Skate America 2013

posted in: Figure Skating | 1

Hello everyone!

That Grand Prix season has officially begun! The Olympic season is upon us.

In previous competition posts I’ve provided links and results and such, as the Grand Prix series gets decent TV coverage and everyone should know where the results are (check out isu.org) I’ll mostly be posting my thoughts on things and not providing as many links. However, if you’d like I link to a particular program I’ll try my best to find it.

Pairs

Volosozhar and Trankov are an almost guaranteed lock for that Olympic gold medal. And deservedly so, technically they are absolutely brilliant. However, I’m not the biggest fan of the programs and seriously, these are some ridiculously high scores. Are they going to break their world record at every event this season??

Moore-Towers and Moscovitch have become incredibly consistent. It’s so great to see. They just keep getting better and better. Canadian Nationals is going to be exciting for that National title. And it’s likely the two Canadian teams will be battling for that Olympic bronze (is there a chance for silver and bronze??) And who knows what might happen if/when the Russians and Germans retire.

Ladies

I am a big Ashley Wagner fan, especially of her freeskates the past few years. However I’m not a big fan of her long program this year. It’s Romeo and Juliet, but not the music I particularly like and the music seems overly powerful and the program is rather boring as a whole. Not a big fan. Besides that, I’m very excited she’s going for 3F-3T this season! If she wants to be anywhere near the Olympic podium she will need it.

I’ve become a bigger fan of Mao over the years and I really like her programs this season. But she will need to master those jumps those if she want to take down Yu-Na. After her FS here I actually thought Ashley out jumped her and the scores would be closer. I guess the judges are telling Ashley she still has a lot of work to do if she’s to reach the ranks of Yu-Na, Mao and Carolina.

I like Elena Radionova. It’ll be interesting to see how she develops over the next 4 years. Russia has had numerous little girls dominate junior over the past couple years however, they’ve generally been unable to stay competitive when they made the switch to senior. I wonder if Elena can break the trend. Decent showing for Elizaveta here, but as mentioned above she’s been unable to stay competitive now that she’s grown and is now a senior.

Mens

Who is Tatsuki Machida?? I honestly had to look him up as he’s a name I’ve never heard before. I was quite surprised. Tatsuki was 9th at Japanese Nationals last year, 9th!! I can’t even imagine what Japanese Nationals is going to be like this season. They have at least 6 men who have a decent chance of medalling at the Olympics and only 3 get to go. In my opinion Yuzu is almost guaranteed a spot (almost) but everything really is up for grabs: Takahashi, Kozuka, Oda, Machida, Mura, Hanyu. A year ago I would have predicted Takahashi for the Olympic podium, but now I’m not so sure. He seems to be struggling and can’t land the jumps that some of the others are. Same applies to Kozuka who was a World medalist only a couple years ago.

General comments on the American men: Max, you can skate fast and jump but please put something else in your programs. Crossovers (even really fast ones) are not that impressive and are not considered transitions. Adam, great 4Lzs! Those are impressive! As well, you are a very nice skater, I just find you rather boring. Jason, you were a pleasant surprise! Great spins, flexibility and skating skills for someone right out of junior. Plus the Riverdance FS was fun. You do need some work on the jumps. Hopefully those will come, and please cut the ponytail, I’m not the biggest fan.

Dance

If you’re a Davis and White fan I advise you not to read this.

Meryl and Charlie are great ice dancers, I won’t deny it. I don’t know if it’s because I’m Canadian and I’ve seen Scott and Tessa compete since 2004 but I without a doubt think Scott and Tessa are the better pair. I enjoy their programs and their style and their connection and their fluidity more.

Now onto Meryl and Charlie’s programs this season. Is it just me or does this FD seem like every other FS they’ve done? It’s big and powerful and they get to skate very fast and quite often rather frantically. More than once during the skate I called them frantic. Don’t they skate programs like this all the time?

And now, with that said, I am worried by the scores they’ve received thus far. Their scores here were very high, and unlike Scott and Tessa, they always seem to get their levels. At this point I worry the judges have already decided who’s going to win in February. I just don’t understand it. What message are the judges try to tell both teams? We’ll have to wait till Skate Canada to see what scores Virtue and Moir receive.

Naturally I want the Canadians to win in Sochi, but if the Americans are going to win I want it to be a fair fight and not have Meryl and Charlie dominate the event. Because after all these years I still think Scott and Tessa are the better team.

And now on to Skate Canada: I’m excited for 1) Yuzu vs PChiddy 2) if Scott and Tessa can achieve Meryl and Charlie scores on home soil.

Thanks for reading!
PB

One Response

  1. Good analysis. I agree – V&T should be a shoe-in for gold, barring a melt-down and that doesn’t seem to happen to them anymore. Put together as the dream team for Sochi and living up to it. I’m very excited about our Canadian pairs teams – I think they are driving each other to higher levels of excellence!
    I’m on the same page as you about dance – I will always prefer Tessa & Scott’s style. Last year, I had thought that Davis & White were starting to put a bit of a connection in their skating, but in this year’s programs, I see no connection between them. She looks right through him on the few occasions when she even looks at him. And yes, frantic is the word the comes to mind, but technically incredible. I hate to think that pre-determination of who will win can still happen in figure skating, but I fear in this case, it’s happening……

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