Dmitriev does have great jumps. Only junior man to do a quad but in the short program at jr worlds level one and two spns and steps. Maybe he was just dispirted because of the fall because in the LP they went up to level 3 spins but really needs spin and step work. Then there is Gachinsky. But Borodulin will almost certainly be Russian champion for 2011.
Hey people, just take a look at this brazilian skater called Kelvin Alves. Maybe he is not the best hope but he is the only skater to represent my country (and he is doing it very well) and I would like you all to know him.
He is improving, working on triple axels now.
Nagasu, Wagner, Asada, Makarova are the ones I hope continue on and excel. All very watchable. Murakami reminds me of Yoshie at this point, who was never my fave Japanese skater. But she is young and will improve lots in presentation hopefully. I find Abbott the whole package for the men and enjoy Brezina. I'm lukewarm on most pairs though have not paid much attention.
As for dancers, I see Davis and White as the next world champions. I hope, anyway.
Abbott (if he stays)
Ten (especially since he's going to Frank Carroll!)
Kim (if she stays)
Kwak (under Orser's watch)
Well, my hopes and favorites:
Mirai Nagasu, I really like her, but she has a lot of work with her jumps (I know, at the Olympics she didn't get any downgrades, but the judges were really kind there, even Flatt got credit for her obviously underrotated 3Lz) As for American juniors... Gao is too sloppy and Zawadzki is too slow. Baga is good, but jumps aren't there yet. So maybe Wagner will be one to watch too.
Kanako Murakami, she is really good, but... Not the best technique, no loop and a huge flutz. I'm just not sure about her. I think Mao will be the best japanese lady.
The Russians: too many of them now (10 or more girls with all triples and most also have 3-3) and it's hard to say who will be successful as a senior, but my hopes are:
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva. Textbook jumps, perfect 3Lz-3T and she was seen doing clean 3A. Also nice musicality, lovely arms and good skating skills. Needs to work on her flexibility, but it's getting better every season.
She is the youngest and will be eligible for seniors only in 2013-2014 season, but she already one of the best. All tripes, 3T-3T and 2A-3T-2T combos, crazy flexibility (better than Zhang) and excellent spins (better than Czisny). She has it all to become a new skating star and the only thing she needs to fix is a flutz.
Ksenia Makarova, but she needs 3Lz and maybe a more difficult 3-3.
The young Koreans. Min-Jung Kwak impressed me this season, she has all the chances. And also 12 y.o. National champion Hae-Jin Kim
Takahiko Kozuka. I like him sooo much! He has it all!
Fernandez, Brezina, Rippon, Borodulin all have great potential.
Chan. And I hope Joubert will stay for Sochi, he is one of my favorite!
As for juniors, Yuzuru Hanyu and Nan Song really impressed me.
S/S, P/T, K/S if they all stay around.
Volosozhar/Trankov will be really strong and hard to beat if everything goes well.
Bazarova/Larionov. I hope Vera's jumps will be better, they already have everything else
Baby Chinese also
V/M, D/W and also:
Samuelson/Bates have great potential and I hope new coaches will help them.
Bobrova/Soloviev. At Worlds only 3 teams got level 4 for all of their elements in the OD and the FD: V/M, D/W and this young Russian team. Way to go!
And of corse Ilinykh/Katsalapov! It was hard to believe that they are only juniors and that it was their first JGP season and the first Junior Worlds! And the scores were huge!
Ashley Wagner to skyrocket to the top! I've been hoping for a dream season for her for a long time; she started out so well last season with an incredible GP season, proving at the GPF that her qualifying for it was no fluke. Too bad a stupid fall at the SP at Nats ended her season. It still breaks my heart thinking about it. I hope she has a great Nationals for a change; with a stunning short like her 2008 Nats SP. I hope she finally starts landing the triple-triple in competition again. Artistically and as far as x-factor is concerned; she's already great; if she can do a true lutz (as per her facebook/twitter she can do now) and stop two-footing some of her jumps in the LP (most often it's a toe jump like the flip that's underrotated a bit and two-footed) she'll really have it all. Her spins and spirals are strong; she has an engaging presence on the ice. All that's needed is a little more consistency and I'm sure she'll make it. It'll be a tough season for her; having to beat Mirai and Rachael who due to a successful Olympics are now seen as the top two Americans; but they both have issues. Mirai underrotates and Flatt is a bit flat; so if Ashley skates her best, I'm sure she can beat both. But once again; the fight for the World Team with only two spots (again.. sigh) will be a fierce battle. Still; great hopes for Ashley!
