Archive for August, 2008

What happened to Pavlova on vault?

August 18, 2008

Pavlova scored a zero for her second vault.  I’ve heard some people say she went before the green light and other people say she balked.  Balking is when you run for a vault or a skill and then bail out in the middle of it or don’t even start it.  An example of balking is Kramerenko in 2007 worlds team finals.  I don’t know if Pavs went before the green light AND balked or if she just went before the green light and people are mistakenly saying she also balked.  The NBC replay of vault event finals that I found does not show Pavlova.  I’m thinking I may need to dig a little further to find the feed from the event.


Bart and Nadia commentate on this video.  It shows Pavlova’s first and second vault but cuts off before she gets her zero for the second vault.

How to use GymMath

August 14, 2008

The Gymblog has a new post about the Karolyis and their silly yacking about why team USA lost.  Because they made mistakes?  Of course not.  They are passing the blame onto, I don’t know, boogie men or something.  Anyway, the poster writes:

Again, we reiterate: Even if Alicia Sacramone had been perfect on balance beam and floor exercise in team finals, even ifChellsie Memmelcould have the 0.2 back for her jam through to her dismount on bars, even if all the out of boundses hadn’t happened on floor, China still would have defeated the U.S. by slightly more than half a point.

I think “we” are forgetting the basics of GymMath.  Alicia’s beam routine scored 15.95 in prelims.  With a fall she scored 15.1.  A fall is .8.  So Alicia fell and had a huge wobble before that and her score was only .85 lower than in prelims. I believe the Judges would have actually given her a 16 had she performed the same quality routine she did in prelims.  And that may be a stingy guess.  In finals Shawn scored .2 higher on beam than in prelims even though she added that little balance check.  Nastia got the same beam score in finals as she did in prelims even though her routine included more wobbles (I think.  I’d have to go back and count).  So by my GymMath it would have been possible for the US team to win if they hadn’t made those mistakes.  

Keeping the vault and bars scores the same – meaning I’m not adding .2 for Chellsie’s jam or whatever.  The actual team score they got + .2 extra that Nastia might have gotten without the wobbles on beam + the .85 Alicia lost on beam + the .325 that Shawn lost between prelims and finals on floor + the .15 that Nastia misplaced on floor + another .85 for Alicia on floor.  That bumps the score up by 2.375 which would tie the actual score China got with their mistakes included.  With hit routines the girls would’ve scored higher for finals.  Nastia steps out of bounds and scores .15 less than in prelims?  Unless I’m mistaken, there’s no .05 deduction for anything.  Without that step she would’ve gotten at least another .05 than she did in prelims.  The same for Alicia.  So with an extra + .05 * 3, that’s gives the team the win by .15.  

NEVER SAY NEVER WITH GYMMATH!!   You just have to use the right combination of Whatifs.  

Of course, If both teams hit, China wins.  The US really needed almost the same situation that happened in 2007 to happen again.  China went to Stuttgart with a big lead in Start Value.  They made mistakes and lost their lead.  The US made fewer mistakes and was able to squeak by for the win.  I say almost the same because I don’t think they could’ve afforded one fall this time.  They needed to perfect.  Not being broke might have also helped.

8.8 – finding the deductions in Shawn’s routine

August 13, 2008

It is not that hard at all to find the deductions in Shawn’s routine.  It bugs me the comments I see from people who think she was robbed.  Wobbling isn’t the only way to lose points in gymnastics.  It would’ve been nice if the commentators could’ve explained that.  Apparently, they didn’t.  So  to answer the question that keeps popping up in my surfing: 

“Where do you find .8 in deductions for Shawn’s routine, let alone 1.2!!!”

I’d like to explore the possible deduction areas in Shawn’s routine.  


Shawn landed her full-twisting back tuck, her back tuck, and her full-twisting double back dismount with her chest on her knees.  It is possible to deduct up to .9 for those faults alone.  The judges can take either .1 or .3 for each skill depending on how big the error is.  There is no .2 deduction in this code.  In addition there is a deduction of up to .3 for general lack of amplitude during the entire exercise.  


Shawn has flexibility issues on her switch leap and split leap that can be deducted.  Up to .6.  Again, up to .3 for each skill.  There is also another lack of flexibility deduction of .1 that can be taken from the entire exercise.  

Then there is the step she took on the landing.  One tenth.  So that’s a possible two points in deductions for a routine that looked rock solid.  That’s the new code and there’s really nothing cryptic or conspiratorial about it.


August 8, 2008

Shawn predicts “sweep for the USA.  IG points out that it’s not possible.

Podium training photos

August 8, 2008

From Getty images.

I watched podium training. Woot!

August 7, 2008

Joy Joy.  The girl that is holding the banner for Great Britain is looking super happy when the camera pans by her.  It’s a far away shot but her smile is megawattier than anything Mary Lou ever did.  

Butts.  I think GK’s fit specialist tries to make sure as much booty as possible is on display.  

