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2023 ISU World Speedskating Championships Preview: Women's Individual

by Brendan Rourke

Isabeau Levito skates in the championship women's short program during the 2023 TOYOTA U.S. Figure Skating Championships on Jan. 26, 2023 in San Jose, California.

 

18 of Team USA's top figure skaters are currently in Saitama, Japan warming up for the 2023 ISU World Figure Skating Championships. Among them are three women competing in the star-studded women's individual event. In our larger figure skating preview, writer Lynn Rutherford mentions that this category will be challenging. However, Team USA's contingency of Amber Glenn, Isabeau Levito, and Bradie Tennell are certainly up for the challenge and ready to compete for a spot on the podium. What makes this group unique are their personal stories on how they have made it here on figure skating's largest stage of the season.




Amber Glenn skates in the championship women's free skate during the 2023 TOYOTA U.S. Figure Skating Championships on Jan. 27, 2023 in San Jose, California.

 


Amber Glenn has been skating since 2004 and has represented Team USA at a variety of events over her eight seasons of senior competition. However, this is her first time at the world championships. The current Colorado Springs resident earned a bronze medal at the 2023 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, and has been working on hitting a triple axel during her free skate routine. To successfully land the jump on a stage such as this would be a great confidence boost for the 23-year-old.

 

Amber Glenn poses with the bronze medal following the women's singles championship competition at the 2023 TOYOTA U.S. Figure Skating Championships on Jan. 27, 2023 in San Jose, California.

 

Fast Fact:

At the 2022 Skate America, the first event of the 2022-23 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating, Glenn scored a personal best of 68.42 in her short program, placing third in the event. She also placed third in the free skate, securing a bronze medal. The medal is the first Grand Prix medal of her career.

Finishes:

Skating Club of Boston's Cranberry Cup: 3rd Place (Bronze medal)

2022 CS Lombardia Trophy: 4th Place

2022 Skate America: 3rd Place (Bronze medal)

2022 NHK Trophy: 11th Place after unfortunately falling on her triple loop

2023 U.S. Championships: 3rd Place (Bronze medal)

2023 Four Continents: 7th Place (4th in the short program, but made two unfortunate errors in the free skate)





Isabeau Levito skates in the championship women's free skate during the 2023 TOYOTA U.S. Figures Skating Championships on Jan. 27, 2023 in San Jose, California.

 

Isabeau Levito, who turned 16 on March 3, will be the youngest competitor at the world championships. However, given her fantastic start to her career, the teen could be in line to take a podium spot away from some veterans at the event. While Levito shined at the Grand Prix Final, earning a silver medal, she found another gear while competing at the U.S. championships. She took home the top spot over Bradie Tennell by over 10 points. 

 

 

Isabeau Levito skates in the championship women's short program during the 2023 TOYOTA U.S. Figure Skating Championships on Jan. 26, 2023 in San Jose, California.

 

Fast Facts: 

Levito made her Senior Grand Prix debut at 2022 Skate America, where she finished second behind defending world champion Kaori Sakamoto. She is also the youngest American to qualify for the 2022-23 Grand Prix Final since Caroline Zhang in 2007. She earned the silver medal there, becoming the first American to medal at the final since Ashley Wagner in 2014.

Finishes:

Philadelphia Summer International: 1st Place (207.67)

2022 CS Nepala Memorial (Challenger Circuit): 1st Place

2022 Skate America: 2nd Place

2022-23 Grand Prix Final: 2nd Place (Silver medal)

2023 U.S. Championships: 1st Place (Gold Medal)

2023 Four Continents: 2nd Place in short program, withdrew from free skate citing illness




Bradie Tennell skates in the championship short program during the 2023 TOYOTA U.S. Figure Skating Championships on Jan. 26, 2023 in San Jose, California.

 

Perhaps the most compelling story to follow is the return of Team USA veteran Bradie Tennell. The 25-year-old who earned a bronze medal in the team event at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 is back after recovering from a foot injury that forced her to withdraw from several events during the 2021-2022 season. Her 2022-23 debut was delayed due to another injury. However, as she competed in more events, her confidence became growing once again. She is peaking at the right time to be a top contender in Japan.

 

 

Bradie Tennell skates in the championship women's free skate during the 2023 TOYOTA U.S. Figure Skating Championships on Jan. 27, 2023 in San Jose, California.

 

Fast Fact: 

Tennell began skating at just two years old and won her first-ever competition at 10.

Finishes:

2022 MK John Wilson Trophy: 12th Place (Fell twice in the short program)


2022 Grand Prix of Espoo: 8th Place 

2022 CS Golden Spin of Zagreb (Challenger Series): 1st in short program, 2nd overall

2023 U.S. Championships: 2nd in short program, 0.02 points behind Isabeau Levito. 2nd place overall (Silver medal) 

2023 Four Continents: 5th in short program, 6th overall (competed after enduring an illness during the week before the event)


Brendan Rourke is a Digital Media Assistant for the USOPC. Previously, he spent three years writing for the NBA's Indiana Pacers, and is a graduate of IUPUI's Sports Capital Journalism Program.
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