Monday, October 24, 2011

Shawn's Big Moment



The event she was expected to win at Pan Ams...

68 comments:

  1. The amount of improvements Shawn has made since late July is shocking. Her body has transformed as has each event. Yea she fell off beam twice, but she clearly has improved leaps and bounds in a short period of time. Her vault also looked much much improved.

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  2. The falls are obviously major, but overall I think she actually looks like she continues to improve. The routine as a whole looked less hesitant and she continues to push herself to reintegrate the difficulty. I say good on any gymnast who gets back into the daily grind to try and be a success again.

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  3. Kudos to Shawn to putting it out there, rather then claiming you are going to make a comeback again and again and again.

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  4. Yea, on the whole, Shawn seems vastly improved from Classics and Nationals, both body wise and skill and performance wise. The falls suck, but its not as if she was some beacon of consistency in 2007. At the end of the day, this competition wasn't going to make or break her chances of London anyways. She needs to keep uping her difficulty to have a chance anyway. She'll have plenty of chances to improve/prove her consistency next year. Good luck to her, and at least she's giving it a shot either way.

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  5. Her vault looks the same as Nationals.

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  6. I've never been a SJ fan, but I thought she looked really good on this routine other than the falls. She's back in good shape, too...it will be interesting to see where she goes from here. Ha, I also liked how she only gave the brief obligatory smiles to her teammates after her routine, and otherwise looked pissed :-)

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  7. I don't care if she falls all over. At least she is TRYING and is proud to be an athlete. What she is doing is admirable... So many others with talent are just sitting at home on their couch.

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  8. I don't think that this hurts Shawn's chances for London, but falling on beam 2x certainly does not help. It's good that she has added the full back in though. If has a chance, she has to up her difficulty.

    It will be interesting to see what assignments Shawn or anyone else gets next year. Marta sees these girls each month at camp so she can form some opinions there, but other than the Pacific Rim, is there another semi-big international comp? Jesolo maybe. Obviously Aly and Jordyn will most likely go to Scam.

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  9. Yeah, agree with all of the comments. She could have fallen on every event and I totally see why Martha didn't take her to Worlds but the standing full was competed for the first time in 3+ years. I didn't expect her to get that and wasn't surprised when she fell. I also wasn't surprised when she fell on a basic leap, because she was clearly rattled by the earlier fall. She's come a long way. Watching her do her first pass on beam was like watching perfection. She has time, and like others are saying, at least she's taking these bootleg second rate competitions and giving them all she's got, unlike others making "comebacks" by just playing media darling 24/7.

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  10. Shawn has time to get her consistency on beam. The leap was clearly a fluke and forced her to leave out her second series. Did you see her bars? She did better than Vega did at Worlds, and that was with a significant bobble. I really hope both she and Kyla get to go to the test event. Theres Pac Rims also. She has time and maybe when she actually gets time with her coach after him being gone for a month with Gabby she will be more confident.

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  11. Let's not compare these scores to Worlds scores. I mean, they were clearly more inflated here.

    It doesn't matter that Shawn fell here. Falling off beam doesn't hurt Shawn's Olympic chances. Not having a strong floor routine or a 2.5 yurchenko vault is what hurts her chances. Let's face it, Shawn isn't making a team for her beam and bar work. Nastia may have that luxury (but she's a huge question mark obviously), but not Shawn. That's why I truly hope that Shawn is not putting all her eggs in the Olympic basket. Just because she may not fit in well with the potential team does not mean she has "failed". Her comeback has been courageous, inspirational, and really shows a lot about her character as a person and as a competitor. I hope she realizes what a success she is whether she is a factor for the Olympics or not.

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  12. There was definitely a lot to be proud of and praise in that routine, but two falls are NOT good especially after the way the Worlds team hit pretty much everything. The first fall is possibly forgivable, but if Shawn finds herself falling on a split leap ever again, she may as well give it up.

