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

 

Olympic Teams Predictions From 27th Of April

All the team predictions on this team were made between the 20th and  27th of April, pre-classics, pre-nationals, pre-Chellsie gate and pre-Shawn Johnson’s retirement.

This whole idea doesn’t mean much, and its only a bit of fun, won’t it be good to see whats changed in the team line ups in the last 2 months? here goes!

First up, arabianpunchfront.blogspot.com‘s predictions!

Jordyn Wieber – This one is obvious. You have to take World AA Champion. Barring injury, this girl is definitely on the team. She’s the best chance the USA has, right now, at AA gold.

Aly Raisman – Aly has been a rock. She has also shown Marta that she can be the team leader. Aly is consistent and her confidence will be good for the other girls, especially the youngest ones.

Kyla Ross – Everyone has been waiting for the arrival of Kyla Ross to the senior group. Many argue that she will get that 2nd AA spot and I think she stands a good chance in doing that. Also, she has lovely lines on bars and beam and is a good dancer. Hopefully, the judges agree with that.

Gabby Douglas – Gabby could be our bars specialist. Marta said that she might want 3 AA and 2 bars specialist. Gabby definitely fits the bill on this one. She can also be looking for an individual medal on uneven bars after her 4th place Worlds finish. I, for one, have faith in Gabby’s beam. When she was a junior, she was all the rage. She’s been through a lot in the past year and I think it’s manifested itself on beam but I have faith that she’ll get that back and can also fight for an AA spot.

McKayla Maroney – My reason for picking Maroney is actually very simple. If Marta really is retiring this year and Team USA doesn’t win gold, imagine how she would feel not bringing the one person that is basically guaranteed a medal, if not gold. She’s in a similar situation as He Kexin but Maroney has been insanely reliable with her vault. She is upgrading her 2nd vault to a Cheng, I believe, and hopefully she upgrades her other events as well.

alternates: Sarah Finnegan (excellent all arounder), Shawn Johnson (if she’s training all around), Nastia Liukin (if McKayla isn’t picked, it will be because a (potentially) better than Gabby bars worker is chosen)

Meagan Wegley’s Team
1. Jordyn Wieber because she is excellent all around and is a solid competitor under pressure.

2. Aly Raisman because she is a great competitor and has an excellent floor and beam routine and will be a major contributor.

3. Gabby Douglas because she is a true competitor that is fun to watch and not to mention has an incredible bar routine that the US needs.

4. Shawn Johnson because there is something to be said about veteran experience; she has also been showing more signs of her ability and performance and I believe she will be a strong competitor.

5. Alicia Sacramone again- veteran leadership and of Alicia is competing as solid as she was before the injury she will be a great contender!

Alternates – McKayla Maroney, Kyla Ross and Bridgette Caquatto

@GymnasticsFans Team!

1. Jordyn Wieber~ she is a pretty much a lock for the team and is an all around contender for the olympic gold.

2. Mckayla Maroney~ she is pretty much a lock for vault gold

3.Aly Raisman~ she is so consistent and the team needs someone like that..Martha can relay on her.

4.Rebecca Bross~ personally she deserves to go she is a great gymnast and has proven that she can handle the pressure of a big time event

5.Gabby Douglas~ the USA needs a bar worker and Gabby can do bars she is also a pretty good all arounder if Martha needs her.

Alternate
Kyla Ross~ she has.proven she can handle the pressure and is an oustanding gymnast

My Team

There’s so many ways this team could go. It’s not like you could just swap one person out and another in, Martha and the S.C will hand-pick this team so every gymnast complements each other. And one’s weakness will be another’s strength.

First up, I’m putting in Jordyn Wieber,  she could more than likely compete on every event in team finals, and she has a realistic shot at the AA gold.

Next I have Aly Raisman. I don’t think Aly could be left off this team, She is strong on all four events and could (not ideally) go up on bars at any part of the competition if injury or mistakes take out another competitor. The beauty of an All Arounder!

Gabby Douglas takes my next spot, the un-offical Amerian cup winner fits in very well with my team so far, complimenting Alys low scoring bar routine and Jordyns OK routine with her world-class bars set.  Also an all arounder, Gabby can go up on any event if needed.

Next I’d take Kyla Ross. The first year senior is steady building a reputation as one of the best All Arounders and Bar workers in the country.

And the final place goes to… Well, to be honest, I’m un-decided. I’ve figured it could be either Asac or Sarah Finnegan depending on two things.

1. Alicia’s recovery. Alicia tore her Achilles tendon while training in Toyko in October for world championships.  I could see her on this team, competing Vault (I trust Asac’s Rudi more than some of the Amanars) Balance beam and floor exercise.

2. How Sarah Finnegan reacts to the pressure of being a senior and how her beam and floors look at Nationals and Trials.

Either of these girls could go in to the team, because they have similar strengths (Balance Beam, Floor Exercise) Although, Asac has a strong vault and could vault in team finals and compete for an undivdual vault medal. unlike Sarah who only has a DTY. But, that’s not too big an issues because the team all ready strong on vault (Jordyn, Gabby and Aly all have Amanars)

Alternates: Mckayla Maroney incase anything happens to one of the vaulters.

Sarah Finnegan/Alicia Sacramone Depending on who makes the team.

Rebecca Bross Incase anything happens to one of the bar workers. She can also give on balance beam if she can clean up her Patterson. And floor exercise if she gets that back to her old strength.

 

 

The New Artistic. A Closer Look At Jordyn And Alyia.

What really annoys me is when people complain about certain gymnasts not being artistic.

What annoys me more is when that person is considered ‘unartistic’ just because they’re not Russian, blonde or long-legged. (insert Nastia)

I know alot of people won’t agree with this, and that’s okay, that’s your opinion, but I think Jordyn Wieber is artistic. She’s no Soviet-era artistic and she may not be able to put her legs behind her ears, but you can’t say her form is fugly. Her form is clean and tight (Something we can’t say for some ‘artistic’ gymnasts cough. Musty cough.) 

Her bars are clean, I mean their not amazing, but she’s not sacrificing form for a higher difficulty, probs to John Geddert for that.

Lets look at Alyia Mustafina now, shall we? I think we’ve all been slacking her Amanar and that awful form on vault since her glory days of 2010. And her triple twist on floor now puts Catliana Ponor’s to shame. But we still all consider her artistic. Why? because she’s a Russian with amazing bars AND DID I MENTION SHE’S A RUSSIAN?

I know, alot of you are reading this right now and thinking I’m crazy for saying Mustys not artistic, but lets face it, if your calling Musty artistic, you better be calling Jordyn ‘I always hit my splits’ Wieber.

But,  a picture tells a thousand words..

Round One: Splits.

 

 

 

 

 

Now, its pretty easy to see who’s are prettier… But, that being said, Jordyn does hit hers, and it’s not like they’re going to give you extra points for going over 180 degrees.

Round Two: Vault Form

 

 

 

 

 

These pictures really speak for themselves, don’t they?  I’ll admit, these photos are from two different stages of the vault (sorry, I couldn’t find much better) but Jordyn’s form stays clean the whole way through, and Alyia’s is bad from the start.

That leaves it 1-1. I’ll let the final round be decided in London.

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! 🙂

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.