Aly Raisman Shines, Jordyn Wieber Breaks Down.

We all saw Aly Raisman, the quiet achiever,  the glue – but never the star of the USA gymnastics team become just that, the star.

Jordyn Watches All Around Finals From The Stands After She Fails To Qualify.

When USA won the gold medal – a first since 1996 – Aly Raisman was the one to seal the deal for them, with a slightly watered down (for her) floor exercise that still managed to earn more than the two other american women that went before her in difficulty and final score. She could barely contain herself bursting into tears before the routine had even finished.

Just days before, Aly had qualified  All around finals. In the All Around finals 24 gymnasts compete on each apparatus. Aly and Jordyn

Jordyn Wieber Crying As She Won The All Around Finals At The 2011 World Championships Last October.

had finished 3rd and 4th while another american Gabby Douglas finished 2nd behind Russian Viktoria Komova.

Wieber had made a few mistakes, but this was only the qualification rounds, surely she could redeem her self in the finals, where she was a heavy favourite to win the gold, after all she was is the world champion.

wrong.

Because Wieber had finished behind two other Americans, she could not qualify to All Around finals. This is because of the 2-per-country rule in gymnastics that has confused and angered fans all over the world. Gymnasts with a standard of gymnastics much below Jordyn’s got to compete in team finals while she was left sitting in the stands. After qualifications, the media had their chance to interview Gabby and Aly the American qualifiers and Jordyn was seen openly crying right in camera view.

Jordyn Breaks Down Crying When She Finds Out She Didn’t Qualify To All Around Finals.

Coming into the Olympics, many (including myself) had expected Jordyn to medal in many events in the games, the most likely was All Around Finals, the biggest prize of the games. But, because of some silly rules, this 17 Year old girl was left crushed after training hours and hours for a moment she would never have.

Gabby Douglas went on to win the womens All Around, Viktoria Komova of Russia finished 2nd, Alyia Mustafina of Russia tied for 3rd with American Aly Raisman but after a tie breaker, Aliya was awarded the medal.

A Journey to a Dream: The Power of Perseverance

Hey everyone! It sure has been awhile since I’ve been here, I’m so sorry for that! Training has been going well though. I have been getting more intense and I’m training at least 5 days per week now, sometimes six. In addition to getting my glide kip I also just got my flyaway! My beam basics (leaps, jumps, turns) have gotten a lot stronger. I have also been working on side somersaults on a line on the floor and also trying to put walkovers on beam as well. I’ve been having some trouble with my wrist so it tends to hold me back at times. I’m finally vaulting well and doing yurchenko timers up onto a resi pit! I hate going forwards so I’m ready to get into that backward motion! 😉 I’ve been tumbling more and working on gaining technique back in my twisting. Overall, things are going pretty well and I finally feel like I’m progressing a bit on bars. All I know is that I wake up every day and give it my all until I can’t go anymore. I never feel like I’ve let myself down when I push myself hard. It gets difficult at times in the gym. This summer has been one of the hottest and with no AC in there, it can be brutal when the humidity is up. Its easy to get fatigued quick but I do my best to fight through.

Aside from training, I just wanted to talk a bit about perseverance. Being (now) 25 years old and only doing gymnastics for about 9 months, I hear it all. Some people believe in me and support my dreams, while others are discouraging. I have sought out several gyms around me for some more focused training, even something as simple as a long four event session once per month just so that I can get more focused coaching and maybe a different point of view. You see, at my gym now, the coach who helps me also coaches the competitive cheer teams and I am mostly on the back burner. I spend a lot of hours teaching myself and learning drills, skills and conditioning from YouTube videos from various coaches. I just want real coaching, I feel like if I had that then I could progress further and really learn how to do things and take my training to the next level.

In reaching out to gyms, I’ve tried different approaches. The first time I went in to talk to the owner and head coach and they LAUGHED in my face. Seriously. Needless to say I walked right back out of there and never looked back. After that incident I decided I would email a coach at a different gym. That one didn’t even respond. A new gym went up nearby that was strictly gymnastics (not cheerleading for once) so I thought I would drop in. They asked me if I was stupid because all of their forms clearly read they only take those aged 7-17. So again, I tried to explain what I was doing and that I was hoping they would be willing to help. After more laughter from not only the owner but also a coach, I left there too. While these people do give me motivation to prove them wrong, it can also be discouraging. It almost feels as though you are back in school and dealing with bullies. I tried to ignore all of these bad experiences and keep training, but I still knew that I needed a serious coach to help me. So I figured I would take another leap of faith, this time with a somewhat well known coach. I wrote an email that just spilled everything I was trying to accomplish and I was honest and shared my dreams with this person. Unfortunately, they are only training elites but were at least nice enough to invite me to their gym and wished me the best of luck on chasing my dream. Finally, someone who was at least kind when letting me down! It was difficult to swallow that one because I was very hopeful, but I can’t help but feel like every thing happens for a reason. At least they listened to my story and didn’t just brush me off like the rest.

Even though many people have laughed at my ambitions and denied helping me reach my goals, I keep fighting. Every single day. Because at the end of the day this isn’t their dream to deny. I am the only person that can say, “I’m done” if I want to be. And I’m not ready to give up. If learning from YouTube videos is what I have to do then so be it. I get up every day and I get in that gym and do whatever it takes to improve and be better than the day before. So please, don’t ever give up your dreams or something you are passionate about because of what other people say. They only want to bring you down simply because you are above them. 🙂

Keep fighting and keep the dream alive. Thank you for always believing in me!

Until next time… Maegan xo

And the Olympic Team Is….

Douglas, Wieber, Raisman, Maroney and Ross!!

This is Courtney, once again blogging while Aoibhe is on vacation. This is a team many had expected coming into 2012, but doubts had emerged but all of these gymnasts, proved themselves tonight. And while I personally would have loved to see FInnegan make the team, the Olympics came too fast. But lets break down this team going to London!

Gabby Douglas: Certainly proved herself tonight, by beating the reigning World and National Champion. Although struggling on day 1, and fumbling her grip tonight on bars, she looked like an Olympian tonight, and certainly has a shot to medal individually at the Games. Gabby was very jittery and nervous on beam tonight, missing some connections, and being off balance. But that honestly didn’t phase her. She came out looking like a champion and certainly deserved this spot. She also finished first on bars, and 3rd on floor.  

Jordyn Wieber; Obviously not a surprise. Although Jordyn was not at her best this weekend, and does have some improvments to make. Surprisingly, Jordyn semi-struggled both days on beam. She had major problems on her beam connections(more than usual) and looked nervous and jittery(as many gymnasts did) Her bars looked good, but surprsingly she struggled a little bit on her wieler(weiler?) kips. But her 1.5 pirouette to low bar transition, is much better and fixed from earlier this year. But she will need to work on the low bar, and get her beam connections hit and solid. She just doesn’t look to have the typical confidence we’ve seen from her in the past. She also finished 2nd on floor, tied for 3rd on beam,  and 4th on bars.

Mckayla Maroney; Defintley solidified her spot on Friday, and certainly tonight. With HUGE scores on vault(16.1?!) and a much improved floor routine, she also shocked many tonight by scoring a 15+ on beam!! Although she has still struggled with her 3rd pass on floor(she landed out of bounds today), she just runs out of room, so she will either need to change it, or fix how far she runs before the pass begins, becuase that won’t fly in London. But her vault certainly will! This girl gets huge air, and I would love to see her go for a triple, but she probably won’t. Vault gold medal right here. She won vault, and finished 5th on floor.

Kyla Ross; Was probably the most iffy of all these gymnasts. She fell on her vault Day 1, and watered back down to a DTY today. While her DTY is gorgeous that defintley hurt her. But her bars were one of the top scores tonight, and her beam did have some checks. The team can really use her bar set. She missed some connections tonight, and had some balance checks on beam. Her DTY was rock solid, and can be used in a pinch. But her bars really put her on the team. Having a superb bar worker, that can also work the all-around if needed was a great luxery to this team.She tied for 3rd on beam, and tied for 1st on bars.

