The Tight Competitions at the Olys
It appears to me that there will be a Russian sweep and I have no problem with that as long as there is no hanky panky going on. In each discipline it is apparent to me that Russia can take gold, and in some disciplines it is almost sewed up.
Men's will be tight for all three, or four (Klimkin) European men if Evgeni really has a problem with his knees. One N.American male may squeeze on the podium.
Like Evgeni, Ladies will be tight if Irina has any kind of relapse in her illness. I think Sasha if she does a clean skate will give Irina major competition. Arawaka and Kwan will need very faulty skating by Irina.
Pairs are so tight, I can't imagine any clear cut winner. It will be the one for hanky panky if there is any of that stuff going to happen. I'm hoping for Savachenko and Szolkowy to show that rapport between the pair is more important than the tricks.
I have no way of judging Dance I've read the requirements and refuse to believe judges have done the same and actually understood them. I presume Navka and Kostomarov will take the gold, and the judges will allow rapport in this discipline and could do away with phony grimacing passion. The two D&S's will do me fine.
All of the above is suject to change by the end of the Grand Prix.
Do you have any feelings at the point in time?
I think that there are too many unanswered questions before saying anything (except ice dance) is sewn up. Dance, I think is different because it is the only discipline (so far) unaffected by health issues. Top contenders for gold in the remaining three disciplines are subject to health issues -- Evgeni's knees and Zhao's foot, as well as Irina's own health and that of her mom -- that can change everything overnight.
Jositz, sounds like you have annointed Irina. Im not so sure, however if the points are as over done as they have been you may be right. My guess is this will be pay back for the OGM Irina should have won in SLC according to her and the Russian Fed. Now are you saying she is so much better then the others or she will be gifted as usual. That means to me she will get points way over the top and your right no one else can win. That will be the end of skating. People arnt stupid and they do see.
Lovin' the Kween ... Now and Forever
I do have some feelings about this Joe, but like you I know they could change drastically by the time the GP is over.
Dance is over and done with IMO. And not because I think the top team is unbeatable ... but because they would have to trip over one another IMO for the judges to even think of marking them down.
Men ... if Plushy is healthy, I see no contest here. I too, think there might be one American on the podium.
Pairs and Ladies ... these two are both where I think the problems will be.
S&Z better be perfect or they will lose the gold. OTOH, T&M do not have to be perfect to win.
How likely do you think it will be to have a non-Russian gold medal pairs team?
Time will tell if Michelle will be totally ready ... I think we will know this long before Torino. IF she is ready and competitive, I think it would be very difficult to mark her low if she skates clean.
Sasha will have to show she can step it up and not make mistakes. Otherwise, they will punish her for that.
Irina will be held up to some degree I am sure. Just how blatant it will be I have no idea. After seeing how they marked her SP at Worlds ... well, it's clear they will do everything humanly possible to get her the gold. The odd thing here is that MK could be the only stumbling block in all this. Like I mentioned earlier ... if Michelle comes out this season skating well, with difficult programs ... then skates beautifully in Torino ... well, then it is going to be very hard for the judges to help Irina ... unless she too makes no mistakes.
So many questions ... I don't remember looking forward to a season as much as I am this one.
I actually think that S&Z are more likely to win than T&M. However, I'm sure the Russian federation would gladly "sell" Irina for T&M - the problem being that there are no takers. The only possible "buyers" for Irina would be US or Japan, and neither won of them is likely to make such a deal with Russia.
I don't disagree with anything you said Joe...clearly, as you have said too, Grand Prix's may mix this up a bit...but until then: And I agree with the general Plushy's knee could lead to him not being on the podium or as shocking really, not gold; Irina's health could be a problem (I think the only way for her to not be gold with good health is either to skate like 02 OR have a great skate but with wild traveling on spins and simply a clean Cohen or Kwan with something big like 3x3's); i can't speak about dance.
Pairs: I really can't imagine S/Z winning without two clean skates (and this could be a problem due to Z's foot problem, their side by side spin problems, and now the problem with the lack of a second triple)...but I can see T/M winning gold with slight problems...
I say there will be at least one russian or one russian pair on the podium wether it gold silver or bronze...
The season has not begun and your already stating Irina will be held up. think Irina's LP at worlds kept a lot of nay-sayers quiet. I hope she does the same in Turino. AlsoI did not agree with Michelle's 3rd placement at 05 worlds, should I expect that judges will hold up a so-so Michelle ahead of a great Fumie?
Originally Posted by nymkfan51
The Olympics is not a Kwan/Slutskaya race. If Kwan comes prepared next season, then she'll have to contend with Kostner, Cohen, Arakawa(who I think will kick major booty) and probably couple of others.
Cohen will most likely win the national title next season. She can now afford a small mistake or two and still win. She'll establish her as the #1 American in Turino. I think COP was designed with Cohen in mind. If she skates clean(with a 3/3) everybody else will be fighting it out for 2nd and 3rd.
I have a feeling that Arakawa will come strong next season, but I think it might be too little too late. I don't think judges will mark her ahead of a clean Slute/Cohen.
Last edited by Excidra2001; 06-29-2005 at 08:51 AM.
If Plushenko is healthy I can't imagine him not winning by a huge margin. As for the others can Lambiel prove Worlds was not a once in a lifetime competition.?Will Joubert find himself? Can Jeff and Johnny contyinue to rack up those component marks? Can Eman get it together? Will Evan blossom? Can timmy return back to old form plus some?
