Who SHOULD retire? If there is no chance you are gonna make it to your first OLY after years and your second OLY is passing you by...think of skaters who are not rich, whose parents go in hock to get them what they need to stay "elite."
USA, Russian European. Only Sugurie still skates cuz she loves it and Daddy is a pilot.
As for Mirai, she was a young ingenue/prodigy and I've said many times, we saw her best in 2010. For her parent's sake and her heart, she should go to school. I say she and Zhang are done in the USA. Mirai could still do well with great training, choreo, but at what cost? Gold and Wagner are going to worlds and will be pushed to Sochi.
Gao is one who has found her groove, is finally skating like a senior woman, and obviously has some money. I say, take a year off. She is the exception.
Agnes has not shown she can compete with best Americans, but she's young. Still, she is sacrificing a lot. Big jumper, nice skater, but headcase. It's a real drain for her family. I'd say retire. Her time is now and it is not happening. But with a possible third spot for Sochi hers, she should stay in. If we don't get that spot, forget it unless you are Wagner or Gold. Sad to see Wagner is intimidated at Nationals. I really thought she had the nerves/timing down. And Grace was such a disappointment in SP. (th place with nothing to lose. She got mad and serious. She has so much talent and I hope we are not disappointed again. kimmie had good nerves, but her body betrayed her. Ashley talks like she has it but she does not. One good year swelled her head. But she should be able to do a 3x3-the easiest one in both programs to compete internationally. Gold really is our only hope. Wange, Cesario, Hicks, Miller-all did well, but superstar is not there-maybe Miller will surprise.
Flatt and Czisny should say goodbye before- not gonna happen. Both have things to move on to. No money in skating even for the champions, so say bye, Alissa and Flatt is done, just hasn't said it.
The men. Jeremy will stay but should not. I wanted to see Evan come back but it is time he and Johnny admit the boat has sailed. 4 us men have far better chances. We see who is on the team and who is not for the men. Miner is good for USA, but Aaron was the only exciting male. He has guts too. But he'll be so far back..? Anyway, I love his attack and he was the men's hilite for me of what I saw.
Europe? I am thrilled for Javier and I hoped he'd be on podium. Chan, Javi, Dai, Hanyu are who should be top four at Olympics. Russian men? Plushenko will have to give up or embarass himself. His knees cannot take it. Id hate to see this Icon come in 8th. Retire for good, o feirce warrior. I'll miss you, you have earned our respect. Who is like him inder 6.0 and CoP? I want him to keep his pride.
Do we have a dog in the race? Max Aaron had the skate of his life. I am very impressed. I'm no Miner fan but he is consistent and looks to do ok this Worlds. The men bloom later and bodies can take more. Dornbush was a disappointment but he should stay in. Unless Jeremy has unlimited funds, he should retire after his next best event next year. Or msaybe next week. Time to move on Jeremy. You are a lovely skater.. I never thought we'd see him in Sochi. Beautiful skater, but a choker. Just retire Jeremy. It's pointless. You are not Daisuke or Plush. It's getting sad looking at you. I love Adam Rippon's artistry. What do you all think? If he has the money to train at the top, I say go ahead cuz he is so elegant. But I think he cannot manage the technical aspects and at 23, it is likely he will never. He has been overtaken in artistry. Adam Rippon is a gentle soul, not a competitor at all. We have men who can outskate him every day, so maybe Adam, you should retire, as you are never on the podiums enough to matter.
In Europe, Joubert can still pull out quads and axels, so go Brian. He's amazing. I still like to watch him, and these countries that just have two good skaters, what does it matter. Tomas Verner should retire, based on Europeans, but who else have they got? Same with Russia. Florent-a firecracker. I always like him better than the judges. Amazingly fast feet.
So my point may offend some...should parents be hostage to say, the dreams of someone who is washed up, or simply a poor competitor? I think of how struggling Agnes' mother is. I may be wrong, but I don't think she will ever be the champion with the emphasis on Wagner and Gold. Being 3rd in America at best with the japanese, other Asians and the current crop of Russians is not good enough. The skating world is tiny and only the top skaters can even get shows.
Times have changed and aspirations must too. Obviously I am being blunt and there might be someone who can succeed after years. Carolina is from money= or some, anyway. Some countries subsidize, so it all depends. But i feel bad for some parents who have spent the cost of private university for many years and come up with huge debt. Then they finally send the kid to college. Gao, I think has gotten good. Still in fifth place. She is seen as a rachael-smart girl who is unwilling to miss out on college. i think she could be our 3rd lady, and she should take next year off and go for it. To be an Olympian is within her grasp, and just the experience is so amazing. Someone suggested she should do this and I agree. She has found an answer to her nerves, and she is skating very well. She is finally her own skater and quite beautiful. Amazing she is doing this with a full load at Harvard. I hope she sees the window is open for her if she shows USFS she is really serious and will take a year off. They seem to think Agnes is number 3 and like her big jumps. I disagree and put my money on Gao, assuming Grace and Ash can get us two spots.
Grace Gold is our best podium hope if she can manage her nerves next year. Some skaters don't have to pay their dues,like Tara, Sarah, Michelle. They were meteoric. Grace could prove to be this. Worlds will tell us if she is intimidated or able to see it as practice like she did in her free skate. It would be great to see that girl think like tara did! Osmond is canada's new Rochette without the nerves. She should go for it with all, as she is the best thing I've seen since liz manley took silver in calgary. Love this girl and hope she gets sponsors. Amelie won't retire, but she might as well. Being number two in canada or 3 is still nobody in the world. She is actually good but not special. But how many spots does Canada have? Obviously she wants to go to Sochi. It being close, she should, then retire after unless some miracle happens. But Osmond will eclipse her so completely, she might as well give it up and go to college or get a job.
What of Japanese men? i think Oda should quit. And Takahiko Kozuka is a fine skater, but with dai and hanyu and even machida showing all the sparks. HMMM How many Japanese get subsidized? He's good but boring. Dai of course is doing all he can and Hanyu has just begun. I guess the Japanese men have three spots so Takahiko and machida should go for it. And there is likley some other guy I can't recall, but Oda should forget it. I don't like his skating, nor do the judges. And he has two kids? Who pays his bills.
Fumie is just a bit crazy. She was never that great and it is time to do something else- coach kids- she loves skating so just transition. I have not seen her skate in years. Mao just gets all the love, even if she doesn't earn it. Love her and no way she'll retire. She'll make the team, regardless, even though technically Akiko is so much better. Akiko I hope stays in after Sochi. I hate to see her overlooked. She is awesome. Kanako is getting better. If she is lady 3 it would seem fair. I do not know about the other top skaters. clearly Miki is done. Kim Yu-Na is everyone's nightmare with the monster jumps.
I don't think Korea has anyone close. Or do they? Who is the second lady for Sochi? As for pirs and dance, I leave it to you...Who should quit now? Who should stay til Sochi and beyond?