Olys: Will USA medal at all?
Men: Will the USA place anyone in the top six? Or could it be...
Ladies: Between Sasha and Michelle, we should be able to squeak out a silver or a bronze. But Irina is the favorite, Carolina will be looking to improve on her third-place result in front of a home crowd audience and home town judges, and you can't count out Rochette or Poykio.
Could a resurgent Japan could knock the Americans off the podium altogether.?
Pairs: We'll be lucky with a top 10. (But even so, go Katie and Garrett! )
Dance: If Belbin and Agosto can't go, no medal prospect there, either.
How is our speed skating team looking this year?
It is certainly possible that the US won't medal at all -- and I agree that the pairs don't have a chance (and that ice dance depends on whether or not Belbin & Agosto go). However, in the singles events, it is equally possible that Lysacek, Weir, Sasha, and Michelle will all medal. After all, health of critcial competitors can change overnight. Kostner may hold it together as did Sarah; she may fall apart before the home town crowd as at Europeans. Shizuka can come back; she may also be a Butyrskaya with one magical night at Worlds that is not equalled again. Can Joubert come back? Can E-man skate clean? IMO, this is the widest-open men's and ladies events in years.
Lovin' the Kween ... Now and Forever
Agree ... pairs, absolutely not!
Dance ... maybe, if B&A compete.
Men ... Plushy is the only guaranteed spot on the podium, IMO. Evan has a great chance of making it, maybe Johnny. I love Timmy, but I doubt he can do it.
Ladies ... if Irina is healthy, she is a lock. The other 2 spots are wide open, IMO.
The best prospects would be Sasha, MK, Shizuka, Carolina, Fumie and Miki.
Rochette has an outside chance.
I don't understand the Poykio choice. She's a delightful young lady, but I see nothing in her skating thus far to indicate she can challenge these other ladies.
I seriously doubt the USA would leave without at least one medal.
It is entirely feasible that Sasha and/or Michelle could medal.
For the men, I have high hopes for Evan and Johnny... and for perhaps a great dark horse who emerges at Nats.
I am certain that either Michellle or Sasha will medal. Sasha should medal if she doesn't have a disastrous night. As for men, as much as I like Evan, I don't see him medaling again. Weir has a better chance.
The men's results at Worlds 2005 aren't a great indicator of who will medal at Torino. Plushenko withdrew due to injury, and not one of the medalwinners had a clean skate. Lambiel won gold with two quads but landed no 3A, 3Z or 3F. Buttle had no quad and fell on both 3A attempts. Lysacek had no quad, no solo 3A and no 3L. Weir was injured and didn't make the podium, edged out by Lysacek.
I think a healthy Weir can easily beat Lysacek, and has a good shot of beating Buttle, and a healthy Weir with a quad can challenge Lambiel.
It's all about Plushenko.
I think the chances of no medals at all are slim, especially for the ladies. If Michelle Kwan stands up, she will medal. If Sasha Cohen stands up, she might win. I also think that the chances of Sandhu making it are slim. He's awesome but so inconsistent! Lysacek has a definite advantage going in as a reigning medalist of making the top 5 or 6, but we'll have to see.
Joe, I do understand what you're saying. However, this year Den & Sta had an exceptionally bad FS. Also, by Worlds they got discouraged enough to deliver a rather flat performance (not that I believe they should have been marked behind GrushGons). While I agree they're unlikely to win, I think it's like TT says - if you're head and shoulders above the rest, they can't help but give you the marks. With Linichuk, Den & Sta have a shot at being head and shoulders above the rest.
Del & Scho are a different question. I think this season they were still largely hurt by the judges pre-judging them out of medal contention. Bad judging, perhaps, but not so much of judge collusion. With the exception of an excellent 2000 season, this team has been climbing the ratings every year. I fully expect this trend to continue into next season.
I would think the U.S. has decent chances to get both one (or more) of the men and one (again, or more) of the ladies into the top 5. I think the odds of a medal in either of those disciplines for the U.S is fairly good. Both? Maybe. But I really do not think the U.S. will leave the Olympics empty-handed in figure skating medals. Just doesn't strike me as likely.
