January 4 - United States figure skaters will be battling for a spot at the Sochi Winter Games this week as the 2014 US Figure Skating Championships gets underway in Boston.
The Championships are due to start tomorrow with the novice level skaters taking to the ice at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center (BCEC).
They are followed by the juvenile and junior skaters - who's free skate programme will be held at TD Garden - on the January 7 and 8, with the intermediate skaters following on January 9.
The senior competition also gets underway on January 9 at TD Gardens with the pairs and ladies short programmes.
Two-time national champion Ashley Wagner is the favourite to qualify for the ladies event but the final two places are certainly open for the taking with 2013 US Championships silver medallist Gracie Gold amongst those in contention, as are former national champion and fourth placed finisher at the Vancouver 2010 Games Mirai Nagasu and 2010 junior US champion Agnes Zawadzki.
Also looking likely two secure a spot for Sochi 2014 are reigning world and Grand Prix Final champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White.
The pair, should they qualify, will be the favourites to take gold going into the Games and will be hoping to do one better than they did in Vancouver where they missed out on gold to the Canadian pairing of Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir.
The double world champions and five-time Grand Prix Final champions will begin their title defence on January 10 and will be looking to make it a sixth straight national championship win.
The field for the men's competition is wide open with reigning US champion Max Aaron, two-time world junior medallist Jason Brown and three time national champion Jeremy Abbott all fighting for the two available spots for Sochi.
The three will battle amongst themselves and other Sochi hopefuls on January 10 with the titles being decided on January 12.
More than 370 competitors will take to the ice in Boston over the course of the Championships with NBC broadcasting 8 hours of live coverage from the senior level events.
Also on show will be the two-hour long Smucker's Skating Spectacular which showcases all the medallists from novice to senior level in a fun, theatrical ice show, which also gives the audience their last opportunity to catch Team USA in their last performance before they travel to Sochi.
This spectacular will be aired by NBC on January 18 rounding off 10 hours of coverage from the US broadcasters.
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