The world figure skating championships from Montpellier, France, air live on USA Network and Peacock this week.
All but two members of the US Olympic team return for the season-ending event.
The two absentees are gold medalist Nathan Chen (injury) and Jason Brownwho made the Olympic team but not the world team after the national championships in January.
Both Chen and two-time Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu (ankle) of Japan will miss worlds, opening up the race for gold. Japan’s Yuma Kagiyama and Shoma Unothe silver and bronze medalists at the Olympics, are favourites.
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Vincent Zhouthe 2019 World bronze medalist, returns after missing the individual Olympic competition due to a positive coronavirus test. Ilia Malininthe 17-year-old who finished second to Chen at nationals, was left off the three-man Olympic team but named to worlds over Brown.
In the other disciplines, the absence of Russian skaters will be felt. The International Skating Union banned athletes from Russia and Belarus across all skating disciplines until further notice due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
In women’s singles, pairs and ice dance, Russians won five of the nine medals at the Olympics. Podium spots at worlds are there for the taking.
The women’s event will crown a non-Russian gold medalist for the second time in eight years. All three US Olympians return: Alysa Liu (seventh at the Olympics), Mariah Bell (10th) and Karen Chen (16th).
None of the top five pairs from the Olympics return, so the top team in the field by best total score this season is the US pair of Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier. The other US pair, Ashley Cain Gribble and Timothy LeDuc, ranks third among the field. The last US pairs’ medal came in 2002 and last gold in 1979.
In ice dance, French Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron look to follow their first Olympic title with a fifth world title. Americans madison hubbell and Zachary Donohuethe Olympic bronze medalists, perform for the final time before they retire from competitive skating.
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2022 World Figure Skating Championships Broadcast Schedule