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What is the World Team Trophy?

The 2017 World Team Trophy takes place this week, April 20-22 in Tokyo where some of the best figure skaters in the world will gather for their final opportunity to make a statement before the Olympic season begins.

What is it?

The World Team Trophy started in 2009 and it is a competition that allows figure skaters to compete as a team on behalf of their country rather than as individuals. It is best described like the gymnastics all around team, as skaters compete individually, but their scores are taken and added to the team and the team with the most points wins. This then reveals which country has the best figure skaters in all disciplines of the sport.

How it Works

Some of the best skaters of each country come together and create a team that consists of two men, two women, one pair team and one dance team. Each member or couple performs a short program and a long program and receive scores, much like at regular events. The only difference is that after these scores are given, skaters are awarded points based on their scores and these points are then added up and the team with the highest points wins gold.

Interestingly enough, even if a team does not win any of the disciplines, they can still win the title if their team has the highest cumulative number of points. Part of the purpose of the ISU creating this competition was to encourage countries to do well in every discipline of the sport, not just in one.

What to expect at the 2017 World Team Trophy

The countries that have qualified this year are Canada, Russia, U.S., Japan, China and France. It’s an incredible lineup with some heavy hitters ready to give it one last shot this season. Two-time world champion, Evgenia Medvedeva will be competing along with Yuzuru Hanyu, Shoma Uno and Patrick Chan. This event is always a lot of fun, but make no mistake there is a lot on the line. The prize money for the winning team is one million dollars.

There are high hopes for Team USA as the U.S. won four out of five of these events over the last few years.. They will be up against some tough competition though.  The 2017 US team consists of: Ashley Wagner, Karen Chen, Nathan Chen, Jason Brown, Ashley Cain and Timothy LeDuc for pairs and Madison Chock and Evan Bates in ice dance. The event kicks off on Thursday, April 20. Check out the full listing of competitors, the event schedule and how to watch.

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