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GRAND PRIX SERIES PREVIEW


lot of fun on and off the ice. “Tarah is very much looking forward to


getting some more Lotte chocolate-covered almonds, and we can’t wait to explore Hiroshi- ma and try some okonomiyaki, which they are famous for,” O’Shea said. “It will be both of our first times in France, and we are motivated to skate well and have good experiences both in a new place and an old favorite.” Goals this season, O’Shea said, are to win their second U.S. title (2016), compete at Worlds and earn spots back for Team USA pairs. “We are also continuing to develop our


artistry with our new short program, and look to make ourselves known as being both technically proficient and artists on the ice.” Two-time and reigning U.S. champions


and Olympic Team Event bronze medalists Alexa Scimeca-Knierim and Chris Knierim will be at Skate America and NHK Trophy. Tey announced in May that they will be coached by 2018 Olympic champion Aliona Savchenko of Germany.


Also drawing two assignments as of press


time are 2017 U.S. champions Haven Denney and Brandon Frazier, and 2017 U.S. bronze medalists Ashley Cain and Timothy LeDuc.


Tarah Kayne and Danny O’Shea


the free skate by more than nine points. U.S. silver medalist Vincent Zhou will also compete at Skate America, and at NHK Trophy in Japan. Zhou, sixth at the Olympic Games, and the youngest member of Team USA in PyeongChang, competed for the first time last season on the Grand Prix circuit, finishing fourth and ninth.


Alex Krasnozhon, 18, will make his Grand


Prix Series debuts in Finland and Russia. Te 2017 Junior Grand Prix Final champion was forced to withdraw from the World Junior Championships last March because of an ankle injury near the start of his free skate.


Kayne, O’Shea motivated for more success Staying healthy and competing consistently


are the driving forces behind Tarah Kayne and Danny O’Shea as they embark on the Grand Prix season and a new quadrennium. Te 2018 U.S. silver medalists and Four Continents pairs champions are returning to Ja- pan, and they are competing for the first time in France. Tey came on like gangbusters late last season, as Kayne recovered from knee surgery just several months earlier. Teir confidence is high moving forward, they said. “I think that doing well at major com- petitions is always great for your confidence, and though we are both very disappointed that we were unable to compete at Worlds, we are motivated for this coming quad and are doing everything we can to put ourselves in the best situations and positions possible to stay healthy and compete consistently,” O’Shea said. Competing in Japan is always a great op- portunity, O’Shea said, and going back will be a


14 AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2018


Hawayek and Baker move to fertile training ground Ice dancers Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc


Baker wrapped up last season riding a wave of momentum, securing the pewter medal at the U.S. Championships, winning the Four Continents title, and finishing 10th at their first World Championships. Partners since 2012, Hawayek and Baker


feel they are now primed to take that next step, and have moved to Montreal to train under PSA Coach of the Year Patrice Lauzon and his team at Gadbois Centre. Tey are sharing the ice with the three-time and reigning World champions Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France, as well as country mates and World silver medalists Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue. Another top U.S. team, Madison


Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker


Chock and Evan Bates, has also recently moved to Montreal to train with Lauzon’s team. “Training in Montreal has been amazing


thus far,” Hawayek said. “We are so excited with the development we already feel happening. Te camp has such an incredibly positive energy, which is easy to feed off of. It has been easy to adjust and feel at home in a new environment. “Te biggest change we’ve had to get use to is the coaching. Te style is new and unique for us and we’re excited at how it is currently pushing us.” Hawayek and Baker received NHK Trophy


in Japan and the Internationaux de France in Grenoble for their two Grand Prix assignments. “We are thrilled to be going back to NHK


for a third time, and it will be our fifth visit to Japan as a team,” Baker said. “We love the coun- try, the people and the events they run. France is a new one for us; it is the only one of the Grand Prix circuit we haven’t competed in, and we can’t wait to experience France and that event for the first time.” Te veteran team agreed that they received a confidence boost by winning the Four Conti- nents title, but it was at the World Champion- ships in Milan, where they felt “validated and a part of the elite in the world.” “Our intention in upcoming seasons is to train to win, and the goals we set are aligned with this to help us improve and grow into champions,” Hawayek said. U.S. champions Hubbell and Donohue open their season with back-to-back compe- titions at Skate America and Skate Canada. Chock and Bates will compete in Helsinki and at the Rostelecom Cup. Hubbell and Donohue have qualified for the last three Grand Prix Finals, while Chock and Bates have qualified for the last four, winning silver medals in 2014 and 2015.


Two-time U.S. champions Maia Shibutani


and Alex Shibutani, winners of individual and Olympic Team Event bronze medals, chose not to compete during the 2018–19 season, but may return to competition in future seasons.


JAY ADEFF/U.S. FIGURE SKATING


JAY ADEFF/U.S. FIGURE SKATING


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