Last Chance for Best Guesses

As our readers no doubt know, the US Olympic team will be announced later today. I’ve not yet managed to view all of Night 1- am particularly looking forward to Raisman’s unpenalised OOB- but what I have seen plus scores and comments leads me to be reasonably confident in my prediction.

It’s seemed for a while now that the team is set in stone provided none of them get injured out (a big caveat, on Marta’s watch). Wieber, Douglas, Raisman, Maroney and Ross. McKayla’s unfortunate injury at Nationals led to a small question mark over her for a while, but she put paid to that. Who the fuck cares about bars when you can vault like this?

Fly bitch fly, indeed.

Now there are some arguments that can be made against this team. For example, using Sacramone instead of Maroney might yield a higher team score. It’s possible that the 0.4 or so she’d lose them on vault would be more than neutralised by what she’d add on beam- and of course Alicia would win the gold on vault if McKayla weren’t there.

It’s also possible she’d add more to the team score than Raisman: not having Aly on floor might lose the team 0.5 or so, and arguably Alicia could add more than this on vault and floor. Nonetheless, I don’t see it. Equally, Kyla being a bit weaker than she should be on beam left the door open for a UB/BB specialist, but nobody’s been forthcoming. So this is where we are. The five are the five are the five. Their names will be the ones read out tonight.

Arguably, the alternate situation is more interesting. USAG can name three, and they usually do for the Olympics. Let’s hope this year is no exception.

For me, the big issue is whether there’ll be a bars alternate. It would certainly make sense for there to be one: there are only one usable bars sets on this team, so if one of them goes down, her replacement needs to be usable on bars. Nobody wants to see either a Raisman or Maroney in TFs situation.

However, the list of candidates are not inspiring- not because they’ve not shown some nice work, but because Marta is not in love with any of them. I had thought Bridget Sloan was the favourite, but the poor thing had to pull out with an elbow injury. Never a favourite of mine, but it’s a damn shame for an elite career to end like that. Without her though, the candidates are Anna Li and Rebecca Bross. Neither is exactly politically favoured, and both are spectacularly useless on anything other than bars. Liukin is, alas, not in contention. Perhaps if the team were being picked in another 2-3 weeks, but it isn’t. She’s out.

Anna Li’s routine is exciting, and she’s on her best run of hit sets for ages.

She actually won bars on Night 1. Alas, NBC didn’t even show her routine. We think we know what that means. It’s possibly for the best: much as I enjoy that set, it’s risky as fuck. The Rybalko is an untested move internationally for a WAG, and we’ve not seen a lot of Shushunovas under the new code. Can we say built in deduction?

Bross is also on a pretty good run, for bars anyway. She hit at Classic, twice at Nationals and again on Friday. This is a solid, 15.2ish set that she looks like she can do til the cows come home.

However, I’m wondering if Marta will chance it and pick neither. Sacramone, Price and Finnegan are all useful on multiple events, and have had a better overall showing than either of the bars girls. And injured athletes are usually able to do bars. Depends what the injury is, of course, but Marta has competed a lot of gymnasts who were too injured for 3 of the 4 events in recent years, and all of them did bars.

So with that in mind, I’m going to go for Sacramone, Finnegan and Price. Personally I’d have Bross for Price, much as I like Ebee. But Marta won’t.

Stoi! readers, you have approximately twelve hours to tell us what you think…

By Clara


25 responses to “Last Chance for Best Guesses

  • Anna

    Someone necessarily lend a hand to make seriously posts I would state. That is the first time I frequented your web page and so far? I amazed with the research you made to create this particular publish extraordinary. Fantastic activity!

  • Stoi!

    Emma, the problem comes when the difference between routines isn’t reflected in the scores. There’s no great problem with Douglas scoring 16 on vault provided she’s about 0.3 behind Maroney and 0.2 ahead of Raisman- because that’s probably what would happen internationally. It’s not totally impossible that Douglas would get a 16 on vault if the judging was generous across the board in London. Or a 15.5 if it’s unusually strict. The problem comes when the same standard isn’t applied to everyone equally. That’s when it gets misleading. I’d hope most US coaches and gymnasts know by now that domestic scores can’t be taken seriously. Then again, Geddert was moaning about the scores so you never know.

    • emmasrandomthoughts

      Good point, thanks.

      I think most coaches and gymnasts know that domestic scores can’t be taken seriously, but I don’t know about fans.

      I guess judging has always been frustrating and always will be. Sometimes I think for fans, the meet doesn’t start until after it’s over, when everyone argues over the results, ie Weiber beating Komova.

    • Gymistoosad

      There were 2 unmamed WAG judges from 2011 banned from the olympics. Maybe the beam panel – lets see if the D ladies show up.


  • Stoi!

