USA figure skaters aim for Grand Prix final berths; TV, live broadcast program

Madison Chock, Evan Bates

This week’s NHK Trophy will be decisive for several American figure skaters who will be aiming for December’s Grand Prix Final, the most important competition of the fall and often a taste of the world championships in March.

NHK Trophy, broadcast live on Peacock, features American women, a pair and ice dancers vying for the final, which takes the best six per discipline in the Grand Prix series in six events. NHK in Japan is the fourth of six events, and skaters compete twice during the series, so some skaters have already qualified.

ice dancers Madison Chock and Evan Bates lead the American contingent this week. The three-time world medalists won Skate America last month and will earn a spot in the Grand Prix Final by finishing third or higher at NHK.

They would be the first American skaters in any discipline to qualify for seven Grand Prix Finals (if last year is included, when the Final was canceled after the qualifying series ended) and the second to compete in six finals after the 2014 Olympic Ice Dance Champions. Meryl Davis and Charlie White.

Bates, 33, can break the record for oldest American to advance to a final currently held by a pair skater Todd Sable of the 1996-97 season. Bates is already the only American figure skater to have competed in four Winter Olympics and the oldest to win a medal (in the team event).

This season, Chock and Bates rank fifth in the world with the best total score (202.80). Canadians Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier, which are not in the NHK field, have the best score of 215.70. None of the Olympic ice dance medalists will compete internationally this fall.

NHK Trophy Release Schedule


Time (ET)




10:30 p.m.

pair shorts




Women’s shorts



rhythm dance


5 a.m.

Men’s Shorts


10 p.m.

Free Pairs


11:50 p.m.

women free




free dance



Free Men



4 p.m.

Strong points

BNC | NBC Sports App

While Chock and Bates are regulars on the podium, the Americans Star Andrews and Amber Glenn enter the NHK after winning his first Grand Prix medals. Andrews, with her Skate Canada silver medal two weeks ago, became the first black American to step on the Grand Prix podium. Andrews and Glenn likely need to finish in the top three this week for any shot at the Grand Prix Final.

It’s a big challenge. NHK has arguably the best female field of the six Grand Prix events, including the world champion Kaori SakamotoSkate Canada winner Rinka Watanabeboth from Japan and South Korea Kim Ye Limsecond in the French Grand Prix.

Another American Isabelle Levito, the junior world champion, is not competing in the NHK but may earn her spot in the Grand Prix Final depending on the results of the other skaters this week. At 15, she would be the youngest American to make a Final in 15 years.

World champion Shoma Uno from Japan tops the men’s list. Uno, who won Skate Canada with 273.15 points, ranks third in the world this season for the highest total score. American Ilia Malininwho is not at NHK, leads with 280.37 points.

NHK also has the highest ranked pair team in the world consisting of Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara from Japan. The next highest ranked pair team in NHK is the American duo of Emily Chan and spencer howe. Chan and Howe, fourth at last season’s nationals, will clinch their first place in the Grand Prix Final if they repeat their Skate Canada second place finish.

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NHK Trophy: American figure skaters aim for places in Grand Prix final; TV, live broadcast program originally appeared on

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