Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Patriotic Post


There is a key to doing well in three-up, three-count: it's called hitting.



I will post this against my better judgment because people think I need to own my hidden inner patriotism.  These girls had the meet of their lives and Martha can now brag that her training methods work and justify her every decision.

Somewhere, Alicia's comeback just got harder as she realizes that they won without her.  Things will be different and more difficult next year, but Kyla Ross and others will have vaults and floor routines.

Note that Raisman gave her team members a pep talk, yet she is unlikely to tout herself the leader.  Raisman really did prove why the national staff has had faith in her for so long.















60 comments:

  1. Agreed, and I speculate that Nastia's comeback was made a bit harder too. Thinking that Anna Li will train as UB/BB specialist, get her E bars score to north of 7.0. And her mother will do what it takes to keep Anna healthy.

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  2. Nobody can take anything away from the Americans tonight. They absolutely wiped the floor with the other teams. Russia and Romania were reduced to nervous, fumbling messes. Yes, Musty and Izbasa were missing, but I'm not sure that even they would have made the difference tonight. These gals were hungry.

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  3. I'm just praying this doesn't curse us for London 2012! We always win worlds, then lose the Olympics!!!

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  4. If Anna can't deal with the pressure of training with Martha, there will be no way she can handle Nastia and her bitch stares and her mind games.

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  5. If Marta won't put Anna in now, you're delusional if you think she'd consider taking her over Nastia, who can be better at bars, significantly better on beam, and has exhibited mental toughness at the OG.

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  6. Agreed ^^
    Looking at the scores for team finals the US won it on vault. With the #1 team score on vault and floor in qualifiers and finals Maroney, Wieber, and Raisman are essentially locks for the Olympic team. Although Douglas and Vega totally came through for their countries (and shocked everyone in qualifiers with their all-around scores) they aren't necessarily locks for London. To be sure that they can be the top bars and beam team they need an athlete like Nastia who is a gold medal contender on both apparatus (and was totally robbed on bars in '08!) The US is less than 1 full point off the top team bars and beam scores and Nastia is exactly the athlete they need to push them over the top. Barring injury the US is a lock for gold in London, even if Izbasa and Mustafina come back.

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  7. TOTAL SPECULATION (considering how FAR the London Games are away): Assuming all individuals are healthy, I'd say the olympic team is going to be Maroney, Wieber, Raisman, Bross and Liukin. Since Nastia Liukin announced her comeback I'm pretty sure Valeri is already trying to code whore her bars to a 7.2+ start value. Her beam D-score will probably be 6.0+ but focused on execution. No doubt, Valeri is also code whoring bars for Bross too. Team finals with this team would basically be:

    Vault - Raisman, Wieber, Maroney
    Bars - Wieber, Bross, Liukin
    Beam - Wieber, Bross, Liukin
    Floor - Maroney, Raisman, Wieber

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  8. I agree 100% with that lineup for London. Have Vega and Ross as alternates. I love Alicia but I think the injury will be it for her. Maybe Douglas will be alternate as well. I don't forsee Johnson outscoring Raisman or Maroney on the leg events.

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  9. I don't know if I'd call Raisman or Maroney locks. Kyla Ross has somewhat similar strengths with better bars. I wouldn't be surprised if she overtakes one of them.

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  10. America !! F#%K YEAH!

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  11. That's exactly what I was thinking for London lineups as well. Both Shawn and Alicia's chances for London just got worse. And it's unfortunate for Ross and the other 1996'rs that they weren't permitted to compete this year ala SJ in 2007. She'll have to be an absolute rockstar at Visa's and Trials and Camps. But her bars are decent, so you never know.

    I think Nastia and Valeri both see a place for her on that team and on top of the UB EF medal podium or they never would have made an official announcement. I certainly wouldn't bet money against them.

    So did Anna Li get a medal? Or was she just accepting Alicia's? It seems like she did wonders for Gabby Douglas' mental game. I hope she got something out of the whole thing, because she will not beat out a competition ready Liukin for a London slot, as noted by anon @8:50.

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  12. Vault - Raisman, Wieber, Maroney
    Bars - Wieber, Bross, Liukin
    Beam - Wieber, Bross, Liukin
    Floor - Maroney, Raisman, Wieber

    Anon @ 9:34, the prospect of that lineup of girls just got me SO excited for 2012.

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  13. Changing of the guard. Raisman is twice Worlds now. All the rest of them have been there once. Chelse and ASac just went under the knife. Sloan and Johnson are coming off older surgeries also and have not shown ability to make a team. Liukin has not competed for 2 years...

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  14. I'm sorry, but I'm not putting Becca anywhere close to BB in a TF. She is inconsistent as fuck on that apparatus. You people are nuts.

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  15. Liukin did not have an exceptional beam d-score under the LAST code, nevermind this one. She is VERY limited in her skill selection because of how tall she is and her extreme lack of power. She can't even handle a skill like a switch leap back tuck which SO MANY of the girls relay on. I'd be very surprised if Nastia was THAT useful on beam.

    Nobody is a lock on this team because of the enormous injury rate this country has. NOBODY could have predicted that there would be enough injuries to put Douglas, Vega, and Li on this year's team. Nobody.

    I'm also not sure about Ross yet... But if I take Liukin off the following team, I'm not sure who I'm putting in, so maybe I'd put in Ross? But she's not strong enough on bars to fill a specialist role, and I still haven't seen her in a Sr competition yet, so I'm holding off on her.

    Vault - Raisman, Wieber, Maroney
    Bars - Wieber, Bross, ?
    Beam - Raisman, Wieber, Bross
    Floor - Maroney/Bross, Raisman, Wieber

    One thing is for sure, Maroney, Raisman, and Sacramone CAN'T all make a 5 person team because that's 3 girls who cannot do bars. But I don't think Sac or anyone else will have to worry much about trying to beat out the other girls because you know at least a couple of them will end up very injured. Sigh.

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  16. Bross has already been in Team Finals on beam, she can handle it. She doesn't scare me there because her d-score is so high (assuming she's at 100% and keeps the arabian dismount) that even if she were to fall, she can still break 14, which would still be a fine score to keep the US in it. And when she hits, which is more often than not, she is scoring over 15, which the other Americans have trouble doing. She has the highest beam d-score in the country... It would be foolish to not think she's valuable in a 6-3-3 setting.

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  17. What is Nastia's d-score on beam under this new code? It can't be high, and she really doesn't have much room to upgrade. Even in her prime when she was trying to upgrade beam, it just didn't work (like when she was trying to do the back pike at the end of her series). It's not like she can whip out a triple twist dismount or insert a 2-footed layout or even any harder leaps. She just doesn't have the body type for that. If she made this team, it would be for bars only. And will Marta take a team member who doesn't even touch two events and isn't needed on the third? I really think she should work on floor. Right now, her "comeback" is not even as legit as Shawn's.

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  18. It'll be interesting to see how the younger gymnasts develop in the next year. I wouldn't have expected Raisman to improve as much as she has, and if Maroney makes a similar progression, it may be tough for Raisman even to make it. Ross has also been brought along slowly and is quite consistent, but still has room for improvement.

    But by the time London comes around, there will probably be so many injuries that all of the tough decisions will have been made by default.

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  19. well, the "last code" required 10 elements. The "new code" only requires 8 (with a minimum of 3 dance and a maximum of 5 acrobatic). So, I actually think this code favors Liukin more on beam then when she competed in 2008. Plus, what Liukin lacks in difficulty she makes up in execution. The international judges love her form. Oh, being the reigning Olympic AA champ doesn't hurt with the judges either.

    Also, I agree. I would have no concern would putting Bross in the beam line up if she was healthy--but given the way Marta puts these girls through the ringer...that's a big if.

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  20. Vault - Raisman, Wieber, Maroney
    Bars - Wieber, Bross, Liukin
    Beam - Wieber, Bross, Liukin
    Floor - Maroney, Raisman, Wieber

    This would be an ideal team assuming everyone's healthy (sure) and Nastia makes a wildly successful comeback (remains to be seen since she isn't even home training right now, let's be real). Otherwise, someone is going to have to do bars, and it's not gonna be Sac. Sac helps herself if she can get floor back though. She's the same gymnast as Raisman with a better vault and a lesser floor. So it's possible that she and Raisman are fighting for the same spot.

