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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The 2009 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series comes to a close this week at Skate Canada in Kitchener, Ontario. Fourteen athletes from the United States will compete against skaters from 14 other countries, all vying for points and prize money in this last of six events in the series.
Skate Canada will take place at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium Complex in Kitchener, Ontario. Competition will begin Friday, Nov. 20 with the compulsory dance and the ladies, men’s and pairs short programs.
will provide live and on-demand coverage of the event for “Season Pass” subscribers within the contiguous United States. U.S. Figure Skating, via a joint partnership with MLB Advanced Media, has secured the exclusive U.S. broadband rights for the 2009 ISU Grand Prix Series. Visit for the complete broadcast schedule.
In addition, NBC Sports and Universal Sports will provide same-day coverage of select events.
The Grand Prix Series, now in its 15th season, consists of six international events in a cumulative point-scoring format. Approximately 300 athletes from 30 countries are expected to participate in the series. Each athlete is eligible to score points in two of the six scheduled events. The top six point-earners in each of the disciplines then qualify for the Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final in Tokyo, Japan, Dec. 3-6. Athletes will be vying for a total of more than $1.35 million in prize money throughout the series.
Reigning U.S. champion Alissa Czisny won bronze at this event last season finished fourth last month at the Rostelecom Cup in Moscow, Russia., the 2008 U.S. champion, is in her second season competing in the Grand Prix Series. The 2008 World Junior bronze medalist placed fifth at the Cup of China two weeks ago. Reigning U.S. bronze medalist Caroline Zhang just missed the medal platform with her fourth-place finish at Trophée Eric Bompard last month. The 2009 World Junior silver medalist placed fifth at this event last season.
Reigning U.S. championwill compete at Skate Canada for the second time. The 2008 Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final champion placed eighth at this event in 2007 and came in fifth at the NHK Trophy earlier this month. This is the first Skate Canada appearance for 2008 U.S. bronze medalist Stephen Carriere. The 2007 World Junior champion placed sixth at the Cup of China two weeks ago. In his debut season in the Grand Prix Series, Armin Mahbanoozadeh will look to improve upon his 11th-place finish at last month’s Cup of China. Mahbanoozadeh is the 2008 Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final silver medalist.
Reigning U.S. silver medalists Caydee Denney and Jeremy Barrett made their Grand Prix Series debut this season at the NHK Trophy, where they finished fourth. This is the first Grand Prix Series event of the season for Caitlin Yankowskas and John Coughlin, who won gold at Ice Challenge in Graz, Austria, earlier this month.
Reigning U.S. silver medalists Emily Samuelson and Evan Bates took fourth at Trophée Bompard last month. This is the first Skate Canada appearance for the 2008 World Junior champions, who last season won bronze at the NHK Trophy and placed fourth at Skate America. This is the first season in the Grand Prix Series for 2008 U.S. junior champions Madison Hubbell and Keiffer Hubbell. The 2006 Junior Grand Prix Final champions placed eighth in their Grand Prix debut at Trophée Eric Bompard in October.
In addition to Skate Canada, the Grand Prix Series consists of the remaining events:
• Grand Prix Final: Tokyo, Japan – Dec. 3-6
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.