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Coco
09-18-2011, 06:12 PM
Honestly, I'm not sure what Nastia wants. I know she has an agent who wants those things for her, and for all her composure under horrific pressure, she's not accustomed to thinking for herself. She's always done what's expected of her, and figuring that out now must be tough. Fans expectations vs. her agent, who surely doesn't want her to come back and have a less successful Olympics, etc. I don't envy her. Things would almost be better for her if she wasn't so pretty. I feel like the only opportunities she has pigeonhole her into this "pretty face" box that she seems to find stifling, but what do I know.

VIETgrlTerifa
09-18-2011, 06:13 PM
I actually thought Alicia Sacramone could have had the star power in Beijing, but she looked so beaten and tired by the time the games rolled around that she lost a lot of her charisma.

I don't think the problem is being politically correct (I mean look at Michelle Kwan) but it's that gymnastics as a sport just doesn't capture the American attention anymore. It's really competitive and you really have to be out-of-this-world special to become a household name now with a bunch of reality stars, and tons of channels and programs to compete with.

Hedwig
09-18-2011, 06:46 PM
I am with those whose attention dwindled away from gymnastics after being the biggest possible fan in the 90s up to the best Olympics ever 1996. I still have tons and tons of competitions of dvd and video - now I watch the events when they are on tv and I manage not to forget it. :( It is pretty sad.

A question: What does it mean when you talk about verifying on an event?

BigB08822
09-18-2011, 06:56 PM
Verifying is something Marta has the girls do at the USAG training camps. Basically, they spend the weekend training and being watched closely by the selection committee then they "verify" their routines in front of a panel of judges. It is basically a mock competition. They should throw full difficulty, compete as if it was real and they get scored as such. It is kind of a "ok, do it when it counts" type of mentality as opposed to relying on who looked good as a whole over the entire weekend. I think she tries to weed out the ones who buckle under pressure after having hit all weekend when it was just practice.

Scintillation
09-18-2011, 07:26 PM
I agree that these new rules that FIG keeps creating are total crap, but I still like to watch gymnastics because I still can't get over that what they're doing is absolutely amazing. I watch with something akin to childlike wonder, trying to figure out how the hell they manage to catapult themselves into the air and twist that many times. I admire their dedication and work ethic and I want them all to do well, so that their years spent toiling away in obscurity means something.
It's an incredible sport and it pisses me off that these a**holes are driving it in to the ground. I'm no expert by any means (even though I like to think that mostepanovafan's videos have made me into one) but continually making this sport harder and harder to compete in will drive it to an early extinction. The athletes will either just give up or end up too injured to keep competing past the age of 15.

vesperholly
09-18-2011, 10:28 PM
I think she tries to weed out the ones who buckle under pressure after having hit all weekend when it was just practice.

Isn't that the point of a competition, though? And, that has the added benefit of making the selection clear and transparent. These super-sekret camps just smack of conspiracy and favoritism.

The other thing about Retton was that she was the first American gymnast to win an Olympic gold in a sport dominated by the enemy, the USSR (even though they weren't there in 84). No American had even medaled in the AA in gymnastics, and no American woman had ever medaled, period. Peter Kormann won a bronze in FX at the 76 games.

Not to mention she did it after the US boycotted the 1980 games. There was a lot of political stuff going on that helped her stars align to make her a huge celebrity.

Pierre
09-18-2011, 10:55 PM
Talent, looks, personality, geopolitics, history of the sport, the Olympics being held in the United States, perfect 10s, all combined to make her a huge celebrity in America. Still, female American gymnasts who came after who had only some of those factors working for them were loved by the U.S., too. It's a shame that gymnastics (and gymnasts) are no longer looked at the same way in the USA as they were in days gone by.

BigB08822
09-19-2011, 12:24 AM
Isn't that the point of a competition, though? And, that has the added benefit of making the selection clear and transparent. These super-sekret camps just smack of conspiracy and favoritism.

