GRISHINA : Headcase or Nervous Rookie?

Anastasia Grishina didn’t even need to be at the Test Event. But she showed up anyway; she was supposed to be the cream of the crop, the new star the gym world has been hyping up for years. Other than a somewhat expected victory on her best event, she ended up being remarkably unremarkable everywhere else.

Following a less than stellar performance (complete with a scary crash on her beam dismount in qualifying), many are already tagging her a headcase.

Do we blame her showing as the follow-up to a myriad of injuries with little time to prepare? Or do we dismiss her headcasiness as early signs of Afanasyevaitis?

Let’s take a look at her event-per-event.


What is Grishina even doing in a vault final? Historically her weakest event, she debuted a (albeit iffy) DTY last year. She opted to go with an easier pair of vaults here, and still ended up tanking both.

Clara is much more the vault expert than I, but even for someone with questionable attention to detail and technique, will tell you that she is WAY too high on the table to get around 1 ½ twists, let alone 2. The idea of an Amanar is completely out of the question, nothing more than a pipe dream.

There’s virtually NO block here, so naturally she lands on her ass. 

Twice, just for good measure.

This is the event that Russia needs most, and the event that could keep her from being Russia’s third all-arounder in our dream Mustafina/Komova/Grishina preliminary battle. Like Komova, she’s tiny, but lacks the power that Komova was blessed with. Depending on who makes the team, Grishina will most likely not even vault at all, which means no all-around.

On a positive note, she looks better falling than Steingruber does vaulting.

I was babysitting my nephew during vault finals and wondered why he started crying. That “vault” is what nightmares are made of.


This is the event where she shines. A London bars lineup of Grishina/Komova/Mustafina is unbeatable.

But as it stands now, she’s on par with Nabieva scorewise. If Nabieva is vaulting her filthy Amanar by summer, there’s a chance that Grishina won’t make the team at all. She needs to get to work on one of those twisting Shaposhnikova moves that the rest of Mutha Russia do and bump that score up into the mid-15’s.


The event I first fell in love with her.

Her routine has changed a lot – she took out the full twist, her layout is quite iffy, and I hate her switch ring leap.

Still, she has a lot of qualities – the way she moves, her poise, her carriage – that the rest of the world lacks on beam. Most beam routines are completely devoid of choreography, so she does a good job considering. It’s an ambitious routine with strange/cool combinations (Onodi + illusion + 1/1 turn + jump – no one does that), jam packed with difficulty. She does things that don’t even reel in the bonus points because she’s just that kind of girl.

She fluctuates between the double pike dismount, and a 2 ½ twist. I suggest she sticks with the twisting dismount, because her twisting form is virtually deductionless. And because I can’t erase the sting of qualifying out of my head.


I think it’s time she ditches the double arabian, she rarely makes it.

She needs new music, and the routine needs completely reworked. But again, she has qualities that are few and far between. I’m not calling her a great “dancer.” It’s her carriage. There’s a difference, people seem to forget that. She used to do a lovely triple spin; she really needs to replace the Memmel.

 She seems to be a work-in-progress. But is there time?

Stoi! readers, it was her first meet as a senior. Can we give her this one?



8 responses to “GRISHINA : Headcase or Nervous Rookie?

  • Stoi!

    Thanks for the titbit RussianFan. Maybe it’s not so bad for Grishina after all then. And Paseka’s chances just improved.

    • Stoi!

      Agreed – Nabieva really needs the “Amanar” to have ANY chance of making the team…a shitty DTY and a bars routine that rivals Grishina’s scorewise isn’t going to do it…


  • Russian Fan

    Nabieva was asked on sprashivai though, which is basically the russian version of formspring, if she was still training/planning on doing the amanar this year and her answer was no. Although who knows thet may decide closer to London to try and bring it back to strengthen her chances of making the team.

  • Stoi!

    Dementieva and Grishina seem in some ways to be going for the same spot. I wouldn’t rule either out yet, though. Not based on the test event performance- I mean Yao Jinnan and Sui Lu looked awful, but they’re still both highly likely to make the Chinese Olympic team.

    I think Bronners is right that Nabieva isn’t done yet, either. If she gets her ‘Amanar’ back, she might well be there. Judges this quad have shown repeatedly that they’ll credit Amanar attempts if they’re more than 2.25 rotations. Nabz can’t be counted on to actually complete the vault, but she can usually get fairly close. Her crappy form was penalised in Tokyo, so I don’t think her Amanar would score as well as it did in 2010, but it could still be a 15.2 job. Bear in mind that vault is Russia’s weakest event. It will probably cancel out their bars advantage entirely.


  • Tmoney

    I would put a healthy nastia bross and Jordyn or Ross anyday over those 3. They’ll probably when bars but not by much. Well dominate them on vault and the other events. Our vault will shut out russias bars.

  • Koruton

    Sadly I think Grishina might not have a big chance of making the Olympics. She is apparently strong on beam and bars – but Russia has more than enough good beamers and bar workers. Her vault shuts her out of any medal prospects in the AA so I think she won’t challenge Mustafina for the second spot. And with Komova and Mustafina BB and UB are reasonably well covered. I think she might also have to fight for the spot with Dementyeva who has a similar profile, but has more potential on beam and floor. And acutally, she has shown a decent DTY too. Additionally she is more experience, so even if Grishina’s performance was just a fluke, it will not speak for her after all.
    There’s barely anything I would want more than to see Grishina shine in London, but I think she might lose “her” spot to someone who can pust better scores on Russia’s weak events… But let’s keep our fingers crossed.

    • Stoi!

      I’m not sure about Dementyeva. She has potential, but she’s just as big of a headcase as Grishina. I think she just got lucky a few times to be honest. She always looks to be the verge of some sort of meltdown.

      I would have considered Grishina a lock before the start of the test event, but now I’m not sure. The 9 top Russians in my mind (injured or not) are Komova, Mustafina, Grishina, Sidorova, Dementyeva, Nabieva, Afanasyeva, Belokobylskaya, Paseka (just for vault). We could probably nix Belokobylskaya off the top. Of the 8 remaining, 1 of them will watch from the sidelines, and 2 are staying home.

      It’s kind of scary that there’s only 2 real “locks” for the team (Komova/Mustafina), one of which isn’t even fully recovered yet.


  • MegRed

    Hi There Stoi,
    I was wondering on a similar note,, i have a big audtion tomorrow and am really nervous what should i do to not be so nervous??? help!!!… thanks!

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