Hi everyone! My apologies for the delayed post, my last couple weeks have been rather odd and busy.
Before talking about the final Grand Prix Event, here’s some news.
- Japanese Olympic Team Selection
Turns out I was slightly wrong on this; here’s the official description.
The selection of Men and Ladies single
In the time of the ending of Japan Nationals, it is decided by the following selecting method from among the Olympic participation qualifier and it is recommended to the figure skating committee.
① As for the 1st entry, it selects the winner of Japan Nationals.
② The 2nd entry selects from among the 2nd place of Japan Nationals, the 3rd place of Japan Nationals and the highest rank Japanese on the podium of the Grand Prix final.
③ The 3rd entry selects from among the players who leaked out from the selection of ②, the upper three Japanese in the world standing at the time of the ending of Japan nationals and the upper three Japanese of ISU season best score.
2. Alissa Czisny withdraws from Sectionals http://www.usfsa.org/Story.asp?id=49713&type=media
By withdrawing from Sectionals her season is officially over.
“It’s a tough decision for me not to compete at sectionals this week. I’ve given my very best to make a full recovery and a successful comeback to competition, but I’m simply not yet completely prepared to be competitive. I’ve made great progress, and all the elements are returning, but it’s been slow and I cannot rush the process without risking further injury. I’m so thankful for everyone who has supported me on this journey, and especially to those people who have been there every step of the way. It breaks my heart that I will not be competing this season. As for the future, I’m still uncertain what that holds for me. Skating has been a passion for me, and I definitely want to continue skating through performing in shows.”
3. Defending Champ Takahashi out of GPF with leg injury http://msn.foxsports.com/olympics/story/defending-champ-daisuke-takahashi-out-of-grand-prix-final-with-leg-injury-112813
“The Japan Skating Federation said Thursday that Takahashi hurt his right leg during a practice on Tuesday and will require at least two weeks of rest to recover. Reserve Nobunari Oda will replace Takahashi in the elite six-man field.”
This makes things very interesting, probably not the best thing for Daisuke moving forward. However, he is a rock star in Japan and I can’t imagine him not making the Olympic team. But this doesn’t help things and he’ll have his work cut out for him at Nationals. This is a great opportunity for Oda, he can solidify his spot amongst the top Japanese men heading towards Nationals. I still think he’ll be the odd man out but it’ll be one exciting and nerve-wracking event to follow!
4. After Three hard Years, Asada hope to Shine in Sochi http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/11/29/us-olympics-figure-skating-asada-idUSBRE9AS02L20131129
“Over the last three years I’ve been through a lot of pain and worry. But it’s because of that pain that I’ve gotten to where I am now. If I hadn’t gone through these tough times, I don’t think I’d have come as far as I have, to being in my current condition.”
Really nice article focusing on her struggles since Vancouver.
5. Taking Stock of the Olympic Free Dances http://www.theskatinglesson.com/taking-stock-of-the-olympic-free-dances/
Very interesting blog post comparing the top FDs of the season.
6. Next week is the Grand Prix Final but it’s also the Skate Canada Challenge (Qualifying for Nationals). There are a couple competitors worth mentioning.
- Kaetlyn Osmond will be skating, we all hope she’s recovered from injury but it’s slightly worrisome she won’t have any International experience this season before the Olympics.
- Kaetlyn will come face-to-face with Gabby Daleman and Alaine Chartrand, both of whom have been putting up high scores this season and shared the National podium with Kaetlyn last season.
- I think everyone but Amelie will be at Challenge in Sr Ladies who will also be at Nationals.
- Emanuel Sandhu is on the entry list. After returning last season and rediscovering his love for skating I have to question why he’s coming back again. I can’t imagine he thinks he’ll make the National team.
- Jeremy Ten and Andrei Rogozine are competing, both have byes to Nationals I believe. Interesting Kevin Reynolds isn’t making an appearance here, after his boot issues this season. Hopefully he gets those solved quickly.
- Paige and Rudi and Natasha and Mervin will be skating head to head for the first time. This should be a preview for the fight for third at Nationals.
Should be an exciting event!
Rostelecom Cup 2013
A decent outing for the Germans. Though I don’t see any possible way they’ll challenge for gold in Sochi. And by including the throw 3A and having a very small success rate with it I wonder if they’re putting too much emphasis on it and not enough on other things. They’re still a great team but I wonder at times if they’ll even make the Olympic podium.
I can’t get behind Bazarova and Larionov. They seem so unmatched on the ice and don’t look like actual team. And Vera is gorgeous with beautiful lines but that jumping technique is just atrocious.
And what a disaster for Kirsten and Dylan! Goodness! It was a very uncharacteristic event for them, though better to be messy here than at Nationals or Olympics. I still think they have a solid chance to pass Meagan and Eric and grab an Olympic medal and the Canadian title.
Who would have thought Carolina wouldn’t make the GPF? This event was better than her last but her current jump content will not stand up in Sochi. There are rumours going around that she’ll switch back to her Bolero FS from last season, but just a rumour at the moment.
I think Julia Lipnitskaia is the one to watch this season! She is riding a wave of momentum right now and it just keeps going up. It was nice to see her show her human side. Though I doubt we’ll see her struggle again anytime soon.
Congrats to Mirai Nagasu. I, and a few others had completely written her off. She was one to watch during the last Olympics but growing and under-rotations have not helped her out. We’ll see at Nationals if this was a one-time event or an upward trend.
Oh this event was a little messy. It shows that things really haven’t changed in ice dance and country politics play a huge role.
Should the Russians have won this event? Probably not. I think Kaitlyn and Andrew have two of the best programs of the season. They are a strong and dynamic team and their programs are great! Yes they may have lost some levels in the SD but 9 points lower than Skate Canada! Really!?! Their FD was also great and I’m glad they won that portion of the event.
Bobrova and Soloviev were just messy, extremely messy. Nothing they did was at a world bronze medalist quality. I also think their FD is the worst FD I’ve seen in a while. They’re trying to portray two birds being hunted, with dogs barking at the start. It’s just weird and definitely not an Olympic level program. I really hope things change come GPF and they don’t maintain their place as the 3rd ranked team.
Yay Misha! Glad he got to skate on the Grand Prix circuit.
Who would have thought Javier wouldn’t make the GPF! He does not look like the same skater who won Euros and World bronze last season. His jumps and overall skating just looks so weak this season. I hope he uses this time to figure things out and he appears at Euros and Sochi looking like the skater we all remember from last season. I also heard rumours he’s switching his FS back to Chaplin, but still just a rumour at present.
Congrats to both Kovtun and Machida! They have shown this season that they want to be at the Olympics.
And I really hope Russia doesn’t ignore Kovtun’s Grand Prix medals. He deserves to be in Sochi far more than Plushenko does.
And Machida has solidified himself as one of the top Japanese men (I never would have guessed that coming into the season). I look forward to seeing how he stacks up against Yuzu and Oda at the GPF. And then seeing everything plays out later this month at Nationals.
Thanks for reading. This weekend I’ll try my best to post about GPF and Challenge.