Oh, and Emily Hughes a better chance to medal than either Kwan or Cohen?? MAYBEEEE.....but....
They girl is just out of juniors for crying out loud!
Last edited by Kasey; 07-22-2005 at 06:34 AM.
Reason: Read a few more responses!
Ptichka - I can't agree that Den&Sta had a bad dance. I believe the routine was misunderstood. It was much more difficult than Tosca was, and watching it in Moscow, even I was surprised how good they skated.
N&T are a typical 'russian' team. Everything is in place, and nicely skated a la russe. Den&Sta, despite their backgrounds, are not typically Russian. They are, imo, an original couple dancing on the ice. That is their forte - originality - and they happen to be very good technicians. Hopefully, they are looked at better in the Olys.
The Americans, imo, were trying to be Russian and they lost me. They have good technique but with those wild gyrations (audience appeal) which are not difficult, I prefer looking at the Kerrs.
Del&Sho, I believe you are correct. They will be next season's top team. they have that French je ne sais quoi sinuous body movements. Very entertaining for me to watch.
Last edited by Joesitz; 07-22-2005 at 06:12 PM.
Sorry- just can't get on the Emily bandwagon. I see her as a skater with potential- maybe with a little age, maturity, body-imaging (nicest way I can think to put it) and grooming she'll be a podium contender. I like Bebe best of the young-un's.
I tend to agree with dancindiva03 that Jenny may have worn out her welcome. Everyone has been pulling for her for so long- but she never really seems to rise to the challenge.
Lovin' the Kween ... Now and Forever
I agree about Jenny, sadly.
I thought she showed her best stuff at SA '03, where she skated two marvelous programs. Unfortunately, she never seemed to build on that, as I had hoped she would.
Don't get me wrong, NOTHING would make me happier than to see her come out on fire this season ... I just don't see that as likely though.
Until we have seen some of the top contender's programs, I think it will be difficult to guess who will even make the team, let alone the podium. The wily veterans (Kwan, Cohen, Weir, Weiss, Goebel) will have as much pressure as the hungry youngsters (Meissner, Hughes, Liang, Taylor, Lysacek, Smith, Rogers, Brauninger) to even make the team. If the youngsters get great results in their GPS, or JGPS, it should give them some confidence going into nationals.
My best guess puts at least one man and one lady on the podium in those disciplines. I don't think Tanith is going to get her citizenship in time, so the U.S. will be lucky to get a top ten finish in dance. In pairs, Inoue and Baldwin (if Rena's citizenship goes through as planned) may also squeak into the top ten.
In all honesty, I believe there's a distinct possibility that the American figure skaters will not win any medals at Torino.
The men, certainly, aren't guaranteed a medal, despite the fact that Lysacek won a surprise bronze at this year's Worlds, Goebel won a bronze at Salt Lake City, and Weir has the potential to medal. The field is just incredibly deep with talented men - the Russians, Germans, and others.
As for the women, I expect to see either Cohen or Kwan - or perhaps both - win medals, but I do not expect either of them to win the gold medal. Irina Slutskaya is the favorite, not just because she's the defending World champion, but the judges love her. She skated a sub-par, slopped long program at SLC and nearly won the gold medal Cohen might take herself out of medal contention with mistakes, and Kwan might not have the technical content to challenge for a medal. If the US is shut out of the medals, it will be the first time an American woman has not appeared on the Olympic podium since 1964, and that was because the US team was rebuilding itself after the tragic plane crash in 1961 that took the lives of the entire US skating team.
As for ice dance, if Belbin doesn't get her dual US/Canadian citizenship in time so that she and Agosto can compete at Torino - and that seems likely - there won't be a medal won by Americans. They are the only team that is of medal experience and quality.
As for the pairs - please. I'm sorry, but the US pairs program is really going through a dry period in terms of talent and ability to win medals.
So.....the Stars and Stripes might not be raised at any of the figure skating medal ceremonies. Hopefully, this will not be the case, but it's a distinct possibility.
All of the above is IMHO, of course.