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  13. Yeah, Shawn's scores should not be compared to those at Worlds, and her comeback really shouldn't be compared to Nastia's. Fair or not, Nastia's biggest strength is the US's biggest weakness. IF her BB and UB are up to par, she can afford to show up at the 11th hour and make the team. She just needs to get back to her 2008 level on 2 events. Shawn however needs to get back to her old level (not necessarily the same skills on each event) AND improve in places. For example, if she's going to challenge Ross and Maroney, a 2.25 amanar, like most of her 2008 attempts were, isn't going to cut it. She also must get better on bars - and we've already seen her add 2 new skills, so she's headed there. I like Shawn, and I really admire her comeback. She has a tough road ahead, and it seems like she's up to the challenge. She could have declined this meet, but I'm glad that she's out there competing.

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  14. I don't think anyone is saying two falls are GOOD, just that she shouldn't be mocked for going out there, improving, and falling after atually giving it her all.

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  15. Exactly. It's annoying to pick on gymnasts over one or two botched routines. So what. She didn't make event finals. Big deal. I find it impressive she's trying... Actually, I'm impressed at most of the 2008 for still doing gymnastics. Obviously, they have a passion for it, and that makes me feel happy to follow this sport.

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  16. It sucks she tanked and that AJ gets off on it, but add back the falls alone and her score was decent (and that would still be with a blown connection). I have a feeling she isn't done for because of this outing. Also, to everyone saying that THIS is why she wasn't taken to worlds I have to disagree. Let us not pretend Marta would have allowed Shawn to compete the standing full if she weren't 100% sure she would hit it. Marta snatches out skills all of the time.

    Finally, there was inflation at worlds as well -- Raismen on bars, anyone? To automatically assume Johnson would have been hammered isn't fair.

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  17. It's weird, but I think bars could play into her favor. We always end up being short a bars girl. And no one knows if Nastia will really come back (or even get hurt). I'm not saying SJ is a specialist, but she was 3rd up at Olys and almost got into TFs. If she got that bobble out of the first kip, she'd have had a decent score (still beat Vega as is). And it's not at all inconcievable that she could get another twist into the dismount.

    Again, not saying she is super queen of the bars. But any girl who is trying to make the team should think about bars as a place to improve.

    YEah...getting a legit 2.5 Yurchenko would help her too. We'll see, though. she did not have that before, so why would she have it now? Unless something has changed in biomechanics to her benefit? (doubt it) The double looks pretty easy for her though, so maybe she can get the 2.25 back. ;-)

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  18. almost got into EFs.

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  19. You have to give Shawn the credit for getting out there and trying to come back after being off the gymnastics scene for such a long time. she has truly transformed her body and now just needs the repetition to have secure, confident landings. I applaud these older girls for coming back after they retire and having the guts to go for their dreams. The rest of us just sit back on her computers and cut everyone down as we sit back and eat out bonbons. Go Shawn.....and Alicia and Chellsie. Go for your dreams!

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  20. With a previously completely blown knee she should not even think about a "2.5" yurchenko or a double-double off bars. That's asking for another blown knee. She's already tweaked that knee so many times already over the last year of training. The fact that she's even back at all is amazing.
    If she can get her consistency back she's a cleaner Aly Raisman but with lower D scores (and a viable option on bars if needed). It's a tough spot to be in.
    The thing I liked about her vault today even with the giant step was that giant step shows she's got quite a bit of her power back. Beam and bars just need numbers. Floor, who knows...that needs a healthy knee.

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  21. I agree that upgrading all events where she can will only work in her favor.IMO she would be foolish not to. It'll be interesting to see what more she can do. I have to admit she has already done more than I initially thought.

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  22. Question - I know this post was likely made to knock Shawn, but I'm honestly curious about Sloan. There seemed to be no info on the girl so was her performance today an indicator of where she has been (as in working her way back to form still) or was it an off performance/step down from what she had been showing at camp? Anyone know?

