Greensboro is the focus of the skating world

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GREENSBORO, N.C. — And so it begins …

The Greensboro News & Record reported that nine days of competition at the 2015 U.S. Figure Skating Championships start at 9:30 a.m. today on the main rink of the Greensboro Coliseum, when intermediate level pairs teams skate their short programs.

Elli Kopmar and Jonah Barrett of the Southwest Florida Figure Skating Club are scheduled first on the ice, starting a sprawling event that will feature 397 skaters from five levels — juvenile, intermediate, novice, junior and senior — in ladies, men’s, pairs and ice dance disciplines.

It’s a big deal. Here are five things to know as we get started:

STARS: The best-known, most-accomplished skaters don’t hit the ice until Thursday, when the senior competitions begin. Among the storylines this year — Jason Brown, who finished ninth here in 2011 in his first senior nationals, returns to the site of a memorable standing ovation as the men’s favorite. … Gracie Gold and Ashley Wagner won bronze medals as part of the U.S. Olympic team in Sochi, and their ladies rivalry has made both better. … With gold medalists Meryl Davis and Charlie White not competing this year, the U.S. will have ice dancing champs not named Meryl and Charlie or Tanith and Ben for the first time since 2003. … All three medal-winning pairs from 2014 are broken up, retired or sitting out this year.

Read full story: The Greensboro News & Record

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