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

 

How To Vault Your Way To Gold

The amanar has become the most important accessory in a gymnastics handbag.

Dont have one? you might as well go back to 2008, you might have stood a chance back then. I wonder did Simona know that she was to become the creator of the most important element of modern gymnastics. When Simona first vaulted the amanar in 2000, a FTY was considered a difficult vault. Her competing an amanar back then would be like a level 8 competing one now. Possible, but why bother?

In the 2005-2008 code when difficulty became the most important part of artistic gymnastics the amanar became more and more desirable. In the 2008 Olympics 6 people competed an Amanar.

Shawn Johonson was one of theses 6 and the only one that was not a vault specialist even though her amanar was one of the best of the bunch. Shawn won the silver medal in the all around behind Nastia Liukin, who only competed a 1&1/2 twisting yerchenko. This was possible because because the 2005-2008 code counted 10 skills on floor exercise, balance beam and the uneven bars.  Nastia was able build a lead on Shawn on bars.

Now-a-days, the code only counts 8 skills which means the average start value on a event (other than vault) is 6.5. If your beam floor and bars have a start value around 6.5 and your vault a 5.8 you know where you need to improve. Having the 6.5 difficulty on vault can give a gymnast a huge advantage in an all around competition.

In 2010 Russia brought the Amanar back onto the world stage. Their Stars Alyia Mustafina and Tatiana Nabieva set the stage with these vaults, although their form was messy and the vaults were pretty ugly looking at best, the brought in huge scores. Scores that won Russia the Team title and Alyia Mustafina the All Around title.

At the 2010 Worlds, the silver medalists USA brought no Amanars. But left many 2012 eligible Junior gymnasts at home with them.

At Junior Nationals, Mckayla Maroney and Jordyn Wieber competed amanars that put the Russians to shame.

Fast forward to 2011 Worlds, The USA were the team with the amanars, 2 to be exact. and Russia had none.

In this competition, the USA won the team gold (with amanars) and Russia took silver (no amanars)

In the All Around competition, Jordyn Wieber won the gold (with an amanar) and Viktoria Komova took the silver (no amanar)

This was a complete turn around from the 2010  worlds.

Of course, it wasn’t all amanar that won the title for the USA. Jordyn Wieber was a important factor competing on all four events for the team, and Mckayla Maroneys…. Amanar.

Oh, and Russia didnt have Alyia Mustafina or her… Amanar. And Tatiana was unable to compete her… Amanar due to a hamstring injury…

In London in 37 days its impossible to say how many amanars will turn up, Russia claim to have some, and Romania say they have some too. USA are capable of sending a team with 5 Amanars (Jordyn, Mckayla, Aly, Gabby, Kyla)

But, the only thing that is certain is that Amanars will play a huge part in who walks away with Gold and who takes silver.

Nationals Overall Impressions and Recap

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, I’m sure all of you have either watched or read billions of recaps about US Nationals. Well, here’s another one. (Also for your information, I did actually attend the Senior Women’s Finals, an amazing expierence)

US Nationals are a crazy time, for gymnasts, coaches, and of course gymnastics fans. Even other countries obsess over it, as its the first major stepping stone to solidify the beginning of the Olympic contention for many gymnasts.

Before the competition even started, an injury occured to Mckayla Maroney . And unfortently I know this is only one of many that will occur within the next 6 weeks or so. Luckily, Mckayla’s wasn’t too serious. Before the competition starts, each rotation group has 15 minutes on each event. Mckayla was on her last one, floor, where she was warming up her 3.5(which looked absolutley gorgeous on Day 1 by the way) and while twisting, it almost looked like she baulked or something and came out after only about 2 twist…while still being a couple feet in the air. I think she probably whipped herself in the nose, causing the nasal fracture, and when you hit yourself hard enough, its very easy to just loose your air sense, thus causing the horrific fall, and a concussion. The arena went silent. She laid on her back for a few minutes, then sat up, and was able to walk off the podium by her self. She seemed to be doing good, and made the right choice(I think) by scratching the competition. The goal is to peak for the Olympics, not just Nationals. She was petitioned onto the National team, and the Olympic Trials (as she should have) By the way, I really like I could probably walk under her Amanar(and I’m 5’9″)

Alicia Sacramone. This girl is a freakin super human. Somehow in less than a year, she has every single one of her skills back, and is competiting as awesome as last year. Her skills are just as good, and she did water down her second vault, but it had no relation to her achilles. She had sustained an injury in training the day before prelims to her knee/calf area, and was trying to play it safe, which was a good bet.  Everything she did this weekend was hit. There is really nothing else to say about her, except that she is a beast.

And of course, the 2-time National Champion Jordyn Wieber, while she looked fantastic, she didn’t seem to be at her best. Which isn’t necissarly a bad thing, you don’t want her to peak too early. But really all year something has been different about her, I’m not sure what. I want her to succeed so badly, and while she is pretty much on the Olympic team, I’m not sure what will happen once she gets to London. She hit her bars both days, which is good. Its very obvious that she and Geddert, have put in the time and effort to fix those mistakes, and it payed off. I hope she is just trying not to peak too early.

