1996 Olympics Balance Beam Compulsory: Podkopayeva vs Miller

1996 Olympics Balance Beam Compulsory: Podkopayeva vs Miller


  • Total voters
    25

bardtoob

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just tuned in

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@bardtoob, thank you for these. Podkopayeva has my favorite gymnast body of all time. Her extension, toe-point and amplitude are much better than Miller's, and even though Pod had some bobbles, I would still give the win to her.
 

bardtoob

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@bardtoob, thank you for these. Podkopayeva has my favorite gymnast body of all time. Her extension, toe-point and amplitude are much better than Miller's, and even though Pod had some bobbles, I would still give the win to her.
I understand. Shannon's extension and toe-point are clean but Lilia does have a little extra.

I have not voted yet, but Lilia's bobble on the Fuente Jump bothers me and it is on a specific element.

However, I am trying to pull out everything when looking at Miller's routine before I vote.
 

canbelto

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I love Podkapayeva but I feel like Miller's routine checked the boxes more of what the judges were looking for. For one thing, Miller had the longer lines. I think Lilia was/is extremely short and compact -- only 4'8" and very muscular and powerful.
 

FiveRinger

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It’s really hard to say that one was really better than the other. I prefer Lilia’s style to Shannon’s. I really think it’s a matter of personal preference. This isn’t to say that Shannon wasn’t lovely because she was. But one seems to be moving more easily and the other seems to be thinking thru the whole thing and you can see that in the movements. I can see Shannon literally checking the boxes in her head.
 

HeatherC

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I love absolutely everything about Lilia but I had to give this one to Shannon. Both of them are wonderful though. :swoon:
 

canbelto

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Shannon's beam is just more my thing. I do think Lilia was the much stronger FX and vaulter.
 

bardtoob

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Shannon seems like much more of a technician while Lilia is more of a dancer.

An example is the split leaps. Shannon's are more precise while Lilia has more flare.

I am not certain which characteristic should be more rewarded because neither deserve a deduction for lack of fluid movement.

____
In terms of stylizing the routine, they use their hands very different.
 
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Weve3

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That’s a tough call, but when push comes to shove, the edge goes to Shannon. She was crisp, clean and solid as a rock. Lilia’s bobble, slight as it may have been, is the deciding factor for me.
 

bardtoob

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Shannon. The exercise simply would score better when assessed according to a scoring rubric.
 

barbk

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What is the move that looks like it was going to be a wolf turn, but then isn't?
 

pollyanna

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This one is really hard. I gave it to Miller because of Pod's slight loss of balance, but OMG Lilia's leg line and toe point are to die for. I was really happy with Lilia winning AA and Shannon winning beam They both deserved gold medals.
 

VGThuy

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This one is really hard. I gave it to Miller because of Pod's slight loss of balance, but OMG Lilia's leg line and toe point are to die for. I was really happy with Lilia winning AA and Shannon winning beam They both deserved gold medals.
What would have happened if Miller hit that double layout on floor like she did at I think trials? Obviously gold would have deservedly gone to Podkopayeva, but I wonder if a hit from Huilan and Miller could have fit in somewhere between Pod and the Romanians. But then I guess the same thing could be said about a handful of gymnasts. There’s was real congestion of contenders for the medals at those Olympics and we haven’t really seen anything like it since.
 

FiveRinger

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What would have happened if Miller hit that double layout on floor like she did at I think trials? Obviously gold would have deservedly gone to Podkopayeva, but I wonder if a hit from Huilan and Miller could have fit in somewhere between Pod and the Romanians. But then I guess the same thing could be said about a handful of gymnasts. There’s was real congestion of contenders for the medals at those Olympics and we haven’t really seen anything like it since.
Mo Huilan was one of my favorites. I would have died twice had she made the podium. I was happy that she win the silver in vault, which at that time, was unheard of for a Chinese gymnast. She was just so unique and charismatic.

I cannot take anything from Lilia. She was the star of the night and absolutely deserved the win. I'm hard pressed to believe that anyone could have beaten her. Even with her obvious error on bars, her performance was superior. Her lines and toe point was incomparable.
 

Weve3

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Sometimes an athlete has a competition in the bag before it even begins — e.g., Lilia. She would have had to completely meltdown in order not to win the AA. That was preordained to happen. I know the media hyped other gymnasts, tried to spice it up a little and intensify the competition, but the AA was a done deal. Simone Biles would be another great example of this. Everyone else is basically competing for silver and bronze, a saying that I’ve never cared for, but is an accurate description under certain circumstances.

Messing up royally is the only thing that stops the inevitable re the AA when a particular gymnast is expected to runaway with it. Imo, there is much more flexibility and room for surprise with the team comp and individual events.

All Shannon could do in the AA was try to stay close to Lilia, give it her all and hope for the best. Beam, that was different.

Eta: Mo was indeed a very charismatic gymnast that carved her own path in her own very unique way. It adds so much to the sport when someone’s personality shines so bright.
 
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bardtoob

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Messing up royally is the only thing that stops the inevitable re the AA when a particular gymnast is expected to runaway with it. Imo, there is much more flexibility and room for surprise with the team comp and individual events.
:p Sometimes you can mess up royally in the AA and it is still inevitable :ds1:
 

Rob

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Shannon for the technical- fewer wobbles. But Lilia‘s lines are unbeatable.
 

gk_891

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My favourite compulsory beam of those games were actually from Mo Huilan. Even with that huge balance check just before the cartwheel (which drove me crazy).


She had huge amplitude on the jumps and tremendous flair on the turn. I also thought she handled the split handstand series the best.

