My point was not that YuNa is less than she was (I am a huge fan of hers as well as of Mao's--two geniuses in one Olympic cycle!--and I think that YuNa's skills are still at their peak), but that no one is ever "a lock" to win in skating. I think it's unfair to YuNa to say that her win is inevitable. She strives with all her might just like anyone else, and like other skaters she is constantly trying both to maintain and to improve her skills. This is not something she can just phone in, and I'm sure she's been working like anything to prepare for this competition. In some ways, it's easier than it was for her in 2010 because she has already achieved gold, but in some ways I'm sure it's harder. One way is that she is training in Korea, where her every move is scrutinized, rather than in the anonymity of Canada. The media follow her so closely in Korea that I'm sure they even try to find out what she's dreaming at night. That must be an unimaginable stress. Add to that the fact that she has many more public obligations this time around.
In 1992 in the ice dancing, the three top contenders were Klimova/Ponomarenko, Usova/Zhulin, and the Duchesnays. On the final night of competition, I remember thinking that they were all so spectacular that I would have been content with any result in any order as long as all three were on the podium. They were that good. I can't remember feeling this way about any other set of skaters since that time, until now with the ladies. My main three, for both technical and emotional reasons, are YuNa, Mao, and Akiko. I honestly don't know how I'll react on the big night, but I can imagine dancing around in glee for any of these three. It's the kind of situation in which I'm glad I'm not in charge of things, because I'd just hand out three gold medals. (And I'd give out two in ice dancing.) My wish is that all three ladies will go down in history as among the greatest ever, no matter who wins the gold, and I think that's highly likely. I just hope with great intensity that each of the three skates her absolute best--with no regrets afterward. Wouldn't that be a night for fans to remember forever?