Tag Archives: Steliana Nistor

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.

Advertisements

16 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

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.

Vault-

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)

Beam-

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)

Floor-

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.

13 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

The Pressure is on…

So I have been thinking about all the pressure that must be amounting to gymnasts around the world right now. I’ve said it before and I will say it again; this isn’t football, where there are games every week, playoffs (NFL not NCAA which NEEDS a playoff system but don’t get me started on that and the BCS), and a yearly duel for the trophy.

Gymnastics as a sport I think is most comparable to soccer, in my opinion. I am not talking about the nature of the sport. But some of us Americans don’t realize that football around the world is soccer. And they actually call it football. Like gymnastics, the pinnacle of importance in the sport comes every four years (The World Cup as apposed to the Olympic Games). People lose their lives over soccer. It is absolutely crazy.

I can’t imagine the pressure people feel from sports like these. It’s not a “We’ll get em’ next season” kind of deal. This is your one shot for the title. I would be what the gym fans call a “headcase.” I used to perform in guard shows (where you throw a variety of equipment in the air) and almost always I was unable to have a “perfect” competition.

But anywho, I have been thinking so much about all these girls around the world and the pressure that must be mounting them…

Shawn Johnson– With news articles of million dollar earnings of endorsements, and the media on her every which way she turns, Shawn is experiencing the largest string of pressure through media. But beyond that she is heading into the Olympics after going pretty much 16 for 16 throughout Nationals/Trials. There is so much pressure with even THAT. She has the pressure riding her of, “Will she crumble during Beijing?” Shawn has possibly 3 AA competitions between prelims, team finals, and AA. (Though she probably won’t do bars in TF). And she must HIT. Prelims need to be hit to guarantee her spot into the AA (and I am hoping for beam and floor finals as well). Then there is still the pressure to do well for the team. How can a 16-year-old handle this? Shawn IS by far one of the most consistent gymnasts I have seen.

Nastia Liukin– For years she was hearing how that Beijing ticket has been in her hand. And maybe even the gold. But Nastia has been overshadowed the last couple of years. And the pressure to hit when it counts surely must be mounting more and more while Shawn garners more spotlight attention. To do well in the AA is Nastia’s biggest source of pressure I think. And the string of second place finishes she keeps receiving on bars the last couple of years (06′ Worlds, 07′ Pan Ams, 07′ Worlds, 08′ Pacific Rim) add more pressure. I think. Plus, Nastia has alluded in a couple of interviews that the AA is her biggest priority.

Cheng Fei– I wish I knew more about how the media in China. Gymnastics is a much more popular sport there and Cheng Fei I would assume is certainly the most popular and famous women gymnast in the country. No one has ever won 3 straight world titles in a quadrennium, but Cheng Fei has! There is not just pressure but “GOLD OR BUST” seems to be the Chinese way. She must be phenomenal in team finals, and phenomenal in vault and floor finals. She also is the leader of the team, and must be there for all her teammates. To add to the pressure, this is not only the best shot China has ever had for team gold (or even this many golds!) but with the entire Nation watching her do this on her turf, Fei is certainly going to have all the pressure in the world riding her shoulders. Will Cheng Fei do what so many other great gymnasts from China do….crumble under the most intense pressure?

Yang Wei– A silver in Sydney, a fall in Athens, a silver in Anaheim. And the first man in like 80-some years to win back-to-back World titles. I MUCH less about the world of MAG, but I am pulling really hard for Yang. Like Fei, I cannot imagine what the pressure must be like for him. I totally believe there is almost no way the Chinese Men will lose the gold, so I wonder if that factor will help or hurt the pressure on him. The whole country is looking for gold from this man, and that just can’t be easy.

Vanessa Ferrari– The 2006 World Champion has informed the gymnastics world that she will not be up to par for Beijing and I think that is sad. From a country where they aren’t one of the main players in the gymnastics scene, I know bringing home an individual medal from the Olympics would be a huge, huge deal for her. Ferrari is a good competitor, it will be interesting to see what she does. But injury or not, in the world of gymnastics in Italy, that girl must have a lot of pressure on her to deliver.

