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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Eighteen U.S. skaters will compete Feb. 4-7 in the International Skating Union (ISU) Four Continents Figure Skating Championships in Vancouver, Canada. Competition begins Wednesday with the ladies and pairs short programs and the compulsory dance.
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Newly crowned U.S. champion Alissa Czisny leads the ladies in Vancouver. Czisny won gold at the 2008 U.S. Collegiate Championships and the Nebelhorn Trophy, and finished third at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating’s Skate Canada and fourth at the Cup of Russia. She will be joined by Rachael Flatt and Caroline Zhang. Flatt is the 2009 U.S. silver medalist and 2008 World Junior champion. Zhang followed her fifth-place finish at Skate Canada with a bronze medal at Trophée Eric Bompard and the 2009 AT&T U.S. Figure Skating Championships.
Leading the U.S. men in Vancouver will be the 2009 champion. This is the third appearance at Four Continents for Abbott, who earned bronze in 2007 and placed fifth in 2008. After winning gold at the Cup of China and finishing fourth at the Cup of Russia, Abbott took home gold from the Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final. Abbott is joined by 2009 U.S. silver medalist Brandon Mroz and Evan Lysacek. Mroz came in seventh at Skate Canada and fifth at the Trophée Eric Bompard. Lysacek, who is making his sixth appearance at Four Continents, won bronze in 2008. His bronze-medal finish at Skate Canada was followed by bronze at Skate Canada and the U.S. Championships in January.
Making their debut at Four Continents is reigning two-time U.S. pairs champions Keauna McLaughlin and Rockne Brubaker, who won silver at Skate America and bronze at Skate Canada. They are joined by veterans Rena Inoue and John Baldwin, who are appearing at Four Continents for the sixth time. The pair finished fourth at last year’s event, won silver at the 2008 NHK Trophy and is the 2009 U.S. bronze medalists. Rounding out the U.S. contingent are 2009 U.S. silver medalists Caydee Denney and Jeremy Barrett.
U.S. champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White are making their third appearance at Four Continents after a silver-medal finish at last year’s event. U.S. bronze medalists Kimberly Navarro and Brent Bommentre finished a spot behind Davis and White at this competition last season. Navarro and Bommentre came in fifth this season at Skate Canada and sixth at the NHK Trophy. Emily Samuelson and Evan Bates are making their Four Continents debut. The 2009 U.S. silver medalists finished fourth this season at Skate America and brought home bronze from the NHK Trophy.
U.S. Figure Skating is the national governing body for the sport of figure skating in the United States as recognized by the United States Olympic Committee and the International Skating Union. U.S. Figure Skating is comprised of more than 763 member clubs and Basic Skills Programs representing approximately 179,000 members. U.S. Figure Skating is charged with the development of the sport on all levels within the United States including athletes, officials, sanctioning of events and exhibitions, and establishing the rules and guidelines by which the sport is governed.