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I may be alone in this but I am only watching the pre-season competitions with one eye open. I am looking to see what’s happening in a very cursory way because for me, the Grand Prix series is where skating starts to get serious, especially in an Olympic season.

The annual Rostelecom Cup is the first of the six-event series and is being held again in Moscow. As is always the case, the host nation gets to name their own three entries in each category. This perk serves a couple of purposes not the least of which is a chance for a less seasoned or even brand new senior level competitor to get much needed experience.

For Russian skating fans, there are some serious Olympic-worthy contenders competing in Moscow: Evgenia Medvedeva and pair skaters Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov to name a couple of entries.

I am not really going out on a limb when I say that I believe it is Medvedeva’s title to lose. After all, Evgenia has only lost once in the past two years – and that includes a world junior and two back-to-back senior world titles. Her consistency as a competitor is second to none.

My impression of defending Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu is that he seems to improve and gain momentum over the course of the season. That said, he came out of the gate at the Autumn Classic International in Montreal with a new world record score in the short program. Not a bad way to get the ball rolling.

See you on Facebook Live on Wednesday at 7pm ET – look for my Pj Kwong page on Facebook and let’s talk skating! And remember to leave your Facebook Live questions for me in the comments below. I can’t wait to talk with you all about the upcoming skating season!

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