Olympic buildup begins with Moscow event in October

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U.S. men's champion Nathan Chen and ice dance gold medalists Maia and Alex Shibutani will compete in the Rostelecom Cup in Moscow that opens the 2017-18 Grand Prix figure skating series.

The buildup to the Pyeongchang Olympics will feature six Grand Prix events, ending with Skate America in Lake Placid, New York, in late November. The Grand Prix finals will be held in Nagoya, Japan on Dec. 7-10.

Also scheduled for the Moscow competition from Oct. 20-22 will be Americans Grant Hochstein, Mirai Nagasu, Mariah Bell, the pairs team of Marissa Castelli and Mervin Tran, and ice dancers Rachel and Michael Parsons.

The other events on the Grand Prix calendar are Skate Canada at Regina, Saskatchewan, Oct. 27-Oct. 29; Cup of China at Beijing, Nov. 3-5; NHK Trophy at Osaka, Japan, Nov. 10-12; Internationaux de France - Grenoble, France, Nov. 17-19; and Skate America, Nov. 24-26.

The top six finishers in men's singles, women's singles, pairs and ice dance will make the finals.

Skate America has drawn both U.S. singles champions, Nathan Chen and Karen Chen (no relation). Ashley Wagner, a 2014 Olympian, also will skate in the women's event representing the United States, while Adam Rippon will be in the men's field. Joining the Shibutanis in ice dance will be Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker. Americans in pairs will be Haven Denney and Brandon Frazier, Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Chris Knierim.

Also scheduled for Skate America are Canada's Gabrielle Daleman, Japan's Satoko Miyahara and Kaori Sakamoto, and Russians Alena Leonova , Anna Pogorilaya and Polina Tsurskaya in the women's event.

Nathan Chen's biggest challengers in the men's field figure to be Jin Boyang of China and Russians Maxim Kovtun, Alexander Petrov and Sergei Voronov.

Canadian star dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, who dominated the competition in their return to the ice last season - they won Olympic gold in 2010 and silver in 2014 - will skate at Skate Canada and NHK Trophy.