This week, Espoo, Finland welcomes the 2023 Grand Prix of Espoo, the fifth event of the series of the Grand Prix of Figure Skating series. The event will take place at Espoo Metro Arena, the rink used for the Challenger Series Finlandia Trophy, the 2022 Grand Prix Espoo and the 2023 European Figure Skating Championships.
About Grand Prix Espoo: This is the third time Finland has hosted an ISU Grand Prix event. In 2018, Grand Prix of Helsinki replaced Cup of China on the series. For the past two seasons, Grand Prix Espoo has replaced Rostelecom Cup.
Grand Prix 2023: As with the 2022-23 season, the ISU maintained the ban on figure skaters from Russia due to the country’s war with neighboring Ukraine. Skaters from Belarus are also not allowed to compete due to their country’s support of the ongoing war. In addition, the fifth Grand Prix event of the series is no longer Rostelecom Cup and instead will be held in Espoo, Finland.
The Medal Hunt: Madison Chock & Evan Bates will try to repeat their Skate America gold medal result and build on their scores in order to qualify for their eighth Grand Prix Final. The Americans have had several weeks to make modifications to their programs after their season debut in mid- October.
Laurence Fournier Beaudry & Nikolaj Sorensen of Canada already have a silver medal from Grand Prix de France and a silver in Espoo should book them a trip to the Grand Prix Final in Beijing. The team set new season’s best scores in France, but were nine points off their personal bests.
Finland’s Juulia Turkkila & Matthias Versluis start their Grand Prix series in Espoo and will compete in back-to-back events. The duo started their season with a bronze medal at Nebelhorn Trophy, followed by wins at Finlandia Trophy and Swiss Ice Skating Open.
Event info: Teams have official practices on Thursday, November 16. The rhythm dance kicks off at 6:50pm (EET) on Friday, November 17, with the free dance occurring on Saturday, November 18 at 7:40pm (EET).