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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The 2014 Worlds wishlist

The Olympics were supposed to be the end of an era, with many top skaters calling it a career after Sochi. As it turns out, however, quite a few of the old timers seem to be having a harder time saying goodbye than originally anticipated, and will be competing in Saitama next week. Throw in all the storylines to follow for the next few years and the up and coming skaters who'll be trying to make their move, and it's shaping up to be an exciting competition. Hopefully Eurosport will allow us to watch at least some of it... and here's what we'd like to see:

Pairs: Savchenko/Szolkowy will never win an Olympic gold, but they can win another world title if they skate a decent competition. I really hope they will; they deserve to end their career together on a high note. I'd also be happy to see Berton/Hotarek bounce back after a disappointing and injury-marred Olympics.

Men: Florent Amodio is in dire need of a comeback and it would be great if that happens. It doesn't have to be a Joubert-in-2010 level comeback, but something along the lines of Kostner-in-2010 could set him up nicely for the future. With Daisuke Takahashi out due to injury, Takahiko Kozuka gets the call and will hopefully show us some great skating.

Remember when Kozuka would skate like this?

Ladies: a tough one. Carolina Kostner is presumably retiring and I'd love for her to go out with a bang, but Mao Asada had such a roller coaster Olympic experience and I'd really like her to get a major win on home ice. So if we get a repeat winner, I'll be one happy fan. A good showing from Akiko Suzuki in her final event would also be most welcome, and I won't cry if Ashley Wagner ends up being the top US lady.

Dance: I would like Péchalat/Bourzat to skate really well, the judges to show them some love, and a happy ending to their great career. Also, if Hurtado/Diaz could finish high enough to get two GPs next year, that would be excellent (GPF in Barcelona!!!).

Pairs: Nothing short of S/S grabbing the gold will do here.

Dance: Nothing short of P/B attending and grabbing the gold will do here.

Men: So many wishes here. As the only Olympic medalist in attention, I wish for a good showing from Yuzuru Hanyu to validate that whole podium a bit post facto. I also hope for a good performance from Javier Fernandez, who then uses the podium prize money to buy some good sense into his choreographers.

Peter Liebers topping ten for two spots for Germany, and igniting a new skating craze over here. Just look at Javier and Spain, maybe we could get a GPF or something over here too? But then, if what S/S did over the years was not enough, it's pretty much a lost cause. O tempora...

Furthermore, I hope Michal Brezina can improve on his performances and placement at the Olympics. A good 10th place in a depleted post Olympic field would be much more reflective of his overall abilities than his Sochi result, and even secure two spots for the Czech Republic in 2015 on top of it, if Tomáš places at least 18th. Of course, I wish Mr.Verner a great farewell performance at his last Worlds.

I also hope for placements that help the US guys keep their two spots. A 9th place from Abbott and a 19th place from Max Aaron would accomplish that very nicely.

Ladies:  Hmm, good performances from Mao and Carolina. But they have been World Champions before, so the gold is not a last chance rally here. Another Akiko medal, maybe. But, then again, she has a world medal already and even managed to win the 3rd most prestigious title in Ladies figure this year. Some good surprise performances from 2nd tier skaters would be nice, whoever they may be.

All disciplines: Stop boring me.

It'll take more than this to entertain Saffron.

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