Tag Archives: Elena ZAmolodchikova

Updated thoughts on Event Finals

So now that we are only two weeks from the start of the Olympic Games, I thought I would update what and who of the Event Finals.  After all, we know who is competing minus two spots on the Russian Team which will be announced shortly.  Remember guys, this is just my opinion!

So here is my post from my previous predictions and I will also look at how my viewpoint now varies.


The Finalists-  Cheng Fei, Hong Su Jong, and Alicia Sacramone will be finalists.  Period.  There is no way I see them unable to qualify.  I also still think that Cheng and Hong can qualify even if they count a fall (assuming they both do the 6.5 A-score vaults).

Rounding out the other five spots I think will be Oksana Chusovitina and Jade Barbosa, both are very good vaulters, the same which I thought before.  Who else is doing well on the vaulting scene?  I am thinking at least one Russian will be in there, and I think Anna Pavlova is the front runner on that side.  They may even nab another spot, a couple girls featured on gymnast.com have some exceptional DTY’s.

Differences from previous post- Elena Zamolodchikova isn’t going, so she won’t qualify.  Pretty much is the same.  Also, I think an Italian may possibly sneak in there, I have been hearing Amanar rumors about (I think) Carlotta Giovanni.

Guesstimate on the Medalists- Cheng, Hong, Sacramone. (No specific order)

Uneven Bars-

The Finalists- Without a doubt I think Nastia Liukin, He Kexin, and Yang Yilin will qualify.  I also think that Beth Tweddle, Ksenia Semenova, and (probably) Steliana Nistor will find themselves in there.

That leaves two spots left.  I think Marie Sophie Hindermann and Chellsie Memmel will do it.  The British have been getting a lot better on bars so maybe they will change this.  Who knows.

Differences from previous post- Seems I replaced Memmel for the thought of Daria Zygoba.

Guesstimate on the medalists– He, Yilin, Liukin.  (No specific order)


Finalists- Without a doubt I think Shawn Johnson and Li Shanshan will make finals.  Rounding out the other six spots I think there will be one more American, two Russians, two Romanians, and probably another Chinese.  Although I would normally put Nastia in there automatically, I am not so sure anymore.  Memmel and Sacramone are capable of scoring higher due to higher A-scores, but we will have to see because I don’t think they can match the execution scores of Liukin.  I also can’t speak about how scoring will ride in Beijing because it always seems to vary.  The last World Championships seem to favor difficulty, but I have a feeling execution may be weighed a bit more.  Two Russians in the spot are between Pavolva, Semenova, and also Lyudmilla Yezhova  Grebenkova (if she is selected onto the team).    Steliana Nistor and Sandra Izbasa have room to sneak in there.   For the last Chinese member I would say Deng Linlin or maybe Cheng Fei.  I think there is room for Australia’s Lauren Mitchell to come in there and bump someone out of this lineup.

Differences from previous postYulia Lozechko and Sui Lu are not on the teams, so aren’t qualifying.  And orginally I didn’t factor in Pavlova.  I also mentioned Stefani Bismpkou whom I now don’t think will qualify but would LOVE to see qualify.  Mitchell wasn’t in my orginal post either.

Guesstimate on the medalists- Johnson, Li, 2nd American (No specific order)


Finalists- Shawn Johnson, Cheng Fei, and Sandra Izbasa  WILL be in this floor final.   I don’t have Sacramone in there because at this point I think it is questionable that she will even make it!  It is quite possible (if all the upgrades do make that 6.5 or 6.4) for Memmel to bump her off the line here.  Now, if Sacramone upgrades (I hear her score will be at least a 6.4) then with clean routines I think Sacramone will be the one with the higher execution scores.  Regardless, one more American besides Johnson will advance to finals.  So there is half the lineup.  Others who have a shot at this final in my opinion are Daiane Dos Santos, Anna Pavlova, Dasha Joura, Beth Tweddle, Jiang Yuyuan, or even Yang Yilin.  I can’t think of anyone else, I hear Cassy Vericel is still limping around.  I don’t think Vanessa Ferrari will make it due to her foot making her A-score lower.  Out of those mentioned above, I would like to see the last four spots got to Dos Santos, Pavlova, and Joura.  I didn’t pick a last person.  I am not sure.  And I keep thinking I am missing someone key.

Differences from previous post–  Not much.  Sui Lu was mentioned as a possibility and that’s not happening.

Guesstimate on the Medalists- Cheng, Johnson, Izbasa.  (No specific order.  Note:  How happy I would be if Dos Santos won.)

Without a doubt it is going to be a blast.  I can’t decide which EF I am most excited about.  Here is what I am generally looking forward to most in each event:

Vault-  Cheng Fei.  Hands down.  I want Olympic Glory for her.  Sacramone doing her absolute best, and of course the anticipation of her Amanar.  Chusovitina competing her last moments in her final Olympics.

Uneven Bars-  The race between the 7.7 A-score Club.  Without a doubt.  And because I am really thinking Memmel will be in the lineup, another lovely Memmel moment.

Beam-  Shawn Johnson competing.  Beam is also my favorite event usually.  It’s the event with the most adrenaline for me to watch as it is the make or break event.  I really want Shawn to win gold here.

Floor-  Cheng and Johnson again make this for me.  But the list of competitors that I have the potential to see makes it quite thrilling.  Remember, I am one of those who loves the sentimental favorites.

I can’t believe it all starts in just two weeks.  By the way, I have no idea what the text did to itself in this post.



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What’s Going on in the World of Gymnastics Right Now

I have been vacationing since Thursday and have just caught up on the gymnastics scene.

It is now 32 days until the Olympic Games begin and there are numerous things going on in the world of gymnastics. Here are the random things going on that have caught my interest…

Russian Cup Happenings-

Russia has the potential for a GREAT beam lineup in Beijing. Anna Pavlova won the Russian Cup with a 16.075, followed by Lyudmila Grebenkova with a 16.000, and Yulia Lozhecko with a 15.925, that’s pretty solid! It looks like Pavlova is really pulling it together. She has the potential to make both beam and vault finals, and it would also be great to see her on floor as her new routine is very pretty.

Russia announced their training squad which is Ksenia Afanasyeva, Kristina Goryunova, Lyudmila Yezhova Grebenkova, Svetlana Klyukina, Yekaterina Kramarenko, Yulia Lozhechko, Anna Pavlova, Kristina Pravdina, Ksenia Semyonova and Daria Yelizarova. The biggest shocker of course is that Elena Zamolodchikova is not apart of the training squad. That is really sad. I wanted to see her in a 3rd Olympics. Furthermore, I am a sucker for the sentimental stories and veterans which is why I would have loved seeing her on the team.

Other news in the world includes the Mediterraneo Gym Cup. For results of the Russian Cup and this event click here. Two stories have stuck out that I feel like discussing;

Daiane Dos Santos. First off, go watch her routine on youtube. She has improved A LOT on floor since the last event I watched her in. Speaking of sentimental favorites, she is also one. I believe that she is one of the best tumblers in WAG of all time. It is great to see her look this fantastic. Please note that the consensus among gym fans is that this meet was scored quite low, which makes sense because I don’t know how this floor routine received a 8.3 B-score. Although a couple of things got devalued, this is MUCH improved, and tumbling is getting close to being back to par. Dos Santos has also stated that she is upgrading more. Someone who performs only “E” or higher tumbling passes is just awesome. I hope it looks that way. I REALLY want her in Finals this August.

Vanessa Ferrari. Oh dear, what is going on? Vanessa has told Italian newspapers that her foot is just too damaged, and won’t be at her best for Beijing. I strongly believe that she will not medal. I really feel bad for her because I like the fact that someone was succeeding from a non-power country like Italy. I am also Italian so maybe I am biased. I wasn’t her biggest fan but I loved her 06′-07′ floor routine. I know I am in the minority with that one.

I am not a fan of Sandra Izbasa‘s floor routine. That’s right I said it. I don’t know why, but it doesn’t appeal to me whatsoever. But I really like Izbasa.  She and Rebecca Bross are my favorite twisters. (And I think Cheng Fei and Ivana Hong are among the prettiest twisters).  However, my own biased opinion does not like the fact that she does two full-ins.  It looks like the same skill to me.  I don’t mind a piked and tucked arabian; the aesthetic is much different between the two, and therefore more appealing.  Again, just my opinion.

On the men’s side, Marian Dragulescu is back and that makes me happy.  He is one of my favorite MAG’s.

Also, very interesting concerning the Chinese age-falsification debate;  to see a Chinese gym site, please go into the previous post, “Who Will Get the Last Spots….” and look at a commented submitted by David.  There is a link to see the athletes.  And as a comment from Catherine pointed out, there are some interesting birthdays on there.

That’s all for now!


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Who Will Be…In Beijing. Event Finals Predictions

So with a few more competitions that have happened recently, a look into whom is virtually locked, should be, and who I want to be in event finals this August.


1. Cheng Fei– Duh. She can fall and still qualify.

2. Hong Su Jong– Same deal. If she throws both those 6.5ers she’s in.

3. Alicia Sacramone

4. Oksana Chusovitina

5. Jade Barbosa– Don’t know how I forgot her! Again she throws enough difficulty (and cleanly enough) that I can’t envision her NOT being in finals.

All of the above I would say should be in finals because they have the highest vault difficulty. I cannot even begin to predict the other 50%. But I am hoping for Anna Pavlova, because I want her to be in everything she can be in. Also Elena Zamolodchikova as she is a sentimental favorite.


