Monday, March 13, 2006


She won't

Irina, skates off
Irina Slutskaya has now confirmed that she will not be competing in the upcoming World Championships in Calgary, which means that Sasha Cohen, as the clear star of a very strong US team, has virtually no competition if she skates her best. But how likely is that? I believe Fumie Suguri is her biggest threat, though Suguri is not known for her consistency either. The other top ladies, such as Yukari Nakano,Yoshie Onda, Kimmie Meissner, Carolina Kostner, and Joannie Rochette, just don't have the polish that Cohen and Suguri do, though Rochette and Nakano could challenge the top two for the gold.

In other events, Belbin and Agosto should twizzle away with the gold in dance, and the Chinese should dominate the pairs competition. I'm not religious, or even superstitious, but I've found myself doing what amounts to praying for an absence of the kind of falls we saw in both of these events in the recent Olympics.

The hottest contest by far should be in the men's event, with Lysacek, Buttle, Weir and Lambiel battling it out for the top spot while Oda, Joubert, Takahashi, Sandhu and Savoie nip at their heels. It's Lysacek all the way for me--his passion on the ice during his Olympic free skate converted me, though I still want to see soulful Matt Savoie on the podium.

The World Championships of figure skating will take place March 20-26. See the TV schedule here. More previews as the competition draws near...

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