U.S. Olympian Karen Chen will miss the entire fall Grand Prix Series, withdrawing from this week’s Rostelecom Cup in Moscow with an injury.
“Although I know that injuries make me stronger, I also understand that it takes time,” was posted on Chen’s social media. “I need to be patient with this whole recovery process, so I realized that Russia isn’t doable. This wasn’t an easy decision, but I know that I want to feel 100% ready when I emerge back onto competition ice.”
Chen, third at last year’s nationals and 11th in PyeongChang, also withdrew last month from her other Grand Prix in Helsinki, citing a foot injury, as well as lower-level events in the summer and the world championships in March.
If Chen’s next event is the U.S. Championships in January, she will go 11 months between competitions.
Chen is the latest in a string of U.S. Olympians to sit out the Grand Prix for various reasons, not uncommon in a post-Olympic year. Mirai Nagasu, Ashley Wagner and Adam Rippon are on indefinite breaks (Rippon said he’s likely retired). Polina Edmunds plans to return next season from a long-term right foot injury.
Ice dancers Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani are also taking time off, while Madison Chock and Evan Bates withdrew from their Grand Prix assignments as Chock recovers from ankle surgery.
Chen, 19, broke out in 2017, winning her first U.S. title and placing fourth at the world championships, the best debut by an American woman since Kimmie Meissner took gold in 2006.
Bradie Tennell is the lone female U.S. Olympic singles skater competing in multiple Grand Prix events this fall. She was fourth at Skate America and must finish on the podium at next week’s event in France for a chance at the six-skater Grand Prix Final in December.
If Tennell does not qualify, the U.S. will have zero women in the Grand Prix Final, the second-biggest annual international event, for a third straight year.
As a reminder, you can watch the ISU Grand Prix Series live and on-demand with the ‘Figure Skating Pass’ on NBC Sports Gold. GO HERE to sign up for access to every ISU Grand Prix and championship event, as well as domestic U.S. Figure Skating events throughout the season…NBC Sports Gold gives subscribers an unprecedented level of access on more platforms and devices than ever before.
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