Where I want this season to go
Part I: The Men
Another epic post. Hey, it's -41 here with the windchill (Celsius, though when it gets at that temperature, celsius and the other crazy nonsensical system that I can't spell are about the same), and today is an indoor day (I started writing this last week, and with the windchill, it bottomed out at -58.6... but some of my comments about Nationals seem off now. Oh well)
I've mentioned elsewhere, but for me – I tend to look at the Olympics as the climax to the previous four seasons of figure skating. The various narrative threads that got explored need to be tied up to my satisfaction (or else – shakes fist!!!). A good example of a satisfying ending would be the Nagano Ladies: the last three World Champions on the podium, a great rivaly in the top two, Chen Lu's beautiful comeback and reaction to her skate (heartbreaking). All retrospective, but still. It's beautiful to see when it happens correctly. When it doesn't, well, it's rather depressing.
So how would I like to see the rest of the season play out....
Canada Firstly, a strong nationals performance from Patrick Chan. Yes, I'll cough up to pretty much dismissing him as a medal candidate after Skate Canada (you'd think I'd learn after dismissing Joubert after TEB, wouldn't you?), but a strong Nationals performance will make me flip back so hard it'll cause whiplash. He's clearly got the stuff, and I think he can compete with the quad kings without one (which he won't get), which makes him fairly unique (Oda and Lysacek I think will need a quad, but moreso because I think they'll go for it. If that makes any sense. In other words, because we know they've got a quad in the repetoire and we know they're talking about adding it, they'll be held to that standard) For the second spot, I'd like it to go to Sawyer. Ten doesn't impress me, Chipeur is regressing from last season (watch his 4 Continents performance from last year), and Reynolds is too much of a wild card (thought that 3-3-2 he does near the end of his program is awesome). Sawyer got a GP medal (in the weakest field, admittedly) and really does stand out for his musicality and flexibility.
As for the other Nationals, I'd like to see Daisuke Takahashi beat Oda (if Oda competes); Ponsero doing well (pretty pretty please?) - though frankly, I'd rather see Amodio/Ponsero and Preaubert at the Olympics rather than Joubert (no denying that the latter earned it, though). And American nationals? Simple: I want Lysacek, Abbott, Wier, Rippon, Carriere, Bradley and Mroz to skate brilliantly (is Miner competing seniors nationally?). Should be simple, right? Lysacek's skating this season like a champion (in terms of confidence and what he's laying out on the ice), but this is a pretty diverse group of skaters with at least two masterpieces for programs (Rippon's and Abbott's short programs). And I want Michel Brezina to push Verner. I don't want Verner to implode or anything (I really enjoy both his programs, and probably more so than Brezina's), but I really would like to see improvement from Verner, and maybe the pressure of losing the number one spot will light a fire in him. Didn't hurt Buttle or Lysacek.
Now, at Euros, I want only one thing to happen and it's Stephane Lambiel on top. I doubt it'll happen – everything posted here and elsewhere isn't positive, but I'd love him to get gold at Euros. For that to happen, it'll take Plushenko withdrawing (and maybe Joubert as well), but that's what I want. Presuming 4CC is depleted, it'll be cool to see Denis Ten get his first senior ISU medal, though that really depends on who the US, Japan and (even) Canada sends.
Now, the Olympics... Okay, some stats first
In the Vancouver quadrennia (2006 worlds to 2009): four world champions, three multi-medalists/four one-time medalists, seven medalists total
In the Turin quadrennial: three world champions, three multi-medalists/six one-time medalists, nine medalists total.
In the Salt Lake quadrennial: two world champions, four multi-medalists/one one-time medalist , five medalists total
In the Nagano quadrennial: two world champions, three multime-medalists/four one time-medalists, seven medalists
In the Albertville quadrennial (skipping Lillehamer for obvious reasons): two world champions, three multi-medalists/four one time medalists, seven medalists
To me, this speaks clearly to the breadth of field currently competing. Now, it is a bit misleading. One time medalist implies “one hit wonder,” and given that my analysis groups skaters like Elvis Stoijko (one medal in the SLC quadrennial), Alexi Yagudin (one medal in the Turin quadrennial) and Lysacek, Lambiel, et al in that category... well, not entirely a fair representation. But in general, the diversification at the top (four world champions in four seasons (which we've also seen in ladies, again, which is unprecedented) and the way the standings get shaken up consistently (see Verner's topsy-turvy relationship with the top ten/five) speaks to said breadth. And to me, I'd love to see that continue at the Olympics.
Unfortunately, that means no Plushenko (well unfortunately to me. Not so much to others I think). One of the stories of this quadrennial has ben the decline of Russia. Their medal haul is at a scant 25% this quad what it was in the previous four quadrennials. Before Plushenko came back, there was a fair chance that the nation (as Russia/Unified Team/Soviet Union) wouldn't win any gold medals for the first time in 50 years. Now with his confidence and jumping abilities, he's the top contender (again). Which is boring for me because I don't like watching him skate.
