Arena set to host ISU Grand Prix in France closed to COVID-19

Podium at last year’s ISU Grand Prix event in France (Photo from Kyodo News)

The official website of the arena in Grenoble, set to host the fourth event of the 2020-2021 ISU Grand Prix series, has indicated that the venue has closed due to a COVID-19 outbreak in France.

The venue – Patinoire Polesud – does not specify how long it will be shut down and it is still unsure weather the 2020 Internationaux de France will go ahead as planned next month, from November 13 to 15.

This event is scheduled to host some of the strongest European figure skaters, such as Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron, Alexia Paganini, Kevin Aymoz, and this year’s Nebelhorn Trophy winners Eva-Lotta Kiibus from Estonia and Deniss Vasiljevs from Latvia. Some of the world’s best skaters from Japan, currently training in Switzerland, are also expected – including two-time Four Continents champion Rika Kihira and 2018 Olympic silver medalist Shoma Uno.

This past weekend, the general director of the Figure Skating Federation of Russia, Alexander Kogan, also indicated that he cannot guarantee that the fifth stage of the ISU Grand Prix series, in Moscow, will go ahead as planned due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Rostelecom Cup is scheduled from November 20 to 22.

Skate America will be the opening event of the ISU Grand Prix series this year, held from October 23 to 24 in Las Vegas, Nevada. This event, as well as the following week’s Skate Canada International in Ottawa, will be held without any fans in attendance.

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