Skate America Ice Dance Preview

This is Davis and White’s event to lose.  They have won 6 consecutive Grand Prix gold medals and three consecutive Grand Prix Finals.  Their only competition for the past three seasons has been their training mates Virtue and Moir and this is unlikely to change here.  Their Notre Dame free skate is supposed to be one of their best and should be a highlight of this competition.

Weaver and Poje just missed the podium at Worlds last season and showed improved consistency winning silver medals at all three of their Grand Prix events last season.  Their score of 161 at Finlandia Trophy showed they are on pace to beat their personal best and have another standout season.  Their free dance was choreographed by SYTYCD alum Allison Holker and should set them apart from the rest of the field.

Bobrova and Soloviev have had mixed results the last few seasons and tend to peter out as the season progresses.  They won the silver medal at Europeans but had to settle for 7th place and were bypassed as the top Russian team at Worlds.  They changed coaches in the off-season and will be looking to challenge Weaver and Poje for the 2nd spot on the podium.

Zhiganshina and Gazsi just missed the podium at this event last season.  They won the bronze at Nebelhorn Trophy and are dark horses for the medal stand along with Kriengkrairut and Giuletti-Schmitt who won the bronze at the U.S. Figure Skating Classic.

My podium predictions:
Gold: Davis/White
Silver: Weaver/Poje
Bronze: Bobrova/Soloviev

Bios of the competitors:

Weaver/Poje, CAN: They finished 4th at Worlds and are the reigning Four Continents Bronze Medalists.  They won silver at Skate Canada, NHK Trophy and Rostelecom Cup last season to qualify for the Grand Prix Final where they finished 4th.  They are the 2010 Four Continents Champions and 2007 World Junior Bronze Medalists.  Their personal best is 166.55.  She is 23 and he is 25.

Zhiganshina/Gazsi, GER: They finished 11th at Worlds and 8th at Europeans.  They placed 4th at Skate America and NHK Trophy last season.  Their personal best is 140.95.  She is 25 and he is 28.

Alessandrini/Vaturi, ITA: They finished 16th at Worlds.  They placed 5th at NHK Trophy.  Their personal best is 133.29.  She is 22 and he is 24.

Bobrova/Soloviev: RUS: They placed 7th at Worlds and are the reigning European Silver Medalists.  They won gold at Cup of China and bronze at Rostelecom Cup last season to qualify for the Grand Prix Final where they finished 6th.  They are the 2011 European Silver Medalists and  2007 World Junior Champions.  Their personal best is 163.52.  She is 22 and he is 23.

Cannuscio/McManus, USA: This is their Grand Prix debut.  Their personal best is 122.90.  She is 20 and he is 22.

Davis/White, USA: They are the reigning World Silver Medalists and Four Continents Silver Medalists.  They won gold at Skate America and Rostelecom Cup last season to qualify for the Grand Prix Final where they won gold.  They are the 2010 Olympic Silver Medalists, 2011 World Champions, 2010 World Silver Medalists, 2009 and 2011 Four Continents Champions, 2008 Four Continents Silver Medalists, and 2006 World Junior Bronze Medalists.  Their personal best is 188.55.  She is 25 and he is 24.

Kriengkrairut/Giuletti-Schmitt, USA: They placed 6th at NHK Trophy last season.  Their personal best is 130.72.  She is 24 and he is 27.