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Thread: Akiko Suzuki and Sochi

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    Akiko Suzuki and Sochi

    Despite the fact that I am very very happy with the ladies portion of the 2013 WC ( espeically the podium), I can't help but feel, like so many others very sad for Akiko. I loved her programs for this season and I really wanted her to do well at these championships and maybe even try to land on the podium. I know it's early but despite this unforunate set back for Akiko do you guys think that she still has a chance to make Japan's Olympic team in 2014? Honestly if Miki doesn't come back I could see the team being Mao, Kanako, and Akiko. Unless someone else can challenge for that third spot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jtsmith12 View Post
    Despite the fact that I am very very happy with the ladies portion of the 2013 WC ( espeically the podium), I can't help but feel, like so many others very sad for Akiko. I loved her programs for this season and I really wanted her to do well at these championships and maybe even try to land on the podium. I know it's early but despite this unforunate set back for Akiko do you guys think that she still has a chance to make Japan's Olympic team in 2014? Honestly if Miki doesn't come back I could see the team being Mao, Kanako, and Akiko. Unless someone else can challenge for that third spot.
    she has a decent chance to get in the team but I don't think she has a shot for podium..

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    She has a chance to fight for the 3rd spot on the Japanese Olympic team behind the 2 locks Asada and Murakami. No chance of an Olympic medal, will do well to match her finish from Vancouver which I think was 8th place wasnt it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jtsmith12 View Post
    Despite the fact that I am very very happy with the ladies portion of the 2013 WC ( espeically the podium), I can't help but feel, like so many others very sad for Akiko. I loved her programs for this season and I really wanted her to do well at these championships and maybe even try to land on the podium. I know it's early but despite this unforunate set back for Akiko do you guys think that she still has a chance to make Japan's Olympic team in 2014? Honestly if Miki doesn't come back I could see the team being Mao, Kanako, and Akiko. Unless someone else can challenge for that third spot.
    I think the team will be Mao, Kanako, and Akiko, yeah. I don't think Ando will be back and if she is back she may not make it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by blue_idealist View Post
    I think the team will be Mao, Kanako, and Akiko, yeah. I don't think Ando will be back and if she is back she may not make it.
    I think if Ando is back they might send her just for the endorsement money they would get having her at the Games. She will probably come in some awful result, something like 15h place, even her skating in winning the 2011 Worlds would do nothing against todays field (maybe finish as high as 5th if lucky), and I doubt she would even be close to that level. However they would rather send Ando to the Olympics to finish 15th than send Suzuki to finish 7th or 9th due to the extra money they would get just by sending her.

    That said I dont think Ando has motivation to return at all, especialy seeing as she would be no threat for an Olympic medal even working herself to the bone, so Suzuki should be fairly safe. However if she has a bad skate at Nationals, which she has had several of lately, she will not be protected, and they will be more than happy to send a variety of up and comers or decent middle aged skaters in her place. She is not someone the JSF has any vested interest in protecting at this point, and if she wants to go to the Sochi Olympics she will need to skate very well at Nationals to confirm this happening.

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    If Ando is back, Ando is a lot more likely to make it than Suzuki. Ando is multiple times world champion. Ando has big jumps. Ando can be in the top 5 if skated clean regardless of what anyone else does. Ando is boring, but reliable. Isn't Toyota her sponsor? She's the Toyota of the skating world. Boring, generic, well oiled, reliable, rated highly with the consumers, but not so highly with the enthusiasts. You know the deal. Oh my god, I just realized why Toyota picked her. So shrewd, these Toyota marketing genius. They want to associate their products with Ando. Oh snap!

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    if Ando comes back next Season, Akiko wont probably make the Olympics team

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    Quote Originally Posted by FlattFan View Post
    Isn't Toyota her sponsor? She's the Toyota of the skating world. Boring, generic, well oiled, reliable, rated highly with the consumers, but not so highly with the enthusiasts.

