Archive for June, 2008

Pics from trials and Nationals.

June 27, 2008

Flaw13 has posted tons of photos.  

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Randi Lau

June 25, 2008

Randi is training at What’s Up Gymnastics in Hawaii.  Apparently, she left WOGA earlier in the year or late last year.  This article has a little interview but it quits halfway through for me.  Here’s a different clip.  

Mattie’s floor routine

June 22, 2008

Mattie Larson’s choreography is wasted on her.  It wouldn’t be so bad if you didn’t have Dasha Joura to compare her to.  Then you might just get the feeling that everything was fine but something was just a little off.  Dasha uses a different (and I think, better) cut of the same music and knows how to work a room.  When you go look at Dasha after seeing Mattie, the problem becomes immediately apparent.  I’m not the biggest fan of Dasha’s actually choreo.  All of her hip movements just look so blocky and out of place to me.  

Ivana Hong vs. Elvire Teza

June 20, 2008

This vid compares a skill they both do.  It’s a German Giant to Tkatchev.  Teza gets a lot more height than Ivana.  Actually, during the 2007 nationals, Tim Dagget slipped some actual educational content into the broadcast by saying Hong was really doing “just a straddle back”.  It’s actually a straddle cut backwards but that was close.   Martha was able to get Hong’s technique for this skill valued the same as Teza’s technique but she couldn’t make the judges ignore the amplitude deductions.  So Hong no longer does her german giants to straddle cut release skill.  

Ivana’s double new double front on floor is really great.  She keeps her knees together.    

Corrie Lothrop was adopted from China

June 19, 2008

You think you have to hear too much about how Shawn’s coach is from China and now they’re going back together.  Blah, blah, blah.  Imagine the DRAMA if Corrie was one of the top contenders.  

It’s interesting that Corrie should end up being a top US gymnast.  With her body type, I wonder if Chinese coaches would have ever selected her for training.  She is beefy with a capital Brick House.  

Corrie is another gymnast who was trained by her parents.  She is at Hill’s now but up until elite she was training at Yellow Jackets Gymnastics club which her parents own.  Then the family decided to take Corrie to a more experienced Coach.  Corrie and her mom moved so Corrie could train at Hill’s with Kelly Hill.  Her dad is holding down the fort at YJGC.  This is kind of opposite of what Chellsie Memmel’s parents did.  Chellsie’s parents own M&M Gymnastics but they had Chellsie train with Jim Chudy at Salto Gymnastics starting when she was eight.  It was only after Chellsie missed the 2004 Olympics and was going to quit that her parents began training her again.  

The Yellow Jackets website is probably the most boring looking gymnastics club site I’ve run across in recent memory.  Yuck.  They have a lot of videos of their gymnasts up though.  

 

Johnson gives Liukin props

June 19, 2008

Articles about the new code are popping up.  I think this article does a good job of explaining it.  

Liukin says:

“Even though there is no Perfect 10, I feel it’s kind of still there. I’m striving towards that.”

She does pretty good on three events too.  She has her problems on bars but she also does very nice work there.  I think her form issues on floor pretty much stem from pushing the envelope in order to continue to be a top AA.  

Shawn talks about Liukin’s giganormous A score on bars:

“It plays to her advantage; it’s a very smart thing to do,” Johnson said. “It’s just whoever can play the field the best that can win.”

::UPDATE::

To clariy.  When I say Nastia is “pusing the envelope” on floor, I meant that I think she is pushing her personal difficulty threshold in order to get all the points she can using the type of skills she is best at doing.  Many times gymnasts who have problems on a skill that is difficult for them, can do an easier version of the skill with cleaner form.  One really example is Elise Ray.  Elise did a full – twisting double layout dismount from uneven bars with beautiful form.  At the 2000 Olympics, she upgraded to a double twisting double layout at some point and her form suffered a little.    

Martha says Jana’s form has improved

June 19, 2008

It’s hard to trust what Martha says.  She lies about the athletes for the sake of strategy.  Wouldn’t want the top girls to think they’ve got it locked up.  From this article:  

”Jana has done an excellent job,” Karolyi said. “She is a sturdy gymnast and one who shows high difficulty. She worked hard to improve her form and presentation.”

So that’s good news for Jana, I guess.  The article also says that Jana and her mom, Andrea, talked about the differences between gymnastics in Andrea’s time and gymnastics today.  I would love to have heard that conversation.  I’m nosy.  

You can’t coach your own kid

June 19, 2008

Remember that gymnastics myth.  I think it’s safe to say that it’s been blown out of the water.  Many of the top national team gymnasts are coached by their parents these days.  Bieger, Liukin, Artemev, Memmel.  Top prospects all coached by their parents.  

I think the real deal is you can’t coach your own kid if you don’t know what you’re doing.  Can you help your kid with her back handsprings at home?  According to the myth, no.  According to reality, as long as you know what you’re doing, go for it.   

Those crazy Canadians

June 16, 2008

Lots of crying and rending of the clothes has gone on about the points system that Gymnastics Canada used to determine its Olympians.  I just found a video of Carol Angela Orchard, Elise Hopfner-Hibbs’ coach, talking about the Canadian Nationals.  CAO says something nuts in this video.  She says Elise was asked to specialize on two events and not train all events but then in order to get to Day 2 of the Championships you had to compete the All Around.  What’s that about?  Why would you ask an athlete to specialize but then keep her out of EF at Championships if she doesn’t do AA?    

Check out the other videos.  Nansy does her interveiws in French and English.  

 

Bitter Olympics for Nansy?

June 15, 2008

I seriously have to wonder how Nansy Damianova is dealing with the Kristina Vaculik situation.  And how is she dealing with the Elise Hopfner-Hibbs situation?  I can’t imagine it would be too much fun to qualify for the Olympics but then all anybody can talk about is how KV deserves your spot and EHH’s coach should go instead of yours.  Wow.  

Considering 6-3-3, Gymnastics Canada probably wanted to get more specialists coming up the pipeline.  Maybe it’ll work out that way eventually, but in the meantime they have to deal with a lot of belly aching.  People are complaing that this point system allowed some gymnasts to start gaining points while other gymnasts were too young.  Some gymnasts were able to get easy points in in easy meets while other gymnasts had a tough time getting points in hard meets.  Some events were easier to get points on.  

Perhaps if Vaculik hadn’t wiped the mat with Damianova so embarrassingly at the Canadian Championships people wouldn’t be so mad about the selection outcome.  Damianovo only managed to tie Vaculik for first on vault.  Then she only got fourth place on floor.  Meanwhile KV managed another first and two more second places.  

I haven’t seen anything so far from Damianova or her coach.  What would they say?  I don’t think people would want to hear anything from them that doesn’t involve them stepping aside to let Vaculik compete.  Of course, Australia’s Craig Stevens qualified for the Olympics in another race.  He was also paid some $60k for an exclusive deal to cover his announcement.  

Perhaps irate gym fans should put up or shut up.  Hey, people have been known to raise lotsa dough in a short time to get an athlete’s family to the games.  Nothing says they can’t raise dough to get an athlete to consider staying home.