The U.S. Figure Skating Championships, the final event to decide the Olympic team, will air live on NBC, NBCSN and Olympic Channel and stream on NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app next week with every senior session.
Senior competition runs from Jan. 3 through Jan. 7 in San Jose, Calif.
The Olympic team, selected by committees, will include three men, three women, three dance couples and one pairs team.
While podium finishers will have the inside track to Olympic spots, nobody — not even national champions — clinch automatic PyeongChang berths. The committees decide everything.
The favorites include Nathan Chen, who last year became the first skater to land five quadruple jumps in one program en route to becoming, at age 17, the youngest U.S. men’s champion since 1966.
Chen is the only male singles skater in the world who is undefeated this season. The run included victory at this fall’s Grand Prix Final, the biggest international event ahead of the Olympics.
Chen is all but assured one of the three men’s Olympic berths given his resume.
He could be joined in PyeongChang by training partner and 2016 U.S. champion Adam Rippon, a 28-year-old trying to become the oldest U.S. Olympic rookie singles skater since 1936.
Jason Brown, a 2014 Olympian, and Max Aaron, also past U.S. champions, are in the mix. As is world junior champion Vincent Zhou.
There is no dominant U.S. women’s singles skater this year, but it would be a surprise if three-time U.S. champion Ashley Wagner does not make a second straight Olympic team.
With Gracie Gold taking this season off, Wagner has new challengers.
Like Karen Chen, who stunningly won last season’s nationals and then, in another pleasant surprise, was fourth at worlds. Chen has struggled this season, however.
Mirai Nagasu is a sentimental favorite. The 2010 Olympian was third at the 2014 U.S. Championships but left off the three-woman Sochi team in favor of fourth-place Wagner.
The newest names are Mariah Bell, third at last season’s nationals, and Bradie Tennell, the top-ranked U.S. woman this season, her first at the senior international level.
In dance, the same three couples finished in the top three at each of the last three U.S. Championships — Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani, Madison Chock and Evan Bates and Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue.
It would be a stunner if those aren’t the three U.S. Olympic dance couples.
The U.S. will send its smallest pairs contingent — one pair — to the Olympics since the first Winter Games in 1924.
Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Christopher Knierim are the clear favorites. The Knierims are the top-scoring U.S. pair four seasons running.
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|Wednesday||11 p.m.-1||Women’s Short||NBCSN | STREAM | SKATE ORDER|
|Thursday||4-5 p.m.||Pairs Short||Olympic Channel | STREAM | SKATE ORDER|
|5-6:30 p.m.||Pairs Short||NBCSN | STREAM|
|8:30 p.m.-12||Men’s Short||NBCSN | STREAM | SKATE ORDER|
|Friday||4-6 p.m.||Short Dance||NBCSN | STREAM | SKATE ORDER|
|8-11 p.m.||Women’s Free||NBC | STREAM | SKATE ORDER|
|Saturday||4-6 p.m.||Pairs Free||NBC | STREAM | SKATE ORDER|
|8-11 p.m.||Men’s Free||NBCSN | STREAM | SKATE ORDER|
|Sunday||3-6 p.m.||Free Dance||NBC | STREAM | SKATE ORDER|
|Jan. 13||4 p.m.||Exhibition Gala||NBC | STREAM|