I think the biggest surprise, Gabby Douglas, while many had faith in her, many doubted if she could hit. While she did fall off beam day 2, she and Martha knows that where Gabby is going to make this team is not for her beam. Her Amanar I truley think is one of the best, while its not up with Maroney’s (whose is?) its defintley right there below Jordyn’s. Her bars, well what can you really say except that they are fabulous. She defintley will be in London, and in bar finals. The question is if she can medal, which I think is a definet possibility for the Flying Squirrel. She is so charasmatic and fun on the podium and off. I was able to meet her at the Fan Fest, and she was just having so much fun and enjoy every single second of it. She is truley a remarkable person. (This sounds corny I’m aware, but I’m impressed with her down to earth spirit, and how much you can see her enjoy the sport)

I really don’t understand why people enjoy picking on Aly Raisman granted her form isn’t the best in the world, but within in the past year or so, people have enjoyed nit picking her skills and everything. I actually really enjoy her floor routine, and she is defintley the most solid and consistent gymnast in the US, and maybe even possibly the world. Since become senior, she has hit every single beam and floor routine(and only missed 1 vault) This gymnast is going to London as well, and I hope she succeedes. People need to chill. She will never be a ballerina, and you can easily tell she has been working hard to improve, and she will be a great asset to the team.

For years everyone has raved about junior sensation Kyla Ross and no matter how hard I tried, I was never able to enjoy her gymnastics. It was clean, yes. But something always seemed “safe” (yes I’m aware she has difficult skills and nothing in gymnastics is safe) or maybe it was just lackluster, I’m not sure. And even up until Sunday night, I still felt this way. But watching her gymnastics live, in person, really changed my mind. Her gymnastics is so much more beautiful and enjoyable in person. While she is a strong all-arounder, I very well think she can take the ‘bars and beam’ specalist away from some other gymnasts. She did water down to a DTY, but it was a beautiful one, and the right choice. Her Amanar’s looked a little scary in warm-ups, and while her floor will not be in team finals, its useable.

Making a huge splash on the senior stage this year was Sarah Finnegan, I am a major fan of her gymnastics. It’s so clean, with amazing lines and difficult skills. Her gymnastics is just beautiful. She does a really clean Amanar, and can hit bars, but where she will contribute is beam and floor. She very easily as some of the best beam and floor routines in the US, and possibly the world. The quesiton for many people about her is that she has very little international experience. Last year was her first year on the National team, and really her only international assignment was the Jesolo cup this year, where she did have mistakes. And while Nationals wasn’t her best competition, she certainly raised some eyebrows. She did touch the beam on Day 2, but still scored a 15.05, which is a huge beam score, with a mistake. And it was certainly a deserved score(and she still finished 2nd overall on beam, and without her mistake she would have won) Her floor, she had a mistake on Day 1, but Day 2, it was on, but still with some room for improvement. Her gymnastics will be well recieved out on the international stage. Its clean and beautiful.

Rebecca Bross, I absolutley want to route for this gymnast so much, I think everyone wants to see her succeed. But unfortently her injury came untimley, and I think she ran out of time. When she was hurt in 2011, she wasn’t in her peak physical shape, making this ‘comeback’ even more difficult. As everyone else I want to see that dismount changed! Unfortently I don’t think she is going to make the team, and that makes me soo sad, because she is/was such an amazing gymnast, and unfortently the Olympics have come at a bad time for her. Strangley enough, I would love to see her take a year to get completley recovered, and healthy, and maybe come back for another Worlds or something.

The training videos raised some huge excitment for Nastia Liukin‘s bars, but unfortently she disapointed both days. Her bars are only scoring a 13. I don’t care if she hits both days at Trials, she should not be in London. First off she was only training bar sets for a week? She did it to herself, while I do feel bad for her, it was her mistake and you can’t sideline that for anything. Plus she only hit 1 beam routine, and the US has better beamers than that.

The final and last veteren, Bridget Sloan, is defintley a dark horse, but she always has been. I don’t think I would pick her for the Olympic team, her bars are ok, but I don’t even think they are that spectacular(sorry…) Some of her releases are kind of low. And no other events are standouts. But I do commend her. This was her first all-around competition in 3 years. And she hit. She didn’t have major mistakes, and has comeback from injury after injury.

Now finally, for the gymnasts not shown on the broadcast. The gymnasts that nobody has really paid much attention to. But the gymnasts that can, and probably will sneak onto those alternate spots.

