The more things change, the more they stay the same

For all that was new, exciting and unexpected about the US Classic (post NCAA representation, Memmel turning up and doing AA, Bross pulling out without warning, Johnson getting back to a relatively high level) it was basically business as usual. Except Maroney didn’t do vault, which we’re very sad about. Stoi! simply cannot get enough of her Amanars.

Sacramone still vaults stunningly, and can’t stick a tumble.

She’s going to get killed for those steps internationally, even if she manages to keep things in bounds. If ever there was a case of someone desperately needing to learn how to leap out of landings, it’s her. Luckily, she remains a leading contender for vault medals. Her FTY was beautiful, but there’s no way she’ll still be doing it come worlds.

After two years off, DWTS, about six inches and a skiing accident, Shawn Johnson’s tuck back on beam is still disgusting.

US domestic scoring is as reliable and realistic as ever. Here is Memmel, with a vault that achieved a 9.2 E score. Only 0.3 behind Sacramone’s!

She’s still a ridiculously tough competitor though, and absolutely can’t be counted out of future teams. Love her or loathe her, she’s done it again. Those of you who fall into the former category might want to get your fill now though. Just in case. You know what I’m saying.

Raisman is a sick tumbler. I desperately hope she keeps this first tumble in the set, but am just not sure there’s physically enough room for it in the floor area.

With regards to the vile-off on floor, only two of the slated competitors participated. Bross pulled out at the last minute, despite having rocked a new Khorkina transition on bars in podium training (some of us have been saying for a while that Mutha Russia’s transition and Tkatchev release family heavy approach on bars potentially offers a path for the US to follow to high D scores, so it’s good to see that being taken on board). Johnson stuck to beam and bars. Jordyn Wieber, though not included in our original poll, will also be a strong contender in this category when she competes AA again. But she too sat out the leg events yesterday. So it ended up being Memmel v Raisman.

First blood to Chellsie, I think.

Stoi! readers, what were your highlights?

By Clara

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5 responses to “The more things change, the more they stay the same

  • Stoi!

    Here’s hoping Chellsie’s on something other than the fruit chicken fruit diet this time round. I’m not her greatest fan, but it’s a shame for both her and the US that she wasn’t better managed in 08. I remain convinced that it wasn’t a good idea for her to train AA. If she’d stayed as a 2 or 3 eventer, she might’ve been an Olympic silver medallist on floor (hideous, but no more so than Shawn) and maybe even a gold medallist with the team.
    C

  • Stoi!

    “After two years off, DWTS, about six inches and a skiing accident, Shawn Johnson’s tuck back on beam is still disgusting.”

    Haha. Yeah, her beam tumbling (except the layout) keeps getting lower. She needs to keep her hair in a bun, otherwise she might step on her ponytail.

    I’m going to do a seperate post, but let me just say that Raisman’s first pass is probably the most difficult combo pass since Karpenko’s whip through to arabian double, punch front. And as I recall, Vika had some trouble keeping herself on the floor mat as well…

    -B

  • Stoi!

    Interesting introspectives D. ‘Beast’ can be interpreted in more than one way. Did you intend both meanings?

    • D

      Ha! Beast probably isn’t the best way to describe a female gymnast, is it? In this case it was solely meant as a compliment. She has a sort of primal way of rising to the occasion when needed, whether it’s to prove herself (her floor at nats in 08) or stepping up for the team 03 and 06 TFs. I saw her live at 2005 and even though I was going for Liukin I was very impressed with her tumbling.

      She looks thinner now than then. I dislike how some older gymnasts reach a certain age they start looking emaciated. I think she should go back to her more solid build so she’ll be able to rock those beastly tumbles without fear of snapping.

  • D

    Chellsie is still such a beast, I can’t think of anyone who continuously has looked impressive coming back. Massive respect for her and how she’s kept things low key and is letting her gymnastics speak for itself. Even though her dance is looking better it’s still quite poor.

    I like Sac’s floor better than her “come hither” routine from last quad. Scared that she’ll injure herself and miss out on a vault medal at the Olympics though. Her rudi looks better now than before she retired. Her post flight is way less piked than before. She’s said that she’s going for a front double and a DTY for this year and an Amanar for next.

    Raisman looks to have taken a page from the Romanians from the 90s. Pick fast paced music and don’t stop moving so that people don’t realise that you have no dance ability…it didn’t work. Especially when you choose music that has already been used by much more engaging gymnasts like Izbasa and Podkopayeva. Non Jews out dancing a Jew to Jewish folk music should be a source of shame/a deduction for Raisman. The first pass is awesome, maybe the most difficult ever. Her Amanar looks like a knee injury waiting to happen.

    The best part about Shawn’s gymnastics was that she always looked so sure footed. Take that away and it becomes apparent how badly she does some things. I assume she’ll eventually go for a back full+bhs like Wieber which I hate. Poor connection rhythm and it’s such obvious code whoring.

    Love that Sac and Chellsie have been around since 03 and are still serious contenders for worlds. Those bitches are bionic.

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