Predictions: Grand Prix Final 2016

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I swore that I would be on top of things for the GPF so I am starting early this week. The only downside to this is that if there’s last minute withdrawals, I’ll have to change things up.

In any case, the GPF is looking to be an exciting competition where skaters will want to line themselves nicely going into Worlds. The stakes are higher this season because their standings at Worlds determine a) how many skaters their country gets to send to the Olympics and b) their reputation and momentum going into the Olympic season. The GPF will determine the course of a few things as we head into the stretch of the season devoted to Nationals, 4CC and Euros.

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Debrief: Grand Prix Final – Part II

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Alright! It’s time for part II of the Grand Prix Final debrief with the pairs and ice dance competition! I apologize for the lateness but better late than never? These posts remind me why I usually do a “State of the Union” post after the GPF but it seems this season, my tardiness has some benefits. I believe some of the results at Nationals may be a little more telling than what transpired at the GPF so… I will do a 4CC predictions post but all my thoughts on the outcomes of Euros and 4CC and some of the national competitions will be summed up in a State of the Union post.

As for Worlds… well, I have a bit of a surprise which I think I will reveal a little later in the season. But first, GPF debrief! Let’s go!

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State of the Union 2014/15

After watching Obama’s interesting speech yesterday, I decided to write this post as my GPF recap post while also commenting on how I feel the season will go now that we’ve reached the mid-way point. The GPF was quite a telling competition and already, certain pieces are starting to fall into place as the Olympic cycle is slowly picking up.

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Here are my thoughts on the GPF and what the competition is like as we go into the second half of the figure skating season. More

Roster for the GPF 2012

Men

Wow, Team Japan is going in strong here.

Yuzuru Hanyu
Daisuke Takahashi
Takahiko Kozuka
Tatsuki Machida

And the non-Japanese…

Patrick Chan
Javier Fernandez

Alternates: Jeremy Abbott, Florent Amodio, Takahito Mura

Ladies

Akiko Suzuki
Mao Asada
Julia Lipnitskaia (out due to injury)
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva
Ashley Wagner
Kiira Korpi

*Christina Gao (taking Lipnitskaia’s place)

Alternates: Mirai Nagasu, Kanako Murakami

Pairs

*sob* No Aliona & Robin

And note that Mother Russia wants her gold back in pairs.

Tatiana Volosozhar & Maxim Trankov
Yuko Kavaguti & Alexander Smirnov
Vera Bazarova & Yuri Larionov

The only somewhat plausible threat to a Russian sweep of the medals?

Qing Pang & Jian Tong

Though I’m sure PJ Kwong will have to talk about how fabulous these guys will be and how they could be a threat for silver or bronze:

Meaghan Duhamel & Eric Radford
Kirsten Moore-Towers & Dylan Moscovitch

Alternates: Caydee Denney & John Coughlin, Stefania Berton & Ondrej Hotarek, Ksenia Stolbova & Fedor Klimov

Ice Dance

The epic battle continues between

Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir
Meryl Davis & Charlie White

Mother Russia will make an attack for the bronze with

Elena Ilinykh & Nikita Katsalapov (and their craptastic Ghost program)
Ekaterina Bobrova & Dmitri Sloviev

Though the rest of Europe will try to take bronze from the Russians through

Nathalie Pechalat & Fabian Bourzat
Anna Cappellini & Luca Lanotte

Alternates: Kaitlyn Weaver & Andrew Poje, Ekaterina Riazanova & Ilia Tkachenko, Maia & Alex Shibutani

Not too bad a roster for the GPF this year. What do you think?

~The Rinkside Cafe

GPF 2011 – Predictions on who will be there and who won’t

So I admit I’m a bit confused over the 3 entry thing this year for the Grand Prix series and as a result, I’m making predictions without looking at the points that everyone’s gotten so far. Most of them are pretty obvious by now, though.

