I was all set to talk about how I look forward to TEB simply because the arena in which it takes place is so lovely… because it is… but then I caught this article at Icenetwork.com telling of the crappy condition of the ice itself over in Paris, at least mid-week. Sheesh. Maybe the key to appreciating the competition this weekend will be simple: don’t look down.
Anyway… better get to my predictions for PAIRS:
Gold: Savchenko/Szolkowy (GER)
Silver: Duhamel/Buntin (CAN)
Bronze: Mukhortova/Trankov (RUS)
Let’s just face facts, and admit up front that as long as Zhang & Zhang aren’t in Paris, the Germans are in a class by themselves. They should win by plenty. My silver/ bronze picks might easily get reversed in reality, but I found Duhamel & Buntin infinitely more appealing at SKAM a few weeks ago than the Russian M&Ms (that would be Maria and Maxim). But I haven’t compared their content side by side-- the Russians are likely to have the edge there. IF they get it all done… it’s the IF factor that keeps them in bronze for me.
Much as I cheered the U.S. pair of Vise/Trent last year at this event (and their gorgeous throw quad salchow), and would enjoy seeing them on the podium, I’m not familiar enough with what they’re up to this season to predict an upset.
Finally, for the LADIES:
Gold: Mao Asada (JPN)
Silver: Joannie Rochette (CAN)
Bronze: Caroline Zhang (USA)
Rochette lit up SKCAN 2 weeks back, and may do quite well here too, but this weekend will probably be all-Asada, all-the-time. Bronze might be a toss-up between Zhang and Emily Hughes (making her first and only GP appearance this weekend); I’m factoring in the strong possibility that Hughes, who I believe hasn’t competed since last year’s GP assignments, will be a little rusty.
Since we haven’t seen Asada skate in a while, the Clip of the Day showcases her free skate at this event last year. There’s only 2 days of competition this time; enjoy it as it fleets on by like so many Metro trains in rush hour!