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! 🙂

Nationals Night One Recap And Team Prediction

YEAH YEAH I KNOW, I KNOW. Its been like 24 hours, but do you know what time it was in Ireland when this was live? silly o’clock. THATS WHAT TIME IT WAS.

So,  I just finished watching, and this it what I have to say.

FUCK YEAH GABBY DOUGLAS.

She hit. she damn hit, she had a couple wobbles. but she stayed on.

Shes tied for for first place with Jordyn Wieber after night one. This is American Cup Revenge.

I’ve been thinking alot about who’s going to make the team, and this is what I came up with:

1: Jordyn Wieber I don’t even have to explain this.

2. Aly Raisman her beam, vault and floor are all valuable to the USA.

3. Gabby Douglas because shes proven herself on all four events but mostly because of her bars.

4. Mckayla Maroney Nationals have proven how much better her amanar can score compared to other USA girls. that 3-4 tenths is very important. plus, her floor is looking better!

That leaves one more member of the team, I’m pretty sure this person is going to have to have a good bar routine and possibly a good beam/floor. I’m guessing Martha will either kick Bars in the butt and aim for higher scores on floor and beam instead (Sarah Finnegan) or focus on bars (which with those four girls is pretty weak, apart from Gabby) If they choose to make this forth person a bar worker I’d narrow it down to:
Nastia – we haven’t seen a good routine at all from competiton but her training videos are awesome and she could be the 3rd beam worker for team finals (Jordyn, Aly, Nastia)

Rebecca  – Rebecca is pretty much on the same boat as Nastia, although her beam is not up to any sort of Olympic level. either she takes the patterson out, or she gets out.

Bridget – Bridget surprised everyone by having a pretty good bar routine last night, although her beam wasn’t up to scratch. And what this team needs is a 3rd beam worker and 3rd bar worker.

Kyla – Kyla fits this perfectly. Her bars are clean and high scoring and beam is a great event for her. out of the 4 girls I listed here, I think Kyla is the most likely.

But, the competition is not over yet.

One more day and we will find out our national champion and everything could change.

 

Preissman Leads Night One

Day one of junior national championships comes to an end with Lexie Preissman finishing in 1st place.

She started one bars which were being judged like crazy. And scored a great 14.15

Then on to beam where she scored a 14.1

It got better from there.

Her floor exercise was one of the highlights from the night, she nearly stuck every landing. she was on.

She scored a world class 15.25. (believe it or not, the scores weren’t that bad tonight. pretty fair.)

She finished a near flawless night with a brilliant Amanar. Scoring 15.7

In 2nd was Bailie Key. I love this kid. SHE IS 12. TWELVE.

She vaulted one of the best DTY I’ve seen in…. well, since everyone stopped doing DTY.

Simone Biles finished up the top 3 and gave up the highest score of the day a 15.8 on her amazing Amanar.

Madison Desch finished 4th. I wrote on the blog a while back, that she didn’t have the difficulty to be a star of the USA. I take that back.

Amelia Hundley ended night one in 5th. I freakin’ love this girl. there is no US gymnast I like more. She could fall all over the pleace for the next 4 years and I will still be rooting for her to make the 2016 team. (touch wood)

Defending champion Katelyn Ohashi didn’t have her best night falling on beam and watering down her vault to a full twisting yerchenko.

I’m just glad that in the 2012-2016 code an Amanar wont be the make all and end all of All Around gymnasts and she can still live without one.

The Senior competition is about to get underway and I can already see your excited tweets and leotard speculations!

but, its 12am my time and I’m going to bed because I have to go play a football game at an un-Godly hour tomorrow.

Nobody tell me what happens! I’ll watch it tomorrow.

A Journey to a Dream. Never Give Up Hope

It’s been awhile since I’ve wrote about my training, I had to take a week off because my body truly needed it. Ever since that week I have been back in action and stronger than ever! I’ve been working hard and trying to put in more time and last weekend, it truly paid off for me!

Since the first day I started training back in October I have been working on a glide kip. Of course at first, it was completely with a spot since I had no concept of swinging bars with any technique at all. For months I have worked this skill during every practice (except when I was nursing huge rips of course!) and lately it has been one of my biggest causes of frustration. Every time I would go everyone in the gym would say, “you are RIGHT there!” or, “that was SO close if you would just do (insert any advice on kips) you would make it!” And even with all of that advice and encouragement, I still hadn’t made one. It was aggravating, and eventually Bobby (man that helps me), stepped in to start spotting me again. It made me feel like I was regressing, I just wanted to keep trying by myself because everyone kept telling me how close I was! My bar training that day was not a good one, so I left the gym feeling a bit down and thinking that I would never get my kip.

I came in the next day to train and my body was so sore and tired that nothing was happening, so I listened and decided to take the evening off. Saturday morning I walked into the gym refreshed and determined and there was no place better for me to start my workout than on bars. I put my grips on, chalked up, and took my place in front of the low bar to do as I did every day, go for my glide kip and hope it would be a great day for them. I missed my first one, but I felt like I was closer than ever. My chest got up to the bar and I fought my hardest to get myself over that bar but only ended up hitting my chest against it and coming back to the mat. I thought in my mind, today is the day, I’m making this no matter what. I let my friend Zoe who has been working out with me take a turn so I could think about it. Before I knew it, it was my turn again. I step up to the bar, get focused, and go. I jump up, grab the bar, straddle through to extend, snap my feet to the bar, kip and I MADE IT!!! I FINALLY got myself up and over the bar and boy did I celebrate!! I felt so accomplished and felt so amazing! I was on top of the bar, and the world! Everyone in the gym stopped and stared at me and I did not mind one bit. I jumped down and danced around with Zoe like I had just won the lottery! To me, it felt like I had! After that, everyone wanted to see it, I made some more, missed a few, and finally ended bars on an exceptionally great note!

I wish that I could truly describe the feeling of finally making that kip. I worked tirelessly for months to get this skill. I watched videos of drills, and I tried everything I could every single time I was in that gym. People kept telling me that it was going to be one of the toughest skills I would face at this point but some days that didn’t make a difference to me. In the end, all of the work, determination and dedication paid off because I had finally made a huge step in my early gymnastics journey.

In the few practices since then, my glide kip has gotten stronger and I even made a few that I was able to cast into a back hip circle! Working so hard for that one skill for so long made me realize even more that the hard work will pay off in time. Just when you start to feel like you are getting nowhere you realize how wrong you are. So my advice to you this time is to never give up no matter how long the struggle has been or how hard it may seem. You will be rewarded for your effort!

Here is a video of one of my kips. It’s not the first one unfortunately (you would have loved THAT celebration!), but it is one of the first ones that I thought about casting out of! I hope to have some more videos of my training for you soon. Thank you always for your support!

I hope everyone enjoys watching VISAs this weekend. I am very sad that one of my biggest inspirations has retired, but I am so thankful I was able to witness Shawn’s great career! Chase your dreams and never let the struggles get you down. 🙂

Until next time….

Want to see Maegan’s kip? check it out here – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kv5lUkgP2NE&feature=g-upl

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.

Get Chellsie To Nationals.

It may never, ever happen but lets not say we didn’t try.

here’s what YOU can do.

Step one: Sign this petition; https://www.change.org/petitions/usa-gymnastics-usag-olympic-selection-committee-steve-penny-allow-gymnast-chellsie-memmel-to-compete-at-the-national-championships#

Step two: Email Steve Penny; spenny@usagym.org and let him know how you feel.

Step three: Share this blog post, and share the petition, let everyone know about this.

Lets get Chellsie the respect and dignity she deserves after her many years faithfully serving USA gymnastics.