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US Figure Skating Championships TV Schedule 2022: Thursday Preview, Predictions

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IIJanuary 6, 2022

Alysa Liu of the United States performs during the women's free skating at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating NHK Trophy competition in Tokyo, Japan, Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021. (AP Photo/Shuji Kajiyama)
Shuji Kajiyama/Associated Press

The top figure skaters in the nation are set to enter the fray at the 2022 U.S. Figure Skating Championships at Bridgestone Arena in Tennessee, Nashville.

The championship-level competitions get underway on Thursday, with the pairs short program and the women's short program both taking place. They follow the junior women's free skate, which will wrap up the junior portion of the event.

The women and pairs who take the ice will be looking to get off to a strong start before taking part in free skates later in the week (women on Friday, pairs on Saturday). And potential spots in the United States Winter Olympics team will also be on the line ahead of next month's Games in Beijing.

Here's a look at the TV schedule for the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, followed by more on Thursday's action.

       

TV Schedule

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

          

Thursday Preview, Predictions

Alysa Liu's quest for a third gold medal in four years at the championships will begin Thursday, when the 16-year-old takes the ice for the first time. But she'll face some strong competition over the next two days.

The Californian's two-year run as the women's champion ended in 2021, when Bradie Tennell won the event for the second time. However, the 23-year-old isn't participating this year due to a right foot injury.

That could lead to Liu reclaiming the gold after she placed fourth last year. But some other recent top finishers will also be in the mix.

Amber Glenn won the silver medal in the women's competition at last year's championships, marking her best career showing at the event. The 22-year-old from Texas had never previously placed better than fifth, although she was the junior champion in 2014.

Karen Chen captured the bronze last year, but it wasn't the first time she had appeared on the medal stand. The 22-year-old won the gold in 2017, and she also took home the bronze in 2015 and 2018.

Another name to watch could be Mariah Bell, who won the silver in 2020 after claiming the bronze in 2017 and 2019. The 25-year-old placed fifth last year and will be looking for a bounce-back showing in 2022.

While all of these women have solid chances of winning, expect Liu to get off to a strong start by finishing in first place in the short program. Even though she finished fourth overall in 2021, she still produced a second-place display in the short program. And considering she's been performing better of late, there's a good chance she'll be in first heading into the free skate.

As for the pairs short program, the competition is going to be more open than expected. 

Alexa Scimeca Knierim had won the gold medal in three of the past four years, including with Brandon Frazier in 2021. However, they were forced to withdraw this year after Frazier tested positive for COVID-19.

Jessica Calalang and Brian Johnson have won the silver medal in the pairs competition each of the past two years. However, the prediction here is that the leaders after the short program will be Ashley Cain-Gribble and Timothy LeDuc, who won the event in 2019 and captured the bronze last year.

Before the championship-level competitions begin, the women's junior event will conclude with the free skate. Clare Seo won the short program with a score of 67.38 on Wednesday, and after she won the junior bronze last year, don't be surprised if she comes away with gold this time.

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