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  23. blah blah blah respect. blah blah blah triumph. blah blah blah courage. reading the comments on here you'd think shawn had just rescued a baby with cancer from a hungry tiger. She fell TWICE on what is supposed to be her best event. it's not mean or hateful to point out that this routine was not a shimmering example of gymnastics.

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  24. Amen to Anon at 10:14. This was in no way a good showing......LOL. Even Gabby Douglas managed to stay on beam at Worlds. Congrats to Shawn for proving La Karolyi right for not fling her ass to Tokyo when A-Sac went down.

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  25. flying* her ass to Tokyo. It's early, y'all.

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  26. I don't think it's mean and hateful to point out the fact that she fell lol on a switch leap at that, but it seems pretty dramatic to start saying it's over for her.

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  27. When the return of the 2004 olympic beam champion makes EF at Worlds after 6 months of training and the 2008 olympic beam champion falls twice and has balance checks consider it a bad day!

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  28. It is overly dramatic to say it's over for her, a lot of us said Douglas's world chances were over after her beam performance at nationals and clearly we were wrong. So of course, she still has a chance. But this does hurt her chances. It's all about what she can bring to the table. It's one thing for Raisman to fumble on bars--everyone knows she's bad on bars. Marta doesn't expect to use her on bars in TF and, I suspect, given her druthers wouldn't really want to use her as an all arounder either. Raisman brought what she was expected to at Worlds: consistency on beam, high floor scores, and a respectable vault. Johnson seems to be building her case: her bars are looking more solid and it looks like she'll have a routine which could definitely be used in prelims, possibly even TF in a pinch. That helps her case. Her vault is looking better, but I agree given her knee injury the thought of her trying to get the Amanar back is downright scary. And my guess is by 2012 in TF Marta wants to use three Amanars. So again, Johnson could be used in prelims, but even a clean double isn't a huge selling point. With floor being a question mark, she needs to have consistency on beam. Marta probably could have overlooked the first fall in the name of her getting her difficulty back. But the second fall was a mental error. This means that consistency and mental strength aren't on that list of things she's bringing either. I'm not saying this makes her chances any worse than any of the '08 girls, but it's naive to say this didn't just make her job harder.

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  29. SJ is still in the hunt for the 2012 team. What she does now isnt going to matter come nationals & then trials. She needs to hit then to ensure Marta that she is ready to peak in London.

    What SJ is smartly doing is ramping up the difficulty on all 4 events. She said in an interview that shes bringing back her amanar. I doubt Chow would allow that if he was truly concerned about her capability. She just needs to up het bars SV a few more tenths & bring back her floor.

    All in all seems to me that shes coming back at a good pace.

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  30. you're right, what she does now doesnt matter much next year. that makes it all the more annoying when people feel the need to make her performance this year out to be better than it has been.

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  31. I like Chow, but he is the same coach who allowed her to compete an under-rotated amanar, where she was still twisting upon landing for a year in 2008. I wouldn't be surprised if all of those incomplete amanars weakened her knee in the first place.

    When it comes down to it though, Shawn really needs the amanar, so it makes sense that she is going to try to get it back - regardless of whether she's only competed about 2 fully rotated amanars in her entire career. Beam and floor is probably the worst combination to have as your 2 best events right now with the huge spread between amanars and dtys on vault and the US weakness on bars. While her UB looks better, it's hard to believe that she will surpass or even equal gymnasts like Douglas, Bross, Liukin, or even Ross on bars. Those gymnasts, like Shawn are most likely upgrading too. Getting the amanar allows her to try to go for a VT/FX/BB position or the 2nd AA position. If she can get a GOOD amanar, she's in great position. Otherwise, I think her chances are very dependent on what other gymnasts can do.

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  32. those falls suck. I think she's still showing progress each time out though.

    I am excited to see all the girls; Shawn, Bross, Nastia, Memmel and everyone else make the push for next summer! It'll be intense to see who comes out on top.

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  33. It's hard to concentrate on anything but her orange tan.

