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Led by Chen and Tennell, Team Tara wins Las Vegas Invitational

Nathan Chen performed a quad loop for the first time in three years.

Tara Lipinski said she likes to have a clean competitive record, and six of this season’s top U.S. singles skaters helped ensure the 1998 Olympic champion and 1997 world champion maintain that record as Team Tara won the first, and potentially only, Las Vegas Invitational, which aired Sunday on NBC. The competition was recorded two days after Skate America ended, using the same venue, on Oct. 26.

The event, created by U.S. Figure Skating and HomeLight to present skaters with an additional opportunity to compete and earn prize money during the pandemic, pitted Team Tara against two-time Olympian Johnny Weir’s Team Johnny with three men and three women per team.

Each skater performed their free skate. All performances were scored using the same components factor of 1.6, so ever score would carry the same weight in the composition of the overall team score. Men are typically scored using a 2.0 component factor score; the regularly factored scores are included in parentheses below.

Team Tara totaled 828.95 points and led Team Johnny’s 774.98 by 53.97 points.

The competition featured Lipinski and Weir giving their team members pep talks throughout, including Weir telling Mariah Bell to “ABBA like you’ve never ABBA-ed before,” referring to her program set to a medley of four ABBA songs, and Lipinski asking Alex Krasnozhon for a quadruple loop and jokingly encouraging Nathan Chen to pull out a quad Axel.

“The pep talk really amped us up,…


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