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Thread: Figure skating key to fulfilling Russia's Sochi promises

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    Figure skating key to fulfilling Russia's Sochi promises

    Interesting article which highlights how important success in the figure skating events by Russian skaters will be in terms of how successful the 2014 Olympics will be perceived within Russia.

    Article reads:-

    Putin spearheaded the Sochi Olympic bid by making an impassioned speech in English to International Olympics Committee (IOC) members in Guatemala in 2007.....With the Olympics less than two years away, the country is nearly ready. All 200-plus stadiums, slopes, jumps, runs, roads, tunnels and the essential miscellany should be complete by year-end, as 50,000 workers toil 24 hours a day at coastal and mountain venue clusters, in the biggest building project in Europe for decades costing a total of at least $ 30 billion....The progress already made in Sochi is settling a lot of nerves when it comes to the World Cup (indeed, FIFA recently commented that Russia is today better prepared for the 2018 World Cup than Brazil is for the 2014 edition), but there is one factor that is mostly out of Putin’s control that will go a long way in determining the success of these events. Putin needs to produce athletes to match. In the event of a Vancouver 2010-style medal flop, or the football team crashing out in the group stage, praise of fantastic organization will be of little consolation to Russians whose memory of the unstoppable Soviet sports machine is fading rapidly. “I don’t doubt for a second that we will put on these events magnificently,” said Igor Kots, the editor in chief at Russia’s oldest sports daily, Sovetsky Sport. “But our sporting chances are alarmingly low. If we were to hold the Olympics tomorrow, for example, we wouldn’t appear anywhere on the medal table,” he said. “The performances of our athletes have been distressingly bad over the last two or three years. Our alpine skiers are nowhere to be seen, and we have just put on the worst showing at the biathlon world championships in the last 15 years. As a simple Russian sports fan, this worries me,” Kots added....In figure skating, where Russia comes second only to the United States historically, the country’s men must try to shed their dependence on Evgeny Plushenko for success. The 2006 Turin gold medalist and runner-up in Salt Lake City in 2002 and Vancouver in 2010 is coming back to the sport after injury and disqualification, looking for gold in Sochi to end his career with a suitable flourish. But Plushenko will be 31 years old by then, putting more pressure on youngsters such as 18-year-old Artur Gachinski to take up the mantle. Gachinski leads a 17-strong Russian team at this month’s world championships in Nice, France, where they must cope without Plushenko, who is recovering from knee surgery, in attempting to better last year’s result of one silver and Gachinski’s bronze. Success in Sochi will be expected from upcoming pairs team Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov, and teenagers Elena Olinykh and Nikita Katsalapov. The country is trembling with excitement over the potential of Adelina Sotnikova and Elizaveta Tuktamysheva, two junior champions who will be 17 when the games begin.
    Last edited by Mao88; 04-26-2012 at 02:29 AM.

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    Tripping on the Podium
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    I remember seeing on Russian tv how disgusted Putin was with their results in Vancouver. The Russians took gold in pairs since 1964 and didn't even medal there. Plus the controversy in the men's field and poor showing in other winter events.

    No doubt Vlad will expect better results at Sochi on home turf

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    There is potential in Pairs and Ladies and Plushenko can't be underestimated! But if they are looking a scenario like 2006 where they win 3 out of 4 - that is doubtful. There is a team event which Russia could win but obviously Dance is a huge weakness. Men is a huge weakness maybe even with Plushenko. 2011 worlds and 2012 Euros Gachinski was impressive but usually he is not.

    Figure skating can't be key to Sochi being a success for athletes. If they win pairs back in Russia that would be good but they are also looking at no medalists in dance for the first time ever. It's like 90% likely.

    Hockey is usually the standard anyway! If Russia won Gold in Vancouver in Hockey I doubt anyone would have cared that much! Maybe Ovechkin is on top of his game and ready to go and can lead Russia to victory in Sochi that will overshadow everything!

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    Quote Originally Posted by gmyers View Post
    If they win pairs back in Russia that would be good but they are also looking at no medalists in dance for the first time ever. It's like 90% likely.
    I think Russia have an excellent chance of obtaining a medal in the ice dance. However, I don't think its going to come from Olinykh and Katsalapov. Instead, I think its going to come from Victoria Sinitsina & Ruslan Zhiganshin. They have huge potential, and could even challenge Virtue & Moir, and Davis & White, for the gold in Sochi.

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    No, they can't.

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    the Golden Era sky_fly20's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mao88 View Post
    I think Russia have an excellent chance of obtaining a medal in the ice dance. However, I don't think its going to come from Olinykh and Katsalapov. Instead, I think its going to come from Victoria Sinitsina & Ruslan Zhiganshin. They have huge potential, and could even challenge Virtue & Moir, and Davis & White, for the gold in Sochi.
    with only 2 more seasons before the Olympics, I don't think they can come close with V/M or D/W
    but 2018 is right for them. with S/Z hopefully are indeed leaving Aleexeva/Kustarova maybe I can see them sneaking a bronze in 2014

    with regards to FS as a whole, as much as I love FS
    I think majority in Russia consider hockey as the heart and gem of the Winter Olympics
    Gold Hockey = complete Victory
    Last edited by sky_fly20; 04-26-2012 at 06:33 AM.

