What fun must it be to have made the GPF this year! I mean, how often does the competitive circuit envelop a whole new country? And such a breathtaking city?
By the time I get this finished and posted, the Junior GP events will already have started. But the Pairs SP kicks things off for the senior crew at (Eastern Time) this afternoon. Check out this schedule... and if you want to keep score on my predictions to tease me about them in the comments later, here they are:
GOLD: Stolbova/Klimov (RUS)
SILVER: Duhamel/Radford (CAN)
BRONZE: Kavaguti/Smirnov (RUS)
Dark Horse: Sui/Han (CHN)
Because... while the Canadians have the most challenging elements of the field in their arsenal (including a throw quad salchow that has yet to be landed at a GP event), I think Stol/Klim are seen as the more polished, complete package.
GOLD: Tatsuki Machida (JPN)
SILVER: Javier Fernandez (ESP)
BRONZE: Takahito Mura (JPN)
Dark Horse: Yuzuru Hanyu (JPN)
Because... Javi’s dealing with a lot, competing in such a major event at home for the first time after having almost single-handedly brought this sport to
masses. Much as I’d love to think it’ll roll off his back, his semi-sloppy free
skates thus far indicate he’ll be a gamble for gold here. (I still hope he
wins, though. That would be beyond cool.)
GOLD: Weaver/Poje (CAN)
SILVER: Chock/Bates (
BRONZE: Papadakis/Cizeron (FRA)
Dark Horse: Shibutani/Shibutani (
Because... while Wea/Po and C/B are pretty compatible when you look at their scores from their winning GP events, I can’t see the reigning World Silver Medalists losing to anyone in this field... so long as they don’t collapse a lift or spin out of orbit on a twizzle, that is.
GOLD: Elena Radionova (RUS)
SILVER: Elizaveta Tuktamysheva (RUS)
BRONZE: Julia Lipnitskaia (RUS)
Dark Horse: Anna Pogorilaya (RUS)
Because... it’s a preview of Russian Nationals for a reason. And much as I’d love to see Ashley Wagner crash this particular podium party, I don’t think she can amass the kind of points needed to do so.
As always, you can follow me on Twitter @KLBSt8ofSk8... I’ll be tagging my comments with #GPF14.Enjoy the happenings as Act I of the 2014-15 skating season draws to a close!