Gymnastic news #22 - Tokyo or bust

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mtnskater

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I must admit I used to be a much bigger fan of gymnastics when the artistic component meant something. The floor routines for the most part have no relation to the music anymore. Few gymnasts really spend much effort on line and posture compared to gymnasts years ago. I still remember Lilia Podkopayeva’s lovely ballet themed floor. Will we ever see something like that again?

Normally I tune in during Olympic years and occasionally catch worlds. This year I watched Classics, Nationals and Trials. I’m mostly happy with the team and was especially happy to see Grace McCallum selected. We need at least one very artistic member of team USA. 🤩 Her line, extension and toe point are lovely to watch. I was also rooting for Riley McCusker to get the +1 spot so I could see her incredible body line and toe point on bars again...but alas she did not perform her best and just missed the team. Simone really surprised me by being so off last night. Very few stuck landings, many a bit out of control, falling off the beam, etc. Too bad because she looked the most tiffed I’ve seen her. Finally!! Loved the braided hair and ponytail and more subtle flattering make up. She seemed very nervous and disconnected from the get go though. In the interview she said she was tired and felt her age. I hope the normal focused, confident Simone shows up at the Olympics again. Loved Suni Lee. Never really put a foot wrong. Jordan’s comeback story is inspiring. Happy for her! Even though I don’t love Mckayla’s style (or lack thereof) I found myself rooting for her coming back and performing so well at age 24! Love Leanne Wong’s style. Wish she had the consistency. I wonder if we’re going to get the Nastia fashion show in Tokyo??!! She dresses very Russian fashionista even down to the overly bleach blonde hair and fake ponytail. I do find the contrast to Terry and Tim’s blah outfits entertaining. I imagine after Simone retires NBC may want to add her to the broadcast team and Nastia may be out the door. So enjoy the show while we have her. 😅
 

semillon27

Active Member
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For example the United States can send 26 swimmers but only six gymnasts.
Swimming has 14 events for men and 14 for women and then three relays for each. Gymnastics has four events for women and six for men. That’s why swimming gets more people. It’s still two per country per event and, like gymnastics, it ends up that amazing swimmers miss out. Like Regan Smith, world record holder in the 200 backstroke, but she doesn’t get to swim the event because she was third at trials. (IDK how many events there are in track but I think it’s even more and they get three per country…)
 

bardtoob

Clichy Competitive Audition Protocol Auditor
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During Skinner's Trials Day 2 beam, there is a guy in a red shirt in the stands losing it. He is standing and convulsing, particularly when she does the pass with the full twist.

 

skatfan

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There’s a new documentary out on Peacock called Golden about 5 elite US women -covers the last six months: McCayla Skinner, Morgan Hurd, Konnor McClain, Lauri Hernandez, and Sunisa Lee. Just watched the first episode and it’s quite good!
 

FiveRinger

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There’s a new documentary out on Peacock called Golden about 5 elite US women -covers the last six months: McCayla Skinner, Morgan Hurd, Konnor McClain, Lauri Hernandez, and Sunisa Lee. Just watched the first episode and it’s quite good!
I binged the first 3 episodes. Dominique Dawes is the executive producer. She has has a very definite point of view.

I’m enjoying it. It’s interesting finding things out about the girls I didn’t know before. I’m particularly intrigued by Konnor, Laurie, and Morgan.
 

skatfan

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I binged the first 3 episodes. Dominique Dawes is the executive producer. She has has a very definite point of view.
I’m enjoying it. It’s interesting finding things out about the girls I didn’t know before. I’m particularly intrigued by Konnor, Laurie, and Morgan.
Glad you’re enjoying it. Dawes is one of several executive producers (LeBron James is the first listed) for the show, and didn’t direct it.
 

millyskate

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I must admit I used to be a much bigger fan of gymnastics when the artistic component meant something. The floor routines for the most part have no relation to the music anymore. Few gymnasts really spend much effort on line and posture compared to gymnasts years ago. I still remember Lilia Podkopayeva’s lovely ballet themed floor. Will we ever see something like that again?
Ballet-themed maybe not but the Gadirovas do a lot of dancing and their routines are very nicely executed. They definitely invest their efforts into presentation.
I also really miss the finesse of gymnastics.
 

clairecloutier

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It really is the exception, not the rule, to see gymnasts with true gracefulness or beautiful body line. Like, for all the complaints about Skinner’s form, I don’t really find that Jordan Chiles has notable form or line either. But not surprising because the sport is much more about difficulty and completed elements (skills) and stuck landings than any artistry. (I emerge every four years to make this fruitless complaint, then disappear again. 😆)
 

Doggygirl

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As gymnastics has migrated to more of a "power" sport (the highly difficult skills being rewarded heavily, and becoming necessary to be successful) I do think a lot of the finesse has been lost. While a part of me misses that aspect of floor and beam routines especially, I do NOT miss the ultra thin anorexic look that many gymnasts (coaches) seemed to strive for during that era. At least the strength and power required in women's gymnastics today has resulted in (IMO) much healthier looking gymnasts overall. YMMV.
 

