Milan and after ...

Milan and after ...

Postby Virginia » Sun Feb 25, 2018 4:43 pm

So the time has come to start asking the questions. Who is going to worlds, and who will skip? Who is retiring?

Canada: Virtue and Moir, Duhamel and Radford, and Chan have all announced their retirements. Lubov and Dylan will get D&R's spot, presumably, which makes me happy because I love their skating (though I'm not blind to their technical weaknesses in the SBS jumps). Nam Nguyen is first alternate in men's and Soucisse and FIrus in dance. Daleman must feel like she has something to prove after that Olympic free program, but will Katelyn take her bronze and gold medals and retire, or is there still fire in her belly?

Russia: Harder for me to handicap them, but I assume that everybody will go on to worlds. I doubt the Russian federation will give them much choice if they want to remain involved in figure skating in Russia. The bigger questions surround Bukin and Stolbova (and their partners). Will the ISU be shown the evidence against them and uphold the Olympic ban? Or will they be allowed to compete at Worlds?

France: Well, I think Pap/Cis will stay in for sure, and will probably retake the World title in Milan. I hope James and Cipres stick around after this season, as I really love their skating, but she's 30, so I wouldn't blame her for wanting to step away. Mae Berenice? Don't know enough about her to speculate.

Italy: A home-country worlds is sure to get 100% attendance from the home team. But after that, I think we can wave goodbye to Kostner and to Cappellini/Lanotte. I'll be sorry to say goodbye to Carolina, but Anna and Luca frankly get on my nerves with their circus-clown grins, so I won't weep to see them go.

Japan: I think Hanyu, Una, Sakamoto and Miyahara will go to Worlds. I expect everyone to go on next year except maybe Hanyu -- he's only 23, but he's got 2 world titles and 2 OGMs. What more does he have to prove? Plus, the injuries are taking their toll.

I won't speculate about Japanese pairs and dance. But I think Miyahara may finally lose her status as favorite girl of the JSF. She gets no height on her jumps, and her sense of entitlement is way out of proportion to her skating ability or her competition results. I think Sakamoto, Mihara, and Higuchi are all better skaters -- I"m really impressed with Sakamoto. She reminds me of Kanako Murakami when she first burst onto the senior scene, with this endearing bubbly girlishness combined with solid technique and speed.

China: Like Russia, we're talking about a state-controlled system which gives the athletes less freedom, so I'm assuming that everybody will go to Milan whether they want to or not. I do wonder if Han Yan will hang up the skates after this season, though.

Zhang Hao seems to be the Miracle Man. As long as his body holds up, I suspect we'll see him out there throwing girls around. As a world-class Chinese athlete, he can count on all his expenses being covered and a paycheck from the government without worrying about corporate sponsorships like a Western athlete. He's guaranteed a coach job afterwards, too, so there's no reason not to keep skating as long as he can.

Germany: The only athletes here who I know much about are Savchenko and Massot, of course. I don't get the feeling that Aliona is done yet, but will Bruno be ready to end his career with an OGM? Will Aliona go partner-shopping again? Stay tuned, skating fans!

Other random skaters? Denis Ten? He needs to retire. His body clearly can't face the demands of the sport anymore, and watching him struggle is painful. Fernandez? I think he'll go to Worlds, but hard to say if he'll come back after that. He's being outjumped and he knows it, and he's a 26-year-old facing 23-year-old Hanyu, 20-year-old Uno, 18-year-old Chen and their ilk.


New skaters (to me, at least) who caught my eye:
Dabin Choi. She really impressed me here. She's got Yuna's softness and flow combined with Yuna's big, effortless jumps. I thought she was undermarked, especially in the short, where she was ranked below Gabi Daleman (Gabi puts and hand down on a 3T-3T and scores higher than Cho's clean 3Z-3T? I don't think so.) I think she'll continue to move up the rankings.

Also Ryom and Kim of North Korea, whose technical skills are top-notch and whose packaging is way more sophisticated than I would have expected. (They have Beatles music in North Korea? Seriously?) They'll continue to climb the ladder, I think. I understand Meagan Duhamel is coaching them in Pyeongchang, and hopes to keep working with them this summer.