I was not a huge fan of Podkopayeva even though she deservedly won the AA gold. Her form was excellent but I sometimes found it to be overly rigid and locked-in. Mo had an ease to her gymnastics that I found more appealing to watch. However, Lilia was a far greater competitor and could hit her routines whereas Mo was mentally weak and a major headcase.
 

VGThuy

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Agreed. IMO, Mo Huilan was the best gymnast that quad by some way. But boy she could not hit. When I see beautiful gymnasts doing everything right and then just screwing up one major thing, I call it the curse of Yang Bo.


Everything hit so beautifully and then...

If I ever have to explain what gymnastics is to me and to someone who is blind to what it's like to be a gymnastics fan with all the highs and lows and heartache, I would have to show them this video.
 

gk_891

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Agreed. IMO, Mo Huilan was the best gymnast that quad by some way. But boy she could not hit. When I see beautiful gymnasts doing everything right and then just screwing up one major thing, I call it the curse of Yang Bo.


Everything hit so beautifully and then...

If I ever have to explain what gymnastics is to me and to someone who is blind to what it's like to be a gymnastics fan with all the highs and lows and heartache, I would have to show them this video.
When she went out of bounds on floor during the AA in Atlanta, I remember Elfi Schlegel sounded almost angry saying something like "This is so typical of this gymnast and it is a real shame because she is much better than this. But it seems like whenever the pressure is on, she falters in some way."

If Mo had hit her V, UB, and BB routines, she would have had a huge lead and a huge buffer going into her final rotation. Because she had scoring potential of 9.900 or higher in all 3 of those apparatuses. But she took deductions in all 3 of them instead and even though she still had the lead going into the final rotation, it was a very very slim one. Sigh.
 

VGThuy

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She probably had the pressure that most Chinese gymnasts did not have at the time. Like she was the first big contender in the WAG AA from them, right? Yang Bo seemed affected by the pressure in Barcelona too, but I'm sure Mo may have had it even harder.
 

gk_891

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She probably had the pressure that most Chinese gymnasts did not have at the time. Like she was the first big contender in the WAG AA from them, right? Yang Bo seemed affected by the pressure in Barcelona too, but I'm sure Mo may have had it even harder.
Very much so. But I had read that between the 1995 Worlds and 1996 Olympics, she had spent several months recuperating from an injury which is maybe why she wasn't quite as sharp as she could've been. But knowing her, even if she had been in form, she probably would've faltered anyways.

I was also exasperated with Dina Kochetkova in Atlanta. If she had simply done her bike Barani vault, she could have won an AA medal easily. She was clearly uncomfortable with Yurchenko vaults so I'm not sure why she was doing Yurchenko one and a halfs when she clearly could not do them well. In the event finals, she really could've contended for medals but a wobbly beam routine cost her a medal (I still would've had her ahead of Gogean though) and she just looked kind of off in general during floor finals. It was a frustratingly mediocre competition for her overall which meant no individual medals for her which is a shame.
 

barbk

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I was also exasperated with Dina Kochetkova in Atlanta. If she had simply done her bike Barani vault, she could have won an AA medal easily. She was clearly uncomfortable with Yurchenko vaults so I'm not sure why she was doing Yurchenko one and a halfs when she clearly could not do them well.
How many times do we see a skater with a great X jump and an iffy, subject to edge calls/underrotation calls Y jump elect to do the Y jump out of footwork in the SP?
 

VGThuy

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I forgot to answer the original question. Upon rewatch, I have to give it to Miller hands down. Lilia Pod has exquisite toe point and moves more fluidly usually, but I felt she was simply hesitant throughout that routine. She didn't seem as in control over it and was thinking through it IMO. Miller was thinking through it too but I felt she had much more command over the elements and I didn't sense any shakiness or hesitation from her throughout. Miller may not have the near-perfect toe point of Lilia but she has excellent line and toe point in her own right.
 

Spun Silver

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Miller for sure. Podkopayeva is beautiful but she's cautious. Shannon one ups her over and over and just flaunts her security. It's interesting because way back then I remember loving Podopayeva and being very unwowed by Shannon. I still love Podkopayeva but here Miller beat her fair and square.
 

bardtoob

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Shannon one ups her over and over and just flaunts her security. It's interesting because way back then I remember loving Podopayeva and being very unwowed by Shannon.
It is interesting you say that because Podkopayeva's vault from the team optionals did show she was not infalable across 8 events, although she was never in any real danger because of the new life rule and only needing to qualify for the AA within the Ukrainian team :


Shannon made the more costly mistake by showing she was not infalable on the day of the four event AA. it is kind of sucky that Miller only needed a workaday 9.775 on the floor, 0.3 higher than what she got, for an AA silver in 1996.
 
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escaflowne9282

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It is interesting you say that because Podkopayeva's vault from the team optionals did show she was not infalable across 8 events, although she was never in any real danger because of the new life rule and only needing to qualify for the AA within the Ukrainian team :


Shannon made the more costly mistake by showing she was not infalable on the day of the four event AA. it is kind of sucky that Miller only needed a workaday 9.775 on the floor, 0.3 higher than what she got, for an AA silver in 1996.
I will never understand why Miller continued to mount with a double layout even after she missed it in Team Finals. After the injury she had pre-Olympic trials, it seemed as though she was never able to hit that skill cleanly.
 

gk_891

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I will never understand why Miller continued to mount with a double layout even after she missed it in Team Finals. After the injury she had pre-Olympic trials, it seemed as though she was never able to hit that skill cleanly.
I guess she felt like she had to up the level of difficulty. Opening with a full-in was pretty common in the 80s but by the late 90s came around, that kind of mount was sort of seen as almost compulsory. What's interesting is that a full-in was valued the same as a double pike in the 97-2000 quad but then it became super-common again in the 2001-2004 quad.
 

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