by Anne Calder

Riga, Latvia is located on the Baltic Sea at the mouth of the River Daugava. The 2019 event is the fifth time the capital city has hosted the Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating.

 Rhythm Dance (RD)

  • The leader board included: Russians Elizaveta Khudaiberdieva & Andrey Filatov, Georgians Maria Kazakova & Georgy Reviya and Canadians Natalie D’Alessandro & Bruce Waddell.
  • The top three teams earned level 4 twizzles for both the lady and man.
  • Twelve teams missed the four key points for Section 2 of the Tea-Time pattern. Seven teams missed all eight key points for both Sections.
  • In the three JGP events so far, five teams: Russia (3), Canada (1) and USA (1) have earned Level 4 for Section 1: no one has earned Level 4 for Section 2.
  • Khudaiberdueva & Filatov was the only team to complete all four key points in Section 1.

Free Dance (FD)

Russians Khudaiberdieva & Filatov were second behind Kazakova & Reviya in the FD, but hung on to win gold while the Georgians settled for silver. Russians Sofya Tyutyunina & Alexander Shustitskiy slipped past the Canadians to take home the bronze. Ukrainians Golubitsova & Belobrov vaulted from eight to fifth. Americans Cesanek & Yehorov finished sixth in their JGP debut.

  • Nikolai Nikonov choreographed both the first and second place programs. One was hard rock; the other was a soft rock ballad. Tommee Proffitt beat Harry Styles.
  • Denis Samokhin coaches both top teams.
  • The Russians (Baltic Cup) and Georgians (Croatia Cup) will not meet again until the JGPF, if both qualify.
  • The young team from Cyprus (both born in Russia) had a unique sliding move and scored the second highest ChSl1 score (2.52 total points).
  • The scream heard ‘round the world came from the Kiss & Cry when Khudaiberdieva & Filatov scored .37 more points than their training mates and won gold.
  • For the third JGP in a row, Canadians missed the bronze medal by the slimmest of margins:

Riga Cup:         4. D’Alessandro & Waddell [-.67]
Lake Placid:     4. Makita & Gunara [-.37]
Courchevel:     4. Bronsard & Bouaraguia [-.29]


  • 17 different countries competed at the event. Russia and Canada had two teams.
  • For the second week in a row, two sets of siblings competed (ESP) and (ISR-twins)
  • Nine of the competitors (almost 25%) were born in Russia.
  • 11 teams are skating in their first JGP season.
  • Maria Golubtsova & Kirill Belobrov and Yegor Yegorov and his previous partner, Angelina Sinkevych, all represented Ukraine at the 2014 Nagoya TV Cup in Japan – their first JGP. They finished 10th and 11th.
  • Russia is sporting new team jackets.
  • The Waddell brothers are Canadian, but George represents Great Britain, while Bruce skates for his home country. They are the grandsons of the late Canadian NHL great and eight-time Stanley Cup winner, Red Kelly.
  • Yegor Yegorov moved to the USA to partner with Molly Cesanek. His parents came from the Ukraine to visit with their son and watch him compete.

Highlighted Performance:  Maria Kazakova & Georgiy Reviya’s free dance to “Inn the End” by Tommee Profitt, featuring Fleuri & Junge Youth.




2019 JGP Chelyabinsk
Chelyabinsk, Russia

2019 Challenge Cup
Ardmore, PA

2019 Autumn Classic International
Oakville, ONT

2019 Lombardia Trophy
Bergamo, Italy


by TJ Carey

The midpoint of the Junior Grand Prix Series, crazy as it seems, is about to start. This week’s event will mark the start of when the first few contenders for December’s Final will make their second appearance of the fall. This week’s rather large group of 18 couples from 13 countries is sure to make this another intriguing competition. This competition will also be the first time Junior Grand Prix has been held in Chelyabinsk and only the second time an event has been hosted in Russia. As the host nation, it is no surprise that the Russian Federation will be represented by already internationally accomplished couples.

The medal hunt:

  • Elizaveta Shanaeva and Devid Naryzhnyy (RUS) were the champions of this year’s JGP Courchevel.
  • Diana Davis and Gleb Smolkin (RUS) competed at JGP Lake Placid and earned the silver medal.
  • After winning the Lake Placid International over the summer, Nadiia Bashynska and Peter Beaumont (CAN) will compete in their second JGP series.

