pretty much absolute. Posting an overall score like 188.23 this early in the season at a Grand Prix
event and receiving the kind of reception that they did for their "Sheherazade" free dance only shows
just how they are going to be to beat this season. Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir might have more work
cut out for them than previously thought, but as I stated in my blog article Meryl And Charlie .VS.
Tessa And Scott: New Free Dance 101, I think there is certainly a depth and maturity to Tessa and
Scott's program that will still make for a very compelling competition as the season goes on... and
when the two teams meet for the first time and looking towards Sochi... you know, the city in the
country that Sarah Palin can see from her back door. Amurica!
Ashley Wagner! God, I love her. She went out there guns blazing and really proved that she's serious
about this season. Was that a surprise? There's such a quiet intensity and drive to her skating that
I admire, plus the fact that she's basically one of VERY few skaters to have the balls to open her mouth and oppose the whole anti-gay Sochi foolishness only makes me adore her even more. I think that her programs can and will continue to grow and improve... and the fact that she's doing the triple flip/triple toe combo is HUGE. Mao Asada's showing she's in fine form and also is a good bet for a podium finish in Sochi, but Ashley's relative proximity to her score wise (less than 10 points) shows that with continued improvement on her jumps (especially the lutz), Ashley's (in my opinion) stronger presentation could be the deciding factor in contending more than people would ever think this year. Sarah Hughes? Kimmie Meissner? She wouldn't be the first American ladies skater in recent years to do it, by any stretch of the imagination. Although she finished third in the free skate, Liza Tuktamysheva's 9th place finish in the short program nails home the fact that an injured Alena Leonova still has a chance. I'm crossing my fingers, toes... and yours when you're not looking! haha
The lesson in all of these rivalries and results in early season competition isn't who wins or loses
but in the stories that unfold in their own unique ways on their own time. We'll see people who
fell on every jump last week win two weeks later, skaters who we've written off win medals and people that we think unbeatable prove once again that they are unbeatable. Carving out stories on the ice is no easy feat and it's our responsibility as skating fans to always be conscious of the fact that the stories of the ice are as winding and convoluted as a serpentine step sequence. I can't wait to see how they all play out this season!
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