Saturday, July 31, 2010


I love Mao Asada's Chopin exhibition more each time I see it. Our ethereal skater has returned! Clean lines, flowing dress, gorgeous music, a simple elegance. Welcome back.

This and That

Ms. Kwan is featured in sports illustrated and is as fierce as ever:

Bridgey Caquatto discusses doing bars at Nationals and her NCAA plans with gymnastike. She is utterly adorable.

PJ Kwong caught up with Josee Chouinard, Patrick Chan and Dube and Davison.

Plushenko will not file an appeal over his ineligibility. The King is dead!

Make It Or Break It: Song of the Fat Swan

The Rebel Rock girls are preparing for Worlds and this week it was time to get new floor routines. As usual, Steve Tanner is all about buying Lauren the best choreographer. Lauren was all about having the best floor routine, but she didn't manage to call the choreographer because she was all about creating drama with Carter in order to force him to spend time with her.

In the mean time, Chloe Kmetko called the top choreographer (sadly not Geza Pozsar) and snatched her up for Emily (with Steve's money---well, the anonymous scholarship funded by Steve.) Emily had a block working the choreographer, but stayed late and the new hottie helped her find her inner dancer.

Lauren somehow didn't have a choreographer that week but decided to seek revenge by stealing Emily's floor choreography. While she didn't do the routine to the same music, Emily was quite shaken before she took the floor to debut her routine at the Rock's floor exhibition. As expected, Emily out performs her and blah blah blah. Who cares.

Let's discuss the real shit this week:
1. Payson displayed her award-winning attitude when she pouted and bitched about having to learn an artistic floor routine. Didn't we already deal with this? Ms. 100% was throwing a bitchy fit so Sasha took her the ballet. One of those modern So You Think You Can Dance performers basically made a mockery of Swan Lake by performing bare foot and making it all modern. Swan Lake is about classic technique. Of course, Payson was captivated by it. She didn't perform at the exhibition, but the episode closed with her dancing Swan Lake on the floor mat. Of course, she was quite good. It was Oksana Baiul's short program meets the floor mat. Hilarity. Oh well, big girls have dreams too.

2. Kaylie's storyline is an obvious homage to the struggling Lindsay Lohan. The writers are copying the part trap only Kaylie doesn't have multiple personalities (yet.) Her mom is now her publicist and her dad is her manager. Kaylie is forcing all of these family dinners and yet we don't even get to see her hot brother. The actress mother wanted her to do some Rock N Roll routine while the father wanted what do they do? Compromise. My friends used to laugh their asses off at Kaylie's old floor choreography, but this new display was something else. It was 50% classical, 50% Ariana Berlin, and 100% wrong, wrong, WRONG. Even the gym moms were aghast. She may not keeping the routine, but we will still be forced to live with the memory.

3. Lauren was all up in Carter's grill asking him if their relationship was just about sex. Carter has a Lorena Bobbitt on his hands and needs to be VERY careful. I mean, if you even need to ASK the question... At the end of the episode, Carter tells Lauren that he has seen her best and her worst sides, but that her worst makes him unable to love her. We can only imagine how psycho Lauren will respond. As always, her focus is not on gymnastics. Can she please miss the World Team and go Tonya Harding on Kmetko? One can only dream.

4. DJ Tanner is hungry for a little D. She was devastated that Sasha took Payson to the ballet over her. It looks like they'll be married in a Balance Beam wedding before long. The girls will be bridesmaids and they'll all walk down the vault runway.

5. Kaylie's eating disorder/hyper working out situation is actually running longer than things typically do on this show. Ms. Cruz is working herself into a tizzy and not eating. Obviously, she is looking fabulous. Her parents aren't really paying attention to the situation, so expect to see this getting out of control in the next few weeks. Luckily for her, DJ Tanner has had her own struggles and will be there to lend a hand.

Next week looks like candy for all of us. They all go to some pool party (men showing some skin!) and Lauren photographs hottie kissing Kaylie. This, from the girl who gets vajazzled by everyone daily... Has she slept with anyone's father yet? She will.

(P.S. click the link---people who don't allow embedding of their youtube videos are dead to me and obvious Jana Bieger supporters.)

Indy Pair Challenge Short Vids

Dobbs and Jacobsen

Yankowskas and Coughlin

Castelli and Shnapir

Will post more vids when they are available.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Practice Makes Perfect

If you've ever watched Kwan, Yamaguchi, Lipinski, Lysacek, etc train at an event, you know that their run throughs are skated full out (or nearly full out) with seriousness and effort.

When Nancy and Tonya were floundering in '92 and '93, it is interesting to look at the official practice sessions preceding their events.

And then they competed...

And then they competed...