And finally, Aly Raisman; was as close to a lock as Douglas and Wieber. This gymnast is rock solid, and I don’t care what you say about her form, she is much improved, and its not horrible. Her beam and floor is something you know you can rely on, and she can bring in some huge numbers, also a possible medal on floor. Obivously bars are a weak spot for her, but she hit them both days, proving she can hit them if needed. Her vault is still very iffy, but its possible it won’t be needed in Team FInals. She goes for the stick to hard on vault, and under-rotates it. She needs to just fly high and not worry about taking a step. Her first pass is gorgeous, and will be something to remember.Aly won beam and floor.

ALTERNATES:

Sarah Finnegan; While she was a dark horse to make the team, I believe the Olympics snuck up too fast for her. I really hope she is able to stick around until 2016, and if not at least a few World Championships. She needs to medal in worlds! This gymnast is gorgeous and deserves a medal in some sort of event. Her beam and floor are gorgeous, and unfortently we were not shown any of her routines tonight. She had some balance chekcs, and a very wobbly routine on beam tonight, scoring only a 14.8, even though she is capable of so much more. Floor she seems to have hit. But she will be a fabulous alternate, in case of an injury to Raisman or possibly Wieber. She can come in for beam or floor. And in a super pinch, bars. She scored one of her best bars tonight, at a 14.75.She finished 6th tonight in all-around, floor, bars and 5th on beam.

Elizabeth Price; defintley had the meet of her life tonight! She hit everything, and wowed the crowd. Very much like Finnegan, the games just snuck up on her, and I very much hope she sticks around for another few years. Her vault is explosive, but she typically lands off to the side, thus usually taking a step out of bounds. Her floor she flies high, but her choreography leaves something to be desired. And her bars are also very strong. She hit a good beam set for her tonight, event hough its her weakest event. Could be used in an injury to Maroney, and Possibly Wieber or Douglas. Finished 5th on bars, and 4th on floor.

Anna Li; A bar specalist defintley had to be an alternate here. SHe blew her set out of the water tonight, upgrading her dismount to a full twisting double layout. Unfortently consistency issues last year I think left a sour tate in Martha’s mouth. Although she has hit strongly this year. Her bars are gorgeous and unique.Defintley would be used for bars only probably, incase of an injury to Ross or Douglas. She finished 3rd on bars.

This team defintley has gold medal possibility. All of these gymnasts are consistent, and if they do make mistakes, they are fighters! This is my esitmated line-up;

Vault: (Raisman) Douglas, Wieber, Maroney
Bars: (Raisman) Wieber, Ross, Douglas
Beam: (Douglas) Ross, Raisman, Wieber(this order is iffy)
Floor: (Maroney/Douglas) Maroney/Douglas, Wieber, Raisman

This team has the possiblity to score a 185.388 (based on averages of both days from Trials and Nationals) Along with a HUGE team total of 47.65 on vault.

This score would have finished 1st at 2010 world championships(by 10 points…) and 1st at 2011, by about 6 points. Also 1st at the 2012 European championships, by again 6 points. Defintley a gold medal favorite. Congratualtions Girls!!!! 🙂

2012 Olympic Trials-Day 1 Afterthoughts.

Hello everyone! This is Courtney, as many of you may have noticed I live tweeted tonight, and thought I would do a quick recap after tonight!

Wieber took the lead, as many expected. She was one of the only gymnasts who didn’t have significant mistakes. She preformed probably one of her best bar routines…possibly ever. She upgraded to the DLO with a full twist, which is a smart choice heading into London. She stuck the landing, and had a great routine. Her Amanar had a lock legged landing(like many other gymnasts tonight) Her beam routine did still have a few little mistakes(it looked just like nerves) And her FHS to full twist was not a connection. Although from the full twist to the BHS looked a little better. Her floor was hit, with her double pike looking as great as ever!

