More than 75 percent of the quota spots for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games were determined based on the results of the 2009 World Figure Skating Championships. The remaining spots will be determined at this week's Olympic qualifying competition, the 41st Nebelhorn Trophy in Oberstdorf, Germany.
Vienna has traditionally been the site for the Olympic qualifying competition, but economic concerns forced the Austrian Skating Federation to forgo the opportunity this season.
The figure skating competition at the 2010 Olympics will include 30 men, 30 ladies, 24 ice dance couples and 20 pairs. Quota spots for 24 men, 24 ladies, 19 ice dancers and 16 pairs have already been determined.
Countries have a 50-percent chance of winning a quota spot in both pairs and dance. Ten dance teams are competing for the five remaining quota spots and eight pairs are competing for four spots.
For the men and ladies, the odds are only half as good. Unless a country gives up some of the quota spots it has already earned, there are only six places left in both the men and ladies events.
Assuming all the preliminary entries are qualified at the time the event begins, there will be 23 men and 29 ladies fighting for a spot.
Several 2006 Olympians will be battling for a chance to compete at another Olympic Winter Games.
Stéphane Lambiel, the silver medalist in 2006, will return from a professional career to try to regain a spot for Switzerland, which had two places in 2006.
Germany's Stefan Lindemann, who retired after placing 21st at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games, is also making a comeback attempt.
Viktor Pfeifer, who finished 22nd at the 2006 Olympics while competing for Austria, tried competing in the U.S. for a few seasons before returning to compete for Austria last season. He will try to make it to the Olympics through the qualifying competition for a second time.