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

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Predictions: Cup of China 2017

sui and han sa 2015

I have a feeling the competition is starting soon so here are my predictions really quickly. The Cup of China is always an interesting competition since there’s always that attempt to build the roster to maximize medals for the home team… except there really isn’t much to work with at the moment outside of pairs for China at times. Either way, onwards and upwards!
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Predictions: Skate America 2016

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Yes, I know, competition has started. And I haven’t written about Worlds at all. At school, they never teach you that adulting is hard. So many demands for my time so I will keep this short. I should try to correct my rambling writing style anyways.

Men

  • Shoma Uno will be hungry to redeem himself at Worlds. He was crying at the kiss and cry (it was so heartbreaking). I think we all knew that he could’ve been the World bronze medalist.
  • Strange. I thought Boyang Jin was supposed to have gone to Frank Carroll for coaching but I don’t see that on his ISU bio. Wonder what happened. Either way, I hope he’s worked on his skating skills during the off season.
  • Dear Skating Gods – I’m not asking for much. I’ll take boring programs over the secondhand embarrassment I felt watching Maxim Kovtun’s programs from last year.
  • I also hope that Jorik Hendrickx doesn’t put the entire speaking track of a movie in his music this year. Actually, maybe for entertainment value, he should. I had a good laugh over it though my seat neighbours in Boston probably thought I was being creepy.
  • Home ice advantage should favour Jason Brown. Unless he bombs and Adam Rippon does well. Who knows, who needs skating skills and fully rotated jumps when home ice advantage can win you a silver medal? (I’ll admit that I’ve leveled that barb unfairly at the men – both Brown and Rippon have good skating skills.)

Gold: Shoma Uno
Silver:
Boyang Jin
Bronze:
Jason Brown

Ladies

  • I feel as if I will have to lower my expectations for Mao as she tries to find her step again, as Carolina did after two disastrous Olympic cycles. Ganbare, Mao-san!
  • You should probably be able to discern my feelings on Ashley Wagner’s World silver medal. Regardless of how I feel, the home ice advantage comment should apply here too.
  • Someone give Gracie Gold programs she actually likes. Firebird was frankly worse live and she looked miserable skating to it. The field is pretty thin here so I wouldn’t be surprised if they tried to give 2 medals to the American ladies here.
  • I admit I wached Mai Mihara’s SP for the competition. She lacks musicality, which is to be expected of someone so young but she skates with so much speed and she lands her jumps really smoothly. I’m impressed.

Gold: Ashley Wagner
Silver:
Mai Mihara
Bronze:
Gracie Gold

Pairs

  • Huh. I feel like I should just pick out 3 teams whose names seem familiar and make that my prediction. The field is really, really thin at Skate America this year.

Gold: Evgenia Tarasova & Vladimir Morozov
Silver:
Julianne Seguin & Charlie Bilodeau
Bronze:
Vanessa James & Morgan Cipres

Ice Dance

  • The ice dance competition should look like USA vs. Russia with two sets of teams for each country.
  • The Shibutanis should be able to win this with the home ice advantage. I hope they continue in the same vein as last year – as in they have programs really suit them.
  • I would like to see what progress Hubbell & Donohue have made, though I feel as if I have a fondness for this team because of Marie-France Dubreuil & Patrice Lauzon (who I hope will be the new rulers of ice dance – I am ready for the end of the reign of Queen Marina).
  • I really hope that Ruslan Zhiganshin has really stepped up his game this season. It would be a pity for Elena Ilinykh’s talent to go to waste. She alone is better than Bobrova & Soloviev but unfortunately, ice dance doesn’t work that way.

Gold: Maia Shibutani & Alex Shibutani
Silver:
Elena Ilinykh & Ruslan Zhiganshin
Bronze:
Madison Hubbell & Zachary Donohue

What are your predictions for Skate America 2016? Let me know in the comments!

~The Rinkside Cafe

Predictions: Worlds 2016

Gracie Gold 2016

I hope everyone had a lovely Easter long weekend! Once my precious days off were over, I realized that Worlds was starting very soon and I had to get my act together and do a Worlds predictions post. My last few predictions have been off the mark but hey, it happens and it won’t deter me from making more. So here goes!

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Predictions: Four Continents 2016

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The Four Continents competition is upon us! The competition will be held in Taipei, Taiwan this year and if you’re going, be sure to check out some awesome local food and here’s a survival guide for a happy journey around Ilha Formosa! As for the skating – here are my predictions! (I sincerely hope I redeem myself a little bit after those disastrous predictions for the GPF…)

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Predictions: NHK Trophy 2015

mao 2015 lp

Another competition is upon us! The NHK Trophy is the last of the GP series before the Grand Prix Final and I am super excited!

In other news, CBC has reported that the ISU will use the standings from the SP as the final standings to calculate who gets into the GPF. This means that my predictions have completely gone into the garbage for TEB but in all honesty, I’m just glad that the skaters are safe. My continued thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by all of the terrible acts of terrorism around the world.

And now, back to our regular programming of predictions for this year’s NHK Trophy. More

Debrief: Cup of China 2015

boyang jin

Well… most of my predictions went out the window last weekend. But what can I say? Ice is slippery and besides, at least we got a lot of great skating from it! Here are some highlights and some random comments here and there on the Cup of China. Feel free to jump in and add your own thoughts in the comments! More

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