Volosozhar and Trankov started off their season with a bang setting new World Records at Nebelhorn Trophy and scoring six points higher than they did at Worlds last spring. They won every event they entered last season and soundly defeated their rivals Savchenko and Szolkowy. There seems to be nowhere to go but up for this team and it will be interesting to see if they can keep the pace they've set for themselves.
Moore-Towers and Moscovitch are creeping closer and closer to the World's podium and are aiming for an Olympic medal this season. After toying with a new short program, they decided to keep last year's program which has been received well by the judges and went with just a new free skate.
Denney and Coughlin are back on the international scene after sitting out the majority of last season while he had surgery to repair his hip. They tried to make it back in time for Worlds but weren't able to be fully rehabbed in time. They scrapped their programs earlier this summer and went for more powerful music to bring out their strengths as a team and it seemed to work at the U.S. Figure Skating Classic. After a disappointing short program, they rallied in the free skate to claim the silver medal.
Berton and Hotarek had a somewhat disappointing end to their season last year. After winning bronze at both of their Grand Prix events and at the European Championships they finished just 10th at Worlds scoring nearly 16 points below their personal best.
My podium predictions:
Bios of the competitors:
Moore-Towers/Moscovitch, CAN: They placed 4th at Worlds and are the reigning Four Continents Silver Medalists. They placed 4th at Cup of China and won silver at NHK Trophy last season to qualify for the Grand Prix Final where they finished 5th. Their personal best is 199.50. She is 21 and he is 29.
Purdy/Marinaro, CAN: They are the reigning World Junior Silver Medalists. This is their Grand Prix debut. They won gold at JGP USA and gold at JGP Croatia last seasonto qualify for the JGPF where they finished 4th. Their personal best is 154.70. She is 18 and he is 21.
Berton/Hotarek, ITA: They finished 10th at Worlds and are the reigning European Bronze Medalists. They won bronze at Skate Canada and at Trophee Eric Bompard last season. Their personal best is 187.45. She is 23 and he is 29.
Stolbova/Klimov, RUS: They finished 6th at Europeans. They won bronze at Cup of China and placed 5th at Trophee Eric Bompard last season. They are the the 2012 European Bronze Medalists, 2011 World Junior Silver Medalists and 2010 World Junior Bronze Medalists. Their personal best is 172.55. She is 21 and he is 23.
Volosozhar/Trankov, RUS: They are the reigning World Champions and European Champions. 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 2011 and 2012 World Silver Medalists and 2011 European Champions. Their personal best is 231.96. She is 27 and he is 30.
Castelli/Shnapir, USA: They finished 13th at Worlds and are the reigning Four Continents Bronze Medalists. They placed 5th at Skate America and won bronze at NHK Trophy last season. They are the 2009 World Junior Bronze Medalists. Their personal best is 174.51. She is 23 and he is 26.
Denney/Coughlin, USA: They won bronze at Skate America and bronze at Rostelecom Cup last season. They are the 2012 Four Continents Silver Medalists. Their personal best is 185.42. She is 20 and he is 27.
Zhang/Bartholomay, USA: They placed 4th at Four Continents. This is their Grand Prix debut. Their personal best is 167.30. She is 20 and he is 24.