As for the pairs, we have two contenders. If Shen and Zhao nail they will be unbeatable. Who else will stand on the podium with S/Z and T/M. Will is be P/T, Z/Z or the other P/T. Will O/S finally reach the podium?
Dance- Right now my money is on N/K hands down but can D/S pick up the pieces and put together a masterpiece. Will F-P/M and D/V really comerback. If they do can they shake things up at the top?
Ladies- This year was Irina's year but will next year be her year as well? Can Michelle master COP's. If she puts it into gear adapt her skating to COP's and adds a triple/triple she will be a contender. Can Sasha hold it together? The Olympic pressure has gotten the best of these three ladies before. If Carolina grows artistically and keeps it together watch out. Can Shizuka put last year behind her. Chances are TT will create top notch programs. If Miki does the quad will it give vher enough. Don't forget about Joannie Rochette! Who will be the third US lady? Will the others even make the team?
Excidra, I have to disagree about Arakawa. She is a head case. She proved all 04/05 season that 04 Worlds was a fluke. Her GPF was a disaster (still managed 2nd - how, I have no idea). And her worlds LP was nothing special either. As the leading Japanese lady, she has nothing but pressure on her, especially after her federation asked her and her teammates to peak next year. (Who knows, maybe she just follows instructions really well.)
Joe, I - and we all know I'm not alone - absolutely agree: things will be very tight. Are you implying that Irina is a lock if her health stays in check? If so, I agree.
I think one downside to COP is that the cleanest program doesn't necessarily win. Not that the cleanest programs are inherently the best, but if the skates at Turino are like the skates at SLC, I'll take the most Sarah-like program there is. But the judges won't.
If someone like Suguri or Poykio (sp?) has two clean, impassioned skates, she won't win. I don't think she'd even medal. The podium guest list only has three names: Cohen, Kwan, Slutskaya (in ABC order).
I at COP!
I think the men will have an even tighter competition. Plushenko, Klimkin, Sandhu, Buttle, Weir, Joubert, Lambiel, maybe even Li, Lysacek, Goebel, Lindemann, or Honda. That's 12 men! I wouldn't be shocked if any of them made the podium. Am I forgetting any?
Interesting side note: Weir is the only one of those 12 who hasn't stood on any major international podiums. No OGs, no worlds, no GPF, no 4CCs/euros.
I even think that the judges are less keen on Plushenko than they are on Slutskaya. (NYMKFAN51, I respectfully disagree with you: I don't think Plushenko is a lock.) This competition is WIDE open. Grand Prix will tell a lot. Is a quad even necessary?! Joe, you say a N. Amer. man may "squeeze" on the podium. I think the chances are much better than that.
~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~
Let's see, the Olympics are not until 2006? A lot can happen before then. I don't think anyone can predict so soon what the outcome will be. Unless you have a crystal ball or know something the rest of us don't.
Russia always has a strong presence at any figure skating competition, but there are no guarantees. Anything can happen and will.
Irina was mostly held up by the judges all season last year - the only performance that actually deserved the marks she got was the LP at worlds last year but i think regardless how she skated she would have gotten those marks. The marking of her in the SP and at Europeans was plain dispicable. I think Irina is the favourite for gold, not because she skates the best but because that's what the judges want. She skated one good program last year - the LP at worlds and that was it, does she have another performance like that in her for the Olys next year? Who knows. I think Kostner will be the one to watch - she fills the criteria of yound teenager rising through the ranks in time to peak for the Olys. Wasn't it someone on here who pointed out that Hughes had the same 5th then 3rd finishes at the worlds leading up to the Olys? In my heart of hearts i'd like to see Michelle and Irina go 1-2 - i don't mind who gets which place so long as the one who sktes the best two programs gets the first, for two reasons - firstly, they are my favourite skaters of all the women right now, and secondly to prove that you don't have to be a teenager to do well in this sport!
I can't remember the last time i cared so little about any of the men. Plushy leaves me cold despite his technical brilliance, i can't say that i find lambiel particularly thrilling to watch and all the gushing over his spins when he can't seem to get his free foot higher than his hip is camel spin is truly beyond me. Due to tape problems i've still never seen Buttle skate, and have only seen Sandhu skate a couple of times but loved what i saw. I don't get the buzz about the US skaters much either so all in all i'll have to wait and see. The Russians after PLushy are of interest, especially if Klimkin is back this season...anyone have any news? Oh and i love Dambier's skating even though he's unlikely to be a threat unless he gets his consistency up, it was the SP that let him down this season.
This is the one to watch...do we have any news on S/Z? Do we know if they've been training the throw 4Sal for the Olys? Have they been training another solo triple jump? T/M hile they are technically great - like Plushy they leave me cold and i would hate to see them win with a cold perforamnce like they usually give. I really like Obertas/Slavnov - i haven't enjoyed their sloppy COP gymnastic hokey hokey programs of late but if they can tone that down a bit and now that they can't do 5 milllion triple toes in their programs i'd be interested to see how they fair.
I just don't bother with dance since it is totally fixed and with all the prescribed elements is barely recognisable as dance any more! Will be rooting for the Kerrs to do well though because i've enjoyed all of their free dances a lot (my favourite being the matrix)!