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    I am baffled why anyone thinks it is remotedly likely Ando would come. She admitted to not being motivated when she last started her break which essentialy turned into a semi retirement instead. She also would not have a good shot at a medal even if she regained her 2011 form. The top 3 at Worlds this year were all skating at a higher level than she did in her last Championship season. Add to that her age and various emotional problems and I think her coming back is maybe about 5% likely. I agree only that there is a good shot she would be given the 3rd spot on the team over Suzuki (whether on merit or not) if she did return, for all the reasons we all noted, but I dont think that is at all likely.

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    Akiko should still be able to attend Olympics along with Mao and Kanako. I am not worried.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FlattFan View Post
    If Ando is back, Ando is a lot more likely to make it than Suzuki. Ando is multiple times world champion. Ando has big jumps. Ando can be in the top 5 if skated clean regardless of what anyone else does. Ando is boring, but reliable. Isn't Toyota her sponsor? She's the Toyota of the skating world. Boring, generic, well oiled, reliable, rated highly with the consumers, but not so highly with the enthusiasts. You know the deal. Oh my god, I just realized why Toyota picked her. So shrewd, these Toyota marketing genius. They want to associate their products with Ando. Oh snap!
    Actually Ando is no longer sponsored by Toyota. Ando has no sponsorships. Yes I do agree if Ando decided to come back, Akiko might not make it because Ando is so consistent. Ando was so much more interesting when she was with Sato.

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    I love her, but realistically I don't think she will make the team.

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    Quote Originally Posted by koatcue View Post
    she has a decent chance to get in the team but I don't think she has a shot for podium..
    Sadly, this is how I see it, too. I've come to adore her, but she's inconsistent and even her highest scores of the season wouldn't have been enough to put her on the podium at worlds, and that's with significant errors from the skaters ahead of her.

    What I would like to see is for her to regain that mindset she described earlier in the year, when she quoted someone as saying "performing is its own reward." I think that's where she was earlier in the season when she gave us those captivating performances where she seemed totally in the moment, and drew the audience in as well. Then she seemed to lose that when it came time for the big competitions. No doubt it must be difficult to maintain that attitude when you're out competing and having to think about jumps and points and placements all season long. Maybe she got caught up in that and lost her magic. But I'd love for her to carry that with her in her last year competing: to work hard at getting her elements and program structure where it needs to be, yes, but to be able to just let go and perform the way I know she can when the time comes.

    She may not end up on the Olympic podium, but she can end up putting down some performances I'll never forget, the kind that remind me exactly why I keep watching figure skating.

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    I love Akiko. Her programs interest and move me as no others. I hope she makes it to the Olympics. I think she has a pretty good shot if she can control her nerves. Ando won't return I am sure. I don't think any of the younger skaters are all that yet.

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    After finishing only 7th at JW, I don't think Miyahara is a threat to bump Akiko off the Olympic team at this point, not unless she were to suddenly grow up and get much bigger, rotated jumps, not be affected by the changes, and kick butt on the JGP/GP (whichever she ends up doing) in the coming season. Even then she's probably a long shot.

    The bigger question would be Miki. I doubt she's coming back but if she were, she is a big name and would bring in a lot more money and media attention due to her competitive resume compared to Akiko. And while Miki is no Yuna, she is a big jumper, seeing Yuna come back and look bored, put on a jumping clinic, and win Worlds easy - Miki has that same kind of all-business, nonchalantness to her that I think if she were really motivated to come back, she would show up to Nationals in good form and land all her jumps and rack up a big score just like old times. I mean, the scores at Worlds for the ladies were huge this year at Worlds, but even Ando just two seasons ago had scored a 66 in the SP with just a 3lz-2lo and 3lo, and 134 in the FS at 4CC with just a 2a-3t, 6 triples in total FS. So if she were to regain even that form, it would be tempting to send her. That being said, I doubt she's coming back, so I think it's likely Akiko will make it.

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