Archive for June, 2008

Yin Yang vs black and white

June 15, 2008

Does Shawn’s Day 2 leo look like she was going for a Yin Yang thing to you?  To me, it just looks like a black and white leo.  If she was going for Yin Yang, she could’ve done a better job, if you ask me.  

Mac and Al

June 15, 2008

Mackenzie Caquatto  and Alaina Johnson would be really surprised if they wound up in Beijing.  Mackenzie has achieved her goal of making the national team.  Alaina made the national team and achieved her goal of not finishing last.  

Mackenzie is coached by Don and Patrice McPherson who own Aerial Gymnastics club.  

The McPhersons are coaching Caquatto not to get too excited about the Trials or the invitation to the national training center near Houston that will follow the Trials if she does well enough. 

Johnson wanted to quit elite after competing in two national championships and finishing last in both due to injury.  Her coach, Martin Parsley, talked her out of it.  

“We are realistic and know that we belong to the strongest gymnastics team in the world,” Parsley said. “Of the 12 teams qualified for the Olympics, you know that if you lived in nine of them, you’d be on their Olympic team. 
“Alaina doesn’t have any international experience and the top nine have international experience … and four of them are world champions on something. 
“We are going to do exactly what we did at the last meet and then go home and watch the Olympics on T.V. like everyone else.” 

“Loyal athlete signers”

June 13, 2008

This month’s IG editorial by Paul Ziert is about how USAG president Steve Penny has made some major errors recently.  Error number one was about how Steve organized the USAG post-olympic tour but failed to sign Shawn Johnson, Paul Hamm, and Morgan Hamm.  They signed with a rival tour run by Mike Burg.  He also doesn’t have Nastia who hasn’t signed with anyone.  Since he doesn’t have the biggest stars, this nullifies his contracts.  

Ziert writes:

Hence, Burg will now do his tour in the 30 cities reserved by USAG with the athletes that USAG claims it created with no financial gain to the federation other than a possible sanction fee, which isn’t even required.  and most of the loyal athlete signers will get much less or possibly nothing from tour money.

I have two issues with this.  First, just because USAG claims they created the athletes doesn’t mean they actually did.  The athletes, their families, and their coaches are the ones who did all of the work to get to the top with no help from USAG.  I will never understand why people think they owe USAG something for their success.  USAG didn’t get Shawn’s parents to take her to Chow’s instead of staying with the coach who thought she had brute strength but no talent.  USAG didn’t get Paul and Morgan’s dad to harrass Stacy Maloney into training them to greatness.  USAG certainly did not pick up the tab when it came to 6+ years of training expenses before these athltes were even on USAG’s radar.  USAG doesn’t do a damned thing to help these athletes when it matters most, yet they “created” them.  That is total crap!  

My second issue with this is the use of the phrase “loyal athlete signers”.  I don’t appreciate the dig at Shawn, Paul, Nastia, and Morgan.  These guys have worked hard and they deserve to get the most for their talents.  It has nothing to do with being “loyal” to some organization that hasn’t done anything for them anyway.  And how does Ziert know that these other athletes are loyal as opposed to simply being too scared not to sign.  How many of these athletes worry that not signing would hurt their Olympic chances?  

Penny used some serious arm-twisting to get many of the athletes to sign binding, exclusive contracts before anyone even knew they were going to Beijing.  He succeeded with all except the four I mentioned above.

I’m glad USAG got pwned.  If they had offered fair packages to the above athletes, they would be signed.  Instead they want to lowball the athletes and pocket the money so they can pad their own salaries.  

::UPDATE::

It’s MIke Burg,  not Mark Burg.  I don’t know why I put that there.  

Ashley Priess talks to IG

June 13, 2008

She quit because of her back.  Her sister also suffered from a back injury that caused her to retire from college gymnastics.  

::UPDATE::

I read a comment on IG Forum from someone who seemed to think that Ashley quitting was ” True proof that the Olympics is not the end all do all for all elite gymnasts.”  Considering that Ashley cites an injured back as the problem, I don’t see how this is proof of that.   

We don’t see a whole lot of uninjured athletes with a good shot of going to the games just giving it up.  How many times have we seen that?  

Gymnast Access Hollywood Interviews

June 13, 2008

Sam is very cute.  I did not know Sam’s coach was from Beijing too.  She likes to listen to rap and loud music sometimes.  When I heard that, I thought it would be great if somebody made a montage of her to that funny little ditty, “White Chicks and Gang Signs“.  

Alicia Sacromone, Shawn Johnson, Paul Hamm and Morgan Hamm also have interviews on there.  It’s interesting how different Paul and Morgan’s voices are.  

 

Alaina Johnson is excited

June 12, 2008

Here’s a short news clip of Alaina Johnson.  She made the national team and qualified to trails.    

