Gymnastics News #23: Defying Gravity

clairecloutier

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New head coaches for the USA women's gymnastics team:

Chellsie Memmel -- technical
Alicia Sacramone Quinn -- strategic
Dan Baker -- development/juniors (currently in this role)

 
D

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Great opportunity for Memmel and Sacramone, but does either have much in the way of coaching experience?

I've always been a huge Memmel fan, and her comeback was one of the only good things about C19. I follow her on social media and love the videos she posts. Wishing her luck in her new role. Maybe she can bring some void to the US team!
 

clairecloutier

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I think Memmel coached at her dad’s gym for a couple years before her comeback. Obviously, this will be way more responsibility, but I hope she does well. I’ve always been a fan of hers too. And, given the recent history of U.S. gymnastics, I think it’s probably a good thing to get away from having one all-powerful national team coordinator calling all the shots.
 

VGThuy

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A-Sac was in the thick of things during the peak of Marta and co.’s free reign of strategizing and selecting world and Olympic teams and who would do prelims and finals for maximum effect, so I wouldn’t be surprised if she learned a lot of lessons from those years…so none of that stupid Tom Foster strategy from 2021…someone who learned from Marta…just hopefully without the death camp attitude and exploitation of fear from the athletes.

Chellsie Memmel grew up around coaching at her father’s gym her whole life and has done some coaching and is a qualified judge. She would know the rules inside and out for maximum effect. And she, herself, has been one of the coolest athletes in terms of attempting and performing a variety of skills that pushed what we thought she could do to the limit. No cookie cutter technical routines from her. She’s also one of the rare power gymnasts which excelled on bars…excelled…aka former world champ on bars. Sure she had form and execution issues during her peak (which is what the scoring system is stricter and stricter about and helped even the odds between the Russians and Americans in 2021), but as a coach and judge, I’m sure she knows what to look for and fix when she’s coaching.

As you can see, I’m choosing to stay positive. Is this what Dominique Moceanu posted about with regard the position(s) she lost when she applied?

ETA: seeing Memmel and Sacramone is making me remember that entire post-Athens/pre-2010 period and how many individual world champions did the US have then? Nastia, Shawn, Alicia, Chellsie, and even Bridget Sloan in 2009.
 
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Coco

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Hopefully Dan Baker has improved since he coached Natasha Kelly. He was horrible to her.
 

DimaToe

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I don’t expect miracles from Memmel and Sacramone, but IMO it’s good that people that haven’t been coaching for decades and part of the old guard were chosen to run the women’s program. Of course there will be growing pains but I’m optimistic about these choices. When it comes to developmental coach though, I do wish USAG would’ve been able to get someone like Chow or Brestyan.
 

Coco

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Chow would have been amazing. I wonder if he applied. Have major reservations about Baker.
 

DimaToe

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USAG has never had proper respect for Brestyan, prolly because he never wanted any part of sucking up.
Which is a shame because while his method of coaching didn’t deliver great bars workers. It has delivered 2 of the strongest athletes the U.S. has had over the last 20 years who were able to compete for more than 1 Olympic cycle and for the most part injury free.
 

Aceon6

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Which is a shame because while his method of coaching didn’t deliver great bars workers. It has delivered 2 of the strongest athletes the U.S. has had over the last 20 years who were able to compete for more than 1 Olympic cycle and for the most part injury free.
They’re still cranking out a lot of Level 9s and 10s heading to college. I think that’s the new focus.
 

Lil Sarah

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I'm not sure Sacramone is the best idea. When Mckayla Maroney came out against Larry Nassar, it was pretty obvious who her "older teammate" was.

"I was told to “Shut the **** up, and don’t ever say anything like that about Larry Nassar again” by an older teammate I looked up to." "That scared the hell out of me, so I listened, and didn’t say anything for a long time. I just suppressed it until it came up again in 2015."

From this article
 

Rob

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I'm not sure Sacramone is the best idea. When Mckayla Maroney came out against Larry Nassar, it was pretty obvious who her "older teammate" was.

"I was told to “Shut the **** up, and don’t ever say anything like that about Larry Nassar again” by an older teammate I looked up to." "That scared the hell out of me, so I listened, and didn’t say anything for a long time. I just suppressed it until it came up again in 2015."

From this article
I’ve been thinking about that. I always thought that was Sacramone too. It was at Worlds 2011 so her teammates were Sacramone, Anna Li (alternate), Raisman, Wieber, Douglas, Vega. I would think Maroney would look up to 2010 World Vault champion Sacramone. The other older person was Anna Li (not a vault specialist). I guess Raisman was technically older but only by a couple of years and stepped up as leader only after Sacramone got hurt/was not a multiple world medalist yet. The others were all basically the same age (and along with Raisman, also victims of Nassau).
 

