Sasha is not part of the Oly Team and she shouldn't be. Had she decided to give Nats a try, and why not?, starting in 2008 would have been the year for training. over and out.
Her comments re Mirai and Rachael are tasteless, imo, but she has a right to predict as anyone else has.
Here is what Sasha said:
"The American girls that reached Vancouver are young and haven't competed as much internationally, so they're kind of hit or miss."
"They're good skaters, they're just not at the same level as the international girls."
Here words seem like an honest and realistic appraisal.
That I didn't know, and it sounds much better than what was printed before.
I'm sure that what Sasha said and how the reporter spun it are very different. Amazing what context can do.
The thing to remember, also, is that athletes are often by necessity very self-centered, or at least self-absorbed. Except in team sports (and sometimes even then!), many of them are caught up in evaluating their own performances and their own needs 24/7 and don't have much time left over for considering either the abilities or the feelings of competitors. Certainly there are exceptions to this statement--some people are inherently gracious and mature.
Remember that in her Olympic years, Katarina Witt was known to enjoy psyching out rivals (and did a swell job of it, too). By 1994, when she was known as "Mutti" ("Mom") among other skaters, there's photographic evidence to show that when Szewczenko and Baiul collided on the ice in practice, the person who helped both of them up off the ice was Witt.
I agree with Sasha's assessment, the US ladies are set to flop at these Olympics barring some miracle. We're set to have a ladies podium completely free of Americans. If this were to occur, it'd be the first time since 1964 that no US lady managed to make it on the podium at the Olympics, and that was after Flight 548. You can try to spin it however you want, but it'd be a flop.
The ladies might not be the strongest, but the this is one of the strongest men's teams we have ever set to the Games. And also, who would have thought that we would have not one, but TWO medal threat dance teams. Even in pairs, Denney and Barrett are the strongest technically the US has had in a while. Although the dominance of our US women has ceased, we have very strong medal chances in men and dance.
Actually, I can envision a scenario whereby Mirai is at least third in the short program. Mao and Yuna are susceptible to nerves, and if Mirai skates as well in the Olympics (short program) as she did in Nationals-who knows? Often the skater that has nothing to lose skates the best.
As far as Sasha is concerned, she will do anything to keep her name in the public eye. She is a wonderful show skater, does some wonderful things on the ice, but without the jumps.....
Rachael could make the podium! She is living a normal life, catching up on her studies, while everyone else is worrying themselves to a frazzle.
I read that Mirai said that she'd be happy if she could be on the podium with Mao (when asked what she thought about competing with the Japanese team).
For Rachael to win a medal it seems we would have to see a bad competition full of mistakes.
I would rather see the best skaters perform well and if that means Rachael only finished 5-8 so be it.
If the judging has any semblance of fairness I would not be surprised if Mirai finished ahead of Rachael.