And yes, you're definitely onto something re: the "failed singles skaters" thing. It's unfortunate, b/c the pairs discipline is unique unto itself and so very beautiful at its best. Some of the challenges are the same but others are profoundly different. And you can't have a great pair w/o great singles skills!
It also occurred to me that the American mindset is essentially individualistic -- it's not that we don't value collaboration, but the primary focus is on the individual. We love our loners, I think. Hence our emphasis on singles. I love our great singles skaters but in not valuing pairs, I think we're missing out on something wonderful. Here's hoping that changes in the near future.
Well, if we're counting the team competition (and it continues being an Olympic event), I don't think anyone's gonna win over Russia anytime soon. Well, maybe Canada in 2018 if somebody bombs, and even then it'll be difficult considering Canada lacks pairs and ladies. Assuming Russia keeps it together, they'll end up winning all the disciplines again before anyone else even does so once. I mean, all they need is another ladies champion (easily done if Korea doesn't opt for revenge) and another team medal. They've got enough pairs/ice dance/men's champions to fill an ocean.
Logically, Canada should be the next one. Canada's men are way stronger than USA's pairs. But superstitiously, I really question whether we can ever win the men's category. Just doesn't seem to be in the cards. Orser got outskated in his home country, Stojko got gobbled by injury in Nagano, and Chan--infamous for winning for falls--stayed on his feet and lost to a guy who fell twice. It's like Kwan and that stupid Olympics gold--just can never quite reach it, despite always coming so close.