Such stamina.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Exceptional Gay Moment

American Skaters used to be criticized for being strong technically and at times stylistically, but always somewhat cold emotionally. One could make those criticisms of Mark Mitchell's skating, but it is a moot point. Who the fuck cares if you can make the Kwan facial expressions when you are built like a beautiful gay Greek statue and skate with superb edges, style, flow, carriage and posture?! Mark Mitchell's ass in those spandex practice pants alone are a complete 6.0. Mark didn't give the audience the time of day the same way he likely wouldn't give any of us the time of day at a bar. It doesn't matter. Just admire the gorgeousness.

P.S. Did Jill Trenary and Mark share a hairdo?

Geza Masterpiece Theatre

Where is joy that Geza used to bring to floor exercise? He gauged the sophistication level of American taste precisely and the crowd ate it up.

All Kim needed to do was wiggle her ass, flex her muscles and swing her arms around. The crowd recognized the genius immediately (as did the judges.)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Paul Hamm Returns

Just like the prodigal son, Paul Hamm has returned. Paul posted a video of his training in order to show us that his comeback is for real. Knowing Paul, he will likely be back on top and win the Winter Cup by five points in January. It isn't like the US has any world class AAers with form, style and difficulty on all six events.

I must admit, I used to live for the Hamms' website Making The Olympics. Despite their wet blanket personalities, I've always found myself rooting for Paul and Morgan. I even dug the air flair and fully supported them both making the Beijing Team. The boys have form and style.

Their website was quite the rage in 2007 when they were on the comeback trail Eventually, they stopped being so forthcoming with videos of their actual routines. They did manage to film and post their 'show of readiness' prior to the 2007 Nationals. Watching them both do floor and pommel horse is an absolute joy. Who even knew that people bothered practicing horse after the days of Peter Vidmar?!

Day 1

Day 2

Kayla Williams retires from elite competition

Catty here, with breaking news that Kayla Williams, reigning 2009 World Champion on vault, has decided to stop competing elite. While Kayla was training well according to our OCD icon MLT, she tore a plantar fascia tendon a couple of weeks ago, putting 2010 Visa Championships in jeopardy. Between missing that meet and missing 3 months of training this year just looking for a gym, it made defending her world title in 2010 almost impossible. Or maybe she was just tired of sitting in the splits all of the time.

Read all about it here, and act shocked that they broke the news to IG2 instead of Luan... I mean USAG.

The article says Kayla could be at Alabama as soon as next summer, and start competing for the Tide in January 2012.

In the meantime, she may have the most illustrious career ever for someone who only competed elite for 4 meets spanning what, 7 months?

Michelle Kwan Moment

I realize that it is shameful how I'm one of those sappy people underneath a sarcastic exterior, but I just can't get enough of the adorability of Baby Kwan. It is amazing how a 12-year-old had more refinement than almost every senior there (and there was still a LOT of work to be done.) To put it in perspective, this was the year that Carol Heiss Jenkins had two ladies on the world team. Standards were obviously quite low that year.

Michelle Kwan was oozing Frank Carroll that year. Mind you, he openly admitted to taking her on because she was Asian, so he felt she'd be thin and likely have the Asian work ethic of Kristi Yamaguchi. Point Frank.

This and That

KJ Kindler may just be the fiercest head coach in the NCAA. Ms. Kindler means business and is quite the fab choreographer. The NCAA coach of the year demonstrates front aerial technique. KJ is apparently a huge So You Think You Can Dance aficionado. I adore how KJ always has sunglasses atop her head. KJ is so fierce that she needs to prepare for the intensity of her own glowing presence.

Shizuka Arakawa will headline Friends On Ice, August 27-29. Participants in the show include Daisuke Takahashi, Akiko Suzuki, Takahiko Kozuka, Yuka Sato, Takeshi Honda, Evan Lysacek, Belgosto, Shae-Lynn Bourne, Ilia Kulik and Pang and Tong.

Alicia Sacramone was named USA Today's Athlete of the Week.

I don't want to rip on other blogs, but I have something to say about Axels, Loops and Spins. A comment needs to be made. I'll overlook all of the posts saying "skaters should do the Grand Prix" and the insubstantial posts after the free trip to Vancouver. Something needs to be corrected about him ''putting two and two together'' about the reasons surrounding Caroline Zhang's coaching changes. The Zhangs (mother and daughter) are notoriously difficult to deal with. Caroline skates millions of sessions a day with her mother standing at the boards yelling at her. When they left Li Mingzhu, Caroline initially trained with Callaghan and that relationship deteriorated within a matter of weeks. Caroline then went to Charlene Wong but eventually back to Li Mingzhu. While Li is a good coach, she is really one of the few who was willing to put up with the Zhang bullshit attitude and drama. Anyone involved in figure skating in Southern California has heard all about the Zhangs over the years. They're infamous. It isn't some rumor gone awry. It is common knowledge. Zhang actually left Ms. Li a month before she chose to return to China. Ms. Li began working with Chinese skaters a few years ago and is moving back home.