And finally, the USA: Zhou, Tennell, both Chens, Chock/Bates, Hubbell/Donahue, and both pairs will go to Milan for sure. Nathan Chen and the two dance teams, especially, have to redeem themselves for their mistakes at the Olympics, and they all have the potential to get onto the podium.

As the only American individual medalists in figure skating, the Shibs may get commercial offers that lure them away from Worlds. They've done ten seasons at the senior level and have won US titles, World silver and bronze and now two Olympic bronze medals. All that may be enough, especially for a 23-year-old and a 26-year-old still trying to finish their bachelor's degrees from the University of Michigan.

Now, Mirai Nagasu? I think we can conclude from her press remarks that she's done with competitive skating -- it sounds like she retired mentally after the team competition. I'm sure Ashley Wagner watched that ladies' event and thought, "I skated better than that at Sochi, and finished higher, and I could have done it again!". Ashley, of course, is first alternate for Worlds, but she's been swanning around Pyeongchang rather than training, so will she be able to get herself into competitive shape in three weeks? And will she try to come back next year? If she does, she may find a different welcome from USFS than she's had in recent years.

Adam Rippon has been remarking recently that he never wants to quit skating, but he's turned into a media darling, so I wonder if he'll be lured away by some tempting offer. On the other hand, he turned down that NBC commentating offer, and if he goes to Milan he and his buddy Ashley can have one last competitive swan song together, so maybe he'll go. I hope Jason Brown has been working on his quad technique back in Colorado, though, just in case!

WOW. Long post. Love to hear everyone else's thoughts!
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Re: Milan and after ...

Postby Jonas » Sun Feb 25, 2018 10:28 pm

I'll keep my focus on Milan for now, but here are my takes:

CAN
--Dragonlady mentioned in the Olympic thread that Iliushechkina & Moscovitch WON'T be going to Milan. If true, I presume Dylan is/was ready to retire and move on. This season has been a struggle throughout for them.
--I think both Osmond and Daleman will compete in Milan, where I hope Osmond seriously challenges for the World title.

RUS
I presume the team from Pyeongchang will compete in Milan w/the exception of Stolbova & Klimov, who I think are just over it.

ITA
Given how stellar they've skated and how underscored they were in Pyeongchang, I'm hoping that Marchei & Hotarek win a World medal at home.

JPN
No Worlds for Hanyu. He mentioned that he will focus on fully healing his injury and then decide on whether he'll continue competing. Japan named Wakaba Higuchi, not Kaori Sakamoto, to the team for Worlds. She reportedly skated well at the Challenge Cup in the Hague, which was held the same week as the individual ladies' events in Pyeongchang. Kaori Sakamoto fared very well in Pyeongchang, so I'm guessing the pressure will be on Higuchi to deliver in order to regain Japan's 3rd ladies spot.

GER
Savchenko mentioned in an interview after winning Olympic gold that she and Massot are planning to compete in Milan.

ESP
Not sure what Javi's plans are. He did mention after winning Euro title #6 that he may go for a 7th season, so I presume he'd be in Milan.

USA
Raf has been spilling some serious tea in an interview after the men's event suggesting, among other things, that Chen has been sick. While it seems a given that he'd gun for the World title, I would only be mildly shocked if Nathan Chen called it a season and then focus on next -- maybe sans Raf.

On a similar note rumblings have it that Jason Brown may be coach shopping in SoCal, so who knows if he'll even be ready to fly out should Adam Rippon bow out.

I think all three Olympic ladies, including Nagasu, will be in Milan. I agree that Ashley Wagner likely hasn't been training very intensely since San Jose. I'll even go out on a limb and say Nagasu will get some of the desire back and nail another 3Axel in competition.

Your thoughts...
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Re: Milan and after ...

Postby Maleeva » Sun Feb 25, 2018 10:52 pm

RUSSIA

Bob/Solo will not be at Worlds. Bobrova announced in Pyeongchang that was her last competition. Not sure if Soloviev will try to find another partner for the next Olympic cycle.

