Meet the Ones to Watch (And See Their Fabulous Outfits) at this Year's U.S. Figure Skating Championships!
Ones to Watch: 2017 U.S. Figure Skating Championships
Study up on these star skaters (one is 17! two are siblings!), all of whom are competing in the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Kansas City on Thursday. The competition determines national champs, as well as the world championships team and early 2018 Olympic contenders. If not for the gravity-defying moves, then definitely check out the competition for the glittering, awards-season-worthy ensembles.
Live on NBCSN or stream on NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app, starting at 5:30 p.m. ET.
Wagner ended a decade-long medal drought for the American women at the World Championships when she won silver in 2016. Back home, she's a three-time U.S. champion (2012-2013, 2015) and is now looking to become the oldest U.S. women's champion in 90 years at age 25. You go girl!
Born in Heidelberg, Germany, Wagner grew up in a military family and moved nine times during her childhood. She started skating at age five while living in Eagle River, Alaska, after her mom gave her a choice between skating or ballet. We're certainly happy that she chose skating. Just look at her rocking that leo!
MAIA AND ALEX SHIBUTANI
MAIA AND ALEX SHIBUTANI
Nicknamed “Mac and Cheese” by their first coach, they've only skated as a pair with each other, since originally teaming up in 2004. Both were singles skaters before that, but a visit to Washington, D.C., to watch the 2003 World Championships persuaded them to try ice dancing.
Befitting her last name, Gracie is a two-time U.S. champion (2014, 2016). With any luck, she'll earn more gold this weekend.
An aspiring circus performer as a child, Gold's pre-competition ritual sometimes includes juggling. She has a twin sister, Carly, who's also a competitive figure skater.
Watch out for Chen, a newbie who's predicted to win big. The 2016 U.S. bronze medalist is a two-time U.S. junior champion and rocks some of our favorite on-ice outfits—like this fabulous red kimono. He's also come a long way: Chen's first time on ice was at a practice rink built for the 2002 Olympics.
A frontrunner in the “quad revolution” in men’s figure skating, Chen can do four different types of quadruple jumps. He defied expectations at the start of this season, attempting seven quads at a single competition. And did we mention he's only 17? Slay!