Japan hosts three star-studded events this week
Medal Winners Open, Japan Open, Carnival on Ice all taking place in Saitama
|Frequently mentioned as the greatest men's skater of all-time, Alexei Yagudin of Russia is in action this week in Japan. (Getty Images)|
First is the inaugural Medal Winners Open, an artistic pro-am competition featuring Olympic and world medalists such as Alexei Yagudin, Ilia Kulik, Philippe Candeloro, Kurt Browning, Jeffrey Buttle, Joannie Rochette, Kimmie Meissner, Irina Slutskaya, Shizuka Arakawa, Sarah Meier and Laura Lepistö.
Each competitor will perform a free program, with an emphasis being placed on the artistic side of the sport. Jumps will be de-emphasized in the scoring. Vocal music, theatrical lighting and carried props are all permitted.
The second event is the Japan Open, which is held every autumn and features men's and women's singles competitors from North America, Europe and Japan. This event will feature a showdown between some of the most talented men's skaters in the world, with Russia's Evgeni Plushenko, the 2006 Olympic champion and two-time Olympic silver medalist; reigning two-time world champion Patrick Chan of Canada; and 2010 world champion and Olympic bronze medalist Daisuke Takahashi of Japan.
Plushenko has not competed since winning his seventh European crown in January. Chan plans to perform his competitive free skate to La Boheme by Giacomo Puccini.
Skaters from both events will come together the evening of Oct. 6 for a gala exhibition called "Carnival on Ice."