Sunday, May 27, 2012

This and That



The 2012 US Classic Meet Broadcast

Martha Karolyi on the US Classic.  She claims to have cried over the decision to deny Chellsie Memmel's petition. I could understand the denial of the petition of numerical requirements were published in a cut and dry way.  It is too convenient for Martha to claim this now.  Chellsie's beam routine was disastrous, but one has to wonder if Martha and Kathy Kelly are making an example out of Chellsie for her continued refusal to abide by their camp system.  Last year, she upset the apple cart by appearing out of nowhere and finishing second at the US Classic, having a strong Nationals until the last moment and injuring herself again.  It is unclear if USAG is upset that she didn't compete at Pan Ams.  There were rumors one member of the selection committee said she ''took last summer off.''  The girl had shoulder surgery.

It is understandable that USAG doesn't want to get in a situation where Chellsie does well enough at Trials that they almost have to put her on the team and then she gets injured again; however, it was not going to happen this year.  Allowing top gymnasts to finish their careers at Nationals is not harmful to anyone.  I understand setting a benchmark, but the first rule with USAG is always that there are no rules.  The rules apply sometimes.  Martha now is against petitioning when she previously petitioned Betty Okino through the entire selection process and onto an Olympic Team when she spotted at the final selection camp.  Maroney was allowed to rest and protect her back until the team arrived at Worlds last year.  Chellsie Memmel lost her automatic bye to Nationals when she was injured and gave another athlete the opportunity to compete.  Alicia Sacramone has one because Martha and Kathy failed to remove her from the team after she was injured.  Logic?

Note that Terin Humphrey, the athlete rep on the selection committee (a position that votes whichever way Martha and Kathy tell them to), is only an Olympian because Martha chose to make an example out of Tasha Schwikert for not abiding by the camp system and wasting away two years where she only was ready to compete at the last possible moment.  The team wound up needing a strong floor routine that Tasha could've given them.

Also, note that Martha is now excusing beam mistakes by Gabby Douglas that she would've pounced on a year ago.  She needs Gabby on the team for bars and knows it isn't prudent to rattle her confidence now and create a crisis of confidence.

John Nicks was named Coach of the Year by the Professional Skaters Association.  When speaking of Ashley Wagner, Nicks mustered his usual wit, "Ashley is a scatterbrain who listens to only half of what I say."

Kohei Uchimura is fed up with team silver.


Daria Joura won the vault title at Australian Nationals.  Olivia Vivian nabbed the bars title.  Lauren Mitchell was the top gymnast on beam and floor.  EF Results

Kristina Vaculik earned titles on bars and beam at Canadian Nationals.  Ellie Black won vault.  Victoria Moors edged out Vaculik on floor for the win.  EF Results

Aly Raisman's latest rambling, monotone interview.  When all ease fails, keep talking.





Aussia Nationals EF Vids


Olivia Vivian on bars in the AA Finals




Vault

Daria Joura




Chloe Sims




Uneven Bars

Chloe Sims




Balance Beam

Lauren Mitchell



Ashleigh Brennan



Maryanne Monkton





Floor Exercise

Lauren Mitchell



Ashleigh Brennan




Kristina Vaculik's floor routine in event finals at Canadian Nationals.




Victoria Moors in floor finals.



Ellie Black in floor finals.



Dominique Pegg in beam finals.

43 comments:

  1. Can someone -please- explain this gymnastics camp system to me?

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  2. The camp system is essentially the Karolyis' answer to the centralized training programs of the former soviet republics in a country where parents would never go along with such a system. National team members train in their own gyms with their own coaches throughout the year and are invited (expected) to attend national team training camp once a month for a few days at the Karolyis' ranch in Texas. Training at camp is notoriously rigorous and some older gymnasts have trouble meeting expectations on numbers. Chellsie Memmel has stated in numerous interviews that she knows her limits as an older athlete and can't train the way they do at camp. Athletes who decide not to attend camp are seen as "skirting the system" and don't get the same kind of favor from Martha as those who show up and prove themselves on a regular basis.

