For Kostner to even have a chance to beat Kim she has to do harder jumps then she has been doing the last few years but i don't think she can skate clean if she does that. It's not a coincidence that the year she won Worlds and dominated she wasn't even doing a triple lutz. That's what puts Kim in a league of her own she never waters down her technical content yet can skate clean.
I do not see Caro performin this program cleanly. As much I am a huge fan and I know she is able to skate a more difficult content than this you suggested. But, not in competition. Not in Olympics.
Also, some Carofans, members of her forum, already know what really works good for Caro. I am gonna give examples:
1- Flips, Loops and Lutzes need to come in the first part of the program(with lutz and loop being the first two elements and solo jumps).
2- In the second part, it is possible to put the combos and axels, salchows e toes.
That said, I also have to say that jump layout really depends of the program that is being performed.
Considering the Bolero layout, I have suggested to some of my Carofan friends:
3Lz, 3Lo, 3F+3T, 2A, 3T+2T(or 2A+3T),3S+2T+2Lo, 3S
For Mozart, for example, she could have skated(no Lutz here):
3Lo, 3F, 2A+3T, 3T+2T, 2A, 3S, 3S+2T+2T
Caro can have "two" triple loops:
1- The gorgeous, beautiful, high and long loop. But, it needs to come very early in the program
2- The more inconsistent, +1 Loop, that comes later.
When she first skated to Bolero, a lot of Carofans were very concerned about the position of the loop in the LP, since it was very late. In the previous season, the loop was the first element and Caro landed it 100% of the times she attempted.
I've said it in other threads: Yu-Na controls her own destiny. Her's is the only case where that whole "I'm the only one who can defeat myself" adage holds true b/c it is true: if Yu-Na skates cleanly, no one can beat her...if she makes mistakes, she opens the door.
I do think both Mao and Carolina can rival Yu-Na in Sochi but I think Carolina has a better shot at silver and I agree that Mao is the darkhorse upset for gold.
I don't think Carolina needs that much more content to contend with Yu-Na; her main thing is skating cleanly which she is not known for doing. Yu-Na wasn't known for consistently skating flawlessly either but she did it in Vancouver and again at worlds this year which means she is capable and therefore more likely to do it than Mao or Carolina, who I can't recall ever skating two flawless back-to-back programs. If Carolina is completely clean, she'd give Yu-Na a very hard run for her money but, ultimately, I think she'd finish a narrow second. However if Yu-Na makes a mistake and Carolina is clean, I think Carolina would get the nod over Yu-Na and finish first.
As for Mao, she's the underdog for gold in Sochi. Carolina has been trending upward for the past two or three years and Yu-Na is at the top. Mao has been trending upward as well in these past two seasons but her battle is much more uphill than the other two. Next to those two, Mao's weaknesses are very apparent. I think Mao has nice speed but next to Carolina aka Speedy Fettucini and Yu-Na, Mao actually looks slow. Minus her speed, I think Mao is on equal footing with those two in terms of skating skills...but speed is what counts b/c that's what leaves the big impression on the ice.
Next to the other two, Mao's jumps don't match up. Yu-Na and Carolina both have textbook jumps that receive good GOE from the judges b/c of their speed, height and distance. Mao's lutz is still a flutz. Her jumps don't cover much distance and her riding edge doesn't have much speed either...this equals less GOE. Add that to her UR issues and that's even more points she loses.
Mao's strategy for countering her technical shortcomings is to cram her program full of potential content. The 3A along with a 3-3 and 2-3 give Mao a technical advantage that would be insurmountable...if she were to land everything. However, the odds of nailing all three of those difficult passes without error in addition to landing the rest of her jumps without error are very low. IMO, Mao is going with quantity over quality: she may not land everything but the partial credit she gets for attempting it (assuming she rotates everything) may make the risk worth it.
I think Mao has a chance at gold in Sochi but she'll need to be near perfect and others will have to make mistakes. In a scenario where everyone skates cleanly (very unlikely), I think Mao would win, Yu-Na would be second and Carolina would be 3rd. Realistically looking at the situation and judging by where everyone is currently, I think the Sochi podium is more likely to mirror the podium from this year's worlds...
if Yuna was not consistent skater, then, who was the most consistent skater among top skaters in before vancouver?(I guess you are talking about the period which before 2010 vancouver) Yuna didn't had often two clean programs(All can't do lol... ), but she had often cleaner programs(1 or 2 mistakes). who could do usually just small mistakes as well as her?
Before that era, Michelle Kwan was known for having so many clean skates during high-pressure competitions (Worlds, US Nationals, etc.) that, at her peak, it was more surprising to see her make mistakes than not.
Yu-Na was a solid and consistent competitor but in terms of skating without error, she did that for the first time in Vancouver. But, like Prettykeys said, hardly anyone was skating back-to-back programs without error. Yu-Na would fall, pop or omit a jump but it rarely hurt her score much b/c others made mistakes too.
When Yu-Na makes mistakes she removes that air of invincibility and can be beaten...but the catch is that person has to be clean themselves and that's what makes Yu-Na tough to beat b/c 100% flawless back-to-back skating under IJS is a very rare thing.
To be honest, Michelle Kwan is a rare case that can go cleanly very often. We rarely see clean back-to-back sp and lp starting early 90's. The technical content has been very demanding for ladies from then. It's basically too hard to have clean programs in one competition.
Kim's track record is probably the second best coming out of post 90's. There will probably never be a skater as consistent as Kwan in the foreseeable future. That's why Kwan is among the greatest although she didn't have the hardest technical content, even if we don't take her programs' artistry into account.
But Michelle is still the gatekeeper on consistently delivering simply b/c she continuously did it over the course of nearly 10 years. Rachael's consistency run was impressive but it was short-lived.
However, I have to give it to her being the few that can get both 3Lz and 3F ratified with correct edge during that era.
I really hope Akiko is recognized this year as she is so under rated it is not funny. I adore her-so joyous. The japanese ladies manage tough jumps while smiling and connecting. I am in awe of the string that started with Midori. So if I could wish two for the ages performances on two people who are not americans, it would be Akiko and Caro as they have come so far and through much, esp Akiko.
I also really love Ashley Wagner's beautiful presentation. She is an athlete and an artist. I hope great performances for her and two newbies that can be awesome are Osmond and Gold. So I am rooting for two older lady veterans, a "mid aged" lovely fighter, Ms Wagner and then the two shining new stars who I expect to podium in 2018 if not soon, Osmond and Gold. I love how joyous Osmond is, a real dancer who jumps pretty well. I think Gold, if she gains confidence, could be the next YuNa in terms of off the hook scores as she is right now a great jumper, and I like the way she moves-she truly has it all.