USA Vault

We all know that the US have gone from strength to strength on this event over the past quad. Three different individual world champions, the second best vaulter in the world didn’t even get chosen as Olympic alternate, and one of the most stunning vault rotations the sport has ever seen in London.

And now, they are in the interesting position of potentially having four athletes who could win the world title. Four. Yes, you read that right. Positively Russian-esque in the abundance of second vaults, which is interesting given that Marta has historically tended not to encourage gymnasts to train them.

The first two, we know for sure are contenders. Mykayla Skinner and Simone Biles have both, in recent weeks, competed vaults that would be absolutely certain to medal at worlds.

Skinner did a DTY and a Cheng. She has a lucky firstname, too.

Unusual technique, but it’s a Cheng ffs. And still valued at 6.5, unlike the Amanar.

We all knew Biles had a fabulous Amanar, now she has a Lopez too. She very nearly stuck the Amanar at Jesolo last weekend.

There simply aren’t three other gymnasts in the world who can better these vaults right now. Skinner actually isn’t even on the national team, but then neither was Kayla Williams at this point in 2009. Biles most certainly is, and Marta spent a lot of time fussing over her in Jesolo. As well she should, given the 60 AA score.

These two alone could go 1-2 at worlds, depending how Izbasa looks at the time. But there are also others waiting in the wings.

The first is Maroney, taking time out of her busy gurning schedule to go back into the gym. Her instagram is apparently full of photos of her going to and from the gym, rather than actually in there- perfectly understandable given that she probably isn’t quite in elite shape. Antwerp isn’t that far away, but then this McKayla may well be the best vaulter in the history of the sport and doesn’t need to be 100% anyway. She could get away with doing the Lopez as her second vault. No doubt she would dearly love to retain her title: while her fuck up and facial expressions possibly made her more famous than winning Olympic gold would have done, it still has to smart a wee bit.

And the other is Vanessa Zamarippa, of UCLA. Readers will no doubt remember the stunning Cheng she stuck at US Nationals in 2010.

In all honesty, we have no idea whether she’s going to be remotely capable of this vault again. She throws a lovely FTY every week whilst competing in the NCAA, but of course that’s irrelevant for our purposes. So this is the longest shot of the four, easily.

Vanessa has talked, though, of trying for elite once she finishes her collegiate career in a few weeks time. Apparently she can do a DTY as well, though has never competed it. Long shot, but you never know. Funny things can happen in post-Olympic years.

By Clara


6 responses to “USA Vault

  • Stoi!

    IllusionSpin, we both like Raisman’s non-fugly vaulting and tumbling- ie her DTY and any of her double arabian passes. It’s all the other stuff that disgusts us. I feel the same about Simone, though I’m also impressed at her beam dismount. If we were to do an assessment of her overall AA programme, it wouldn’t be half so praiseworthy, but her Amanar is undeniably magnificent- better than Aly’s- and her Lopez pretty nice too. I don’t think she’s going to do that well on floor in big competitions if she doesn’t clean up a bit, though.

    But for the record, I think Aly’s first tumble in her EF floor was one of the best pieces of gymnastics of the whole Olympics. If she’d done the honourable thing and walked off after her second tumble, we’d have built a shrine to her.

  • IllusionSpinBlog

    I’m a little surprised that the two of you aren’t completely disgusted by Simone Biles. She’s a carbon copy of Price/Raisman, both as disgusting and unartistic as they come. I know you both hate Raisman, so why don’t you detest Biles?

    • Catherine

      Well, not really. She is miles better than Raisman on bars and Price on beam. I think she could outscore Price on bars too. She has higher difficulty on floor than Price and MUCH better choreography. Her beam is probably equal to Raisman’s, with cleaner execution. Her vault is more dynamic than the others and her tumbling will eclipse both if her planned routine comes to fruition…double double, full twisting DLO, 1.5 to full in tuck and Arabian double piked. Certainly she is no ballerina and her form has issues, but she is substantially cleaner than the other two in that regard and her difficulty is already enormous. A better all-arounder.

  • christina

    Price has said she was thinking about a 2nd vault too
    Priessman too (now her amanar is fugly but if Paseka can be an olympics VT medalist I’m sure Lexie could medal at the post olympic worlds)

  • BLAH

    Skinner looks hella nervous before her vault at a small meet. Wonder how her nerves will hold up at Nationals and Worlds. That “lucky” name might mean she’ll sit one down in finals. 😛

  • sainabou nyang

    I had Lexie for vault finals a few months ago but I haven’t heard of her training a second vault. In fact she needs to spend more time working on loso. The bent legs make the whole routine horrid.

    Mckayla should be getting in shape for scam and pac rims 2014

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