The 2021-22 Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series kicked off last Friday at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, and did not disappoint. The American athletes walked away with two medals in men’s singles and two in ice dance; this last competition was a fierce one, while the first presented a superb performance in small groups.
Vincent Zhou’s great victory
American Vincent Zhou, 20, said he is as well prepared and trained as he can get for Skate America. The result? Zhou walked away with his first major senior title – and it wasn’t close. His short program and free skate totaled 295.56 points, or about 25 points ahead of silver medalist Shoma Uno and bronze medalist Nathan Chen.
“My training this year has been by far the most consistent and productive training I have ever had,” Zhou said. “Being well prepared, training to perform in all circumstances, it really pays off. … It’s just about dealing with the ups and downs, not letting anything get into my head, working hard, keeping goals in mind.
Nathan Chen’s winning streak ends
Nathan Chen entered the weekend with a winning streak that spanned more than three competitive seasons and 14 consecutive competitions. He’s been undefeated since missing the podium at PyeongChang in 2018. While his shocking third place finish in Las Vegas doesn’t change his aspirations for the upcoming season and the Olympics, it has shown he still has strength. margin to improve in terms of consistency. . In an interview with NBC’s Andrea Joyce, Chen said he felt his opponents were “more prepared” for Skate America and looked forward to Skate Canada the next one.
Hubbell & Donohue Edge Cale & Bates
In the ice dance competition, American duo Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue won their fourth straight Skate America title – and the last of their careers, as they plan to retire after this season. They narrowly beat longtime rivals and American teammates Madison Chock and Evan Bates, 209.54 to 208.23. Third place pair Laurence Fournier Beaudry and Nikolaj Sorenson were far behind at 190.13.
It was Hubbell and Donohue’s fifth Skate America appearance and medal in six years, while it was the first for Chock and Bates in six years.
Amber Glenn Leads American Women
In sixth place, Amber Glenn was America’s top in women’s singles after 2018 Olympian Bradie Tennell retired with injury before the competition. Glenn had a personal best score (133.45) in his free skate, performed on “Rain In Your Black Eyes” by Ezio Bosso.
“It’s just the energy that made this performance so brilliant,” said analyst Johnny Weir.
Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier 4th in pairs
American duo Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier finished fourth in the pairs competition, leading the American participants. In their free skate, Knierim and Frazier performed on Coldplay’s “Fix You” and scored 136.60 points, a new international record. The veteran pair, who just reunited in the spring of last year, had a tougher time with their short program, scoring 66.37. Fellow Americans Jessica Calalang and Brian Johnson took fifth place overall and Chelsea Liu and Danny O’Shea finished seventh.