Coco

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During Skinner's Trials Day 2 beam, there is a guy in a red shirt in the stands losing it. He is standing and convulsing, particularly when she does the pass with the full twist.

Mirai put a vid of herself watching that routine and noticing that guy on IG. So cute.
 

her grace

standing with Mariah
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I must admit I used to be a much bigger fan of gymnastics when the artistic component meant something. The floor routines for the most part have no relation to the music anymore. Few gymnasts really spend much effort on line and posture compared to gymnasts years ago. I still remember Lilia Podkopayeva’s lovely ballet themed floor. Will we ever see something like that again?

The U.S. leads the way with throwaway choreography, but some of the international gymnasts at least attempt to interpret music, especially the Dutch gymnasts. Will anyone reach Lily Pod's level? I don't know. She was truly special. #legend

Normally I tune in during Olympic years and occasionally catch worlds. This year I watched Classics, Nationals and Trials. I’m mostly happy with the team and was especially happy to see Grace McCallum selected. We need at least one very artistic member of team USA. 🤩 Her line, extension and toe point are lovely to watch.

I will need to re-watch some of her routines, but McCallum strikes me as one with little form errors: slightly bent knees, crossed ankles, and not perfect form. She has a nice calm presence, though, and she's quite reliable. If I was ranking based on form, I think Lee has the best of the six selected gymnasts, with Biles second.

It really is the exception, not the rule, to see gymnasts with true gracefulness or beautiful body line. Like, for all the complaints about Skinner’s form, I don’t really find that Jordan Chiles has notable form or line either. But not surprising because the sport is much more about difficulty and completed elements (skills) and stuck landings than any artistry. (I emerge every four years to make this fruitless complaint, then disappear again. 😆)

IMO, the complaints about Skinner are more to do with her obvious technical errors: flexed feet, bent knees, incorrect push off the horse (though I think she's improved this some). Chiles also does not have ballet-level carriage, but she doesn't have such obviously incorrect body positioning as she completes her skills.
 

VGThuy

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It really is the exception, not the rule, to see gymnasts with true gracefulness or beautiful body line. Like, for all the complaints about Skinner’s form, I don’t really find that Jordan Chiles has notable form or line either. But not surprising because the sport is much more about difficulty and completed elements (skills) and stuck landings than any artistry. (I emerge every four years to make this fruitless complaint, then disappear again. 😆)
Not back then.

Once figure skating goes in this direction (it's on its way there), people will start to see what many of us are lamenting about in gymnastics.

You would think in an era where execution scores matter the most as we're in the most nit-picky era where every little form error is deducted for, things would look better, but the overzealous scoring system has created such stiff gymnastics where gymnasts are afraid to move with any sense of fluidity out of fear the judges will mistake that for lack of control or something.
 

Doggygirl

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Not back then.

Once figure skating goes in this direction (it's on its way there), people will start to see what many of us are lamenting about in gymnastics.

You would think in an era where execution scores matter the most as we're in the most nit-picky era where every little form error is deducted for, things would look better, but the overzealous scoring system has created such stiff gymnastics where gymnasts are afraid to move with any sense of fluidity out of fear the judges will mistake that for lack of control or something.

I suspect a big part of this is just the sheer difficulty of what is being done. I imagine is much harder to do a super difficult set of skills with great form as opposed to less great form. As an example, there seems to be a pretty strong opinion out there about Skinner - that she made significant improvements to her form during her NCAA time, but after adding back a lot more difficulty for her Olympic push, she lost a lot of those form improvements. So I think there is more to it than just gymnasts choosing to move with fluidity or not.
 

Coco

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The way they take deductions in gymnastics doesn't incentivize flexibility or fluid movement. The sheer amount of muscle required to be competitive in gymnastics has made dance as valuable as a 2nd vault. For those who don't follow the sport closely, almost no one trains a 2nd vault now. For example, there were 17 gymnasts at Trials and only 3 showed a 2nd vault.
 

VGThuy

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I agree with difficulty making it harder but it’s been happening since Athens and Athens didn’t have crazy more difficult than the quad that preceded it. It did have a stringent scoring system that deducted for everything and over emphasis on fully executing dance elements. Then it just got stiffer and stiffer. I do think the way gymnastics is scores plays a large role in how gymnasts are performing these days.
 

viennese

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I would disagree with that in terms of what the USA has to offer and in terms of the results. The 4 member team includes the 1, 2, 3, and 5th place finishers on bars, so really it would be almost impossible to improve our uneven bars scores without taking Riley McCusker as a part of a 4 member team even though she can do only one event (not a good idea) or producing gymnasts other than the ones we have.

For beam, we are taking the 1st, 3rd, 4th, and 5th place finishers, so again, almost the best possible team we could take without taking Kara Eaker which again, wouldn't make a lot of sense considering Kara's other scores.