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  34. Any time Shawn competes in a meet prior to 2012 Nationals is a WIN for her - as long as she continues to improve, upgrade, and become more comfortable out on the floor. Seems to me that barring injury she'll have a heads-up over her '08 teammates (Sloan, Liukin, Memmel, & to some extent Asac). She's getting her domestic & int'l meet jitters out.

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  35. I think A-Sac (assuming she recovers in time) has, by far, the best shot of anyone from Beijing. Very consistent and has the ability to lead. Johnson would next in line, assuming she can recover her confidence, upgrade and get more consistent. Liukin, if she can work a miracle and get her butt in gear instead of just talking about a comeback, has a shot, since we suck big time on Marta. It's doesn't hurt to be the Olympic AA champion and Marta's girlfriend either. Memmel, in my opinion, is too much of a crapshoot to take to London. She lifts a finger and ends up in surgery. Sloan better show Martha she's willing to work her a--- off for the next few months, or she's done. She has almost nothing to show for the time since she won her world title in London. Pezsek is obviously done.

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  36. Shawn Johnson is on another level than any of the other girls that were at Pan-ams, you can tell, she has been coached to the finer details of her gymnastics. You'll notice Shawn doesn't have the little quivers and balance checks that most of the other athletes have. Even with the two falls, she went all out and is never tentative on any event. I think she still has a really good shot of making the Olympic Team if she continues to improve and upgrade.

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  37. I disagree with Sac. While she is consistent on bb and vt, she really only contributes on vault and unless some other vaulters go down she isn't necessary. Maroney + Jordyn proved they could go out there and hit their difficult vaults. Her beam is replaceable as is her floor.

    I actually think that Nastia has the best shot of anyone from Beijing assuming she actually gets to work and goes for it. Unlike Sac, she isn't so easily replaceable on her best event.

    No one needs Sac's leadership, as the team showed. They're capable without her and her cheering.

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  38. Agree with Anon @3:22. I think Shawn has a better chance of making the Oly team than Sac because of the fact that Shawn does all-around and Marta loves her AA'ers. And as Anon @3:22 points out, Sac is replaceable on her KEY event (vault) by Maroney, Jordyn, and the three that can do Amanars in a pinch: Shawn, Aly, and Douglas.

    And yes, Nastia, can easily be on the team before Sac if she actually does her 2-3 events that she wants to. Nastia fills the bar hole that Sac can never do and moreover she'll likely easily replace Sac on beam. And as mentioned, Sacs vault isn't needed (see above).

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  39. Even without the fact that Maroney has surpassed Sac on her 2 key events, she also JUST suffered a ruptured achilles. If it's a partial tear, she may have a slim shot, but if it was a total rupture, I think Asac is done, sadly.

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  40. I have mixed feelings re: Shawn's chances. I feel like being an AAer DOES help her, but at the same time it makes her job that much harder because she has to come back to a level across all events. I do think it is possible she can at least be the 2nd strongest AAer.

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  41. If anyone thinks Shawn is going to get her double double back on bars, and that Marta is going to use Shawn + Jordyn as 2 of the 3 UB workers in Team Finals in London, you are delusional.

    To make the Oly team, Shawn will have to beat out one of the 2 girls who will not be doing bars in Team Finals (ie Maroney and Raisman, or Raisman and Sac). That means Shawn better get a floor routine better than Raisman's (good luck tumbling like Raisman) because she won't beat her in d-score on beam (even with all her difficulty) and she won't magically get a 2.5 yurchenko. Her DTY is not as good as Raisman's, even when she was in her prime condition. I don't want to see Shawn blow out her knee again doing impossibly difficult twisting tricks. Whatever happens, this comeback has been a great comeback. I mean, Shawn's at PanAms right now while Nastia is prepping dance numbers for the SkateGym Spectacular.

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  42. Whats Raismans D-score on beam? Shawns already at a 6.5 beam Dscore wise, 6.7 if she upgrades her dismount. How much higher could Raismans possibly be if she didn't even medal on the even at nationals or worlds?

