Speculation: who will get the remaining Olympic spots?
As you all know the first of two roads for skaters to qualify for the 2014 Olympics is closed. Come this September, the humble Nebelhorn Trophy in Oberstorf, Germany will be swarmed by skaters desperately fighting for those precious remaining spots to Sochi 2014. A total of 6 spots in the men, 6 spots in the ladies, 4 spots in pairs and 5 spots in Ice Dance will be awarded.
Though the event is months away, it will be fun to speculate based on performances from the 2012-2013 season who will get those spots.
A couple of things to keep in mind.
1. Nations who already received spots at 2013 worlds in a discipline can not receive an additional spot for that discipline through Nebelhorn. These spots are only for skaters who's national federation has not being given a spot already. If you want to see who has qualified already, see link below.
2. If a team/skater qualifies a spot and has not achieved the required technical minimums, they have until sometime in January 2014 to achieve it.
Let the speculation begin.
To get this post going let me say who I think has a chance.
In the men's, based on performances at 4CC and Europeans, I expect The Philippines (Christian Martinez/chris Caliza), South Korea to get spots. The competition is quite tight. Other nations I can see squeeze through include Ukarine, Denmark, Poland, Monaco, Belarus, Italy, Romania, Hong Kong China, Israel and Switzerland.
In the ladies, I'm looking forward to seeing Kiira Korpi getting a spot for Finland. I also am expecting Australia (Brooklee Han finished 21st at Worlds) and Georgia (I really hope Elena Gedeshvanishvili can get over her issues with nerves) to get spots. A birth for Belgium, Brazil, Slovakia, Denmark, Belgium, Switzerland, Norway, Turkey, Luxembourg or even Mexico (Reyna Hamui is now training in Detroit) is possible as well as others.
For Pairs, I can only see European teams qualifying. I see spots for four of these nations: United Kingdom, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Poland, Belerus or Austria.
Out of all the disciplines, ice dance is probably the most open. Though there are only five spots on paper, due to the Lithuanian Government refusing Isabella Tobias to give her citizenship, there is essentially six spots available if Tobias and Stagninunas can't go. There are so many teams who I can see contending its not funny. Nations who can get a place include Spain, Japan, Uzbekistan, Australia, Czech Republic, Finland, Israel, Hungary, Turkey, China, Estonia, Poland, Slovakia, Georgia, Belerus, Switzerland and Austria.
Wicked Yankee Girl