I’ll make this quick. SKATING has become interesting to me again! Why may you ask? I guess it’s because of all of the new names that I have had to learn and styles that I have had to observe. Truth be told – skating and I had broken up for a bit for a bunch of reasons. It was as if that huge chunk of the ‘old guard’ had taken my interest with them when they all retired.

I was wrong. I’m still interested – maybe even more so – I just had to stop watching 90 Day Fiancé in all of its incarnations (don’t judge) to come back to my first love – figure skating.

The talent that I am seeing and the stories that I am following have me as intrigued as I ever have been, and I find myself sneaking ‘skating breaks’ on YouTube during my work days every chance I get.

So, what’s going to happen this week at the GP of France? I have been looking at the lists and what follows is what I predict.

Pj’s Podium Picks:

Men: Yuma Kagiyama JPN

The current World Silver medallist is fresh off 2 wins so far this season and I became a believer when I saw him at the Test event in Beijing in October. Oh yeah – he also won GP Italy. I expect the same here.

Women:  Anna Shcherbakova RUS

I wouldn’t have been able to pick this young woman out of a lineup not all that long ago but that all changed when she won the World title earlier this year. She also took top spot at GP Italy. Talent and tenacity is a winning combination.  ‘Nuff said.

Pairs: Alexandra Boikova and Dmitrii Kozlovskii RUS

These two are the current World bronze medallists but they did have their keesters handed to them in Las Vegas at Skate America. That said, they still came away with the bronze medal there. I am expecting that “what happened in Vegas – stays in Vegas.”

Ice Dance: Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron FRA

Truth be told, it doesn’t really matter what they do at the GP – they are the team to beat from now and until the Olympic Games. Period.

Feel free to leave your own picks in the comments below ? Don’t forget to join Charlene Bailey, Mazin Thomas and me for another edition of 3Turn3 on Friday, November 19 at 10am ET on the Pj Kwong Facebook page and YouTube channel and on Twitter @skatingpj. We are welcoming CBC’s Scott Russell to talk about skating from his point of view. Here is the YouTube link: https://youtu.be/3CDpWaWGQZM

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