Step/Buk will now be jonzin for a medal in Milan after the Olympic ban and suddenly the #1 Russian dance team.
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Re: Milan and after ...

Postby chuckiem » Sun Feb 25, 2018 11:03 pm

Nathan has the flu, but he has 3 weeks to recuperate. I think he would want to challenge for a World medal, particularly if Hanyu and Fernandez both pass on going to Worlds. That is his best opportunity to grab a medal. Think of the alternative: If Adam bails and Nathan doesn't go, that leaves the men's 3 spots in the hands of Jason, Vincent and...Ross. That would put an awful lot of pressure on Vincent in his first appearance at Worlds, and on Jason, too, who is reportedly coachless at the moment.
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Re: Milan and after ...

Postby BrazilianFellow » Mon Feb 26, 2018 2:26 pm

Ksenia Stolbova was planning on going to Milan, but the season is over for her, once she's broken her leg.
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Re: Milan and after ...

Postby Andy » Wed Feb 28, 2018 10:45 am

Andy
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Re: Milan and after ...

Postby Virginia » Wed Feb 28, 2018 5:34 pm

Thanks, Andy!

I'm at work, so I don't have time to go over the entry lists with a fine-tooth comb, but I did scan them and a few things jumped out:

LADIES:
Kostner in (no surprise, home-country worlds).
Zagitova, Medvedeva, Sotskova all in.
Osmond, Daleman, Austman all in from Canada.
Tennell, Chen and Nagasu also in (I still expect Mirai to ditch, but we'll see.)

Surprise omission: Mae Berenice Meite of France isn't listed.

MEN:
Hanyu is in, along with Uno and Tanaka.
Chan is gone, as we knew, replaced by Nam Nguyen.
For the USA, Chen and Zhou will be joined by Jason Brown (seems that Adam Rippon is moving on to to greener pastures).

Surprise omission: Javier Fernandez isn't listed. Replaced with Javier Raya. Wonder if Fernandez is retiring?

PAIRS:
Savchenko/Massot are in (a little surprising to me, I thought they might want to go out on that Olympic high note, but then, they've never won a world title together).
Sui/Han and the other Chinese are in.
The Knierems will be joined by Kayne/O'Shea.
Duhamel/Radford are being replaced by Ruest/Wolfe.

DANCE:
Papadakis/Cizeron are in (and should easily retake the title). I'll bet anybody $50 American that she wears a new dress for the short dance.
Virtue/Moir are being replaced by Soucisse/Firus.
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Re: Milan and after ...

Postby sms29s66 » Wed Feb 28, 2018 6:12 pm

I'll bet P/C will be glad to see that short dance AND the costume go into retirement! My daughter and I watched the Grand Prix series and paid lots of attention to the costumes of pairs and ice dance couples. I wondered all along about how much bare skin is safe for the pairs considering the throws and even for the ice dancers. Do the women get sweaty? Suppose the man's hands slip on her bare skin? It's sometimes hard to tell how much illusion fabric is on their backs. But I never worried about the one costume that failed!!!!
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Re: Milan and after ...

Postby chuckiem » Thu Mar 01, 2018 1:08 am

Note that BOBROVA / SOLOVIEV are listed for RUS but Zhulin is saying they will not go. Probably Z/G will replace them.
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Re: Milan and after ...

Postby bumphystars » Fri Mar 02, 2018 6:32 pm

Multiple reports on Twitter that the Shibs are not going to world; H/B going instead.

Also Jason Brown and Ross Miner have declined the offer to go to Worlds so Max Aaron is in for Milan (in Adam's spot).
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Re: Milan and after ...

Postby Trilogy86 » Fri Mar 02, 2018 8:15 pm

bumphystars wrote:Multiple reports on Twitter that the Shibs are not going to world; H/B going instead.

Also Jason Brown and Ross Miner have declined the offer to go to Worlds so Max Aaron is in for Milan (in Adam's spot).


Surprised about Jason Brown. Not so much about Ross Miner.
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Re: Milan and after ...

