And this week, with the series shifting to Colorado Springs, which means staying up too late instead of getting up too early but getting to see a bit more, we also got Jeremy Abbott on the retreat. And while he may be refusing to use the r-word, really, what are the odds of him ever coming back now? Meanwhile, his legacy lives on with Chinese skaters trying to palely imitate him. Although the real thing I wonder about is whether Jason Brown was in town to watch his Azerbaijan-representing clone perform.
Besides, the ranks of the new guard are getting ever thicker, with Nathan Chen proving this week he’ll definitely be ready for them next year at the latest, and after the show he put on this week you seriously wonder if he’ll even wait that long. Could we even see that dazzling Michael Jackson program in Boston? It’ll be a crazy free-for-all for those three spots, of course, but stranger things have happened in skating.
It’s been quite a week for the American skaters so far. Chen laying it down, McNamara & Carpenter looking like they’re going to do the same in the dance, and we’re even leading in the friggen pairs! There’s nothing in it and all eight pairs are closely packed, but still. There is a bit of disappointment Vivian Le isn’t leading in the ladies, but she’s in position to pull off a comeback win, and she continues to be dazzling even when she isn’t skating clean. On the other hand, the Russians for once are not having a good week. Not even a top five finish in the men, having to fight back just for medals in the dance, the ladies not living up to their ridiculously high standards so far either, and even in the pairs there’s room for improvement. Though they’ll probably make it up next week, looking at the singles skaters they’re sending to Austria.