Olympic and World Champions to compete in ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series 2016/17

The World’s top figure skaters including reigning Olympic Champion Yuzuru Hanyu (JPN), 2010 Olympic Champions Tessa Virtue/Scott Moir (CAN), World and European Champions and medalists will compete in the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating series 2016/17. Virtue/Moir return to the series after sitting out two seasons.

The series kicks off with Skate America in Hoffman Estates, IL (USA), October 21 to 23. The event features three-time World Champion Mao Asada (JPN), World silver medalist Ashley Wagner (USA), 2014 European Champion Julia Lipnitskaia (RUS), World silver medalists Maia Shibutani/Alex Shibutani (USA), Olympic and World bronze medalist Denis Ten (KAZ), World bronze medalist Boyang Jin (CHN) and World silver medalists Wenjing Sui/Cong Han (CHN).

Skate Canada in Mississauga, ON (CAN), October 28 to 30 is headlined by three-time World Champion Patrick Chan (CAN), Olympic Champion Hanyu, 2014 Olympic silver medalists Virtue/Moir, 2014 World Champions Anna Cappellini/Luca Lanotte (ITA), two time and reigning World Pairs Champions Meagan Duhamel/Eric Radford (CAN), 2015 European Champions Yuko Kavaguti/Alexander Smirnov (RUS), World Champion Evgenia Medvedeva (RUS), 2015 World Champion Elizaveta Tutkamysheva (RUS) and 2016 Four Continents Champion Satoko Miyahara (JPN).

Rostelecom Cup is the third event and will take place in Moscow November 4 to 6. Two-time World Champion Javier Fernandez (ESP) will start his season in Russia and will be joined by Shoma Uno (JPN). 2016 World bronze medalist Anna Pogorilaya, Lipnitskaia and Elena Radionova (all RUS) highlight the Ladies field. 2016 World bronze medalists Aliona Savchenko/Bruno Massot (GER) will debut at the Grand Prix series as a team in Moscow and will face 2014 Olympic silver medalists Ksenia Stolbova/Fedor Klimov (RUS). The Dance event includes 2016 World bronze medalists Madison Chock/Evan Bates, 2015 World bronze medalists Kaitlyn Weaver/Andrew Poje (CAN) and 2016 European bronze medalists Ekaterina Bobrova/Dmitri Soloviev (RUS).

The series continues with the Trophée de France in Paris (FRA) November 11 to 13 with World Ice Dance Champions Gabriella Papadakis/Guillaume Cizeron (FRA), Fernandez, Ten, Asada, Medvedeva, Gracie Gold (USA) and Savchenko/Massot.  

The circuit then moves to Asia for the Audi Cup of China, November 18 to 20 in Beijing. The event is headlined by Wagner, Tuktamysheva, Chan, Jin, Sui/Han, 2015 European Champions Yuko Kavaguti/Alexander Smirnov (RUS), Shibutani/Shibutani and Weaver/Poje.

The last spots for the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final will be decided in Sapporo at NHK Trophy November 25 to 27. Top contenders include Hanyu, Mikhail Kolyada (RUS), Miyahara, Pogorilaya, Papadakis/Cizeron, Virtue/Moir as well as Duhamel/Radford and Stolbova/Klimov.

136 skaters/couples from 24 ISU Members have been invited and few host country spots are still open. The number of entries for each event is 12 Ladies, 12 Men, 8 Pairs and 10 Ice Dance couples. The top 6 qualifiers in each discipline will proceed to the Final in Marseille (FRA), December 8 to 11, 2016.
 
Selection Criteria
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 2016. 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 a top 24 high seasons best score as well as those placed in the top 24 of the World Standings 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 a Grand Prix event, a minimum total score or minimum technical score must have been achieved in the previous or current season in an ISU event (GP, JGP, Championships, World Team Trophy or selected international competitions). Exceptions apply to host country skaters, previously ranked skaters or split ranked couples who return with new partners. 
 
Prize Money & Points
Competitors collect points in their Grand Prix events towards the qualification for the Grand Prix Final. The global prize money for the Grand Prix Final is US $ 272,000 and the prize money is awarded to winners and placed skaters/couples 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

The 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

Pairs and Ice Dancers collect points up to 6th place.  For full entry lists of the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating 2016/17 please refer to www.isu.org.