Who should you watch during the upcoming Olympic season? Over the next few weeks, Examiner Figure Skating will be going through each of the four disciplines and the skaters to keep an eye on.
The Essential 15: Olympic season
Thanks to the rise of Kaetlyn Osmond last season, the Canadians will be represented by two ladies once again at the Olympics. Skating fans, especially those in Canada, will certainly remember that there was Canadian representation on the ladies podium at the last Olympics. Can it happen again?
Kaetlyn Osmond CAN
Worlds (8th), Nationals (1st)
It was Osmond who injected a good amount of excitement back into Canadian ladies skating last season. She started off her debut senior season with two consecutive international wins, eventually taking eighth at Worlds to secure Canada two spots in Sochi. She has all the jumps and a triple-triple, but she's sure to be training to get more confidence on the flip and lutz and up the technical bar just a bit for the Olympic season.
Gabrielle Daleman CAN
Junior Worlds (6th), Nationals (2nd)
Canadian junior champion in 2012, Gabrielle Daleman made a successful leap to the senior level at Canadians, taking the silver medal with some huge jumps and superb skating. Though she started last season with some so-so results on the Junior Grand Prix, she finished strong and was sixth at Junior Worlds.
Alaine Chartrand CAN
Junior Worlds (8th), Nationals (3rd)
Third at Canadians last year, Alaine Chartrand was one of the promising juniors who made a strong transition into the senior ranks. And fortunately for her, she's age-eligible for the Olympics. She's got lots of great things to like, including a triple lutz-half loop-triple salchow combination.
Amelie Lacoste CAN
2012 Canadian champion Amelie Lacoste looked to be on the upswing early last season. But hip problems hindered her progress, and she ended up fourth at Canadians and off the World team. Her inconsistency has become the main factor, especially amongst the new crop of skaters challenging her for the top spot.
Joannie Rochette CAN
2010 Olympic bronze medalist
There was some talk earlier this year about Joannie Rochette possibly getting back on the ice to go for another Olympic berth. After all, there are two spots and, with the exception of Osmond, the other ladies are either relatively unexperienced or relatively inconsistent. Her interview with IceNetwork last month, though, didn't sound much like a comeback announcement at all. But we can all dream a little, right?
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