all enjoyed and everyone... please protect yourself!! 😷
Ice Dancers Madison Hubbell/Zachary Donohue (USA) are Skate America regulars – they competed for the sixth time and won their third consecutive Skate America title with two impressive performances to “Burlesque” in the Rhythm Dance and “Hallelujah” in the Free Dance.
Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue (USA) at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating (USA) 2020 © International Skating Union (ISU)
“This is a program that Zach and I are very passionate about and we already feel like we have almost a very easy time skating it, because every part feels purposeful and there is something about each part that we enjoy,” Hubbell said about their Free Dance.
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This week has felt like such a return to home for us. The last year has been filled with so much uncertainty and having the opportunity to come to Las Vegas and compete felt like returning to what we know- performance, athleticism, and art. . Thank you for all the kind words we’ve received around the world and for those who tuned in virtually to watch- it means so much knowing we still can leave an impact on you with our work. . And mostly thank you to @usfigureskating and the @orleansarena for all of the hard work, creativity and safety they have provided to make this event possible. It has been so amazing to be surrounded by our USA family again ❤️💙🤍 #SkateAmerica . . #hawayekbaker #usfigureskating #figureskating #icedance #teamusa #skating #athlete #sport #competition
Silver medalists Kaitlyn Hawayek/Jean-Luc Baker (USA) had a very different Free Dance to “Heart of Glass” and other selections by Philip Glass while bronze medalists Christina Carreira/Anthony Ponomarenko (USA) showed yet another style with “Doctor Zhivago”.
Ilia Malinin (USA) at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating (USA) 2020 © International Skating Union (ISU)
Not only the medalists provided highlights of the event. At just 15 years of age, Ilia Malinin (USA) was the youngest competitor at Guaranteed Rate Skate America and turned in two excellent performances to finish fifth. At 32, Alexei Bychenko of Israel is more than double Malinin’s age and proved that he is not only still competitive but also enjoying to go out there and compete at high level.
Karen Chen (USA) turned in an inspiring performance to “The Butterfly Lovers” Concert in the Free Skating, while Pair Skaters Ashley Cain-Gribble/Timothy LeDuc (USA) were very expressive in their Short Program to “Never Tear Us Apart”.
Caroline Green/Michael Parsons (USA) entertained especially in their Free Dance to music by Prince. Molly Cesanek/Yehor Yehorov (USA) celebrated a successful ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating debut with two sparkling performances.
Guaranteed Rate Skate America was the first event of the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating in the 2020/21 season. Following a decision of the ISU Council due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and travel restrictions, the Grand Prix events are primarily domestically run events with domestic Skaters and Skaters who train in the host country or respective geographical region competing. For full results, entry lists and further information regarding the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series please visit: https://isu.org/GrandPrix .
Where to watch and follow the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating 2020?
The ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating will be live streamed on the Skating ISU YouTube Channel.
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ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating 2020
- 2020 Guaranteed Rate Skate America, Las Vegas (USA) – October 22-24
- Shiseido Cup of China, Chongqing (CHN) – November 6-8
- Rostelecom Cup, Moscow (RUS) – November 20-22
- NHK Trophy, Osaka (JPN) – November 27-29
- ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final – Beijing (CHN) postponed
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.