Aly Raisman, once again super solid. Her vault was probably one of the better ones I have seen her do. Although once again, a little lock legged on the landing, and off to the side. Her bars actually look much improved, especially if you look back at her ’10 routines. Her beam looked good, although she had a .3 balance check on her front pike. Not her best beam, but still better than others. Her floor was as fabulous as ever! It looks like to me that she landed out of bounds on her first pass, but she was only given .1 deduction. But the routine was great!

Gabby Douglas, well this girl is impossible not to root for. You can’t help but love this gymnast. On bars she surprised many when she struggled on a pirouette, it looked like she might come off the bar, but she muscled it over the bar and was able to save it. Still scoring in the 15s. Beam she missed her front walkover to back walkover connection, but was solid beside that keeping steady with a 14.9. On floor Gabby exploded! Her passes were flying high! She had a solid Amanar tonight also. Besides the small mistake on bars and beam she had a great night. Its obvious that the bars was a fluke, and her missed beam connection looked like she had it but then doubted herself.

Elizabeth Price, had the meet of her life tonight. Her Amanar, was the second best score. And her floor was huge. She has definite potential to be an alternate, and a post-Olympic star!

Nastia Liukin, was actually hitting a wonderful routine on bars, until the very end came, she was at the top of a handstand and just ran out of endurence, her bars bent over the bar, and she saved it pulling back up into her giants. She was no where close on her dismount, and fell on her back after only doing a double tuck. Beam was ok, with a missed connection and major balance check.

Kyla Ross, has some gorgeous bars! They were amazing, and she had the highest score(tieing with Anna Li!) While she missed a connection and looked nervy on beam she still scored a solid 14.9. When she went to vault, she decided to go for the Amanar, and was no where near where she needed to be to land. She caught herself with her hands before touching the mat.

Sarah Finnegan, while impressive in someways, also left some room for improvment. Her beam was the highest scoring of the night, beating Wieber, Raisman and Sacramone. With some balance checks and room for improvment. On floor she had problems with her 2 1/2 twists, but put her hands down to save from a complete fall.

Alicia Sacramone did her best tonight, but she has also said she wants to improve on Sunday. She connected her mount to a back tuck. which she hasn’t even attempted since 08. (And never really completley competed it successfully.) She had a major balance check on her front tuck. But had a successful routine. Her Rudi was a little bit piked, but still scored a 15.7. She said in an interview that she wants to stick her vaults on Sunday, I hope she does!

Rebecca Bross struggled tonight. While her bar routine was as consistent as she usually does. But on beam she had an uncharacteristic fall on her standing Arabian. Then she had her usual problems on the Patterson. I knew from the start that becuase she had already fallen she would doubt herself and not hit her Patterson.

NBC did not air routines from Brenna Dowell, Kennedy Baker, or Anna Li. Although Anna Li had the highest bar score(tied with Kyla) on night 1.

During warm-ups Bridget Sloan fell off bars on her Church, and sprained her elbow. She scratched the competition, and has said she has officially retired from elite gymnastics. This gymnast can never catch a break can she? Although I am looking forward to seeing her compete at Florida!

Team I WANT: Jordyn(AA), Gabby(VT,UB), Aly (VT,BB,FX), Kyla (UB), Sarah(BB,FX)

Team I think will Happen: Jordyn(AA), Gabby(VT,UB,  ), Aly(VT, BB,FX), McKayla(VT, FX), Kyla (UB, BB)

Before I Go… This Is My Team. Alicia Vs. Mckayla

I’m leaving on Thursday and I’ll be away for trails and the team announcement, so I’m going to let you all know my team before I go.

