The 2014 U.S. Figure Skating Championships will serve as the final opportunity for U.S. Olympic hopefuls ahead of February's 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.
Several top athletes will be on display over the course of the week in Boston, looking to reach elite form and earn a spot on the U.S. Olympic roster.
Medals will be awarded for four different disciplines of figure skating on three separate experience levels.
Here we'll get you set with everything you need to know ahead of the events.
Where: TD Garden and Boston Convention and Expo Center, Boston, Mass.
When: Sunday, January 5 through Sunday, January 12, 2014
Watch: NBC, Ice Network
|Date||Session||Breakdown (all times are ET)||Location|
|Sunday, Jan. 5||Session 1||9:15 a.m., novice pattern dance; 12:20 p.m., novice ladies short program; 4:15 p.m., novice pairs short program; 6:15 p.m., novice men short program.||BCEC|
|Monday, Jan. 6||Session 2||9:40 a.m., novice free dance; 11:50 a.m., novice ladies free skate; 1:35 p.m., novice pairs free skate; 3:35 p.m., novice men free skate.||BCEC|
|Tuesday, Jan. 7||Session 3||8:30 a.m., juvenile pattern dance; 11:10 a.m., juvenile pairs free skate; 3:25 p.m., junior short dance; 6 p.m., junior men short program.||BCEC|
|Wednesday, Jan. 8||Session 4||8:30 a.m., juvenile boys free skate; 9:55 a.m., juvenile free dance; 11:30 a.m., juvenile girls free skate; 1 p.m., intermediate pattern dance; 4:10 p.m., junior pairs short program; 6:20 p.m., junior ladies short program.||BCEC|
|Thursday, Jan. 9||Session 5||8:10 a.m., intermediate ladies short program; 9:40 a.m., intermediate free dance; 1 p.m., intermediate pairs short program; 2:35 p.m., intermediate men short program.||BCEC|
|Thursday, Jan. 9||Session 6||10:45 a.m., junior men free skate; 1:05 p.m., junior dance free dance.||TD Garden|
|Thursday, Jan. 9||Session 7||4:15 p.m., championship pairs short program.||TD Garden|
|Thursday, Jan. 9||Session 8||7 p.m., opening ceremonies and championship ladies short program.||TD Garden|
|Friday, Jan. 10||Session 9||8:30 a.m., intermediate pairs free skate; 12:10 p.m. intermediate ladies free skate; 1:45 p.m., intermediate men’s free skate.||BCEC|
|Friday, Jan. 10||Session 10||8:45 a.m., junior ladies free skate; 10:50 a.m. junior pairs free skate.||TD Garden|
|Friday, Jan. 10||Session 11||1:45 p.m., championship dance short dance.||TD Garden|
|Friday, Jan. 10||Session 12||8 p.m., championship men short program.||TD Garden|
|Saturday, Jan. 11||Session 13||11:30 a.m., championship pairs free skate (Group 1) and championship free dance (Groups 1 and 2).||TD Garden|
|Saturday, Jan. 11||Session 14||2:45 p.m., championship pairs free skate (Groups 2 and 3) and championship free dance (Groups 3 and 4).||TD Garden|
|Saturday, Jan. 11||Session 15||6:45 p.m., championship ladies free skate.||TD Garden|
|Sunday, Jan. 12||Session 16||12:50 p.m., championship men free skate.||TD Garden|
|Sunday, Jan. 12||Session 17||7 p.m., Smucker’s Skating Spectacular.||TD Garden|
|Saturday, Jan. 11||3 p.m. - 6 p.m.||NBC|
|Saturday, Jan. 11||8 p.m. - 11 p.m.||NBC|
|Sunday, Jan. 12||3 p.m. - 5 p.m.||NBC|
Simon Shnapir and Marissa Castelli
The decorated pairs figure skating tandem of Simon Shnapir and Marissa Castelli are sure to produce plenty of fireworks this January as they are the reigning champions of this tournament.
The two stars have been working together for years now and have perfected their craft while working their way up through the junior ranks. Shnapir and Castelli have won several medals throughout their partnership, including a bronze medal at the 2013 Four Continents Figure Skating Championships following their breakthrough at nationals last January.
Shnapir was actually born in Moscow and has ties to Russia, making a potential berth in the Sochi Games that much more exciting for he and his partner, per Boston Magazine's Jason Schwartz: "I was born in Russia, so skating is kind of in the blood there. We still have some distant family in Russia who want to come visit if we make the team, so it’s a neat thing."
Andrew Speroff and Gretchen Donlan
Another pairs squad to watch out for this coming week is Andrew Speroff and Gretchen Donlan. The two American stars have been skating together since 2009 and have racked up several impressive accolades during their time together.
The duo won the 2013 Ondrej Nepela Trophy and earned silver medals at the 2012 Ice Challenge.
Much like Shnapir and Castelli, Speroff and Donlan have tremendous chemistry on the ice and will enter the 2014 U.S. Championships with loads of confidence having won several events in the past.
Keep in mind that the two competitors won pewter medals (fourth place) at the 2012 U.S. Figure Skating Championships in San Jose, Calif.
New England native Ross Miner will enter January's Championships with high hopes after earning a silver medal at last year's U.S. Figure Skating Championships.
The 22-year-old talent has been skating for most of his life and has earned bronze medals at the 2012 Four Continents Figure Skating Championships and the 2009 ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating. Unsurprisingly, Miner is aware of the level of competition he'll soon face in Boston, per The Boston Globe's John Powers:
The thing with US skating right now is, we have a lot of guys who are good. You have to be good that day. There’s a lot of pressure at Nationals. Everyone feels they have a chance. That’s what’s led to the high turnover rate.
Miner was forced to withdraw from the 2013 Trophee Eric Bompard last November because of an ankle injury but will be itching to turn in a stellar performance two months later with a trip to Sochi on the line.
Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter.