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Random Gymnastics Thoughts

So I got back into blogging, fell back out.   Really it was just school.  Because let me tell you, Worlds put me so far back with my assignments.  Plus we all know there is a lull after such a big meet.   Of course I still keep up with everything.  And since I feel like writing a blog post yet have no particular concentration, I am writing all the random things I have been contemplating and discussing with my gymnastics buddy.  These are in no random order whatsoever.

  • Who will destroy Alicia Sacramone‘s comeback?  Will it be Kayla Williams, the girl who has the light speed ability to improve, and someone who looks to be a true force and a rock of a competitor?  Will it be Asac’s reincarnation from her own gym, Alexandra Raisman (who I believe may show us the real first quad twist on floor) or even Alica’s own body betrayal?

  • Aliya Mustafina will be standing on the AA podium at the 2010 Worlds

  • Viktoria Komova will be standing on the AA podium the year after that
  • Shawn Johnson and even Nastia Liukin will not compete again.  Comebacks may come when endorsements run out, but that is it.

  • Anna Myzdrikova I already hope to be the 2010 FX champion
  • Cheng Fei will come back. She will.
  • Nobody will ever do a front handspring better than Lilia Podkopayeva.  NO ONE comes close to that; her feet are even together.
  • I think it is a huge mistake to hold off using the 5-3-3 team format until the London Games; it is a bad idea period to use the Olympics as a test for anything.

  • On that note, the age rule is now even more frustrating.  For instance, our current junior national champion, Kyla Ross will not be senior eligible until 2012 (as opposed to the previous rule where she could have been competing in 2011).  Considering the year before is a qualifier to the next year’s Olympics, think about what that does to the non power countries.  Let’s say that Nastia came from oh…..Iceland (trying to pick a place where they don’t get a spot) and that she doesn’t turn 16 until the year of the Games.  She wouldn’t be able to compete because no one qualified for a spot the year before.  That would be wrong.  I oppose anything that prevents the best in the world from competing.  This is why I was sort of turning my back on the He Kexin debate last year.  Furthermore, one of the reasons the age rule is there is because those in charge think that it puts too much pressure on the youngins.  I will have to disagree with this because you can’t advance in this sport without being able to deal with pressure.   My proposed age rule is this:  When you are eligible to compete in the next Games, you are senior eligible for that quad.  Meaning that starting January 1st 2009, Kyla Ross would have the option to go senior.
  • if I haven’t harped enough, I am sooooo hoping for Russian reemergence this quad, starting with the 2010 worlds.  In addition to Mustfina, Tatiana Nabieva is another going senior.  I think the Russians need a bit more for vault (hopefully Nabieva can clean up that Amanar) and then I just don’t see where they have a weakness.

  • I wonder what will happen with Bridget Sloan; will she fade out?  Will she remain useful?  If she got an Amanar (and I am dying for her to do the front triple twist on FX) she would up her own usefulness.  Interesting stuff to think about.
  • Will Chellsie Memmel return?  I want her to so bad!  She and Nastia have sort of an open invitation to comeback whenever due to their incredible usefulness on one event; bars.  I also find it odd that bars has become our weak event over the last couple of years considering  they were once our strong event.

That is all for now, folks.

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    2009 Worlds: Event Finals Commentary

    Wow.  So I must say that I have heard a lot of comments about this Worlds being boring.  Um….no.  This was WAY better than 2005 (comparable because there is typically a bit of a lull the year following the Olympics) and I think the quality of gymnastics that we saw we typically much higher than what we usually see after the Olympics.

    So let me just say that Worlds interrupted my life a little bit (and happily so).  I was very behind in school work, forcing me to come home directly after the nail biting Gator Football game and write a paper.  I watched the first night of EF until about 4am, and woke up at 7:45am to watch Day 2.  I nodded off during parallel bars a little bit.

    But here were the things that made me yell out loud.

    1.  Kayla Williams.  Well, her life just changed.  She will definitely be on the next world team.  The first American woman to win a world vault title.  But it’s not just that…..the quickness in which she has improved over the last few months is of Chellsie Memmel quality.  I am also willing to nominate her in the gruop of “Best DTY Vaulters” because I have seen what….5 or 6 DTYs from her and she has stuck….well, like all of them!  Hello the new Vanessa Atler (minus the nerves).  Can we also talk about how awesome her attitude is?  She is all business, and look at the way she runs off the podium when she is done, adorable.  Then she fights back tears.  Hello to one of my new favorites.

