Hurrah! Tonight is the start of the individual figure skating Olympic events! I’m still quizzically scratching my head over the team event but I’m onto bigger and better things now. While I didn’t intend to go overboard on figure skating coverage, I just can’t help myself. Since this is my blog, you’ll have to indulge me. It’s all figure skating around here!! (poor Ben!)
I thought it would be fun to give my predictions before the events begin and see how close I can get. What I’ve always loved most about these events is that no matter what I think will happen, something always ends up differently… that’s the power of Olympic ice!
The Pairs short program is today and here’s my prediction for the medalists:
Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov (Gold)
(NovemSource: Dmitry Korotayev/Getty Images Europe)
Volosozhar and Trankov are peaking at the perfect time. In the 2010 Olympics they each had different partners and Trankov finished 7th and Tatiana 8th but since teaming up, they’ve brought everything that makes Russian pairs one of the longest and most dominant power houses in figure skating. Russia missed a podium spot in Vancouver – a huge disappointment in a country where they’ve taken gold every Olympics since 1952. Wow.
They have explosive throws and a huge split-triple-twist along with the classic Russian poise. They are my pick to take gold.
Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy (Silver)
(Source: Scott Heavey/Getty Images Europe)
If you’d asked me a year ago, I would have put this pair in first. Since their bronze medal finish in 2010, they were the dominant pairs team – collecting wins on the Grand Prix circuit and medaling in the last seven World Championships. They won Worlds in 2008 and 2009 and then again in 2011 and 2012. Known more for their athleticism than their artistry, they aren’t quite as balanced as the Russians. If both pairs skate clean, I think they’ll be just a smidge lower and finish in 2nd place.
Bronze becomes harder – and more fun – because there are so many teams who could challenge. The Chinese pair of Pang and Tong took silver in Vancouver but they aren’t skating with the speed and power they used to have. Kavaguti and Smirnov of Russia looked to be the next top Russian team, but they’ve also been losing traction in the past couple of years.
Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford (Bronze)
It could go so many ways, but I loved the technical difficulty of the Canadians. They lack the polish and sophistication of the top teams but with two squeaky-clean performances, I think their harder jumps and throws can boost them to that final podium spot. Since they are coming off their silver medals in the team event, they may also feel a little less pressure – which can be the difference between a shaky performance and a confident skate.
So there you have it. You heard it here first. 😉 I will be excited to see how well I can predict the medalists. Since I have classes Wednesdays and Thursdays, I’m not sure if I can wait until the weekend to watch the coverage – or if I’ll just have to sneak a peek at the spoilers online. I know I’m going to have a hard time waiting!!