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Olympians, rising stars head into Skate Canada

By
Emily Pacenti
Shoma Uno of Japan, shown here at the 2018 Winter Olympics, is a favorite to take gold at Skate Canada this weekend. File Photo by Richard Ellis/UPI
Shoma Uno of Japan, shown here at the 2018 Winter Olympics, is a favorite to take gold at Skate Canada this weekend. File Photo by Richard Ellis/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 25 (UPI) -- Several high-profile figure skaters will take the ice when the Grand Prix of Figure Skating series continues Friday with Skate Canada -- including Olympic silver medalists Shoma Uno and Evgenia Medvedeva.

Reigning Canadian champion Gabrielle Daleman, a team gold medalist at the Pyeongchang Olympics, withdrew from the competition to focus on mental health.

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Uno and Medvedeva are expected to take the gold, but the field is full of up-and-coming talent.

Cha Jun-Hwan of South Korea will be making his Grand Prix debut of the season after placing ninth at last year's event. He opened his season with a silver medal at the Autumn Classic in Ontario, second to Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu.

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American Jason Brown will be competing in his first Grand Prix event of the season after a fourth-place finish in the Autumn Classic. Brown made the highly contested Grand Prix Final last year and will need a medal at this event if he hopes to qualify again.

Medvedeva had a disappointing opening to her season, placing behind U.S. champion Bradie Tennell at the Autumn Classic. It's her first season under new coach Brian Orser, making her the only Russian skater competing under a foreign coach. Her season is marked by a change in artistry with new programs choreographed to Orange Colored Sky by Natalie Cole and Astor Piazolli Medley as performed by Yo-Yo Ma.

American up-and-comer Starr Andrews will get a second chance in Skate Canada after a Skate America performance marked by multiple falls and "pops" -- when a skater attempts a double, or triple jump, but fails to complete full rotation. The mistakes landed her in last place. Skate Canada is her second Grand Prix assignment in her first season on the circuit.

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Wakaba Higuchi of Japan will make her Grand Prix debut after being left off of Japan's 2018 Olympic team. She's most noted for her free skate choreographed to Adele's Skyfall. American ice dance team Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue will have a chance for a second Grand Prix gold after winning Skate America last week, solidifying their placement in the Grand Prix Final.

Skate Canada runs Friday through Sunday in Laval, Canada.

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