Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Another Weekend, Another "Cup"

I just got off the phone with my brother Michael. When I told him what I was doing—working on my predictions for this weekend’s Cup of Russia—he told me I MUST base my decisions entirely on the skater’s haircuts.

This, from a guy who works for USA Swimming. A sport where they try to be as hairless as possible while competing.


So sorry Michael sweetie, but I will disregard any hair judgments… as well as any jokes that could have been made about haircuts back when Plushenko was still in the competitive mix… and take some guesses anyway.

Gold- Domnina/Shabalin (RUS)
Silver- Davis/White (USA)
Bronze- Khokhlova/Novitski (RUS)

I said back at Cup of China that Dombalin would be sure to shine in Russia, even if they had to settle for silver in Beijing. Since they ultimately settled for nothing less than GOLD, I can’t imagine they’ll have trouble doing the same at COR.

As for the other two slots—my temptation was to guess silver for Khokitski (aka the other Russian couple), if only because they’re the other “home” team. But I underestimated Davis/White last time, and I don’t want to make that mistake twice! Cappelini/Lanotte (ITA) stand the best chance of upsetting my picks, but Khokitski beat them by 6 points 2 weeks ago…

As for LADIES:

Gold: Carolina Kostner (ITA)
Silver: Fumie Suguri (JPN)
Bronze: Alissa Czisny (USA)

This is a very tough category, though not quite as tough as the men (coming tomorrow). I must say I’m giving this one to Kostner by process of elimination—her performance at Skate Canada was troubling; I’m not sure if it’ll give her confidence a sucker punch or if it’ll inspire her to do better. But of the top names at this event, she’s perhaps the most consistent of several inconsistent competitors. If that makes any sense.

One of those “inconsistents” is Suguri… but she managed a silver at SkCan, so I’m hopeful she’s riding a good wave.

Czisny is another “inconsistent”, but she managed bronze at SkCan (and I hear it was that success that got her invited to COR to replace Finland’s Jenni Vahamaa), so I’m hopeful she’s riding a good wave.

See a pattern here?

The dark horses here are many; they include Kimmie Meissner (who seems capable of a comeback at any time), Rachael Flatt (who I fear will be underscored; hope I’m wrong), and Na-Young Kim—the lesser-known South Korean skater who still seemed impressive when I saw her (at 4CC) last year. So, in short, I’m crossing my fingers here and hoping for the best.

I must admit—the way my guesses have been going this season, maybe my brother Michael was on to something…

So, I’m off to study a copy of Celebrity Hairstyles! Your
Clip of the Day is that 4CC performance from Kim that I just mentioned… so I won’t have overlooked her completely if/when she medals this weekend. :-)


Sharon said...

You know you just never really know in figure skating...don't know if I jinxed them or not but my beloved Davis/White had such a meltdown in the OD, a medal here looks doubtful. But I'm not giving up on them, I hope they skate their FD like I know they can! I'm thinking predictions are a curse...I'm just praying they hang on to at least fourth and it gets them into the GPF. But hey, you got the gold in Ladies!

Sharon said...

Happily my team (D/W) skated that FD to near perfection! They continue to amaze me and now I get to enjoy them in the GPF! How crazy is it that K/N won over Dom/Shab? Or that D/W actually beat Dom/Shab in the FD as well? Ice dance is crazy/wonderful this season!

Kelli Lawrence said...

I wish I understood the nuances of ice dance like I did the singles' events. Instead, I think of it like I do jazz music... I know what I like. (Oh, and I can usually tell when they goof up without falling too.)

I hope we're not jinxing skaters with our predictions... if so, we must somehow REVERSE THE CURSE!!