The Grand Prix Final, figure skating’s top pre-Olympic competition, has been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The event will not be held as scheduled in Osaka next week after Japan imposed travel restrictions this week, according to the Japanese figure skating federation.
“Considering the complicated epidemic situation involving travel restrictions, quarantine requirements, safety concerns and logistical challenges, the organization of the event was extremely challenging,” according to an International Skating Union statement. “The Japan Skating Federation and the local organizing committee tried their best to find solutions but ultimately concluded that, regrettably, they are unable to organize and hold the event as planned.”
It’s possible the event could be rescheduled at the end of the season, according to the ISU.
The Grand Prix Final takes the top six per discipline from the autumn Grand Prix Series. Results of the Final are typically the best indicator of Olympic medal prospects.
This year’s Grand Prix Final field included Olympic gold-medal favorites Nathan Chen, Kamila Valiyeva, pair Anastasia Mishina and Aleksandr Galliamov and ice dance couple Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron.
The event’s cancellation means that Chen and fellow Americans Vincent Zhou, Jason Brown and dance couples Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue and Madison Chock and Evan Bates might not compete again until the U.S. Championships in January, after which the Olympic team will be named.
Brown is still entered in a lower-level competition in Croatia next week.
Last year’s Grand Prix Final was originally scheduled for the Olympic host city Beijing but canceled due to the pandemic.
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