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ISU downsizes Grand Prix Series to more localized events

The Grand Prix of Figure Skating series is being downsized to more localized events due to the coronavirus. The International Skating Union said Tuesday that each of the six competitions will feature domestic skaters; those skaters already training in the host nation; and skaters assigned to that event for geographic reasons.

Skate America is scheduled to be held in Las Vegas on Oct. 22-24. No decisions on the Grand Prix final, set for Beijing on Dec. 10-13, have been made. That competition also is expected to serve as a test event for the 2022 Winter Olympics.

“We are looking forward to the 2020 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series this fall," U.S. Figure Skating said in a statement. “This is a great example of the figure skating community coming together to ensure that the world’s premier figure skating series will continue during these challenging times.

“Figure skaters want to compete and figure skating fans from all around the world want to see their favorite athletes skate, and this format will ensure just that. “This will be a great opportunity for athletes to prepare for the 2021 ISU World Figure Skating Championships, as well as the all-important 2021-2022 Olympic season.”

The ISU did announce that no international scoring points will be rewarded for any of the Grand Prix series events, which also take place in Canada, Russia, France, China and Japan. “Considering the continued critical COVID-19 developments involving many travel and other restrictions, and especially risks around the world,” the ISU said, “... the health and safety of the participants of international ice skating events remains the No. 1 priority.”

All officials at the Grand Prix events also will be from the national organizers. “Each ISU Grand Prix event will be organized in accordance with the host country’s national health/sanitary requirements,” the international governing body added.

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