The first big competition of the season has finally come to an end, and boy, was it an intense one. The Top 6 men of the Grand Prix series went out and gave it their all, with polarizing results. If anything, the entire men’s event was not a clean one overall, with mistakes made and points left off the table. In the end, Nathan Chen took home the GPF title, becoming the competition’s new champion since being dominated by Yuzuru Hanyu since 2013.
The pairs field has gotten more exciting and more unpredictable this season, the teams leveling up in order to get the momentum they desire for the Olympics. Perhaps the highlight of the event was Aliona Savchenko / Bruno Massot winning the title with a record-breaking free skate. If this is the level of skating we’ve seen in Nagoya is exciting enough, then we can’t wait to see what happens in Pyeongchang.
The ladies’ event has always been relatively predictable, until this season. With gold medal-favorite Evgenia Medvedeva out of the Final due to injury, everyone wants a shot at the top spot on the podium. Both Wakaba Higuchi and Alina Zagitova make their senior Grand Prix Final debuts, while Carolina Kostner returns after five years. Meanwhile, Kaetlyn Osmond, Satoko Miyahara, and Maria Sotsokova are back again, aiming for better finishes than last year’s Final.
The men’s event in the Grand Prix series has been unpredictable thus far, if the field of qualifiers is anything to go by. First of all, we’re missing Yuzuru Hanyu, Patrick Chan, and Javier Fernandez, who we’re used to seeing in the Final for the past few years. While this field still promises excitement, the results could either be an intense competition or a complete disaster. There’s no middle ground.
We’ve seen the pairs event become more and more exciting in the Grand Prix series, and there’s no doubt that it will be more exciting, now that we’ll be seeing the six best teams in the circuit compete in the Final. But with excitement comes unpredictability. Most of these teams have earned personal and season’s best during the GP series, and there’s no telling who’s going to be on top of that podium, but we’ll do our best to guess.
When we said that the ladies event was unpredictable, we weren’t kidding. There were more surprises than we anticipated, both pleasant and unpleasant ones. With these results, Wakaba Higuchi (JPN) is the last member of the cast heading over to Nagoya for the Final.
The men’s event in Skate America wrapped up with so much unpredictability, more unpredictability than we were actually anticipating. Despite Nathan Chen winning the title, it was not a perfect overall performance. What had us feeling drained, however, was the free skate, mostly mistake-ridden, not to mention injury-ridden. We’re just glad it’s all over.
The pairs event in Skate America was certainly a good way to cap off the Grand Prix series, at least just before the Final in Nagoya. There were mistakes and falls in both programs, but some rose to the occasion over others. In the end, Aljona Savchenko / Bruno Massot (GER) captured the gold medal, marking their first trip to the Grand Prix Final as a team.
There is only one spot left in the Grand Prix Final, and there are at least two ladies vying for that last spot, while Wakaba Higuchi waits in the wings. The question is, who gets that final spot? Let’s look at the different options we have.
We’re wrapping up the Grand Prix series in New York, but the intensity of the men’s event is anything less than intense. We have two of the Top 6—Nathan Chen and Boyang Jin—vying for the title. Meanwhile, other men in the field will be aiming to get the last few spots for the Grand Prix Final.