Wednesday, September 23, 2009

U.S. athletes head to JGP Belarus, Nebelhorn

Nebelhorn Trophy

The 2009 Nebelhorn Trophy serves as the Olympic qualifying competition for countries that were unable to qualify any skaters during the 2009 ISU World Figure Skating Championships. The top six women and men, top four pairs teams and top five ice dancing teams will earn a spot for their country at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.


Reigning U.S. champion Alissa Czisny is making her third trip to the Nebelhorn Trophy. After finishing fourth in 2004, she took home gold from the event last season.


This is the first appearance at the Nebelhorn Trophy for reigning U.S. pewter medalist Ryan Bradley. After taking home silver from Skate Canada last season, Bradley finished seventh at Trophée Eric Bompard.


Brooke Castile and Ben Okolski won gold in their debut at the Nebelhorn Trophy in 2006. The 2007 U.S. champions, they placed fifth at the 2009 U.S. Championships.


Reigning U.S. champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White are making their first appearance at the Nebelhorn Trophy. The team won gold last season at Skate Canada, bronze at Cup of Russia and bronze at the Grand Prix Final in Goyang City, Republic of Korea. Their gold-medal win at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships was followed by a fourth-place finish at the 2009 World Championships in Los Angeles, Calif.

The Nebelhorn Trophy has been held continuously since 1969. In that time, U.S. skaters have won 50 gold medals, including Dorothy Hamill (1971), Todd Eldredge (1987), Michael Weiss (1996), Timothy Goebel (1997), Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto (ice dancing, 2005) and, most recently, Alissa Czisny (ladies, 2008) and Emily Samuelson and Evan Bates (ice dancing, 2008).

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