US Figure Skating Championships 2022: TV Schedule, Top Contenders and Event Info

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IIJanuary 2, 2022

US Figure Skating Championships 2022: TV Schedule, Top Contenders and Event Info

0 of 3

    David Becker/Associated Press

    The 2022 Winter Olympics are set to get underway February 4. So before long, top athletes from around the world will be heading to Beijing to compete for medals in a variety of sports. And among those events will be figure skating.

    Even though the Winter Games are almost upon us, the skaters who will be representing Team USA in Beijing have not been determined. But that will soon be decided, because the final qualifying competition is set to take place this week.

    The 2022 U.S. Figure Skating Championships begin Monday in Nashville, with competitions occurring every day through Jan. 9. It's the first time the event will be held at Bridgestone Arena since 1997.

    Here's a look at the TV schedule for this year's event, followed by more on the top contenders for both the men's and women's competitions.

TV Schedule

1 of 3

    Francois Mori/Associated Press

    Thursday, Jan. 6

    Pairs Short, 5-7 p.m. ET, USA Network

    Women's Short, 8:30-10:30 p.m. ET, USA Network


    Friday, Jan. 7

    Rhythm Dance, 4-6 p.m. ET, USA Network

    Women's Free, 8-11 p.m. ET, NBC


    Saturday, Jan. 8

    Men's Short, 4-6 p.m. ET, NBC

    Pairs Free and Free Dance, 7-10 p.m. ET, USA Network


    Sunday, Jan. 9

    Men's Free, 2-4 p.m. ET, NBC

Can Chen Win for 6th Year in a Row?

2 of 3

    David Becker/Associated Press

    Nathan Chen is getting closer to making history every year. The 22-year-old from Salt Lake City has been the men's U.S. national champion in each of the past five years, which is getting him close to a record.

    Roger Turner (1928-34) and Dick Button (1946-52) share the record for most consecutive men's titles at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships with seven. If Chen can win again in 2022, then he'll have an opportunity to tie that mark in 2023.

    And there's a good chance he can do that in Tennessee.

    In 2021, Chen became a three-time world champion. That wasn't a surprise, as Chen had a three-year run of dominance in which he won every competition he participated in.

    However, that streak came to an end at Skate America in October. He came third at that event, finishing behind Vincent Zhou and Shoma Uno. Chen has been focusing on ways to improve since then.

    "I haven't really given it too much thought, just reflections what I could do better," Chen said, per Barry Wilner of the Associated Press. "That is going to be the same whether or not I win. I will always look back on and think about what are things I did well, things I can improve on? What are things in the competition I didn't love, and what are things I loved in the competition?"

    If Chen's run of dominance at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships ends, it could be because of Zhou. Not only did the 21-year-old beat Chen at Skate America, but he also finished second at this event in 2017, 2019 and 2021. He placed third in 2018 and fourth in 2020.

    During Chen's five-year winning streak, Jason Brown has been another strong competitor. He placed third in 2017, 2019 and 2021 and finished second in 2020. The 27-year-old is a former U.S. national champion, winning the title in 2015.

    So while Chen will go in as the favorite because of his recent dominance, Zhou and Brown are skaters to watch, and it wouldn't be surprising if one of them ended up as the winner.

Will Liu Reclaim Crown with Tennell Out?

3 of 3

    Shuji Kajiyama/Associated Press

    Alysa Liu's two-year run as champion ended when she finished fourth at the 2021 U.S. Figure Skating Championships.

    Bradie Tennell won for the second time in four years in 2021, but she isn't going to have an opportunity to start a streak of her own.

    Tennell withdrew from this year's event because of a right foot injury, meaning she also won't compete at the Winter Olympics unless she successfully petitions for a spot on the team.

    The 16-year-old Liu consequently has a golden opportunity to reclaim the title, and she should be among the front-runners. In fact, another former U.S. champion considers Liu the favorite to win.

    "I believe Alysa is on track to win another title as her fairly consistent triple axel and very consistent triple-triples give her the edge," Olympic gold medalist Tara Lipinski said, per Wilner.

    Mariah Bell and Amber Glenn have never won the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, but they could be among those competing with Liu for this year's title. Bell finished second in 2020 and third in both 2017 and 2019. Glenn, meanwhile, was the runner-up to Tennell last year.

    Karen Chen won the event in 2017 and has finished third twice since then. The 22-year-old will be another skater to watch in Nashville.

    But Liu is enjoying a successful 2021-22 campaign and has already won the Cranberry Cup, the CS Lombardia Trophy and the CS Nebelhorn Trophy. It's tough to bet against her riding her momentum to a third U.S. national title in four years.