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  1. #1

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    Can Russia's figure skaters fulfil Putin's hopes and expectations?

    New article entitled 'Russia’s figure skating reputation on thin ice'. Reads:-

    Vladimir Putin left nothing to chance when he nailed down the 2014 Sochi Winter Games. In 2007, the Russian president flew to Guatemala, along with a planeload of Russian luminaries, where International Olympic Committee officials met to choose a host city. Once there, the Russians erected an ice rink in the Central American city to provide skating champion Evgeni Plushenko a venue to showcase Russian’s legendary skating prowess. The efforts paid off. Putin got his Winter Games, Russia’s first ever.

    For Putin, the Games in Sochi aren’t just a sporting competition. The 17-day spectacle at a Black Sea resort is designed to show the world that Russia has emerged from its post-Soviet gloom to become a modern economic powerhouse.

    All Putin needs to complete the storybook resurrection tale are reams of Russian athletes climbing atop medal podiums next year, just as in Soviet times. That part of Putin’s dream might be harder to fulfill. It’s one thing to pour billions into constructing an Olympic city from scratch. It’s another to recreate the kind of Soviet athlete who was bred from birth for the sole purpose of bringing glory to the state. Russian athletes no longer dominate Olympic sports. The decline is most evident in figure skating, a sport where Soviet athletes once crushed Western rivals with their technical brilliance and artistic flair.
    So, what are Russia's medal prospects for Sochi 2014?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maofan7 View Post

    So, what are Russia's medal prospects for Sochi 2014?
    One team medal (not gold) and one pairs medal (likely gold).

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    i don't see great results in Figure Skating for them. Ladies seem weak. I am not among the "plushy believers" I think he's spending more time injured then training and it seems like every time he ramps up the training something 'breaks' (I think Evan may have this problem too. It's just hard to keep your body willing to fly through the air and land on that thin blade as you age )

    Team medal might even be gold since I don't see any team with 4 great "options" For the US I think the glaring weakness is pairs but our men and ladies can have bad days.
    Canada on paper may be the Gold winner, but it all depends.

    Japan doesn't even have a pairs team do they?

    Not sure who else can field an entire team that would be competitive so Russia has as a good shot there as anyone IMHO.

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    I'll add to Cherub's prediction: an outside chance for a woman's singles medal (likely bronze) and a dance medal (likely bronze), IF lucky. They do have the 'home momentum' behind them, so 'likely bronzes' are more likely for the Russians in Russia.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carolla5501 View Post
    Japan doesn't even have a pairs team do they?
    Narumi Takahashi has paired up with a singles skater and they currently are training in Detroit with Jason Dungjen: http://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/show...Ryuichi-Kihara
    "Randy [Starkman (1960-April 16, 2012)] lived by the same motto as the rest of us. The Olympics isn’t every four years, it’s every single day. He just got it." --Canadian Olympic kayaker Adam van Koeverden

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    Sochi is not only about figure skating. Even if Russia doesn't do well in fs in Sochi (by 'well' I mean scoring medals in every fs event), Russia is one of the sports powerhouse. As a whole, Russia will do very well.
    As for fs, the pairs gold definitely belongs to Russia I still think they have a chance to medal (not gold) in ladies and ice dancing. Matter of how others perform and how far the Russians will improve between now and then. Their men didn't perform well .. (unless Plushenko returns).
    Prosperity makes friends, adversity tries them. – Publilius Syrus

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    On paper, Canada has the team gold, and Russia could get a lesser medal. Their weakness is men. Plushenko has been a big question mark due to his injuries for a long time. I would say Russia and USA are roughly equal, so they could get silver or bronze in any order. Couple years ago the projection was that the Russian babies Liza, Adelina, Polinas would grow up and dominate the senior scene. That totally fell apart this year. Instead, USA and Canada seem to have promising young ladies.

    When you compare with the USSR days, today's Russian FS is not even close. They are not even close to what they were 7-10 years ago. In 2006 they almost swept the OGMs in the 4 disciplines. Only Irina let them down by not winning the gold. From that point on it was all downhill. In 2010 they won ONE medal- Plushenko's silver. Their well dried up long ago.

    I don't see it changing in less than one year. Russia's chances for medal may be in pairs only, and not necessarily the gold. If they want to get to the top of FS world, they may have to do what the old USSR did- find kids with talent, and pour money into their development to become Olympic champions. It' not going to happen in 2014 and not even in 2018. We are looking at really long term here.

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    Canada by far has the strongest team with probably Russia in a close second, but I think it's possible for Russian ladies and dance to get a medal.

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    Was the ice rink in Guatemala a permanent one or just a temporary one for Plush to skate on? Putin might cancel the Olympics since he sees that his hopes and expectations are melting.

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    The only likely medal is v/t gold so that's would be better then Vancouver was. Singles no; dance no, team maybe but so likely to be Canada, US, and then Russia but that's bronze and doesn't count.

