Predictions: Grand Prix Final 2018

rika kihira 2018

This is truly one of the strangest GPFs – there’s no Evgenia, Yuzu or Papadakis/Cizeron. All in all, it has been an interesting post-Olympic season. Hopefully all goes well to Evgenia, who’s trying to re-learn all that she’s ever known, Yuzu for a speedy recovery, and well, I think Papadakis/Cizeron need no encouragement or help considering their performance at the Internationaux de France was quite dominant (though the marks needed a little more growing room for the rest of the season). Either way, the predictions will be quite tough this time around since this GPF will help determine how the dust will settle over the course of this new Olympic cycle.

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Predictions: NHK Trophy 2018

 

rika kihira

Like last week, this week’s predictions will be names on a page. I feel like work, life and everything in between has dialed it up to 11 lately and I am in a serious need for a break. As a result, I have decided to extend my non-CoR coverage this year so I can properly get some rest during my trip next week.

Side-note: I loved Hiroshima when I last visited. It was a city with a lot of heart. I am so envious of the people who get to go to the competition live this year.

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Predictions: Grand Prix of Helsinki 2018

yuzuru 18 worlds lp

Work has gone from 0 to 100 in a very short span of time, I’m slightly sleep deprived, trying to keep up with my social calendar, while planning my vacation for next week. (I’ll be in Japan during the week of NHK! Is figure skating popular in Okinawa too? A tropical paradise doesn’t seem like a place where figure skating would be super popular…) You can say that life is a crazy whirlwind for me right now. Names on page predictions this week for the Grand Prix of Helsinki. Onwards!

Men

Gold: Yuzuru Hanyu
Silver: Mikhail Kolyada (can win gold here – Hanyu doesn’t really start out strong on his first GP)
Bronze: Boyang Jin

Potential spoiler for a medal: Jun Hwa Cha

Ladies

Gold: Alina Zagitova (it pains me to say this considering how her programs are so… blah)
Silver: Kaori Sakamoto
Bronze: Yuna Shiraiwa

Pairs

Gold: Natalia Zabiiako & Alexander Enbert
Silver: Nicole Della Monica & Matteo Guarise
Bronze: Tae Ok Ryom & Ju Sik Kim (Is it weird that I’m kind of hoping that the North Korean cheerleading squad will show up?)

Ice Dance

Gold: Alexandra Stepanova & Ivan Bukin
Silver: Charlene Guignard & Marco Fabbri
Bronze: Lorraine McNamara & Quinn Carpenter

Confession: Sara Hurtado & Kirill Khaliavin’s FD to Pink Floyd and Harry Styles’ Sign of the Times is a guilty pleasure kind of program for me. I don’t like the music cuts but the campy drama? I live for it.

What are your predictions? And any Japanese readers have any recommendations for things to do/try in Okinawa?

~The Rinkside Cafe

Cup of Russia 2011: Predictions

November has been dragging on for so long that I completely forgot that the last of the grand prix events before the final is this week. Wow. Fail. Ok, here they are before I post them when the competition is halfway done. Also, you can also read my GPF competitor’s list predictions post here.

Men

Javier Fernandez, Michal Brezina and Jeremy Abbott are the ones to watch here. All of them are potential headcases who can brilliant when they are spot on. I’m hoping that Yuzuru will prove me wrong and get his ass on the podium but he needs to work on his stamina for his LP, which is still beautiful, despite his mistakes. The field at the CoR for the men’s competition is actually pretty decent and this should be a very exciting competition. Not to mention that the first group of skaters won’t be that painful to watch. This is probably really dumb, but I haven’t checked the scores for any of these men while doing these predictions so my top 3 can combinations of any of the three men listed. Though I’m praying hard for a Yuzuru upset.

Predictions:

Gold: Jeremy Abbott
Silver: Javier Fernandez
Bronze: Michal Brezina

Ladies

Mao Asada will be there! That’s all you need to know, really. Just kidding. Adelina Sotnikova should be a good contender for a medal here, though I can’t see her beating Mao unless Mao has headcase skates. I’m not sure if a silver is enough to earn her a spot in the final, which is a pity because that means she won’t be competing with Liza until Russian Nationals. To finish the podium off… um… Alena Leonova is a possibility, especially with hometown advantage. Kiira Korpi has polish that Alena can only dream of but she’s not as consistent. Which is kind of sad…

Predictions

Gold: Mao Asada
Silver: Adelina Sotnikova
Bronze: Alena Leonova

Pairs

A rematch between Yuko Kavaguti & Alexander Smirnov and Aliona Savchenko & Robin Szolkowy should be super exciting. S/S haven’t been consistent all season and despite Yuko’s penchant to look like some crazy creepy jointed doll, K/S have been doing very well this season. I don’t think they’ll beat Volosozhar and Trankov at Russian Nationals but all they need here is a shaky skate from S/S to win gold. I haven’t really heard of any of the other teams here so I’m just going to put one of the random Russian pairs for my bronze predictions. Go ahead, surprise me. Though I’m not sure if I want to watch this competition live. Sleep is becoming hard to come by these days.

Predictions:

Gold: Yuko Kavaguti & Alexander Smirnov (Prove me wrong, Aliona and Robin!)
Silver: Aliona Savchenko & Robin Szolkowy
Bronze: Katarina Gerboldt & Alexander Enbert

Ice Dance

Barring major injury, Davis and White should win. Even if they fall a few times, it wouldn’t really matter because the only team that can touch them is Tessa and Scott. Kaitlyn Weaver & Andrew Poje and Ekaterina Bobrova & Dmitri Soloviev should have an interesting battle for silver. Both teams have been doing very well this season and although I prefer the former, I wouldn’t be surprised if the latter has an advantage for being Russian and the current #1 Russian team. Ilinykh/Katsalapov is still not achieving the meteoric rise everyone expects from them and at the moment, Bobrova and Sloviev seem like Russia’s best hope for a gold at Sochi. Bobrova has very classic lines and reminds me a little of Oksana Domnina but this team needs to work on their FD. Kaitlyn and Andrew, on the other hand, has improved leaps and bounds and is skating with a wonderful speed and a new power that I’ve never seen before. (And their SD is the most watchable of all SDs this season.) I’d like to put my faith in the #2 Canadian team but one never knows with bullshit Russian judging. Though nowadays, the same could be said with a Canadian competition with Patrick Chan involved. Then again, it doesn’t really matter because W/P I think have enough points to get to the final anyways. Decisions, decisions…

Predictions

Gold: Meryl Davis & Charlie White
Silver: Ekaterina Bobrova & Dmitri Soloviev
Bronze: Kaitlyn Weaver & Andrew Poje

I’m slightly delirious and groggy as I’m writing this. Any comments on how crazy these predictions are?

~The Rinkside Cafe