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  3. Can you tell me why Nastia is going to be allowed to compete bars at Nationals when the rules say she can't if she didn't compete it at Classics.

    I really need a clear answer on this because this is just wrong that they can break the rules for Nastia but not Chellsie.

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    1. Nastia petitioned and her's was accepted because she got the required 14 on one event

      Both Nastia and Chellsie petitioned before the comp, Chellsie for AA Nastia for bars and beam but Nastia got the expected score on her one event.

      Chellsie didn't get a 14 on one event so she was denied

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  4. Anyone see that sign fall down before Lauren's fx? Yikes!

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  5. I believe that because Nastia only competed one event, she also has to petition to Nationals. Because she got higher than a 14 on beam,(14 being what the committee "agreed upon before the competion that any petitioners had to have for their petitions to be accepted")her petition was accepted. (But seriously lets face it, if Nastia had fallen twice she still would have been accepted)

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  6. I even more pissed, because at last years nationals. Chellsie scored 15 plus on beam. She had the highest beam score of day one.

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  7. While I think that chellsie’s petition should have been accepted for form’s sake if nothing else she did bail on pan ams last year. She was willing to compete on that shoulder if she’d made the world’s team. But the pan ams were beneath her as clearly evidenced by the fact that not even a few hours after the team was named she pulled out for surgery.

    And come on she did one event, hasn’t been to single camp so no one knows what she can do and wants to petition to all four events. And as much as people avoid it she was on her last leg last year even she supposedly worked at her own pace she still got injured. Yes she’s a fighter, yes she has performed in the past, but I feel I need to be a stock broker right now and say past performance isn’t indicative of future success.

    And there is the fact that chellsie has been known to pull hit routines out of nowhere, just as its known that she tends to get injured at the drop a hat as well. So it could have ended up in a situation where USAG had to put her on the team and she craps out at the games. Sort of like Kupets hitting all the way up to the games only to have an injury flare up during team finals. Having a five person team isn’t a big deal for USA to compete seeing as they did that in Athens and Beijing with McCool and then Peszeck sitting out, and then again last year but I don’t think they could do it on a four person team.

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  8. I agree she should be going to nationals BUT every single one of these girls knows that camp is much more than verifying skills and routines.

    Shawn went to camps last year, messed up at classics and was able to go to nationals

    Chellsie skipped camps but proved her worth at classics and was able to go to nationals. She took the same chance this year and got burned

    Why do you think Wofford continues to go to camps? She's trying to get back in Martha's good graces

    And I would be VERY worried if I was Shawn, the girl hasn't been to camps and was off gallivanting in LA instead of training. If she expected to get through to trials because she's ~Shawn Johnson~ she might be in for a rude awakening.

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    1. Shawn has been to camps, its just that she missed the last one that everyone seems to forget all of the other one's she's been too this year.

      And Nastia is the one who should be be worried she hits one labored beam routine and people are already seeng her on the podium. What she needs is a bar routine which according to Marta needs to be in the 16s. And a couple inverts and ono's does not a bar routine make

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    2. I'm fairly sure she's been to a grand total of one camp since the beginning of the year where she just did skills, not full routines.

      She was in Texas at the Michael Johnson center so she definitely missed more than just the last one

      If I am wrong and she's been to more camps then feel free to correct me. But this past week it's fairly evident she's been doing everything except being in the gym

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    3. On the contrary... with the skills that Nastia has shown so far, she currently has a 6.6 bars D score which rivals Douglas'
      Ono (E) + Healy (E) + Ono 1 1/2 (E) + Geinger (D) = 0.6 Connection value
      Inbar Stalder 1/2 (D) + Endo (D)
      Tkatchev (D)
      Pak (D)
      Double Front 1/2 (D)
      DIFFICULTY: E+E+E+D+D+D+D+D = 3.5
      CONNECTION VALUE: 0.6
      COMPOSITION: 2.5
      D SCORE: 6.6
      Now obviously, there are so many possible upgrades here... She can connect the Inbar 1/2 into an Endo 1/2 (White) + Tkatchev = 0.2 CV (D Score = 6.8)
      What's important is that she has all of her skills back, it's only matter of putting them all together!