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  21. If Valeri can get Christa Tanella a scholarship at UGA then he can get Nastia's beam D-score up to 6.0+. The code is like witchcraft for him.

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  22. Sac, Raisman, Maroney can't be on the same team. (no bars)

    Sac, Nastia/Anna can't be on the same team. (specialists)

    It limits our options for sure with only 5 gymnasts on a team.

    Nastia really shouldn't even be in this equation right now. You would think someone trying to make a serious comeback would NOT continue working for the FIG next year (she said she will continue), would cancel her appearance in the SkateGym spectacular, and give herself more than 6 months of real training. Marta doesn't like shit like that.

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  23. THIS ----> "But by the time London comes around, there will probably be so many injuries that all of the tough decisions will have been made by default."


    It seems it happens that way almost every year.

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  24. It's early in the game and whether or not Marta would actually ever put Nastia on the team remains to be seen. What Marta WILL DO is use her like a pawn and threaten to put her on the team if the other girls don't improve their game on bars.

    Does any one actually know the format for qualifications at the olympics?
    5-4-3?

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  25. I wonder what Marta really thinks of Anna Li. Did she leave Sac on the roster out of the goodness of her heart and to get her the record-breaking 10th World medal, or did she leave Sac there because she was so pissed off at Anna Li for bombing her one and only routine in Podium Training? I'd be interested in knowing how Anna could not beat out a girl in a wheelchair on an airplane for a spot on the team. Not that it makes a difference... If everyone else is injured, Anna may very well make the team.

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  26. GO USA!! Congratulations to Aly, Sabrina, Jordyn, McKayla, Gabby and Anna too-it's nice she was allowed up on the podium! Well done ladies! I'm so proud I could bust! :D

    As for the Olympics-no one is truly a lock although if their healthy and in top form I think Bross, Maroney, Raisman and Wieber will be there. The 5th spot could be Nastia IF she's in top form and has shown signicant upgrades on bars and beam. Gabby Douglas for sure has a great chance with her bars set as does Anna Li (if healthy) but politically I think Nastia has the leverage. Hopefully Marta will decide the best one's for the team.

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  27. yes it's 5-4-3.

    And yes! "What Marta WILL DO is use her like a pawn and threaten to put her on the team"


    The more girls, the better for Marta. She can use them to motivate the top girls (and she can afford to injure more of them). That's why I think she's been so supportive of Shawn's comeback. Marta knows Shawn doesn't fit our holes well, but I'm sure the comeback of Shawn helped get Sabrina Vega's ass in gear a bit more.

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  28. I don't even like Maroney and Raisman on the same team with only 5 girls. Marta is sure to break one of the bar workers while in London, and I'd cry seeing either Aly or McKayla do bars in Finals. Of course, we could still win anyway. It's just a little embarrassing.

    Wieber, Raisman, Bross, Maroney, Douglas is my team though. I've probably jinxed them by saying that. I'm also curious how the younger, somewhat injury-prone ones get through puberty (Maroney, Douglas). That back injury of Maroney's may become a more serious problem than it was this year if she has a growth spurt.

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  29. People seem to be jumping to the "well, Nastia's coming back so she'll be on the team" conclusion. While I do think that she's serious about the comeback (I don't think that she OR Valeri would waste their time with it if she wasn't), I don't think she's a lock for the team yet. The Olympics are a ways away, and some major potential players, like Bross and Ross, weren't at WC (I'm personally looking forward to Bross v. Ross v. Wieber).

    I don't think Shawn or Chellsie are going to make it, and I think Alicia's injury might have done her in. I read reports somewhere, can't remember where, that Aly seemed to be stepping into the leadership role for the girls.

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  30. No way in hell Maroney is making that team over Ross. I also think we are going to see at least two Beijin vets in London. And as much as it pains be to say this as a huge Raisman fan, if Raisman doesn't get an Amanar competition ready and Shawn Johnson returns to form on beam and floor, Raismans out and Johnsons in. I think we are going to have 4 AAers and one event specialist, so Bross better get her ass in gear on vault if she doesn't want to be ousted by Nastia and Sacramone better pray the bars specialists can't contribute on the other events.
    I think we are all being a little biased towards the younger kids right now because of their performce, but the fact is there are girls that were left at home for various reasons that could have performed just as well or even better. Some of those girls were very very lucky to make the team in the first place.

