I can’t help but lament for lost chances on this one. Although in retrospect, it seems neither Weaver & Pojé nor Chock & Bates had a chance in the first place. I’ve already heard dark remarks made about an Italian referee for this one(although then why didn’t C&L medal?) but the truth is Papadakis & Cizeron not only took over earlier than even most of us anticipated, they deserved to as well, and when the deserving are the ones probably politickaly favored as well, there may be no hope for at least the next quaddrennium; I don’t see any other team winning either of the next two Worlds either.
This might have been the last chance too for at least Ashley, and maybe even Gracie. In theory their free scores should keep them in place as contenders next year, but in practice, Elena R isn’t likely to be sick at Worlds again, and I suspect Julia L will come back kicking next year, and Adelina S may also return. It’s going to be much harder to break a sweep in Boston than it was here. By 2017 who knows what affairs will look like. Ashley’s free skate here was inspiring and heartbreaking both.
At least we got the full complement of home singles skaters after all, and it’s even kind of ironic that after all that fretting about the American men, they’ll now probably be the only team in that field that numbers three; Spain has the right to send three men as well, but I’m not sure they can find three who can get the tech minimum. I’m actually less grieved about the loss of the third Japanese berth than I should be though; apart from Hanyu all the best Japanese men of the recent years except Kozuka have retired, who knows whether he would’ve made it next year anyway, and so far their replacements haven’t impressed me as much as Joshua and Jason. I have really high hopes for them once Joshua gets himself together and Jason gets the quad. I’m looking forward to seeing a new version of Johnny and Evan where(dare I say Jason is too?) both skaters are actually better than their predecessors, and there’s none of that silly sniping.
Actually, I kind of love the lack of animosity between all the skaters right now, and Hanyu even cheering on Javier they way he did(loved Javier’s reaction in general). It speaks of a confidence and maturity on everyone’s parts that I think all elite athletes could do with.
But what I’m really sorry for berthwise is the loss of the third Russian dance berth, with so many talented teams from that country that ought to be there. Russian Nationals is going to be a bloodbath next year. I don’t know if it can happen if Sinitsina & Katsalapov come back strong enough, or even if they don’t, but I really hope Stepanova & Bukin make it to Boston next year. Of the three teams this year, they were the ones who were truly beautiful.
Also, for next year, can we have everyone agree to a moratorium on Phantom of the Opera? Just for one season, what with the overload we had during this one? Pleeeaaasssseeee?