Friday, October 18, 2013

2013 Skate America Airtimes and Predictions

IT'S FINALLY TIME!!!  For the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating, that is.

Here’s when you can catch 2013 Skate America on IceNetwork (and NBC) this weekend. (All times Eastern)

Fri., Oct. 18th: Men’s SP – 7:00 PM, SD – 8:45 PM.

Saturday, Oct. 19th: Pairs SP – 12:00 PM, Ladies SP – 1:30 PM, Men’s FS – 7:00 PM, FD – 9:00 PM.

Sunday, Oct. 20th: Pairs FS – 2:30 PM, Ladies FS – 4:15 PM (NBC ONLY), Gala – 7:30 PM.

Keep in mind there are other viewing options worldwide... this link from IFS Magazine should help you out with info on Canada’s schedule, the Universal Sports schedule, and Eurosport feeds, among others.

And now, here's my stab at who takes home what:

Gold Mao Asada, JPN
Silver Ashley Wagner, USA
Bronze Liza Tuktamysheva, RUS

Dark horses: Elena Radionova, RUS and Mae Berenice Meite, FRA

Notes: Asada and Wagner have become formidable opponents through the years, but Asada usually has the edge... especially when she brings her triple axel (and she already did one in competition a few weeks ago, though not a clean one). Wagner should be able to hold of Liza-With-A Lutzzzzz, though Tuktamysheva's Malaguena FS should serve her nicely this season. I have Meite as a dark horse because of her fierce jumping passes, while Radionova’s there because she’s making her senior GP debut... and like Tuktamysheva two years back, she could make a pretty big splash.

Gold Takahiko Kozuka, JPN
Silver Daisuke Takahashi, JPN
Bronze Max Aaron, USA

Dark horse: Artur Gachinski, RUS

Notes: Like the rest of you, I had to do some mental re-shuffling with the recent withdrawals of Brian Joubert and Denis Ten in this event. Of the eight guys remaining, I’m picking Kozuka over Takahashi—mostly because of the way both skated at the Japan Open. I’m perfectly aware they could flip-flop, but I’m too troubled by Dice-K’s BeatleMuzak FS to give him the benefit of the doubt right now. With Ten and Joubert out of the mix, I think Aaron’s got a clear shot at bronze—but keep in mind the last time I predicted bronze for him was at U.S. Nationals. (And he won instead.)

Gold Tatiana Volosozhar/Maxim Trankov, RUS
Silver Kristen Moore-Towers/Dylan Moscovitch, CAN
Bronze Caydee Denney/John Coughlin, USA

Dark horse: Stefania Berton/Ondrej Hotarek, ITA

Notes: Did you know the yellow pants worn by Trankov in the Jesus Christ Superstar FS have their own Twitter account? But if you watch SKAM you’ll likely see that, pants aside, the reigning World Champs remain very tough to beat. M-T/Mosco should be an easy fit for silver; I’m actually torn between the US team and the Italians for bronze, so I may be showing my national bias by picking the former. So be it!

Gold Davis/White, USA
Silver Cappellini/Lanotte, ITA
Bronze Shibutani/Shibutani, USA

Dark horse: Hubbell/Donohue, USA

Notes: A year from now, this title may be up for grabs. But until then, consider it D/W’s so long as they take the ice. The Italian champs very nearly took bronze at last season’s Worlds, so I see them taking silver ahead of the Shib Sibs... even though I’m as eager to appreciate their MJ free dance as anyone. Look for Hubbell/Donohue to make a very compelling case for a medal as well. 

I'll be on a weekend trip and won't get to see most of this until next week, so post your thoughts on SKAM and I'll get mine up ASAP!

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