The ISU Senior Grand Prix assignments have been out since Monday. I’m not sure what this means for you, but for me, it means I spent the week with 4 pages of printouts in my bag. Come a lunch break, come some dead time at community theater rehearsal, come a lull (and there are many) at the end-of-school awards ceremonies I sat through yesterday, I had the lists out... circling, noting, question-marking, and occasionally wondering either a) why I didn’t see a certain name, or b) why I saw a certain name SO MUCH (meaning twice).
The ISU link to downloadable files can be found here. As for what I’ve got so far:
Omissions: Internationally speaking, the only “usual suspect” I don’t see on the list of assignments is Ksenia Makarova—but I think she’s out for the season with an injury. From the
there is no Alissa Czisny (possibly by request, if there is a concern about her
re-injuring if she returns too soon?)... also no Courtney Hicks (4th
at 2013 Nationals) and no Yasmin Siraj (6th at 2013 Nationals). I
presume that means both Hicks and Siraj will go to the JGP? Oh, and there’s
also no Rachael Flatt among the entries—not sure if she’s still recovering from
last season’s injuries, saving all her energies for one final push at
Nationals, or none of the above.
Surprises: Despite her subpar performance at the last Nationals (7th), Mirai Nagasu still received 2 GP assignments. And despite her even weaker showing (12th), Caroline Zhang still got assigned to Skate America. My rational side argues “why bother? Why not give Hicks, or Kiri Baga, or Leah Keiser a try instead?” But sentiment suggests to me that Nagasu and Zhang—both up-and-coming junior stars when they were first brought to the attention of the ABC/ESPN audience, back in 2007—are each being showed a glimmer or two of support in what could be their last competitive season.
New faces: Elena Radionova, RUS, Anna Pogorilaya, RUS, Satoko Miyahara, JPN, and Lenaelle Gilleron-Gorry, FRA.
Noteworthy: With Yu-Na Kim & Mao Asada in two events apiece, the assignments pit Gracie Gold & Ashley Wagner against them alternately. In other words, Skate America will feature Asada vs.Wagner, Skate Canada’s got Kim vs. Gold, NHK has Gold vs. Asada), and Bompard will bring us Wagner vs. Kim. As for
bronze medalist Agnes Zawadzki, she will face Carolina Kostner in the remaining
two events (Cup of China and Rostelecom Cup).
Omissions: none jump out at me.
Surprises: The good news is that the
newest team to have a shot at the Sochi Olympics-- Lindsay Davis/Rockne
Brubaker—have a GP assignment to test the waters. The bad news—it’s at Skate
Canada, which means they don’t get as much prep time as they would at, say,
Rostelecom Cup (one month later).
New this year on the senior circuit (aside from Davis/Brubaker): Margaret Purdy/Michael Marinaro,
Anastasia Martiusheva/Alexei Rogonov, RUS... Felicia Zhang/Nathan Bartholomay, USA...
Haven Denney/Brandon ...
Yulia Antipova/Nodari Maisuradze, RUS... Britney Simpson/Matthew Blackmer, Frazier, USA USA.
Noteworthy: How about the fact that FOUR of those new teams represent the
Yes, we’ve got Denney/Coughlin back from surgery, as well as the proven
Castelli/Shnapir, and the promising Scimeca/Knierim... but with Davis
on to another partner since Nationals, and a GP pairs staple of the past 2
years (Vise/Baldwin) now retired (thank goodness), our weaknesses are showing.
Or are they?? Let’s take a positive spin for now, and smile at the possibility
of Top 5 finishes for all this fresh talent. No, I’m not looking at their
competition as I write that. And you can’t make me. I’m staying positive,
ALSO noteworthy: remember 2011 World Bronze Medalists Takahashi/Tran? The team that split so that Takahashi could be paired with someone who better represented
Japan (aka not
a Canadian citizen)? Well, they are back... though of course (sigh) not with
each other. Mervin Tran will debut with his new partner Natasha Purich at TEB;
Narumi Takahashi will debut with her
new partner Ryuichi Kihara one week later, at Rostelecom Cup.
Will post on the Men and Dance entrants soon. Say, did you happen to hear Evan Lysacek is planning a comeback at Skate America?