Americans ready for international competition

Twenty U.S. skaters to participate in Cup of China, Ice Challenge

Jeremy Abbott makes his 2011-12 season debut at the Cup of China.
Jeremy Abbott makes his 2011-12 season debut at the Cup of China. (Getty Images)


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(11/01/2011) - Twelve U.S. athletes will compete at 2011 Cup of China, the third event of the 2011 International Skating Union (ISU) Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series, while eight athletes travel to Graz, Austria, for 2011 Ice Challenge.

At Cup of China, each of the four disciplines will take the ice Friday at the Shanghai Oriental Sports Center in Shanghai. Senior competition begins from Graz on Thursday with the short dance.

For full coverage of both events, including news, photos and results, visit Live and on-demand video coverage of Cup of China will be available to Season Pass subscribers.


Mirai Nagasu continues the season after making her Grand Prix debut last week at Skate Canada, where she placed fifth. Nagasu started the season with a win at 2011 Nebelhorn Trophy earlier this fall. Christina Gao, who finished fourth at the 2011 world junior championships, makes her senior international debut in Shanghai. Gao owns five medals from two seasons competing on the Junior Grand Prix, including the 2009 JGP Final bronze medal.

Jeremy Abbott makes his season debut this week. The two-time U.S. champion finished the 2010-11 season with a bronze medal at the Four Continents Championships after medaling in both of his Grand Prix events (silver at NHK Trophy and bronze at Rostelecom Cup) and finishing fourth at the 2011 U.S. championships. Richard Dornbush made his Grand Prix Series debut two weeks ago at 2011 Hilton HHonors Skate America, where he placed fourth.

Amanda Evora and Mark Ladwig, 2011 U.S. silver medalists and 2010 Olympians, look for their second career Grand Prix Series medal in China. They were fifth at this event last season before winning bronze at 2010 Rostelecom Cup.

Ice dancing
Last season, Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani became the first ice dancing team to medal at both of their Grand Prix events in their first year as seniors (bronze at NHK Trophy and Skate America). They built on that success by becoming the 2010 U.S. silver medalists and then the first U.S. ice dancing team to medal in their debut at the world championships (bronze). Charlotte Lichtman and Dean Copely make their international senior debuts. They are the 2011 U.S. junior titlists and 2011 world junior bronze medalists. Emily Samuelson and Todd Gilles make their competitive debuts. They announced their partnership in late August. Samuelson, a 2010 Olympian with former partner Evan Bates, did not compete last year after a Bates injury forced them to sit out the season. Gilles previously skated with Jane Summersett and Trina Pratt.


Caroline Zhang continues her season after making her debut two weeks ago at 2011 Skate America, where she placed sixth.

Stephen Carriere is the 2011 Nebelhorn Trophy bronze medalist.

Andrea Poapst and Chris Knierim, the 2011 U.S. junior silver medalists, make their international debut in Graz.

Ice dancing
Like Zhang, Isabella Cannuscio and Ian Lorello made their season debuts at Skate America. They are joined by Lynn Kriengkrairut and Logan Giulietti-Schmitt. The duo takes the ice for the first time since placing fifth at the 2011 AT&T U.S. Figure Skating Championships.