The heck with it. I'm going to crawl all the way out there on a limb. Here is my very, very early prediction in a nutshell:
-Yuna is going to score anywhere between 210-230 total in Sochi. She is going to win OGM. The lower end of the range gives her a cushion of 1 or 2 mistakes. It also corresponds to the lower end of the range for her Big Ticket Wins (2009 Worlds). The upper end represents the very best we have seen her execute in recent years, plus PCS in the SP more in line with her peak LP (230 is approximately the scoring level of her Vancouver OGM winning performances, which represents the upper range of her Big Ticket Wins).
For those already hinting at her demise based on her "rusty" first outing this year at Golden Spin, I will merely point out that it tracks almost identically, in terms of score, with her debut performance at NRW last year. And we know all know how last season ended up. There were quite a few people who should have been in line to eat crow after Fake London, although it seems to me that some chose to scamper off and lay low for a while rather than enjoy that peculiar dish, only to saunter back with a quite admirable nonchalance at a later date to engage in more of the same...
Moreover, this imperfect performance by Yuna (204-ish) is already at a scoring level that can contend for Olympic gold, given the demonstrated scoring ranges of the top ladies competitors this year. The season scoring ranges for the GPF ladies are, in all likelihood, already reflective of something close to their performance peaks; Yuna, meanwhile, still has significant room to improve.
-Mao will score anywhere between 190 and 210, and will win the OSM. 210 is a score she has not yet achieved. In her entire career. Her best scoring performances in recent years have been at the Vancouver Olympics (around 205), this year's SA (around 205), NHK this year (around 207), and GPF this year (around 204). Contrary to some declarations in this thread, this season's performances represent, in fact, her peak results, her demonstrated scoring ceiling. 190, give or take, is the level that Mao shows when she is a notch below her peak.
"Regression to the Mean" is a powerful concept in both statistics and in human affairs, and I see no reason to believe that it will not continue to operate at Sochi. To assume that Mao can significantly improve on her scores, beyond 210, is to assume a performance set that has not yet been seen, at this, the tail-end of her career.
-I've said before that IMO the fight for bronze is going to be the battle royale on the ladies side, with my picks for likely contenders being Caro, Julia, and Ashley. But I'm not even wholly confident of this somewhat broad prediction; this is because there are something like a dozen women who could score somewhere between 185-200 if they skate well. The slope of the bell-shaped curve starts to increase sharply at this level.
I hope all the skaters are fit and healthy for Sochi, and we can all see how we did in our saying of sooth.
Still counts as a big event. Like when Miki and Carolina won Worlds in comparatively lacklustre fields.
Originally Posted by Nadia01
I completely agree......these are my exact thoughts and you expressed them so well! The battle for bronze is going to be THE FIGHT. Very excited.
Originally Posted by Robeye
Well I hope it's either Carolina, Akiko or Adelina. I like Yu na and of course there is no way she's not winning or making the podium but I'm hoping the podium consist of Mao (winning), Carolina, Akiko or Adelina.
I can't believe I'm the one to say this, instead of you, but Kostner has skated cleanly at Italian nationals last year, albeit not with 7-triple content. At least you've come to your senses about Carolina's potential, and have stopped hoping for her to get a 140+ FS and over 210, given that she hasn't even surpassed 200.
I would rank them in order of worthiness
1. Carolina. Hello.
2. Akiko. Hello
What makes these ladies more "worthy" than say Yuna or Mao? And secondly, what makes Adelina and gracie more "worthy" than Julia?
Originally Posted by FlattFan
I think that's the list for worthiness for the bronze medal--per the subject of this thread.
Originally Posted by Sochi_2014
Originally Posted by FlattFan
Thank you for stating the obvious.
except Carolina has skated poorly this season and she should have slaughtered the competition at China; she didn't even win.
Originally Posted by David21
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.
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!