Sarah even though she was only 16 when she won the Olympics had not only won bronze at Worlds the year before but had gone to Worlds 3 times already by the time of the Olympics. She was a medal contender. Just not a Gold medal contender.
Ladies: Barring injury, Gracie and Ashley have a 98% chance of being on the team, as they're the ones who earned the three spots back in the first place. Christina, Agnes, and Mirai are all contenders for the bronze medal at US Nationals. I would personally like to have Christina on the Olympic team, even if she doesn't have much chance of medalling, as she's shown the greatest consistency this year. However, with how the Nationals judges have been treating her, it's likely that Agnes will get the third spot instead.
Men: Max Aaron didn't do at all poorly in his Worlds debut, so I'd give him a 70% chance. The 30% is if Jeremy Abbott or Adam Rippon manage to surge back by 2014 Nationals, which (IMO) is unlikely. Ross Miner may get the second spot, but I'd rather see one of the Junior Worlds medalists (Farris, Brown, or Omori) on the team in preparation for the rest of their senior careers.
Dance: Meryl and Charlie get a mention as a formality--I really think they're putting themselves in the perfect spot to nab OGMs. Chock/Bates should get the second spot, and the third could either go to the Shibutanis (who've had some struggles this season) or Hubbell/Donahue.
Pairs: Is it horrible to say that, no matter who we send, the US won't be getting any pairs medals at the Olympics? Now that that's confessed, I predict Castelli/Shnapir and Scimeca/Knierim.
Russia (oh dear...):
Ladies: First of all, I hope the Fed doesn't decide to toss Tukt and Sotnikova aside for their mistakes at Worlds. They were under a ridiculous amount of pressure to hold three spots, and given the circumstances, they got (justifiably) spooked. Also, a big kudos to Tukt for pulling herself up from 14th! We'll have to wait until Russian Nationals to be sure, but I think that Tukt and Sotnikova will still be the Olympic candidates. The younger girls need some time to mature before they'll be ready, and Leonova is done, IMO. Worlds was her last shot to save her wreckage of a season, and she couldn't do it.
Men: Poor Kovtun. He got shot in the foot when he was assigned to Worlds, and he botched it pretty badly. If Plushenko manages to get back into competitive shape before December, he should get the Olympic slot. If not, then it should go to Menshov, who's been snubbed enough.
US Pairs: No one has mentioned Zhang and Bartolomay (oh dear, I really should learn how to spell his name).
They are my favorite up and coming pair, and I hope they can sneak in. It's not like the others will make much noise anyway.
Castelli/Shnapir? They will be lucky to finish in the top 4 next season. D/C will be back and of course S/K, Z/B and the new team Brubaker/Davis.
Ladies- Wagner and Gold are deservedly the core of the team, barring catastrophic injury. Gracie got a 125 in her Worlds FS with multiple little errors. A clean Gracie at the Olympics could end up on the podium if others falter. Ashley will need to up the technical ante to defend her national title should Gracie's consistency improve next year and if she wants a top 5 finish at the Olympics. Third spot is very open- USFSA seems very done with Nagasu perhaps a little unfairly. hopefully 4CC means they are also done with Agnes but I fear maybe not. Her GP appearance will be important. Would prefer Wang and Miller to be in the conversation over Hicks- they are both much more musical and graceful performances who skate with joy. Hicks clunkily shuffles from jump to jump. She could sneak in there though if she lands her jumps at Nats. Gao is probably the safest bet- consistent, decent rep internationally, decent performer. Maybe her year off from school will help her with her weaknesses. She is my pick right now. Czisny is a total wildcard- could already be done or could come back yet again at Nationals strong. Not sure what the judges will do with her.
Men- I think Aaron is a safe bet. I predict he will then finish Top 6 when he lands his quads and the more artistic skaters make mistakes. Miner- I think he is in a bad spot after Worlds. Abbott seems to be in decline and Evan is probably not really coming back. I'm going with Farris.
