Examiner Figure Skating's Olympic Buzz Experiment continues with the (belated) results from January 2013. (Hey, it's still February!) January saw two major national championships (U.S. and Canada) plus the European Championships, where there was certainly some news with Javier Fernandez's and Carolina Kostner's wins and Evgeni Plushenko's withdrawal, among other things. Let's take a look at what kind of movement happened last month.
To learn more about the Olympic Buzz Experiment and its methodology, scroll to the bottom of this page.
There seems to be a solid group of five emerging in the Buzz right now. Patrick Chan continues to lead the way with Yuzuru Hanyu behind him, though both of their Buzz Numbers got eaten into by Daisuke Takahashi and Javier Fernandez in January. Of course, these numbers happened before Takahashi's dismal performances at Four Continents, so it'll be interesting to see where that goes.
Fernandez makes a pretty substantial jump in January, moving ever closer to Evgeni Plushenko, who is dropping a bit more in January after injury forced him to withdraw from Europeans. A few skaters make it on the list for the first time - new U.S. champ Max Aaron, Russia's Maxim Kovtun (who was fifth at Europeans), and European bronze medalist Michal Brezina.
- Patrick Chan - 6.534 (-0.402) G,S
- Yuzuru Hanyu - 4.549 (-0.209) B
- Daisuke Takahashi - 3.415 (+0.283)
- Evgeni Plushenko - 1.778 (-0.278)
- Javier Fernandez - 1.675 (+0.708) DR
- Takahiko Kozuka - 0.142 (-0.060)
- Evan Lysacek - 0.116 (-0.005)
- Tomas Verner - 0.103 (-0.004)
- Jeremy Abbott - 0.090 (-0.031)
- Ross Miner - 0.039 (-0.042)
- Brian Joubert - 0.039 (-.002)
- Max Aaron (NEW) - 0.039
- Maxim Kovtun (NEW) - 0.026
- Michal Brezina (NEW) - 0.026
- Tatsuki Machida - 0.013 (-0.054)
- Florent Amodio - 0.013 (-0.001)
- Takahito Mura - 0.013 (-0.001)
Olympic champ Yuna Kim continues to gain on the field, as does Mao Asada, who has overtaken Ashley Wagner in January. Wagner retained her U.S. title in January but fell twice in her free skate, making it two poor competitions in a row.
World champ Carolina Kostner is gaining ground now that she's back with a triple lutz and won Europeans for a fifth time in January, as does European silver medalist Adelina Sotnikova. Taking over dark horse status is U.S. silver medalist Gracie Gold, who wowed a lot of people with her seven-triple free skate at Nationals in January.
- Yuna Kim - 6.862 (+0.519) G
- Mao Asada - 3.941 (+0.284)
- Ashley Wagner - 2.857 (-0.893) S,B
- Elizaveta Tuktamisheva - 1.454 (-0.341)
- Carolina Kostner - 1.097 (+0.485)
- Julia Lipnitskaia - 0.663 (-0.108)
- Akiko Suzuki - 0.574 (-0.197)
- Adelina Sotnikova - 0.357 (+0.118)
- Gracie Gold - 0.281 (+0.134) DR
- Mirai Nagasu - 0.191 (-0.008)
- Kiira Korpi - 0.166 (-0.007)
- Alena Leonova - 0.051 (-0.002)
- Kaetlyn Osmond - 0.026 (-0.014)
- Alissa Czisny - 0.013 (-0.001)
- Valentina Marchei - 0.013 (-0.001)
- Off the list: Christina Gao
Little movement over in the pairs, as the top four remain the same. Tatiana Volosozhar/Maxim Trankov gain a bit of ground over Aliona Savchenko/Robin Szolkowy after defeating them for the first time in competition at Europeans. Meagan Duhamel/Eric Radford take sole control of dark horse with their second Canadian title.
- Volosozhar/Trankov - 7.973 (+0.233) G
- Savchenko/Szolkowy - 6.503 (-0.089) S
- Pang/Tong - 1.571 (-0.141) B
- Bazarova/Larionov - 0.878 (+0.142)
- Duhamel/Radford - 0.574 (+0.078) DR
- Kavaguti/Smirnov - 0.524 (-0.076)
- Sui/Han - 0.220 (+0.014)
- Denney/Coughlin - 0.101 (-0.104)
- Moore-Towers/Moscovitch - 0.084 (-0.018)
- Peng/Zhang - 0.034 (+0.017)
- Castelli/Shnapir - 0.017 (-0.017)
- Takahashi/Tran - 0.017 (-0.017)
The gap is narrowing between the top two dance teams in the world. Meryl Davis/Charlie White's stunning free dance at Nationals surely did them some good, and they are getting closer and closer to being even with Tessa Virtue/Scott Moir in their Buzz Number. New European champions Ekaterina Bobrova/Dmitri Soloviev move up with their win.
- Virtue/Moir - 7.597 (-0.203) G
- Davis/White - 7.455 (+0.203) S
- Pechalat/Bourzat - 1.932 (-0.068) B
- Bobrova/Soloviev - 0.649 (+0.083) DR
- Ilinykh/Katsalapov - 0.471 (+0.037)
- Weaver/Poje - 0.162 (-0.104)
- Cappellini/Lanotte - 0.130 (+0.013)
- Shibutani/Shibutani - 0.097 (+0.014)
- Gilles/Poirier - 0.032 (-0.001)
- Stepanova/Bukin - 0.016 (-0.001)
What is the Buzz Experiment?
Examiner Figure Skating's Olympic Buzz Experiment polls skating fans and experts alike about their podium predictions for the Olympics at the end of each month. Beginning November 2012, results are being compiled every in-season month (November 2012-April 2013, August 2013-January 2014) to understand skater momentum as the Sochi Olympics approach.
By gathering predictions via email rather than from an online poll, the Buzz Experiment attempts to reduce skewed results often seen with online polls. The goal is not a popularity contest, though that aspect does play a role in the results, but rather a more genuine sense of who is generating the most buzz and momentum as the Olympics near.
Methodology of results
The biggest caveat that I have with the Buzz Experiment is that the analysis of results will likely change as I understand the data, have more questions, and get feedback. Currently, the Buzz Number is a weighted average of the responses as follows: Gold (53.33%), Silver (26.67%), Bronze (13.33%), Dark Horse (6.67%).
Results are accepted ONLY when participants provide predictions for one or more full podiums (i.e., if a person chooses just one person for the gold, the prediction is discarded). This allows a fairer distribution of predictions.
How do I participate?
For more background, take a look at my original post. Email me your January 2013 picks at firstname.lastname@example.org later this month. I want a gold, a silver, a bronze, and a dark horse for men, ladies, pairs, and dance. Note that you don't have to choose podiums for all disciplines if you are not familiar. Plus, tell me what country you are from.
If you have already participated, you will receive an email from me during the last week of January.