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Lifts, Jumps and A Death Spiral: How To Watch The 2024 U.S. Figure Skating Championships

Don't miss a minute of the action as hopefuls to join Team USA at the 2026 Winter Olympics compete at the 2024 Prevagen U.S Figure Skating Championships.

By Caitlin Schunn

The road to the 2026 Olympic Winter Games may end in Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo in Italy, but for U.S. hopefuls it runs through Columbus, Ohio this January.

More than 180 athletes qualified to compete in the 2024 Prevagen U.S. Figure Skating Championships, and you can watch it all on USA Network and NBC. It’ll be a historic few days as U.S. champions are crowned in women’s, men’s, pairs, and other ice dancing disciplines. This event also serves as the final qualifying event to make the U.S. World and World Junior teams, according to Nationwide Arena, which is hosting the championships.

You can watch the championships over four days (plus the exhibition gala!). Here’s what to expect each day...

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Thursday, January 25

Pairs Short Program

First up at the championships is the pairs short program. A bit like synchronized dancing, “each movement is performed in unison, requiring a significant amount of timing and trust between partners,” according to U.S. Figure Skating. During the short program, you can expect to see several required moves, including “lifts, side-by-side solo jumps done in unison, throw jumps, a step sequence and a death spiral,” according to the event description.

Catch the pairs short program at 2 p.m. on USA Network.

Rhythm Dance

Calling all '80s lovers! The rhythm dance requirements set by U.S. Figure Skating are very strict, and start with the music requirement: “Music and Feeling of the Eighties.” Any music is allowed, as long as it was originally released in the '80s.

“The couple should demonstrate through dance the culture and essence of this decade,” U.S. Figure Skating adds on its website.

Watch the rhythm dance competition at 5 p.m. on USA Network.

Women's Short Program

There are two segments for singles figure skating: the short program, and the free skate. The short program features things like jump and spin elements, and a step sequence, according to U.S. Figure Skating. The women are up first to dazzle audiences with their short program skills.

Catch the women’s short program at 8 p.m. on USA Network.

Isabeau Levito ice skates during the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final in Beijing

Friday, January 26

Men's Short Program

The men start their singles competition this afternoon, with the short program up first, showing off jumps and spins and other mesmerizing moves.

Catch the men's short program at 4 p.m. on USA Network.

Women's Free Skate

And part two of the women’s singles competition kicks off Friday, with the women’s free skate. This is the longer segment of the singles competition, and has a maximum number of elements a skater may perform, according to U.S. Figure Skating. This free skate score is added to the short program score to figure out the overall standings for singles.

The women’s free skate starts at 8 p.m. on NBC.

First up on Saturday is the free dance competition. Although it’s similar to rhythm dance in figure skating, the biggest difference is the music. According to The New York Times, in free dance, skaters get to pick the music and tempo they want, but the dance also requires step sequences, lifts, and other skating moves.

Catch the free dance competition at 2:30 p.m. on NBC.

Pairs Free Skate

Part two of the pairs competition airs Saturday — the free skate event. Free skate includes technical skills and choreography that show off the team, according to U.S. Figure Skating, including shadow skating (where partners perform identical moves a distance apart) and mirror skating (where partners mirror each other in moves).

This segment and the short program each receive a technical score and a component score, and the team with the most points overall is the winner.

Watch the pairs free skate at 8 p.m. on USA Network.

Sunday, January 28

Men's Free Skate

Part two of the men’s singles competition happens on Sunday, with the men’s free skate. The score will be added to the short program score to figure out the overall standings for singles.

Catch the men's free skate at 3 p.m. on NBC.

Sunday, February 4

Exhbition Gala

There’s also bonus figure skating to take in, as the exhibition gala for the championship airs on NBC on Feb. 4 at 2 p.m.