Eleven U.S. athletes to compete at two events
Chock, Bates to make international debut at Finlandia
|Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani will challenge for gold at the Cup of China. (Getty Images)|
JGP Italy begins Thursday with the ladies and men's short programs, while Finlandia Trophy kicks off Friday with the men's short program and short dance.
Courtney Hicks, the 2011 U.S. junior champion, looks for her second gold medal of the season in Milan, having won gold at 2011 JGP Australia. A medal-winning performance in Italy could help her gain a spot at the 2011 Junior Grand Prix Final, which features the top six point-earners in each discipline throughout the JGP series. Hannah Miller, who won the 2011 U.S. novice title, makes her first international appearance this week.
The 2011 U.S. junior silver medalists, Lauri Bonacorsi and Travis Mager, were the silver medalists in Australia. They skate for another medal and a possible spot in the JGP Final.
Held annually since 1995, Finlandia Trophy is a senior-level competition for all ladies, men's and ice dancing organized by the Finnish Figure Skating Association.
Douglas Razzano makes his season debut in Finland and hopes to add to the two international medals he already owns.
Reigning world bronze medalists and U.S. silver medalists Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani, look to start another successful season in Vantaa. Competing in their first senior season last year, the duo earned a pair of bronze medals in each of their Grand Prix assignments. They are slated to compete at Cup of China and NHK Trophy later this fall. Madison Chock and Evan Bates, who teamed up last spring, make their senior international debut at Finlandia Trophy. Both teams train under coaches Igor Shpilband and Marina Zoueva.