Let’s review: you can’t win an event based on the strength of a short program, but if the competition is really tight, you sure can lose it.

In a field where none of the women has been consistent over the season it really is anybody’s to take. My money is still on defending world champion from Korea, Yu-Na Kim, because of her competitive strategy over the season. I admire that she has “kept her eye on the prize” and not been dissuaded or distracted by events like the 4 C’s despite any pressure that she might have felt to support a competition in her home country. For the rest of the podium, there are a number of different possibilities: I love the fact that three-time European champion from Italy, Carolina Kostner is as unpredictable as a two-year old’s mood: “When she’s good, she’s very, very good and when she’s bad she’s awful.” You just never know. Joannie Rochette, Canada’s 6 time national champion and defending world silver medallist, has everything in place but cannot afford to drop the ball in the short only to try and come back in the free program. She seems to do her best skating when she is mad at herself and “doing the chasing”, as in coming back from 2nd place at Nationals in the short. The problem is at the Olympic Games there are no points to spare. The other two names to watch for are Japanese world champions from 2007 and 2008, Miki Ando and Mao Asada respectively. Both women know what it’s like to stumble in the full glare of public expectation. With only splashes of brilliance and many moments of trepidation during the season all of the top women are looking to the Olympics for redemption.

I believe that the winds of change are upon us in the field of ice dance with Canada’s three time champions and two-time world medalists leading the pack. Not going down without a fight are two-time American dance champions, Meryl Davis and Charlie White who were kept off the world podium a year ago by Virtue and Moir and a margin of only .04. They are training mates, friends, at the same stage of life and without a doubt so well matched in talent, ability and programs that it will be the performances that will make the difference and not the material. I believe that Italian ice dance champions, Massimo Scali and Federica Faiella have successfully launched themselves into contention for a medal in Vancouver. Although they came second at the European Champions to defending World dance champions from Russia, Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin, they won both the original and free dance portions which tells me that, correctly, their star is on the rise. The 2008 World Champions from France, Isabelle Delobel and Olivier Schoenfelder have not been seen in international competiton since the Grand Prix Final from a year ago but were well known for their creativity and strength. Shoulder surgery and the birth of a baby for Isabelle has limited their training time and they are the real wild cards of the event which “ups” the interest and anticipation for me.

The Tango Romantica is the compulsory dance that has been drawn and what better way to start the drama than with a tango?

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