It will likely be one of the Russian girls...most likely Julia. Adelina can be fabulous but often crumbles under intense pressure (and her flip is out of control). Ditto for Gracie. Akiko is sweet and wonderful but not really a medal contender in terms of her components or her internal mettle. Ashley could possibly end up on the podium but her long program this season is somewhat disappointing (wayyy too much dead space in the middle of the program with virtually no choreography). She'll need Julia to fall on a jump or two to have much of a chance.
♥ My Mirai's Golden Pond ♥
Originally Posted by wootie
Olympics has a life of it's own! It's even more unpredictable with the demise of the figures segment, which tended to level things out a bit (some would say more easily politicized). In ladies' who would have foreseen Michelle's 1998 loss, or Sarah's win/Michelle's loss in 2002? Sasha's 2006 loss was less shocking, and--if memory serves me 2010 went down as most thought it would. I believe 2014 is difficult to forecast: 1). Yuna is in & out of competition during this quad. 2) Is Mao a safe bet for silver with odds of clean 3-axles & full rotations? 3) And finally Location, Location, Location!! Under the circumstances, I will not rule out Julia to take the gold!
Irina was the favorite in 2006, and Sasha the 2nd favorite. Shizuka was at best the 3rd favorite and maybe not even that as Suguri beat her at Nationals, and Kostner was a reigning World medalist on home ice. Her win wasnt a shock as she was a reigning World Champion, and Irina had showed vurnerability that year (losing the Grand Prix final to underaged Asada) but it was definitely another surprise. She had been 9th at the 2005 Worlds and not even qualified for that years Grand Prix final.
I wasnt surprised at all Michelle lost the 2002 Olympics really, since she had been vurnerable that season and was on a long losing streak to Slutskaya. I was surprised that neither Michelle or Irina won though, but Sarah had been the most consistent skater in the World the past 15 months.
I dont think even on Russian ice Julia could win gold without controversy unless Kim and Asada both made several glaring mistakes. However Mao usually does, so half of that potential problem is already solved.