U.S. Olympian Karen Chen is replaced by Mariah Bell at next week’s world figure skating championships, according to the International Skating Union entry list.
U.S. pairs silver medalists Tarah Kayne and Danny O’Shea were also replaced by U.S. bronze medalists Deanna Stellato and Nathan Bartholomay. They join U.S champions and Olympians Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Christopher Knierim on the team.
Chen, 18, placed 11th in PyeongChang, right behind teammates Bradie Tennell and Mirai Nagasu, who Bell joins on the world team.
Chen was third at nationals in January, but her real breakout was last winter, when Chen won the U.S. title and placed fourth at the world championships.
Bell missed the Olympic team after placing fifth at the U.S. Championships in January, one year after taking silver at Skate America and bronze at nationals.
Bell was the second alternate for worlds after Sochi Olympian Ashley Wagner, who did not take the spot vacated by Chen.
The medal contenders at worlds in Milan are led by Russian Olympic champion Alina Zagitova, Olympic bronze medalist Kaetlyn Osmond of Canada, Japanese Satoko Miyahara and Italian Carolina Kostner.
Notable skaters missing senior worlds:
Yuzuru Hanyu (JPN) — Injured
Javier Fernandez (ESP)
Patrick Chan (CAN) — Reportedly retired
Adam Rippon (USA)
Yevgenia Medvedeva (RUS) — Injured
Karen Chen (USA)
Tessa Virtue/Scott Moir (CAN) — Possibly retiring
Maia Shibutani/Alex Shibutani (USA)
Yekaterina Bobrova/Dmitry Soloviyev (RUS)
Sui Wenjing/Han Cong (CHN) — Sui’s injured
Meagan Duhamel/Eric Radford (CAN) — Retired
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MORE: Best figure skating moments from PyeongChang Olympics
Figure skating’s marquee discipline, the ladies’ event, will close out competition in PyeongChang. Many of the top athletes in the field – including Yevgenia Medvedeva, Alina Zagitova, Kaetlyn Osmond, and Team USA’s Bradie Tennell and Mirai Nagasu – already have Olympic medals to their name from the team event earlier in the Games.
Locked in a particularly tight battle are Medvedeva and Zagitova, who are friends off the ice but fierce rivals on the ice. Expect one of them to end up the gold, while the other is relegated to silver.
The ladies’ short program is Tuesday, Feb. 20 in Primetime on NBC and NBCOlympics.com and the free skate is Thursday, Feb. 22 in Primetime on NBC and NBCOlympics.com.
Here are some names to know before the competition kicks off.
Read the rest of the preview at NBCOlympics.com
Karen Chen has waited a long time – it’s especially felt long over the past two weeks – to make her Olympic debut. She spent several days away from the Athletes’ Village training off-site, but came back to watch her teammates in the men’s and pairs’ events.
“I was really emotional, they all put out such great performances and it was so inspiring to see them go out there,” Chen said of the men’s event in a recent press conference from PyeongChang.
“It was definitely tough [not having skated in the Games yet] but I was cheering for team USA the whole time,” she continued. “Thankfully I was able to get away from the Village. I got a lot of great training and was able to focus on my skating. But I definitely took the time to watch the men’s short program, the pairs, so it was all very exciting.”