1. He Kexin

2. Nastia Liukin

3. Yang Yilin

4. Ksenia Semenova

5. Beth Tweddle

I think those five will be in finals, the first three again could fall and still qualify! Others that I think have a good chance of making it are maybe Steliana Nistor. Maybe Daria Zygoba. How cool would it be if Chellsie Memmel got in there!!!


These are just my predictions in no order:

1. Shawn Johnson

2. Nastia Liukin

3. Ksenia Semenova

4. Sui Lu (I really think she is going to be on that team)

5. Cheng Fei or another Chinese qualifier

6. Yulia Lozcheko

7. Steliana Nistor

8. Sandra Izbasa?

I really think that the top eight spots will be 2 USA, 2 China, 2 Romania, 2 Russian. Maybe one or two of those not happening and someone from another country getting in. I think it would be awesome if Stefani Bismpikou or Anna Pavlova were in there. NOTE: Someone pointed out in the comments that Pavlova is way awesome and that she is more than just vault finals. Yes, I completely agree. Her style is one of my favorites, and I actually like her on beam the best, I was just thinking in the last post that vault was just most likely for her to make.


1. Shawn Johnson

2. Alicia Sacramone

3. Cheng Fei

4. Sui Lu or Jiang Yuyuan

5. Sandra Izbasa!!!!

6. Dasha Joura

7. EDIT- Beth Tweddle. She’s in the 6.4 and higher club.

Who else I would really like to see is Daiane Dos Santos. I also would like Vanessa Ferrari to be in there. Yes, I am a Ferrari fan. I like her on floor. Yes, I put Joura in there. She just turned in a 6.3 A-score at Australian Nationals and got like 1 15,700! She should be in this final. She better be. I think the 6.5 and above crowd is who will be battling for gold.

Overall, I think Cheng Fei has the best chance to make 3 event finals. That would be so cool if she scored 4 gold medals. 4 medals of any color would be awesome.

This was rather quickly typed. I am so excited about Nationals. I can wait to reevaluate the O-Team predictions after Nationals are over.

By the way, NBC is broadcasting the senior women event Saturday, June 7th from 4pm to 6pm Eastern time. I am wondering, are they doing both days coverage that day? Usually we get 1 hour on one day, and another hour on another day. So I am wondering how they are doing this. Both days, or just a lot of coverage on Day 2 with some flashbacks of the first day. Hmmmm. I swear that the 04′ Nationals was like an hour and a half each day of competition. This is important dammit us gym fans need to see what is going on! So I guess I am hoping for extended coverage of Day 2. Sigh, anyone remember 2005 Nationals? Yes, they only showed the same 4 girls both days.

Whatever, I am excited.


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Reflections, Thoughts, and Hopes of the Olympics

The history of my love for gymnastics plays like this:

I always loved watching gymnastics.  My earliest memories were the 1992 games in Barcelona.  Here, I remember rooting for Shannon Miller.  I was 10 years old, and even then I can remember that I had heard of Kim Zmeskal.   I was shocked at all I remember.  I remembered that Shannon scored a 9.912 in beam finals and got second.  I could remember the routine of Kim Gwang-Suk, and I remember the falls of Yang Bo and Lavinia Milosovici on beam, Milo and Lu Li‘s perfect ten’s, etc.

In Atlanta 1996, I remember watching it all and being so excited.  In 2004 I was flipping through the channels and landed on the qualifications.  I again got excited and made sure I watched Team Finals, AA, and EF.  It took me two days to realize why I had no memory at all of the Sydney Games; I was traveling across the country with Drum Corps International, another subjectively scored event.

This is where my obsession was born.  I wanted to know what happened in 2000, I wanted to see World Championships.  I consulted Ebay, where anything you want in the world you can buy.  I began buying burned DVD broadcasts and before long made an online friend who became my ‘gymnastics dealer.’  (Although many of my friends call her my crack dealer due to my obsession).  The more I came in possession of, the more I learned.  I own somewhere around 100 individual discs, and have watched them countless times.  Mostly while eating, and late at night to get my mind of school and analyze something that wasn’t ‘work’.  I watched them over and over to learn about scoring, why certain gymnasts would get deductions though nothing appeared wrong, etc.  (Yes, I am a huge dork, I know)   And now in the age of youtube, I can see whatever I need to see that I don’t have.

So this is the first time I will watch the Olympics with complete knowledge of what to expect, who will be there, who may win.  I can’t imagine how angry I would be if this upcoming Olympics was the Sydney Games.  I would go crazy over the incredibly poor coverage shown.  I would feel cheated.  And I can’t imagine this upcoming event I have waited for four years for to contain a controversy such as the All Around Vaulting Debacle.  I realize I haven’t and can’t prepare for what is out of my hands.  Will there be scoring controversies?  That seems inevitable, as I can’t think of any World or Olympic event that doesn’t contain at least one.

