Now that the Grand Prix of figure skating final is over, here is a look at some of the major (and possibly surprising?)fortunes of this year's Grand Prix season.
Davis and White: Not only did they rack up great scores all season long, but they managed to beat their rivals and training mates, Canadians Virtue and Moir, in the Grand Prix Final. That was a major win for them. Tanith Belbin may get the photo spreads, but Davis and White are the number one U.S. ice dance team this season. And so far, their the number one team in the world, as well.
Akiko Suzuki: She's no longer just a fluke winner of a Grand Prix. She's now a medalist in the Grand Prix final, and it will be hard for Japan's skating federation to ignore that when they are selecting the Olympic team. And if she were to skate at the Olympics the way she skated in Tokyo at the GPF, she would be an absolute joy to watch.
Alena Leonova: She may have had a disastrous GPF, but I don't think that will take away all the progress she made leading up to that competition. She could easily be a medal factor in Vancouver, and now everyone knows it.
Jeremy Abbott: Sure, he has had a roller coaster season. But his programs have been well-received, he routinely receives the highest grade of execution points of all the American men, and he has landed the elusive quad. Additionally, the other potential competitors for the US men's Olympic team outside the big three of Evan Lysacek, Johnny Weir, and Abbott (Adam Rippon, Ryan Bradley, and Brandon Mroz) have not looked as good this season.
Shen and Zhao: At this point, I would not bet against them at the Olympics.
Rachael Flatt: The only lady to beat Yu-na Kim in the free skate this season. Granted, Kim skated the worst she's skated in years, but Flatt skated the program of her season. She also had the good sense to skate her best in the American Grand Prix on national television, which can't have hurt.
Skate Canada: This federation has very high hopes for medals in Vancouver. But things don't seem to be working out according to plan; Joannie Rochette has regressed to the skater of a few years ago rather than last season, Patrick Chan is currently a wild card, Dube and Davison haven't been very relevant on the pairs scene, and even Virtue and Moir lost at the GPF.
Caroline Zhang and Mirai Nagasu: The international judges have weighed in on these ladies and the verdict was not a positive one.
Belbin and Agosto: Although they won both of their events, they were not as impressive as rivals Virtue and Moir and Davis and White, and then had an unfortunate withdrawal from the GPF.
Takahiko Kozuka: Last year's fabulous Skate America winner. This year's "who?"
Savchenko and Szolkowy: What a difference two weeks makes. They broke records at Skate Canada but could not compete at the same level at GPF. Two disappointments overshadows the Skate Canada triumph, and have lost them gold medal momentum.
Evan Lysacek: He is skating great and you can't ask for much more than winning the GPF. However, he has left a lot of points on the table and has yet to skate his very best in the free skate. He's going to have to do that in order to have any chance against Plushenko.
Yu-na Kim: She came in unbeatable, she goes out unbeatable. But she's starting to show cracks, both emotional and physical. And there is always an excuse for her mistakes - she tightened her boots at the wrong time, she clanged her blades together and that damaged them. These may all very well be valid reasons for Kim's errors, but hearing excuses all the time can get really annoying. Just say she's human and leave it at that. Don't constantly try to tell us that if she makes any errors, there must be something to blame.
Miki Ando: She's had as successful a season as could have been expected. But at the GPF she had what could have been her best chance to beat Kim and she could not take advantage of it.
Sasha Cohen: Nobody's sure if her "comeback" is legit or not, but she probably has just about as good a chance now of making the Olympic team as she did before she withdrew from all the Grand Prix events.
Nobunari Oda: He started out so strong but lost some momentum in the Grand Prix Final. He is still formidable but he fizzled out before worlds last year and hopefully he will not do the same before the Olympics.
American Pairs: They performed pretty much as expected. Which is...not very well.
Some I have left out are Ashley Wagner, Alissa Czisny, Daisuke Takahashi, Plushenko...feel free to let me know what you think in the comments!