If you've ever watched Caroline Zhang in the Kiss and Cry (2009 Skate Canada is a personal favorite), it is easy to tell why several more coaching changes will be on the way. Perhaps it should be dubbed Zhangitude?

Today marks the two year mark until the 2012 Olympics.

Shona Morgan verbally committed to Stanford. She is set to compete in 2011.

The NYC launch of Supergirl by Nastia:

And just because it is so moving, tears may run down your face, another competitive outing of Nancy Kerrigan's legendary Beauty and the Beast. (P.S. Who was Scott talking about shaking off bad warm ups and practices? Nancy pre 93-94? Um ok. This commentary tells you everything you will ever need to know about Scott Hamilton's level of taste. It certainly explains the Lysacek love.)

Cover Girl Classic Broadcast Highlights

A youtuber has uploaded the Cover Girl Classic. The above clip includes some of my favorite MLT quotes ever! My love for this woman only grows continually. I need to work for her and be OCD together. Maybe she could organize my desk for me and I'd help her categorize form breaks. I'm willing to scrub down any and all workout bands!

I love Tasha the gymnastics diva, but her commentary is so bland. Trying to be nice and smooth her personality doesn't work for her. Tasha needs to remember that no one liked her pre makeover because she was awkward and had a horrendous floor routine. Let your inner diva out!

I'm not so sure about her having a hamstring injury. Have they really watched her do her L Turn on beam before? It always looks like that.

This part includes Alicia's wonderful comments about Uneven Bars being her favorite event.

Monday, July 26, 2010

This and That

Fellow Kwaniac Grant Hochstein debuted new programs at Skate Detroit. He blogged about the competition for Ice Network.

Maranda Smith will be returning the UF for one more season with the Gators. This was just announced by Coach Rhonda Faehn on twitter.

Julianne Hough is headed to LA to begin preproduction on Footloose.

Keegan Messing is determined to make the Junior Grand Prix Final this season.

Serena Williams is continuing to rehab an injured foot. Serena injured her foot by stepping on broken glass and needed surgery. She is out of the warm up tournaments for the US Open and is questionable for the Grand Slam.

Grace Taylor got married this past weekend. Many of her teammates were bridesmaids, including Courtney Kupets, Lauren Johnson, Audrey Bowers, Kat Ding, Courtney McCool, Hilary Mauro and Marcia Newby. Since Grace had her wedding the day of the US Classic, Jay Clark was not in attendance. Jay did cause a rift with Grace this year when he was less than enthusiastic about her engagement. Jay felt that Grace would be less than committed to the team and voiced his opinion. Grace was hurt by that and certainly didn't appear to be happy this season. Grace's bridesmaids wore light blue and the NCAA Champion made quite the beautiful bride.

Alyssa Baumann will be competing at Nationals The new international elite has had a growth plate issue in her foot and only competed on bars and beam at Classics.

Apolo Ohno announced the new six year deal between the USOC and BMW on The Today Show this morning. This is certainly a big 'get' for the USOC.

The Maturation of an Ice Princess

Many were wondering why Brian Orser wasn't in Korea this weekend. Well, Orser's students were all over the globe this past weekend. Yu-Na in Seoul, Adam in Japan and Christina in Detroit.

Adopted daughter Christina Gao continues to improve by leaps and bounds under Brian Orser, David Wilson and Tracy Wilson.

Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto is one of my favorite pieces of music and Christina does it justice. She looks so much more mature and looks more comfortable with her body than she did a year ago. Much of the limby gangliness is gone. She is totally channeling a darker version of Nikodinov with the costume and I approve.

Christina is being paced brilliantly. She already scored a 51+ with a Triple Flip+Double Toe (slightly shaky) and a Triple Loop (with a foot down). Ms. Gao is competing on the JGP circuit this year and she is expected to win. Competing as the favorite on the JGP will likely do more for her confidence and mental game than being buried on the Senior Grand Prix.

The new generation of American Ladies should return to the medal podium. The previous generation maxed out around 5th place, but in order to move past them, more quality is required. Someone like Gao will be pushed to be at the level of a World Medalist.

And her F.O.N. long program:

All That Skate Sunday

I really didn't love Kwan's programs as much as last year. It was quite evident that Karen choreographed them when Michelle had some spare time.

This weekend was really all about Michelle's abs. Girl needs a workout video. I want my body by Michelle.

