When it comes to the Sochi 2014 Olympics, U.S. Figure Skating officials are trying to remain bullish. But the bulk of those expectations are squarely being put on the ice dancing pair of Charlie White and Meryl Davis.
Speaking ahead of the start of the championship rounds of the Prudential U.S. Figure Skating championships, federation president Patricia St. Peter stated her hopes for Sochi – highlighting the ice dancing pair of White/Davis and the team event, which will feature athletes in each discipline – ladies, men’s, pairs and ice dancing (which will likely include White and Davis).
“We fully expect to win a medal in the team event,” said St. Peter. “Also Davis and White, the reigning world champions in ice dance, we fully expect Charlie and Meryl to medal. And based upon their performance these past two years, they’ve got a great shot at the gold medal in ice dance.
As far as the rest of the U.S. figure skating delegation, the outlook isn’t as rosy.
“We also believe we are medal contenders in the ladies event,” said St. Peter. “With respect to men, it’s going to depend upon who shows up and how they skate. We believe we’ve got a shot, we have great men who (have) potential – so we’ll see what happens in Sochi. With respect to the pairs, our pairs are developing at the international level and we are putting effort and resources into further development of our U.S. Pairs program.”
Although U.S. Figure Skaters have won more Olympic medals (46) than any other country, the somewhat reserved outlook provided by the U.S. Figure Skating boss is realistic as South Korea’s Yuna Kim and Canada’s Patrick Chan are the favorites in ladies and men’s, respectively, with American hopefuls residing further back in the pack.
Regardless, the US figure skating boss is hopeful that the big star of the games will come from her discipline – especially with big names like speed skater Apolo Ohno and alpine skier Lindsay Vonn missing the Games due to retirement and injury, respectively.
“I’m confident that the next big name will be a figure skater. We’ve got some great skaters. We’ve got great potential. We’ve got great teams. You’re going to see a lot of promotion. We’ve got a lot of our skaters on television being put out there by sponsors,” said St. Peter. “But it’ll be the performances on the ice.
“We have a great pool of skaters from which to select, and they’re great personalities. We’re going to come out of this with some stars.”