Other items of note:

  • Katarina Wolfkostin and Jeffrey Chen (USA) placed fifth at JGP Courchevel.  The U.S. will also be represented by Oona Brown and Gage Brown.
  • Bashynska and Beaumont will be joined by their training mates, Irina Galiyanova and Grayson Lochhead.
  • Daniil Karpov (RUS) has medaled on the JGP twice with former partner Polina Ivanenko. He will be making his international debut in his new partnership with Tamara Zhukova.
  • This event will include couples from several countries that we don’t traditionally see in ice dancing, such as Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan. 


This week’s Rhythm Dance, unlike other weeks, will actually commence on Thursday, instead of Friday. The event starts on September 12 at 13:15 local time (4:15 Eastern Daylight Time). The Free Dance will start on Saturday, September 14, at 10:45 local time (1:45 Eastern Daylight Time).



Autumn Classic International (ACI) returns to Oakville for the next event of the ISU Challenger Series.  ACI has been held annually since 2014 and has been part of the Challenger Series for five of the past six years.  Former ACI champions include Gabriella Papadakis & Guillaume Cizeron (2014) and Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir (2016 & 2017).  There are six teams from five countries on the roster.  Misato Komatsubara & Tim Koleto were listed to compete, but have withdrawn.  Komatsubara posted on social media last week that she is recovering from a concussion.

The medal hunt: 

  • Canada’s Piper Gilles & Paul Poirier could collect another Challenger Series gold.  ACI is their first competition of the season, but they revealed during High Performance Camp that their free dance will be to Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now.”
  • Olivia Smart & Adrian Diaz of Spain started their season six weeks ago with a gold medal at the Lake Placid Ice Dance International.
  • Great Britain’s Lilah Fear & Lewis Gibson debuted their programs in July at the British National qualifier in Sheffield.  Last season, the duo built momentum with a successful disco free dance, and will skate this year to music from the Blues Brothers (RD) and Madonna’s Vogue (FD).

Other items of note:

  • Carolane Soucisse & Shane Firus of Canada finished fourth at the Lake Placid Ice Dance International.  Their rhythm dance is to music from Jersey Boys and their free dance is to “It’s Not Unusual”, “Sex Bomb” and “Without Love” by Tom Jones.
  • Marie-Jade Lauriault & Roman Le Gac of France finished third at the Quebec Summer Championships, behind Soucisse & Firus and Smart & Diaz.
  • Australia’s Matilda Friend & William Badaoui have aged out of juniors, so this is the first season the team will compete strictly on the senior level. They will skate to music from The Adventures Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (RD) and selections from Game of Thrones for their free dance.


The rhythm dance takes place on Friday, September 13 at 12:35 PM, with the free dance on Saturday, September 14 at 11 AM.



2019 marks the fifth time Lombardia Trophy has been included as a ISU Challenger Series event.  Although the event was created in 2013, ice dance has only been included since 2015.  Italy’s Anna Cappellini & Luca Lanotte won the event in 2015 and Charlene Guignard & Marco Fabbri continued the Italian dominance of this home-rink event by winning the past three years.  15 teams representing 10 countries will compete for medals and Challenger Series points.

The medal hunt:

  • Italy’s Charlene Guignard & Marco Fabbri will go for their fourth consecutive Lombardia Trophy title.
  • Laurence Fournier Beaudry & Nikolaj Sorensen of Canada, who finished 10th at the 2019 World Championships, will start their season in Bergamo.

Other items of note:

  • Marjorie Lajoie & Zachary Lagha, the 2019 World Junior Champions, will skate for the first time internationally as a senior team.
  • Caroline Green & Michael Parsons of the United States are making their Challenger Series debut.  Parsons won the silver medal with his sister, Rachel, at this event in 2018.
  • Yuka Orihara & Juho Pirinen of Finland are making their international debut as a new team.  Last season, Orihara competed at the junior level with Lee Royer for Canada.  Pirinen last competed during the 2017-18 season with Monica Lindfors.
  • Russia’s Ekaterina Mironova & Evgenni Ustenko are making their senior international debut.  The team finished 12th at last year’s Russian National Championships.


The rhythm dance takes place on Saturday, September 14, at 2 PM local time (7 AM EDT) with the free dance on Sunday at 4 PM local time (9 AM EDT).