Ladies' USA Pick: Mirai Nagasu
Let's be honest: the US Women's team sucks this year. Without Sasha Cohen, it's hard to even care. But Mirai is 16, cute, and skates her short program to music from Pirates of The Caribbean, so she is our gal.
Ladies' World Pick: Miki Ando
The big rivalry in the Women's event is between South Korean Yu-Na Kim and Miki's Japanese teammate Mao Asada, but Miki is my personal favorite. She is a former ballerina, which means her skating is more than just jumps and jazz hands (think Sasha Cohen, or the skating equivalent of Nastia Liukin. Plus she's cute and her costumes are the snazziest. Go Miki.
Men's USA Pick: Jeremy Abbott
Keep your Weirs and your Lysaceks; the Olympics are about really charming youngsters who make for a moving NBC montage. So Jeremy (who also happens to be the national champion) wins this one.
Men's World Pick: Patrick Chan
Patrick is the reigning World Silver medalist and the hometown favorite. He's also good at shit-talking (i.e. calling Yevgeny Plushenko old.) I will not judge you if you pick Brian Joubert instead of Patrick--he is cuter and also French.
Pairs' USA Pick: Amanda Evora & Mark Ladwig
Here's a little skating drama for you: Amanda Evora, pictured here, is married to the male partner for the OTHER US Olympic pairs team (Jeremy Barrett). So this is kind of like the Kathryn Bigelow/James Cameron Oscar Race, except it involves a loving couple rather than exes. Still, I'm going to pull for the Bigelow/Hurt Locker of really any competition.
Pairs' World Pick: Shen Xue & Zhao Hongbo
Shen and Zhao are the new Gordeeva and Grinkov (who were my favorites growing up, until their careers ended in TRAGEDY. Really sad. But you should watch their videos.). Anyway, root for the married Chinese couple, it's their last Olympics and they love each other.
Ice Dancing USA Pick: Tanith Belbin and Benjamin Agosto
I'm including ice dancing against my will, because people enjoy the Dancing With The Stars and ice dancing is basically the frozen version of that. So: pick this team, the girl is hot.
Ice Dancing World Pick: Oksana Domnina & Maxim Shabalin
Every Olympics needs some Cold War flavor, so here is a Russian team. They also pissed off a ton of people with their "Aboriginal" routine. Go rebels.
Finally, here is the NBC Prime Time Schedule:
For the superfans. Enjoy!