Tag Archives: Mirai Nagasu

Olympic Figure Skating Predictions!

8 Feb
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Carolina Kostner of Italy in her new neon green bodysuit costume. Photo by Nick Verreo

I know everyone who is obsessed with figure skating has been waiting for the Olympics to start so we could all completely gorge on continuous figure skating coverage! And it’s finally here! YAYY!

So, I have some last minute Olympic figure skating predictions. We’ve all seen the numerous articles on ice network about who is predicted to medal and I thought I would add mine to the mix. This isn’t who I want to win, mind you, rather it’s who I think will win. That would be a completely different list with Carolina Kostner’s name at the top. HA.

Team Event: 

  1. Canada (I think they have a good all-around team where as we and the Russians have gaps)
  2. Olympic Athletes From Russia (Problem area: Mens)
  3.  USA (Problem area: Pairs and Ladies)

Men’s Figure Skating

  1. Yuzuru Hanyu – Japan (maybe a wild card at this point? but then again…fierce competitor, he knows how to win)
  2. Nathan Chen – USA (I think if Yuzuru just skates clean even with one less quad against a clean skate from Nathan they will give it to Yuzuru)
  3. Shoma Uno – Japan (so consistent, we may be all completely surprised if he ends up winning gold or silver instead)

Women’s Figure Skating

  1. Evgenia Medvedeva- Russia (I think she’s going to fight for this and if she skates clean they will give it to her over Alina)
  2. Alina Zagitova – Russia (I don’t like her skating overall.. but who else can do that Triple Lutz Triple Loop combo?? Just. Like. THAT?)
  3. Satoko Miyahara (she is out to win and is so consistent where others falter… if I was to switch third place out with anyone I would say Katelyn Osmond or Carolina)

Ice Dance 

  1. Papadakis and Cizeron – France (is there even any doubt about this? It’s them or Virtue and Moir)
  2. Virtue and Moir – Canada (unless they have a major error)
  3. Shibutanis – USA (Anyone see Alex’s face after they came in second at Nationals? They are out for the win here… otherwise I think Hubbell and Donohue will do it)

Pairs

  1. Sui/Han (Does it matter that they’ve been injured? I don’t know… they are hard core competitors)
  2. Savchenko/Massot – Germany
  3. Radford/Duhamel- Canada

So despite who I think is going to win, my favorites are Carolina (now that Ashley is out… admittedly I am less invested in the ladies event because of that). Also, I really like Maria Sotskova (I like her skating in general and her classical programs over the other Russians), and Satoko (someone who actually has artistry in her program while still rotating the jumps no matter how tiny they are). If we are talking US skating… then it would have to be Mirai. I am not a Karen Chen or a Bradie fan. Hopefully, Mirai will land one of her axel’s cleanly and then skate to the music in her program rather than going in and out of character.

For the men, I love Adam Rippon purely because of his artistry and Nathan Chen, I am beginning to like, mainly because of his short program.  I hope Patrick Chan has a clean skate. That would be lovely to see at this point. I don’t get into Ice Dancing and Pairs as much so no overall favorites, I like Virtue and Moir but I’m not obsessed so I’ll be happy just to watch the programs. I’m interested to see the North Koreans though. I saw their programs at Four Continents and I was very impressed! Wow. I think it’s amazing that they skated so well considering where they came from. I am sure all eyes will be on them because of that reason.

If you have picks of your own please share!

Alright, back to watching the NBC live practices! If you haven’t see the full schedule just for figure skating you can view it all in one place here:  https://goo.gl/zype6X

Happy Skating!!

 

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US Nationals and Stalker of Rinks

15 Jan

It was a whirlwind of action up in Boston at the TD Garden this week with so much build up for the US Nationals! I loved every minute of it. The tickets were a birthday gift from my boyfriend in December and I was just so excited to finally be there. I did some indoor and outdoor skating myself while I was up there practicing my silver moves and just basically trying not to impale small children and adults alike that were clinging for dear life onto the boards at the outdoor rink in Lynnfield, MA. We happened to make it for the earlier 11am session at the indoor Peabody rink and that was very much like an adult session. They had donuts and coffee too, yum! Extra bonus! Anyone who is in the area should try that rink out if you want to really have a productive practice, it was a nice session. I will admit to being a stalker of ice rinks though,  I have tried more than my fair share and continue to test them out as I travel.

In addition, that same day we also happened upon “Crystal Lake” in Middleton, MA which I am told can be skated on but I was too chicken to try. It was a beautiful wintry day with the snow falling and my boyfriend and I both tested the edges of the pond ice. He actually went out to the middle where someone had cleared an area for hockey so he was a bit braver than me! The ice did look pretty solid but I am not too into testing unknown ponds for skating, only regulated rinks, thank you!