Della Bella says that John Zimmerman's sole job is to stand on the ice, look sexy and excite her. It takes quite a bit to get Della Bella's heart up. She is a Zumba diva, yet John always manages to do the trick.

I think the highlight of the show was the announcing calling Jamie and David 'a harmonious couple.'

Sasha's music choices over the years: Babs, Celina and now Liza. Love it. I think a Judy program is in order.

We need to have a talk with Sasha about her Hallelujah costume.

Jeremy's twinkalicious new short program. We really need to send him to Shae-Lynn and force her to have a discussion about those arms with him. Less is more.


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Favorite Things: Floor Routine

My favorite floor routine of all time. The music. The dance. The expression. The bitch face. The tumbling. Yes, honey! Work!

The next time your athlete complains of being tired and hungry, remind them that Saadi didn't let Groshkova eat for weeks on end and she still pulled out double full ins (and then had spring boards thrown at her.)

A Nancy Kerrigan Moment

What is Nancy without the pretty dresses or the whack on the knee? Following a season that saw her win an Olympic Bronze and a World Silver medal, Nancy and Mary came up with something mature and genius: Beauty and the Beast. This is exactly what a 23 year old should be skating to.

Given Nancy's success rate during the '92-'93 season, this may have been her best performance of the program. The holding of edges and sexiness off the bat makes this program a winner.

Nancy may have missed her triple flip, but we can't really be disappointed. We can count the number of times she landed it on one finger.

The footwork at 6:21 is just out of this world in terms of Mary Scotvold magic. At 6:47ish, Nancy is clearly representing the wilting rose in the Beast's castle with the waving of her arms and the movement of her feet. Left-right-left-right. "She sure showed them how to figure skate." Oh Peggy.

The leaning over/holding of the edge at 7:58 may indeed be the sexiest Nancy move of all time. I adore it almost as much as I adore her lutz. Then Nancy feigns embarrassment at 8:06. There are no words to describe that Mary creation. It's just ''brilliant.''

And as always, she ends with the spiral that is held up by her hand. She is clearly hiding her face in shame due to the fact Bobek out-spiraling her that night.

Sac Is Back!

Our girl has returned! She owns that runway!

First beam routine back.

More Classics Videos

Videos from the Cover Girl Classic are popping up. I'll link what wasn't shown on the broadcast.

McKenzie Wofford- UB Meltdown, BB, FX
Kyla Ross-VT, FX
Gabrielle Douglas- UB
Jordyn Wieber-BB, FX
Sabrina Vega- VT, UB, FX
Katelyn Ohashi-UB, FX
Bridget Sloan- UB Warm Up, BB
Va Zam- UB
Chelsea Davis- UB, BB
Macko Caquatto- VT
Sophia Lee- FX
Kytra Hunter- BB
Amanda Jetter- FX
Lizzy LeDuc- VT, UB, FX
Lexie Priessman- VT,BB, FX
Amelia Hundley- UB
McKayla Maroney- VT, FX
Claire Boyce- UB
Hallie Mossett- BB

Saturday, July 24, 2010

WOGA Training

Videos of the WOGA Juniors + Briley training in Italy are posted on youtube. It is oddly fascinating to watch these girls train, even when they're just doing basic tumbling. Nastia even appears to be assisting with coaching duties in some of the videos.

History Lesson: Scherbo's Golden Hour

The 1992 Olympic Event Finals were separated by having a day for the women and a day for the men. It wound up being quite the day for Vitali Scherbo. Take note of these men competing difficulty with style and flair. Though they compete lesser difficulty, it is somehow more exciting. The quality of movement is vastly superior. Li Xiaoshuang's stuck triple back is something to behold.

Cover Girl Classic Seniors

The coverage starts in less than an hour on Universal Sports.

I'll be doing my own live commentary like during last year's Nationals.

Tonight is a night of honesty. These are seniors vying for World and Olympic Teams. No being fake nice.

Sac is back. Always nice to have at least one non-virgin on the team.

Tim and Tasha. Groan.

They're saying Sloan didn't do much in training. Don't be too worried. Peszek tells everyone how lazy Sloan is.

Is Whitcomb related to Meryl Davis?

The low budget commercials on Universal Sports are unreal. I expect commercials for personal injury lawyers.

First shots of Alicia's trashy tattoo and of Alicia bawling in Beijing. Love the bitch face.

Loving ASac's makeup. Alicia still looks pissed having to talk about Beijing. Every single one of her numerous blinks is a 'fuck you' to the interviewer.

Tasha pretends to be deep when commentating. I miss Elfi.

Rotation 1

Va Zam looks giddy. Hopefully she'll do well so we get some stoner voice out of her. Miss Val is on the podium and loving it. Zam's coaching...clearly all Val's doing. Such a technician.

