Figure skating: Four Bay Area athletes to start Grand Prix season in Las Vegas

Four Bay Area skaters will open the season at Skate America, Oct. 23-25 in Las Vegas, USA Figure Skating announced Thursday.

Olympian Karen Chen of Fremont and Kate Wang of San Francisco are entered in the women’s competition. Wang, 15, is making her senior international debut.

Olympian Vincent Zhou of Palo Alto and ice dancer Anthony Ponomarenko of Morgan Hill, with partner Christina Carreira, also are competing in the ISU Grand Prix event.

Two-time reigning U.S. champion Alysa Liu of Richmond will not be eligible for senior competition until the 2021-22 season because of age limits. Liu, 15, missed the July 1 age cutoff by about five weeks.

Skaters are not experiencing a full competition schedule in the season before the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing because of the coronavirus pandemic. International Skating Union officials announced the Grand Prix series meets would be limited to athletes living, training or within the region of the event.

According to USA Figure Skating, its athletes are eligible only for Skate America and Skate Canada.

The plan to hold Skate America could be a positive sign for San Jose organizers who are hoping to stage the 2021 U.S. championships Jan. 11-17 at SAP Center.

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