See Olympic skating hopefuls start their journey to Sochi at Joe Louis Arena

Published On: Dec 24 2013 10:35:49 AM EST   Updated On: Oct 16 2013 05:40:58 PM EDT

Some of the world's most talented skaters will take to the ice at Joe Louis Arena and among them will be contenders who are training in metro Detroit.

Skate America is three days of competition in ladies, men's, pairs and ice dance and is the first of six stops in the International Skating Union Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series.

View: 2013 Skate America preview

The three-day event is October 18-20 at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.

There will be 52 athletes competing including skaters who will eventually continue on to compete in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi Russia next February.

Meryl Davis and Charlie White, silver medalists from the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver are one of three metro Detroit ice dancing pairs to compete at Skate America. Davis and White have skated together for 16 years. They are five time US Champions and the first Americans to be World Ice Dancing Champions in 2011 and then again in 2013.

They train at the Arctic Edge of Canton.

Alex and Maia Shibutani, a brother and sister ice dance team, will also be competing. The Shibutanis train at Arctic Edge of Canton.  According to their website, in their debut season, the Shibutanis became the first ice dancing team to medal at both of their Grand Prix events in their first year as seniors and the first team to medal in their debut at the World Championships.  They won bronze at 2010 NHK Trophy, '10 Skate America and the '11 World Championships and silver at '11 Four Continents Championships.

Madison Hubbell & Zach Donohue have been ice dance partners since 2011 and train at the Detroit Skating Club in Bloomfield Hills. In September, Hubbell & Donohue won gold at the 2013 Nebelhorn in Germany. They were the 2012 U.S. bronze medalists.

The Skate America events are open to the public. Tickets can be purchased at or the Joe Louis Arena box office.

The Grand Prix Series incorporates six international figure skating competitions as a unified point-scoring series that awards prize money to eligible skaters. At the conclusion of the series, athletes’ points are totaled, and the top six ladies, men, pairs and ice dancing teams are invited to compete at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final. The Grand Prix Final is December 5-8 in Fukuoka, Japan. This is the 19th season for the Grand Prix Series.


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