Podium Picks – Skate Canada 2012

From Seattle, we travel across the continent to the border town of Windsor, Ontario; just across from Detroit, where the next phase of the Grand Prix circuit takes place. Skate Canada has been in existence since 1973, when the legendary Toller Cranston won Gold in the men’s inaugural event.  Ironically, pairs awards were not handed out at the event until 1983.  

The list of past winners reads like a who’s who of figure skating.  They include Michelle Kwan, Sasha Cohen, Kurt Browning, Elvis Stoiko. Elizabeth Manley, Sale & Pelletier and many, many more.  It’s should be another weekend of great skating to be had.

In case you’re wondering, in last week’s picks, we were correct on three out of four top skaters. We were dead on with our pairs picks.  Here’s our selections…

Men
Analysis – World #1 ranked men’s skater Patrick Chan had a rude awakening, when he stumbled during his recent competition in Japan. The reality check should make him more aware and focused in his home country’s tournament.  He’ll have some good competition, including Russia’s Artur Gachincki and Spain’s Javier Fernandez, ranked 7th and 8th in the world. Other skaters to watch out for are Nobunari Oda of Japanand Florent Amodio of France. 
Smooth’s Pick –
1. Patrick Chan (CAN)
2. Javier Fernandez (ESP)
3. Artur Gachincki (RUS)
Ladies
Analysis – The skating of Japan’s Akiko Suzuki will be the one to watch this weekend. The reigning bronze World medalist will attempt to win her first Skate Canada title, but will have to fight off a slew of strong skaters, including Kanako Murakami of Japan, Elene Gedevanishvili of Georgia and American Caroline Zhang.  Amelie Lacoste and Kaetlyn Osmond will represent Canada. An elite group of figure skaters with a couple making their Senior Grand Prix debuts.  Elizaveta (Liza) Tuktamysheva of Russia won Gold at last year’s Skate Canada as a junior, but decided to wait until this year for senior events.  (She won the Youth Olympic Games 2012 in Innsbruck, Austria).  Gracie Gold of the United States took home Gold at ISU JGP Tallinn Cup 2011 in Tallinn, Estonia. Polina Shelepen of Russiaskates in only her third Senior Grand Prix event.
Smooth’s Pick –
1. Akiko Suzuki (JPN)
2. Elizaveta Tuktamysheva (RUS)
3. Kanako Murakami (JPN)
Pairs
Analysis – Reigning world champions Aliona Savchenko & Robin Szolkowy of Germanymake their 2012-13 debuts this weekend.  The team took a well deserved summer off after winning an improbable Gold last year.  Competition in this division is unseasoned, but capable of greatness for the future.  The main challengers are from Italy’s Stefania Berton & Ondrej Hotarek ranked 7th in the world and Canadians Meagan Duhamel & Eric Radford, who are currently ranked, 9th.  Other Teams to look out for are Americans Lindsay Davis & Mark Ladwig and Tiffany Vise & Don Baldwin, who both are looking for more internation experience.     
Smooth’s Pick –
1. Aliona Savchenko & Robin Szolkowy (GER)
2. Stefania Berton & Ondrej Hotarek (ITA)
3. Meagan Duhamel & Eric Radford (CAN)
Ice Dance
Analysis – The accolades for Canadians Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir continue to grow. Olympic Gold in 2010, Worlds Champions in 2012, they’ll look to add a fourth Skate Canada title to the cabinet. Despite dropping slightly in the world rankings, they should be a strong force this season.  Virtue & Moir’s main competitors are Italy’s Anna Cappellini & Luca Lanotte; Russia’s Ekaterina Riazanova & Ilia Tkachenk and Pernelle Carron & Lloyd Jones of France.  Skaters to watch for the future are Canada’s Piper Gilles & Paul Poirier and Americans Madison Hubbell & Zachary Donahue.
Smooth’s Pick –
1. Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir (CAN)
2. Ekaterina Riazanova & Ilia Tkachenk (RUS)
3. Pernelle Carron & Lloyd Jones (FRA)
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About smoothjazzandmore

I'm a TV producer and an Internet radio broadcaster. I also write for my blogs (An Op-Ed Blog and a Football Blog) here at WordPress.
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