    2.  Beth Tweddle if this is your last competition I am glad it ends with a gold medal for you.  Nice last pass.  Sad she didn’t make bar finals.

    3.  Anna Myzdrikova would have beat Tweddle if not for that last pass.  The whip double arabian was one of the best pieces of gymnastics I have seen in quite some time.  (Or since Kayla’s DTY haha)  The Triple back tuck combo is also something of great originality.  I love this girl’s floor.  I am sad she didn’t come away with a medal.  But her awesome performances put hope into my, ‘Will the Russians reemerge as a gold medal threat?”  i can wait and hope.  bet you she will be on the World Team next year.

    4.  Ana Porgras is another person I am excited about.  3 EF’s and some really great style!  Her Memmel turn  on floor is amazing!  Really excited about this girl’s future.  How I wish she wouldn’t have fallen off the beam!

    5.  Yay for Marian Dragulescu winning two gold medals!  How I wish this would have been the Olympics!

    Side notes-

    He Kexin is looking even better.  WOW.

    -I wish Ivana Hong hadn’t wobbled all over the place, I think she could have gotten gold.

    Rebecca Bross didn’t do the Gogean, she only did a half.  In the AA I thought this was a mistake….was this planned?  Also, I like her double L.  These elements could have made her bronze on floor.

    -After Chinese Nationals, I said that if Deng Linlin didn’t fall, she would be world champion on beam.  This happened.

    Ksenia Semenova I am hoping just didn’t have enough time to perpare (I also heard she has a back injury, dunno if that is true) which I hope is the reason for her poor showing.  I really like her style.  Also I have that Russian hope for 2012.

    Lauren Mitchell is now a force to be reckoned with.  Watch out world.  i am still hoping that Dasha Joura will come back better than ever next year.

    -I hope Anna Pavlova is continuing and coming back.

    – I am not a big fan of Sui Lu‘s FX.  Sorry.

    -My biggest complain is the stupid bonus gymnasts get by doing jumps after passes (like Mitchell’s stag after her double arabian, though she does it nicely).  This completely negates the “stick your tumbles” rule.  Hate it.

    -Beam and floor routines are a lot smoother and look better with the code cutting it down to 8 skills.  Much better.

    -These execution scores are ridiculous.  Let’s take William’s DTYT score….a 9.175?  I think that was actually the HIGHEST execution score of WAG Worlds.  That should have been like at least a 9.5.  I would take a tenth for the split legs on the preflight, one for the slight crossing of the ankles toward the end.  MAYBE a tenth for distance.  You know what?  Let’s take a tenth for height too.  She lands ON THE LINE so no deduction there.  Okay, well that E-score is a 9.600.  What the heck is with all that anyway?

    Here is a list of what I wish would have happened at Worlds….

    AA

    1.  Bross

    2.  Sloan

    3.  Porgras

    VT

    1.  Hong Un Jong (wish she hand’t fell even if I love Kayla)

    2.  Ariella Kaeslin (this really happened!!!!)

    3.  Mzydrikova

    UB

    1.  Kexin

    2.  Tweddle

    3. Semenova

    BB

    1.  Deng (yay!)

    2.  Porgras

    3.  Bross

    FX

    1.  Tweddle (another ‘yes’!)

    2.  Myzdrikova

    3.  Mitchell (this is actually my favorite routine, but Myz’s tumbles I like better)

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    Rio, Chellsie, Russian Juniors, and Other Tidbits

    I have been trying to get back into blogging.  I think about it all the time, but quite frankly graduate school is kicking my ass at the moment.

    So Rio won the 2016 Olympic bid.  I have family near Chicago and really wanted an Olympic Games in my backyard.

    Chellsie Memmel announced her withdrawal from the Worlds Selection.  WHY?  She was rumored to have a 6.7 D score on bars.  Damn it.  I just love Chellsie Memmel and want to see her with as many medals as possible!  She also supposedly had all her skills back on beam….which wouldn’t surprise me anyway.  Sigh, as much as I don’t want to wait, Chellsie is STILL VERY VALUABLE to team USA as long as she’s got bars.  Weird that our once strongest event is now our weakest….

