The kickoff event for the 2009 International Skating Union (ISU) Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating (JGP) Series takes place Aug. 26-30 in Budapest, Hungary.
The event, which will be held at the Budapest Ice Rink, begins Thursday, Aug. 27, with the compulsory dance and the ladies and men's short programs. Official practice will take place Wednesday, Aug. 26.
Eight athletes will represent the United States at the event in three disciplines: ladies, men's and ice dancing. A pairs competition will be held at four of the seven JGP events during the season.
The JGP Series, now in its 13th season, consists of seven international events in a cumulative point-scoring format. Approximately 400 athletes representing more than 35 countries are expected to participate in the series. Each athlete is eligible to score points in two of the seven scheduled events (pairs can compete in two of four designated events). The top eight point-earners in each of the disciplines qualify for the Junior Grand Prix Final Dec. 3-6 in Tokyo, Japan.
Making her debut on the JGP circuit is Ellie Kawamura. Her most recent international competition was the 2009 AEGON Challenge Cup in The Hague, Netherlands, where she won silver as a junior. She placed second at the junior level at the 2009 AT&T U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Cleveland, Ohio. Kawamura will be joined by Angela Maxwell, who will be competing in the JGP Series for the third season. Last season she finished second in Czech Republic, third in Great Britain and fifth at the Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final in Goyang City, Republic of Korea.
This is Richard Dornbush's third season competing in the JGP Series. He took home gold from both of his assignments last year, in Mexico and South Africa, and won the bronze at the JGP Final. Grant Hochstein won the pewter medal at the 2009 U.S. Championships. In his only international competition to date, he captured the gold as a junior at the 2008 Gardena Spring Trophy.
Piper Gilles and Zach Donohue had a successful debut last season in the JGP Series, taking gold at their first event in the Czech Republic and silver at their second in South Africa. They are the 2009 U.S. junior bronze medalists. Charlotte Lichtman and Dean Copely are competing in the JGP Series for the first time. In their most recent competition, they finished ninth at the 2009 U.S. Championships.
In addition to Budapest, Hungary, the Junior Grand Prix Series consists of the following events:
JGP Lake Placid: Lake Placid, N.Y. - Sept. 2-6
JGP Poland: Torun, Poland - Sept. 9-13
JGP Belarus: Minsk, Belarus - Sept. 23-27
JGP Germany: Dresden, Germany - Sept. 30-Oct. 4
JGP Croatia: Zagreb, Croatia - Oct. 7-11
JGP Turkey: Istanbul, Turkey - Oct. 14-18
JGP Final: Tokyo, Japan - Dec. 3-6
U.S. ENTRIES AT JGP HUNGARY
Piper Gilles, Zach Donohue
Charlotte Lichtman, Dean Copely