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  31. Lol it is way too early to start cat fights over who Marta would or would not put on the team. Maybe Bross won't come back strong enough on all 4. Maybe Gabby will upgrade. Maybe Nastia will pull off an upgraded beam routine. Maybe they'll all be a pile of broken bones.

    Anyhow, the US girls were so cute last night. I wonder if they'll break the Gold then Silver trend next year.

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  32. I think it's absolutely foolish (albeit altruistic) to count Bross as a lock for the team. Last time out not only did she have zero passion for her routines, she had several falls and had a freak injury that made her bawl in pain. I love Bross and the fierceness she brings to the competition floor but I don't think she'll make it for London. Assuming she can even get back to Olympic-esque condition in time for London she has to compete against dozens of other girls who aren't injured (yet) and who are throwing super difficult routines. And I love when people say "there's no way Raisman, Sac and Maroney could EVER be on the same team! NO WAY!" Perhaps you missed world championships from today. They were all on the same team!! Yes, the US lacks a true star on bars but it showed that it really doesn't need one to win the gold. ASac is done. She set the US record for most medals and congratulations to her. But ripping your achilles tendon less than a year out from the Olympics (then having the team go on to win gold without you) does nothing to boost her stock with Marta. Assuming training continues to go well and there are no injuries Raisman, Wieber and Maroney ARE LOCKS for the Olympic team. Wieber qualified 2nd at worlds, scored highest during team competition and is the reigning US champion. Aly Raisman qualified in the top 5 in the world and is arguably the most consistent gymnast on the US squad. Maroney took 2nd at Visas and is throwing one of the most difficult vaults in the world and does it better than anybody in the world. They are locks. Douglas and Vega have been rocks for USA this year, if they keep it up they'll definitely give Marta a lot to think about in 2012. With the success and domination of this team and these girls, it's tough to envision anybody squeezing her way onto the team. We need help on bars and beam, Nastia and Chellsie are natural fits for those apparatus. Love Bross, Li and ASac but no chance they make the team. You read it here first ;)

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  33. If one more girl gets an Amanar(not that unlikely) Maroney is essentially useless. And UNLESS Raisman gets an Amanar, if someone comes in with better beam and floor than her, she too is at greak risk from being cut from this team. Maroney and Raisman are FAR from locks. The only lock is Wieber and thats because she is the best AA gymnast is the world. Neither Raisman nor Maroney are true enough AAers to safely be taken on a 5 person Olympic team together. You can't take more than 1 event specialist next year and that one event specialist better be able to do 3 events.

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  34. No one is a lock for the team, it all depends on who is healthy. Wieber is a great asset and if healthy, should make the team. Raisman is very consistent and a good lead off competitor when everyone else is healthy, she can contribute on V, BB, FX and is she gets an amanar, she has a great shot, otherwise she's a bit of a question mark. Maroney is on the bubble, she has the best amanar in the world but still inconsistent on BB and FX, it all depends on what she does over the next several months. ASac can contribute on V, BB, FX similiar to Maroney and Raisman...I agree that all three of them on the team won't happen, we just need that bars score too much. I think it will be 2/3 of them, and it all depends on who is the healthiest when needed, personally I'd hate to see ASac left off the team. Bross is questionable, she has been injured and hasn't been able to come back yet. Liukin is a big question mark, she may have the edge and grab that specialist spot. Gabby may just make the team, especially if she has an amanar. Shawn's on the bubble too. It's hard to know what will happen next year....as for Russia, they're going to risk everything in an olympic year and although this team was fantastic...we will need higher scores if we want to win the olympic title. I'd love to see Wieber, ASac/Raisman, Liukin, Gabby, Maroney but who knows what will happen....will be a great year though!! I have a feeling ASac and Raisman will be fighting for the same spot.....

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  35. IDK, at this point Raisman seems like she'd hit beam with a gun to her head. That raises her stock substantially in a 3 up 3 count format. I wouldn't say she's a lock either, but she's going to be difficult to beat out in the magic formula of difficulty and consistency.

    Sidenote- I really liked what she had to say about Alicia in her post meet interview, and how her face lights up in general when somebody compares her to Sacramone or asks about their relationship, it's very sweet.

