Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Olympic Podium Predictions

Since everyone's playing the game, here are my not-so-daring medal predictions for Vancouver. All my attempts at anticipating the Big Surprise are eluding me, but I can feel it in my bones that it's just around the corner.

I'll only comment briefly on the most hotly-contested men's event ever. With at least eight amazing athletes in serious contention — not just for medals but for the Olympic title! —picking three is tantamount to reaching into the bag and picking three names at random. Then again, the computers will throw judges' marks out at random as well, so it's all statistics and math. Go figure.

That said, I'm going with Plushenko, given his status as reigning Olympic champ and his consistency on quad combinations that are so richly rewarded by this judging system. I have Patrick Chan on the podium because the judges love him — and are sure to love him even better in front of a home crowd. But any of these eight men have almost the same odds of landing on that podium: Plushenko, Abbott, Chan, Lambiel, Lysacek, Oda, Takahashi, and Joubert. And who knows? Johnny Weir is all fired up. If he skates the program of his life he could throw a monkey wrench into everyone's predictions.

The other events are too self-explanatory to comment — except to note that I'd have placed White & Davis first had the Olympics been held in any other country. Or in an alternate universe in which politics and ice dance didn't cross paths. 


1. Evgeni Plushenko
2. Jeremy Abbott
3. Patrick Chan
4. Stephane Lambiel


1. Shen/Zhao
2. Savchenko/Szokolwy
3. Mukhortova/Trankov
4. Pang/Tong


1. Yu-Na Kim
2. Mao Asada
3. Miki Ando
4. Joanne Rochette


1. Vitue/Moir
2  Davis/White
3. Domnina/Shabalin
4. Belbin/Agosto

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