Here I am doing my spiral in my boots on the pond. Ahem… I do this move at the beach, in front of buildings, at new rinks, even New Zealand! Basically any new place I can find…Weird? Ahem.

Yes, probably.

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So, onto Nationals! What can I say that has not been said? I’ll start with the controversial.

Two things.

1. Ashley Wagner deserves her spot as the only US lady to have secured the silver and bronze in the last two international competitions as well as the 3rd spot for the ladies at the Olympics through her placement at Worlds last year. I will also freely admit to being an Ashley follower. I love her skating and have followed her career for years. Her determination and the fact that she is the only US lady that really looks like a fully packaged LADIES skater makes me like her even more. I’m emphasizing that here because over the years I keep seeing 15-16 yr. old girls hop their way around the rink at these competitions without much depth, nice lines or artistry on the ice. Anyone who says she doesn’t deserve her spot probably only tuned in for Nationals and has not been following figure skating for the last two years or for that matter, the last two months. ‘Nuff said.

2. Polina Edmunds. It is a complete shock to me that she is going to the Olympics. Despite the fact that Mirai does not have a coach and has not had a stellar showing the last two years does not mean you place a 15 yr old Jr. skater in her place who does not have even one Sr. competition before this to show on her record. Sorry USFSA, she is not Sarah Hughes or Tara Lipinski or even a Julia Lipnitskaya, who, by the way, all have Sr. competition experience. She needs that EXPERIENCE to even be considered for the Olympic team and yet they think she will pull out two back to back programs to compete on the world scene. All this at the expense of a 23 yr. old who does have experience, proved (despite, yes, the noticeable breathing pauses in her program) that she can compete on the world scene again at a higher level. The worst part is that this is probably Mirai’s last chance while Polina has at least 2 more chances to go to the Olympics. She is the future of skating not the present. Ridiculous decision. Absolutely.Completely. Ridiculous.

I can think of other things to say but I’m going to leave it at that. It’s done and I feel badly for Mirai. She had a standing ovation from the crowd at nationals and she was so happy. It’s just mind boggling why the committee felt that they needed to give her a chance. Does this have something to do with her Russian background? Probably. That and well, duh, her jumps.

In any case, I also felt badly for Ashley. She was so upset about her performance on the ice but I watched all her other competitions throughout the season and there was nothing there to feel bad about. All her grand prix performances had been beautiful and consistently executed with artistry, grace and yes, that damn triple triple combination. I do hope she is just saving the best for last, she is our most consistent skater and I think she will place in the top 6. Yes, I just said that. Watch and see.

Now, Gracie. She is definitely a jumper. I will give her that. Her less than stellar record leading up to this event made me think she was going to tank but she performed. I do not think she is the full package yet. Her jumps are great but that’s about it. What am I missing? She gets the job done on home ice but will she consistently hold up on the world scene? I think we are going to see a crash and burn. Her scores were just a little inflated at Nationals and her fist pumping around the rink after the competition was nauseating and a bit overkill. She won’t be able to jump her way to the podium over Mao, Yuna, Carolina, and even Akiko Suzuki. Not to digress but I actually think Akiko Suzuki has a chance to be the stand out in this Olympics not Gracie Gold. Did anyone see her at Japanese Nationals? Amazing. Just amazing. I think she may surpass all of them and everyone will be left with their mouths hanging open.

Other stand out’s at the ladies event were Samantha Cesario and Barbie Long. They both performed beautifully! Courtney Hicks has explosive jumps and Ashley Cain was so very good! Leah Keiser had some lovely positions and although Caroline Zhang did not perform well that night, it was nice to see her perform. She has a delicate grace about her that is sometimes missing in the current crop of ladies. Very reminiscent of Michelle Kwan.

I’ll post some of my photos below to view and cover the mens next time aka Jason Brown and Jeremy Abbot!

I have so many photos that I don’t know what to do with them right now. It will take me hours to edit them all!

Did someone say OBSESSION? Yes, that would be me!

Enjoy…

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Samantha Cesario and her Fans

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Rachel Flatt performing her infamous ina bauer

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Ashley Cain in a Dick Button Approved Spiral ; )

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Ashley Wagner Starting Position

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Ashley at the Medal Ceremony, Sniff.

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Samantha Cesario in a Jump Combination

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Mariah Bell’s Spiral

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Ashley with her Coach Rafael Arutunian

Till next time…