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Meet the Figure Skaters Competing at the 2024 Prevagen U.S. Figure Skating Championships

These athletes are competing for the national title ahead of the World Championships and the 2026 Winter Olympics in Milan and Cortina d'Ampezzo. 

By Jax Miller
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More than 180 qualifiers will compete at the 2024 Prevagen U.S. Figure Skating Championships, a six-day sporting event beginning Monday, January 22, 2024, and available to watch on NBC, USA Network, and Peacock.

Senior, junior, and novice athletes were required to advance through one of several competitions to make it this far, including the Eastern, Midwestern, and Pacific Coast Sectionals Singles Finals, the U.S. Pairs and Ice Dance Finals, and the 2023 Toyota U.S. Championships in San Jose, California.

For the 2024 U.S. Championships in Columbus, Ohio — sponsored by Prevagen for the first time — individual skaters, pairs and ice dancing teams will compete with their eyes on the gold medal.

The championship-level competitions will be televised on NBC and USA Network (see the broadcast schedule here). All events, including the junior-level competitions, will also be available to live stream on Peacock.

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Here are a few skaters you can expect to see:

Senior Women

Eighteen women will vie for the U.S. championship in the women’s singles, with a strong handful already ranked high with the International Skating Union’s (I.S.U.) 2023/2024 season.

Isabeau Levito

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

Philadelphia-born Isabeau Levito, 16, is ranked third in the world standings, leading the U.S. ahead of nationals and placing first in the 2022 Junior Figure Skating Championships in Tallinn, Estonia. The three-time I.S.U. silver medalist dominated the prestigious 2023 Gran Prix de France and was crowned champion following a “near-perfect” free skate, ending Team USA’s seven-year dry spell.

In January 2023, while still just 15 years old, Levito — who currently resides in New Jersey — beat two-time champion Bradie Tennell and Amber Glenn for the U.S. National Champion and was celebrated as the Best Newcomer at the 2023 I.S.U. Skating Awards.

The promising teen has cited the sport as “really satisfying for my perfectionism,” adding she has high hopes for the 2026 Olympics, as discussed in a December 2023 interview with New Jersey Monthly. As for the upcoming championships, Levito has already teamed up with Austin Toole to design the perfect outfit.

Amber Glenn

Amber Glenn holds her bronze medal and bouquet.

Meanwhile, 24-year-old Amber Glenn is also expected to be at the national championship. The Texas-raised competitor — who identifies as bisexual and pansexual — won silver at the 2021 Toyota U.S. Figure Skating Championships, making her the first openly queer woman to make it to the podium for a U.S. senior women's figure skating event.

Glenn is known in the sport for being among the elite few ever to cleanly land the triple Axel. In October 2023, she became the sixth U.S. female to land the move at Skate America, as reported by NBC Sports.

Glenn has more than 1 million followers on TikTok, regularly speaking on topics such as being part of the LGBTQ+ community and mental health.

“I still struggle with body image because of the years of feeling like I had to look a certain way to be accepted in the elite skating community,” Glenn shared in an October 2023 interview with Olympics.com. “Now I focus on what my body can do, how I feel day-to-day. I’m an athlete, not a model — I love my body for what it can do, not for what others think of it.”

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Behind Levito, Glenn is the second-highest ranked U.S. skater in the I.S.U. world standings, placing number 16 for the 2023/2024 season thus far.

Other Competitors

Lindsay Thorngren, the 18-year-old athlete born in White Plains, New York, trails not too far behind Glenn in the 2023/2024 world ranks (she's 18th). Thorngren won the bronze medal at the 2022 World Junior Figure Skating Championships (in which Levito won gold) and previously won gold in the Junior Ladies division at the 2020 U.S. Figure Skating Championships (in which Levito won silver).

NBC Sports called Thorngren a “surprise leader” when she won silver at the international NHK Trophy at 17 years old. But it was Ava Ziegler who came out on top with her “historic” win, though Ziegler currently ranks 23rd in the 2023/2024 world standings ahead of the U.S. games.

