Sunday, July 24, 2011

CoverGirl Classic--Final Thoughts



It is amazing to witness just how much the sport of gymnastics has deteriorated since ridding itself of the 10.00 system.  Six years ago, many of us whined and got a tad dramatic.  The thing is, we probably should've whined a bit harder.  Routines will always be judged and scores will be subjective, but the actual product of gymnastics has turned to absolute shit.  Before, form breaks would kill you.  If you looked like Chelle Stack on beam, there were consequences.  Now, Aly Raisman is rewarded for having shitty form because she makes up for it with monster difficulty scores.

How sad is it that fellow gymnastics bloggers were lauding Alicia Sacramone's floor routine as a work of baby Jesus?! Have the standards gotten so low that a little arm waving now constitutes moving choreography?  Twelve years ago, we all bitched at how disgusted Kristen Maloney was.  The scary part is, she looks like Mostepanova compared to ninety percent of the shit currently out there.  The majority of the field looked butch and beastly, like the 1988 team from the German Democratic Republic (only without their fabulous uneven bar technique.)  Luckily, there were a few bright spots and amusing moments to keep us from offing ourselves before the train wreck at VISA Championships in a month's time.





Rebecca Bross withdrew before the meet began.  She showed upgrades on bars, but just didn't look sharp in Chicago.  Bross has been training all events for several months and has had successful trips to camp.  She is training to peak for Worlds and take advantage of injures to Mother Russia.  Unfortunately, she isn't rocking her '92 Soviet physique yet and Valeri will likely have to kick her ass into gear over the next four weeks.  It is quite possible that she may not do All Around until the selection camps, as she is unlikely able to contend with Jordyn Wieber in just under a month.  And you know Geddert has an added incentive to beat one of his numerous former pupils who had the nerve to leave the nest.



Jordyn Wieber looks to be ready to win Worlds.  They're pacing her and working on the details.  I don't particularly think much of Jordyn.  She doesn't have any flair, emotion, charisma, or even soul for the sport.  There is a very robotic nature to her and the interviews she gives could put anyone to sleep.  That said, it is her time to win VISAs. She needs to actually put all of the events together and not leave us wondering what exactly happened on beam like we did a year ago.

McKayla Maroney is rocking a Shannon Miller '92 body.  It remains to be seen if anyone from AOGC will remain in tact.  They have a girl throwing actual difficulty now.  Can her body actually handle dismounting with a double arabian?



Anna Li showed a monstrous bar routine despite peeling off on the low bar.  If she can put two bar routines together at camp, she will likely earn a trip to Worlds and chap Mrs. Caquatto's ass---who likely thought one of her daughters could fulfill that role through London.  Anna Li looks to be giving more of herself than she ever has in the past.  She brims with self confidence, which likely came after leaving the nest.  Anna was never the thinnest girl as an elite or collegiate gymnast, but her commitment to training, conditioning and the rest is readily apparently by her newly discovered Black Swan body.



Chellsie Memmel was the highlight of an otherwise dreadful night.  The thing that has made Chellsie so successful over the years is that she seemingly lacks any inkling of self-consciousness.  Chellsie has never cared about aesthetics, looking in shape, having an attractive hairstyle, nice makeup, form, grace or any sort of beauty.  The girl is a beast and she owns it.  The fact that Chellsie doesn't give a shit is the reason she is such a good competitor.  Chellsie Memmel owns who she is.  She isn't worried about being popular or ever being known as a beautiful gymnast.  We're lucky she's even wearing a little eye shadow.  She is a modern day gymnast to her core: a beast with flair.  Not only did Chells hit like a bad ass mother fucker, she had the nerve to be a gymnast seen eating on national television.  That just isn't done.  Chellsie looks great after not even going to any camps.  Of course, her gymnastics looks the same.  I certainly wouldn't go to Andy Memmel to learn any skills, but Chellsie can pretty much coach herself and just needs a second pair of eyes and the occasional reassurance.  The fruit-chicken-fruit diet seems to be working.  She is thin from the waist up and looks infinitely better than she did at the invitational she competed at this winter.  Memmel will be in peak form and on the world team unless her body betrays her yet again.  For now, it's exciting to watch her compete.  We just need to suspend our usual figure skating standards.  Chellsie earns that courtesy.  She deserves kudos for wearing one of the only attractive leotards of the entire weekend.



