Team USA in Beijing for Cup of China
|Katie Orscher and Garrett Lucash at the 2005 U.S. Championships|
Photo by Paul Harvath
The Cup of China is the third of six events in six countries, concluding in Tokyo, Japan, with the Grand Prix Final. Skaters can compete in two of the six events, and the top six point-earners in all four disciplines – ladies, men's, pairs and ice dancing – earn a spot at the Grand Prix Final. Athletes will vie for a total of $1.35 million in prize money throughout the series and the Grand Prix Final.
Last weekend at Skate Canada U.S. skaters won two medals: Alissa Czisny won the ladies event and Melissa Gregory & Denis Petukhov won a bronze medal in the ice dancing competition. U.S. Skaters have won five medals, two of them gold, in the first two events of the 2005 Grand Prix Series.
The 2005 Cup of China will be Amber Corwin's (Hermosa Beach, Calif.) 10th Grand Prix event in 10 seasons. Her best finish was a fourth place finish at 1999 Skate Canada, and her last appearance at the Cup of China came in 2003 when she finished sixth. Corwin finished eighth at the 2005 State Farm U.S. Figure Skating Championships and sixth at the 2005 Four Continents Figure Skating Championships.
Matt Savoie (Peoria, Ill.) comes into Beijing after a fifth-place finish last weekend at Skate Canada. Last season Savoie finished fourth at the 2005 U.S. Championships and fifth at the 2005 Four Continents Championships. He is a veteran to the Grand Prix scene, with his best season coming in 2001, when he won the bronze medal at the Grand Prix Final. Savoie's only other appearance at Cup of China came last year, finishing eighth. Ryan Jahnke (Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich.) looks to build on a successful 2004 Grand Prix season which saw him win a silver medal at 2004 Smart Ones Skate America. That, along with a fourth-place finish at 2004 Skate Canada, earned Jahnke a place in last year's Grand Prix Final, where he finished sixth.
Katie Orscher (Glastonbury, Conn.) & Garrett Lucash (Granby, Conn.) look to build upon their breakout season in 2004-2005 which saw them win the gold at the U.S. Championships and the bronze at Four Continents. This is the pair's fourth season on the Grand Prix Series. Their best finish came last year at Trophee Eric Bompard, where they finished fifth.
Morgan Matthews (Chicago, Ill.) & Maxim Zavozin (Moscow, Russia) move on up to the Grand Prix Series after dominating the Junior Grand Prix circuit in 2004. They won both their qualifying events at JGP Long Beach and JGP France before winning the 2004 Grand Prix Final. They are also the current World Junior champions. Matthews and Zavozin finished fifth at the 2005 U.S. Championships competing as seniors.