Has Simone Biles passed Liukin and Retton as best U.S gymnast ever yet

escaflowne9282

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Ugh. Retton wasn't even the best American gymnast of the 1980s let alone ever.

In terms of sheer talent and being a true all arounder , gymnasts like Phoebe Mills and Brandy Johnson were stronger than she was. In terms of longevity and accolades , her 1984 teammates Julianne McNamara and Kathy Johnson were more impressive. Retton benefitted from being in the right place at the right time with the right competitors boycotting and the judges choosing to overlook the right things.
 
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savchenkoboss

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Ugh. Retton wasn't even the best American gymnast of the 1980s let alone ever.

In terms of sheer talent and being a true all arounder , gymnasts like Phoebe Mills and Brandy Johnson were stronger than she was. In terms of longevity and accolades , her 1984 teammates Julianne McNamara and Kathy Johnson were more impressive. Retton benefitted from being in the right place at the right time with the right competitors boycotting and the judges choosing to overlook the right things.
Julianne was at her peak in 84 but failed to beat Retton for the AA title in Los Angeles due to major errors on beam in both team optionals and the All Around finals, and floor in the All Around finals. She might have been a more talented gymnast but IMO Retton was better since she was a stronger competitor under pressure always. She was also much better on vault where Julianne was unfortunately always very weak, and by an even bigger margin than Julianne was better than Mary Lou on bars.

Johnson was unlucky to peak around the point of the boycott and was just too old by 84.

Mills and Johnson were just ok, never true elites. Brandy is like a poor womens Kim Zmeskal at best, the best U.S gymnast of 89 though. Mills was the best of the lackluster 88 squad.

I wouldn't say Mills and Johnson were true All Arounds. Mills was excellent on beam and just ok on all other 3 events. Johnson, well take a look at some of her bar routines:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6eVkzU_s_0I
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLSvbJLid_4

She can barely even spin a full pirouette or do a half decent shoot, and was inconsistent. Inconsistent on beam too, but atleast she was better there when she hit.
 
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escaflowne9282

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Julianne was at her peak in 84 but failed to beat Retton for the AA title in Los Angeles due to major errors on beam in both team optionals and the All Around finals, and floor in the All Around finals. She might have been a more talented gymnast but IMO Retton was better since she was a stronger competitor under pressure always. She was also much better on vault where Julianne was unfortunately always very weak, and by an even bigger margin than Julianne was better than Mary Lou on bars.

Johnson was unlucky to peak around the point of the boycott and was just too old by 84.

Mills and Johnson were just ok, never true elites. Brandy is like a poor womens Kim Zmeskal at best, the best U.S gymnast of 89 though. Mills was the best of the lackluster 88 squad.

I wouldn't say Mills and Johnson were true All Arounds. Mills was excellent on beam and just ok on all other 3 events. Johnson, well take a look at some of her bar routines:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6eVkzU_s_0I
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLSvbJLid_4

She can barely even spin a full pirouette or do a half decent shoot, and was inconsistent. Inconsistent on beam too, but atleast she was better there when she hit.
Retton had her peak in late 1983-84, but she never went to a World Championships nor a World Cup and really only competed against the Soviets only during the downtime events like the ScAm Cup and Chunichi Cup .

Retton , for me, was only a 2 event gymnast (fx,v). Her beam was atrocious even for the early 1980s. She had no flexibility and sloppy rhythm . She had no layouts or back handsprings in 84 , or even anything that should have been considered a tumbling combination . Save the dismount, her routine could have been done by Korbut in 72. I found her to be a mediocre bars worker as well. Her handstands weren't precise and she seemed to perpetually have a piked bodyline. Her composition always seemed very piecemealed, too. Her all around floor was exceptional in 1984 ;however, she was actually pretty inconsistent in this event as she had errors in both optionals and event finals. She had also lost the DLO by 1985 . On vault , her Tsuk full was beautiful,but her piked front with a half had major issues on the preflight.

Julianne McNamara lacked consistency as an all arounder I will agree. I don't question that Retton's performance in the all around was stronger ;however ,speaking to her career as a whole , Julianne had a longer run at the top, which included a world medal in 1981 in addition to the three medals won in 1984.

Kathy Johnson was well past her prime in 1984 ,but speaking of her career as a whole, she probably had the most remarkable longevity of anyone in that era. She was really one the first gymnasts from the US to truly have any type of international recognition in the perfect 10 -post 76 years . Her floor routine in 1978 is actually considered to have been very influential to some of the Soviet coaches that year.

As far as Phoebe Mills goes, she was one of the best technicians the US produced in the 1980s . Her compulsories were very strong . She had wonderful line, flexibility, and extension. She was a stronger beam worker than Retton was. Her bars had better swing and a higher level of difficulty. She lacked the power Retton did on floor and vault but typically had solid efforts on those as well.

I disagree that the 1988 team was lackluster. They rose to the occasion in 1988 compared to the US performance in 1987 :scream: .By all rights, with or without Faehn's deduction , they were hosed of the bronze. They actually had a very high level of difficulty and took risks and displayed originality that went unrewarded.

As for Brandy Johnson , I thought she had solid work on floor and beam and was an exceptional vaulter. For someone who was a power gymnast, she had very good dance and good compulsory work. Her bars did suck though.

I admit that Retton's win contributed a lot to the development of American gymnastics. I just find her overrated.
Someone like Biles trounces her .
 

savchenkoboss

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Fair enough so forget Retton I guess, although still the casuals who are most gymnastics fans whether we like it or not she is probably the most famous U.S gymnasts, but has Biles surpasses Liukin (the previous consensus best U.S gymnast ever after surpassing Miller) as the best U.S gymnast ever yet.
 

savchenkoboss

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Rewatching some of Retton's old routines I sort of agree on her beam, but have to disagree about her bars. IMO her bars was quite good, she had two moves named after her, and pretty good form and amplitude. Only her swing wasnt great. I dont think she is any lesser than Phoebe Mills on the event at all.
 

savchenkoboss

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I prefer the lines of McNamara and Liuken
I personally find Nastia's lines and artistry overrated. I find Shannon Miller much cleaner and much more artistic. Kathy Johnson too. JMO

Nastia's badly cowboyed tucks and legs seperating on every kip on bars are quite bothersome. Along with her giraffe arms on a lot of her beam moves.
 

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