The 2019 U.S. Junior silver medalist, Audrey Shin, 19, will also compete in the Senior Women’s category at the upcoming event. Starr Andrews, whose “Whip My Hair” routine at 9 years old garnered tens of millions of views on social media (including an epic response from former First Lady Michelle Obama) — is also set to skate.

Senior Men

Ilia Malinin

Ilia Malinin figure skates in all black.

Great things are expected from Ilia Malinin, the top-ranked male skater in the world, and just one of three U.S. men currently ranked in the I.S.U.’s top 20 competitors. The 19-year-old Virginian, playfully known as “Quad God,” earned the gold medal at the 2023-2024 Grand Prix Finals in Beijing, largely thanks to his being the only person ever to land the quadruple Axel in a short program, as covered by NBC Sports.

The “Heaven-sent” Malinin also won the gold medal at the aforementioned 2022 World Junior Championships in Tallinn and is the son of Uzbek national champions Tatiana Malinina and Roman Skornyakov, both of whom competed in past Winter Olympic games.

In October 2023, Malinin told NBC Sports he hoped to show more of his personality in his performances: “I’m going to not only have the quad Axel, but also try and improve on sort of the choreography and the second mark.”

Camden Pulkinen

Camden Pulkinen figure skates in all black.

Camden Pulkinen, who'd represented the U.S. at the 2016 Winter Youth Olympics, is also slated to compete at the 2024 U.S. Championships. The Arizona-born 23-year-old, currently 17th on I.S.U.’s world standings, lives in New York City, where he attends Columbia University.

Pulkinen gained recognition by winning the silver medal at the 2017-2018 Junior Grand Prix Finals and later delivering a show-stopping performance during the Free Skate at the 2022 Toyota Games en route to a fifth-place finish. Commentators lauded his musical ability and exuberant performance style, referring to him as “the whole package.”

Other Competitors

Los Angeles-born Jason Brown stands two spots behind Pulkinen on the world charts. The two-time Olympian and 2015 U.S. National Champion may be up against Malinin, but he had some sound advice for Malinin’s “six-quad ambition” and a few kind words at the 2023 U.S. Championships.

“The way you keep pushing the sport is incredible,” Brown told Malinin. “So don’t stop being you.”

Brown is a seven-time U.S. Championship medalist and won the bronze medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Eighteen men will compete in the category at the Prevagen games, also including Jimmy Ma and Vincent Zhou.

Senior Pairs

Olympic silver medalists Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier are the top-ranked U.S. pair, holding down the fifth spot in the I.S.U. world standings. However, they are not scheduled to compete at the 2024 Prevagen U.S. Figure Skating Championships, despite being credited for being the first pair to ace the World Championships in 2022, which marked a first for the U.S. in 40 years. 

But here's who will be hitting the ice in Columbus.

Emily Chan and Spencer Howe

Emily Chan and Spencer Akira Howe dance together on ice.

Emily Chan, 26, and Spencer Howe, 27, are currently placed eighth in the I.S.U. ranks. The pair won silver medals at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships (4CC) in both 2022 and 2023, in which athletes represent the Americas, Asia, Africa, and Oceania. Chan hails from Pasadena, Texas, while Howe comes from Burbank, California, though both train in Norwood, Massachusetts, and belong to The Skating Club of Boston.

Valentina Plazas and Maximiliano Fernandez

Maximiliano Fernandez holds Valentina Plazas above his head with one arm.

Next, Columbia-born Valentina Plazas, 23, and partner Maximiliano Fernandez, 28, are ranked 11th in the world. The Floridians partnered up in May 2020 and became U.S. Junior bronze medalists in 2021. They continued their ascendancy in 2023, placing fifth at both the 2023 U.S. Championships and the 2023 Four Continents Championships in Colorado Springs.

Both seem to be inspired by Guns N’ Roses, with Fernandez recently citing “Sweet Child O' Mine” as the song to win him a karaoke title, as hilariously featured on Plazas’ Instagram. The pair also have a dog named after the rock band’s lead singer, Axl Rose, though it's possible they've named it "Axel" Rose.

Outside of figure skating, Plazas graduated from Florida International University with a criminal justice degree, while Fernandez currently attends Miami-Dade College.