You would think competition would be the first choice on how to choose a team but Marta doesn't send out our A list girls to international competitions. They only compete on US soil until Worlds/Olympics.

judgejudy27
09-19-2011, 01:00 AM
I think the US women assumed they would become a household name like Mary Lou. However, just because that happened to Mary Lou doesn't mean it will happen to every US gymnast who wins. There were lots of circumstances in Mary Lou's favor. First of all, Mary Lou is overflowing with personality, not something I can say about Patterson, Liukin, Johnson, Bross (especially), etc. I know some of them have more personalities than others but none come close to Mary Lou. Also, Mary Lou was the first American to win the OGM in her sport and that goes a long way. Another factor was that Mary Lou won in the U.S. Finally, and I think this is a big one, Mary Lou was the one star. Sure, others were good, such as McNamara but Mary Lou was THE star. Since the early/mid 90's there have been plenty of US female stars. We had Miller/Zmeskal. Then Miller/Dawes and especially Mocheanu. Then the U.S. started rattling off World titles with Memmel, Vise, Sacramone, Liukin, and tons of others I am forgetting. There is a lot more competition just to be known as the one in the U.S. Winning an AA title isn't enough.

The funny thing is Mary Lou is nowhere near the gymmnast even for her own time Miller, Patterson, Zmeskal, Liukin, Johnson, even Bross or Dawes all are. She was never anywhere near the best in the World, without the boycott she would have been about 5th in the Olympic AA even with the home country advantage, and that would have been by far her career highlight. Yet the casual American talks about her as if she is the greatest gymnast (especialy American) ever and seems to really believe that. You constantly hear about the next Mary Lou, when in reality a gymnast of Mary Lous caliber would really have no chance at an Olympic Gold now that the boycotts are probably gone from the Olympics forever. Why would one want to be the next Mary Lou in one sense of things, a gymnast like her today probably wouldnt even make the super deep U.S team, let alone winning a gold medal at the Games. Like you said though alot of factors which went in her favor make all the difference.

galaxygirl
09-19-2011, 04:14 AM
The funny thing is Mary Lou is nowhere near the gymmnast even for her own time Miller, Patterson, Zmeskal, Liukin, Johnson, even Bross or Dawes all are. She was never anywhere near the best in the World, without the boycott she would have been about 5th in the Olympic AA even with the home country advantage, and that would have been by far her career highlight. Yet the casual American talks about her as if she is the greatest gymnast (especialy American) ever and seems to really believe that. You constantly hear about the next Mary Lou, when in reality a gymnast of Mary Lous caliber would really have no chance at an Olympic Gold now that the boycotts are probably gone from the Olympics forever. Why would one want to be the next Mary Lou in one sense of things, a gymnast like her today probably wouldnt even make the super deep U.S team, let alone winning a gold medal at the Games. Like you said though alot of factors which went in her favor make all the difference.

And if Szabo hadn't fallen on her bars dismount in the team competition, nobody would have ever heard of Mary Lou Retton.

judgejudy27
09-19-2011, 04:59 AM
And if Szabo hadn't fallen on her bars dismount in the team competition, nobody would have ever heard of Mary Lou Retton.

Pretty much. She would be equal in fame today to say Julianne McNamara in that case (or even less since Julianne would be the only American with a gold medal of any kind from those Games then).

VIETgrlTerifa
09-19-2011, 05:41 AM
I have to say that other than her tumbling and vault, I find Mary Lou's gymnastics to be pretty retched...unlike say Miller, Dawes, and Liukin. Mary Lou's beam is just gross.

reese
09-19-2011, 06:04 AM
Well, I think Mary Lou's most recent accomplishment was a really terrible Dairy Queen commercial (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qEHh-98Vph4), so I doubt she's still making the big $$$ these days. She probably still does motivational speeches and crap like that.

VIETgrlTerifa
09-19-2011, 06:05 AM
I never understood Dairy Queen's marketing plan with those commercials. However, the guy is hot.

DustPuppyOI
09-19-2011, 06:25 AM
Pardon the Mary-Lou-Retton-reminiscing-fest interruption but do check out Elizabeth Seitz's (GER) bar routine: http://gymnasticscoaching.com/new/2011/09/seitz-adds-def/