didn't know i was dumping on my favorite skater... interesting...
Men - I think Oda & Evan will be the top 2, depending on how well each of them skate. Of course, if they both make mistakes, Contesti can give them a run for their money. Ten is the wildcard here, as he has the potential to make the podium, but he'll have to skate very well and hope the top 3 make mistakes.
Ladies - This is Joannie's competition to lose, IMO. If she skates close to clean, she will win. The only way I don't see this happening is if Carolina skates clean with 3+3 in the SP and LP. Joannie was pretty consistent last year, but she's crumbled in the past and Carolina is a mental case. I don't think Rachael can beat either of these ladies if they skate solid programs (as seen in CoR, 4CC, Worlds and WTT last year). While she's a solid skater, she doesn't have the wow factor and nothing about her is a particular standout aside from her consistency. If any of these girls falter, my bet is on Suzuki....Nagasu is the unknown factor, given her potential and coaching change, but last season was poor for her.
Pairs - Really deep field! An unfortunate assignment for E&L, as I think that they're likely to finish last. It will be interesting to see how S&Z are looking, but its obvious they are the co-favorites along with the Zhangs. V&M are my pick to round out the podium.
Dance - Not the most interesting field, IMO. B&A are the favorites, with K&N likely for silver. I think bronze will be a battle between F&S and C&Z.
My prediction for the ladies:
1. Carolina Kostner
2. Joannie Rochette
3. Fumie Suguri (or Akiko, Rachael and Mirai)
I don't predict, I just analyze the field.
Rachael has a lot to gain if she wins this especially for the USFS as well as her fans and, of course, self satisfaction. It's something to win for making her more of a standout in the top field of skaters. Lots of motivation here.
Miki can sometimes be exceptional and other times quite ordinary. It's up to her to turn it on. Is she motivated?
Carolina has a lot of good skating to do to make up for last season. Again, she should be motivated.
Joannie will be the most secure for the win.
Actually I can see Rachael being given the win here just like I expect Alena to move up in the rnaks this year too. The skating world wants the old Rus US battle back especially with the upcoming Olympics. So I can see both Rachael and Alena winning enough to make the finals and being set up as outside shots at the Olympics. They certainly recived a push at last years worlds.
True - but in 1992 Skating was big and the powers that be would like to get back to those days. And who won Worlds Ice Dance last year even though they were a mess?
I'd this say about the ladies (after watching the Golden West championships)
Last edited by ordinary person; 09-09-2009 at 11:52 AM.
Nor does he think placement but rather to do his best on any given day, realizing it's different every time and learing from each and every experience, good result or not.
He sure capitalized on what he learned last season by season's end and I firmly believe he will continue where he left off - moving forward and improving daily. It's not like he takes the summer off like school kids and has to backtrack to be even with where he left off. I think he's on track with his training - smart, patient and dedicated. He's very good at minding his own business and focusing on what HE needs to do, not what his competitors are doing. It's for certain they never count him out but I'm sure consider him to be a force to be reckoned with. He returns the favor by respecting them as well.
That said, I think he was well on his way toward correcting his technical difficulties last season and am sure we'll see fewer, if any, of the same problems this season. He's said among his goals are to skate faster and make each element stronger. I've already seen evidence of that from being at Skate for the Heart.
That's not to say others don't do much the same, but Evan seems to me to be more focused and in control of his head than many of the others in a very deep men's field - both nationally and internationally. It promises to be one of the most unpredictable season's in memory. Am relieved that it has finally started!
I believe Evan will be a force to be reckoned with in Beijing!! Oda will have had the advantage of one GP under his belt, but Evan has the advantage of longer to train so he should be more than 60% comfy with his programs to start with. That about evens it up imo.
I agree that the dance field here isn't the most interesting. My interest in this particular event will be to see what everyone's programs look like.
It's funny because IMO as F&S's overall skating skills have improved their popularity seems to have waned a tiny bit. IIRC after the SLC Olympics people seemed more excited about F&S. Of course that could be because of the choices Federica and Massimo made for their FD's. IMO F&S have really improved their speed, difficulty and control in the past two seasons although their FD's might be seen as more traditional or the usual type of dramatic/romantic style of icedancing rather than being more creative. I loved the "Moonlight Sonata" program and wish F&S hadn't messed up their OD or rather Massimo tripped and pulled Federica down with him. I would have liked to see where they would have ended up in L.A. had they skated clean.
I also liked the FD to "Papa Can You Hear Me." It was a very subtle but beautiful FD. F&S's Italian folk OD was also quite good and they did beat K&N in the FD then (though K&N had mistakes in their own FD performance).
That was a long winded way of saying that I think barring any serious errors, F&S shouldn't be counted out of a silver/bronze battle with K&N. Of course the scales might be tipped in favor of K&N winning the silver now that DomShabs are out. I like C&Z a lot but don't see them winning a medal unless F&S or K&N have a really bad time of it in Russia.