Monday, October 15, 2012

Skate America: Ladies Preview

This should be Ashley Wagner's (USA) event to lose. She has the home ice advantage, and all the confidence in the world. Black Swan was such a statement piece for her last year and I'm very much looking forward to this year's programs. She's looking for her first Grand Prix gold medal.

Though Alena Leonova (RUS) medaled at the 2012 Worlds, I feel like she's a one-year-wonder. Her clunky, masculine approach cannot sit well with international judges much longer. She is usually quite clean, but a number of other ladies could pass her if they skate cleanly.

Adelina Sotnikova (RUS) was a highly publicized "Russian Baby" just a year ago. Though she didn't make the debut we had all hoped, she still did quite well on the 2011 Grand Prix, but she looked scared and timid. I pray that she unleashes her inner diva and swipes the silver.

Viktoria Helgesson (SWE) was the surprise bronze medalist at this event last year and even though she only medaled because other ladies failed spectacularly, she still has a legitimate shot this year if some of the "fragile competitors" meltdown. She has a very mature look on the ice that we do not see from the babies.

Rachael Flatt (USA) was once the darling of US Figure Skating. Last year we wondered if she could balance school and skating and the answer was clearly no. Has she gotten her insane schedule under control and stayed in good enough shape to return to a high level of competition? I've always had a soft spot for her so I hope so!

Will Christina Gao (USA) ever get it together and live up to her potential? She was once a lovely junior lady that we thought would be the future of US figure skating. Alas, her fragile competitive psyche would not allow that to happen and now that she is a Harvard student, will she become Rachael Flatt 2.0? She had a rough 2011 Grand Prix, so at least she has nowhere to go but up!

Podium Predictions
Gold: Ashley Wagner (USA)
Silver: Adelina Sotnikova (RUS)
Bronze: Alena Leonova (RUS)

The Rest of the Field:
Mae Berenice Meite (FRA)
Sarah Hecken (GER)
Valentina Marchei (ITA)
Haruka Imai (JPN)

No comments:

Post a Comment