Former figure skater and HUGE figure skating fan.
Olympic Gold Pairs Team
Will Xue and Hongbo or Aliona and Robin be the front runners for Olympic gold? Or do you think another pair has the edge?
The only three teams to have posted a personal best total score THIS SEASON of both programs over 200 are:
Shen/Zhao (CHN) (214.25 at the 2009 Grand Prix Final)
Savchenko/Szolkowy (GER) (206.71 at 2009 Skate Canada)
Pang/Tong (CHN) (201.86 at the 2009 Grand Prix Final)
With personal best scores this season between 199-190 are Mukhortova/Trankov (198.35) and Kavaguti/Smirnov (193.05), both of Russia. Also in contention with personal best scores this season between 189-180 are Zhang/Zhang (CHN) with 186.49 and Dube/Davison (CAN) with 180.97.
All this said, there are three other factors that have to be considered:
1. There's this thing about the Olympics and underdogs. The United States have McLaughlin/Brubaker and Canada has two other very strong teams fighting for a second spot, whereas the Ukrainian team has been doing very well this year as well. There's also the possibility the experienced team of Inoue/Baldwin might snatch up a spot on the U.S. Olympic team. While I don't see any of these skaters being real medal contenders, they could certainly play a role in mixing things up.
2. Rankings for this season might be one thing but the ISU's World Standings and skaters overall personal bests might be another... for instance, teams that aren't even listed such as Duhamel and Buntin and Volosozhar and Morozov are in the top 8 teams in the world. As well, for instance, Dube/Davison's PB score is from last season and it's in the 190 range, meaning they are capable of being competitive from a judges standpoint...
3. Skaters excel in different areas (in order)
Top 3 teams this season in the SP: Shen/Zhao, Savchenko/Szolkowy, Mukhortova/Trankov
Top 3 teams this season in the FS: Shen/Zhao, Pang/Tong, Savchenko/Szolkowy
Best Rated Elements: Inoue/Baldwin
Best Individual Jumps: Della Monica/Kocon
Best Combination Jumps: Savchenko/Szolkowy
Best Spins: Savchenko/Szolkowy
Best Step Sequences: Pang/Tong and Shen/Zhao
Best Spiral Sequences: Savchenko/Szolkowy
Best Lifts: Kavaguti/Smirnov
Best Throws: Inoue/Baldwin
Best Death Spirals: Shen/Zhao
So, across the board, there are several different teams who have excelled the most in different technical areas all season...
My medal picks:
3. Pang/Tong, Muhkortova/Trankov or Dube/Davison
Meanwhile in a parallel universe ....
Nice thorough post I really like these kind of threads.......
Originally Posted by n_halifax
I also agree mostly agree with your medal picks except the bronze....take out Dube/Davison and replace them with Kavaguti/Smirnov.
Beliver in Sasha's Perfect Program
I think gold is a two horse race between shen and zhao and aliona and robin. The former beat the Germans easily at the GPF and with Aliona's illness I think it is Shen and Zhao's to lose. As much as I love both teams, I have to feel sorry for Aliona and Robin a bit. They were the clear favorites and now they are struggling to beat their old competitors. I just adore both of the German's programs. If they are both 100% clean Aliona and Robin will win, but that never happens. The battle for third is going to be good. Right now I say Pang and Tong who have looked really impressive.