Nathan Chen sets out for his third national title, while Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue are aiming to defend their title for the first time at the U.S. Figure Skating National Championships in Detroit Jan. 22-27.
It’s the first time Detroit has held the championships in 25 years, when Nancy Kerrigan was attacked by associates of Tonya Harding.
NBC Sports Gold’s “Figure Skating Pass” will live stream every program from Detroit from junior and senior competition. Juniors starts Tuesday with the ladies’ short program, and seniors will begin Thursday with the pairs’ short program.
NBCSN and NBC will also have live coverage of senior competition throughout the weekend.
The national championships will dictate which skaters are assigned late-season competitions, including Four Continents Championships in February and the world championships in March.
Chen, the 2018 world champion, is expected to reign supreme over the men’s field. He will likely be joined on the podium by 2014 Olympian Jason Brown and 2018 Olympian Vincent Zhou.
On the ladies’ side, last year’s champion Bradie Tennell has said this season she wants to improve her artistic side of her skating. She faces challenges in that department from Mariah Bell and 13-year-old prodigy Alysa Liu will also make a run at the podium. With Karen Chen’s and Gracie Gold’s withdrawals, the podium at nationals looks much more unclear.
Two-time pairs national championships Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Chris Knierim changed coaches after a tumultuous season thus far, and will have to fend off 2016 champions Tarah Kayne and Danny O’Shea. Also in the field are Ashley Cain and Timothy LeDuc. Cain recently recovered from a concussion after a scary fall in competition.
The U.S.’ top three dance teams train together in Montreal: Hubbell and Donohue, 2015 U.S. champions Madison Chock and Evan Bates, and Grand Prix Japan winners Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker.
Hubbell and Donohue most recently won the Grand Prix Final and should have no problem topping the podium in Detroit. It will be the season debut for Chock and Bates, who missed the entire autumn season with Chock’s injury. Hawayek and Baker have never been higher than fourth on the U.S. podium, but this is expected to be their breakthrough year – if it isn’t already.
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U.S. Championships broadcast schedule (all times Eastern)
Junior ladies’ short program: 5:30 p.m. (GOLD) | STREAM LINK
Junior men’s short program: 7:30 p.m. (GOLD) | STREAM LINK
Junior pairs’ short program: 10:30 a.m. (GOLD) | STREAM LINK
Junior rhythm dance: 2:45 p.m. (GOLD) | STREAM LINK
Junior ladies’ free skate: 5:30 p.m. (GOLD) | STREAM LINK
Junior men’s free skate: 7:30 p.m. (GOLD) | STREAM LINK
Junior pairs’ free skate: 11:45 a.m. (GOLD) | STREAM LINK
Pairs’ short program: 4:30 p.m. (GOLD), begins at 5 p.m. on NBCSN | STREAM LINK
Ladies’ short program: 8 p.m. (GOLD), begins at 9 p.m. on NBCSN | STREAM LINK
Junior free dance: 12 p.m. (GOLD) | STREAM LINK
Rhythm dance: 3:45 p.m. (GOLD), begins at 4 p.m. on NBCSN | STREAM LINK
Ladies’ free skate: 7:35 p.m. (GOLD), begins at 8 p.m. on NBC | STREAM LINK
Pairs’ free skate (groups 1-3): 9:30 a.m. (GOLD) | STREAM LINK
Men’s short program (groups 1-2): 11:10 a.m. (GOLD) | STREAM LINK
Men’s short program (groups 3-4): 1:30 p.m. (GOLD) | STREAM LINK
Pairs’ free skate (groups 4-5): 3 p.m. (GOLD) | STREAM LINK
NBC will have coverage of the pairs’ free skate and men’s short program beginning at 1:30 p.m.
Free dance: 6:15 p.m. (GOLD), begins at 7 p.m. on NBCSN | STREAM LINK
Men’s free skate: 2:10 p.m. (GOLD), begins at 3:30 p.m. on NBC | STREAM LINK
Saturday, Feb. 16
Skating Spectacular (gala exhibition): 2:30 p.m. on NBC