winter olympics

Ando cautions favorites don't always win Olympic gold

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What does Kristi Yamaguchi, Oksana Baiul, Tara Lipinski, Sara Hughes, and Shizuka Arakawa have in common?

None of them were favored to win the gold.

OK, Kristi Yamaguchi was a toss-up with Midori Ito.

No one expected Oksana Baiul to win since all the headlines went between Nancy Kerrigan and Tanya Harding regarding that scandal when Harding's ex bruised Kerrigan.

Michelle Kwan was supposed to win 98 and 02, and she was considered the Yuna Kim at her time. She didn't win either. Tara Lipinski won in 98, but that wasn't much of a shock. In 2002, no one expected Sara Hughes to win, because that year was supposed to be Kwan's year.

Mao Asada was the #1 skater in the world in 2006, but she was too young to qualify. No one thought Shizuka Arakawa to win the gold in Torino. It was supposed to be a battle between Sasha Cohen and Irina Slutskaya. No one thought Arakawa would win any medal. She wasn't even the best skater in Japan that year.

So if Mao or Yuna does not get the gold, I'm not going to be surprised.

The smart thing which both Mao and Yuna did was not to train in their home country. If Yuna was training in Korea, she probably would have crumbled under immense pressure. Right now she can't walk around Korea by herself without a body guard. I don't think there is that much pressure on Mao either, since she was not trained in Japan.

I wouldn't be surprised if the unexpected wins the gold. Whoever that person would be. Maybe someone like Mirai Nagasu from the U.S.

I would like to see either Yuna or Mao win the gold, but it seems like the Olympics are full of surprises in Ladies Figure Skating and the last time a heavy favorite won the gold is Katarina Witt in 88.

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the Japorn with cat fight scene and story line above will be available in 2 weeks.... I'm serious. Not sure who they casted yet and will be filmed in a love hotel.

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All I have say is I wish Yuna, Miki, Mao and Akiko would wear those tight lycra training pants all the time when skating, not just training. May the best set of legs win the gold!

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Miki is right: You only need to worry about #1 when you are #1 -makes perfect sense to me.

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Good luck to the Japan ladies. Maybe they can swep and thereby double Japan's current total of 3 medals. Current: Korea - 9, China - 5, Janpan - 3.

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If Kim wins the gold, then she'll be crowned the queen of Korea for taking down Japan's three best.

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Oh, I don't know they're right there with Italy, Australia, and the Dutch.

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Ando should caution that Japan is not always destined to remain in lowly 15th place at the Olympics.

http://sports.yahoo.com/olympics/vancouver/medals

I'm sure Japan will move up the ranks, but for an industrialized nation, 15th place is very sad.

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Hotbox: You missed the point. In Japan these women are being branded as medal winners -- part of Japan's promised '10 medals' -- before the event has begun. In other countries, in other contests, as the article clearly states, they are constantly reminded of who is currently number one. This interview was done THROUGH A TRANSLATOR, meaning it was clearly in Vancouver and not Japan. No, Ando never said that when it comes to Korea that the medals/titles mean nothing, but clearly the implication is that Kim could fail and the Japanese ladies could win. That's fine and dandy, but then you ask what I base this kind of thing on, and I need simply point out the WBC, for which you actively posted on this site if I recall correctly, as one example. Leading up to the event it was all, "Japan is #1 in the world because they won the last WBC, and the summer Olympics (when Korea won) mean nothing!", no? How about soccer and how much popularity it lost when Korea went ahead of Japan in 2002?

Anyway, my point was not to come on here and point out several examples of where what I said above was true, so I'll stop there. I'll also point out that I said I agree with Ando that ANYTHING can happen and you cannot say one will win without a doubt simply based on world rankings. I'll also point out that I said that I hope all do their best, and it's going to make for some intense rivalry -- which equals more fun for those not directly involved.

And IF Kim wins and the others say she is the best and respect her for it, I will as I have with others, utterly respect their humility and honesty. If one of the others wins and Kim does the same I will respect her for it, too. Needless to say I'll respect whomever wins for their performance. What I probably will not respect is the media in either country; both of which are extremely biased.

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Ando cautions favorites don't always win Olympic gold...

Miki-chan, preparing the fans back home for a possible return without medals?

The Vancouver Sun, at http://www.vancouversun.com/sports/2010wintergames/medals/index.html is showing Japan with 1 silver and 2 bronze medals right now with what, 6 days to go? Time to collect all the little packages of tissues for the fans who head out to Narita to welcome back the 'heroes.' I predict a lot of weeping and gnashing of teeth!

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...and Mao too !

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Kim or Ando will get the gold. They have the most artistic program. Mao is tooooo goofy and child like looking.

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Ando's right, but I don't think Kim is going to go in the rink, acting as if she's a shoo-in for the gold medal, like Plushenko. Even she won't under-estimate Mao, and she'll probably know Ando has a good shot going into the short program.

Unless one of them screws up big time, I see Kim, Mao and Ando on the podium. Will Ando, this time, prevent herself from choking? Looking forward to the skating.

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Look what happened to Mr. Quadruple Plushenko.

he is bad boy of figure skating.

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By the way, Ando is my favorite ! Too confident that Kim, like Plushenko...

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She's right, of course. Look what happened to Mr. Quadruple Plushenko.

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But ultimately what it sounds like to me is premature excuse making.

Huh? I've heard many an athlete from a number of countries say similar things, but you go and "judge" Miki Ando as making an "excuse" based on her ethnic background? What these skaters are simply saying is that they know Kim Yu-Na is favored and they respect her ability. However, they know that they can't let it intimidate the way they do their performance. They realize that they have to just go out there and perform to the best of their abilities. In the end, favorites don't ALWAYS win. Cause if that were the case, then there would be no need for others to compete in the first place. To me, it would be an excuse if they said something like "Oh, she will probably win because she has more money" or something like that.

When someone else -- especially Korea -- rank as the champs it suddenly, "doesn't mean anything".

Where in this article did any of them mention this? Are you speculating?

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In a way, what she says is correct: you can't predict a result based on current world rankings. But ultimately what it sounds like to me is premature excuse making. In Japan the media has already more or less labelled these three as guaranteed medal winners. Now that they are in another country and being questioned about the possibility of rival nation Korea winning, they are frustrated and having to make excuses. When Japan wins an international competition all you hear about day in and day out is how they are the best and will therefore win. When someone else -- especially Korea -- rank as the champs it suddenly, "doesn't mean anything".

This is going to be an intense rivalry, but I think Kim will win based on confidence alone. She doesn't seem to be very threatened by the Japanese ladies, whereas the aforementioned ladies are already on the defense and under ENORMOUS pressure to beat Kim.

Kim's greatest pressure probably comes from the fact that a win for her would also vindicate the loss of the gold by her coach due to poor judging way back when.

I hope they all do well.

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