    Well there is an international standard of judging, it’s the Code of Points. But at a non FIG competition, which most national championships are, it’s up to the individual federation what they do really. Federations aren’t required to use the COP for domestic meets, and indeed some use a bonus system (eg Russia sometimes). So there isn’t any way of enforcing anything. If USAG want to give daft scores at Trials that’s up to them really. Plus even when you’re trying to use a standard way of judging, some things are a matter of opinion. There’d be some variation whatever happened.

  • Catherine

    There are no ‘travelling alternates, first alternate’. They all have equal status and will ALL travel to London. Li needed for that bars, Price had the edge over Sacramone with her floor and bars back-ups. Finnegan needed for very strong beam and floor. I get the sentimentality of it and the fact Price scored so high in the AA, but alternate choices DO make sense and Maroney over Price maximises scoring potential.

  • Gymistoosad

    Price to be the travelling alternate.

    It is only her lack of international experience that put her just behind Ross.

  • Gymistoosad

    i got the team last post – don’t need no genius.

    But those scores. -I have never seen anything like it.

    • M

      I tell you, those judges were just trying to see who can give the highest scores after a while.

    • emmasrandomthoughts

      I don’t understand why there can’t be some kind of international standard judging. Why can’t every single meet be judged to the same standards, no matter where the meet is held in the world?

      • M

        That’s a good question I have no idea. I don’t know too much about the scoring. I mean other countries do overscore sometimes, but not to the extent I am seeing in US. China – most times underscore their gymnasts, and Russia gives bonuses to scores at times but again, they only do it sometimes and even then it isn’t really big.

        I guess since nationals are local meets, the country can do what they want.

        Personally I don’t think it helps the gymnasts too much because when they go internationally and get hammered with execution scores etc, it’s like then why didn’t they do this at nationals kind of thing.

        Maybe Clara or Bronwyn could shed light on this subject of why not have an international standard judging for every meet, if they know.

      • emmasrandomthoughts

        I know, it’s confusing to the gymnasts, and to the fans as well. Some people were saying that, because Gabby Douglas earned a 16.00 at the Trials, she could score just as well as Maroney overseas. I thought, “That’s rediculous. Gabby Douglas probably could not get a 16.00 for a vault in an international competition (though her vault the second day at trials was very good) but we know that McKayla Maroney can get that score in an international competition.

  • anthony

    Bross is politically favored over Li. Marta loves Rebecca as do I but I think Anna should get that alternate spot.

  • Clara predicts Olympic Team — Gymnastics

    […] read the analysis – Stoi – Last Chance for Best Guesses […]

  • Gymnasticsalltheway

    The team is definitely a lock. Though i dont think Marta will Sacramone and Price(same type of gymnasts) as alternates. I think i am going to go with Bross.

  • HugeGym

    The team is perfect, Although i dont think Marta will Sacramone and Price(both of the same type) as alternates. I think i am going with Bross

  • Louise

    I’m all of a sudden a big Price fan – I hope she gets an alternate spot. If she keeps improving at this rate, she’ll be a great pick for Worlds next year too.

  • gottaluvgymnastics

    The team is pretty much a lock. Wieber, Douglas, Raisman, Ross, and Maroney are all going to London, and probably in that order. Who cares if Maroney fall on beam and bars, she won’t be used for them anyways. Plus, she’s only been in the gym since last Monday actually doing skills. Those falls don’t matter, Marta!

  • Morgan

    Raisman did get the OOB deduction, it was Wieber that put a toe out but did not get penalized. Wouldn’t have changed the standings anyway.

    • RML

      Raisman got a .1 OOB deduction, but she actually LANDED OOB so it should have been .5.

      • Morgan

        In order to incur the full .5 out of bounds deduction you have to land COMPLETELY out of bounds; while it was questionable as to whether she landed with one foot out or two, I can see how the line judge might have not seen the second one and maybe she should have gotten the .3 for landing with two feet out, but this meet is on home soil and whether the line judge actually couldn’t tell or “chose not to see” is not for me to decide, but she definitely did not deserve a full .5 for landing outside of the floor area.

  • gottaluvgymnastics

    I’m going to agree with you- the whole team is almost a lock. Wieber, Douglas, Raisman, Ross, and Maroney will be going to London. Who cares if McKayla falls on beam and bars, she won’t be used for them and just got back in the gym. She’ll be excellent as ever at the Games.

    • emmasrandomthoughts

      indeed, McKayla was never going to be used on bars or beam, so who really cares? If she had fallen on vault or floor, then we’d be having a different conversation. But she didn’t.

      And you’re right, she missed a week of training with a concussion(!) so it’s not surprising that she was a little off.

  • emmasrandomthoughts

    Your pics are my pics. If Maroney had messed up on floor, that would have helped Price’s chances, imo, but she didn’t. And I agree, Maroney’s vault is amazing, and I want to see that bitch flying in London.

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