Eleven U.S. Athletes to Compete at 2012 Junior Grand Prix Final and Grand Prix Final

(12/4/12) - Eleven U.S. athletes will compete at the 2012 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final and Junior Grand Prix (JGP) Final this week in Sochi, Russia.

All competition will take place at the Iceberg Skating Palace, the official competition venue of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. Competition begins Thursday with all four junior disciplines taking the ice, while senior events begin Friday.

NBC will broadcast the Grand Prix Final ladies and men's free skates from 1-3 p.m. (ET) on Sunday, Dec. 9. Universal Sports will provide additional coverage of the singles, pairs and dance events throughout the weekend. Terry Gannon, Michael Weiss and Tara Lipinski make up NBC's announce team.

Icenetwork.com will provide news, photos and more from the event. On-demand video of the JGP Final and Grand Prix Final will be available to Season Pass subscribers approximately seven days following the conclusion of the event.

GRAND PRIX FINAL

Ladies
Ashley Wagner enters the Grand Prix Final as the No. 1 seeded lady in the event after winning a pair of titles at 2012 Hilton HHonors Skate America and 2012 Trophee Bompard. She is the current U.S. and reigning Four Continents champion. Wagner last competed at the Grand Prix Final in 2009 and placed fourth. Christina Gao accepted an invitation to the Grand Prix Final Thursday after Russia's Julia Lipnitskaia withdrew due to injury. Gao became a first time Grand Prix medalist when she won silver at 2012 Hilton HHonors Skate America. She also finished fourth at 2012 Trophee Bompard.

Ice dancing
Like Wagner, Meryl Davis and Charlie White, who are four-time reigning U.S. champions, enter the event as the No. 1 seed. They won their 11th straight Grand Prix Series gold medal, dating back to 2009, at 2012 NHK Trophy two weeks ago. Davis and White are 2011 World champions, 2010 Olympic silver medalists and three-time reigning Grand Prix Final champions.

The Grand Prix Series, now in its 18th 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 up to two of the six scheduled events. The top six point-earners in each discipline qualify for the 2012 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final, set for Dec. 6-9, in Sochi, Russia, home of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. Athletes will compete for a total of more than $1.35 million in prize money throughout the series.

JUNIOR GRAND PRIX FINAL

Ladies
Leah Keiser qualified for the JGP Final after winning gold at JGP Turkey and placing fourth at JGP Germany earlier this fall, Keiser, who competes domestically as a senior, is the 2010 U.S. novice champion. Hannah Miller, the 2012 U.S. junior bronze medalist, enjoyed a pair of silver-medal finishes in Croatia and Austria to qualify for the Final. Angela Wang, who also competes as a senior in U.S. qualifying competition, started her season with a third-place finish at JGP United States before winning gold at JGP Croatia.

Men
Jason Brown and Joshua Farris return to the JGP Final in defense of their respective gold and bronze medals from the 2011 JGP Final. The 2012 World Junior silver medalist, Farris won a pair of gold medals at events earlier this fall in the United States and Slovenia. Farris makes his third straight appearance at the JGP Final. Brown, the reigning World Junior bronze medalist, is a six-time JGP medalist. This season, he won gold in Turkey and silver in France.

Ice dancing
Alexandra Aldridge and Daniel Eaton, the current U.S. junior champions and World Junior bronze medalists, qualified for their second straight JGP Final after winning a pair of gold medals in the United States and Slovenia. They will look to improve on a fourth place showing at this event last year.

Now in its 16th season, the JGP Series consists of seven international events in a cumulative point-scoring format. Each athlete is eligible to score points in two of the seven scheduled events (pairs can compete in two of four designated events). The top six point-earners in each discipline qualify for the Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final, Dec. 6-9 in Sochi, Russia, home of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.

U.S. ENTRIES AT THE 2012 GRAND PRIX FINAL

DISCIPLINE

NAME

HOMETOWN

TRAINING TOWN

Ladies

Ashley Wagner

Alexandria, Va.

Aliso Viejo, Calif.

Christina Gao

Cincinnati

Boston

Ice Dancing

Meryl Davis
Charlie White

West Bloomfield, Mich.
Bloomfield Hills, Mich.

Canton, Mich.

2012 GRAND PRIX FINAL BROADCAST SCHEDULE*
(All times Eastern; subject to change; check local listings)

Broadcast Date

Event (Network)

Time

Saturday, Dec. 8

Free dance (Universal Sports)

5-6 p.m.

Men's and pairs free skates (Universal Sports)

8-10 p.m.

Sunday, Dec. 9

Ladies and men's free skates (NBC)

1-3 p.m.

Re-air of NBC's Ladies and Men's FS (Universal Sports)

4-6 p.m.

U.S. ENTRIES AT THE 2012 JUNIOR GRAND PRIX FINAL

DISCIPLINE

NAME

HOMETOWN

TRAINING TOWN

Ladies

Leah Keiser

Wexford, Pa.

Aliso Viejo, Calif.

Hannah Miller

Williamston, Mich.

East Lansing, Mich.

Angela Wang

Salt Lake City

Colorado Springs, Colo.

Men

Jason Brown

Highland Park, Ill.

Highland Park/Northbrook, Ill.

Joshua Farris

Renton, Wash.

Colorado Springs, Colo.

Ice Dancing

Alexandra Aldridge
Daniel Eaton

Birmingham, Mich.
Bloomfield Hills, Mich.

Bloomfield Hills, Mich.

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