Akiko Suzuki: considering her age it may be unlikely that she'll continue until the next Olympics; but I hope she has another great season and may achieve a Worlds medal in front of a home crowd. This skater really charmed me; she's such a poised, dynamic presence on the ice. I hope she has great programs again next season; it may be hard to match the sheer brilliance that was WSS.
Laura Lepisto: another great presence on the ice. With Laura it's a little bit hit or miss; I don't like her habit of doubling jumps. She doesn't do the most difficult jumps to start with. But if she skates with attack and determination the way she did at her Oly LP she's a star. Just like Ashley and Akiko, she has x-factor (IMO) and I'm very excited to see her progress.
Carolina Kostner: weirdly overscored in the SP at Worlds and then in comparison underscored in the LP; she needs to gain some consistency, starting with being strong during the GP, for the judges to take her seriously as a contender again. With the Ladies field at Europeans still being pretty low in level, she's likely to gain a couple more medals in that scene. (But still; there's Laura Lepisto and Ksenia Makarova to watch out for).
I was so disappointed about Lambiel retiring, Johnny likely retiring, Kevin VDP retiring.. But Worlds made me realize there is still so much promise! I'm really excited about:
Adam Rippon: his tano lutz is a thing of beauty, he's so graceful and his triple axel when succesful looks very powerful; if he can get that jump more consistent, I'm pretty sure he can have a break through at the international scene. He could make the GPF next season and in the next four years make the podium at Worlds and may become US National Champion.
Jeremy Abbott: his 2010 Nationals LP tells the story, as well as his 2008/09 GPF performance; this guy is capable of sheer brilliance. I hope he'll make the Worlds Podium sometime soon because he's so worthy of such a medal.
Takahiko Kozuka: cuteness alert! But apart from the teddy bear-factor; he also has divine edges and he's pretty musical in his skating style. He looks like a calm competitor slowly working his way to the top. For the next four years I hope he starts to really take command of the ice and of the competitions he enters; it's time for him to steal the spotlight. It's too bad he suffers from the "3rd skater" syndrome; but it's totally within his power to beat Takahashi and/or Oda.
Michal Brezina: want to see a little more personality on the ice from him; he seems to have tons of personality off the ice; his jumps are amazing. His consistency will become his biggest weapon against skaters like Joubert, Chan and Takahashi; they all fear this Czech guy, I know it!
All pairs: make me want to watch it more. I fell asleep during the Olympics for these events (it was in the middle of the night, but still).
I'm beginning to really get into this discipline; keep on wow-ing me. I hope Samuelson/Bates come back strong with their new coaches. I've always thought they were exciting.
I have my eyes on Tuktamysheva, Ovcharova and Mirai. So much talent in Russia at the moment. I don't know who to root for, but my eyes and heart have been taken by Tuktamsysheva and Ovcharova. I haven't see such a promising talent as Tuktamsysheva since Mao, but I would put Tuktamysheva even higher, as she has cleaner technique and does a 3Lz-3T, 2A-3T and a 3A as a NOVICE. Something tells me that her transition to senior ranks will be smooth. It's She has great speed and her jumps are very GOE-friendly (she knows how to harness her speed). Her edges are good. I also love how she uses her arms! A little awkward, but she's not going to be just a jumping bean. I do hope she gets better programs. If Yu-na retires, she will probably be the one I root for. I also love how Ovcharova moves. She's a very special skater. I hope both ladies make it safely to the senior ranks. Mirai is very promising, but she has to fix her jumping technique and her nerves. When she gets nervous, she prerotates a lot, and even when she's not, her jumps are still prone to UR. I have no doubt, however, that Frank and Mirai will address these problems by Sochi. She has such a lovely layback. My Sochi hopes are on Yu-na (2-time gold!), Mao, Mirai and Tuktamysheva .
Chan - If he gets his 3A consistent, he's very hard to beat. He's very musical and intricate. He's gotten his style despite his young age. Brilliant.