Steliana Nistor and Sandra Izbasa– This will be the first Olympics in a looooooong time that Romania may not get a team medal. Like the Chinese, team is first priority. But in this new age of Romanian gymnastics, medals in individual events would be a big deal for them in my opinion. So a country with a love for gymnastics looks to these two to help bring home any medals possible. Not only leaders of the team and the ones the other look up to, these are the only shots at individual medals that Romania has.

Beth Tweddle– Of any gymnast, I swear I can count more times for Beth than any other who receives a great many string of 3rd and 4th place finishes. Hailed as the best and most successful gymnast of Great Britain, Beth has been eluded a major title many times on bars, though she did nab the gold in 2006. As one of the bar front runners in this quadrennium, Beth also has joined the “I have higher than a 7.5 Bar Club” and knows she must hit like her life can depend on it. After all, several of the front runners have shown some inconsistencies this year. Although the lead Chinese bar workers He Kexin and Yang Yilin have been the MOST consistent this year, it has been an unfortunate Chinese tradition to crack under the pressure of the big events. And Beth knows that a mistake from any of the three main rivals (Kexin, Yilin, Nastia) can give her a huge advantage; an Olympic gold. I wonder how well she is doing under that pressure.

Jade Barbosa– One of the best gymnasts ever from Brazil, I actually wonder how the pressure is on her. I have seen many different things featuring her that suggest she is getting a lot of media spotlight, but she recently lost the National Title to Ana Claudia Silva. That is something that may either add or subtract pressure, I’m not sure which.

Dasha Joura– The very best of the Australian team must be feeling some enormous pressure. With people retiring and putting more pressure on the team, Dasha may be the only shot for a medal, and has Australian female ever won a medal in the Olympics? I am not sure, but I don’t think so. And Dasha seems to be doing a lot to promote the Olympics and seems to be getting definite media attention with her newspaper column and all.

Oksana Chusovitina– It’s her fifth Olympics and her only medal is the Unified Team gold in her first Olympics, 1992. A medal would be an amazing achievement as she has no individual title regardless of the many world medals she has. I think it is kind of a long shot considering her difficulty, but you never know who will mess up! Maybe Oksana doesn’t have pressure, she does have more Olympic experience than anyone out there!

Alicia Sacramone– You know she wants an individual medal. Well, everyone does. But Alicia is only capable of medalling if she is at her very best. She also has the amanar to consider. With that and her good execution scores, she is capable of gold if Hong Su Jong and Cheng have errors. Her disappointment last year at the floor final is a good indication that she will be fighting for a medal this year. But she also has to be careful because she must deal with the pressure of not getting injured. In addition, Chellsie Memmel‘s comeback could jeopardize her spot in the beam lineup for Team Finals. And she now has one of the lowest A-scores among the Americans on floor. Not good.

He Kexin– Um, is she aware of what is going on in the world of gymnastics? Does she know that half the fans believe she is ineligible? That would add a lot of pressure. Plus, she hasn’t competed on a stage as large as the Worlds or Olympics before. She also has the pressure to win the bars title.

The Entire Chinese WAG- With the strongest team ever and on their home turf, China legitimately has a chance to take all six gold medals. Team, AA (Yang Yilin I think has the best shot), vault (duh), bars (two more duhs, beam (Li Shanshan or even another between Yang, Cheng, or Deng Linlin). They have never ever been in this situation. I think Mo Huilan was capable of 4 or 5 gold medals in Atlanta. but nothing compares to how deep they are now. I can’t imagine what it must be like for them.

There may be others I haven’t included. All the reigning world champs want to earn their titles again, Ksenia Semenova is one I didn’t really dig into.

And the pressure is still on for all the American girls at home, fighting over spot number six…

13 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

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.

Vault-

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.

Bars

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!!!

Beam

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.

Floor

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.

7 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized