Thursday, February 16, 2012

Beautiful Gymnastics: From Russia, With Love



I love how I live within a dozen miles or so of NYC and am trying to force myself to attend the American Cup, while flying to Moscow to watch these girls train or compete would appear to be a much more practical and palatable idea.  If Grishina can nail the double double and get consistent on beam and floor, she could be quite the star at the Olympics.  After several seasons marred by injuries, Grishina really needs to train and compete a lot this year without interruptions in order to gain the consistency and confidence necessary to be a fierce Russian Bitch at the senior level.  We would love to forget that her performance at the test event actually happened.

One day, our girl will learn to vault.  She sat this vault down due to overpowering the bloody DTY.


Vika Komova is fixing to beat the unaesthetic American brute with her new double arabian dismount.




We can only imagine how pouty Komova will be in she loses an Olympic Gold Medal due to an awful giant half on bars.


Komova/Sidorova


Mustafina struggled to make it through her labored bar routine.  As Natasha would shrug her shoulders and say, "Well, she bigger.  Thick knees."


Demented Anna missed a switch ring on her best event.  It is exhaustion putting up with all those Russian beam coaches who are letting her have it right now.



Sidorova has always been one of the sloppier talented juniors, but she looks to be improving with London on the mind.  Her pose at 0:39 is a highlight of my day.


Maria Kharenkova- a new junior on the rise.


Tatitana Nabieva, the honorary hot mess, can still muscle a solid bar routine.


Ksenia Afansyeva looks better than she typically does at this time of year.

37 comments:

  1. Not really sure if Komova's beam routine falls into the category of "beautiful gymnastics" right now - but it will with about 10 less major breaks.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Just because Jordyn doesn't have that "Ward of Vaganova" look, that "balletic elegance" - or doesn't fit into a certain definition of "artistry" - doesn't mean that she is not aesthetic. I think she's quite aesthetic. The way she moves is clean and fluid - there is a certain basic "artistry" simply in the way she does her gymnastics. She reminds me of a slightly calmer and more fluid Courtney Kupets: they both are just uber-talented, agile, focused athletes whom I enjoy(ed) watching.

    It's like Nadia vs. the Soviets of the late-'70s. Nadia didn't have the elaborate artistry or the choreographic style of many of those Soviets, but her talent and agility lent itself to a certain spartan aesthetic that made her quite watchable anyway.

    Now, if you want to describe Aly Raisman as an unaethetic American brute - and you have - I'd be a lot less likely to come to her defense. Although there are qualities about Aly that I admire as well. I guess I'm just not quite the Russocentric bitch that you are, lol.

    Signed,

    NOT a Footsoldier of Some Prospective Wieber Agent Going All Megalomanic During an Olympic Year

    ReplyDelete
  3. Jordyn will beat her in London and Kyla Ross will get silver plus the us will win team gold how does that sound aunt what ever I would watch Jordyn and Kyla anyday over komova or a musty

    ReplyDelete
  4. Komova's beam is beautiful to watch even with the balance checks/breaks. She makes the Patterson dismount look easy. Some of the other Patterson dismounts being competed today have frightened me(i.e. Bross). Jordyn is generally a clean gymnast but not on bars. Her swing is too labored and she needs to hit her handstands better. There is just no other gymnast competing in the world today that can match Komova's lines and quality of gymnastics.

    ReplyDelete
  5. The Komova disciples need to get a hold of themselves. When you are consistently wobbly, shaky and nervous on beam (as Komova has been for a very long time), then that is not artistic. The consistent breaks and balance checks completely ruin the flow of the routine. She better get it together, or she will be eaten alive in London. Nice lines mean nothing if you don't hit.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I would rather watch the "unaesthetic American brute" ten times out of ten, as opposed to this Komova routine. What's exciting about watching someone wobble all over the place? I'd rather see someone strong and confident who goes and knows she is going to hit solidly. Are people really brainwashed enough by the "Russian magic" that they think this is going to cut in an Olympic final?

    ReplyDelete
  7. I like Komova, and I like Jordyn. The fact some people (on both sides) always have to put one down to compliment the other is getting really old. Komova is generally more artistic than Jordyn, but yet, Jordyn had one of the best FXs in Tokyo - much better than that techno crap routine Komova had. Likewise, Jordyn has shown herself to be a more even-keeled competitor, but that doesn't mean Komova's a terrible competitor and a spoiled brat. I'm going on a tangent, but from reading the message boards and now seeing that Jordyn is being called a brute just highlights how immature some people get over there favorites.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Komova is a lovely gymnast, but mentally she's not strong. She didn't even try to stay on the beam when she started to lose her balance at Worlds, and when she stumbled on the floor, you could just see her give up. Jordyn's a lot stronger mentally, and that's part of what gives her an advantage. The person I want to see more of is Afanasyeva. Artistic and interesting to watch--best of both worlds.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 100% agree with the assessment of Komova's mental strength. She gives up too easily and doesn't put up a fight. Can't tell if it's a lack of mental toughness or a bit of brattiness. Regardless, the fact that she loses form and composure so easily and doesn't put up a fight when she hits a bump in a routine doesn't bode well for London - at all.

