Tag Archives: Lilia Podkopayeva

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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    Thoughts and Answers to Some of the Comments on this page

    There’s been some questions and thoughts on the comments of this blog (which I love, love, love!)  and since I have nothing particular to share I thought I would elaborate and what not.

    • First off, why Jana Bieger has a limited chance on making the Olympic Team.  The wide consensus among gymnastics fans and experts is that Shawn Johnson, Nastia Liukin, and Alicia Sacramone are locks for the Olympic Team.  Since the main priority is the Team Final where 3 up 3 count, the selection will cater to those 12 routines needed.  Among the first half of the squad we have:

    Vault- Sacramone, Jonhson, GAP

    Bars- Liukin, GAP, GAP

    Beam- Johnson, Liukin, Sacramone

    Floor- Jonhson, Sacramone, GAP

    For the 3 remaining spots on the team, we need to fill 2 gaps on bars, and one gap apiece on vault and floor.  So our weakest showing is coming on uneven bars, which unfortunately is not good since that is China’s strongest event and they will gain at least a point on us based off their difficulty in comparison to the US.

    The best solution is to put on power event gymnast, a floor and vault worker, for one spot, and fill the two remaining gaps with two bar workers.  Samantha Peszek is the best choice for spot #4 in my opinion, because she is the 3rd best on vault and now holds the highest difficulty (along with Johnson) on floor.  As another person pointed out, Peszek has had some consistency issues, but I would say Nationals/Trials will pretty much let us know.

    Bieger simply does not fill any of these spots.  She is a great vaulter, but not difficult enough.  Same with floor, if she had her 2006 form back I would say she has a better shot.  Her bars difficulty is not enough either.  I do think that she is a good choice as an alternate.  I would put Chellsie Memmel in the same boat if it weren’t for the fact that she just showed a 6.9 and 16.0 scoring routine on bars.

    With regards to Chelsea Davis, Darling Hill, and Mattie Larson, I would say the same thing.  Larson has a 6.0 on floor, Hill a 6.1 (I am basing these off the most recent Friendly Meet) and we have 6.2’s and higher from more experienced athletes.  Hill stil has only a yurchenko 1.5 which we need doubles at bare minimum.  For bars, we really need nothing less than a 6.7 and realistically 7.0+ is what we REALLY need.  None of these athletes can match this.  (Or can they?  Does anyone know?)  But there is also the experience factor, experienced  athletes that prove themselves have a bigger shot, though that does not have anywhere near as much pull in the decisions as the difficulty/consistency factor in my opnion.  Regardless of anything though, gymnasts may add more difficulty by Nationals.  High difficulty performed consistently throughout June is going to be what matters.

    • The selection procedures allow for more than just the top 12 from Nationals to advance to trials.  Sacarmone will have no problem proceeding to trials.  Remember in 2004, Chellsie Memmel and Hollie Vise only did two events in Trials, and neither competed at Nationals and petitioned their way in.
    • In regards to the Nastia winning the AA.  So many thoughts.  But here is where I am coming from.  I like gymnastics that are “wow” skills.  I like huge tricks performed cleanly.  Whereas Nastia’s bar routine is loaded, even her beam routine I think isn’t so much.  She has no “F” or “G” skill anywhere in her routines.  She mostly loads with “D”‘s.  “D”s are the very middle skill.  Not one of the easiest, not one of the hardest.  But good respectable skills.  (and of course, the triple off beam will add in an “F”)  This is why I like He Kexin, she does amazing releases that nearly no one does.  But she does do some pirouettes.  (Li Ya had an amazing combination of both)  Mo Huilan and Kim Gwang-Suk type routines were what really would thrill me, stuff no one tends to do.  This is why I respect Johnson so much.  Her bar routine isn’t the best, but even there she is capable of something NO ONE else can perform consistently in their repertoire.

    With regards to the twisting only elements on floor, it is not that I don’t like twisting combinations, but again, I think to be really good at an event you should show variety.  Nastia does not hold enough variety for me to think she is great at that event.

    In regards to the old code, you could get away with scoring too high much easier.  Let’s first establish that regardless of the code, gymnasts with the reputation so very often get the benefit of the doubt.  This applies to a lot of gymnasts.  In the old code you could also get away with only twisting elements on floor.  I realize Nastia had won numerous competitions, but in 2005 Nationals remember her floor on one day was overscored because she was given difficulty not in her routine.  The only competitions I can think of her winning under the new code, were SCAM 08′ and Nationals 06′, which caused a lot of debate because many thought Natasha Kelley should have won.

    I am not saying anyone is right or wrong, I just wanted to explain where I was coming from.  I like Nastia, I just don’t think she is the best at the All-Around.  Top Ten, but not top three.  And yes, I do agree, Nastia is better at floor than Sacramone and Cheng Fei appear to be on bars.

    • Lastly, Lilia Podkopayeva was the last triple crown winner: 1995 Worlds, 1996 European and Olympic Champion.  I did think at one time that Shawn would be that if she won in Beijing, (counting 07′ Worlds and Pan Am’s) but when I think about it the Pan Am’s can’t hold a candle to the Europeans 🙂    

    I wrote this in a few sections and ran away from the computer a LOT.  So if there are mad grammatical errors or totally incomplete thoughts I apologize.  I don’t have time really to blog, but I really wanted to write a new post.

    Thank you everyone for all your comments and opinions.  It’s so nice to hear it all and know it’s all out there.  I think we should make a huge petition to send to NBC that we want more gymnastics coverage, and if you broadcast Beijing even close to the way you did Sydney…a lot of angry gym fans are going to come storm NBC Studios!  🙂

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