Underdog Tennell leads in 2021 US Figure Skating Championships airing live on NBC

U.S. & World

Bradie Tennell performs during the women’s short program at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

LAS VEGAS (AP/WCMH) — Staunchly determined to get back her national title, Bradie Tennell took some huge steps at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships by winning the short program with an event record 79.40 points.

When asked about her performance Tennell discuss her mindset this year.

“I think I’m like growing up and coming into my own, and it’s something that I’ve been working on a lot,” Tennell revealed. “Like having confidence in myself because I am a seasoned athlete and, like, I know that I’ve done the work, so I’ve earned that confidence.”

With a rollicking routine high in difficulty, entertainment value and sheer energy, the 2018 national champion and Olympian outskated two-time defending champ Alysa Liu and pre-event favorite Mariah Bell.

Tennell’s strong jumps were no surprise, but her presentation was far superior to past years. She left the ice at Orleans Arena with a huge smile and the satisfaction of a job well done.

When asked about heading into the free skate on Friday, Tennell confirmed she wants to keep the same energy of the short program going.

“I’m just gonna fall back on my training and just go out there and perform,” Tennell said. “I had the time of my life tonight, so really I just want to have that same feeling tomorrow and lay it on the line.”

Watch the Women’s Free Skate tonight on NBC4 at 8 p.m.

2021 U.S. Figure Skating Championships NBC Broadcast Schedule

DayCompetitionTime (ET)
FridayWomen’s Free8-11 p.m.
SaturdayMen’s Short4-6 p.m.
SundayMen’s Free3:30-6 p.m.
Sun., Jan. 24Free Dance5-6 p.m.
Sun., Jan. 31Highlights12-2 p.m.
Sat., Feb. 20Skating Spectacular4-6 p.m.

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