Figure Skating 101: Who's Qualified for Team USA

Learn about the qualification procedure for figure skating at the Beijing Olympic Games. (Usa Today Sports)

The 2021 World Championships, held from March 22-28, 2021 in Stockholm, Sweden, was the first and main qualification event for the 2022 Beijing Olympics.

The maximum number of Olympic berths a country can earn is 18, or three athletes/teams in each disciple (women’s, men’s, pairs and ice dancing).

To earn three spots in a discipline, the final rankings of the country’s two best skaters/teams must add up to 13 or fewer. For example, the U.S. earned three berths in ladies’ figure skating because Nathan Chen and Jason Brown finished first and seventh, respectively, at 2021 Worlds, and their combined rankings (1 + 7) added up to 8. If their combined rankings had equaled 14 or higher, the U.S. would be allowed to send only two male skaters to the PyeongChang Olympics. 

24 men, 24 women, 16 pairs and 19 ice dancing couples earned Olympic berths through this method at the 2021 World Championships.

The remaining spots—6 men, 6 women, 3 pairs and 4 ice dancing couples—were determined by a second qualification competition, the Nebelhorn Trophy in Oberstdorf, Germany, in September 2021..

Even though Chen and Brown earned the men's spots, the spots are not guaranteed to be theirs on the Olympic stage. The U.S. Olympic Figure Skating Team will be selected after the 2022 U.S. Championships conclude on Jan. 9, 2022.