Postby sms29s66 » Fri Mar 02, 2018 10:57 pm

bumphystars wrote:Multiple reports on Twitter that the Shibs are not going to world; H/B going instead.

Also Jason Brown and Ross Miner have declined the offer to go to Worlds so Max Aaron is in for Milan (in Adam's spot).

Do we know why Jason Brown declined? I hope he isn't retiring. And I am thrilled for H/B. They are my favorite ice dancers, along with G/P and that "new" up and coming team from Canada.
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Re: Milan and after ...

Postby Maleeva » Sat Mar 03, 2018 2:26 pm

I’d love to know what under what circumstances the Shibs decided not to skate at worlds. To me they are the most surprising omission for Milan. Surely they are not retiring ?
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Re: Milan and after ...

Postby tennisfan » Sat Mar 03, 2018 6:22 pm

Jason is apparently changing coaches and is taking time to sort that out and so not going to Worlds. I think the Shibutani's are taking the time to enjoy the spotlight they got for winning a couple medals in PyeongChang.
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Re: Milan and after ...

Postby chuckiem » Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:29 pm

Some late replacements:

ZAGORSKI / GUERREIRO for BOBROVA / SOLOVIEV
HAWAYEK / BAKER for the SHIBs - great opportunity for Kaitlyn and Jean Luc!
FEAR / GIBSON for COOMES / BUCKLAND - she wants to rest her injured leg

Max AARON for Jason BROWN for Adam RIPPON - Ross MINER declined; Jason wanted to work on his training situation (he left Kori Ade)

Also Laurence FOURNIER BEAUDRY / Nikolaj SORENSEN will now skate for CANADA but cannot compete until 4CC 2019.

Sorry for the late post on this---due to a major Nor'easter yesterday, I suddenly lost power and was out of service for 26 hours.
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Re: Milan and after ...

Postby Dragonlady » Sun Mar 04, 2018 1:46 am

Good to hear you’re OK chuckie. We got dumped on, with close to a foot of snow, but no loss of power or flooding. Stay safe.
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Re: Milan and after ...

Postby chuckiem » Sun Mar 04, 2018 2:55 am

I live on top of a hill, and the 70 mph winds took out trees and downed wires. The entire hill I live on with about 1500 residents was blacked out for more than a day. Unfortunately, we are all on well and septic, which means in addition to no lights, none of us had running water (no baths, no flushing toilets) and worst of all, no heat. So glad it's over now.
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Re: Milan and after ...

Postby Andy » Sun Mar 04, 2018 2:39 pm

STay safe, Chuckiem!

I am surprised that the Danish couple decided to change flag. Skating for Denmark meant 100% chance to skate at the big competitions, including Euros, which, will all the given respect, has in my opinion more reputation (and a longer tradition) than 4CC. Skating for Canada means a much fiercer competition at home! Does anybody have details on this move?
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Re: Milan and after ...

Postby bumphystars » Sun Mar 04, 2018 7:45 pm

Oh no, Chuckie, that is awful! Glad to hear things are back and running.

I agree about the Danish (now Canadian couple). What is the win for them here?
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Re: Milan and after ...

Postby chuckiem » Sun Mar 04, 2018 8:01 pm

My guess is they (the Danish couple) wanted badly to skated at the Olympics, and since she could never get Danish citizenship, the only way for 2022 was for him to get Canadian citizenship. They train in Canada, so the best option was to change countries now, sit out one Worlds, and start competing in Jan 2019.

At Worlds 17, they were 13th behind Weaver/Poje 4th and Gilles Poirier 8th. Some things have changed since then, with #9 H/D moving into the top 4 and #1 V/M, #5 B/S and #12 Tobias/Tkachenko now retired. At Euros 18, they were 9th, right behind Hurtado/Khaliavin, who were 12th at the Olympics; W/P and G/P were 7th and 8th, respectively in PyeongChang.

After Worlds 2018, we will know how Soucisse/Firus fare at Worlds 2018 and will have a better idea where FB/S fit in the current Senior Canadian hierarchy. Clearly, they are by far more experienced than S/F when it comes to competing at ISU championship events.
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