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Weir's inclusion highlights U.S. GP selections

All four reigning national champs get Skate America; Weir assigned to Bompard, Rostelecom

Johnny Weir in his last competitive appearance, at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.
Johnny Weir in his last competitive appearance, at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. (Getty Images)

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By icenetwork.com
(05/21/2012) - The skaters who will represent U.S. Figure Skating in the 2012 Grand Prix Series were announced Monday, and there is a familiar name in the lineup at a couple events: Johnny Weir.

The über-popular three-time U.S. champion, who now has his husband's last name attached to his own, will make his return to competition first at the Rostelecom Cup, Nov. 9-11 in Moscow, and then at Trophée Eric Bompard, Nov. 16-18 in Paris.

Weir has not competed since finishing sixth at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, British Columbia. He announced his intentions of a competitive comeback this past January.

The four reigning U.S. champions are included in the field for 2012 Hilton HHonors Skate America, Oct. 19-21 in Kent, Wash. They are Ashley Wagner (ladies), Jeremy Abbott (men's), Caydee Denney and John Coughlin (pairs), and Meryl Davis and Charlie White (ice dancing).

Only one other man besides Abbott, Doug Razzano, has been assigned to Skate America, presumably so U.S. Figure Skating can leave a spot open for Olympic champion Evan Lysacek, who has also made public his plans to return to competition.

Gracie Gold, the 2012 U.S. junior champion and 2012 world junior silver medalist, will make her Grand Prix debut at the second event in the series, Skate Canada, and is also scheduled to take the ice in Moscow.

In addition to Gold, three American entrants -- all pairs -- will make their Grand Prix Series debuts in 2012: Gretchen Donlan and Andrew Speroff (Skate America), Caitlin Yankowskas and Joshua Reagan (Cup of China), and Lindsay Davis and Mark Ladwig (NHK Trophy). The latter two teams formed this offseason.

The complete list of skater selections for the 2012 Grand Prix Series is available at www.isu.org. The full list of U.S. selections is below. (Lineups are subject to change.)

2012 Hilton HHonors Skate America -- Seattle/Kent, Wash. -- Oct. 19-21
Ladies: Rachael Flatt, Christina Gao, Wagner
Men's: Abbott, Razzano
Pairs: Denney and Coughlin, Donlan and Speroff
Ice Dancing: Davis and White; Lynn Kriengkrairut and Logan Giulietti-Schmitt

Skate Canada International -- Windsor, Ontario -- Oct. 26-28
Ladies: Gold, Caroline Zhang
Men's: Ross Miner
Pairs: Mary Beth Marley and Rockne Brubaker; Tiffany Vise and Don Baldwin
Ice Dancing: Madison Hubbell and Zach Donohue

Cup of China -- Shanghai -- Nov. 2-4
Ladies: Mirai Nagasu
Men's: Adam Rippon
Pairs: Yankowskas and Reagan
Ice Dancing: Madison Chock and Evan Bates

Rostelecom Cup -- Moscow -- Nov. 9-11
Ladies: Gold, Agnes Zawadzki, Zhang
Men's: Richard Dornbush, Weir
Pairs: Denney and Coughlin
Ice Dancing: Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani

Trophée Eric Bompard -- Paris -- Nov. 16-18
Ladies: Wagner
Men's: Abbott, Weir
Ice Dancing: Hubbell and Donohue

NHK Trophy -- Miyagi, Japan -- Nov. 23-25
Ladies: Alissa Czisny, Zawadzki
Men's: Dornbush, Miner, Rippon
Pairs: Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir, Davis and Ladwig, Marley and Brubaker
Ice Dancing: Davis and White, Shibutani and Shibutani

Information from U.S. Figure Skating was used in this report.