Eighteen U.S. Athletes to Compete at 2011 Hilton HHonors Skate America

icenetwork.com 2011 Hilton HHonors Skate America event page

Richard Dornbush
photo by Paul Harvath
(10/19/11) - Eighteen U.S. athletes will compete at 2011 Hilton HHonors Skate America, the first event of the 2011 International Skating Union (ISU) Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series, Oct. 21-23 at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, Calif.

Competition begins Friday with the men's short program and the short dance. The men's free skate and free dance will air live on NBC on Saturday, Oct. 22 from 3-6 p.m. (ET) with additional broadcast coverage on Universal Sports. For full coverage of the event, including news, photos and results, visit www.icenetwork.com. Live and on-demand video coverage of Skate America will be available to icenetwork.com Season Pass subscribers.

Alissa Czisny begins the season as the reigning U.S. and Grand Prix Final champion. She competes at Skate America for the third time, and first since winning silver in 2005. Caroline Zhang, who won the bronze medal at this event in 2007, makes her third Skate America appearance. Joelle Forte began the season last month at Nebelhorn Trophy.

Richard Dornbush competes for the first time on the Grand Prix Circuit. Dornbush, the reigning Junior Grand Prix Final champion and U.S. silver medalist, was the United States' highest-placing man at the most recent World Championships (9th). Armin Mahbanoozadeh comes to Ontario in defense of his bronze medal at this event last fall. Douglas Razzano began the season with a second-place showing at 2011 Finlandia Trophy earlier this month. He makes his Grand Prix Series debut in Ontario.

Caydee Denney & John Coughlin, who teamed up in May, began their international competitive careers together with a bronze medal at Nebelhorn Trophy. Mary Beth Marley & Rockne Brubaker, the 2011 U.S. pewter medalists, make their Grand Prix debut in Ontario. Also making their first trip to a Grand Prix are Tiffany Vise & Don Baldwin.

Ice dancing
Meryl Davis & Charlie White are undefeated in their last six outings. Before becoming the first U.S. ice dancing team to win World gold in April, they won gold at a pair of Grand Prix events, including Skate America, the Grand Prix Final, their third U.S. title and the Four Continents Championships. Newly formed team Madison Hubbell & Zach Donohue are the 2011 Nebelhorn Trophy titlists. Isabella Cannuscio & Ian Lorello, who placed sixth at the 2011 U.S. Championships, begin their second Grand Prix season this week.

The Grand Prix Series, now in its 17th 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 discipline qualify for the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final in Quebec City, Canada, Dec. 8-11. Athletes will compete for a total of more than $1.35 million in prize money throughout the series.

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