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    4. @John: according to an insider from WOGA, she's training to connect all of those skills like she did in 2008, but she's having trouble with the close bar elements because of her shoulder injury. The 6.6 D score is the most conservative estimate of her bars SV... I believe it's something close to a 7.0

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    5. She doesn't have any injury. She is lying so stop spreading the lies.

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    6. Shawn, since the start of her comeback has been at multiple camps--since Nats last year alone she was at at least 3 camps, particularly the World selection camp where she placed first on beam...

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  9. Http://www.change.org/Petitions/USA-gymnastics-USAG-Olympic-selection-committee-steve-penny-allow-gymnast-Chellsie-memmel-to-compete-at-the-national-championships

    Sign the petition for Chellsie get her o nationals!!!

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  10. I know your intentions are good, but I don't think that Chellsie wants to compete at Nationals as a result of a petition. She probably would like to just be able to move on and deal with this in her own way...

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  11. Chellsie didn't look good at Classics. She just didn't. Her routines were labored, her form sloppy, and her difficulty a shadow of what it once was. Even her double pikes on floor were cowboyed. All of which is to say, Chellsie wasn't robbed of anything. And Chellsie and Nastia's situation is totally different in that Nastia came to Classics and delivered, not just in the competition but in podium training as well. Moreover, any gymnast who thinks that they can just do gymnastics and succeed at the national level is fooling themselves. The process for USAG is 90% gymnastics and 10% politics. Chellsie should know this by now and it's absolute foolishness on her part not to attend camps, even once in a while. Afterall, Marta and company aren't just trying to keep tabs on the gymnasts at the camps, they're trying to build a cohesive team. I feel badly for Chellsie but I don't feel sorry for her.

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    1. I mostly agree with you, but Nastia delivered in podium training? Erm, really? That BB looked shiztastic, personally I was quite impressed with how much better it looked in the comp. I suppose she sorta "delivered" on PT bars(?) inasmuch as she actually swung around on them, but...yeah..... Not that it's all that relevant to the Chellsie issue, just sayin'

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    2. Nastia looked a whole lot better than Nastia. What we saw of Nastia's bars looked solid and like she was in excellent physical shape (not labored or strained). Her beam was shaky in training but the fundamental skills were there and again, she looked physically strong, with excellent technique. Memmel did't. Her floor is what drove it home; she was barely able to get through her leap series and her double pikes had legs apart as if she was straining to get them around.

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  12. Memmel doesn't want pity nor media attention (if you ask me that is a rarity these days). Really she wants to be viewed as a respected and legendary athlete. Something tells me we haven't seen the last of her. NO WAY does she want to end her career this way. You'll see; before you know it she'll be the next Chusovitina.

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  13. Marta always changes her own rules, so she could allow Chellsie's petition if she wanted to. It all depends on whether or not a gymnast is in Marta's good graces. Chellsie wasn't going to camps. Chellsie is a smart girl and knows how to train. What a shame Chellsie has to end her career on such a sour note. If she is going to do this to Chellsie, she might as well pick up the phone and tell Shawn to not bother with Nationals. I'm not happy with the dictatorship going on at USA gymnastics.

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    1. I've read a lot of comments across the gymternet about the Memmel issue, and the more I read the more I'm getting a little pissed about the notion that it's all about Marta, and not about Memmel. I get that she's been rehabbing, I get that she's been trying to get back to form, but she could have gone to camps, even at half-speed just to demonstrate where she was. She went to Classics, performed on one apparatus and imploded. Fine, good effort, but she didn't cut it, end of story. Why is this a big bitch fest about Marta. Chellsie's not saying anything, but so many people are saying that Marta's to blame. Sorry, this isn't about Marta. It's about Chellsie, God bless her, who in the end could not put out.