      Delete
  9. In general, I hate full turns on floor. Mainly because the gymnast has to come to a dead stop, then get into position, THEN do the actual turn. It ruins the flow. Ick.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Watch Brandy Johnson perform on FX at the 1988 Olympics where she was able to do a double turn with no pause whatsoever.

      Delete
  10. Can't believe Komova hasn't gotten rid of that damn giant half. I mean, really? REALLY?

    Even when she's not at her best, Mustafina still swings bars better than 95% of the world, though, and you know it, Joyce.

    ReplyDelete
  11. @anon 6:18 PM - It's true that Mustafina is still one of the best bar workers in the world but Komova is still better than Mustafina. I'm actually scared that Mustafina might not be an AA for Russia.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Several comments here confuse artistry with consistency. They're not the same thing, nor even linked, and the one doesn't require the other. Wieber has a lot of things going for her gymnastics: consistency, power, strength, athleticism (Raisman too, come to that). What she does not have is any artistry, at all. Its silly to pretend otherwise. Her floor is a good example of this: they accept what she is and what she isn't, and have been able to put together a fun, peppy and artistry free set accordingly.

    Regarding bars, Komova swings better than Mustafina. I'm not sure she's the better bars worker as a whole, though.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Afanasyeva or Dementyeva will be Russia's AA at the Olympics, if they make it hehe. I'm sorry but Mustafina looks too out of shape. She looks more out of shape than when she was at Voronin. Mustafina gurl betta get in shape yo.

    I'm actually starting to believe that Afan & Demy could both be on the same team. I'm thinking Sidorova will not make the cut. Sidorova is not as good as many people seems to think.

    USA gymnastics has NO artistry. They move like shit. They are so robotic it looks like they are a robot. Do they learn their dance from an actual robot?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yeah martha is a robot. I think old Martha has forgotten where she came from. cant believe usa still depend on her. dont they have an american team coordinator

      Delete
  14. LOL, looks the Russian Kool-Aid drinkers are back. Sorry, but Komova is no ballerina. She has no expression and no sense of the music at all, and no passion whatsover. The reason she seems 'artistic' is because of her body type. Once she hits puberty, she is done.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Have people forgotten that the U.S. beat Russia by four points at Worlds? Obviously, they are doing something right. You can have all the artistry in the world, but if you're a fumbling, inconsistent mess in the rest of your performance (like Russia was), then looking like a ballerina doesn't mean @!#$.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Afanasyeva and Dementieva could certainly be on the same team. It would require Komova and Mustafina to look decent on vault, but its a possibility.

    VT- Afanasyeva, Komova, Mustafina
    UB- Grishina, Mustafina, Komova
    BB- Mustafina, Dementieva, Komova/Grishina
    FX- Afanasyeva, whichever 2 others score best in prelims

    This lineup leaves them with a potentially quite weak vault leadoff, but otherwise it might be pretty competitive. It also allows them to use their two most consistent recent beamers: Dementieva is wobbly, but she stays on.

    Mustafina is looking a bit heavy, but frankly they need her. They could do without her on floor, but probably not on anything else. If she isn't capable of her 2010 heights, she could focus only on bars, beam and getting her DTY consistent. No floor, Amanar or second vault needed.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Anonymous at 12.14 is another example of people confusing artistry with consistency. The US were miles better than Russia at worlds, absolutely dominant. They did not have miles more artistry. Pointing this out does not mean a person is on the Russia crack. It means they know what artistry is.