Men

  1. Daisuke Takahashi
  2. Patrick Chan
  3. Michal Brezina
  4. Song Nan
  5. Javier Fernandez
  6. Jeremy Abbott

Ladies

  1. Elizaveta Tukatmysheva
  2. Carolina Kostner
  3. Alissa Czisny
  4. Mao Asada
  5. Akiko Suzuki
  6. Adelina Sotnikova

Pairs

  1. Aliona Savchenko & Robin Szolkowy
  2. Yuko Kavaguti & Alexander Smirnov
  3. Tatiana Volosozhar & Maxim Trankov
  4. The Zhangs
  5. Kirsten Moore-Towers & Dylan Moscovitch
  6. Narumi Takahashi & Mervin Tran

Ice Dance

  1. Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir
  2. Meryl Davis & Charlie White
  3. The Shibutanis
  4. Nathalie Pechalat & Fabian Bourzat
  5. Ekaterina Bobrova & Dmitri Sloviev
  6. Kaitlyn Weaver & Andrew Poje

I’m sort of half-asleep while writing this so what do you think?

~The Rinkside Cafe

P.S. Cup of Russia predictions will be posted later on this week. Event coverage will be limited until the new year. I apologize. Though my schedule may allow me to make an exception for the GPF.

The Senior Grand Prix Series is almost here!!!

Who’s excited??? Here are the dates for each of the events:

Skate America
Ontario, U.S.A
October 21st to October 23rd
Entries

Skate Canada
Mississauga, Canada
October 28th to October 30th
Entries

Cup of China
Shanghai, China
November 4th to November 6th
Entries

NHK Trophy
Sapporo, Japan
November 11th to November 13th
Entries

TEB
Paris, France
November 18th to November 20th
Entries

Rostelecom Cup
Moscow, Russia
November 25th to November 27th
Entries

Grand Prix Final
Quebec City, Canada
December 8th to December 11th
Entries – tba!

Just for Fun: A Dose of Cute and Happy from Akiko Suzuki

A long, long time ago, the charming people at ontd_skating compiled a list of skaters with their Twitters. Because they’re just awesome that way. (I’m sorry that I can’t find the actual article. If someone finds it, please send me the link and I’ll put it up asap!) As I scrolled through the list, there was one person who I didn’t manage to follow yet and it was… Akiko Suzuki. Akiko tweets in Japanese (which I can read a little) and admittedly, I only read her tweets when I get bored because only then can I concentrate on all the characters and make them make sense. Sometimes, I click on her links but all in all, I can tell you that Akiko has become even more endearing since I’ve followed her on Twitter.

She’s a very positive person and takes delight in little things like how the sky was so blue in Beijing and her cats. She also tweets a lot. Maybe I’ll get a shoutout. Anyways, today, I thought I’d share  a little Akiko-happy because being happy is one of my goals in life. =D

A picture of her with coach, Hiroshi Nagakubo and (I think – someone, help?) choreographer, Pascal Camerlengo.  (Caption: 今日はながくぼせんせいのお誕生日です。おめでとうございま – Today is Nagakubo-sensei’s birthday. Congratulations.)

Teammates, Nobunari Oda, Daisuke Takahashi, Takahiko Kozuka. (Caption: フィナーレ練習前の日本の3王子!お疲れ様☆ – The three Japanese princes before the [Grand Prix] Final practice. They look tired☆)

Akiko also has these adorable cats. There are more pictures of them on her yfrog. (Caption: 今日はお昼寝日和なのね。 – Today is an afternoon nap kind of day.)

And to end, I think I’ll post a few of my favourite programs by Akiko Suzuki:

2007 FS from Golden Spin (Does anyone know the name of the song at the beginning of the program?)

2009 GPF FS (Is it just me or does she seem to like Romeo and Juliet stories…)

2010 GPF FS (I thought she should’ve been first in this portion of the competition.)

Hope you enjoyed that~!

~The Rinkside Cafe

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