Nathan Chen & More Headline NBC Sports' Coverage of Grand Prix Russia Figure Skating
NBC Sports Group presents 16 hours of coverage of Grand Prix Russia, the first event in the 2017 International Skating Union (ISU) Grand Prix of FIGURE SKATING Series, this weekend, featuring 2017 U.S. men's champion Nathan Chen and U.S. ice dance champions Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani. Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA will present 14 hours of live coverage of the event.Live coverage begins this Friday, October 20, at 7 a.m. ET, with the short programs on Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA, followed on Saturday, October 21, by live coverage of the free programs starting at 6:30 a.m. ET on Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA. NBC will present coverage of the event this Sunday, October 22, at Noon ET. The men's field features a compelling early season match-up between Chen, the technically advanced teenager who is pushing the sport forward with his quadruple jumping ability, and 2014 Olympic gold medalist Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan, the reigning world champion who is aiming to defend his Olympic title in 2018. The Olympic gold medal favorite on the ladies' side, two-time reigning world champion Yevgenia Medvedeva from Russia, will also compete in Moscow, where 2010 Olympian Mirai Nagasu and 2017 U.S. bronze medalist Mariah Bell will lead the American effort. U.S. siblings and three-time world medalists Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani will compete in ice dance. Andrea Joyce calls the action on Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA, alongside 2011 U.S. champion Ryan Bradley. Joyce will be joined by 2014 Olympic ice dance champion Charlie White for the ice dance competitions. Terry Gannon handles play-by-play on NBC, joined by 1998 Olympic gold medalist Tara Lipinski and three-time U.S. champion Johnny Weir. TARA LIPINSKI & JOHNNY WEIR ON THE 2017 GRAND PRIX SERIES TARA LIPINSKI: "I'm extremely excited to dive into an Olympic season. The level of skating during the Grand Prix season will be top notch as each athlete knows every event will make a difference on their journey to South Korea. Excellent skating is all but guaranteed during an Olympic year. These athletes are at the top of their games. "Within the four disciplines of skating, this elite level of competition will leave us without a dull moment. From dance, to pairs, to ladies singles, we will have a front row seat to some of the best skating we've seen in years. We will watch rivalries that have developed over the last three years unfold as they make their way to the ultimate event in South Korea in February. "I cannot wait to watch the men's event. The competition is fierce with the 'quad revolution' continuing to run strong. Reigning Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu is continuing to up his game technically as competitors like Shoma Uno and Nathan Chen keep the competition stiff with an abundance of quad jumps in their programs. Yuzuru is still THE ONE to beat but Nathan Chen will without a DOUBT be a name the American public will know leading into these Olympic Games. He is the best in the U.S. and he has his eyes set on the Olympic podium." JOHNNY WEIR: "The Olympic season always brings surprises and excellence. The Grand Prix Series before the Olympics is always a fight for supremacy to be viewed as a favorite for the Games, and this season will be no different. I am particularly excited to see reigning Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan hold his ground against his countryman Shoma Uno and training mate Javier Fernandez of Spain, as well as the best men's field I've ever seen. "The ladies will be all about the Russians once again. Yevgenia Medvedeva, Alina Zagitova, Anna Pogorilaya, Yelena Radionova, Polina Tsurskaya and Maria Sotskova all have wonderful skills, and could all make the final, however the most intriguing rivalry will be between Medvedeva and her training mate Zagitova. "A year ago, I thought the United States would only have medal opportunities in ice dance and in the team event in PyeongChang, but with names like Nathan Chen and Ashley Wagner being touted as medal contenders at the Games, it will be incredible to watch their seasons unfold. A very impressive and mature Mirai Nagasu is chomping at the bit to prove herself and get back to the Olympic Games. I'm so excited to bring skating into American homes this fall, and welcome my country to South Korea and into the world of FIGURE SKATING once again at the Olympics."