Jayar

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I am disconnected from everything this year-- are any of the American women from Beijing continuing to compete elite?
 

Rob

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I am disconnected from everything this year-- are any of the American women from Beijing continuing to compete elite?
Beijing=Tokyo
Jade Carey said she's doing both college and elite and is going to the USAG camps this summer. Jordan Chiles has said she wants to make it to Worlds this year. Suni Lee plans to continue elite at some point. Grace McCallum has not decided.


Simone has not retired and has talked about continuing as an event specialist to Paris, since it is a home Olympics for her coaches. I believe MyKayla Skinner announced her retirement.
 

Jayar

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Beijing=Tokyo
Jade Carey said she's doing both college and elite and is going to the USAG camps this summer. Jordan Chiles has said she wants to make it to Worlds this year. Suni Lee plans to continue elite at some point. Grace McCallum has not decided.


Simone has not retired and has talked about continuing as an event specialist to Paris, since it is a home Olympics for her coaches. I believe MyKayla Skinner announced her retirement.
LOL. I'm a doofus. Thank you.
 

FiveRinger

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I am disconnected from everything this year-- are any of the American women from Beijing continuing to compete elite?
I've been out of the loop also. The only thing that I've heard anything about is the lawsuit against the FBI.
 

Seerek

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Looks like the Wevers' family saga continues

 

Rob

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Has the team been announced yet for the pan am games?
Kayla DiCello (Boyds, Md./Hill's Gymnastics) is among nine women's artistic gymnasts who will represent the U.S. July 15-17 at the Junior and Senior Pan American Championships in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She'll be supported in the senior competition by 2022 Winter Cup all-around runner up Skye Blakely (Frisco, Texas/WOGA Gymnastics), 2022 City of Jesolo Trophy team champions Zoe Miller (Spring, Texas/World Champions Centre) and Elle Mueller (Ham Lake, Minn./Twin City Twisters), and Lexi Zeiss (Omaha, Neb./Twin City Twisters), who is set to make her international debut.

In the junior division, Tiana Sumanasekera (Pleasanton, Calif./West Valley Gymnastics School), who collected junior team, all-around, vault, balance beam and floor exercise titles in Jesolo in April and topped the junior team and vault podiums at the DTB Pokal Team Challenge in Stuttgart in March, will look to add to her growing collection of international hardware. Sumanasekera's City of Jesolo Trophy teammate Zoey Molomo(Frisco, Texas/Metroplex Gymnastics), 2021 Nastia Liukin Cup junior champion Alicia Zhou (San Antonio, Texas/Love Gymnastics) and Dulcy Caylor (Spring, Texas/World Champions Centre) round out the U.S. juniors slated to compete next week in Brazil.

The team was selected following competition and routine verification July 4 and 5 at the ongoing Women's National Team camp in Katy, Texas. Blakely and Molomo led the way in the all-around in their respective divisions behind scores of 55.250 and 54.100. Each also set the bar on vault and beam. Miller posted the day's high score on uneven bars, while DiCello and Zeiss split the top spot on floor exercise. Zhou topped the scoresheet on bars, and Sumanasekera paced the field on floor in the junior competition.

Addison Fatta (Wrightsville, Pa./Prestige Gymnastics) was named the traveling alternate for the senior team, and Audrey Snyder (Annapolis, Md./First State Gymnastics) will assume that role for the juniors.
 

Rob

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Brazil's WAG team beat the US in qualifying at the Pan Am Championships today. Brazil, USA, Canada, Argentina and Mexico have qualified full teams for 2022 worlds (these are the teams that were expected to make it).

Brazil sent A Team with Andrade and Saraiva. Nice to see them win! USA sent Kayla DiCello and up and comers, but did not send McClain or any of the potentially returning athletes like Lee, Chiles, Carey etc.
 

Theatregirl1122

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Yeah, the US is in a bit a of a weird spot right now with all the top competitors for the Beijing team having gone to college and not really doing elite right now. The juniors look great, but there's a big of a gap in seniors, at least those who were interested in Pan Am games. It seems like the top US women frequently don't go to Pan Am games, though, especially coming off a full NCAA season and with worlds coming up, it seems like some of them could be planning to compete for worlds but weren't interested in Pan Ams.

Carey, Lee, and McClain (as well as Jones) all attended camp without competing for Pan Am selection which indicates they are potentially planning to compete elite later in the season.
 

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