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
I think Alena is aiming for a European medal, then after she has won a medal she might consider ending her career on a high note
she has a World medal and a GPF medal already, all she needs is a European of any color, not too shabby of an accomplishment, imo
It's been a long time since I enjoyed watching Alena. Her jumps were so big and confident. No idea what the future holds for her although going out on a high note at 23 would seem to make sense.
The Russian Federation has been (grudgingly) sending Menshov to Senior "B" competitions and submitting his name for the Grand Prix largely because, thanks to the dire economic conditions in the 1990's, there was a dearth of younger skaters who were good enough to compete internationally at the Senior level. The improving economy led to the development of good young skaters, I would be surprised if any of the Russian men who are about Leonova's age now are still competing in their thirties unless they win a World Championship or a medal at the Olympics.
As far as whether she would or should be cut off, the answer is that she probably would. The FSFR did that to Elena Sokolova after the 2007-08 season. While one could debate the ethics of doing that, I can see how the authorities would think that their money would be better spent on developing Adelina Sotnikova, who turned 12 after that season, than on preparing Elena Sokolova (then aged 28) to compete on the following season's Grand Prix.
IIRC Leonova stayed early this year she wants to continue another quad. Which I really hope she does. The Russian team could use an elder stateswoman who does the GP, Bs, and maybe even makes Euros/Worlds.
I was really impressed with her at Nationals. Amazing speed, expression, attack, and huge jumps. The height, distance, and landing edge on the 3toe-3toe was astounding.
Having said that, skating well (and hopefully medalling) at Euros is huge for her. She needs a great score to get on the top 25 SB list and get Grand Prix assignments next year. Her 11-12 results come off the rankings after this season and she will plunge down the standings without a good result this year.
Comparing Leonova to Sokolova is a terrible example. In 2007, Sokolova was clearly out of shape, skater fat, posing nude on bearskin rugs, and skated to her own "greatest hits" as an LP (it was so poor it was like a parody). She clearly lost interest in competing and didn't give a feck anymore, that's why she was pulled from the GP. Completely different situation than Leonova.
I do recall a lot of interviews where she talked about not being able to resist her mother's tasty cooking. Which we know Leonova is good at... (all kidding aside, she looked very fit at Nats and I was hoping this was not due to another dumb diet).
As Cher pointed out, every year a lot of posters, me included, have been mentioning Leonova might as well retire given all the younger skaters coming up. But she keeps proving everybody wrong.
Neither Pogo, nor Tuk 'bombed Nationals' though. Definitely not Pogo who had a near clean FS. Her SP performance was weak and she seemed very tense but it wasn't disastrous either. Weak landing on 3toe< and two levels lower than what she was aiming for.
Tuk fell on her 3/3 combo in the SP and had one fall and one doubled jump in the FS. I wouldn't count that as bombing either.
OK they didnt skate as well as I thought. I only saw the skates of Julia and Adelina, but I heard they had bombed. I guess I was wrong, and they were just buried by the deep field. Maybe without their mistakes they could have come as high as 4th and 5th ahead of Alena then.
When Sokolova was tossed to the curb, she was the current Russian National bronze medalist and had won a Grand Prix event in what was to be her penultimate season. That's a record that would be a heck of a lot better than Cherub's hypothetical record for Leonova, so, yes, it's a completely different situation.
do you think Pogorilaya could ave scored a 64 in SP ? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kw75jaMY97M
I doubt she would have, they made a good choice with Leonova , she needs a new SB to get into a GP assignment ?
while she may not be a huge contender next quad
but one thing is for sure, you can never right Leonova off, she's here to stay
too bad No Olympics for her but she beat Tuk and Pogo