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OLYMPICS 2014 LADIES FIGURE SKATING PREDICTIONS

OLYMPICS 2014 LADIES FIGURE SKATING PREDICTIONSOLYMPICS 2014
LADIES FIGURE SKATING PREDICTIONS

The ladies event is one of the highlights of the winter Olympics and this year is no different. While not as deep as the men’s field, expect some major competition between a few of the ladies. 



The first to note is that reigning Olympic gold medalist from Vancouver and 2013 World champion, Kim Yu-Na is returning! It has been a tough season for her only really skating in two competitions due to a broken metatarsal in her foot. While I have not seen her skate this year, she does have great jumping ability. I will freely admit, I am not a fan of her skating and I definitely feel that she tends to be over-scored in competitions but she will definitely, if healthy put up a fight for the medal podium.

 

Japan has had in the last few years, some of the deepest fields in both men’s and ladies’ skating. The woman from Japan are no different, though I expect only two to really challenge. Mao Asada is no stranger to the world and Olympic scene and the only woman in the world currently doing a triple axel. It is because of this jumping prowess that gives her a lot of points over many other skaters. Her teammate on the other hand, Akiko Suzuki is a gorgeous artistic skater (who does have the jumps). I liken them to the rivalry between Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin. The two have very different styles of skating but both amazing.

Unlike the men, Italy has a contender in the ladies field, which is Carolina Kostner. Kostner has been on the scene for some time now and has proven she has the goods to deliver at the top. She is the reigning silver medalist from the 2013 world championships (being beaten by Kim Yu-Na). While she didn’t have the best outing at the most recent Europeans, she is definitely a contender for the podium.


Lastly, of the contenders outside the United States, there is Russia. Unlike the men, Russian ladies qualified for two spots which went to Julia Lipnitskaia and Adelina Stnikova. Out of these two ladies, I feel the best chance at a podium finish is Julia Lipnitskaia. She’s the current European champion and I’m in love with her free program which is done to Schindler’s List. It’s just absolutely gorgeous, especially considering her age (she’s only 15). If you’re going to watch any ladies’ program, watch this one. 


 

Now for the United States woman. As many in the US know, the federation was given three spots. After the US Nationals, these three spots went to Ashley Wagner, Polina Edmunds, and Gracie Gold. I could write a whole novel about this decision (Ashley Wagner finished fourth, technically off the US team) but I won’t. It’s done and it is time to move on and support the woman. In this group, the only person I see having a chance at a medal is Ashley Wagner. Why? Well the major reason is experience. Ashley’s been on the scene for quite a while now and while there have been definite ups and downs; she knows the experiences of competing with the best of the best. She has made a somewhat gutsy move in changing her long program back to her 2012/2013 free of Samson and Delilah, but I don’t see it affecting her that much. I frankly think it’s a better program than Romeo and Juliet, but that’s another story. While Gracie has more international experience than Polina, it’s only two seasons (three if you count her trip to junior worlds, where she finished 5th) and those seasons haven’t been the best. Gracie’s international assignments have been up and down in terms of performances (medaling only 50% of the time). I do see a change in her skating now that she’s with Frank Carroll which is nice and I definitely think it will help her in the long run.

Finally, there are a couple of people from outside those I’ve listed above that could be spoilers. These include Valentina Marchei from Italy, who’s a very very elegant skater. Her long program is beautiful and her carriage on the ice is phenomenal. There’s also Kaetlyn Osmond of Canada, who’s pulled some upsets on the Grand Prix circuit in 2012/2013. There’s also Elene Gedevanishvili from the Republic of Georgia who has been on the scene for years and is a good jumper but sometimes has meltdowns. Some other names to look for include Sweden’s Viktoria Helgesson who is a statuesque queen on the ice and France’s Maé-Bérénice Meite.

And just because I think Brazil could use a bit of good news right now (if you didn’t know, one of their Olympic skiers who was a 2008 and 2012 Olympian in gymnastics was injured last week in a training accident and is paralyzed). Brazil, qualified a figure skater, Isadora Williams, at a competition last year. This is the very first figure skater from Brazil to ever qualify for the Olympics! So like Cheltzie Lee of Australia at the 2010 games, this will be a HUGE experience for Williams.

Podium predictions! Like the men, I have a realistic podium and a sentimental/dream podium

Sentimental Podium
Gold: Julia Lipnitskaia
Silver: Carolina Kostner
Bronze: Ashley Wagner

Realistic Podium
Gold: Julia Lipnitskaia
Silver: Kim Yu-Na
Bronze: Mao Asada



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  • Guest - andrea

    I'm sorry, but I feel that Ashley Wagner just doesn't have "it". She did not prove "it" despite her international experience and she certainly did not prove it on a National stage. She's a good skater - but she lacks what it will take to medal at Sochi. For the other Americans I think it may or may not happen… but Ashley is not peaking at the right time and she has had the opportunities…. the others might grasp it at right time in the right place.

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  • Guest - Gary

    Pittsburgh, PA, USA

    I would love to see Ashley medal in Sochi- hopefully as a member of the new team event. But in ladies singles it would be a pretty huge upset- she will have to have the performance of her life and all of the other top skaters will have to have major mistakes. It is the Olympics and such a scenario is possible but it's certainly not probable.

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  • Guest - annebeth66

    West Virginia, USA

    I have followed figure skating since 1976 and for the first time ever, I as an American, dislike a US skater. Ashley Wagner was placed on the team at Nationals, not because of her body of work but because she had lined up corporate support and commercials. Even during the whole Nancy/Tonya mess, I still supported both ladies, until the investigation was complete. I hope that Wagner skates at the Olympics, just as she did at Nationals: poorly and the entire world will see, how Mirai Nagasu was mistreated and robbed.

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  • Guest - George

    Washington, DC, USA

    Guest-Annabeth66: Agreed...Reeks more of white skin privilege than performance.

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  • Guest - mmm

    I like your realistic podium and totally agree! My sentimental however would not include Ashley, but Gracie or Mao for bronze....

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