Takahiko - He has among the best skating skills, and his steps and transitions are so great. If he becomes better in his posture and presentation, he'll be a complete package. But it may take time and he may not reach the top level in this department.
Dai - Complete package and sells the program best. But I wonder if he stays for 4 more years when he's already gotten World title and Oly Bronze. Perhaps if he's healthy?
Nob - I used to have a great expectation for him because he's gotten so much talent. He would have won at least one world medal by now (which he had missed due to one of those Zayak violations). But after a number of disappointments, I am sorry to say that it's getting difficult for me to picture him as a future champion. I do not seem to see a lot of champion mentality in the way Nob carries himself despite his great talent. But I hope that he wins at least one World medal of any color before he retires and it would be brilliant if that opportunity comes at Sochi.
Tomas - I think that he is really the top of all if delivers. His skating skills and steps are superb. His quad and other jumps are all fab (despite one small edge call), and he's gotten great personality on ice and his presentation is fantastic. If he is clean, Tomas will win everything.
I agree about Liza beening like the junior level Mao - amazingly good and not just in terms of jump.
Mirai is wonderful and becoming quite the competitor, her consistency has already improved so much and if she manages to deal with the pressure of being in 1st after the SP she will be right up there with Mao and Yuna in no time.
Yuna - Certainly a front runner, but we don't know if she continues. I feel that taking a year off and coming back may be the safest if she wants to continue. Doing straight four more years could be tough after achieving a big goal. But given that rules can change so dramatically every year (Who could have imagined that spirals might go from SP!), leaving two or three years can make it difficult to adjust to changes.
Mao - Just hope she remains healthy.
Laura - I greatly love Laura's skating. She has truly fantastic skating skills. I wonder why she doubles her jumps so much. Does she choose to double as the last-minute decision (b/c of less than a perfect entry etc) or simply pop them into doubles despite trying to do triples? She has great speed so that it may be difficult to catch the right timing (that's why Yuna's success rate at 3-3 is so incredible).
Mirai - She seems more promising in that regard. She's a complete package.
Ashley - It was really unfortunate that the US had only two spots and her season ended so soon just because of a fall at Nationals. But she is a complete package. Perhaps she needs to calm down a little bit and I believe she'll be great then.
Miki - If she recovers her powerfulness, she's hard to beat.
Akiko - She's great to watch, but perhaps would retire before Sochi? But Fumie sets an example, so who knows?
There seem a few Russian young ladies/girls who seem to be very promising. I would look forward to learning more about them.
The one thing that interested me most about the divide at the last Olympics was that you could see how experience vs newness played a role.
In men's and pairs, all the medalists competed at the previous Olympics. In women's and dance, only the bronze medalists had. I don't know if that's indicative of anything or if the first full COP quad will be just a fluke.
Of the young pairs, only the new Chinese team and maybe Takahashi/Tran seem poised to strike this quad. From the last quad, only Dube/Davison saw a junior medal (two silvers) become a world medal. Well, Zhang/Zhang, but they competed at an Olympics before their second WJC, so I'm excluding it. I still think D/D could regain something in their skating, even if no one else does. Trankov/Volosozhar look so good on paper and I think both have a strong desire to see this work. Don't know how long S/S and P/T will stay. I think Z/Z's better days are behind them. Ditto K/S. Don't anticipate any of the young Canadian or American teams to really make a go of it this quad, though.
Dance? Ilynikh and Katsalpov are the obvious candidates here. It'll be interesting to see how the shake-up in the Russian Fed with Pissev leaving changes things. After the hammering Russian sport took in Vancouver, they want payback and big time. I'm already afraid of the potential in their hockey team. The Shibs? I dunno. They took a small step back this season and the depth of field in the USA (Zueva/Shpilband will be owning the Nationals podium for the quad, including the pewter medal) makes me wonder just who will stand out, especially if the top spot is held by Davis/White for the foreseeable future. Crone/Poirier are obviously the next in line in Canada (their Worlds results speak for themselves) but that's contingent on V/M retiring at the right time (which is never, for me. For them, it might be after the 2007/08 season). I also think the baby Italians and the junior Italians are gonna be in the mix.