She's taking the season off to attempt to heal a chronic injury: http://skateguard1.blogspot.ca/2013/...njury-how.html
She will follow the Makarova route
She will rise from the ashes and bury the Russian wonderbabies
Stick a fork in her, she's done
She will skate the Pirates of the Carribean SP for 3 more seasons
Leonova's FS is even more tragic than her "Pirate" SP. The SP at least has a fun element to it, some upper body movement and great expression. In her "Carmen" FS, she's not even trying. Stroke-jump-stroke-jump-stroke-jump.
I think the difference between the two was basically knowing when to move on and do something new with your life (Makarova) or becoming Mira Leung or Fumie Suguri.
To be fair, Makarova struggled two seasons, whereas Lenonova only one. So Leonova still have one season to go before she realises that there is not much chance to succeed now.
Russians initially had high hopes for Alena, I recall they gave her an apartment in Moscow, etc. except for her world silver medal, she did not materialize into the next Irina and they moved on.
More than any other skater, Leonova reminds me of Slutskaya. She has a similar style, and they both burst onto the scene with some very early success as perky teenagers, then foundered for a surprisingly long time. The World silver was kind of a surprise, as she had not done that well leading up to it (7th at Europeans). She has still never won a GP event, which seems odd. Slutskata also struggled for a while in the late 90s before emerging as a top contender. A lot of folks had already written her off.The problem is she hasn't done anything to build on her 2012 World medal, and her level of skating has far regressed since, and this is the period she needed to stay strong and make her case.
One advantage Leonova has is that she has already gone thru her growing pains, so her success or lack of success going forward will be about how well she trains and prepares and avoiding injury.
Leonova isnt the same powerhouse jumper with excellent spins and footwork that Slutskaya is though. That is the biggest difference.
Along with that Slutskaya was a great competitor, and a much tougher one than Leonova. I know some people will dispute that and say she faltered and lost some events people expected her to win (Kwan 2000 and 2001 Worlds, Hughes and Arakawa 2002 and 2006 Olympics), but she almost never had a meltdown, and by todays standards would be seen as incredibly consistent.
I agree their styles are similar, but their potential really isnt.
I wouldn't be surprised if Leonova finished around 8th place at Russian nationals. And that is still lucky (that's only because they won't let skaters under 14 compete in seniors this year, otherwise she would have found herself even lower).
She has a lot to be proud of in her career but I doubt she'll be a top any significant podium anymore.
She is such a beautiful skater. It is a shame her once outstanding jumps have deserted her. She really was once the whole package which is why she had results like 4th and 2nd best in the World.
She looked more like a Junior level skater today at NHK. Slow, labored, but with nice personality.
All the non jump elements were level 4 so good for her on that point! She's not kostner so she can't so 3t-3t with a fall and be near a medal.
I hate that freaking POTC program. It's nothing but hip shakes, booty wiggles, winking, pointing and exaggerated facial expressions. She (stupidly) does all of her jumps in the first 30 seconds which means while everyone else is at least putting one jump in the bonus, she's forfeiting that completely.
I'm sorry but going back to this program is not something that is going to get her back where she needs to be in order to get a spot on the Russian team. IMO, 14 year old Elena Radionova has a more mature SP than 23 year old Alena Leonova...
I think Leonova has a accomplished a lot considering her skills: '09 World Junior Champ; '12 World Silver Medalist. If she goes nowhere from here forward, she has a lot to be proud of anyway.
I also think she's going to get lost in a sea of Russian babies and we probably won't see her outside of Russian Nationals if she continues on.