And so now, here are some things in the past that I have been thinking about.

  • Mohini Bhardwaj.  Two things about her.  1.)  She is why I keep reiterating the bubble gymnasts  needed consistency throughout Nationals and Trials.  But Bhardwaj wasn’t even a factor at Nationals.  I wonder if this will happen with anyone else.  2.)  Who else thinks there may have been a scoring error with her FX during Athens qualifications?  9.525 I thought was too high.  Especially since the two performances after that garnered 9.3ishes.  I have conflicting pieces of what her SV was.  From 9.7 to 9.9.  And as far as I know, weren’t all three performances pretty much the same?  (Although sometimes I do not catch flubbed or short dance moves/combos.)  Any thoughts on this?  
  • Courtney McCool.  1.)   Did anyone else think a 9.112 in qualifying was too low on beam?  Yes she bent the hips and broke form on the switch leap- Onodi- sheep jump combo.  But like, that was it.  Anna Pavlova made a break on her Kotchetcova-BHS-layout combo in EF.  Though the  break was not a bend the waist type, she did have the break in her connection, and got a 9.587 and I believe a 10 start value.  2.)  I think she should have been in beam finals over Bhardwaj. 
  • Vanessa Atler.  Would have put her on the 2000 team.  I know she was a headcase and had a major meltdown at trials, but I really think she would have brought in some big scores on vault and floor.  I wonder if it would be different if she were in the now.  This quad.  She is in some ways, the Alicia Sacramone of this quad.  She wouldn’t have had to deal with bars.  And oddly enough, Sacramone used to be a headcase type, but has now transformed into one of team USA’s rocks.  And one thing I would have to say about Atler is on floor when she did dance combos and leaps, her feet STOPPED.  She did not have to take a step or another fluffy jump out of it.  She had nice grace too.   
  • Svetlana Khorkina.  I hate to say it, but I think she was one of the most overscored gymnasts of all time.  And when I say this I mean floor.  Again, she looked so sloppy to me.  She got the benefit of the doubt just too many times.  Her floor score in the 2003 World’s AA (9.675) was ridiculous to me.  I often wondered  if it were more than a coincidence that one of the sponsors was the company that Khorkina modeled for.  Hmmm.  And I think she is crazy if she thought she should have beat Carly Patterson in Athens.  I never cared for Patterson’s attitude, but I always respected her gymnastics.  I did feel bad for her for the Sydney Games.
  • Give Andreea Raducan her medal back.    
  • 2000 Olympics again.  Okay, so Elena Zamolodchikova gets a 9.725 on bars during the AA, and then Elise Ray scores a 9.750 when she throws the never-competed-before layout double double?  Uhhhh, right.  And Elise Ray had some of the most beautiful style and form I have ever seen.  I am not hating on Zamo, she is one of my sentimental faves, and one of the best vaulters of all time.
  • I have never understood what was so great about Ling Jie.  Bar Finals in Sydney she misses handstands, looks sluggish, hops on the dismount.  She always had this sluggishness that I didn’t like and thought looked bad.  Something about how she did her kips bothered me too.  In EF, she hops on the dismount.  Now Yang Yun I thought should have had the silver.

These are just some random things I have always questioned.  By all means, give me insight I am lacking.  In closing, here is my wish list for Beijing…

  • NBC- Please show EVERY American competing during all events.  Do the same for China.  I want the broadcasts for Team and AA to be 2 hours + long.  Yes.  Please Al Trautwig, shut up for the most part and don’t say anything dumb.  Andrea Joyce, please refrain from asking the following questions, “Can you take us through the night?  How did you feel?”  “Did you ever expect this?”  And don’t start trying to get people to talk junk about another.  Oh, I also want some nice fluff pieces.  And show ALL EIGHT finalists during EF.
  • A Team and AA Final where the top 6 hit.  I can dream.
  • No scoring garbage please.
  • Set the equipment right.
  • Cheng Fei, please do well.  I want you to have that vault gold very much.
  • Shawn Johnson not to fall and make AA, BB, and FX finals.
  • Chellsie Memmel to make the Olympic Team and maybe even bar finals.  By the way, for the greatest written piece about Memmel’s story click here at Polish 101 who wrote a SUPERB piece on her.
  • Anna Pavlova and Elena Zamolodchikova to make the team and vault finals.
  • Daiane Dos Santos to come back to peak form and make FX finals.  I would love it if she medaled.
  • Vanessa Ferrari back in peak form.  With her double-double.
  • Yang Wei to win the AA.  ( I like him.  Sentimental fave.  Don’t keep up as much with MAG, but this year will be exciting!)
  • Dasha Joura to perform like never before.
  • Oksana Chusovitina to win a vault medal.

That’s all I can think of right now.


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