Monday, July 16, 2012

Who Was Better?


Ma or McNamara?

Before Komova and Wieber faced off, there were far more interesting results to debate in the sport of women's artistic gymnastics.  Looking back at many close finishes it is time to cut the shit and decide just who was better. The more comments I read on some of these posts, the more I realize that many of the younger fans require a serious education about the history of the sport.  Who was better over the years?  You be the judge. Sound off.










At the 1982, close friends Natalia Yurchenko and Olga Bicherova tied for the most prestigious AA title of the year.  Who deserved it outright?  Does innovation trump technique?



Bi Wenjing may have overarched a handstand, but performed a routine with a gaylord and beautiful body line.  Was she superior to Amy Chow's difficult set with a fugly double double dismount?









Neither Oksana Omelianchik nor Elena Shushonova actually qualified for the AA final outright at the 1985 Worlds.  They were subbed in for good reason and came out sharing the AA crown.  Who was the better gymnast?



Who was better on floor in '87?



Daniela or Dorte?  You know you live for Silivas' amplitude on her releases.

16 comments:

  1. Doerte had hideous form on that Deltchev and flexed feet on her Tkatchev...BUT Silivas' full pirouette was waaaaay past handstand, add the low releases and the hop on the dismount and I'd give it to Thuemmler. Didn't remember it like that, but Dana was off on that one.

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    1. My recollection from that time is that pirouettes did not have to finish at handstand to get full credit and not be deducted.. Personally, I get annoyed at the current obsession with things finishing at the handstand.

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  2. Bi Wenjing over Amy Chow!!! I know it's allowed but the step from the low bar to high bar Amy did at 0:27 seconds looks ridiculous at the elite level (in my opinion)

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  3. Watching Thuemmler versus Silivas really highlights how darned political things used to be. I love Silivas, but seriously! Not to say that there aren't politics and unfairness these days, but watching old competitions, the results of competitions used to be essentially predetermined by the leotard a gymnast was wearing. Not that the Soviets and Romanians weren't amazing in the 70s and 80s (<3!), but sometimes others were truly better and weren't rewarded (eg, both Ma and McNamara were truly amazing bar workers of their day, and might well have been shut out of event finals altogether in a fully attended Olympics, it was just the way things went).

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    1. The politics haven't changed much. Raisman's scores would not be the same if she were representing Germany or Israel.

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  4. Bi over Chow for sure. Anyone who can do a Gaylord is automatically better. What was wrong with Chow's dismount...she landed it low, but that's all I ever noticed.

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    1. The legs could've been together, toes could've been pointed, could've been landed with her chest up.

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    2. also the fact that it took her about five second to finally stop moving.... haha. i love her all the same though

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  5. McNamara's bars look pretty labored to me (esp cast handstands). Ma made it look so easy.

    Silivas on floor any day! LOVE HER!

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    1. 1. Ma Yanhong
      2. Bicherova (form)
      3. Tie. They both had errors.
      4. Omeilianchik. Beauty can never be rewarded enough.
      5. Silivas.
      6. Thummler.

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  6. Omelianchick exemplified ROV in the old COP, Risk Originality and virtuosity. Her FX, BB, and UB were the most well constructed, creative and well executed gymnastics ever performed by one gymnast.

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  7. Ma by a long shot. Her bar work defined "virtuosity." No one would swing bars like that again until about a decade later (Mo, Luo, Lu, etc). Ma was the vanguard... for sure.

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  8. I could watch McNamara swing bars all day. I give it to her. And Omelianchik.

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  9. If we're talking about the entire career of a gymnast the results might be different, but I'll comment based on the videos above. With regard to Chow vs. Bi based on the videos above you have to give it to Chow. Chow doesn't arch a handstand and Bi's dismount is equally ugly (complete with Moceanu beam stick). I hate when a gymnast wins based on having one really big skill vs. the entire routine (Le Pennec, Kexin, etc.) If you go based on the videos above, Chow has the edge.

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    1. I disagree with your point about the 'one big skill' for Kexin (not for lepennec however)... Kexin had a ling 1/1 and invert 1/1, plus the 1.5 into her dismount... Her pirouetting was equal or better than everyone in that final besides Nastia and Yang Yilin. Yang Yilin should have won IMO though.

      Also @aunt joyce what about Kui Yuanyuan vs Gina Gogean and Svetlana Khorkina in the 1997 beam EF?

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