Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Martha Interview



Discuss.

In many ways, Martha Karolyi is the biggest star in the sport.

51 comments:

  1. Looks like someone is super happy about Nastia's comeback,i wonder what she knows that we don't.

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  2. I'll take Martha over Bela any day!

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  3. Marta is makinh no secret about her love for Nastia. She's basically gushing! Anna Li should start looking at getting an 8.0+ bar SV ;) Marta has moved on from her.

    Marta is zeroing on Gabby, Nastia, & Jordyn... Probably a mind game to light a fire under their teammembers.

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  4. Yay, she confirmms gabby has the amanar. I thought I had heard that awhile ago, but was beginning to think I made that up.

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  5. Yeah, Marta has always seemed pretty high on Gabby. She is the youngest gymnast at Worlds, so she might have the most upside in terms of improvements in the next 10 months.

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  6. Martha lights up like a proud grandmother when she talks about Nastia, Jesus.

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  7. Marta is on a SELECTION COMMITTEE with Nastia and SITS NEXT TO Nastia at several competitions per year. They are friends, and Marta also has a lot of respect for Valeri. It's not as if she was ever going to say anything even remotely negative about Nastia! She gushed over Shawn, too, probably just out of respect and to appease these girls' agents. But seriously, Marta has to welcome anyone with potentially strong bars that she can get.

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  8. It's a media interview. Even Marta knows you have to be nice in media interviews! If a reporter asks her a question about Nastia, Shawn, Chellsie, or anyone, Marta is going to give the same type of response... "I'd love to have her back, she has her work cut out for her, but she'd be a tremendous asset if she could get back." blah blah blah. Don't read too far into it.

    She also likes to use the girls to motivate the other ones. If she singles out Gabby, it may light a fire under Maroney's ass to get it together, etc. It's all mind games with Marta!

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  9. 1. Marta, just wants SCORES. She knows Nastia fills a big bars hole with her ability to score a high D, code-whored routine.

    2. Where is the bullshit from Abomb or the like about Marta getting canned for not starting a broken NCAA gymnast, who missed prelims? That is so fucking lame, now, in retrospect.

    3. Where is the motherfucker anonymous who said that Shawn was going to quit after not making Worlds, not go to Pan Ams, etc?

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  10. lol, OF COURSE she mentions Gabby Douglas today, even though she didn't compete. This is just an indirect dig at Aly Raisman for effing up.

    Allyyyy, if you don't feeex your bars, I vill give zee spot to Gabby!


    Will Marta take a 1 or 2 event Nastia on a 5 person team? I don't know, but if she does, Sac has no chance.

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  11. Marta doesn't care if they gymnast's name is Nastia or Anna Li... She's told the media similar things about both of them--- "They are great at bars, hopefully will up their d-scores for next year." Marta's certainly not going to tell anyone to give up, not after this year when she watched about 5 girls break before Worlds even begin. I don't think Anna has a chance in hell, and maybe not even Nastia, but they definitely can motivate the other girls.

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  12. Marta's tier 1 pool of athletes for London is: Wieber, Liukin, Douglas, Maroney, Ross, Bross and Raisman.

    What we know is that Wieber is going.

    Then if she has her way she will select 2 out of: Maroney, Douglas and Ross
    Then 2 out of: Raisman, Bross and Liukin

    It is entirely possible that Marta may not take Bross.

    She seems the highest on Ross, Wieber and Raisman from what I can tell.

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  13. Aly in all likelihood would have finished 4th whether she hit or missed, so I think she should be very proud of her finish. I'm sure Marta isn't happy that she melted down badly on bars in the AA at Worlds two years in a row though. But still, Aly has proven over and over again to be a decent AA'er, and she's our default AA'er when the other girls get injured or f up.

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  14. How is Nastia "I'm still romping around Tokyo working for the FIG" Liukin in a tier 1 pool over SACRAMONE, who actually competed this year? And how is Nastia fighting for the same spot as RAISMAN, who is a completely different gymnast? Everyone is so ridiculous.

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  15. That's for anonymous at 12:58 PM


    We all know 50% of these girls will be crippled by next June, so the team will pretty much pick itself.

    When did Kyla Ross become that valuable? Her d-scores aren't stellar anywhere but vault, and she's not completely trustworthy with the Amanar anyway.

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  16. Kyla is a perfect alternate like Vega. She's a slightly stronger version of Vega and just about useless in 6-3-3 when the rest of the US team is a full strength. But we'll see.

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  17. If Kyla gets her Amanar better, Maroney becomes expendable. Maroney has back issues and isn't really that good on any other events besides vault. Both won't get on the team. I think both Bross and Nastia could get on the team, mostly for bars. Wieber and Raisman have the leg events covered practically by themselves. If Nastia isn't ready, Gabby is a fine choice instead, provided she stays mentally with it. I imagine the fact that they didn't even bother televising her bar routine will probably be a small blow to her confidence, and she doesn't need anymore of those.

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  18. The only real no-brainer is Jordyn.

    After that it is a total jigsaw puzzle with Maroney, Douglas, Raisman, Liukin, Johnson, Memmel, Sacramone, Ross, Bross.

    Girls like Vega, Li, Caquetto seem less likely, but then again, you never know who will break anew or be unable to recover from surgeries enough to train hard.

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  19. So many people think these Amanar vaults as so simple and that it's so easy for these girls to master them, and then train them consistently without breaking and without large execution errors. Yeah right. Maroney is a natural at vaulting... That's why she has an upper-hand over the others who just try to keep their limbs in tact when they do the vault. Kyla? Gabby? Yeah right. If they make the team, it's not because they are powerhouses on vault.

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  20. Jordyn is truly the only no-brainer, and even she could get injured between now and then. WHO KNOWS

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  21. There's too much up in the air right now. Nastia can probably do little more than giant swings right now and Nationals are in 7 months.

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  22. Nastia isn't even cancelling the SkateGym Spectacular.

    I would never trust Memmel in 6-3-3. Her comebacks are all amazing but... 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2011... It's just too many years of being broken during Worlds/Olys.

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  23. AJ, you mispelled 'cunt'.

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  24. I don't know where these pot-smoking Bross fans are coming from, but let me remind you all: Bross's gymnastics was pretty heinous at 2011 Nats. You seem to have all... forgotten.

    Next point, Maroney got an *INSANE* score on her Amanar that no one else can compare to right now. Not even close. And then she ALSO did an incredible job on FX during TF and was given an appreciable score by the judges. She has international appeal. Recognize, bitches.

    It's as if none of you have been watching gymnastics for the past 6 months. Wake the fuck up. Olys is 8 months away. If any of you think Bross or ASac can make a full recovery and UPGRADE by then, you should pass that motherfucking bong... because y'all be HIGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

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  25. Marta doesn't have to be nice in interviews. Remember last year when she openly blamed everything on Mattie? Marta will likely interview how she wants not how someone's agent wants her to.

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  26. I doubt that Nastia can only do simple giant swings on bars. In the clip shown during Worlds last year, she was going an Ono and an el-grip 1/1. Also, there has been talk on message boards that she has most of her individuals skills back, just not a routine ready - which is, of course, the bigger challenge. Who knows if it's true, but we'll know more about Nastia as the year moves forward. It will be an interesting mix. There are probably about 5 or 6 realistic variations of the team, and that could change depending on injuries, upgrades, etc.

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  27. Gabby did the Amanar at camp last spring.

    Martha has always been a fan of Nastia---she is an Olympic Champ who is a huge bars score.

    If you notice, Martha didn't mention Shawn until she was mentioned because her spot on the team is less clear. If Gabby, Ross and Wieber form a solid AA spot on the team and/or cover VT, UB, FX, they can bring it Nastia and Maroney. Raisman can also still be in the mix if Wieber can improve her bar routine.

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  28. Of course you're going to analyze how and when Shawn was mentioned -- we get how you feel about her vs Nastia.

    How is Gabby's bar routine NOT being shown a blow to her confidence? She hit what she has control over - her routine - and that should be enough of a confidence boost. Not whether or not it was shown and where.

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  29. Not to be maudlin, but I really feel for all the talented girls who have worked their young lives and won't make the Olympic team. Can't we just pretend it's 1996 and use the 7-6-5 format (w/ compulsories)?

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  30. @Anon 2pm. Thank you! No one really comes close to Maroneys vault. If I were her I would drop BB & UB and focus on vault & FX. With 2 srong SV in both I can see:

    Maroney: Vault, FX
    Nastia: UB, BB
    Three solid AA: Jordyn, Aly?, SJ?, Bross?, Douglas?

    Then again it'll really be a case of whose left after injuries occur.

    & yes I'm including Nastia in the mix without seeing a routine or even knowing her SV. Theres no way she (& Valerie) would risk their prestige with a half ass attemp (like 09). Not with Olympic gold at stake. I have no doubt they have been focused & planning for longer than just 2-3 months.

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  31. Nastia has a free pass to the Olympics even if she falls at Nationals and Trials. That is a bad way to run a team.

    I hope China or Russia wins in 2012 so Marta can be knocked down on her ass for cheating in favor of Nastia.

    I bet Becca starts getting lower scores next year.

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  32. Olympics are 2012 and it's Oct 2011. Marta will pick a team, based on who's healthy/hitting at that time. And her motivation is to win gold, i.e., get the biggest bonus her contract with USA Gymnastics stipulates. Marta is human, i.e., just like the rest of us.

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  33. @ Anonymous 12.59 p.m.
    "In all likelihood Aly would have finished fourth whether she hit or missed."

    Au contraire. If you check the math, Aly scored a 14.0 on bars in prelims. In the AA with serious bar issues she scored a 12.9, 1.1 difference. The difference between Aly and third-place Yao was 1.04 points. If Aly had simply matched her qualifying bars score she would have medaled.
    If nothing else, Aly is a work horse. She knows where she needs to improve. I would be surprised if after a reasonable break she doesn't really hunker down and work on her beam. Personally, I think she should go hang out with Twitter pal Dannel Leyva for some peer training and really kick it up a notch.

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  34. Oops, previous post, 3rd graph, 4th line I meant bars, not beam. Duh.

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  35. That's pretty ridiculous, Anon 4:28. Martha clearly stated that it wasn't going to be easy for Nastia. She'll have to earn her ticket to London just like everyone else.

    As far as Becca getting lower scores next year, we'll have to see what she looks like next year. She was certainly off this past summer.

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  36. Marta's no one's fool. It doesn't matter who could be queried as a 2012 prospect, Liukin, Zamarippa, Caquatto, Peszek, Larson even, she will encourage them and welcome them to the fray with open arms. From a 'negative' perspective some would say to 'light a fire' under the butts of the front runners, but more realistically, the broader the athletic base, the higher one can put the summit. Fill the pool with more talent and skill and it inevitably rubs off on everyone, focusing minds, generating energy, sharpening execution. Marta can sound like a giddy school girl when asked about Liukin, but the only girls on the plane to London will be the ones with their foot on the gas come the final selection camp.

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  37. Didn't Yao also fall on beam? So, if we're pretending that Aly matched her earlier bar score, what if Yao hadn't fallen. Would Aly still have eclipsed her had both hit accordingly?

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  38. @ anonymous 4:28
    Stupid much?

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  39. @ anonymous 7:11
    Touché. Monday morning quarterbacking is just a rhetorical game of coulda', shoulda', woulda'. Yes, IF Yao had not fallen and IF Aly had hit she probably would not have medaled. It's just a question of how many 'ifs' you want to put in the equation. I just chose to use one 'if.'

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  40. As much as it pains me. Given I hate the rewards for piros...and Nastia's general twink appeal...the girl does fill a substantial hole, mathematically. I think Marta let slip some honest impressions. Plus, she is not injured like Shawn or Chellsie (and both girls are still question marks if they can ever get their bodies back to scratch...and Marta is savvy about that sort of shit.)

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  41. If Gabby did an Amanar at camp LAST SPRING and it hasn't surfaced since, chances are that thing isn't very cute looking or very consistent.

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  42. Maroney is so frail... Having her just doing the pounding events all day would wreck her! If nothing else, at least training beam and stuff gives her a bit of a rest for the day.

    Marta gushing over Nastia is not because she "wants" her on the Olympic team, but because she knows that whether Nastia's comeback is successful or not, it will at least scare the other frontrunners into trying to become better at bars, where we generally still suck. I mean, Mustafina plus Komova will just wreck us there next year.

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  43. Aly's 14 on bars in Prelims was a ridiculous score. I tend to doubt she would have gotten that with a hit routine in AA (then again the judges were willing to give her a 12.9 when she probabl deserved a 10.9), so she may have still stayed in 4th. Point is, I don't think she or Marta should feel that disappointed by her efforts.

    <<<>>>

    I agree with the above paragraph. Also, an increased talent pool allows Marta to push the girls harder, because she knows that she can injure more girls and still have plenty left over. Sad but probably true.

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  44. Oops, my comment didn't post right.. I'm agreeing with the paragraph in "Anonymous 7:11 PM" that talks about why Marta likes to increase the talent pool.

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  45. Gabby's Amanar may not have surfaced yet for any number of reasons, who knows. But, hasn't she been hampered by an injury as of late? Better to hold back than start chucking it all over the place before it's ready a la Raisman.

    I would assume, however, that it must be somewhat there for Marta to mention her as having one.

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  46. Nastia, potentially at least, definitely has a better shot than Shawn or Memmel, but her pirouetting elements won't be as valuable as people think. She very rarely finished her Ono-half in handstand, and her invert full before her Pak was never in handstand. She has quite an uphill battle to not only get a strong routine back, but to address the handstand issues, which are a MAJOR part of bars now. The Chinese have always had weak kips and toe shoots, but got exceptional execution scores anyway. Now they aren't getting those great e-scores, because their invert pirouetting is almost impossible to get perfectly in handstand.

    I also think Nastia will face major issues with her dismount. I'm not sure she can get the double front half back. The judges are no longer going to ignore the massive pile of deductions in that thing. And expecting her to switch to a full in or something like that isn't realistic, especially because she has such bent knees on back giants. I wish Nastia the absolute best, but this isn't going to be easy. Taking off a month to go to Japan probably isn't helping matters either. Signs Nastia not being used to all this intensity of training and competition may start to show late in the selection process during Trials.

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  47. Does it seem a little late in the year to be aiming to return to competition at the Cover Girl Classic? Any other year, fine, but it being an Olympic year it seems like it gives her very little time out competing and having her routines scored. I guess time will tell.

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  48. @ anonymous 12:49.
    To say that Marta wants a lot of athletes so she can wreck them without consequence is super cynical and petty. I'm sure that Marta would like to see all national team members healthy and able to perform to the best of their ability. Issues of over reaching I suspect are more likely due to athletes pushing themselves too hard to be competition ready. The responsiblity for properly conditioning the athletes in a safe, systematic, progressive way, and properly adapted to higher intensity belongs to the individual athlete's coaches. And, it's their coaches' duty to reel an athlete in if they are not getting enough recovery time. With so many quantifiable markers, it's certainly not rocket science these days to determine whether or not an athlete is over training.

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  49. Someone posted that Nastia has a better shot at making the Olympics than Shawn or Chellsie. I can only assume that's because her past strength is currently the US's greatest weakness. Other than that reason, I couldn't agree less. I honestly don't know how long Nastia's been training or how intensely or even which skills, but just like Shawn and Chellsie, she, too, hasn't been in elite level competition in 3 years. And from many years of following the sport, I've kind of gathered that your name can carry some clout, but the judges usually prefer to see you out there for more than a qualifier and a nationals before they score you high enough to attend the Olympics. At least the other 2 gave themselves a little more time to reassert themselves to the judges and the rest of the world (granted that while I don't know how serious Chellsie's shoulder injury was, I think if she could've held off and competed in Mexico, she should've. She needed the international competition, even if it wasn't the Worlds. Bad timing). And Nastia, too, had a weight gain. Don't get me wrong, I'm not calling her fat. I actually thought she looked better, but it would affect her center of gravity, therefore affecting even more how hard it's going to be to hit and hold handstands.

    I do agree, however, that she needs desperately to get rid of her double front/half dismount. She missed it more times than she hit it and aside from the landing she made it obvious in the air that she struggled with the power and the timing of it. She used to compete a double layout dismount which was far more consistent for her.

    I also agree that Martha is more excited at the prospect of scaring the younger girls with yet another returning big name. Though I won't rule out she's also excited at the prospect of higher bar scores. But I seriously think it's more the former.

    I truthfully also believe that Martha will take only 2 specialists, but maybe only 1. And they'll most likely be bars specialists. She seems to be pushing more for the AAers at this point. She's smart. Five positions leaves far less room to waste on 1 to 2 event athletes. So I suppose to put it plainly, I'd say if you want to go to London, you'd better be great on all 4 events, and if you can't do that, you'd better start cracking on bars. LOL, they did just announce that the final team will actually be chosen AT the trials believe it or not. So maybe all these gymnasts are going to have to do is finish in the top 5 there. Could selection really end up being that simple? :)

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  50. Nah. To answer my own question, Martha being Martha will still want to go with at least one event specialist who either isn't a great AAer or doesn't compete AA. So, no, selection will most definitely NOT be that simple. Not since what was it...1996? 2000?

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