Pairs- I would love to not watch Caydee Denney in another Olympics but if they are back in 2012 form, they will be on the team. I think S/K may now surpass C/S who have some consistency issues and need to up their technical ante. I actually am more excited about S&K than any US pair in years- they are beuatiful to watch. Z/B have an outside shot but I don't think its little Denney's time just yet although I much prefer her to her sister. So predicting D&C & S&K although I would prefer anyone else to D&C. Anyone at all. Don't know what Brubaker will do without seeing them. I don't think she's as strong as Keauna.
Dance- D/W to get their OGM! I think C&B solidified their status as USA 2 by beating the Shibs three times this season and Igor in their corner helps. Judges seem to be over the Shibs. It will be tight between them and H/D. I enjoy H&D more but the Shibs seem so sweet. I wish we could trade the second pairs or mens spot to send them all.
For Gracie to have a shot at Top 5 at the Olympics, she'll need a choreographer like David Wilson. No more of those arm-flapping, spins-on-one-end-of-the rink programs. He could do great things for her.
Okay, maybe Leonova can not be completely disregarded, but I'd say Pogorilaya has a better chance to make the team than Leonova at this point, at least Anna was consistent this whole season and can jump 3lz-3t and 2a-3t-2t. Rankings for chances to make the team I think are:
Leonova, Shelepen, anyone else...
Leonova is at the very bottom of the bucket at this point. I bet the Fed politiks for Radionova to get GP events even though she's not old enough for Sochi, and Pogorilaya, maybe even Gosviani, to get GPs, to have them get exposure in case favorites bomb so they can be sent to Sochi in a pinch, before Leonova.
Also for US men Ross I think is in the same position as Adam Rippon last season. Jeremy idk what to think so I will guess the team will be Max and then Dornbush or Farris, but most likely Dornbush. Unless Abbott is healthy and skating consistently well next season then Aaron and Abbott will probably go. I guess then there's the dubious question of a Lysacek return though...
US Ladies: Wagner and Gold can be booked barring some freak circumstance. Third spot will be between Gao (needs more something to get attention, ie better GOEs and SS), Nagasu (if she can rotate her jumps), Zawadski (if she doesn't bomb in the fall and stops falling on stupid things), and Hicks (needs more choreographic help that Gold even). Outside chance to Wang (if she can get her SP issues sorted).
US Men: Aaron will be in one of those two spots, without a doubt. I'd like to see him spend MORE time with Pasquale this coming season if Carmelengo is doing his choreo again. Second spot will either go to Abbott (if he gets his back issues straightened out and can train properly again), Miner (if he can fix whatever ailed him at Worlds), Farris (proved he can score big but needs more consistency on the 4T), or Brown (I think he's going to surprise everyone with the technical goods). Dornbush has been WAY too erratic since going to Worlds and unless he totally overhauls his training methods/plans, it's not going to happen for him. He seems to be suffering from "the Menshov voodoo doll" but in this case it was the Abbott voodoo doll...(sorry, couldn't resist)
US Dance: D/W, C/B, and S/S with S/S getting their levels and health sorted in this offseason.
US Pairs: S/K and D/F. Alexa and Chris really PROVED themselves - 9th in their first Worlds while skating together for less than a season. Definitely something to build on...
Japan Ladies: Asada, Murakami and Suzuki (or Ando)
Japan Men: Taka, Hanyu, and....Kozuka
Japan Pairs: Do they have a team?
Japan Dance: Reed/Reed
Russian Ladies: Sotnikova and Tuktamysheva. Lipnitskaia seems to have chinks in her armor right now and Radionova is too young
Russian Men: They better send Menshov to get rid of the curse
Pairs: Same as Worlds
Dance: Same as Worlds
It's anyone's guess who will make the team for the US men. Aaron has the most tech since he can land quads and he doesn't seem to be a headcase. After that it could be Minor, Dornbush or Abbott. Those three seem to be the ones to watch but also Farris. His 4th place at nationals shows he can compete with the top dogs Brown might be a year or two away yet. Rippon has most likely done as well as he can since he has no quad and his jumps just don't stand out.
How exactly Adelina and Liza are losing their talent, they finished top ten and honestly they fought for 3 gaining spots instead of just having to keep the 3 spots, Leonova skated like she wasnt there, and it was clear from sp that for both girls there was not room for error.
Japan has only two spots for men?