They're so full of shit when they call Zam the most talented Bruin ever. Dantzscher anyone?

A layout pod is still unconventional Tim? It has only been done for a decade.

Phenomenal-ly Tasha. Modify your verbs.

Did Zam forget how to land her vault? 14.500

Macko Caquatto- Already has the body of a collegiate gymnast. Low jaegar. Good bar set, but hardly something to get overly excited about. 15.05 (Beyond Overscore)

The dark ASac- Her shoulders look scarier than before. Love her relationship with Mihai. Cue bitch face. Girl looks pissed and ready to go. Stuck mount. Tasha-esque leap. Of course she is nervous. Still misses her connections-just like before. Such a leap combo (eye roll.) Expect this to get a generous score. 14.900 She'll make Nationals without any funny business. (5.9/8.9)
*Score was raised from 14.8 to 14.9.

Tasha's new word is 'outstanding!'

Hug to Raisman. You know some of those CGA girls have never met a Jew before.

Kytra Hunter- Tim is being hyperbolic already. Tribal music. Beastly full in double layout. Double front pike. This choreography makes me ill. Back 1 1/2+Front Layout Full (stuck.) Ha! ''Triple turn.'' Double Arabian. (Stuck) They don't even show us Kelli Hill! 14.650.

Aly Raisman- Ms. Flat Foot. Balance check on back tuck. 'Tim mentions victories....followed by 2nd and 2nd...Um....that doesn't equal victory..." Low double arabian dismount. Not in peak form. I want an extra five beam sets a day before Nationals. 14.300

Cassie Whitcomb is looking more Alienish with the awful bow. Ugh her arm choreography. Same full in with the same form as always. Back 2 1/2+Front Layout Full. That choreo out of the triple turn totally looked like a possible cover up. Nastia's 3rd pass. Little short. Double tuck. Meh. At least do a double pike. MLT is happy. There's my girl! 14.350

I don't like this cheering for other National Team Members. I preferred

Bridget Sloan- "You know what. I push back." We just got a glimpse of her personality. Time for USAG to make sure that is gotten rid of. "I just want to hit my routines..."

Mattie Larson- There is still time for her to get injured before Nationals and Worlds. Little check on mount. MLT wouldn't like her wolf jump. Keep dreaming about Olympic Gold. Ha! 'Switch Ring.' Y Turn. Her beam is somewhat more confident than before. 2 1/2 twist (fall.) 13.450.

Tasha is now giving twisting corrections. Lord have mercy!

Sam Shapiro-She has discovered makeup and waxing in her time off. Hesitant. Bad switch ring. (No ring) Nice leaps. Over time. Double Pike. Big step back. 14.550.

Jetter got a 14.150 on floor. (not shown)

Macko is leading...note that everyone good scratched the first event.

Tasha's eyebrows are still a mess, but her shaping used to be better. There you go Tasha---don't buy into this Sponsor Name taking over the title over the meet (instead of Cover Girl US Classic. Cover Girl Classic/VISA Championships my ass. "Those Olympics blew ass. Bela was the devil." Can't remember Elise's name. There needs to be a shout out to Beckerman and Morgan White (and Atler for bombing Trials.)

Rotation 2

Judges have higher expectations for Macko Caquatto...riiight.

Has MLT been working out a bit?

Amanda Jetter- Won't wow you anywhere---ouch. Okay DTY. Who is MLT doing on the National Team Staff? Lexie did an Amanar early today. MLT didn't teach her that. 14.550

MLT calls Kayla a giant! You know she didn't actually want to add mental in there.

Briley Casanova- Has had weight issues all year. Sluggish already. Missed hs in giant full. Bad front giant. Releases not great. Low bail. Slow-Low fall on full out dismount. That was the sound of a career ending. 12.350

Kytra Hunter- DTY. Nearly stuck. Where is Kelli? 14.800

Aly Raisman- She is worth more than being known as 'Alicia's teammate.' Learn some sass, girl! Much better piked double arabian than in practice. Double Arabian+jump. I didn't know the Americans actually went for that bonus. Even Tim is saying her presentation sucks. Short triple full...what the hell? Stuck double pike. Ho hum. She looks tentative. Weird after all of her experience. 14.200

Rebecca Bross- Nice hair. Those bars are her bitch. Stuck full out. Tim talked about Nastia doing her pak salto so well (Not in 2008.) Tasha compared her technique to Nastia's. Jesus, Mary and Joseph! 15.450.

There Tim goes using phenomenal again. Such hyperbole.

