We are a month away from the World Championships in Los Angeles. The price tag of this trip is starting to make my wallet shudder (I pre-paid for parking at the Staples Center...$150.00!) but I'm excited just the same!
I figured I would spend the next Pic of the Week's prior to Worlds revisiting last season's champs and talking about them and how they fit (or don't fit) into the picture.
Let's start with Mao Asada, whom I'd call the co-favorite, to win the title along side Yu-Na Kim. If we rewind to the World Championships last season, Mao's program began with a bang...literally, as she went flying into the boards after popping her opening triple axel. If that wasn't dramatic enough, she picked herself up and continued right on to land all the remaining triple jumps in her program to take the World Title.
Problem for Mao is, even though she won the World Title, she didn't win the free skate in Goteborg. That honor went to the other co-favorite, Yu-Na Kim who settled for the bronze after a less than successful short program.
Mao and Yu-Na have been kind of trading back in forth this season. Yu-Na won both her Grand Prix events easily while Mao struggled to a silver in Paris before regaining her composure in Japan to win NHK. Mao got the bigger piece of the pie at the Grand Prix Final winning the Gold. However, despite the fact that Kim had errors in her free skate it was very close. Yu-Na responded with a victory over Mao at the recent Four Continents Cup, despite Mao's winning the free skate.
Who can say what will happen in L.A...neither of these ladies have put together clean short and free skates when competing against each other since moving to the senior ranks. If both these ladies are clean in L.A., fireworks may indeed break out!
And despite the dominance of these two ladies this season, their will be plenty of challengers to give Mao a run for her money...and her second consecutive world title.
In case you missed Mao's dramatic Free Skate, here's a look back.