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    2. Gymnasts were told not to bother showing up at the last camp if they were not prepared to verify full routines. That camps was in April. Chellsie had major shoulder surgery in February. You know who else didn't show up at camp because they were not prepared to verify full routines? Nastia and Shawn.

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    3. I agree that Marta does not deserve the criticism she is getting. It comes with the territory, of course. She is no stranger to it. But, she has to make decisions that are best for the team and not the individual. Its her job. How fair would it have been to let Chellsie in, but not Casey Jo Magee? Yes Chellsie has a phenomenal record that Magee does not have at the elite leve. But at the moment she is not anywhere near ready. Also, if Chellsie wants to complain or appeal the decision, she will. She will also speak for herself if she wants to.

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  14. If Nastia had fallen on beam, Chellsie would still be at Nationals. No way Marta is going to tell Nastia that she can't compete at Nationals so she would have approved both petitions. I hate the power at USA GYMNASTICS.

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  15. The petition for Chellsie Memmel.... http://www.change.org/petitions/usa-gymnastics-usag-olympic-selection-committee-steve-penny-allow-gymnast-chellsie-memmel-to-compete-at-the-national-championships Please help spread the word, there isn't much time. Thanks!

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  16. 'nuff said.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4EDezTKWmjs&feature=related

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  17. If they're punsishing Chellsie for not attending camps they should be killed. Chellsie chose to stay home because at her age, at this point of her career and after all those injuries the camp workouts were too much for her and she wanted to protect her body and not get injured again. Anyway, we all know Nastia would make it to nationals anyway and I think she should, I think all the veterans who can present decent routines should have the chance to finish their careers in a high note.

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    1. But Chellsie did not present a decent routine. Why should she be granted the favor of another shot to go out on a high note? Many pro athletes don't end their career on a high note because they stayed around too long. No one says, sign them for one more season so they can catch the winning touchdown and then retire.

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  18. You know, every time I see an interview from USA girls (who usually say exacly the things Aly said) I DESPERATELLY miss Alicia

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  19. www.davaistoi.wordpress.comMay 28, 2012 at 2:50 AM

    Nastia did deliver, though. She knew the rules required her to get more than 14 on her event, and did. She was somewhat generously scored, though no more so than many others, but whatever way you cut the cake that set was worth at least 14. It makes no difference unless and until she can do bars, though. Chellsie has been rather shabbily treated, but her situation is utterly different from Nastia's because Nastia hit.

    As for Shawn at Nationals, she's pre-qualified because the rules allow it. She isn't going to be on the Olympic team unless there's an injury fest that's massive even by Marta's standards. She probably knows this. But the publicity will be extremely useful to her, so of course she should attend. Or pretend she's going to, and pull out at the last minute. It's not a rude awakening situation, though.

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  20. I cringe when most 16 year olds give interviews. The Americans are annoying in that they have the same answer and draw from a bank of 30 words when speaking about gymnastics. It isn't fair to be so critical of Aly, for example. She's just young and trying to be positive. If you ever listen to Russian girls when interviewed, then it would be obvious that most kids aren't articulate, especially off-the-cuff. Neither Mustafina nor Komova are very well spoken, but at least they are honest. That being said, I appreciate the fact that the U.S. girls try to give off confidence and a positive attitude. If you tell yourself 1000 times that a rat is a rose, you just might believe it someday.

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  21. True, True, BUT Aly is 18 years old and her interviewing skills should be more polished by now.

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    1. Good point, but public speaking is hard for most adults, much less teenagers. It can be learned, though. Most NGBs gather their Olympic athletes between selection and the games for some pointers on public speaking/media friendliness. Hopefully USAG will do the same. Like her gymnastics, Aly's getting better. She comes across well when she's drawn out more with questions other than "How did your routine feel?" Her agent should be helping her out as well. She's a work in progress.