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  43. Wait, how the hell is Shawn at a 6.5 on beam? She was at a 6.0 at Nationals. A standing full can't do THAT much. And she's not going to chuck her full in dismount anymore, so we don't have to worry about that. Raisman gets credited between a 6.2-6.4.

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  44. Is Shawn physically unable of her double double dismount now? What makes it impossible for her to get that back?

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  45. Jordyn doesn't have to do bars. Maroney + Jordyn + Shawn + 2 strong bar workers (Bross + Douglas). But it means that Raisman can't be on the team. (Or that Raisman takes Maroney's spot.) Basically, Shawn would have a lot of issues beating out Maroney's insane vault or Raisman's high-scoring floor+beam.

    And is Shawn REALLY going to end up a better bar worker than Jordyn? I mean, maybe.

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  46. Shawn's body has changed. She's not 4'9 and pre-pubescent. Girls of any size just don't do layout double doubles off bars anymore, especially not now when routines are longer and more exhausting. I think the full is challenging enough for Shawn, never mind the double double.

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  47. Are there any other dismounts that are viable options for her to learn that may equal the one she had? Or is it better for her to stick with the full twisting double and upgrade elsewhere?

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  48. I think it's best for her to stick with the full twisting double layout. A few bad landings from a double-double could blow her knee. Frankly, I just don't see her materializing as a bar girl. There is talk that the straddled weiler kip will be downgraded to a C in 6 months, so unless Shawn can do them in a straight position, her D score goes from a 5.9 to a 5.6 - basically back where she started.

    Looking at the girls who are going for 2012, Bross, Douglas, Ross, Wieber, Liukin, and the Caquatto (though I think her chances are slim) are better on bars than Shawn, and they're probably not going to stay stagnant. Her chances are better if Liukin's comeback fizzles and Bross can't make it back, but it's going to tough no matter who you cut it. I don't think ANYONE is making the team if they can't contribute on bars or vault in team finals unless they're a top 2 AAer. I think that could be Shawn's best bet.

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  49. Shes is connecting her standing full to a back handspring in addition to the leap she is adding back in which brings her to a 6.5. And thats without additional upgrades.

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  50. Shawn is improving leaps and bounds. At Nationals she was barely getting her twists around before hitting the ground on both her vault and bars dismount. At PanAms she had plenty of height on both skills. If she keeps improving at this rate, I would not rule out a double/double dismount, or Amanar Vault.

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  51. Shawn will easily beat Raisman in the AA.

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  52. As sad as it may be for fans to hear, I don't think Shawn will make it back to the Olympics. Everybody was excited about it, but just because you were the #1 gymnast in the world 3-4 years ago doesn't mean you still are. Wieber and Maroney are locks for the team and everybody knows it. Top all-arounder in the world and top vaulter in the world (who is possibly training a triple-twsting Yurchenko). Barring injury these girls are locks for the team. And despite whatever hangups Raisman has in individual competitions, she hits for the team in team finals and was a rock during qualifications and team finals. Sacramone is done. They'll probably use her as a commentator or something to boost ratings but as an elite gymnast she's done. Bross is still recovering from her knee injury and has an outside chance at making the team. Liukin probably has the best shot at a successful Olympic comeback if she's serious about her training. Sloan could sneak up on people and Memmel isn't out of the running. The fact is with Wieber, Maroney and Raisman the US already boasts the top vault and floor squads in the world. All they need is a beam worker to complement Wieber and Raisman and a couple new bar workers and that really doesn't play to Johnson's strengths. They might give her a "gymnastics lifetime achievement" award but my money is on Shawn NOT making the team.

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  53. What makes it inconcievable for Shawn to get the double-double LO on bars back? The FTDLO was very well around.

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  54. Time will tell, but I wouldn't count Shawn Johnson out of anything.