A lot of people care

June 12, 2008

Gymnasticsbabie has written a post criticizing people for wasting their energy by caring about overscoring.  The post is titled, “No one cares” which is funny.  

“…I’m tired of hearing about this every nationals, its like beating a dead horse. “

She has to hear about this every nationals – but no one cares.  

“And I understand many people disagree with me, … “

She understands many people disagree with her-but no one cares.  Sure they don’t.  

 

Ashley Priess – “SEXY Olympic gymnast”

June 11, 2008

Some enterprising cybersquatter has set up ashleypriess.com.  A few pictures of Ashley are on the site.  I wonder if permission was obtained to use them.  This person has a lot of sites set up for other female athletes too.  Including three rhythmic gymnasts, Alexandra Orlando, Vera Sessina, and Olga Kapranova.  

Ashley’s sudden retirement is a hot topic.  Somebody dropping out of the race a few weeks before the end is bound to attract curiosity.  Everybody loves a train wreck.  I was doing a search to see if there were any new articles when I stumbled upon the above domain.  And no, I didn’t find anything new.  There is only the article from Inside Gymnastics where Mary Lee Tracy claims she had no idea this was coming.  Does MLT not know her athlete very well?  I just find it hard to believe that this young lady after having already made a world team and battled back from a back injury would not have let any hints at all drop that she might not wish to continue.  

As far as quitting goes.  Ashley Priess vs. Blaine Wilson.  I found Ashley’s retirement to be shocking.  I totally respect her decision though.  I just can’t muster the same feelings for Blaine Wilson.  I still think it would’ve been better for him to retire before the meet or afterwards.  Retiring in the middle of the meet, especially when you are not doing well is just poor form.  Then to say you retired because you didn’t want to risk injury instead of being truthful.  He retired because he wasn’t doing well.  It’s obvious.  If he was so worried about risking getting hurt, he wouldn’t have come back in the first place.  

I know some people might say, “Hey you can’t read the guy’s mind!”  No I can’t.  But I have a lifetime of experience with lies and liars.  Push comes to shove, I can tell a pretty phat fib myself.  ‘I quit because I didn’t accurately predict the level of competition and found myself doing poorly’ is exactly the kind of thing you would try to spin into, ‘Yeah.  It’s just not worth getting injured.’

US tax dollars at work

June 11, 2008

Washington, DC – This morning on the House Floor, Congressman Leonard Boswell congratulated National Champion Shawn Johnson of West Des Moines. 

I think there are a lot more pressing things to talk about.  Shawn’s win is of zero national importance.  This guy is paid a salary to spend his time solving important issues, not attaboying athletes.  Get back to work, you bum!    

Hopefully is better than No

June 10, 2008

In the fluff at the beginning of NBC’s Day 2 coverage for 2008 Nationals, Sam Peszek said that when people ask her if she’s going to the Olympics she says, “Hopefully.”  And then she said, “Hopefully is better than No.”  Nineteen young ladies can still say that hopefully they are going.  Some have a better chance than others but they are going to trials.  For four women, it’s definitely all over.  Are they going to the Olympics?  No.  

Christa Tanella finished 13th in the AA.  She was one place ahead of Britney Ranzy.  But Ranzy is going to Trials.  She got 15s on vault and was the only competitor besides Sacromone to do two vaults.  Then there’s Ashley Stott, Katelyn Mohr, and Kimberly Jacob.  They were the lowest placing gymnasts that competed all four events.  All of the three event, two event, and NO Event gymnasts that placed behind them in the AA are going to trials.  Even Amber Trani and her mid-14s.  

The Hopefuls  

Jana Bieger, Coconut Creek, Fla./Bieger International Gymnastics
Mackenzie Caquatto, Naperville, Ill./Aerials
Olivia Courtney, Orlando, Fla./Orlando Metro
Ivana Hong, Blue Springs, Mo./GAGE
Alaina Johnson, Tyler, Texas/Texas East
Shawn Johnson, West Des Moines, Iowa/Chow’s Gymnastics
Mattie Larson, Los Angeles/All Olympia
Nastia Liukin, Parker, Texas/WOGA
Corrie Lothrop, Gaithersburg, Md./Hill’s
Chellsie Memmel, West Allis, Wis./M&M Gymnastics  
Samantha Peszek, Indianapolis, Ind./DeVeau’s  
Alicia Sacramone, Winchester, Mass./Brestyan’s
Chelsea Davis, Lakeway, Texas/Texas Dreams
Darling Hill, Mt. Laurel, N.J./Will-Moor
Britney Ranzy, Gaithersburg, Md./Excalibur
Amber Trani, Richlandtown, Pa./Parkettes
Bridget Sloan, Pittsboro, Ind./Sharp’s
Shayla Worley, Orlando, Fla./Orlando Metro                                                                                            

Randy Stageberg, Chesapeake, Va./Excalibur