But instead I’m in mourning. Was it only a year that Joshua Farris and Jason Brown were going to be the next great two and the next great rivalry? Like Evan and Johnny, except better, and more dignified. Now we’ve lost a skater who could’ve accomplished so much. You just hope this isn’t going to damage Joshua’s health permanently. Jason’s farewell to him on twitter yesterday was both heartwarming and heartbreaking.
The ladies competition at Worlds, culminating in Evgenia Medvedeva forcing everyone to acknowledge her brilliance, Anna Pogorilaya putting it together at the right time and showing a Russian girl can still medal without being a baby ballerina phenom, and, of course, Ashley Wagner breaking the US ladies medal drought in style:
And we come out of it almost with more questions than answers. Such as:
So assignments came out Monday, and we’ve had time to digest retirements, non-retirements, and Jeremy Abbott apparently not retiring but skipping the Grand Prix anyway(if it gets him to Boston, we should be glad for it). A few thoughts:
Of course the initial rosters and the final lineups for these events can often be very different, thanks to all the withdrawals that happen in the meantime, but it feels even more this year like multiple skaters on the roster won’t show up. We can’t even be completely sure yet that Patrick Chan and Mao Asada will, and even if they do, there are multiple older skaters I suspect will either decide to retire or just get injured. Perhaps the real intriguing entries are Kavaguti & Smirnov and Bobrova & Soloviev, who’ll be factors for gold at their events-if they show up, but who knows if they will.
Though even more eye-raising is the lack of Adelina Sotnikova. Haven’t seen any announcements about exactly what she’s up to at this point, but that she’s not on this roster does not look promising for her continuing her career…
Then there are the skaters you are really happy to see make the circuit. I’m especially happy about Laurence Fornier Beaudry & Nikolaj Sorenson making it in(have there been Danish skaters on the circuit before? I mean, ever?) On the other hand, tough breaks for quite a few skaters who only got one assignment, especially Sinitsina & Katsalapov and Coomes & Buckland, who really should’ve gotten two, although at least they’re more likely than not to pick up a second. Meanwhile, we’ve got poor Mirai, who’s been in this position before, and it took a while for her to get her second event that time.
Speaking of U.S. ladies, it seems the failure of the USFSA’s gamble on Liza T last year did not prevent them from attempting it again, apparently hoping Julia L doesn’t recover in time and Gracie has a clear path to gold at Skate America this year. Although given how inconsistent she’s been lately, perhaps we shouldn’t rely on that anyway. Poor Ashley has it much harder, going up against Liza T at her first event and Mao at her second, and at the latter especially that’s just for starters.
Ashley Wagner owning it at Nationals and reestablishing herself after being written off *again*
Considered just doing one prediction for each field, but in the end decided to try to predicted all the podiums:
Men: Tatsuki Machida, Denis Ten, Richard Dornbush. Yeah, predicting some shock for this one, but at least Dornbush has medaled on the circuit already. I suppose Yan may recovered quicker from what happened in China than I’m thinking, but I’ll believe that when I see it.
Ladies: Elena Radionova, Ashley Wagner, Julia Lipnitskaia. I continue to be an optimistic as possible when it comes to Ashley, and the way Julia truly seems to be struggling with her life in general at the moment really does make this one plausible enough. Though I also suspect poor Samantha Cesario will come in fourth again and her fans will be livid.
Pairs: Stolbova & Klimov, Sui & Han, James & Cipres. Although I think there are at least three teams that could win bronze as easily as the other two, but of them James & Cipres have home ice advantage.
Ice Dance: Papadakis & Cizeron, Gilles & Poirier, Hubbell & Donohue. Although I regret that I don’t think Paul & Islam are going to medal, but lately they’ve been below Gilles & Poirier again. At least they got ahead of them for the right season.
Beforehand, I’m definitely left wondering who ought to get the responsibility of stopping the athlete when someone really needs to stop them from going on the ice. It was certainly super-irresponsible of Brian Orser to let Hanyu make the decision to skate, but maybe he wouldn’t have had there been rules in place to make that decision his responsibility, or perhaps the Japanese team officials would’ve had it been their responsibility.