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Four Continents Figure Skating Preview

Photo of Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir by Mostly Lisa. 

 

Photo of Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir by Mostly Lisa.

The Four Continents figure skating competition will be the last major competition for many of the athletes before the World Championships; therefore, it will be very important for the top competitiors to have a strong showing here. The competition, which begins today, will feature some of the biggest names in the sport including Meryl Davis/Charlie White, Evan Lysacek, Mao Asada, Yu-Na Kim, and Qing Pang/Jian Tong. 

Ice Dancing:

I expect the ice dancing competition to be the least competitive of the four. Meryl Davis/Charlie White and Tessa Virtue/Scott Moir are the only top teams competing and even though I love their soft, fluid style and I believe that they will do well in front of their home crowd, I just can’t imagine Virtue/Moir challenging Davis/White too much. Davis/White are coming off of an impressive performance at the U.S. National Championships, which should give them the confidence to know that if they skate their best, they can compete with anyone. 

Predicted Results:

1) Meryl Davis/Charlie White

2) Tessa Virtue/Scott Moir

3) Emily Samuelson/Evan Bates

Men:

Photo of Patrick Chan by Fannie.

Photo of Patrick Chan by Fannie.

It will be interesting to see how Evan Lysacek performs after a disappointing showing at the U.S. Nationals. He has been flat and inconsistent all year and he will need to sort-out those issues now. He wll have stiff competiton, however, as the U.S. National Champion Jeremy Abbot and Canadian National Champion Patrick Chan are in the field. Abbot has been on a roll lately, but the pressure is mounting, as he is now taking on the role of the favorite in his competitions. He will now be expected to perform cleanly and only time will tell if he will be able to deliver. Chan, however, will give him a run for his money, as he has had a breakthrough year this season and he definitely seems to be the “real deal.” 

Predicted Results:

1) Patrick Chan

2) Evan Lysacek

3) Jeremy Abbott

Pairs:

As has been the case over the past few years, the pairs competition will be dominated by the Chinese teams. Usually, the team of Dan Zhang/Hao Zhan is the strongest, but this year, they were defeated in the National Championships by the team of Qing Pang/Jian Tong. It will be a tough battle between the two teams, but Zhang/Zhang has the better overall record and I will take consistency over momentum in major competitions. Behind the Chinese teams, I expect to see the Canadian team of Jessica Dube/Bryce Davison. They will competiting in front of their home crowd and will, therefore, be able to feed off the crowd during their performances. 

Predicted Results:

1) Dan Zhang/Hao Zhang

2) Qing Pang/Jian Tong

3) Jessica Dube/Bryce Davison

Women:

Photo of Mao Asada by David W. Carmichael.

Photo of Mao Asada by David W. Carmichael.

The women’s field is definitely the most competitive of the fields at Four Continents. Not only will Mao Asada and Yu-Na Kim be able to renew their rivalry here, but Rachael Flatt and Alissa Czisny will also be fighting for a potential podium finish. Asada has been the dominant force in skating for the past few years an she reaffirmed her position at the top by recently winning the Grand Prix Final. It will be very close between her and Kim and one small mistake can easily be the deciding factor in who takes the gold. Kim will make it tough on her, but Asada has a knack for performing under pressure. Plus, her long program for this season is simply stunning and if performed well, will definitely garner the attention of both the judges and the crowd. Many have touted this competition to be a preview for the upcoming Olympics, as it also takes place in Vancouver, but I think the real Olympic preview will be at the World Championship in March. As for the other competitiors, Czisny can get a podium position if she skates cleanly, but I am still not convinced that she will be able to do so. Flatt, on the other hand, is probably one of the most consistent skaters on the circuit and I, therefore, believe that she will take the final podium spot. 

Predicted Results:

1) Mao Asada

2) Yu-Na Kim

3) Rachael Flatt

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