U.S. figure skating may rule at Skate America; TV, live stream schedule

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U.S. figure skaters could win the majority of the gold medals at Skate America, the top annual international competition held in the States, for the first time since 2003.

NBC Sports and Peacock air live coverage Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Peacock also has a practice cam on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Emerging American talent, mixed with the absence of Olympic medalists from other nations and Russia’s ban, means the U.S. should be all over the podium at the first event of the Grand Prix Series signaling the start of the season.

Americans are medal contenders in all four disciplines and the headliners in the men’s, pairs’ and ice dance fields.

The last time the U.S. won at least three of the four events at a single Skate America was in 2003 (not counting 2020, when the event was overwhelmingly red, white and blue due to pandemic travel restrictions).

Skate America Broadcast Schedule
All TV coverage also streams on NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app for subscribers.

Day Event Time (ET) Platform
Friday Pairs’ Short Program 7:20-8:45 p.m. Peacock
Pairs’/Men’s Short Programs 7:30-10:30 p.m. USA Network
Pairs’ Short Program 8:45-10:30 p.m. Peacock
Saturday Rhythm Dance 2:40-4:15 p.m. Peacock
Rhythm Dance/Women’s Short Program 3-6 p.m. NBC
Women’s Short Program 4:15-6 p.m. Peacock
Pairs’ Free Skate 7:15-8:45 p.m. Peacock
Pairs’/Men’s Free Skates 8-11 p.m. USA Network
Men’s Free Skate 9-11 p.m. Peacock
Sunday Free Dance 1-2:45 p.m. Peacock
Free Dance/Women’s Free Skate 2-5 p.m. E!
Women’s Free Skate 3-5 p.m. Peacock

In ice dance, Madison Chock and Evan Bates are favored to extend the U.S.’ 13-year win streak at Skate America. Chock and Bates, who won Skate America in 2014 and 2015 (their last Grand Prix title), placed fourth at the Olympics in February and earned bronze at March’s world championships.

They are the world’s top returning dance couple.

Olympic champions Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France are taking at least this season off. Olympic silver medalists Viktoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov cannot compete as all Russians are banned indefinitely due to the war in Ukraine. Olympic bronze medalists Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue, who won the last four Skate Americas, retired.

“It’s true much has changed in the last eight months since the Olympics, but nothing really changed for us,” said Bates, who at 33 is trying to become the oldest ice dancer to win a Skate America title. “I think with that kind of turnover, there’s a certain amount of embracing that we’ve done.”

In March, Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier delivered the U.S. its first world title in pairs since 1979. None of the top five finishers from the Olympics were in that field — the three Russian teams were banned due to the war and China didn’t send any skaters to worlds. None of them are at Skate America, either, clearing the way for Knierim and Frazier to possibly become the first American pair to win any Grand Prix since 2006 Skate America (again, not counting 2020).

The talk of the competition will likely be the reigning world junior champions from the U.S. who make their Grand Prix Series debuts.

Ilia Malinin, the 17-year-old son of Uzbek Olympic skaters, became the clear men’s favorite after Olympic and world silver medalist Yuma Kagiyama of Japan withdrew due to injury. Malinin, who last month became the first skater to land a quadruple Axel in competition, can become the youngest men’s champion in Skate America history.

Like Malinin, 15-year-old Isabeau Levito followed a podium finish at last January’s senior U.S. Championships by winning the world junior title in April. Levito can become the youngest U.S. woman to make a Skate America podium since 2007 (Caroline Zhang), but Japan’s Kaori Sakamoto is favored for the top step. She is the world’s top skater in the absence of the banned Russians after taking Olympic bronze and world championships gold last season.

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Ilia Malinin wins U.S. Figure Skating Championships despite quadruple Axel miss

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One year ago, Ilia Malinin came to the U.S. Championships as, largely, a 17-year-old unknown. He finished second to Nathan Chen in 2022 and was left off the three-man Olympic team due to his inexperience, a committee decision that lit a fire in him.

After the biggest year of change in U.S. figure skating in three decades, Malinin came to this week’s nationals in San Jose, California, as the headliner across all disciplines.

Though he fell on his quadruple Axel and doubled two other planned quads in Sunday’s free skate (the most ambitious program in history), he succeeded the absent Chen as national champion.