    Wuth Memmel’s announcement I am now sure of 3/4 Worlds Team members; Bridget Sloan, Rebecca Bross, and Ivana Hong.  Sloan and Bross will do AA, And Hong will do all but vault.  I see the last spot to go to Kayla Williams for vault only, OR Kytra Hunter (who I would prefer and who will be on UF’s gymnastic team in 2010!) who could possibly take away Ivana’s floor spot.  Either way I don’t think it matters; Bross and Sloan with clean performances will both advance to FX finals.  let’s look these girls possibilities:

    Bridget Sloan-  definitely could win AA, has a good chance for UB and FX finals.  UB I don’t even think she will medal (and that’s if she advances) but FX on the other hand I think she could actually win gold on.  ESPECIALLY if she throws the rumored triple front twist.  I think she should, her Randi looked over rotated at Nationals.

    Rebecca Bross-  Gymnastically, Bross is my favorite right now.  I love her ‘WOGA arms”, the way she hooks her hand as she goes into round off, and all her beam correography at the beginning to the standing arabian always gets me.  I think some of it needs to be improved on floor, but I love her National Teasure Suite, her bars, etc. etc. etc.  What I DON’T love about Bross is the fact that she is a Wogette.  I can’t have WOGA producing 3 Olympic champs straight; they will rule to the world.  No. No, no, no.  But I still root for her. She has the potential to make UB, BB, and FX finals though I think her only shot of a medal is FX.

    Ivana Hong- Has a shot at a beam medal.  That’s about it.  I LOVE her on beam.  She has the prettiest Onodi.  Other than her turn, her switch leap needing a bit of work, and the low chest on the dismount, Ivana’s E score should be good, and a 6 or 6.1 D score is pretty solid.  Unfortunately Deng Linlin has a 6.7 and with a clean routine I think will hands down be the gold medalist.  Watch Deng’s current beam routine here

    Kayla and Kytra battle it out mostly through vault.  Whomever has TWO vaults goes.  Rumor is that Kayla has a DTY and a Rudi.  I think she has the edge.  I really would like to see Kytra as a backup floor person in case Bross or Sloan waivers, I love her piked double arabian front.

    I will post Worlds Predictions soon.

    And my current hope is that for this quad, is Russia is coming back?  I want to see them be gold medal contenders by London 2012.  Aliya Mustafina and Viktoria Komova have both stolen my heart.  They are BAD ASS juniors.  I think they will be eligible in 2011?  God, I hope its next year…..I need to look up that information.  Also, Tatiana Nabieva interests me vault and bars-wise.  Komova and Mustfina could be in the running for the AA podium this worlds had they been eligible…..

    That’s it for now.  Time to go slave some more over school.

    Ahhhh, I have missed my blog!

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    2009 European Championships Begin

    I have been gone quite some time from the gymnastics blogging.  I return.  I am still getting over the Olympics.  But I will get to that in a second.

    No surprise to me at all that Ksenia Semenova leads the pack in the Qualifying round.  She also qualified to the event finals in 3 events (no vault).  She fell on a Pak salto in her UB routine.  She will win the All Around in my opinion.  I do believe that I blogged during Beijing, about her being one of the next superstars until this quad gets seriously underway.  Early to say, but I honestly believe she will be in the next Olympics.  Here are my random items from what I know so far about the 2009 European Championships:

    • Youtube videos are already popping up here.
    • Vanessa Ferrari looks completely different.  BTW- she went back to her 06′-07′ FX routine. (Not the tumbling!)
    • I think scores here are LOW!  And I know the D-scores (formerly the A-score) are lower with the new code, but the E-scores (formerly the B-scores) are just insanely LOW to me.
    • Semenova is definitely going to be one of my faves for the quad.
    • Go Beth Tweddle, leading the pack on UB and qualifying into the FX final as well.

