World champion Chen to begin Olympic quest at Skate America

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — Three-time world figure skating champion Nathan Chen will begin his final preparations for the Winter Olympics in Beijing when he opens the Grand Prix season at Skate America in October.

Chen will be joined in Las Vegas by fellow Americans Vincent Zhou, Amber Glenn and Bradie Tennell. The ice dance teams of Madison Chock-Evan Bates and Madison Hubbell-Zach Donohue will also compete, along with the pairs teams of Alexa Knierim-Brandon Frazier and Chelsea Liu-Danny O’Shea.

Chen, who also is scheduled to compete at Skate Canada, has not lost a competition since finishing a disappointing fifth at the Pyeongchang Olympics. Along the way, he’s established world records for the free skate and combined score.

Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu is scheduled to begin his season before a home crowd at the NHK Trophy in Japan and then take part in the Rostelecom Cup in Russia. World champion Anna Shcherbakova of Russia will begin her season at the Cup of China and compete at the Internationaux de France.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and travel restrictions, the Grand Prix schedule last season consisted of just four events that were composed of primarily domestic skaters. A full six-event season with international lineups is planned this year, though the International Skating Union plans to monitor COVID-19 rates to ensure events can be held safely.

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