In order to make a successful comeback, one must not be afraid of failure.  Shawn Johnson competed like a girl who knew she looked chunky in her hideously ugly leotard.  She has shown her true level of taste yet again with her latest design.  If I didn't know that Mark Ballas choreographed her floor routine, you could've knocked me over with a feather.  I'm not going to be one of the yes-ppl who pretends that she is some amazing dancer since she spent a few days learning each of the ballroom dances.  I will say that there are elements of the 'old Shawn.'  The girl competed during the peak 14-16  years when life is easier and stars like Shawn, Zmeskal, Shannon and Nastia tend to be uber consistent.  Life gets difficult when your body changes and breaks down in your late teens.  That is when true mental toughness shows.  What Alexandrov said about Shawn Johnson's race against time in 2008 was precisely true.  She now needs to work around her new body and get creative.  She isn't a twister, but she does have power.  There will not be a place for Shawn on any teams unless she explores front tumbling and a new vault.  Her Amanar is never going to happen again.  I'd venture to say that twisting into the ground for so long weakened her knee and led to the sorry situation she's currently in.  Shawn claims that she can't run much anymore due to her knee.  She'll need to figure something out if she doesn't want to fake an injury to avoid the embarrassment of failing to make a second Olympic Games.  If Shawn can compete without a fear of failure, she'll be able to hit her routines and be somewhat successful.  Shawn competed about as well is she trained, which is tentatively and self-consciously.  Unfortunately, she will need to rely on injuries to key girls like Bross, Maroney, Ross, Raisman and Wieber to have any shot of being useful to Team USA.  Shawn is lucky that Martha and her biggest rival had a moment of weakness and decided to accept her petition to Championships.



Aly Raisman won a meet where 11 people bothered to compete all four events.  Congratulations.  Chellsie Memmel did an FTY and a watered down double full to save her body and still likely deserved to win the meet.  At least the TV Network acted like she did when they were done kissing Shawn Johnson's ass for two hours so she'd grant them an interview.  Aly Raisman has been a useful member of the National Team for the last few years.  Raisman is necessary to the team the way root canals and hernia checks at your yearly physical are beneficial (no matter how much you wish to avoid them.)  Side Note---did anyone read Blythe's podium training report where she said that Hava Nagalia suited Raisman in that it sounded very Jewish?!  I just like to make sure I'm not the only one who catches some of these things.  Aly Raisman may very well be in the midst of one of the defining times of her life.  Years from now, she's really going to wish she invested in a hair straightener, conditioner, make up and ballet lessons.  Is she flat footed AND club footed?!  Does she needs orthotics in her beam shoes? Seriously, what is going on there?!  I get that she was the least impressive kitten in her litter and has somehow come along after retirements by Petra and Steph Brown, but it looks like her coaches continue to expend as little energy as possible into make her an aesthetically pleasing gymnast.  Her bar routine makes me think she should stop spending time on a routine that is never going to even count in team prelims.  Chellsie could muster a better score with one shoulder and half a leg (what she'll likely be left with by London based on her personal injury history.)  Raisman is pure beast and risking a torn ACL every time she tries that Amanar.  It makes me wonder how long until Alicia will keep encouraging her to train it on hard surfaces.  Alicia is already beginning to realize they are likely contending for the same spot next year.