1 Jordyn Wieber (VT, BB, UB, FX)

2. Aly Raisman (VT, BB, FX)

3. Gabby Douglas (UB, FX)

4. Kyla Ross (UB, BB)

5. Mckayla Maroney (VT)

Alternates: Rebecca Bross (Incase anything happens to a bar worker)

Sarah Finnegan (Incase anything happens to a balance beam or floor worker)

Alicia Saramone (If she has floor back)

It’s pretty weak on floor exercise to be honest, and I feel like Mckayla could be changed with Sarah Finnegan for that reason, but whatever this team loses on floor, it gains on vault. Gabby and Aly could be swapped on vault depending on how consistent Gabby looks at trials. (Did you notice this team has the potential to have 5 Amanars? That’s if Kyla gets hers back)

If Alicia gets her floor back at trials, she’s a big threat to this team and possibly McKayla’s spot. If she hits her floor, she could be the 3rd floor worker (Gabby on floor is not ideal in a team final situation,  though she has been hitting floor this year.) She could also be the 3rd vaulter instead of Mckayla and bring in a similar score and possibly be a beam worker.

Over all you’d thinkAlicia would be a better choice for a team final situation because she can bring in big scores on possibly 3 events. Mckayla, realistically can only contribute to the team on one event.

If Alicia made the team instead of  Mckayla, this is how the team would look.

Team 2

Vault: Alicia, Jordyn, Aly (This team would score about the same on vault as team 1)

Uneven bars: Kyla, Jordyn, Gabby (No change to team 1)

Balance Beam: Alicia, Aly, Kyla OR Jordyn (This team doesn’t really need another beam worker as they already have 3 strong beam workers without Alicia)

Floor: Jordyn, Aly, Alicia (Technically this team appears stronger on floor, but Alicia hasn’t competed floor since 2011 Nationals, so there is a big question mark over her score)

Realisticly, Alicia doesn’t add that much to the team. The only place the team needs her is on floor and like I said, that is a question mark.

The Gymternet 25th Of June

This will more than likely be my last Gymternet post for a while, because i’m leaving in 3 days to the Gealtacht. (For the non-Irish fans of the blog- a gealtacht is an area usually in the west coast of Ireland where Irish is the spoken language of the people, Irish students usually aged between 14 and 18 go and spend 3 weeks with their friends living in a house in this area to learn the language. It’s good fun and I cannot wait.) I will have limited internet access (Internet for about 2 hours a day) But, I won’t be writing any blog posts myself.

However, my lovely contributors Maegan and Courtney will still be writing here, so the blog won’t be empty while i’m gone!

Anyways, here’s the news from the Gymternet this week.

Mckayla Maroney has been a favorite to make the Olympic team for quite some time now,  but her injury from warm ups on day 2 of Nationals seems to have set her back a lot more than USAG is letting on.  She has to miss a full week of training due to a concussion. The Gymternet is starting to wonder, If Mckayla is not ready for trials, but proves she can be ready for the Olympics, can she petition straight onto the team?

Gym Truth Teller talks about it here: http://gymtruthteller.wordpress.com/2012/06/23/the-curious-case-of-mckayla-maroney/

And here’s Lauren Hopkins ’15 in 15: Mckayla Maroney’  from The Couch Gymnast: http://www.thecouchgymnast.com/?p=6762

Its one week away from the naming of the team and everyone is predicting! Bekah from getagripgymblog.blogspot.com has taken a much closer look at the Trials qualifiers and their execution scores. You’ll be surprised. http://getagripgymblog.blogspot.ie/2012/06/lets-talk-about-execution-baby.html

And here on this blog, I’ve posted some predictions from April, funny to see how everything changed. Although, I’m quite proud of my team! https://flippingolympics.wordpress.com/2012/06/24/olympic-teams-predictions/

Another team prediction from GetAGripGymBlog: Who Takes The 5th Spot? http://www.getagripgymblog.blogspot.ie/2012/06/who-takes-5th-spot-based-on-season.html

The British Championships took place this weekend and FullTwist have results and video from WAG event finals: http://fulltwist.net/british-championships-wag-event-finals/

A report on AA finals at the British championships from the couch gymnast: http://www.thecouchgymnast.com/?p=6764

Now, away from the Seniors and the Olympics for a moment! Triple Twist have an interview with Laurie Hernandez the up and coming USA junior!: http://tripletwistgymblog.blogspot.ie/2012/06/laurie-hernandez-interview.html