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  36. I think Wieber is the only "lock" at this point. Raisman is pretty close to one. She is consistent as hell, and that's what Martha wants, regardless of whether she looks like a robot while competing. She stays on and gets the job done. Who cares how pretty and artistic you are if you are a mess like Komova was tonight? She's a great gymnast, but in the end staying on was what mattered. *Shrugs." Maroney seems like a one and possibly two-event gymnast at this point. Vega, Li and Douglas won't factor into the mix. As for Nastia's comeback, I'll believe it when I see it. She's obviously not very serious is she's still prancing around the country with less than a year before London. I love Sac, Memmel and Johnson, but sadly I think the younger generation is going to overtake them this year. The U.S. is just too deep.....

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  37. I truly don't get the concept of giving medals to people who haven't competed in any portion of the actual competition. Not to take anything away from Anna, but I'd feel pretty damn ridiculous standing on the medal podium if I hadn't actually competed. And what's a medal worth when you haven't contributed? Frankly, looking at a medal I hadn't competed for wouldn't mean a whole lot. And let's face it, the only reason Anna was out is bec. Marta wanted A-Sac to break Shannon Miller's record. How ridiculous is that someone who doesn't set foot on the competition floor in Tokyo can still claim the title of "most decorated?" If I were Shannon Miller I'd be pretty pissed right now.

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  38. For a previous poster - both Anna AND Alicia get a medal, bec. they were both on the roster (Li as alternate). I'm an American who supports our girls 100 percent, but what's the point of giving a medal to people who didn't compete at all? Why not give one to Johnson too?? DUMB.

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  39. Anonymous at 12:47 PM...

    Raisman, Sacramone, and Maroney cannot be on the same FIVE PERSON team. On a SIX person team (which they were all on), there were THREE OTHER GIRLS on the team to handle bars. On a FIVE person team, if THREE are weak bar workers, you are left with TWO girls on bars. Hopefully now it is clear for you.

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  40. Oh sorry, you weren't anonymous, your name was Alex. (for the post right about this)

    PS, Marta isn't going to give a rat's behind if Maroney got 2nd at Visas this year or if Raisman came 5th in the All Around. That's not how this works. They will make the team if they are still outscoring everyone on certain pieces of apparatus next year and are the best bets to fill certain holes.

    As for Sac coming back from an achilles tear, Courtney Kupets did the exact same thing in 2004. It's not impossible, and I'm sure she'll put up a fight. Dismissing her completely while propping up someone like Vega, who is a nice gymnast, but certainly had a bit of luck on her side to get on this World team, is ludicrous.

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  41. The Nastia thing is SUCH wishful thinking. Not only is she in Japan for weeks rather than at home doing serious training, her skill set just doesn't fit the current demands of the code. The Chinese have been getting NAILED for their invert and pirouetting elements because it's really, really hard to get these types of inverted skills in perfect handstand, and Nastia relies on those same elements. Plus, there's no way Nastia does that double front half dismount anymore, which means she'll lose difficulty there. It is a lot to ask a girl to not only make a comeback after a 3 year hiatus in 6-7 months, but to upgrade her old routines. I'll wait until she does a routine before I even think about talking about Olympic chances. She hasn't been around in forever, she's a complete unknown at this point.

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  42. It will be a great race for the olympic team, one thing that I will say is that we have a lot of great girls who would make a great team. Best of luck to all of them this year!!

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  43. Great post, but why is there a Tara Lipinski video in the middle???

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  44. It doesn't make sense that everyone is automatically writing people like Nastia and Bross and Sac into lineups and claiming that there's virtually no way they won't be there. There are so many unknowns with them right now to be making these claims.

    Similarly, it's stupid to say Nastia won't be there because she doesn't have her dbl front 1/2 anymore. IF she gets back to training who is to say she won't get it back? Or go back to training a full out?

    And, let's be honest - even though her routine relies on inverts and the like that the Chinese have been hammered on, on her home soil she will be massively overscored (and that isn't just her it's US scores in general at home) so if she is to be hammered, it won't happen until she's already on a team.

