Ekaterina Bobrova / Dmitri Soloviev
Anna Cappellini / Luca Lanotte
Kaitlyn Weaver / Andrew Poje
Nathalie Péchalat / Fabian Bourzat
Madison Chock / Evan Bates
Maia Shibutani / Alex Shibutani
Elena Ilinykh / Nikita Katsalapov
The cute little Italians should take bronze. They are only getting better despite being older than some others and nearly got the bronze at Worlds. What I am sure of is that it will be someone who was 3rd to 5th at Worlds. It wont be Pechalot & Bourzat and it definitely wont be one of the U.S teams. I guess that other Russian team could get it if Bobrova & Soloviev skated before them in the SD, fell, and they had to quickly promote their #2.
Other: Virtue/Moir. Russia will earn at least silver. It will be in Russia, remember.
I also have a feeling that the #1 Russian team in Sochi will be someone other than Bobrova/Soloviev, maybe the son of Bukin & his partner. Think of the 1994 surprise from 'unknowns.' Let's see what transpires during the Sr G-P season.
Dick Button Historical Quote of the Month: "Good grief, what have we wrought on the world? Oh my, oh my, OH MY!" (commenting on Tara Lipinsky's free skate, at the 1997 U.S. Nationals)
Why are Weaver & Poje winning this poll? Are you people nuts. A team that has never won a World medal, is older than most of the top teams, and isnt even certain to make the Olympic tema for Canada.
My thoughts in general.
1. Bobrova/Soloviev are the top picks, but not strongly. Of all the teams here, they are the ones mostly likely to make the visible points losing mistake as well as the invisible but major hits (losing levels on the step sequences). A hometown games certainly helps and I think they are solidly the Russian number ones at this point with I/K's struggles after Worlds 2012. This is one of those predictions that I wouldn't bet money on.
2. I'm finding the discussion surrounding Pechalat/Bourzat and Weaver/Poje pretty fascinating, actually.
I think those that are predicting P/B to fall behind the rest of the "next in line" pack are doing so based strictly on the feeling post-Nice that they had peaked. They were generously scored on home ice after a struggle of a season (seemingly forced to change coaches, withdrawing from Skate Canada because of his bronchitis, the broken nose (?) from practice, losing the SD at Euros to B/S). Given how closely they were scored to W/P all season, the huge difference in marks at Nice (which instantly saw a retraction at WTT) felt very much a congratulations to an old stalwart (they were by far the most senior team). Meanwhile, W/P had a sensational season. After firmly vanquishing Crone/Poirier at Worlds 2011, they had three straight silver medals on the GP circuit (beating B/S on home ice to boot), and had a very strong fourth place at Worlds with an emotionally thrilling FD. Worlds were in Canada, they were on their way up (B/S felt like they were on their way down after Worlds 2012, and I/K were their usually inconsistent selves).... the bronze medal was in sight.
But I think the beginning of the 12/13 season somewhat challenged those preconceptions (or at least, those were the ones I held). P/B took a massive confidence boost from those Worlds (she said straight up that she felt like she could challenge the Canton duo for gold) and they were VERY well prepared for the season - scoring the levels on the YP, and easily winning both of their GP events. Meanwhile, W/P struggled - they lost levels and lost to B/S (and when you lose to B/S because YOU can't score the levels, something's wrong). They didn't even qualify for the GPF.
Then both teams got injured. I think the fact that W/P were able to recover from injury more easily then P/B has rather skewed things (though P/B seem to be the ice dance team of the moment suffering the most from health concerns, so maybe not.). That stated, W/P have come off a well-scored at the US Classic and seem a lot readier this season then last. Right now, I'd slightly favour W/P between the two, but I think W/P are going to be more like Dubreuil/Lauzon - have a couple medals from a post-Olympics field and then retire before 2018.
I would love to see Weaver & Poje win the bronze in Sochi more than words can describe. I am not sure how likely that is however. I still think they have as good a chance as most teams on this list but Bobrova & Soloviev would have to mess up pretty badly to not get it on home ice, and even if they do there are several teams who probably have roughly equal shots. I was worried seeing W&P lose to Chock & Bates at the WTT as that is another up and coming team on their heels.
If V/M D/W win olympics and P/B get bronze and all three retire after olympics . I can really see W/P as world champs
Didn't you all know that the Australians are going to cause a major upset and take the bronze!
Of course such situations always question the point of having Worlds in an Olympic season at all. Usually they end up having Olympic leftovers on the World podium instead of creating real deserving champions.
By the way, can anyone update me which of the teams from this poll have already debuted their programs? Of course I know D/W and W/P have and V/M debuted their SD, with FD to come at Finlandia, but what about the rest? C/B and B/S will also be at Finlandia if I'm not wrong. What about P/B, I/K, C/L and the Shibs?
Well VM have said it is their final season for sure. They didnt say they wouldnt go to Worlds though so they still might go and finish the season. DW have not said anything about what they are doing.
P.S.: Also, I read just now that it was written on a Russian forum that B/S won't compete in Finlandia Trophy, but go to the smaller Ice Star competition in Minsk, Belarus instead. Probably some fan videos will show up - last year I saw videos of Zlobina/Sitnikov from there.
P.P.S.: Another correction - apparently B/S will be at Finlandia Trophy according to the new press release.
Last edited by lauravvv; 10-01-2013 at 05:44 PM.
P/B have said that Sochi will be their last competition.
I would love to see W/P on the podium but I don't think there's a hope of a chance for three North American teams to be on the podium, even if it is deserved. (especially with the competition being in Russia) The bronze will likely go to the Russians or possibly the French.