Second GP event of the season starts soon, for those who is hesitating whether to watch it (especially if you have a big difference in time with Canada) here is my list of reason why Skate Canada is definitely worth watching and questions that seem intriguing.
- Patrick Chan vs Yuzuru Hanuy
I was waiting for Skate Canada from the moment Patrick Chan announced that he is coming back. All my feelings about his come back is described here) But how ironically that at his first start after a break he will face Yuzuru Hanyu. That promise to be an epic battle and I’m envy for those who will see it live. Of course it will be extremely difficult to Patrick to compete with Yuzuru, he missed a season, his physical shape is not optimal yet, but he is competing at home. Never forget about this advantage. According to video from official practices Honyu is in terrific shape, but practices is one thing and competition is different. Keeping my fingers crossed for both of them, because this two are pushing men’s figure skating at the completely new level!
2. Can Nam Nguyen win another senior medal?
While Patrick Chan was taking rest the younger generation have not been sitting idly. Nam Nguyen had a great start at senior level in previous season. His skating lacks speed and power, his lines and posture is not the best but his jumps looks pretty solid and reliable. So, can Nam repeat his past season success and win another medal at GP? I would say, he totally has good chances to do that.
3. Will Tuktamysheva try a 3 axel?
The main question about Elizaveta Tuktamysheva is not even whether she can win this event (she definitely can) but rather is she going to do a 3 axel? To win at Skate Canada she doesn’t need it. To win at Russian Nationals, Europeans and Worlds – yes. To get confidence and consistency on this element she need to practice it at competition too. Elizaveta participated at couple events at the beginning of the season and her shape hasn’t been good. At Skate America we had a perfect example from Alain Chartrand how dangerous 3a is and how easily it can ruin the whole program. So, will Tuktamysheva take a risk?
4. Is Ashley Wagner ready to go?
She hasn’t been chosen for the home GP, Gracie Gold skated quite impressive at Skate America…If I were Ashley Wagner I’d start worrying. She needs to prove that she is the best) But can she do it? At Japan Open she didn’t seem strong and ready to go. I also have some worries about her free program. I doubt it can shine again and make such great impression on audience and what the most important on judges.
5. Polina Edmunds chances for a medal
Let’s not forget about Polina Edmunds! We haven’t seen her at international competitions this season but she has pretty good chances to win a medal here. I like her short program and hope she has improved in her FP. So, a bronze and even silver seem pretty possible for this young lady. Everything depends only on her.
6. Can Kaetlyn Osmond win at home?
Kaetlyn Osmond is definitely Canadian main hope for the ladies event (her score at Nebelhorn Trophy proves it). Can she win a gold medal at home? Umm….doubt it. Of course the ice is slippy and anything can happened. But If 3a won’t ruin Tuktamysheva programs and US ladies won’t perform their worst, Osmond barely can hope for a gold. But the medal is possible. I would say that she and Edmunds has almost the same chances to win a medal. However Osmond’s chances is a bit higher due to the place of holding of this competition.
7. What will be Duhamel and Radford’s answer?
Last week at Skate America we saw Wenjing Sui – Cong Han and Ksenia Stolbova – Fedor Klimov. Chinese pair was good but not perfect. So, what will the answer from Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford to their competitors? Will they continue trying two quad throws at the free program? They don’t have any strong competitors at this event, so I think that can afford the risk.
8. New short dance for Weaver and Poje
As their rivals from USA Chock and Bates, Kaitlyn Weaver – Andrew Poje also had to change their short dance. But they had less time for that. They choose beautiful classical music (which I think is better for them) so, I’m really impatient to see how the new dance will turned out. Whether it was enough time to create properly a new dance and feel confident in it? Will see soon.
9. Are Bobrova and Soloviev is No 1 of Russian team?
All Russian ice dancers (except Sinitsina and Katsalapov who got their marks at Skate America, so they’re more objective) got surprisingly and shockingly high marks at local competitions. So, it’s difficult to quess who is the No. 1 of the Russian team and who will get all support from the Federation. Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev missed past season due to Dmitri’s injury, they also withdraw from the Mordovian Ornament. So it’s a question whether the Russian Federation consider them as leaders and whether the missed season will affect their marks.
10. Is there any hope for the Shibs?
I’m worrying about Maia Shibutani & Alex Shibutani. The young generation of US ice dancers is growing, so Maia and Alex need a breakthrough! I hope the collaboration with different choreographer will help them to change judges and US Federation’s opinion about this talented duo. They need to show something fresh and new. But it seems they again not in priority for their coach….maybe it’s a time for changes? Skate Canada will give some answers.
Will Weaver and Poje new waltz be no less successful than Chock and Bates? See the new short dance of Americans here.
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