Non Ghetto Zone.  I think it was Athens where the gymnasts used a kitty litter box to put chalk on their feet.  The Chinese are having none of that.  The gymnasts are taking their chalk baths in a boxes that look to be specially made for the purpose.  

ZOMG!  Peszek fell on her double arabian.  Alicia went out of bounds twice.  Nastia almost went out of bounds.  Miss double double had some trouble with her front full, 1 1/2.  She was really short the first time, attempted it again and did well.  Then she tried it with the music and FELL!  She did it one more time and did it a little short.  

Swap.  Shawn isn’t doing the leg up full turn on floor.  She did a plain double turn instead.  It went better with the music as well.  It was a little short on the first run but she did it two more times because she repeated that whole bit of her floor routine from the double turn to the front full, 1 1/2 twice.  The double was very nice the second time and over-rotated the third time.  Those little skips she did before her leap series also changed a bit but I don’t know if she meant to do that or not.  She usually does three little skips in forward passe (the toe of her free leg by the knee of her support leg).  This time she did two skips in forward coup (toe by ankle) and the last skip in passe.  

Wicked!  It looks like NBC did a comparison vault of two Romanian gymnasts.  I thought they were running side by side at first and then they both started to vault so I thought it was just a messed up video feed.  Then one did a tucked yourchenko and the other did a layout.  It was great and I look forward to seeing more direct comparison vaults during the games.  

 WTH.  NBC showing Bela in an inset during Nastia’s beam practice?   He’s not her coach.  He’s not the team coach.  WTF.  

Vault, bars, and beam looked okay.  I’ve liked the runway cam ever since they first showed it in Atlanta.  Shawn fell on her bail half for her first routine.  It was fine on the second one.  On beam, she wobbled at the end of her leg up full turn.  For Shawn, that full turn really is a good example of what happens when you try to be too perfect at a skill. Chellsie did not get to handstand on her jam before the dismount the first time.  Bridgette fell off beam on one of her layouts.  

Alicia did floor, vault, and beam.  Chellsie did only bars.  That left AA for everybody else.

USAG grassroots gymnastics marketing campaign

August 5, 2008

USAG wants to make sure that all those four-yearly fans who will be watching the Olympians understand that the sport isn’t just about what goes on at the top level.  They are launching a new ad campaign which showcases little kids.  I think the idea is great but i also wish they had used older kids too.  The sport suffers from the notion that if you don’t start at five you’ll never be any good.  

As long as you’re trying to tout gymnastics as a recreational pursuit, why not also highlight the fact that people of all ages can benefit from gymnastics recreation.  Or at least kids aged nine to 18 in addition to the five year olds.  I’ve actually met people that think think nine is “too late” to start gymnastics.  You want to know a big reason why cheerleading is so popular?  They don’t give nine and ups the brush-off.

US prelims showdown in doubt?

August 3, 2008

Chellsie hurt her ankle.  I am wondering if it’s bad enough that she won’t do AA in prelims.  Nothing against Nastia or Shawn but I want to see an upset in AA qualifications during prelims.  Upsets are exciting – unless you’re the one being upset.

IOC can’t get media to STFU already

August 3, 2008

The IOC said recently that it won’t investigate age fakery claims involving He Kexin and Jiang Yuyuan.  What do they get for their trouble?  Still more questions of age fakery.  This time involving more athletes.  

I don’t want to hear anything out of Steve Penny’s mouth about age fakery if the USA gets beaten by China.  He says oh it doesn’t matter who they put out there.  Blah, blah, blah.  If it doesn’t matter then grow some balls and put some underage US athletes out there.  Maybe we can scandalize our way to abolishing the age-limit or getting it lowered to like nine or something.

Shawn wanted to quit twice

August 3, 2008

Every gymnast has those days.  

Johnson has also felt that burden. Twice, she told her parents that she wanted to quit because she was afraid of not living up to expectations — once as a much younger gymnast and later when she made the junior national team in 2005.

Her parents simply told her to sleep on it. Each time, Johnson changed her mind.

I still don’t understand this bit with Martha Karolyi.  

In 2005, he boldly sent a tape of a 13-year-old Johnson to Martha Karolyi, the women’s national team coordinator, suggesting Johnson could help the United States team. Karolyi received the package and said she immediately thought, “Whoa, this coach has a lot of confidence, doesn’t he?”

What is this even about?  I thought when the camps started it was made part of the process that some gymnasts could receive an invite to camp by sending a video tape.  Did they not expect to get any?  And it occurs to me that Shawn couldn’t have been taking part in TOPs if Martha saw her for the first time when she was 13.  Remember last quad when they were always talking about how so-and-so team member was part of the TOPs program?   Maybe she just had a brainfart.  Whenever I see an article that mentions “Liang Qiao“, I always forget who they’re talking about until they start writing about Shawn.  Maybe he sent her the tape with his “other” name written on it.