Ellie Kam and Danny O'Shea 

Danny O'Shea holds out Ellie Kam while dancing on ice.

New partners Ellie Kam, 19, and Danny O’Shea, 32, have yet to crack the international top 20, though there are high hopes for the pair, especially given O’Shea’s record. Japanese-American Kam of Colorado Springs is still establishing herself as a partner, winning bronze alongside O’Shea at the 2023 U.S. Nationals.

O’Shea, also of Colorado Springs, was previously paired with Tarah Kayne, both becoming national champions in 2016, though they ended their partnership in 2020 after nine consecutive seasons. In 2021, O’Shea was “beyond excited” after teaming up with Chelsea Liu, though they did not last as an ice-skating pair.

In March 2023, O’Shea said he looked forward to skating with Kam.

“It’s amazing how much I trusted her immediately with this whole process,” said O’Shea. “I think that speaks a lot to her character.”

Senior Ice Dance

Madison Chock and Evan Bates

Madison Chock and Evan Bates figure skate in all black.

Olympians Madison Chock and Evan Bates are a force to be reckoned with in ice dancing as four-time U.S. Champions, 2023 World Champions, and competitors in the Olympic games in 2014, 2018, and 2022, the latter of which earned the silver medal for Team U.S.A.

Chock, 31, and Bates, 34, are the oldest world champions in ice dance history, and their Olympic silver could be retroactively upgraded to gold due to a doping scandal involving Russian gold medalist Kamila Valiyeva (a decision is expected later this month).

Chock and Bates, currently ranked third in the world, also boast three world medals, the 2023-2024 Grand Prix Finals title, and are three-time Four Continents champions.

In October 2023, Chock spoke to NBC Sports about returning for the 2026 Winter Olympic games in Milano-Cortina.

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“It’s on the horizon,” she said. “But we’re not getting ahead of ourselves. We’re taking it year by year. But, of course, the ultimate goal is always to be back at the Olympic Games.

Caroline Green and Michael Parsons

Three-time U.S. Championship medalists Caroline Green, 20, and Michael Parsons, 28, will be at the 2024 Prevagen U.S. Championships, having previously placed in the I.S.U. Grand Prix games, the I.S.U. Challenger Series, and taking the win at the 2022 Four Continents Championships.

The Maryland-born pair, ranked 10th in the world, previously competed with their respective siblings as partners during their Juniors careers. Green, with brother Gordan Green, won the U.S. National Junior Title at the 2019 Geico U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Detroit, Michigan. Parsons, with his sister Rachel Parsons, snagged gold medals for the 2017 World Junior Championships in Taipei and the 2016-2017 Junior Grand Prix in Marseille.

Christina Carreira and Anthony Ponomarenko

Anthony Ponomarenko lifts Christina Carreira while figure skating.

Christina Carreira and Anthony Ponomarenko, both 23, have an impressive eight medals from the I.S.U. Challenger Series and have two medals in the World Junior Championships — bronze in the 2017 games in Taipei and silver in the 2018 games in Sofia, Bulgaria.

The Canadian-born Carreira was reportedly born with dislocated hips and advised that she would never run or play sports, per U.S Figure Skating's Fanzone. She attends Quebec’s Concordia University and holds a U.S. Green Card with hopes of attaining American citizenship before the 2026 Winter Olympics, practicing her skills at a Detroit-area arena.

Ponomarenko, born in San Jose, California, is the son of ice-dancing duo Marina Klimova and Sergei Ponomarenko, who’d won an Olympic medal in every color and were widely regarded as the best ice-dancing pair of the early 1990s. Together, they're ranked 11th in the world.

Other standout ice-dancing pairs slated to compete at the 2024 Prevagen U.S. Figure Skating Championships include Emily Bratti and Ian Somerville, Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker, and Long Island siblings Oona and Gage Brown, all of whom are ranked in the Top 20 of the I.S.U. world standings for the 2023/2024 season.

Watch the 2024 Prevagen U.S. Figure Skating Championships six-day event beginning Monday, January 22, 2024, and available to watch on NBC, USA, and Peacock.

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