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  55. I see both Shawn Johnson and Bridget Sloan as much stronger All-Around Athletes than Raisman, unfortunately I think her bars weakness will be her achilles heel when it comes to making the Olympic Team. With only 5 athletes competing I don't see the US wanting to risk the possibility of having to use Raisman on bars if it came down to that. Both Johnson and Sloan are much stronger 4-Event Athletes.

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  56. Anon @ 10:30, I agree with most of your post, but I don't agree that Raisman is a lock. If Maroney doesn't get hr floor consistent, she's not either. However, Raisnman with a DTY, Maroney, and Wieber may very well NOT be the top scoring vault lineup if Russia has 3 amanars. At this point in time, Ross (not Raisman), Wieber, and Maroney is the top scoring vault lineup in the World, and the spread that they would gain on vault more than covers the .2 or .3 tenths that Raisman adds over the next best gymnast on floor, and there are several who can match or better Raisman on beam.

    Frankly, I think Raisman could find herself in a similar position to Shawn. Solid everywhere and good on beam and floor, but surpassed by gymnasts who are also good on beam OR floor and can throw up a big score on vault or bars. Raisman and Shawn can do neither at this point. The two things that Raisman really has going for her though is that she's always healthy and is consistent. I could very well see her on the team, but there are others who can contribute higher scores than her.

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  57. I think Ross is a good bet to make the team. That said, her Amanar is questionable. Still think Sac may bag a spot.

    Something like Sac, Weiber, Maroney, Ross, (bars girl = one of Liukin, Douglas, Bross, Memmel)

    Sloan, Johnson, Raisman, Vega need to prove they add more than Ross on FX/BB. Also agree Raisman's low value as a fill in on bars hurts her if Asac makes the team (AND visa versa)!

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  58. the only one I care about is Nastia! I can't wait to see her back, it'll be awesome. I don't think she'll have any problems getting on the team. She was awesome all the way up to and at Beijin and then at 2009 nationals so she'll be awesome next summer!

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  59. Anon @10:30... Maroney a lock? How do you figure? She has ONE great event - vault. She does a fabulous amanar but that's it. And yes, her amanar score will be higher than any one elses vault HOWEVER guess what, several people have amanars: Jordyn, Douglas, Johnson, Ross, and Raisman. (And yes I know that Shawn, Douglas, and Raisman's amanars are in the "iffy" stage but I have no doubt that they will be whipping them out come next year and it is easier to imagine they can relearn a skill they have competed before, it is not a new vault for any of them to learn in that sense).

    What Maroney would need to be a lock is to have a high SV on bars, which she does not. I can't imagine that Marta will put all her $ on vault, meaning choosing Maroney because that would in essence mean that Maroney would be a specialist on vault. Marta will take 1 specialist and that'll be a bar person. Maroney could stay home and Marta could still find 4-5 AA'ers with good enough, high scoring vaults. Remember, Russia is likely bringing 3 amanars for TFs AND 3 high bar SVs. Maroney's high E score won't overcome a low bars SV.

    But aside from all this - Maroney has a bad back. I wouldn't be surprised if that triple on vault never materializes. Likewise, she can't focus too much on FX without the hard landings aggravating her back. If Arthur were smart he'd have her focus on Vault & UBs.

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  60. anon @2:45PM, shut up you idiot! This blog is not about froggy Liukin. You're such a bitch, super annoying, and stupid as well.

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  61. Liukin is a mean bitch, that's why she attracts bitchy mean fans like anon@2:45PM.

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  62. Who are the three Russian gymnasts competing Amanars? Nabieva? Komova??? Mustafina????
    All questionable!

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  63. anon@2:45PM might not be entirely with it. While is was fantastic seeing the 2008 AA champ back out there at 2009 Nationals she was by no means "awesome"....anon@245pm sounds like they were trying to stir the pot.

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  64. Musty, Komova, Nabieva have all done Amanars before. Sidorova needs to have one if she wants to make the team. She probably will have one. Grishina might have an Amanar by the time the olympics come around.

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  65. Well... Anything* can happen in the sport of gymnastics. So I wouldn't be placing bets yet. -_-

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