The 2021 Junior Grand Prix Series opens with back-to-back competitions in Courchevel, France, the first of which takes place Aug. 19-21. Canada was slated to host the second Junior Grand Prix of the season but on June 23 it announced the event had to be cancelled. France then offered to host a second event, which will take place the following week.
Changes to all Junior Grand Prix rosters are likely given the entry restrictions of some countries with respect to quarantine requirements and the recognition of specific vaccines. On Aug. 10, the Russian federation issued a press release with respect to the reassignment of its skaters from the first two JGPs due to government restrictions in France. The Japan Skating Federation announced in June that it would not field any skaters to the first three Junior Grand Prix competitions. China also has no skaters at this event.
There are currently 49 skaters/teams scheduled to take the ice: 14 men, 23 ladies and 12 ice dance teams. This is a non-pairs event.
With the withdrawal of the Russian team, Ilia Malinin of the U.S. is the top guy at this competition. Malinin landed in a surprising fifth place at 2020 Skate America, his only competition last season. He was unable to compete at the 2021 national championships after a fractured ankle forced him to miss the qualifying events. He will come armed with two quads: Salchow and toe. This will be the third Junior Grand Prix season for Canada’s Corey Circelli who finished 10th at the Baltic Cup in 2019, but showed vast improvement at the 2021 Skate Canada Challenge with a third-place result in the senior division.
In the women′s event, Canada is fielding its reigning junior champion, Kaiya Ruiter, to this competition. Her only outing since 2020 Canadian nationals was the virtual Skate Canada Challenge in January of this year where she finished fourth at the senior level. This will be the second international season for Seoyeon Ji of the Republic of Korea, who finished fourth and sixth, respectively, at her two assignments in 2019. Two Americans are in the field: Lindsay Thorngren, who had just one outing on the Junior Grand Prix circuit in 2019 and Clare Seo, the South Korean 2020 junior champion now representing the United States.
Two North American teams are the ″veterans″ in the ice dance field: Canada′s Miku Makita and Tyler Gunara who are heading into their third Junior Grand Prix season and Katarina Wolfkostin and Jeffrey Chen (the brother of Karen) of the U.S., who are entering their second.