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    Two time Olympic gold medalists for V&M sounds so cool and it is doable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mao88 View Post
    I think Russia have an excellent chance of obtaining a medal in the ice dance. However, I don't think its going to come from Olinykh and Katsalapov. Instead, I think its going to come from Victoria Sinitsina & Ruslan Zhiganshin. They have huge potential, and could even challenge Virtue & Moir, and Davis & White, for the gold in Sochi.
    I agree that bronze is the most realistic for 2014, but given the potential S&Z have, I wouldn't completely rule out gold or silver.
    Last edited by Mao88; 04-26-2012 at 08:36 AM.

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    Mao88, your enthusiasm for S/Z is wonderful to behold, and I definitely respect it.

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    This article confirms my worries about lots of cheating at the Sochi Olympics. Figure Skating is one of the easiest winter sports to manipulate and one of the biggest medal hopes of the Russians. So I'm already sure that Volosozhar/Trankov are going to win Gold there barring big mistakes. And Pairs is the most important figure skating discipline for the Russians... If possible, there will also be a Russian dance team on the podium. (I highly doubt that there will only be North Americans on the podium.) Especially in singles it depends on at least almost clean programs (mostly) to win and you just can't make someone to perform cleanly. But I'm sure the Russians will get high PCS across the board.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mao88 View Post
    I think Russia have an excellent chance of obtaining a medal in the ice dance. However, I don't think its going to come from Olinykh and Katsalapov. Instead, I think its going to come from Victoria Sinitsina & Ruslan Zhiganshin. They have huge potential, and could even challenge Virtue & Moir, and Davis & White, for the gold in Sochi.
    They would need 9's and clost to 10's to challenge DW or VM!! When they make their senior debut later this year they would defniitely need to get level 4's on technical elements but the best their PCS could be would be 7's! And B/S and I/K would probably still be getting higher PCS. VM and DW never get below 9.5's in PCS and for technical elements S/Z would need all +3's in GOE! So even if they got level 4's those level 4's would need all +3 in GOE. From 2011 to 2012 nothing changed in the order of ICe Dance. VM or DW first with P/B third. It didnt change for 2 seasons - only P/B not doing an element made S/S bronze worlds. S/S were put in the position to benefit from a mistake and would have been 4th at their first worlds. Maybe the Olympic season which starts in 2013 will mean better Russian teams that get all level 4's with +3 GOE and all 9's in PCS.

    Quote Originally Posted by figureskatingfan22 View Post
    This article confirms my worries about lots of cheating at the Sochi Olympics. Figure Skating is one of the easiest winter sports to manipulate and one of the biggest medal hopes of the Russians. So I'm already sure that Volosozhar/Trankov are going to win Gold there barring big mistakes. And Pairs is the most important figure skating discipline for the Russians... If possible, there will also be a Russian dance team on the podium. (I highly doubt that there will only be North Americans on the podium.) Especially in singles it depends on at least almost clean programs (mostly) to win and you just can't make someone to perform cleanly. But I'm sure the Russians will get high PCS across the board.
    I doubt you will see a Russian team that never medaled at the GPF or worlds all of a sudden get put in Olympic medal position. No one has anything to worry about.

    Quote Originally Posted by blue dog View Post
    Slightly OT, but it's interesting to see how "young" dance has become. In the past, the oldest skaters competing in elite figure skating were ice dancers (Torvill and Dean were in their late thirties in Lillehammer). Now, it seems the discipline for "older" skaters is pairs, where certainly Russia has a chance for silver, if not gold.
    It is getting younger but T/D were young but looked older. 25 and 26 in 1984 but looked older.
    Last edited by gmyers; 04-26-2012 at 11:50 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gmyers View Post

    It is getting younger but T/D were young but looked older. 25 and 26 in 1984 but looked older.
    I was writing of their second Olympic experience, where they won bronze at 35 (Chris) and 36 (Jayne).

    I agree with you, however--I do not think there will be too much hanky-panky going on in figure skating, especially since Russia isn't making as much money in skating as Asia. The Russian mob boss who wanted to fix the Olympics in 2002 did so because back then, not only was the US cashing in on figure skating, but Russia. While Russians have more tours and skating shows, it isn't to the level of opportunity in Asia.

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    Sochi will be tough. They will realistically have a chance for a medal in all four disciplines with the caveat that an aging Plushy comes back - after seeing him at Euros I can honestly say he could still podium. I keep saying this over and over so many I'd like to see get gold or medals. But really in pairs V and T and K and S are realistic podium shots - v and t even gold. The ladies have a reasonable shot but which lady or ladies I am not sure. Men like I said needs plushy for sure but Gatchinski has potential too as we know with his world bronze and in dance while I think gold is out of the question they could win bronze - now which team I am not sure - B and S? I and K? S and Z? R and T? The French look precarious. Weaver and Poje look to pass them and the Italians look good too. Anyways, Russia has reasonable shots at 3 gold and a medal in dance. 4 medals is not unrealistic - men -1 maybe even 2; dance -1; pairs 2; ladies 2

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