I apologize for the lack of posts last week. Things are happening and I’m really stressed out and going through weird ups and downs. Thank you for all of my faithful readers who motivate me to write whenever I feel mixed up and crazy, even if I’m just writing about figure skating. In any case, my last post included podium predictions for the men and now, I should do predictions for all the other disciplines before this crazy competition starts.
The ladies competition will be a definitive time for a lady to establish herself as the favourite going into Worlds. Seeing that a basic nobody won Europeans with Kiira Korpi and Carolina Kostner’s consistency in question… again, the Japanese and Americans are the ones to be looking at when the World championships roll along. Now the question is who will be the one wearing the gold medal at the end of the day and challenge Queen
Sondok Yuna. (I’m sorry Yuna, even though you’re a great figure skater, you aren’t as epic and cool as Queen Sondok… if the stories about her from the Samsuk Sagi are true.) Alissa Czisny delivered steady performances at Nationals which solidified her position as a threat to the World podium after winning the Grand Prix Final. Unfortunately, not all the skaters were up to par while others (*cough*Carolina Kostner*cough*) had scores that were a bit questionable though it seems as if those scores may soon disappear with the reappearance of inconsistency in that particular skater.
Everyone will probably be holding their breath for Mao Asada, the current World champion. Mao has been reworking her jumps this season, which lead to a really rocky start. She lost her National title to Miki Ando, meaning that she still had ways to go back in January. Let’s hope that she regains her mental strength and consistency enough to put up a good fight. She is the only one who has consistently beaten Yuna Kim and perhaps the only one who can put up a good fight against the Olympic champion if she is back in form despite not doing any competitions this season. Ando, on the other hand, still has choreography that leaves much to be desired. However, she has big jumps and her consistency is decent unless she’s injured. I don’t think her programs are good enough vehicles to take her to another World title against Yuna, but who knows. Sleeping with Nikolai Morozov has its advantages I guess.
Akiko Suzuki will hopefully give out lovely performances as usual, which will be sadly undermarked. It’s tough being weighed down by being the #4 Japanese lady when you can easily be the #1 Canadian lady. Or even European champion. I say she should give up her Japanese citizenship. She’d save Canada a lot of embarrassment at Worlds if she did.
Podium prediction – A combination of any of the ladies mentioned above.
Pang and Tong should win this thing pretty easily. Pairs is one of the disciplines with major European contenders aka, being European pairs champion actually means something. A few people who could actually medal are Kirsten Moore-Towers & Dylan Moscovitch, whose interesting scores have propelled them into what may look like the top 10 at Worlds this year. Narumi Takahashi & Mervin Tran have shown that they are capable, even as new senior skaters by getting a spot in the GPF, although Caitlin Yankowskas & John Coughlin with their touching/well-sold/packaged LP may be a good challenge for the bronze.
Gold: Pang & Tong
Silver: Moore-Towers & Moscovitch
Bronze: Yankowskas & Coughlin
Four Continents marks the return of our darling Olympic champions, Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir. Winning this competition will immediately place them in good contention for gold at Worlds, although the fact that they had less training time and program-tweaking time (I mean, Meryl and Charlie had to improve their programs throughout the season this year) may be a disadvantage. However, who knows, maybe Skate Canada will pull something weird out of their bag and we may see questionable gold medals on their necks. (Not that I don’t believe in them but I would rather have them beat Marlie fair and square rather than see them win by politicking.) Meryl Davis & Charlie White will be the ones to beat since they’ve been undefeated all season without Tessa and Scott in their way. Their tango FD has improved but they still lack the sex – sex that their rivals exude – that is required to pull off a great tango. Vanessa Crone & Paul Poirier, Kaitlyn Weaver & Andrew Poje and to a lesser extent, Maia and Alex Shibutani, should be embroiled in a bitter battle for bronze. The two Canadian teams have been at it with Crone and Poirier getting the edge but the good news is, they’re getting really close. C/P won only by 1.03 points, which can be a lot in ice dance, but I guess it can be worse. Weaver and Poje, I believe, has worked on their FD. I sincerely hope to see them triumph over C/P one day. Sooner rather than later would be nice. Being the I-refuse-to-be-nationalistic figure skating fan, I will once again, incur the ire of the people who share the same citizenship as I do and say that I would like it best if the little American brother-sister team won. Maia and Alex have lovely lines, posture and musicality. They glide around the ice with what seems like no effort and Alex is a wonderful lead and partner who reminds me a lot of Scott Moir. Their FD this year is gorgeous as well.
Gold/Silver: Toss of between Tessa & Scott and Meryl & Charlie (it depends on 1. who skates better 2. has better programs and whether or not the judges have drunk Skate Canada cool-aid) – I can’t decide between a toss off between the two without seeing how Tessa and Scott are doing at the moment and what their programs are like. I may have to give the edge to Meryl and Charlie just for their exposure though.
Bronze: Vanessa Crone & Paul Poirier =(
I’d love to upload pictures but there is so much to do and never enough time. But I’d still love to hear your thoughts/opinions/predictions!
~The Rinkside Cafe