If you follow this blog, you’ve likely realized that I have a tendency to be a teeny bit long-winded. This is not a new problem for me…that was always the number one criticism in my basic journalism classes – “It’s really good, I like it a lot, but…it’s SO long!” So, this week, I’m going to attempt to simplify this event preview and tie my own hands (um, or fingers, I guess!) to an actual format.
With one of the strongest fields for a Grand Prix event thus far, I’ll pick the superstar, the spoiler, and the sentimental favorite.
Superstar: Rachael Flatt – despite a 2nd place finish at NHK earlier this season, she’s the most consistent of the group and she’s determined to make it to the top.
Spoiler: Amelie Lacoste – she surprised everyone by finishing 3rd at Skate Canada, and she impressed me with her sharp performances. If she’s on, she could sneak up to the podium again.
Sentimental fav: Caroline Zhang – someday, somehow, this girl’s just got to get it right! I want her to love skating again, and skate to her potential.
Here’s how the boys stack up.
Superstar: Diasuke Takahashi – he’s facing stiff competition, but he’s the World Champ and the PCS king, at least against this competition. Add in a quad and he’s the favorite for sure.
Spoiler: Adam Rippon – he’s going to break through somewhere this season, so the Japanese guys better watch their backs. He’s consistently climbing the ladder and skating at home could bring his “breakthrough moment.”
Sentimental fav: Toss up! Stephen Carriere/Shawn Sawyer – I fell in love with Stephen when I saw him in St. Louis in 2006, so he always tops my list, but Shawn has a brilliant free skate to music from “Alice in Wonderland” that I can’t wait to see skated to perfection.
Ice dance could get interesting.
Superstars: Davis/White – obviously, they’re numero uno by a large margin. It’s their title to win or lose in Portland.
Spoilers: Crone/Poirier – they are part of a very strong Canadian ice dance contingent this season…they have a lot to offer and are trying to prove they deserve to be at the top.
Sentimental favs: The Shibutanis – I just adore them. Their posture and polish is spectacular, their expression and speed far beyond their years. If they avoid little mistakes, they’re good to go.
And how ’bout that pairs competition?
Superstars: Savchenko/Szolkowy – again, obviously these two have the experience, technical difficulty, the component elements, and the expressive polish to take this one going away.
Spoilers: Moore-Towers/Moscovitch – some might put the “kids” from China here (Sui/Han) but the Canadians had a spectacular Skate Canada event, even after stepping in last minute. They bring excitement and quality to the ice, and I think they could continue to make waves in the standings.
Sentimental favs: Denney/Barrett – Caydee’s exuberance is contagious, and their story is inspiring. If they skate clean, they make magic. I think they have the potential to lead the American charge to the top of the international standings.
Ta da! Simple as that. Yet, this weekend’s competition looks like it will be anything but simple! Portland is always good to skating – the fans and the athletes – so this is sure to be a wonderful event!
Of course, for you Fantasy Skating fans, I’ve made my picks…and I’m hoping they turn out better than last week! Check them out and let me know what you think!
See you this weekend for all the news from Skate America (#Sk8Am on twitter!)