Remember also that there are guarantees given to:
Top 24 on ISU Ranking list:
12 of these were not in the top 12 at Worlds:
Zhang, Nakano, Sebestyen, Wagner, J. Helgesson, Poykio, Hecken, Suzuki, Reitmayerova, Nagasu, Meissner, Korpi
Top 24 on the Seasons Best list :
11 of these were not in the top 12 at Worlds:
Zhang, Nakano, Wagner, Poykio, Suzuki, Reitmeyerova, Phaneuf, Bereswill, Fujisawa (JGP), Maxwell (JGP), Murakami (JGP)
Medalist, JGP or JW:
5 of these were not in the top 12 at Worlds:
Zhang, Wagner, Bereswill, Gilles, Fujisawa (JGP)
Removing duplicates and the JGP skaters, these are the "guaranteed" skaters who were not in the top 12 at Worlds:
Zhang (on ISU, SB and Junior lists)
Nakano (on ISU and SB lists)
Wagner (on ISU, SB and Junior lists)
Poykio (on ISU and SB lists)
Suzuki (on ISU and SB lists)
Reitmayerova (on ISU and SB lists)
Bereswill (on SB and Junior lists)
Hecken (may stay JGP)
Helgesson J. (may stay JGP)
Each host will have to select 2 or 3 skaters from the guaranteed list in addition to the host picks, 2 from the seeds, and 2 from the 7-12 list. Any remaining spots will go to the top 75 on the ISU Season's Best list (and probably many will go as second spots to "guaranteed" skaters on the list above).
By the way, according to the rules, that "top 75" season best is firm. As ChuckM points out, Emily Hughes cannot be chosen for any Grand Prix event except as a host pick for Skate America.
Neither can Sasha.
It will be interesting to see if the ISU makes a mockery of its own rules and allows Sasha a second event.
To get a feel for how many skaters will actually receive invitations, at the announcement last year, in ladies, a total of 45 different skaters were listed. Of these 45, 27 had two events and 18 had one.
(Check: 27x2 + 18x1 = 72 slots in all. )
From those statistics, it seems pretty plain that most of the skaters who aren't in the Worlds top 12 but are guaranteed one event, will probably get two.
What will be most interesting will be which ladies get the Skate America host picks. Although Alissa Czisny as the reigning US Champion would normally be offered SA, she is guaranteed two events due to her top 12 Worlds placement, so the USFS may not give her SA. One spot should go to Cohen, and one to Flatt. The third spot is the "mystery" pick.
The skater whose assignment I am most interested in is Caroline Zhang. Several posters have put forward the view that USFS should "protect" her by not assigning her to Skate America where she will have to skate against Rachael and other U.S. ladies.
To me it seems more likely that Skate America would be an easier road for her than to take pot luck among the others, where she might face Asada plus one of the top three.
It may be true that if both Rachael and Caroline go to Skate America, this decreases the probability that both will make the finals. But by the same token it might increase the probability that one will.
Because the rules AS WRITTEN seem to bar Cohen's entry into anything other than a host event:
One can hardly conclude that Cohen was injured, because she has skated in SOI for the past 3 seasons. She made repeated decisions to sign contracts with SOI; she chose to skate in that tour instead of in GP/World competitions. That would disqualify her from being considered for multiple events under the "forced" and "no fault of their own" wording.Skaters/couples, seeded in any previous year (place 1 to 6 in the respective World Championships), and who due to injury or no fault of their own, were forced to sit out competitive season(s) could be considered for selection for up to 2 assignments, if they return to competitive skating.
BTW, the reigning Olympic champion Plushenko is said to be returning and may decide to compete at Rostelecom (formerly Cup of Russia). But he probably wouldn't want a second GP event anyway.
ETA: Anyway, even if the ISU is willing to break their own new rule, I doubt very much that Skate Canada, who is very judicious about selecting rosters to their own skaters' advantage, would select Sasha to compete against Rochette, Phaneuf and/or Lacoste. That would mean she'd have to go to one of the earlier events (TEB, CoR, CoC). If Sasha is set to begin training in June, she'd have just four months to get in shape for those earlier events, and I don't think that's nearly time enough after more than 3 years away from competitive skating.
Last edited by chuckm; 05-28-2009 at 02:04 AM.
Caroline Zhang is pretty much certain to get two assignments, because she qualified for guarantees due to ISU Ranking (8th), SB rank (7th) and her JW silver medal. So there's no reason to choose her for Skate America; furthermore doing so might jeopardize the possibility of either Caroline or Rachael qualifying for the GPF.
I think USFS will pick Cohen and Flatt, and the third spot will be TBD. That gives USFS the flexibility to give the third spot to one of the US ladies who might not get two assignments right off the bat, or (a long shot) to Kwan who might decide to return.
I think we can all agree the 2 ladies who have earned the most brownie points for the Olympic Team so far are Rachael and Caroline. If they tear a path of wanton destruction through the Grand Prix, they will have their tickets to Vancouver.
So where does that leave our come-back girls? Michelle and Sasha can't earn any points before Nationals because they only get one GP event each, and so will not make the final. Their only hope for the Olympic team is if Rachael and/or Caroline implode at the GP.
If the goal is to get to the Finals, placing top two is important. If it's just to get a dress rehearsal for US Nats, it's not important. I think Caroline would want to get to the Finals.
I still think the selection of a third spot should be for an up and coming skater and not a contender. However, it is a slippery sport.
All those skaters that you mentioned -- Kim, Nakano, Kostner, Meier -- not to mention Asada -- are just as likely to show up at other events as at Skate America.
Sasha and Michelle's only hope to make the Olympic team is to get first or second at Nationals.Originally Posted by Polymer Bob
However, I do not expect either of them to be threre.
As for tearing a path of destruction through the Grand Prix, with reference to the Olympic selection process that pretty much means making the Grand Prix final and medalling. Just doing better on the Grand Prix circuit than the other American girls will not be enough to give them special consideration, IMHO.
Last edited by Mathman; 05-28-2009 at 10:08 AM.
Only one.How many previous ladies Olympic medalists will be asking for GP slots this season?
I really hope that Caroline and Rachael get assignments that give them a good shot at making the GPF. Rachael was so close this past season. I bet, hadn't she been chosen for SA, she would have made it. I also hope Caroline has a better start than she had last season. I'd love to see both at the GPF.