The ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating series 2021/22 features once again the World’s best Figure Skaters. Double Olympic Champion Yuzuru Hanyu (JPN), World Champions Nathan Chen (USA), Anna Shcherbakova (RUS), Anastasia Mishina/Aleksandr Galliamov (RUS) and Victoria Sinitsina/Nikita Katsalapov (RUS), European Champions, Olympic, World and European medalists all compete during a season which concludes with the Olympic Winter Games in Beijing (CHN) and the ISU World Figure Skating Championships in Montpellier (FRA).
Overview of events
The ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating series consists of six events: Guaranteed Rate Skate America in Las Vegas (USA) October 22-24, Skate Canada International in Vancouver (CAN) October 29-31, Gran Premio d’Italia in Turin (ITA) November 5-7, NHK Trophy in Tokyo (JPN) November 12-14, Internationaux de France in Grenoble (FRA) November 19-21 and Rostelecom Cup in Sochi (RUS) November 26-28. The ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final will take place in Osaka (JPN) December 9-12. The third event was originally to be held in China but has been moved to Italy.
The ISU Grand Prix starts with Skate America in Las Vegas, with Nathan Chen (USA), going for a new title, up against Shoma Uno (JPN), the 2018 Olympic silver medalist, and 2019 World bronze medalist Vincent Zhou (USA). In the Women’s competition, 2021 World bronze medalist Alexandra Trusova (RUS), Grand Prix multi-medalist Bradie Tennell (USA), and two-time World medalist Satoko Miyahara (JPN) compete for supremacy. The Pairs event features 2020 European Champions Aleksandra Boikova/Dmitrii Kozlovskii (RUS), and Alexa Knierim/Brandon Frazier (USA), who took gold at the 2020 Guaranteed Rate Skate America. Three-time World medalists Madison Hubbell/Zachary Donohue (USA) and two-time Four Continents Champions Madison Chock/Evan Bates (USA) compete in Ice Dance.
Skate Canada International in Vancouver is headlined by Chen, Jason Brown (USA), and Keegan Messing (CAN) in the Men’s competition, while 2021 World silver medalist Elizaveta Tuktamysheva (RUS), 2020 European Champion Alena Kostornaia (RUS), 2020 World Junior Champion Kamila Valieva (RUS), and two-time Four Continents Champion Rika Kihira (JPN) will face off in the Women’s event. The 2020 ISU World Junior bronze medalist Alysa Liu (USA) debuts on the senior circuit. The Pairs are led by 2018 Olympic silver medalists Wenjing Sui/Cong Han (CHN) and 2020 Four Continents bronze medalists Kirsten Moore-Towers/Michael Marinaro (CAN). The new Pair Skating partnership of Vanessa James/Eric Radford (CAN) will debut at the Grand Prix as a team. The 2021 World bronze medalists Piper Gilles/Paul Poirier (CAN) and 2019 European bronze medalists Charlene Guignard/Marco Fabbri (ITA) are the top contenders in the Ice Dance competition.
The Gran Premio d’Italia in Turin features 2021 World Champion Anna Shcherbakova (RUS), Loena Hendrickx (BEL), the 23-year-old Tennell, two-time World bronze medalist Boyang Jin (CHN), 2021 World silver medalist Yuma Kagiyama (JPN), 2018 World bronze medalist Mikhail Kolyada (RUS), 2020 European Champion Dmitri Aliev (RUS), China’s Sui/Han, and 2020 Four Continents silver medalists Cheng Peng/Yang Jin (CHN). Four-time Ice Dance World Champions Gabriella Papadakis/Guillaume Cizeron (FRA) and four-time European medalists Alexandra Stepanova/Ivan Bukin (RUS) also compete.
Two-time Olympic Champion Yuzuru Hanyu (JPN) leads the line-up on home ice at NHK Trophy in Tokyo and is joined by Uno and Junhwan Cha (KOR), while the Women’s event features Trusova, Kihira, and 2018 Four Continents Champion Kaori Sakamoto (JPN). The Pairs event includes 2021 World Champions Anastasia Mishina/Alexander Galliamov (RUS) and two-time World Pairs silver medalists Evgenia Tarasova/Vladimir Morozov (RUS). The 2021 World Champions Victoria Sinitsina/Nikita Katsalapov (RUS) and Chock/Bates compete in Ice Dance.
The series then returns to Europe for the Internationaux de France in Grenoble. Among the top contenders are ISU Grand Prix Finalist Kevin Aymoz (FRA), Kagiyama, Aliev, Shcherbakova, Kostornaia, 2018 World silver medalist Wakaba Higuchi (JPN), Karen Chen (USA), Boikova/Kozlovskii, James/Radford, Peng/Jin, Papadakis/Cizeron, Gilles/Poirier, and Stepanova/Bukin.
The last spots for the Final will be decided at the Rostelecom Cup in Sochi, with Hanyu, Kolyada, 2020 European bronze medalist Morisi Kvitelashvili (GEO), Tuktamysheva, Valieva, Mishina/Galliamov, Moore-Towers/Marinaro, 2020 European bronze medalists Daria Pavliuchenko/Denis Khodykin (RUS), Nicole Della Monica/Matteo Guarise (ITA), Sinitsina/Katsalapov, and Guignard/Fabbri competing.
39 Men, 45 Women, 26 Pairs and 35 Ice Dance couples representing 20 ISU Members have currently been invited. The maximum number of entries for each event is 12 Women, 12 Men, 8 Pairs and 10 Ice Dance couples.
The Skaters are seeded and invited to the six Grand Prix of Figure Skating events based on the results of the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2021. Skaters/couples who have placed 1 to 6 in each of the four categories are seeded and assigned to two events. Skaters/couples who have placed 7-12 at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships are selected for two ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating events, and skaters with top-24 Seasonal Best scores (from either the 2019/20 or 2020/21 season) as well as those placed in the top 24 of the World Standings (from the previous three seasons – 2018/19, 2019/20 and 2020/21) can also be invited. If available, medalists from the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships and the ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final gold medalists can also be selected.
In order for a skater/couple to be eligible to compete at an ISU Grand Prix event, a minimum total score must have been achieved in the 2019/20, 2020/21 or current 2021/22 season in an ISU event (Grand Prix, Junior Grand Prix, Championships) or a Challenger Series event. Exceptions apply to host-country skaters, previously ranked skaters or split-ranked couples who return with new partners. The minimum total score is 3/5 of highest score per discipline at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2021 and are as follows: Women: 139.90, Men: 192.53, Pairs: 136.55, Ice Dance: 132.70.
Competitors collect points in their Grand Prix events towards the qualification for the Grand Prix Final. The global prize money per individual event of the Grand Prix is US$180,000 and prize money is awarded to winners and placed skaters/couples at the events as follows:
1st place: US$18,000 2nd place: US$13,000 3rd place: US$9,000
4th place: US$3,000 5th place: US$2,000
Points are awarded as follows:
1st place: 15 points 2nd place: 13 points 3rd place: 11 points
4th place: 9 points 5th place: 7 points 6th place: 5 points
7th place: 4 points 8th place: 3 points