    A team can lose and still be better in some ways than the team that beat them. Like how the US were better on vault in 2008 than China, even though they weren't better overall. And Romania were more consistent in Rotterdam than any medal winning team, but lost because they weren't as strong in other ways.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Honestly, people rave about the so-called 'artistry' of the Russians, but I just don't see it. There is no expression or passion in the movements and their choreography is certainly not groundbreaking. For an example of artistic, watch the videos of the The 1989 Soviet World team.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Stoll, the point is, their supposed lack of artistry didn't hurt the U.S. at all, as evidenced by the large margin of victory. Until the CODE is changed to put a higher value on artistry, it's fairly pointless to go over and above what is required in that area.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Nobody said the lack of artistry did hurt the US in Tokyo. However, its not just about the code, its also about non application of it. The code does allow for artistry deductions to be taken on floor. A full point. But its fairly obvious they're not being applied. There would be no explanation for Raisman's success otherwise- although it might be worth noting that the 2010 EF judges had her winning floor until the reference judge stepped in. I think it's a fair bet that the artistry deductions had something to do with it: it wasn't her D score and there was nothing wrong with the tumbling.

    Its Stoi btw, www.davaistoi.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete
  21. LOL, the truth is, it wouldn't matter if the U.S. girls took ballet classes 24/7 and were good enough to dance in the NYC Ballet. People - especially on this board - have always had a bias toward the Russian 'mystique.' Much of it is rooted in nostalgia for the old Soviet team - the Mostepanovas, the Omelianchiks, etc., along with the 'diva' factor associated with Russian gymnasts. Or maybe they enjoyed the "Cold War" drama of pitting the U.S. against the Big Red Machine. The U.S. will always be criticized simply because of who they are - Americans. Can we admit that and move on??

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hehe well Afanasyeva and Sui did beat Aly on FX in 2011. Aly would have won if "artistry" was not included in the c.o.p, just my opinion. And the whole lets look at the past for artistry is very annoying. In this modern day the Russian girls are still miles more artistic than the Americans, ha! I just finished watching Bross at the WOGA meet and man does she move like a typical American ROBOT. It's sad that Ohashi is from WOGA because I can see a little bit of Bross's robotic flapping in Ohashi's movements. Come on Mr. Liukin aren't you from the Soviet days? American artistry is disappointing.

    @Stoi 12:16 PM that is my actual dream team!!! Anna Dementyeva needs a new floor music though, ugh. She got like the top highest FX score here and then Afan. No doubt Musty will probs be on the team. I actually hope she will peak and be in shape for the Olympics as an all-arounder. I mean come on Mustafina, Afanasyeva is still in gorgeous shape <3. I will throw a hissy fit if Afan does not make the team.

    ReplyDelete
  23. @Anon 1:12PM - You do realize that some of us are actual Americans who hate our own gymnastics right? Yes there are anti-Americans but they are right that Americans have no elegance/artistry and style. And please, some ppl likes Sabrina Vega on FX, please hell no.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Anonymous at 1.12, no we can't because its complete rubbish. If Americans were being called unartistic simply for being Americans, we would also expect that criticism to be applied to Liukin, Maroney, Vega, Li and Larson. But of course, it isn't. There's a reason for that. And this would seem to suggest that it does, in fact, matter when Americans take ballet lessons. Its almost like if you're an American and you take enough of them, people will notice.

    I realise that accepting this means engaging with the idea that people are critical of some of the Americans for lacking artistry because they actually lack it, but its true nonetheless. You could focus on how much better the US are on vault than everyone else, if you want something to reassure you. I did a blog post on it a while ago, as it happens.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I can't wait to see USA wipe the floor with Russia in London.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Last I checked komova wobbles and bobbles so talk artistry and don't get me started with a musty what a mess outside of bars. Well see who wins floor this year it's going to be Jordyn or alyplus beam Jordyn or Kyla will win most importantly USA will win gold

    ReplyDelete
  27. Pff USA will not win a floor or beam title this year. I would rather see a Chinese or Romanian over any Americans win those titles.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Why, yes, because the Romanians abound in artistry and creativity, and the current crop of Chinese girls are SO consistent! Whatever.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I hate to drag this discussion out of the playground, but its not all about Russia v US. It would be foolish to rule out the Olympic champions. They've not had the best quad, but if they can rediscover the ability to hit, they could be a factor. Additionally, in an Olympic year they typically have a new 'senior' who comes out of the woodwork from relative obscurity to miraculously fill a gap in the team. He Kexin emerged at just about this point in 2008. Who's to say her successor won't do just as well as she did?

    ReplyDelete
  30. Izbasa injured her knee (possible torn ligament). If she's out, Romania would be lucky to place fifth or sixth in London. http://www.examiner.com/gymnastics-in-national/sandra-izabasa-injures-knee-diagnosis-unknown

    ReplyDelete
  31. If Russian nationals is any indication, Russia needs a miracle. Komova has massive confidence problems on beam, Rusty Musty is out of shape, and Nabieva still has terrible form. And that's just for starters.

    ReplyDelete
  32. This was not the Russian Nationals.

    ReplyDelete