The 2021 Grand Prix Series opens with Skate America in Las Vegas, Nevada, Oct. 22-24.

With the U.S. Embassy in Russia now only issuing diplomatic visas, skaters, coaches and officials had to go to Tashkent, Uzbekistan in early October to obtain a travel visa for the U.S. The visas were reportedly issued on Oct. 7.

Daniil Samsonov of Russia, Yaroslav Paniot of the U.S. were originally slated to compete in Las Vegas, but both withdrew a couple of weeks prior to the competition. No reasons given for the withdrawals. Jimmy Ma was given Paniot’s spot. Russian ice dancers Tiffani Zagorski and Jonathan Guerreiro also withdrew. In an interview with a Russian press agency, Guerreiro said Zagorski had been admitted to an infectious diseases hospital. We are told it is not COVID-19 related.

Nathan Chen headlines the men’s event. The battle in this discipline will be for the second and third steps of the podium. Top contenders include Vincent Zhou of the U.S., Japan’s Shoma Uno, Czech star Michal Březina and Kévin Aymoz of France…

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