I really did want Chan to win gold, but like Buttercup says, I think his skating would progress more readily if he misses out on the podium. But who knows how long he wants to go for. Beyond him, Takahashi is my favourite and he's got two gorgeous programs. My desired outcome (that has a reasonable shot at happening – and only if Plushenko withdraws and the universe redraws itself)
01. Daisuke Takahashi
02. Patrick Chan
03. Tomas Verner
04. Brian Joubert
05. Jeremy Abbott
06. Stephane Lambiel
07. Evan Lysacek
08. Nobunari Oda
09. Takahiko Kouzka
10. Samuel Contesti
This top ten is rather shoddily put together, admittedly. I had a hard time balancing plausibility (pretending that Plushenko won't show up) and what I want.
Many interesting points IP.
Originally Posted by ImaginaryPogue
I was curious - no Johnny but Kouzka and Contesti?
Is the list primarily what would make you happy - and not what you would predict to happen?
BOP had a list which if I remember correctly had Evan maybe finishing 12th.
I get "accused" of being a big Evan fan - and actually I do admire his competitive spirit and work ethic. As far as the skating goes I much prefer Jeremy.
The point about Patrick leaves me puzzled. I am not sure how much he needs to progress as I find his skating skills second to none.
The Euro view at times seems based on quads - as if that is the only way to rate or judge a male skater. Looking at the Euro skaters, with the exception of Lambiel I find them lacking in areas where skaters like Patrick and Jeremy excel.
Part of it is just our own preferences. Joubert always had the potential to out jump Buttle - just as Buttle had the abilty to skate circles around Joubert in all of the other skating elements.
When they competed who would or should win? The one who skated the best should be the right answer.
The skating season is long and Patrick may arrive in Vancouver with fresher legs and youth on his side.
I really don't have a list and don't care too much about the order of how the guys will finish in Vancouver. I think it is very hard to predict and there are always health factors and even a degree of luck to consider.
1. That list is rather meaningless, janetfan. I really didn't know who to leave off. I really like Contesti and Kozuka though, and Wier has underwhelmed me this season. I find his programs fairly boring and while he's clearly committing to them, I've never been his biggest fan. The biggest factor to making the list like that was I wanted to do more than just podium placements, but then I couldn't figure out what number to cut it off at. It's more preference than predictions, but really, what that should read as is "I want the following skaters to skate brilliantly. Also the skaters who I neglected to mention. Also the skaters who don't make the Olympics" and that just sounds silly.
For what it's worth, my favourite skaters currently are Takahashi and Chan, with Abbott coming close this year. Lambiel if he counts.
2. Goodness no, i love to skate. I want Chan to make the podium. As you mention, who knows where the road might take you. And more than that, I just love watching him - I think his 2008/9 short program is one of the best COP programs ever. But if he dedicates his mind and body to it, he could become a skater for the all time lists. Do I imagine him doing that if he podiums in Vancouver? No. He's mentioned he can't imagine skating that much beyond 2010 - now whether he means 2010 Olympics/Worlds or the 2010/11 season I don't know. Do I want him to fail in front of a hometown crowd? Nope - I felt terrible that it happened to Kwan in 2002 (bronze wasn't what she wanted, obviously) and Kostner in 2006.
Are there any updates on Patrick? Has he fully recovered from his injury?
If he lands his jumps in Vancouver I see no way he won't make the podium. His skating is just flat out superior to most of the other guys.
Plus, I like how he isn't afraid to speak his mind
Hasn't been much news on him lately, he is lying low and training hard. He went to Colorado Springs to train his axel and Skate Canada was going to run a simulation for him. His injury is okay I think, last article I read he stated the level of pain is much less than when he first hurt it but it does still cause some pain and discomfort.
Originally Posted by janetfan
Dedicated follower of the black line
It seems like Patrick is really trying to fly under the radar right now. I think this is a good thing for him.
Re Imaginary Pogue's top 10, can you imagine what would happen if Brian just missed the podium? Placing 4th would be tough for anyone but for Brian I think it might just drive him out of his mind. I would love to seeTomas podium but I just don't see any end to his implosions. I'm hoping he will pull it together at Euros. If Johnny's in Vancouver (and I think he will be), I don't see him placing outside the top 10.
I don't think it's a conscious choice, I said before that the attention is now going to shift to hockey since the World Juniors start soon and the Men's Olympic team is going to be announced in 10 days. It is a good thing for him though. Our skaters will get a "media break" until about a week before Nationals
Originally Posted by Wicked
Where I want this season to go? I can say what I want and without considering much of the reality, right?
I want to see Plushenko, Joubert, Lambiel, Takahashi, and Chan all healthy and ready for the up coming competitions they plan to attend. I want to see Plushenko or Joubert win Euro and Olympics. I want Lambiel or Takahashi on the Olympics podium too. I want Chan, Oda, and Abbott out skate Lysacek. I want Verner and Brenzina stay in top 10. It's almost Christmas. I hope that I didn't ask too much from the Santa Claus.
Last edited by jennylovskt; 12-20-2009 at 10:11 AM.
I honestly just want some great skating, no matter whence it comes, even Alena Leonova, at least she can jump, also my sister says she reminds her of Dorothy Hamill, a favorite of both of ours, so hey you can't go wrong. And, yes, she does resemble Dorothy at that age ~ same look (except for the legs) & bubbly personality.
Weird how everything goes back to Dorothy for me, as one of my other all-time favorites, Sarah Hughes, has always reminded me of a combination of both Dorothy Hamill & Peggy Fleming.
My motto is the best competitions are when everybody skates their best, and you win!