Mattie Larson- We get it Tim. You like Mattie. Banging double layout! Triple Full-locked leg landing. Didn't absorb. Cheated jump. 2 1/2+Front Layout (Upgrade please.) Diva walk worked into this routine! Double Pike. Out of bounds. Where is Al Trautwig to bitch about her out of bounds? Love the attitude she is giving Artur. 14.600 (Tim still bitching about OOB)

Sam Shapiro- Double Arabian. Almost OOB. Tim would've hated that. 1 1/2+Front Full. Hung on to stuck landing. This is one fucked up remix of Tosca. Double Turn. Double Tuck. Switch 3/4. Double Pike. Almost OOB and a little low. Tim is happy. Look at Tim loving dance now. Anyone remember his 'he can jump' festish? 14.250

Macko Caquatto- Side somi. Wobble on aerial. Wobble on series. Both unnecessary. Wobble on L turn. So mentally tough. You know Rhonda won't have her do AA. Not after this year's Super Six. Fall on a switch 1/2. Yeah...someone we should really take to Worlds. If this was 2004, we'd never be watching her on TV. Missed foot on dismount. Scary landing. Wu Jiani is supposed to be tough. She is not pleased. (She liked Bridgey much better than Macko as is.) 12.950

Kaitlyn Clark- She must qualify, AKA she sucks and Martha doesn't give a shit about her. I hate this floor music. She looks headed to Bama. Double Arabian. 1 1/2+Front Layout. Why do we know about this stumpy mess? Unfortunate switch ring. Her name is thrown around far too often online. Love that her gym's name is 'Precision.' Double Tuck. Beastly Double Pike.

Sophia Lee got a 14.500 on bars, but we had to watch Briley. Va Zam went 14.550. I want to see her execution score because she can't have much of a D score.

Brady Quinn- Much hotter than A Sac's last boyfriend.

Loving the John McEnroe neutering commercial.

No Tim, Alicia's thigh rubbing defines her. She is World Champ on floor...not on vault.

Ugh, they're showing us Wieber. Best AAer in the world. Many people have low standards and have never heard of Komova or Grishina. Many people are too pedestrian to function.

Wieber would be 19 in China.

There is nothing charismatic about Jordyn Wieber.

Rotation 3

Rebecca Bross- Bitch face on. Second and last look (if only). Almost fell on Humphrey turn. Effing hate that skill. Stuck arabian. Aerial+BHS+Loso. Nice sheep jump. One of the few that doesn't make me want to take my own life. New switch ring...not completely heinous. Stop talking about Carly and Nastia every freakin routine. Round off+ Double Arabian (Fall) Get a new dismount! 14.050

Bridget Sloan- She's doing bars and beam tonight. Keep milking that ankle. Routine shorter, start value higher, and E score should be higher because less skills to fuck up. Pause in handstand and struggle. Rhythm break. Big step forward on double layout. "That was no good, Domi. That was no good." 14.600 GIFT!

Aly Raisman- Amanar-looked like she could've hurt her knee. She is not doing well today at all. Under twisting. Lucky she didn't get hurt. She did so well internationally. Why is she imploding now? 13.300

Kytra Hunter- Martha doesn't want her to train bars. Ouch. (Smart) Stop doing bars. Huge fall on a Hindorff. It was miles away from the bar. Just like Raisman, she is blowing an easy win today. Low full out. Martha not pleased. 11.200

This lady, she doesn't forget anything. Martha holds grudges. She certainly won't forget an 11.200.

Mattie Larson- DTY- less craptacular than before. 14.700

Cassie Whitcomb- She could win today. Then again, she hasn't done beam. Martha talking up her bars. Gracias, a dios! Lovely new release. Geinger close and a tad whippy. Shuffle on dismount. MLT likes those flat hips. AKA no hips. 14.800

Sam Shapiro hurt on vault - there's a shock. Poor Sammy :( 13.200

Sam is standing and walking. Knee looks swollen already.

Last shot before commercial was Sam being carried away.

Alicia Sacramone- Doing two vaults. Trying to drive home the point that she belongs on the World Team. Given today's meet...she should be team captain. HUGE handspring layout rudi. Unreal. Better stretch than two years ago. No piking. Brings up being robbed on vault in Beijing. FTY. She's done the DTY at camp. Gorgeous FTY. 15.800 on Vault- Easily makes Nationals.

Tim needs to stop pretending to watch football.

I hear Miss Val's laugh.

Va Zam- Hell, Zam could win if she hits her next two events. Actual choreography. Onodi. Slight wobble. Aerial. BHS+2FT layout+fall into beam. Allison Taylor needs to start working her butt off in case Zam gets hurt this summer. 2 1/2 twist. I'd say that I'm jinxing everyone, but this meet is always a hot mess. 12.650

Who does Val's botox? I need to go to that doctor.

