Ashley Cain and Timothy LeDuc arose super early yesterday morning to leave on a jet plane. Not for a quick pleasure trip, but to go to work … and this time they will be punching the clock in Beijing. Cain and the openly gay LeDuc, the reigning U.S. National Figure Skating Pairs Bronze medalists, will represent the USofA in the prestigious International Skating Union Grand Prix of Figure Skating’s Cup of China.

The Grand Prix series takes place from October through December each year, this time in Canada, China, France, Japan, Russia and the U.S. Medals are awarded in the disciplines of men’s singles, ladies’ singles, pair skating and ice dancing. Skaters earn points based on their placement at each event and the top six in each discipline qualify to compete at the Grand Prix Final in Nagoya, Japan.

After training through the summer and competing internationally this fall, the Tall Team, as they have become known (because, well, both are tall for Pairs skaters) is ready to take on the field at Cup of China. With the 2018 Olympic games rapidly approaching in February, the stakes are high in Beijing. And so is the optimism and confidence in them.

We’ll have more about them next month in Dallas Voice.

Cup of Russia will be televised on the new Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA. Coverage of Cain and LeDuc in the Short Program will air Friday at 9 a.m. and the Long Program on Saturday at 9 a.m. Live and on-demand coverage can be found at IceNetwork.com.

— Coy Covington