Top U.S. skaters return to competition ice for Las Vegas Invitational

Associated Press

Twelve of the top U.S. singles figure skaters can be seen competing in a unique team format Sunday, Nov. 15, from 4-6 p.m. ET on NBC.

A lineup including two-time world champion Nathan Chen, 2020 Skate America winner Mariah Bell and two-time reigning U.S. champion Alysa Liu skate for either Team Tara or Team Johnny, representing NBC announcers and Olympians Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir.

“Any opportunity that we get to perform given this unprecedented time and season, it’s a great opportunity for us,” Chen said in a press release. “It’s a fun experience. I’m happy that HomeLight and U.S. Figure Skating did everything they could to put this together. It’s going to be a fun event.”

Terry Gannon will call the event and is joined by Lipinski and Weir, who coach their teams of three men and three women from the broadcast booth.

The Las Vegas Invitational was created by U.S. Figure Skating and HomeLight as an additional competition opportunity and a way to compensate for the lack of financial opportunities skaters have had during the Covid-19 pandemic. The prize money totals $50,000.

Ten of the skaters were invited based on a combination of their world ranking and 2019-2020 season’s best score, while Ilia Malinin and Audrey Shin were selected based on their performances at Skate America. The Las Vegas Invitational was taped two days after Skate America concluded. Each skater performed a free skate, and the scores were added together for a total team score.

Teams are as follows:

Team Tara
Starr Andrews
Nathan Chen
Alex Krasnozhon
Ilia Malinin
Audrey Shin
Bradie Tennell

Team Johnny
Mariah Bell
Karen Chen
Tomoki Hiwatashi
Alysa Liu
Camden Pulkinen
Vincent Zhou