Rotation 4

Hyperextended knee for Shapiro. Still has time to blow it out before Nationals.

Sloan is so iffy for 2012. She is doing her weaker events today.

Alicia in the booth. Probably the highlight of the meet "I didn't vomit anywhere out of nerves."

"I'm like a fine wine. I get better with age."

CGA is 1-2. They've likely won more US and American Classics than any other gym.

"My mini me is up!"

"Bars is both of our favorite event. Mihai loves coaching us on it."

Fire Tasha and just keep Alicia in the booth. We've found a commentator.

Someone just left a comment that Tasha's eyebrows make her look tranny. I'm questioning whether they've ever seen her elite floor routine.

Aly Raisman- Jaegar. Toe full+Tkatchev. Dantzscher-esque low to high transition. Double front-small hop.
"Is that hug from Mihai comforting?"- Tim
"Sometimes you don't get that hug and then you know you're in trouble." - Alicia

Cassie Whitcomb- She's got Meryl Davis eyes... Can she actually hit a beam routine? Hits early skills. L Turn. Aerial. Back pike (wobble) Still on the beam. Bhs+LOSO. Miraculous. Missed leap connection. Looks ready to shit her leotard. Falls on an aerial cartwheel. Slow and all she needed to hit. MLT needs to be seething! Short 2 1/2 twist (reminiscent of CGA triple full beam dismounts. "How many times Alyssa?" 12.550 Macko Caquatto actually takes the lead.

Mattie Larson- WTF is Tim on with Artur's patience. Atler said he barely pushed her at all before '99 Worlds and girl needed some pushing! For those who don't remember, '99 Worlds was one spectacular performance by Vanessa. Could make the UCLA bar lineup. Out of HS on giant full. Double Layout. Almost CGAish. Tim orgasms over it. Technically, Mattie IS legal. We can't report him to authorities. 14.400 Mattie takes the lead.

This competition is such a nail biter. You never know when someone is going to kill themselves.

Va Zam- Double Layout- best she's ever done it. Actual floor choreography. Comforte didn't choreograph the routine. It's recycled, you nitwit. Here goes her twisting... Rudi with iffy legs. Double L turn. Val must be drilling her dance for her big TV moment. 2 1/2 twist. 13.400.

"Hi Mom, Hi Dad. Oh, you're right there!"

Alicia calls her a gem!

Amanda Jetter- Needs a 14.050. Luckily, she is slightly more consistent on beam than Whitcomb. Back Full. Stuck. Oh My L Turn. AHAHAHAHAHAH. Side somi. Arabian (funky by stuck) BHS+Back Pike. Popa...What is with her leaps?! Grabs the beam. Punch front. More basics! MLT will go insane! Arabian double front. Step. Possibly over time. Why is she smiling? MLT is proud of her. 13.700

"That popa is out! Switch leap+sissone? We need to take some of this garbage out." Um, the L turn, Mary Lee?!

Jetter should do the back full+back tuck.

Mattie wins. 57.150 Will they show Sloan online? I'm a loser and have both up.

Lots of shots of athletes. No Sloan on beam. Meet appears over. If only we could hear what MLT is saying to Jetter and Whitcomb.

I haven't had this much fun watching a gymnastics meet in a while. Messes ARE fun.

Sloan gets a 14.700 on beam and they don't even show it.

I don't know which was better: Alicia's commentary or MLT talking to Jetter? Close call.

The Juniors

As expected, Jordyn Wieber won the All-Around at the Cover Girl Classic.

1. Jordyn Wieber- 59.95 (Geddert's)
2. Katelyn Ohashi- 59.10 (WOGA)
3. Kyla Ross- 58.70 (Gym Max)
4. Sabrina Vega- 57.25 (Dynamic)
5. Madison Kocian- 56.20 (WOGA)
6. Lexie Priessman- 55.90 (CGA)
7. McKayla Maroney- 55.65 (AOGC)
8. Mack Brannan- 55.45 (Capital TX)
9. Gabrielle Douglas- Excalibur
10. Claire Boyce- Texas Dreams

*Alyssa Baumann has a fractured foot and only did bars and beam
*Maddi Desch scratched beam (already qualified to Nationals)

My adopted daughter's beam routine could cure cancer:

The Ice

Only a news clip of The Ice has been posted thus far, but I'm sure that countless more are on the way. The Japanese are good like that. They won't let All That Skate dominate the skating youtube universe.

I cannot wait to see Mao's exhibition again. Takahiko is looking rather adorable and Kanako looks ready to make a splash on the Grand Prix.

But let's talk about the Mai Asada situation. After a few years, the Kwan family gave up on shoving Karen down our throats. Now she works as a 'choreographer' from time to time, but we're pretty much done with her. She actually pulled off a good Mission program and then went away when her fifteen minutes were up.