Malinin, the world’s second-ranked male singles skater, still landed two clean quads in Friday’s short program and three more Sunday. He totaled 287.74 points and prevailed by 10.43 over two-time Olympian Jason Brown, a bridge between the Chen and Malinin eras.

“This wasn’t the skate that I wanted,” said Malinin, who was bidding to become the second man to land six quads in one program after Chen. The Virginia chalked up the flaws at least partially to putting more recent practice time into his short program, which he skated clean on Friday after errors in previous competitions.

FIGURE SKATING NATIONALS: Full Results

Brown, a 28-year-old competing for the first time since placing sixth at the Olympics, became the oldest male singles skater to finish in the top three at nationals since Jeremy Abbott won the last of his four titles in 2014. As usual, he didn’t attempt a quad but had the highest artistic score by 9.41 points.

Brown’s seven total top-three finishes at nationals tie him with Chen, Michael WeissBrian Boitano, David Jenkins and Dick Button for the second-most in men’s singles since World War II, trailing only Todd Eldredge‘s and Hayes Jenkins‘ eight.

“I’m not saying it’s super old, but I can’t train the way I used to,” Brown said after Friday’s short program. “What Ilia is doing and the way he is pushing the sport is outstanding and incredible to watch. I cannot keep up.”

Andrew Torgashev took bronze, winning the free skate with one quad and all clean jumps. Torgashev, who competed at nationals for the first time since placing fifth in 2020 at age 18, will likely round out the three-man world team.

Japan’s Shoma Uno will likely be the favorite at worlds. He won last year’s world title, when Malinin admittedly cracked under pressure in the free skate after a fourth-place short program and ended up ninth.

That was before Malinin became the first person to land a quad Axel in competition. That was before Malinin became the story of the figure skating world this fall. That was before Malinin took over the American throne from Chen, who is studying at Yale and not expected to return to competition.

Malinin’s next step is to grab another label that Chen long held: best in the world. To do that, he must be better than he was on Sunday.

“You always learn from your experiences, and there’s always still the rest of the season to come,” he said. “I just have to be prepared and prepare a little bit extra so that doesn’t happen again.”

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Mark McMorris breaks Winter X Games medals record; David Wise wins first title in 5 years

Mark McMorris
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Canadian snowboarder Mark McMorris broke his tie with American Jamie Anderson for the most Winter X Games medals across all sites, earning his 22nd medal, a slopestyle gold, in Aspen, Colorado.

On the final run of Sunday’s contest, McMorris overtook Norway’s Marcus Kleveland with back-to-back 1620s on the last two jumps. McMorris’ last three Aspen slopestyle titles were all won on his final run (2019, 2022).

“It’s something I never thought would ever come to me as a kid from Saskatchewan,” McMorris, 29, said on the broadcast. “Everything’s just been a bonus since I became a pro snowboarder.”

In a format introduced three years ago, athletes were ranked on overall impression of their best run over the course of a jam session rather than scoring individual runs.

McMorris won his record-extending seventh X Games Aspen men’s slopestyle title, one day after finishing fourth in big air.

“It just keeps getting crazier because I keep getting older,” he said. “People just keep pushing the limits, pushing the limits. Last night was such a downer, almost bums me out, like, dude, do I still have it? … To have one of those miracle wins where you do it on the last run and someone makes you push yourself, those are the best feelings.”

McMorris won slopestyle bronze medals at each of the last three Olympics and reportedly said last February that he was planning to compete through the 2026 Milan-Cortina Winter Games.

Canadian Max Parrot, the 2022 Olympic slopestyle champion, is taking this season off from competition.

Anderson, a two-time Olympic snowboard slopestyle champion, is expecting her first child.

Later Sunday, American David Wise earned his first major ski halfpipe title since repeating as Olympic champion in 2018. Wise landed back-to-back double cork 1260s to end his winning run, according to commentators.

“I wouldn’t still be out here if I didn’t think I had a chance,” Wise, 32 and now a five-time X Games Aspen champ, said on the broadcast. “I’m not going to be the guy who just keeps playing the game until everybody just begs me to stop.”

U.S. Olympian Mac Forehand won men’s ski big air with a 2160 on his last run, according to commentators. It scored a perfect 50. Olympic gold medalist Birk Ruud of Norway followed with a triple cork 2160 of his own, according to commentators, and finished third.

Canadian skier Megan Oldham added slopestyle gold to her big air title from Friday, relegating Olympic champion Mathilde Gremaud of Switzerland to silver.

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