A Closer Look At The Veterans

The Veterans:
Well, the topic has been talked to death and everything is speculation. There will be no real answer until July, when the Olympic Team is announced.
But it doesn’t hurt to try and figure out what is going on in Martha’s mind, the gymnasts mind, and well even the coaches.

Alicia Sacramone:
The first of the ’08 veterans to make a ‘comeback’ And out of all the veterans, probably has the largest chance of making the team.
Alicia’s Mind: She’s become such a calm, cool and collected gymnast on the floor. When she comes off the podium that’s a different story. But Alicia has not shown us any reason in this quad to believe that she can’t do it. Obviously the only thing keeping her from that team , is the Achilles injury. In 2005 she had tendon problems, that she quickly overcame. While this is a whole new ball game of an injury than before, Alicia is no stranger to pushing through injuries, she was severely beat up in 2008, and while not her best performance, she helped the team tremendously. In 2010 at the World Championships she gave superb performances, and finally earned another World Championship. She’s defintley the sentimental card. But if I know anything about her mind, it’s defintley that she’s not giving up, she knows exactly what she needs to do to get on that team. Perform and upgraded vault, be consistent, have a solid and spectacular beam, and a solid floor that scores in the high 14s or low 15s.  


Mihahi’s Mind: Mihahi has always been fond of Alicia, and why shouldn’t he? She’s the gymnast that put him on the map. In 2004 and even early 2005-2006 he said how Alicia would sometimes get antsy and rush her moves. On the bright side, by now, she’s older, she’s matured and in this case, that’s a good case for her.  He needs to pace her well, but get her skills back to exactly how they were, and improve her vault difficulty along with beam. And with that, she should be just fine.


Martha’s Mind: Well ze obvious zhought here, is zat Martha has concerns about Alicia’s 2008 performance. Martha wants ze gold, zere is no trying to hide zat. Heck, everyone wants gold. And Martha is going to do every single thing she can to get gold. If a gymnast falls at trials, or falls in her presence, zey might not be on ze team; especially being a bubble gymnast. For Martha, Alicia needs to come back just as strong, if not stronger, zan Kupets did in 2004, and needs to have a spectacular vault zat can score just as well if not outscore Maroney/Raisman. Along with a solid beam and floor performance.

Bridget Sloan:

Probably the hardest to judge. Never took a break after the Olympics, and went on to win a National Championship, then a World Title. But then; she disappeared. Came back at Nationals, with a pectoral injury, and only competed beam…wasn’t consistent. And then shocked everyone by making the World Team. Performed ok. Was M.I.A. again in 2011 with another injury.


Bridget’s Mind: Can she stay healthy? That should be her number one priorty. And well I’m not really sure what’s going on in her mind…she needs to be a super solid all-arounder who can deliver great, solid scores on all 4 events…or she’s not worth taking. She should know that.


Marvin’s Mind: Pace this girl, pace her carefully. To have any shot, she needs to be healthy first. She needs difficulty, and execution. It’s going to take a lot for her to make this team.


Martha’s Mind: Dis gymnast hasn’t competed. Can she be in shape for ze games? Or will she get hurt again. 2009 was her year, but dis is 3 years later. I haven’t seen much from her.

Shawn Johnson:
Considered by many the Olympian who has the most potential to make the team. The only weakness she has is time. Her upgrades have come fast, and great.


Shawn’s Mind: While yes she fell on my new skills at Pan Ams, but she knows how to hit when it counts, and she was probably just nervous. Every skill she’s  attempting she can do. But she knows her weakness. She knows that its vault. While in 2008 it was her strong point, now with the depth of team US, it’s Amanar club…or the highway. To even be considered for a vault spot she needs a clean solid Amanar. And this is going to be tough, but she showed a tremendous amount of progress on vault at PanAms. She needs to be solid on bars and beam, along with floor.


Chow’s Mind: Shawn has an incredible talent, and an incredible persistence. Her knee surgery after Pan Ams was a set back, but she spent the time getting in shape and getting stronger. Her upgrades are coming along, but we need to pace her, along with her body. She’s not the young 16-year old anymore. She needs to progress back to an Amanar, and soon.


Martha’s Mind: Zis girl needs to show me zat she can be zee best. She needs to show everyone. I zink her beam is very good. I need zis girl to propel herself on zee vault and zee floor.

Chellsie Memmel:
Had shoulder surgery after Visa’s and well no one knows where she is now. Chellsie has consistently been known for staying out of the spotlight, and coming back strong after an injury. It’s happened at least twice already, can it happen again?


Chellsie’s Mind:  She needs to come back very strong if she wants to make the team. She love’s the sport, and that’s obvious. She has surprised people time and time again. She’s had plenty of experiences, and so many people want to see her have a good Olympics. But its going to take major  upgrades, and a healthy Chellsie for a shot at the team.


Andy’s Mind: He’s got to be thinking they’ve been down this road before. Twice. He knows how to pace her, and he knows what’s best for his daughter.


Martha’s Mind: Zis gymnast is very good…but I want to win zis gold. She needs to be healthy. She needs strong events. Its going to be very tough for her.
Nastia Liukin:
Surprised many by announcing she would come back to try for the Olympics. If she can get in top form, she’d be a great asset to the team on bars and beam. But just bars isn’t going to get her there. A strong 2 or 3 event will bring her on the team. But does she have enough time?


Nastia’s Mind: I’m the Olympic champion. I should be able to get back in shape. I’ve been in the gym for hours a day. And well-

HELL WHO KNOWS WHAT THIS CHAMP IS THINKING?

What if…
All 5 veterans made the team? Its radical thinking and it won’t happen. But let’s play the number game and see what happens.

Vault:
Sloan (14.8)
Johnson (14.925)
Sacramone (15.8)

Bars:
Sloan (14.7)
Memmel/Johnson (14.4)
Liukin (15)

Beam:
Liukin (14.7)
Johnson (14.9)
Sacramone (15.2)

Floor:
Memmel (14.3)
Sloan (13.025) (Can score up to around a 14.5)
Sacramone (14.550)

Total: 176.25
*I used scores from any competitions this quad. For Nastia’s bars, I just estimated a 15, considering she needs to at least be able to score this.

Obviously these scores could go up…but this team would have finished 2nd at 2011 worlds. Granted Russia didn’t have their strongest team. The only one that would have beaten this team was the original US team. And teams were not at their strongest.
So while this does look good for the veterans. It also becomes obvious that the top scoring veteran is obviously Sacramone, followed by Johnson.
I believe at least 1 veteran will make the team, and it will probably be Sacramone or Johnson.

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