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  45. I don't think using the Chinese scores on bars from this particular Worlds is a great indication of how Nastia would score. The Chinese have been AWFUL on bars at these Worlds. You can argue that Yao Jinnan and HQS were underscored a bit in prelims, but the other scores have been dead on. They look worse than they ever have: badly missed handstands, very labored swings, dead hangs (that's nothing new lol), falls, missed kips, etc. The Chinese scored perfectly fine in 2010, under this same code, when they hit, so it remains to be seen how Nastia would be scored.

    Someone asked earlier what Nastia's beam D score would be under this code, and I think going by her 2008 routine and her 2009 routine, it would be a 6.1. She has 5 D acro elements + 2 D and an E dance element + .3 in connection. If she could get similar execution scores, she would absolutely be helpful on beam.

    Howvever, whether Nastia can regain her old skills and get routines together that could get her on the team will be the question. I'm not convinced, but it will be good for the US if she does. Out of all of the comebacks, she's the one who could help the US the most.

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  46. Sigh. I miss the days of 6 up, 5 count, no specialists.

    I'm old. Sigh.

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  47. Maroney is the only WAG in the World with a score over 16... on any apparatus. If you think her execution of the Amanar is going to decrease at all over the next 8 months, you are fucking crazy. She will be in London... and be competing right next to Wieber and Raisman. You people obviously didn't watch Worlds and see the clutch performances by these gymnasts AND that they were judged as superior by a panel of judges that we will likely see again in London.

    Get with the fucking program people. Some of you are seriously out of touch with reality.

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  48. Maybe Tara's there because this is The Patriotic Post and her exhibition piece is a sort of patriotic number?! LOL! :D

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  49. I can GURANTEE you that Raisman and Maroney will not be on same team. Only one of them will make it. We already have Wieber and Ross with an Amanar, if Gabby gets an Amanar, with her bars, she will be a lock for the team. Then ONe of Nastia/Bross for the uneven bars specialist. Then one of Raisman/Johnson for the strongest beam and floor scores. Not matter what anyone wants to say that is the configuration that will bring in the highest score. 3 Amanars, 2 really strong bars scores and then either Wieber or Ross'. And and amazing floor line-up depending on who they go with. Same with beam. Maroney might have strong chance if none of the contenders upgrade their other events to add a few extra tenths to make up for her extra tenths in execution, but a girl who is basically a vault specialist is sure as hell NOT a lock for the team next year without major improvements on beam and floor.

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  50. So sad that a girl's work and dreams come down to all these calculations and a team of only 5.

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  51. It's pretty early to be guaranteeing things. There are many months ahead for girls to be injured, gain skills/lose skills, fail to return to prior form etc.

    If everything were to play out perfectly where Nastia gains all of her skills back, Bross is returns to form, everyone stays healthy, etc. then sure, it's hard to see how they would all fit. But we all know that never happens.

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  52. Anonymous at 6:33 AM:

    PREACH!! My feelings exactly :)

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  53. Gabby will be getting an Amanar right after Sloan, Bross, ASac, and Raisman do. I.e. never.

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  54. Any theories on why the Chinese were so bad (compared to usual)?

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  55. Gabby's DTY is small and she twists right off the horse. If she gets an Amanar, it will be scary, just like Kyla Ross's. I don't think Kyla is really standout-ish on any event to think that she's a good bet for a 5 person team. She's simply an AA'er, and probably only about 4th or 5th best at that. PS, these girl are 14 or 15 and could certainly shoot up in height (which will change how they do gymnastics) in the next year.

    PS, ALL OF THE CONTENDERS FOR THE OLYMPIC TEAM WILL NOT BE HEALTHY BY NEXT JUNE. WHEN DO WE EVER HAVE 100% HEALTH? THESE PREDICTIONS ARE THEREFORE USELESS.

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  56. LOL at the person who thinks Shawn may battle it out with Raisman for the same spot. Shawn... Who hasn't done a floor routine in 3 years.

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  57. Raisman and Maroney can be on the same team... It just means the other 3 girls sure as hell better be good at bars and be AA gymnasts (or 3 events at the least for 1 girl at the max).

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  58. LOL at the person dismissing a former Gold Medalist on floor and reigning Olympic silver medalist on floor and Gold medalist on beam abilites to compete for the beam/floor AA spot with Aly Raisman.
    Is it a sure bet she will make it? Hell no. But to laugh at the idea that she can't compete? Foolish.

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