Anna Li for some reason did not get any air time. Her bars are gorgeous and I’m very glad she hit both days. But 1 event probably isn’t going to make it, and I don’t think her beam is strong enough for her to fill that void of a ‘beam and bars’ specalist.
Brenna Dowell, who trains with Sarah Finnegan, her gymnastics is much more powerfull. And her floor is awesome. She does a whip double front pike, that is fabulous!
Elizabeth Price is defintley the strongest “dark horse” gymanst. She finished 5th in the all-around, which is a tremendous acomplishment. She has good bar sets, and a strong Amanar. Which is a combination I don’t think many people would expect. I certainly wouldn’t. Once again she didn’t have her strongest competiton at Nationals. But I can defintley see her getting an alternate spot, she can fill in on bars and vault. Her beam and floor are pretty decent also.
Sabrina Vega this gymnast is very similar to Finnegan, she has clean lines and hit routines. She has a gorgeous floor routine, but without a stand out event, I don’t think there is a spot for her on the Olympic team. But again she will be a great alternate. She can step in and hit on any event needed. Again something looked very off with her at Nationals. She didn’t look as good as she did at the 2011 World Championships.
Kennedy Baker, the Texas Dreams girl, first off I want to say I am a huge fan of this gym, and everything they stand for, making gymnastics fun, but working hard at the same time. She is super powerfull, with some awesome tumbling. She also has a really strong bar set, with scores in the high 14s.

My team Wieber, Douglas, Raisman, Ross, and Finengan (although I’m not couting out Maroney!)

Vault: Raisman, Douglas, Wieber
Bars: Wieber, Ross, Douglas
Beam: Raisman, Finnegan, Wieber
Floor: Finnegan/Douglas, Wieber, Raisman

That is a super strong team, that can defintley win gold. Those routines should all score a 15+ on all events.

Good Night! And I’ll be back after Trials! 🙂

Visas Predictions. (Dont hold me to these)

So nationals are on this weekend people. I don’t know what I’m more excited about. Bad Leotard, scary amanars or crazy ass commentators!
This will be the last competition I’ll get to watch in full, because I’ll be away all Summer with basically no internet access.
Yup, I’m missing the Olympics.
Yup, I’m pretty pissed about that.
Yup, I’m missing the announcement of the Olympic team. But ill find out.

Okay, so we all know Jordyn will win the AA, Kyla Ross or Aly Raisman will finish 2nd and maybe Sarah Finnegan could finish up the top 4.
Gabby will have at least one fall. (Don’t hate. I don’t want her to fall either, but it probably will happen. Face it.) But she’ll win Uneven bars and Tim will say “this is where she makes the team” so it’ll all be okay.
Nastia will… Who the hell knows what Nastia will do?
Mckayla will win vault
Alicia will come 2nd/Last. (Does anyone else in the USA train a second vault, ANYBODY??)
Aly Raisman will awkwardly dance her way to another floor title. Closely followed by my favourite Sarah Finnegan Of course.
Rebecca Bross WILL land her Patterson. (POSITIVE THINKING PEOPLE)
And finally, Tim will say rude things, Elfie will say mean things and Al will say down right stupid thing.
Happy Nationals. May the odd’s be ever in your favour.

Flippin’ Olympics European Championships Awards!

Euros were full of surprises. Surprise medals, surprise gymnasts and surprising leotards!

Here at Flippin’ Olympics we’ve decided to treat you to some awards from this wonderful competition!

First up,

Best Team Spirit Award.

This one has to go to Romania! they nearly had me in tears during the medal ceremony when they collected their well-fought-for gold medals. I was so cute to see the ‘Mothers’ of the team Sandra and Catalina celebrating with the young ‘uns!

And Larisa and Catalina’s chemistry during team finals where they both went 1-2 on beam and floor! Catalina even looked happy to be knocked out of first place by Larisa!

Runners up:

Great Britain had a hard time in team finals after being knocked into 4th place by rivals Italy, but the girls always looked happy on and off the podium! and were tweeting when ever they weren’t competing keeping everyone up-to-date!

The British Team bring home 3 Bronze medals. 2 from senior Hannah Whelan and 1 from junior Gabrielle Jupp

Best Leotard

This is a tough one. There has been a lot that I’ve liked, but Larisa’s yellow and black leotard from Event Finals really caught my eye! I know its a bit like marmite – you either love it or hate it – and I love it! I love the black zig-zags on the side, the bright eye catching yellow and the lack of sparkles! Its original and suits this lovely gymnasts personality!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Runner up

The Netherlands junior teams leotard for event finals was so cute! I loved the big bright colours.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Most deserved medal.

I was so happy to see Catalina Ponor win Balance beam! She gave a great set with only one noticeable mistake and unlike everyone else in the final: managed to stay on the apparatus.

 

 

Runner up

I’m going to say Izbasa’s gold on vault. She gave two cracking vaults to overcome the favorite Oksana Chusotiva.

 

 

Worst Leotard.

There will be no runner up to this leotard. There is also no words to describe this skin-colored fugly-ness. Please Greece, we know your whole country is having a rough time right now, but please don’t wear these again. PLEASE.

 

 

 

 

Biggest disappointment.

Great Britain finishing in 4th place.

They could have easily finished in 3rd and brought home a bronze medal, but 2 falls from the balance beam let Italy move up ahead of them. It would have been really exciting for the girls to bring home a team medal in their Olympic year, and this was the best chance they got. Oh well.

Best Gymnast Of Euros.

This ones easy. Who else could it go to? Larisa Iordache showed us she was a team player, strong AA and EF competitor.

she scored a 60.133 in qualification the highest AA score by a mile! Proving that London is well within her reach.

 

What a brilliant competition!