The ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series, now in its 14th season, consists of six international events in a cumulative point-scoring format. The 2008 series just concluded with its sixth event, the NHK Trophy, in Japan. Approximately 60 skaters from 16 countries competed for points and prize money.
Mao Asada led a Japanese sweep of women’s podium at NHK Trophy – World champion Asada won the NHK Trophy Saturday, qualifying for the International Skating Union’s Grand Prix finals and completing a Japanese sweep of the podium. Asada almost made history when she attempted two triple axels at the start of her routine. She completed the first one but the second was downgraded to a double.
It was a disappointing night for American skaters. Ashley Wagner, who was second after the short program, finished fourth with 161.10 points. Last season, Wagner won bronze at Trophée Eric Bompard and finished fifth at Skate Canada.
Sixteen-year-old Mirai Nagasu, the U.S. national champion competing in her first Grand Prix Series, finished NHK eighth after falling on a double axel and a triple toeloop.
At last week’s Cup of Russia, the fifth event of the 2008 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series, Italy’s Carolina Kostner earned gold in the ladies event. American Rachael Flatt won silver, while teammate Alissa Czisny finished just off the podium in fourth.
Pretty Tough Trivia: Rachael Flatt began skating at age 4. Her father took her to shop for a birthday gift for her grandfather, and they came home with skating lessons instead of a gift. Her grandfather was a national fencing champion.
The Grand Prix Final (GPF) will be held Dec. 10-14, 2008, in Goyang City, South Korea. Check Grand Prix results here.
Ask Five-Time World Champion Michelle Kwan a Question
When one thinks about the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, it’s hard not to recall all the great moments Michelle Kwan provided fans across the country. The nine-time U.S. titlist has won 43 championships, including five World titles and two Olympic medals.
So if you have a burning question for the most decorated figure skater in U.S. history, now is your chance. Want to know what’s on her iPod? What her favorite competition was? Fave book or movie? Ask away. Visit the U.S. Figure Skating site now to ask Michelle your question…