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  22. This process is brutal and it's even more cruel when you realize how young these girls are - all of them, even Chellsie and Nastia. Only five spots this cycle and there are easily ten gymnastst who could very capably fill those spots. Several girls are going to be heartbroken at the end of this process because they've worked most of their lives toward making the Olympic team. I'm stating the obvious but some of the criticsm of Marta, Kathy Kelly, et al seems to ignore this fact. Is it really fair to other girls to "give" Chellsie a spot in Nationals if she didn't earn it by virtue of the rules THIS year? And why are we assuming that Chellsie is a victim of some conspiracy? Chellsie is a pro, she knows the game, and I've got to believe that she knew what the stakes were going into that beam routine. Alternately, she might have assumed the rules didn't apply to her, which she just learned was an incorrect assumption. Either way, Chellsie didn't look good at Classics. Not in training and not on beam. If the beam performance in competition were a fluke then I'd say it was really tragic turn of events. But she looked really shaky through out training and NOT like a gymnast who is owed a spot at Nationals.

    Lastly, say what you want about Marta and company, but I do believe that they're having to make incredibly tough decisions and I'm sure that even Marta Karolyi has some small corner of her heart that feels for these girls and knows how hard this process is. At the same time, you - the USA Gymnastics fans - want medals and success at the Olympics. Well, that comes with a price and that price is that a brutal process is instituted to ensure only the very best end up on the team. It sucks, but given that, some girls are going to get left behind. Chellsie Memmel is the first of the field but as we'll see soon enough, there will be others.

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    1. You make really good points. :-)

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  23. Ok, I haven't seen anyone mention it, and I'd love it if AJ or any of you anons would weigh in...Bridget Sloan was nowhere to be found, and I finally saw a post that said it was b/c Marvin Sharp had a "personal crisis" back in Indiana and could not attend the meet, so Bridget did not compete. She will be at Nationals, obvs bc she was at PanAms.

    In terms of any veteran having a shot at Olys, I would not count this girl out. She's TOUGH and focused, Marta has always dug her, she looks to be in great shape, I saw a youtube vid of her verifying beam (I think on this blog actually) and the girl can swing bars like a European champ...always loved her lines.

    I know that Nastia is USAGs darling, and there's a possibility she'll sail through based on that...but...I don't think that selection committee would let favoritism threaten their quest for team gold. I think Bridget could be a better choice than plenty of the other, younger girls. And Nastia, if the bars that she throws at Nats is not up to her old time form. And really, how could it be??

    Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Maybe I'm nuts...

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  24. USAG is being rather arbitrary about given that the elite field isn't particularly deep in bars and floor.

    What isn't talked about enough is that in an elite field deep in Amanars, Chellsie could be a great alternate to step in on the events of bars, beam, and floor. With regard to floor, we used to be spoiled with Nastia, Shawn, Chellsie, Becca, and Alicia. What if Gabby takes herself out trying to train the Amanar, or Bridget actually doesn't look Olympic caliber? Behind Aly and Jordyn, there are reasons to be worried about either difficulty or consistency. The stars of the past aren't training floor at all. Chellsie should have been allowed to continue on to Nats for the good of there being a deep enough selection pool.

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    1. But Chellsie did not look Olympic caliber. Also, the USA has a deep selection pool. That's the dilemma, so many great gymnasts and only five spots to be filled.

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  25. Nastia did not qualify to Nationals because she hit her beam routine at classics. Her petition was approved BEFORE THE CLASSIC MEET.

    Grasp that concept.

    The rules state that if you go to Classics to qualify to Nationals and only compete 2 or 3 events then if you meet the qualifying score those are the only two events you can compete at Nationals.

    There is no set rule for one event.

    Nastia bi-passes this rule for one reason and one reason only, because her PETITION WAS APPROVED BEFORE THE CLASSIC MEET.

    Other wise she would only be competing beam at Nationals.

    Now go look up the fucking rules

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  26. Marta told Chellsie to compete beam at Classics. She could have done floor or vault and gotten a 14

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    1. She could not have obtained a 14 with her FTY vault. Not a high enough D score.

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