    This is all I can say for now about the Europeans.  Now onto why I have been absent.   Yesssssss, I am a big dork and had to pull away from gymnastics for awhile.  The outcome of the Olympic Games was a bit much for me.  I don’t think there could ever, ever be another Shawn Johnson.  I can’t believe how much admiration I have for someone who is 10 years my junior.  I really wanted her to have the AA gold.  And I am hoping upon hope that she will return to the elite gymnastics scene.  But the sadness of the Olympics is also that I waited 4 years for it!  And since gymnastics has a different ‘season’ than most sports, the tendency is for the sport to only be wild the year before and of the Olympics.

    Here is an incomplete list of what broke my heart during the Games:

    • The broken US team.  Notably Chellsie Memmel.  I really wanted to see her compete 4 events.  And i was so excited about her comeback.
    • Alicia Sacramone‘s TF performance.  She has gotten a lot of crap about it.  I was simply saddened for her.
    • Cheng Fei‘s EF performances.   Same way I felt bad for Alicia.  With every major title on vault for the whole quad, it sucks to see her fall on her two main events.  Cheng should have had 3 gold medals.
    • Scoring aggravated me.  Too much detail to go into for now.

    So for now, I will wrap this post up.  I have too much to do at the moment.

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    Best and Worst of the Olympics

    They’re over. I’m sad. But I thought I would write a little about the things that were impressing versus that which made me cringe.

    The Chinese Audience hosted a FANTASTIC OLYMPICS in my opinion. First off, the designs were astounding. From the Bird’s Nest to the Water Cube, the architecture was fabulous. The gymnastics venue was also wonderfully decorated inside. I am specifically talking about the colorful borders that ran through the arena; it looked GREAT on high definition TV!

    On that note, the Chinese were a truly fabulous audience. They packed the arena and cheered so loudly for everyone! I was very impressed when the booed Jonathan Horton‘s high bar score during finals; they thought he should have beat their own countryman, Zou Kai! Great audience!

    My personal pick for the team with the overall best leotards went to Russia. Hands down.

    The above leo is what I would have loved to see on the USA. But EVERY Russian leotard I saw throughout the entire Olympic Games was GREAT.

    Awesome that we saw astounding history in Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt! I am awating Phelps’ blood test because I think it will come back stating that he has part dolphin genes!

    For gymnastics, the most beautiful display of sportsmanship winners were Shawn Johnson and Fabian Hambuechen. Fabian was SO upset with his personal performance during the high bar final! But of course that didn’t stop him from warmly congratulating the winners. Same thing with Shawn. Love them.

    Who I already predict to be on the 2012 Olympic Teams: Fabian Hambuechen, Zou Kai, Kohei Uchimura, Ksenia Semenova.

    There were some diappointing moments with the scoring. I won’t comment on a lot of it because it makes me angry.

    The two athletes that that made me the saddest were definitely Cheng Fei and Anna Pavlova. Cheng Fei’s disappointing EF showings on VT and FX. Pavlova for not receiving a medal, and she should have had Cheng’s beam bronze. Now that I think about it, Alicia Sacramone made me quite sad as well. I am so sad she didn’t come away with an individual medal! That vault bronze I thought should have been hers. The rest of the judging that really angered me I won’t go into.

    I disliked the way NBC presented some of the gymnastics. First off, starting it at 10 or 11 (Eastern time) at night was not good. I hate that it just HAD to be live to get those ratings in. I also did not like that we saw ONE routine from the bronze winning Romanian team.

    A couple of posts ago we went into what REALLY aggrivated me the most. There is no reason to reiterate. Let’s just say there are a few people who I no longer have any respect for anymore.

    I am trying to get the “what could have been” thoughts out of my head had Chellsie Memmel competed all four events. Sigh. I heard she is planning to continue though! Good deal. At least she has an Olympic Medal.

    Dasha Joura not competing at her best also makes my heart break. Maybe 2012???

    One more note about the hosting of the Chinese: Opening and Closing Ceremonies were AWESOME! Way to go China for putting on a truly spectacular show.

    Also, my hat goes off to trck star Bernard Lagat, whom I have blogged about before. Lagat was the 2007 World Champion on both the 1500 and 5000 meter runs. A bronze in Sydney, a silver in Athens, I really wanted that gold for him!!!! I heard he had a foot injury. That is really sad. I don’t know the time span and age ranges for runners. Will he be able to compete realistically in 2012? If anyone knows the answer to that please comment and let me know!

    That is it for now, if I think of more things I will add them to this post.

