Posts Tagged ‘Shawn Johnson’

Secret Sport Challenge

September 28, 2008

Shawn and Nastia are up to something with Secret.  I don’t really know what it is exactly because I’m not signing up to listen to the webcast.  I think it involves 20 $5k scholarships.  I think you have until January 21, 2009 to win some cash or something.

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.

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.

Forget “Patterbot”

July 27, 2008

Carly Patterson is so full of crap I think her new nickname should be just that.  Carly “So full of crap” Patterson.  In this article she talks about “not becoming the next Mary Lou.”  

It’s hard to compare people 20 years apart,” she said. “We were doing such harder skills, harder tricks. Maybe it was easier to smile when the tricks weren’t as hard.

Shawn Johnson has hard tricks out the wazoo yet some people are annoyed that she smiles so much.  “Ugh”, they say, “Look at that cheesy grin!”  No joke.  Shawn is too chipper for some of the scrooges out there.  I’m not saying I’m not one of those scrooges.  I’m just saying that smiling and big tricks don’t necessarily cancel each other out.

2008 post-Olympic tour

July 15, 2008

Information about Mike Burg’s tour is now available.  You have to register for a free two week trial on this site in order to view the article.  Mr.  Burg totally outmaneuvered USAG as far as signing top athletes for this year’s tour.  

An Edge Entertainment-produced TV special will showcase two of gymnastics’ biggest stars — Shawn Johnson and Paul Hamm — and musicians from Hollywood Records, a Disney label that includes the Jonas Brothers and the Cheetah Girls. Details of that broadcast and participating artists were still being worked out last week.

The broadcast will coincide with a 30-city tour beginning in September that marries gymnastics performances with Disney musical acts, making it one of the first arena events to combine sports and teen pop music. The events will visit members of the Arena Network, including San Diego, Phoenix, Anaheim, Denver, Houston, Chicago and others. Individual tickets for a similar tour in 2004 sold for $45, $35, $25 and $15. Sponsorships also will be sold to support the tour.

At the end of the article there is a quote from Sheryl Shade that is completely ridiculous.  

Shade said, “(Disney is) looking at (Johnson) very closely because she fits to a ‘T’ one of those teen idol-heroes that they love to build up. It’s her Midwest values.”

Midwest values, huh?  I’m sure it’s actually the fact that she wins which Disney is interested in.  

There is also a picture of Shawn doing a split jump in the article and no it’s not a good pic.

Shawn’s ugly face

July 15, 2008

International Gymnast magazine has chosen a picture of Shawn for their July cover photo.  She is in the middle of her double double or something and is making a funny face.  I really wonder why they chose this particular pic which makes Shawn look funny.  Maybe they really hate that Black and White leo she wears in the nice picture they have of her on the contents page.  Maybe they thought they’d use a pic of Shawn tumbling since that’s the strength of her gymnastics.  What I think is there are lots of nice pictures of Shawn out there and using one where her face is all scrunched up could’ve been avoided.

Sam Peszek – Piece of me montages

July 13, 2008

Awhile back somebody made a Shawn Johnson montage to Piece of me by Britney Spears.  Now there are two montages to this song by two different youtubers, roxigymnast andgymnast7225.  This one is from June 22 and this other one is from July 3.  

Nastia Liukin has a monthly montage contest.  The featured artist for July/August is Ashlee Simpson.  Many contestants have chosen Simpson’s Pieces of Me.

Dwight Normile skips a step?

July 8, 2008

In a recent article, IG editor Dwight Normile talks about Shawn Johnson’s bar routine.  

Though Johnson weakest event is bars, she is really clean and consistent. She is not built for inside-Stalders, so she relies on a high B-score and big dismount (double-twisting double layout). Her coach, Liang Chow, has done well to get the most out of Johnson on this event. If Johnson competes beyond 2008, I could see her adding a full twist to her Gienger.

A full-twisting Gienger is called a Def (Hristikayeva).  It’s the move that Elena Piskun crashes on here.  Most of the women who do this skill show a bit of pike and almost all of them look fairly messy.  The skill is supposed to be laid out so doing it with a pike is cause for deduction unless somebody submits the piked full twisting Gienger.  This video shows Johnson’s bars from the side which makes it easier to see the extent of pike and how close her feet actually are to the bar.  I think before she adds that full twist, she should concentrate on getting more height and more of a straight body position.  

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.”


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.    

“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.  


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