Archive for the ‘gymnastics’ Category

Geddert opens mouth, inserts foot

October 29, 2011

So Jordyn went pro.  Good for her.  Just stay healthy and be smart with your upgrades, thanks.  That’s not why I’m writing this post.

‘Member when Shawn Johnson’s mom said something a bit negative about college gymnastics?  It caused a bit of drama because some folks were upset that she seemed to think Shawn was too good for college gymnastics.  After that happened, I would think most folks would want to stay away from drama, but I guess not.

“I’m supportive of the idea in that Jordyn isn’t cut out for college gymnastics,” said her coach, John Geddert. “I don’t think the 14 weekends in a row doing watered-down gymnastics, that’s not what she’s all about. When you compete with the best in the world, I don’t see her sinking her teeth into that type of situation.”

I’m not a big fan of college gymnastics because I don’t like the judging.  I understand that there are people who don’t like college gymnastics because they think it’s watered down.  Still, I can’t tell you how surprised I am to see something like this come out of Geddert’s mouth.  It just seems like such a non-politically smart thing to say.  How many gymnasts does Geddert send to college gymnastics?  Why would he diss the program like that?  It just doesn’t seem smart to me.

Some people think this is a bad decision because Jordyn might not make enough to pay for college.  I think she’ll make the money to make up for the lost scholarship and probably more.  Even if she wants to go to an expensive college, she’ll make the money for that.  If she goes to a less expensive college (not every college costs $100k or more) then she will make the money easily.  Shawn had already made $500k before the 2008 Olympics.

I wonder if Geddert will get a percentage of Jordyn’s endorsement and prize money now.  For some reason, many coaches take a cut of the athlete’s earnings.  I don’t understand this since it seems to me, the athlete has already paid the coach tuition and coaching fees for years.  I don’t see doctors and engineers and politicians giving their former teachers a cut of their salary.  What is the deal with coaches getting money once the athlete has succeeded?  Not every coach does this so maybe Geddert won’t either.  When Mary Lou Retton was negotiating her endorsements after she wont he AA, an amount for Bela Karolyi was included in the deal.  When the deal was signed, he turned that money over to her.

And what’s the deal with Wieber’s prize money from Worlds?

The decision allows her to accept prize money for her gold medal individual all-around win at the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Tokyo.

Her coach, John Geddert, would not say how much she will receive but said it was a five-figure total.

It makes sense that there is prize money for Worlds since the World Cup has prize money.  The amount is probably posted somewhere so I don’t know what is the deal with Geddert being secretive about it.

What is the meaning of this?

October 15, 2011

Yamilet Pena is rocking a tuck position on her double front vault that is completely ridiculous for someone of her ability level to use.   Her best competition attempt at worlds was in qualifications where she had an ass landing that was still under-rotated.  Not one but TWO big steps back!  To rotate faster, she needs to pull her knees to her ears.  I’m not saying that she shouldn’t work towards a nice tuck position.  I’m just saying maybe she should just try to land the thing first.

When I say “land” I don’t mean a butt landing.  I don’t see why they even count as feet first landings.


Almost all the videos on youtube of Pena are of her crashing the Produnova.  She does do the other events though.  Judging by her scores, there may be a fair amount of crashing involved on her other events too but she does have some good skills.  On this UB routine she drops off on her toe shoot but does a nice double layout dismount.

Gymnastics: Returning Olympians

July 25, 2011

Double front has an interesting post about predicting the US women’s gymnastics team for 2012.

 “During the last three Olympic cycles, between 50%-83% of the US team were members of the preceding year’s World team. Based on this recent history, at least half of the athletes selected for this year’s World Championships in Tokyo will be on the 2012 team.”

DF goes on to predict the chances of the returning Olympians from 2008.

“It’s also worth noting that the last two Olympics have not included any returning Olympians. Sydney 2000 was the last Games where the US team had returning Olympians. 2000 Olympians, Dominique Dawes and Amy Chow, were members of the 1996 Magnificent Seven. (Dawes was also a member of 1992 team in Barcelona).

Nearly all of the 2008 Olympians are still competing or are making a return to the sport. Historically, it is unlikely that more than two of them (if any) will get another berth on an Olympic team.”

While DF says that no returning Olympians made the past two Olympic teams, so far as I know only one even tried and she made alternate.  Going beyond Olympians, you can also consider gymnasts who were either ineligible or didn’t make it to one Olympics but kept going and made the next one.  For 2004 that’s Hatch and Bhardwaj.   For 2008, that’s Liukin, Memmel, and Sacramone.   Chow and Dawes were mentioned for 2000.  A banner year for comebacks was 1996.  Three returning Olympians and Borden who barely missed the previous Olympic team.

I think returning Olympians actually have a really good shot at making the next Olympic team and I think there are a couple of things that determine if a comeback will be successful or not.  The most important thing is that they continue at all.  You can’t tell me that both Kupets and Patterson wouldn’t have been able to beat out Sloan and Peszek for the final spots on the 2008 team.  Patterson completely quit but Kupets, who kept in great shape in college, could’ve definitely made it had she not gotten injured.

Staying in shape is key even if they don’t compete.  It’s much easier to get back into competition if you don’t also have to get back into shape as well.  If they take a couple of years off from training, getting back into it soon enough is important.  For 2000, it was remarkable what Dawes was able to accomplish but I think she would’ve been much, much better had she returned when Chow did.  Continued learning is a must.  Many times older gymnasts fall behind not because they are less talented than newcomers but because they never upgrade their skills.  Gymnastics is a fluid sport and the skill set that was good enough at one point will not likely be good enough four years later unless the gymnast was the type to throw everything but the kitchen sink into her routines in the first place.

The last thing I would say that helps predict if a returning Olympian will make the next team is their status on the team they made.  Were they a top contender or where they a bubble gymnast?  IF they were a bubble gymnast, they can easily be surpassed by the better newcomers and would find themselves once again fighting for the last sport or two.  That could go either way for them.  If they were a top gymnast, even if they are beat out for the top spot on the team by some newcomer, they will most likely still be good enough to beat out the new bubble gymnasts.