What Is the Grand Prix of Figure Skating?

Last week, the International Skating Union (ISU) Grand Prix of Figure Skating began with the NHK Trophy in Nagoya, Japan. The way the series works is that senior-level skaters are assigned to represent their countries based on their previous competitive placements and international ranking.  

Skaters in the Grand Prix earn points based on their placements. The six skaters in each singles category (men and ladies) and six teams in each category of pairs and dance who earn the most points out of the six Grand Prix competitions move on to the Grand Prix Final.

Many of the top skaters in the world skate in the Grand Prix series, so it’s good to follow to increase your skating knowledge.

The International Skating Union (ISU) websitehas information on each Grand Prix event as well as all the major international skating competitions each year.

Here’s a recap of the NHK Trophy by PJ Kwong at CBCSports.ca: NHK Trophy event offered dramatic twists.  

For inspiration, here are videos of the gold- and silver-medalists in singles from the NHK Trophy. This is the beginning of the international season, so the skaters’ programs will become even stronger as the season progresses!

Here’s the short program of the NHK ladies champion, Carolina Kostner from Italy:

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Here’s the long program of the NHK ladies silver medalist, Rachael Flatt from the USA:

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Here’s the short program of the NHK men’s champion, Daisuke Takahashi from Japan:

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Here’s the short program of the NHK men’s silver medalist, Jeremy Abbott from the USA:

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October 28, 2010

Inspiration from the 2009 and 2010 U.S. Men’s Champion, Jeremy Abbott

Wow, brings back the memories.  It’s great to see a nice guy have success!  I’ve known Jeremy since he lived in Aspen, Colorado.  Jeremy and I trained together at the World Arena in Colorado Springs for almost 10 years.  I remember when Jeremy did pairs for a period.  Jeremy, his pair partner, Brittany Vise, and my sister, Christina, and I all medaled in Open Juvenile Pairs at the 1999 Junior Nationals (then called Junior Olympics).

This is an inspiring video of Jeremy from his 2010 U.S. Figure Skating Championships long program in Spokane, Washington.  Jeremy overcomes the pressure of trying to defend his national title and make it to the Olympics. He keeps his focus throughout each element in his four-and-a-half minute long program.  Not only does Jeremy have great technical ability, but he’s also one of the most artistic male skaters in the world.

Watch Jeremy at the Olympics!  He competes in the short program on Tuesday, February 16, and the long program on Thursday, February 18.

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February 15, 2010