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    Quote Originally Posted by spikydurian View Post
    Sochi is not only about figure skating. Even if Russia doesn't do well in fs in Sochi (by 'well' I mean scoring medals in every fs event), Russia is one of the sports powerhouse. As a whole, Russia will do very well.
    As for fs, the pairs gold definitely belongs to Russia I still think they have a chance to medal (not gold) in ladies and ice dancing. Matter of how others perform and how far the Russians will improve between now and then. Their men didn't perform well .. (unless Plushenko returns).
    If you look at all the world championships of winter sports it's looking like "worse than Vancouver " is entirely possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01 View Post
    On paper, Canada has the team gold, and Russia could get a lesser medal. Their weakness is men. Plushenko has been a big question mark due to his injuries for a long time. I would say Russia and USA are roughly equal, so they could get silver or bronze in any order. Couple years ago the projection was that the Russian babies Liza, Adelina, Polinas would grow up and dominate the senior scene. That totally fell apart this year. Instead, USA and Canada seem to have promising young ladies.

    When you compare with the USSR days, today's Russian FS is not even close. They are not even close to what they were 7-10 years ago. In 2006 they almost swept the OGMs in the 4 disciplines. Only Irina let them down by not winning the gold. From that point on it was all downhill. In 2010 they won ONE medal- Plushenko's silver. Their well dried up long ago.

    I don't see it changing in less than one year. Russia's chances for medal may be in pairs only, and not necessarily the gold. If they want to get to the top of FS world, they may have to do what the old USSR did- find kids with talent, and pour money into their development to become Olympic champions. It' not going to happen in 2014 and not even in 2018. We are looking at really long term here.
    Sure 2010 was bad and like everyone wants to erase d/s and their od but they won bronze! Plushenko was almost their only medal.

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    There is no reason B/S can't win a medal and so can the ladies and pairs if they skate well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01 View Post
    Their weakness is men.
    As it is for many people, or so I'm told.

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    If Russia wins men's hockey, will anything else matter?

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    Quote Originally Posted by manhn View Post
    If Russia wins men's hockey, will anything else matter?
    Very good point! Probably not at all!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01 View Post
    Couple years ago the projection was that the Russian babies Liza, Adelina, Polinas would grow up and dominate the senior scene. That totally fell apart this year. Instead, USA and Canada seem to have promising young ladies.
    I would say that's a bit of an over-exaggeration. Liza & Adelina didn't have a great competition at Worlds, but Adelina has the 4th highest score of the season & Liza's SB is still 4 points higher than Gracie's and 12 points higher that Kaetlyn's. A lot will come down to how well all of the younger girls can handle their nerves, but I think the Russian girls are the ones who have the best chance of sneaking onto the podium if one of Mao, Carolina or Yuna doesn't perform.

    Russia also has a very strong shot at bronze in dance with B/S or even I/K if they regroup well over the summer, V/T are pretty much a lock for gold or silver & if B/L can avoid the injuries that have disrupted this season they could also be challenging for a medal. The only event where they haven't a hope is men.

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    Russia has good chances to medal at every event, Not only the Team event ...

    PAIRS :

    Good chances for Gold (V\T) AND another medal (B\L)

    LADIES :

    We'll have to see the progress next year but one of them could come to Olympics as the European champion so
    It's a Medal possibility, Sotnikova can score big !

    ICE DANCE :

    Bronze, Signed, Sealed and delivered imo

    MEN :

    You could only talk about "what if" here ... But if you're talking about possibilities, Plushenko's score from Europeans skated only a year ago
    Would've got him the Bronze medal at worlds this year, And he didn't even try a Quad or any level 4 elements in that SP
    And it's Olympics in Russia, And it's Plushenko, And the Issue of giving a clean consistent performance is on a very vocal Debate right now, again, Plushenko,
    If he feels decent he will go, Forget Gold ( he wouldn't though ) Just making it on to that Podium would be a good enough gift from him to Russia imo,
    And one hell of an accomplishment .

    The team Event actually is excactly what he needs, He could go contribute a great score, And like he did in Europeans this year kinda
    "Check out the field", See where he stands, Then he either says "i wanted to give pride to team Russia" and seats the rest out with injury,
    While another Russian man who was aware of this possibility competes in Singles, Or he goes and gets that Medal
    Last edited by Eladola; 03-28-2013 at 11:15 PM.

  19. #19
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    Team: Silver or Gold. Lower would be a huge surprise
    Men: Nothing doing, unfortunately.
    Ladies: Doubtful, bronze at best.
    Pairs: Gold. Period. Doubtful B/L will get bronze, but it could happen.
    Dance: Fighting for bronze

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    Quote Originally Posted by Proustable View Post
    Team: Silver or Gold. Lower would be a huge surprise
    Men: Nothing doing, unfortunately.
    Ladies: Doubtful, bronze at best.
    Pairs: Gold. Period. Doubtful B/L will get bronze, but it could happen.
    Dance: Fighting for bronze
    Yes, probably..

    off topic, but very intersting news: Sochi Organizers Are Stockpiling Snow, Just in Case ( 500,000 cubic meters of snow!!!! ) http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/26/sp...anted=all&_r=0
    Last edited by lala; 03-29-2013 at 02:25 PM.

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