Alicia is back to competing three meets a year.  She's really going to have to bypass Classics next year if she has any hope of remaining in tact.  Her Rudi continues to improve and her beam is pretty much the same.  While everyone oohed and aaahed over her overrated floor routine, I found myself chuckling that she is even bothering to train a leap connected to her double arabian.  Sports like gymnastics take a little self-awareness.  Clearly she doesn't recall her typical landings when her adrenaline is pumping.  Then again, she always spends a lot of training beam connections that never see the light of day.  I do like how she is right where she left off on floor...almost killing herself on every 2 1/2+Front Layout after a decade of failing at the pass.  One would think Mihai would teach her something new.  Then again, if Mihai were remotely 'with it,' he'd probably have hired a bars coach by now.  Alicia is looking svelte.  Sadly, we aren't able to see her new trashy tattoo in her competition leotard.  I do miss the thigh rubbing, but the tacky nature of her neck tattoo more than makes up for that loss.

"Alicia's floor was nice.  I liked all of her out of bounds.  It was a nice change to falls."-- West Palm Bitch


Macko Caquatto looks like she is doing a little summer training this year and trying to bluff her way onto another World Team.  She just doesn't have the routines, mental fortitude or precision to have a shot in hell. The Gators never really appear to do any qualitative work on bars or beam. Her sister is coming back from injury and progressing, but really, when isn't Bridgey on the comeback trail?!

Sabrina Vega will make a wonderful alternate.

Gabby Douglas has the amplitude of Dominique Dawes, only with the addition of lovely toe point.  She is lovely and doing well now that she has coaches without reputations.  She is on the right track to be valuable to team USA.




Kyla Ross is going to be an Olympian if she keeps it up.  It may come down to Ross vs. Maroney for the same spot. Kyla knows to how to compete and that will come in handy when the pressure gets tough next year.

Lexie Preissman continues to impress with her talent and competitive abilities.  Katelyn Ohashi may be the most physically talented, but she'll need to start learning how to win before Valeri loses his shit in epic fashion.

The three GAGE juniors continue to do well.  They are allowed to stay and soak up the form for another six months before we strongly encourage them to change gyms that know how to code whore.  GAGE basics have meshed wonderfully with Valeri's daring routine composition for Ohashi.  The others need to follow suit.

As for the commentary, Universal Sports needs to allow Tara Lipinski to take a stab at gymnastics.  She'd have a field day with the competitive mindsets.

Also, how rude of Tim Dagget to only mention that Tatiana Schegolkova choreographed for the butch Elena Shoushonova and un-emotive Carly Patterson despite her brilliant work for Hollie Vise, Lindsey Vanden Eykel, Kaitlin White and Nikki Childs.  It was rude of Tim to represent the Soviet goddess in such a way.

Finally, I do not think that KJ Kindler and I will be recruiting for our team of Aryan wonders from the field at last night's CoverGirl Classic.  We are off to Colorado Aerials to find the next great bar worker with a terrible back.

46 comments:

  1. I appreciate the review, but don't understand why so many comments have to be made about the gymnasts' physiques. Considering all of these girls come in different shapes and sizes, it's clear there is no one physique that is the "right one" or the definite one that works. All the girls are going to look different. I thought Shawn looked great, especially considering she's just getting back into things. Surely, her two falls seemed more like nerves/lack of training rather than anything having to do with her physique. I think her biggest problem in terms of making the Olympic team is that her strongest event is easily beam (pretty much always has been), and we are more than stacked on that event right now. But at this point, who cares, it's great to see someone out there competing and loving their sport.

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  2. This may not be the right blog for you---anon.

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  3. I still think that anna li looks fatter then she should but I think she is going in the right direction.

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  4. Thank You!! Totally agree on all points. Would further point out something that many people seem to have overlooked: at 2010's CoverGirl Classic ASac did 2 events after all that time off + a previously broken body and was able to show mental strength with a great showing. At last night's CGC, Memmel performed all 4 events phenomenally especially given the add stress of needing to perform well enough to qualify to Nationals. Memmels has had injury after injury. SJ's comeback, compared to the other veterans was not good - not at all. I'm still rooting for her but am not having high hopes.

    I'm guessing the world team will include: Anna Li, ASac, Aly, Bross, Weiber, Memmel...alternates SJ, Ross, Maroney.

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  5. Ross isn't eligible for Worlds. No way Anna Li and Memmel will be on the same team. Raisman will go. Douglas also has a shot.

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  6. Mihai doesn't seem to do a very great job at identifying what skills work or not for his gymnasts, I would think. The 2 1/2-front LO is a prime example, and another one is Alicia's switch side on BB. She's probably been competing it since level 10 and she STILL wobbles more often than not.. Seriously, switch it up if it doesn't work. They seem to have finally given up on the punch front mount-back tuck connection, thankfully, but it took them three years to do so.

    Mihai baffles me.. Obviously both Alicia and Aly are great talents, but their gymnastics is unbalanced. Some areas seem absolutely perfect, while others look like they have never been worked on at all. How can you, as a coach, be able to teach a very impressive 1 1/2 through to double arabian-punch front, and have the rest of your gymnast's routine (except for tumbling passes, obviously) look like absolute shit? When your gymnast is as talented as Aly is, and is as excellent of a competitor, how can you not want to make the other areas of her gymnastics up to par? It sucks because if he paid even a tiny amount of attention to the rest of her gymnastics, she'd be amazing to watch, but it's like he doesn't even try, and as a result, Aly's pretty damn gross to watch. What's his deal? Doesn't he see that she's unpleasing to watch? Why doesn't he do anything? And yes, why can't he hire a good bars coach? Alicia and Aly get away with sucking at/not doing bars because they're great everywhere, but what about the level 10s who are just average on the other events?

    /rant over. I guess I just don't get that he seems like an amazing and awful coach at the same time.

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  7. I love Shawn Johnson but I think you're first sentence is right on. She competed afraid, that was and is her biggest issue. She's scared to fail. You can hear it in all of her interviews before the meet and to the media, she's scared. She need to not be afraid to suck, to fail, and just go for it. She's holding back and that caused both her falls and her major wobble. That's how she got to Beijing and how she won a silver medal in AA, by NOT being scared to mess up.

    After her almost fall after the L-turn she actually looked like she wasn't afraid anymore though. She did look like the old Shawn Johnson for a the last half of her beam. It might have been a fluke or maybe she woke up. Idk, well see in St.Paul.

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  8. Shawn thought she was fucking invincible before Beijing. She'd been beaten once all year and only because she fell. She knew (thought) that if she hit, she'd win.

    Now with her injury she's realised she's mortal and vulnerable and it's one hell of a shock to the golden girl who trained half the time of most others and still owned them through sheer natural talent.

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  9. To be fair, Shawn trained by herself and could get way more reps in than others because she didn't have to wait in line for her coach's attention. You don't need to train as long in that situation.

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  10. People hated her then for thinking she was invincible(which is what made her great in the first place) and now people are hating her for being scared because she knows she isn't and is struggling(which is why she sucks now).

    I would think people would at least acknowledge that she has matured and wised up a lot since we last saw her and that's the reason she is doubting herself so much. She has no confidence right now and isn't going to get any better until she finds some.

    Basically if she wants to improve at all she better find some sort of cloke of invinsibility.

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  11. I think the difference between Shawn's comeback and either Alicia or Chellsie's is that this ONE injury during time off, as well as the process of making a comeback at all, are absolutely new ideas to her. She used to have gold shit coming out of her ass every time she went to a meet. Martha, judges, the media--everyone adored her like the sun shone out of her ass along with the golden shit...I mean, hell, even when Shawn supposedly did 298374302984732 FAILED beam routines in the warm-up gym before beam finals in 08, she still managed to have her magic golden shit come right out of her when the competition counted. She was an immature kid who had no concept of how hard it all really was--not, at least, when you compared her with pretty much anyone out there--that had never had to deal with struggle.

    ...not so for either Chellsie or Alicia. They have both had both good and bad meets. They've both had to compete while injured, come back from injury, and all sorts of shit. They both had failed warm-ups that turned into even bigger fails of competitive routines, as well as that competition "magic" that Shawn had. So, in all fairness, both of them kind of knew what could happen and what was at stake for quite some time.

    Seems to me like Shawn didn't grow the fuck up and realize anything until just recently. Hopefully, now that she has gotten those "jitters" out of the way, we'll see "old Shawn" at Nationals. Otherwise, she should quietly disappear and just claim that it got to be too much on the bad knee.

    ...which nobody with a brain will really believe, especially if/when Mustafina comes back to kicking ass and taking names after HER injury, but at least we'll all smile and nod to be polite.

    Also, how in the actual FUCK if Aly Raisman "likes" her new floor music so much, could she not smile ONCE??? Furthermore, bitch has to have been to some bar/bat mitzvahs and some weddings where people went fucking crazy and legit danced to that shit. SO WHY IS SHE INCAPABLE OF DOING THE SAME IN HER FLOOR EXERCISE??? WHY?? Is this girl a robot? WTF KIND OF JEW--AND THIS IS COMING FROM A JEW--DOESN'T KNOW HOW TO DO SOME HORA AND SOME FLAT OUT PARTYING TO HAVA FUCKING NAGILA???

    I just can't.

    And I don't know. I'm on the Alicia crack. I think she's got a bit more "dance" than a lot of the other girls and at least sells that shit. It's sad to say that she's got more dance, but well...yeah.

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  12. Why the hell would Shawn say she can't run anymore because of her knee? She did a 12 miler last year at this time, which I believe is a half marathon. The girl can run.

    Also this slop fest was probably a good thing for her anyway. Not only could she shake off the nerves, expectations of completely off of her and she seems to be completely out of the equation in everyones mind for worlds and the Olympics next year. Maybe it even motivated her.

    You also have to respect the fact she was still her smiley bubbly self after the competition. I always thought the winning made her that way, but I guess its just the way she is. You would have thought she won the meet by the smile on her face.

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  13. So true about Shawn... This is the first time she's been seriously injured, the first time where training/competing isn't just a walk in the park for her... And she's coming in as a 4-time Olympic medalist, and I'm sure expects a lot out of herself. She's SUPPOSED to be nervous as all hell and compete scared. She's FINALLY human now, and that makes me finally like her. She's like a real athlete now. I hope she doesn't just collapse and disappear if she doesn't make Worlds this year. I really want to see her continue and help demonstrate that longevity is possible in this sport!

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  14. We should really be getting behind all these older girls coming back, whether they make a World/Olympic team or not. I really couldn't care less if Shawn makes the Olympic team... She's already a winner just for coming back and doing great skills. I don't want to get behind a sport that only supports 15 year olds on a direct track to the Olympics. I want to see WOMEN competing for the sheer love of it and because they want to use the gift they have been given to perform in this sport. GO SHAWN

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  15. Exactly. I mean bejesus, its not like the girl HAD to comeback. It's not like she's been saying in interviews shes definitely going to be successful, quite the opposite in fact. Yea, people make a big deal out of her comeback, it IS a big deal, successful or not. Growth spurt, puberty, 3 years off and total knee reconstruction. Its not like she just took a year or two off from serious training and sucks. Whether you like her or not it does take some serious cajones to try this and a love for the sport.

    I also get the feeling shes not really going for worlds this year considering how low her difficulty is.

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  16. "In order to make a successful comeback, one must not be afraid of failure"

    Negatron, Particleman. To fear failure is normal. To keep moving forward in the face of that fear --- that is brave. To be able to admit that fear to people who want to see you as infallible (and, appropriately for this context, to those who have seemingly predetermined your fallibility) -- well, that is humility.

    It's not shameful to be afraid. It's shameful to let that stop you.

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  17. If Shawn's comeback was purely for love of gymnastics, she wouldn't have announced it after four days in the gym and had the cameras follow her every move. If you believe that bullshit, you might as well believe whatever fake injury Sloan or Shawn will claim when they realize they can't make the team and decide not to go through with Trials.

    Part of Shawn's motivation is the endorsements, publicity and attention. In that case, good for her for doing what she has to do to milk gymnastics for as long as possible. That said, if she does continue, there is a decent chance that 2-3 girls could have major injuries next year and she could wind up in the mix.

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  18. No one said it was PURELY for the love of gymnastics, but no one's comeback is purely for the love of gymnastics. Alicia and Chellsie have the benefit of a crappy Olympics to motivate them. Shawn has some endorsements. To think her comeback is mostly for money is mental, there are much much MUCH easier ways to milk gymnastics and get endorsements and attention, Nastia Liukin's making her living off of it currently.

    And if her comeback was primarily motivated by endorsements publicity and attention, she never would have competed at the Covergirl classic as unprepared as she was.

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  19. Oh, yeah. What happened to Sloan? Wasn't she putting off NCAA to do...something...or, no, wait. She only competes when there is absolutely no competition..or...something....
    yawn

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  20. Re Shawn: the knee is a big deal and is holding her back. I know peeps here seem to think that it is just about heart, but not everyone's body heals the same and some people are never the same or even competitive. We see it all the time in the NFL. Some athletes can return to top form. Others end up having to leave the league.

    One important data point. Shawn had a SECOND SURGERY on the knee. You don't do that if things are hunky dory.

    We ain't out of the woods with Paul's shoulder either.

    P.s. And I have been critical of Shawn's weight or committment in the past also. But it really will come down to the knee. AJ's comments about figuring out creative ways to score and do tricks that don't stress it are right on.

    P.s.s. Supposedly, she is actually getting the Amanar well onto a pit mat. The size gain has helped on vault, as it can. But screwing around with a vault like that, given her knee, is just dangerous. Unfortunately, she has not really trained other vaults much and there are less choices for females and they tend to be so Yurchenko ingrained from a young age. So she basically has a choice of doing a very safe low score double...or twisting into the ground on an Amanar (still likely iffy) on a bad knee.

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  21. Getting into the physique crap:

    Shawn looked better in her shorts and tanktop (nice glutes and upper leg definition) than in the Ferrari-look-creating leo.

    Did you see the guns on Weiber? She has a bicep AND then a big vein on top of it. She doesn't need to have an attitude or a personality. She is cool as a cucumber. I could see her kicking Musty ass in a boxing match. She wouldn't need any 'tude. Just cool confidence and muscles. I think she's kinda bored with the whole drama charade and has figured things out one chess move ahead.

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  22. Great analysis, AJ! Spot on as usual.

    In Shawn's glory days, she fully expected to win every meet. I still can't get past the fact that she wore a gold bow in her ponytail at the AA in Bejing. Now, it's interesting to see her show pressure and vulnerability. We'll see how she handles this first test.

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  23. What bothers me about this whole thing is five years later, Domi M is still posting on her twitter regarding petitions to nationals - as if her and Shawn's situation were exactly the same.

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  24. I think Sloan was in rehab for bicep surgery or something - but yeah, you get the idea that she could care less unless a worlds or Olympic berth is on the line.

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  25. Wow, how dare Shawn wear a gold bow in her hair at the AA in Beijing. Reading into things much?

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  26. What does commenting on Alicia's tattoo have to do with gymnastics? Like you start off saying nice things and then end with being a complete ass. Who cares if Alicia's tattoo is ugly or trashy! Your not the one wearing it are you!? I thought we're suppose to make comments and judge on there difficult and artistry? Not judge there physique and body?

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  27. Yea seriously get over it Dominique.

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  28. does anyone know whats going on w nastia? is there something wrong with her mom? shes been tweeting alot of sad shit.

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  29. Alicia will be injured by 2012 I hope she enjoys her last worlds.

    Shawn has a year to improve. NO ONE is peaking for 2011.

    What did Moceanu say now?

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  30. NO ONE CARES ABOUT NASTIA ANYMORE. That rumor about her mother is based on tweets. IG came to that conclusion.

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  31. SHe just kept tweeting about the petition process to Nationals after Shawn got hers approved or whatever. So petty and ridiculous.

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  32. Nastia's mother was in the hospital over the weekend. It isn't a rumor.

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  33. People need to chill out and give Shawn a chance. Half of the reason she was so nervous is because of all the haters. She said she threw those routines together like two weeks ago. In a year, if she still sucks, then judge. Give her a break.

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  34. AJ ITA! I have missed your no bullshit no looking through rosy glasses commentary! Unfortunately I can remember the days of the great Soviets on FX and their 87-88 Romanian counterparts. The stuff that has passed for 'choreography' has made me laugh or cry by turns. What I've seen at these Classics with very few exceptions is choreo-crap.
    I would like to say that while one's figure/shape is mostly genetics I don't understand why so many US gymnasts seem to be on 'roids versus the rest of the world. I agree with the French coach who near said as much during the Beijing Olympics though I disagree with his implication that the Chinese gymnasts were 'just small'. There I've said it. All that being said, I have never cared for Chellsie, Shawn, or Alicia's brand of gymnastics but I applaud their gritty determination to get to London-especially Alicia who seems the best bet of those three. We for sure need her vaults especially imo. I like Rebecca (except on FX) but my favorites are now the Russians Mustafina, Komova and the Romanian Porgras. I am praying to all the gods and goddesses, chanting chants lighting candles in order to get those three to London injury free. Just one last thing-I am so sad Nastia isn't going to go for it. If only. We could have used her especially on bars. I'd rather watch Liukin swing back and forth all day doing simple transitions and giant handstands that watch most of the craptacular bars sets I've seen. Cheers.

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  35. Nastia has froggy legs on her giants.

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  36. Tudor: When it comes to the bodies of American gymnasts I reckon it's the system that makes them so muscular. No other workouts I saw emphasized as much the need for conditioning. Americans just seem to do much more push-ups and other strength exercises than other nations.

    And when it comes to Nastia I think there were moments when she was just too skinny. Personally I prefer gymnasts who don't look like they're supposed to break during tumbling, but that's just my opinion.

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  37. Shawn would have it easier in her gymnastics if she didnt' have as much weight. I dont' think it is the aesthetics..(to me she looks fabulous for an athletic person) but not for the sport of gymnastics. I must be missing something in these posts..yes her added weight is going to affect her gymnastics just like if she grew 4-5 inches in a year..which my DD did.

    I don't get Alicia..out of bounds on most FX skills, did not get into her floor routine at all..like AJ said all arm waving. BB is a train wreck waiting to happen..I think I have shortness of breath after it is over..but her VT..yes that is it! Alicia do your vault and let it stand for what it is, fabulous and let the rest ..rest.

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  38. Sure, Shawn should lose weight. But is it possible for her? She's a woman now, maybe that's the way she's built.

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  39. @Anonymous 10:45 AM I don't care I'd still rather watch Liukin swing back and forth and alot of the craptastic bar routines I've seen with a just a few exceptions.

    @Anonymous 1:29 PM I think you're right and I wonder when training/conditioning changed? American gymnasts for the most part didn't use to look so over-developed in the arms especially. Oh well whatever. I'm still rooting for the biotches come London.

    I thought Nastia looked too spindly-legged myself but I preferred her aesthetic to some (not all but some) of the other gymnasts who for the life of me looked as if they were on mini-roids or something. Porgras and Komova have that fragile Nastia look going too but I do love Porgras and over most of the others currently competing along with Musty, and Bross who can't dance and whose face seems to be frozen in one non-expression but I like her on bars, beam, and vault. Komova seems fragile but clearly superior imo to what Nastia put out there. I have high hopes for her and my other faves in London.

    Body-wise I actually prefer a strong, yet still feminine looking gymnast such as a Podpokayeva, Pavlova, or more currently a Mustafina. This gymnast type to me looks elegant but with power to spare.

    I agree with those who say Shawn's a woman now and that's probably just her build. She seems to just need a bit more conditioning, putting in the numbers. If injury-free I think she'll do well leading up to London.

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