“Well, I cried when Rebecca fell off bars twice. I cried again when Nastia finished beam. I cried when the team was announced. I cried when they announced Aly Raisman. I ate an entire bag of pizza rolls. Shit, you’d think I was pregnant!”– Bronwyn, on Night 2 of the US Olympic Trials
Everyone in the world has known full well who’d be chosen for the US Olympic team for months now, so the drama had to come from elsewhere at the Olympic Trials. And so it did. I have yet to view the whole broadcast, and Bronwyn is apparently too emotional to blog. But I’ve seen all the key routines, and our readership are getting restless. So let’s do this.
The curveball this time came with the alternate selection. Specifically, the dropping of Alicia Sacramone. Astonishing. Never saw that one coming.
Anna Li is something of a surprise, in that none of us would have predicted this just a few short months ago. Marta hates her, or certainly behaved like she did in Tokyo. When she fucked up bars at Classic just 8 weeks ago, her chances seemed dead and buried.
However, if you think about it, Anna’s got the spot because no other fucker was eligible. It makes sense to have a good bars worker available just in case. I like Price, and am thrilled to see her make the eight, but she isn’t it.
So there weren’t really a lot of options. For all that the US bars situation is infinitely better than it was a year ago, the pickings are still slim. Sloan got injured, the Caquattos weren’t there, and Nastia couldn’t get through a set, when push came to shove.
(Incidentally, nobody else liked Nastia’s hair. But I did. If you think that do is a mess, you should see what the average British adolescent is sporting).
We had predicted Bross, but she couldn’t possibly be chosen after this utter fiasco of a set.
It’s one thing to fall: like Anna Li, she has hit 4 of 5 bars sets in the Olympic selection competitions, so a miss is clearly forgiveable. It’s quite another to not even finish. After this, it was utterly impossible to select her, even if she’s still arguably a less risky choice than Li. Poor Becca.
I was thrilled to see her finally land the Patterson dismount, though. For all her dejected appearance recently, she was always a fighter, and clearly that hasn’t quite died. Good for her. My one sorrow is that St Barry Davies has yet to give us his take on it. This moment was made for him.
Anyways, the failure to select Sacramone is unjustified. She ought to be there instead of Finnegan: I much prefer Sarah, but alas Olympic teams are not chosen based on who I like best. They should be though, and then we’d have Finnegan instead of Raisman.
Alicia may be doing the same, increasingly tired sets she’s been doing since Bronwyn was a virgin. But she did them well. While she is no longer the best vaulter in the US, if I had to bet my life on a vault I’d choose her rudi over most of the Amanars.
Not Maroney’s, obviously. Or Price. But certainly Raisman, Douglas and Ross.
That vault is a reliable 15.6 internationally, and the same can’t be said for those three. She’s also one of the more solid beamers the US has.
When it comes down to it, Finnegan just isn’t needed. While her DTY is lovely, as an alternate she only provides cover on beam and floor. Well, she’s by no means preferable to Alicia on beam. And if one of the floor workers goes down, the best replacement would be from within the team. They just don’t need her.
Oh yeah, in other news Gabby Douglas finally beat Jordyn Wieber. But this is not particularly noteworthy. Gabby is just plain better than Jordyn, and will always beat her when she hits. It’s like a Shawn and Nastia situation in 2008: the issue isn’t who’ll win if they go 4 for 4, it’s whether Gabby will actually hit- because Jordyn will.
We’ll finish by hoping against hope that the rumours about the dreadful John Geddert being given the lead Olympic coach position are false. All our readership are cordially invited to join us: not because we’re not particularly big fans of Jordyn, but because everything that stems from him suggests he’s a massive wanker.