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    2008 Olympics: Nastia Wins the Gold

    I am emotionally drained. This has been without a doubt, the most stressful, emotional, TV event I think I have ever watched. Though I haven’t ever prepped so much for single TV event ever.

    Nastia Liukin is the All Around Olympic Champion. Shawn Johnson with silver. Yang Yilin wins bronze.

    My opinions of Nastia are known well in the posts of this blog, but my heart was tugged as I watched her pour tears I have waited all Olympic Games to see. I am happy for her. I am. She has overcome so much to win this crown.

    But I am devastated for Shawn. I wanted this title so very bad for her. She looked upset. What a release it must be for these two girls. So much for this one night. I paced, I yelled, I clapped. It has been pure craziness.

    Undoubtedly one of the most adrenaline-filled competitions ever.

    Random thoughts about what I saw-

    Anna Pavolva wins the award for most beautiful routine (at least out of those shown on NBC). Wow. I was wowed. And it made me feel old-school (floor routine-wise). The commentators got it right this time; you could feel the passion of that routine.

    -I love Ksenia Senenova! Although her takeoff on floor passes is kinda weird looking, I thought her score was too low! But I don’t know her A-score offhand, must have been low-

    -I rate Shawn’s beam routines like this: Prelims #1, TF #2, AA #3. But her scores were: Prelims last, TF 1st, AA 2nd. Hmmmm.

    -I thought Steliana Nistor’s score for floor was too low. A 8.6 B-score? I thought it was better than that.

    -Why didn’t we get to see Pavlova’s beam routine? Grrrrrr.

    -Ksenia Semenova, please become the new power of the Russian Program!

    -I am staying up to see the Nastia and Shawn interview.

    -What will it be like with Nastia and Shawn sleeping in the same room tonight? Catfight!! Just kidding.

    -I was scared Shawn might win 3rd going into the last rotation.

    -I started thinking about Chellsie Memmel during the medal ceremony. I don’t know why. I believe it was because I was really focused on how much pressure and work goes into being a top elite gymnast. It SUCKS that she broke her foot. At nothing less, she should have been able to contribute more to the Olympic team. Poor girl.

    -I REALLY hope Shawn can get the gold on beam. I want her with at least one gold. Dammit.

    What a truly crazy night.

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    2008 Olympics: An Unexpected Team Final

    Woooooow, craziness last night!

    Of course the biggest surprise came with the fact that Alicia Sacramone made two major errors. I really think that China would have won regardless, but you never know. If those mistakes did not exist, China may have had the pressure get to them and maybe made a couple of errors themselves. But I hope there aren’t a whole bunch of ignorant gymnastics viewers out there blaming Alicia. She is one of the biggest heart and souls of the American program.

    Gee Marta, maybe we would have done a lot better if we didn’t have half a team. Maybe we should lighten up on the selection procedure. This procedure is responsible to all the athletes we lost before and during the Olympic Games. I strongly think that after Nationals, Trials should have been held when the selection camp was. I don’t know, I am not an expert, but that sounds better than girls who are trying to stay in peak form for 3 months.

    I really wanted Chellsie Memmel to be able to call herself and Olympic Gold Medalist. And has everyone heard the latest? The girl knew she was competing with a broken bone! There is no one tougher than Chellsie!

    How wonderful it was to see Cheng Fei give the last performance of the night, putting the final hold on the gold medal. I love that she got to have that. I strongly think she is very likely to win two more golds on vault and floor. I am not surprised China won, and I am happy for them.

    Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin put in some very solid, feel proud about it performances. Congrats to them. I thought the congratulating amongst the two teams was very sweet.

    Also, they looked pretty darn happy at the end! You didn’t lose the gold team USA! You WON a silver! And I really think that they viewed it that way too. Good for them.

    Romania in third? What the hell happened to Russia? Congrats to the Romanians though!

    Men’s All-Around tonight! I want Yang Wei, Jonathon Horton, Hiroyuki Tomita, and Fabian Hambuchen to have the performances of a lifetime! Good luck to the men!

    Off topic, but my blog a couple of days ago celebrated it’s 50,000th hit! It has BLOWN UP during the Olympics, hitting more than 4,000 hits a day over its’s usual average! Thanks to all you readers out there!

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