The Asadas keep putting Mai out there. She's in commercials with Mao, in ice shows and is about on par with Fumie's sister in terms of skating skills.

Frankly, being constantly subjected to Mai, I'm reminded of another family who continually shoves a less talented older sister down our throats.

Friday, July 23, 2010

More Podium Training

McKenzie Wofford is quickly becoming the real deal at WOGA. The competition in the gym is making each of them better in a Karolyi Six Pack sort of way. When Evgeny had a group, the competition seemed somewhat less intense. These girls are fierce and mean business.

Adopted daughter Maddi Desch is making daddy proud.

Jordyn Wieber looks ready to collect another title. She brought her Amanar to Chicago.

I'd much prefer a Kyla Ross victory. Her bar upgrades appear to be seamlessly integrated into the routine.

Sabrina Vega is cowboy central and looking sloppier by the day.

Alyssa Baumann has work to do, but the potential is obvious.

Watching the WOGA juniors warm up melts my icy heart.

I see the promise in Polina Shchennikova but I am not yet obsessed.

History Lesson: 1988 Olympics Men's All Around

The 1988 Men's All-Around Final remains one of the greatest Soviet bloodbaths ever witnessed by anyone. Instead of watching the red army take on some poor Republic, the top three men in the world brought their A Game to slaughter one another.

Vladimir Artemov. Valeri Liukin. Dmitry Bilozerchev. How can you possibly choose between them?

It is this narrow loss that fueled Valeri to coach his prized daughter to Olympic Gold. Knowing how competitive Papa Valeri is, one can only imagine the degree to which the silver medal got under his skin.

As much as I love Valeri's gymnastics, I think the outcome was 100% correct.

Warning: You may need to change your pants after watching men this delicious. Bart Conner certainly sounds like he needed to.

The WOGA Transfers

Katelyn Ohashi and McKenzie Wofford are making their WOGA competitive debuts at Classics and both are looking magnificent. They are showing why they were selected to train with Valeri instead of having to trek over to Texas Dreams (like other recent transfers.)

Adopted daughter Katelyn Ohashi has become an even more brilliant beam worker since leaving Armine.

McKenzie Wofford is improving rapidly with Valeri's golden touch. Given the lack of depth on bars, McKenzie could be someone with a routine worth watching in another year or two. The potential is there.

Favorite Things: Floor Workers

People always like to claim fandom of a specific person or gymnast. For me, it has always been about the gymnasts who best combine artistry and athleticism.

I live for the air flair. Morgan always was my favorite Hamm. He has the acrobatic skill of his brother with a little more extension, toe point and originality.

Sexy Alexei = The King

The Greek Adonis.

Mmm. Mmm. Good.

Training Videos

Training videos are popping up from the Cover Girl Classic. Just when you think you're getting bored of gymnastics, videos emerge and an obsessed fan immediately starts analyzing and formulating possible World Team lineups.

Mattie Larson's double layout is heavenly on floor. She is actually looking good. Might Mattie have a shot if she can actually remain healthy?! Oh my, did those words seriously come out of my mouth?

Alicia is looking quite trim but a bit nervous. Girl needs to get one out of the way. My excitement level about her comeback just isn't as high as I'd expect it to be. It just isn't the same without the thigh rubbing. Girl needs to get back on floor. STAT.

Aly Raisman looks good but that piked double arabian has some seriously questionable form. Here's to hoping that was just a poor attempt.

Amanda Jetter is looking thin and less awkward than usual. Has she grown into her body? Those extra basics sessions are working out for her!

Sam Shapiro has never met a bar handstand that she couldn't be short on. Learn to cast. Didn't she want to be a bars and beam specialist at one point?!

Rebecca Bross is tiny and serious. Briley Casanova is labored and hopeless.

Given her bar routine, Cassie Whitcomb is making herself impossible to ignore.

Hot on the comeback trail, Chelsea Davis looks stronger than expected.

As always, Anne's interviews are stellar. One of these days, someone needs to come along and give a real answer.

Question #1: What are your goals for this meet?
I want to hit my routines and live to see another day. If I miss my bar routine, there may be spring boards being thrown in my direction.

Question#2: If you could take one image, one photograph from this meet, what would it be?
Rebecca Bross falling on floor. I was pretty excited about it. Hell, I won worlds!

Question#3: How does it feel to have _______ back in the gym?
I hate that bitch. I preferred having the attention just on me.

Question#4: What do you like most about going to the National Training Camps with the other girls?
Leaving, though I do enjoy keeping my enemies close.

Question#5: What is it like having _________ for a coach?
She's a complete witch, but at least she'll sleep with whomever to get me on the team.