In vault, we are taking 1st, 3rd, 7th, and 8th from trials. In floor, 1st, 3rd, 4th, and 9th. So it's kind of the opposite of what you're saying? Although we are pretty solid in floor at this point.

I defer to your judgement. You have really studied the numbers. It's staggering, the depth of talent among the US women.

I still feel for McCusker. Whatever was going on with her - injury, I guess - prevented her from having the dream comeback year we all wanted for her.
 

Rob

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So the answer is that there is no strategy. They just took the top 4. Thank god the US women don’t need strategy, I guess, because otherwise we’d be in trouble.
Agree, the Top 3 could do all the events. The only +1s who could win an event medal are Riley on UB (but we shouldn't take an injured athlete), Kara on BB if one of the top 2 blows it, and potentially Mykayla if one of the others blows a VT. Take the top 5 has the least risk of bias criticism for Forster. If people are looking for conspiracies, try these :)lol:):
All Powerful Goat Theory
-Simone wants to try to make UB event final and didn't want Riley
Send a Message to Coaches Theory
-Grace's coach reported Nassar (while Kara/Leann's and Kayla's have been accused in the past of being "old school" so to speak)
-MyKayla's coach stood at her side during treatments so Nassar could not abuse her (see also the NCAA Athletes should be encouraged to return theory).
-Jade's coach already has an athlete there
 

semillon27

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Add to your list of conspiracies that this was a "make-up" for how Maggie Nichols was treated in 2016 - Grace McCallum is from the same gym and same coach.

But in reality this is how Tom Forster has done things since he took over. It's how you perform at the final competition, and that's it. He went with straight all-around standings from the final selection camps for both 2018 worlds (Simone, Riley, Grace, Morgan, Ragan, Kara) and 2019 worlds (Simone, Suni, Kara, MyKayla, Jade, Grace). He did ultimately deviate from those standings only for selecting the alternate once they arrived at the competition, but in both cases they made sense for 5-3-3 teams. (Ragan was alternate in 2018 despite finishing 5th because she wasn't really fully recovered and it made sense to give Kara a shot for beam, and MyKayla was alternate in 2019 despite finishing 4th because the team was woefully inadequate on bars, so either she or Jade had to be made an alternate in favor of Grace). Especially in 2019 it would have made absolute sense to take a better bar worker for the team, like Leanne or Morgan, but both had falls at the selection camp.

Here he had to decide the full team now, so he went with straight all-around standings, and that was that. I wasn't surprised at all.

ETA: just because I wasn't surprised doesn't mean I like it. I still would have taken Riley as the +1. And I wonder what Tom would have done if she hadn't fallen.
 
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Coco

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Swimming has 14 events for men and 14 for women and then three relays for each. Gymnastics has four events for women and six for men. That’s why swimming gets more people. It’s still two per country per event and, like gymnastics, it ends up that amazing swimmers miss out. Like Regan Smith, world record holder in the 200 backstroke, but she doesn’t get to swim the event because she was third at trials. (IDK how many events there are in track but I think it’s even more and they get three per country…)

If we are going to be technical, swimming still gets more people per events - (26 swimmers /19 events including relays) 1.38 to 1 for women's gymnastics (6/6) and 0.75 for men's gymnastics (6/8).

So the more events argument is part of it, but not the whole story.
 

AxelAnnie

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I was so happy to see Simone's hair in the braids, and without that silly ribbon on top. She may not have performed as well as she would have liked, but she sure looked better.
I heard a rumor that she had an ankle injury. Anyone know if that is true?
 

missing

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When the gymnastic teams were announced at the end of Sunday night, they included the women and the men and rhythmic gymnasts and the men and women who do trampoline. So the team is actually very large; it just has a lot of subdivisions.
 

canbelto

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The best comparison for gymnastics is like the men's and women's basketball team. There are so many good players that a bunch of great players are always going to be left off the team of 12.
 

Coco

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@AxelAnnie she said (paraphrasing) "I'm old, I'm always in pain but I don't have any injuries."

At Classics, Nationals and now Trials, NBC has been almost obsessive about filming her while she is getting her ankles taped, so it does make you wonder if they know something or suspect something.

That fall on beam night 2 of Trials was strange because she was totally on. She reacted like the initial landing caused pain and that made her lose balance. That was my take on it, anyway.
 

HeatherC

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Simone (or her coach Laurent) once said in an interview earlier this year that they tape up her ankles for FX now because it's actually protecting her ankles from injury with all the pounding they take on that event but she doesn't use that tape for any of her other events. She may be a little achy but I don't think Simone is injured and hopefully it stays that way. :eek:
 

AxelAnnie

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Simone (or her coach Laurent) once said in an interview earlier this year that they tape up her ankles for FX now because it's actually protecting her ankles from injury with all the pounding they take on that event but she doesn't use that tape for any of her other events. She may be a little achy but I don't think Simone is injured and hopefully it stays that way. :eek:
Simone said that she does a lot of things now because she is OLD. lol.
The most amusing thing she said was that she stretches before she stretches.
 
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