Friday, September 23, 2011
Memmel Out; McLaughlin In
Chellsie Memmel withdrew from the Pan Am Games due to an injured shoulder that she originally tweaked at last month's National Championships. Earlier today, reporters published quotes from Chellsie that she'd only be competing beam and floor at Pan Ams. This is quite the opportunity for Grace McLaughlin. It is interesting that McKenzie Wofford wasn't named to the squad, as she has been hyped online rather extensively over the last few months. Of the six major selection processes that Chellsie Memmel has been a part of, this marks the third time that she has been injured during the process/training. It is also important to remember that she missed being named to the 2003 World Team initially due to injury and missed the 2004 Olympic Team for the same reason. Not only will Chellsie have to fight a body that breaks down over the next year, she'll have to hope Martha Karolyi and Kathy Kelly believe in her enough to overlook her injury-prone track record. It is a sad day, as Memmel looked amazing in her comeback this summer.
Posted by OlympicEffect at 4:32 PM
Labels: Chellsie Memmel, Grace McLaughlin, Injury
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Is it possible for Memmel to go into hiding and train at her own pace until 2012 Olympic Trials? Or does she need to qualify via Classics --> Nationals --> Trials (--> Selection camps --> Olympics). I'm guessing she has to do the qualification route, which is a shame. I definitively see her hitting with top SVs on everything (well maybe not vault) but breaking along the way :/ReplyDelete
Poor Memmel is so injury prone. I'll always remember the way she fights and comes back though, even if she can't get through a selection process in one piece.ReplyDelete
It's possible that Wofford is still dealing with her own injury.
I kind of wonder though that she seemed to be hiding the extent of the injury after Nats. Remember she let us down in 2008. I worry a bit that these girls try to hide injuries, slide onto Oly and Worlds teams and then let us down, sometimes too late to substitute an alternate.ReplyDelete
I worry a bit about the individual incentives versus team ones. For instance interesting that the shoulder was good enough so that she was WILLING to compete for a worlds slot (and presumably would have taken one if given), but NOT good enough for Pan Ams. Hmm....
There's no selection camp next year. The team will be named at Trials. Still, that's five AA competitions, although I doubt we'll see a high participation rate at Classic. Undoubtedly Martha will figure out some way to trap everyone at camp all summer anyway.ReplyDelete
I don't think it's any kind of slight that Chellsie would've gone to Worlds but not to Pan Ams. She's injured, she didn't try to conceal it from Martha, and there's no real reason for her to try to work through any type of injury for what is for a 3 time World Champ a minor competition. Especially considering the history of that shoulder. And she didn't hide anything in 2008 either- she broke her ankle and was allowed to stay on the team.
I'm not surprised Mckenzie Wofford was not named. She was severely ill at camp back at the beginning of the year. Marta pushed her anyway and Valeri sided with Marta. After camp finished she left WOGA because she was unhappy with Valeri for siding with Marta. Neither Valeri nor Marta were pleased and saw a lack of a work ethic. I don't think she will be getting any assignments, at least not while Marta's in charge.ReplyDelete
No selection camp next year? Team will be named at trials? Since when does Marta not have the girls sweat it out at camp before selecting the team?ReplyDelete
Wait, how did Memmel let us down in 08? I thought she broke her foot and still competed on it anyway?ReplyDelete
Yeah, what's this about no selection camp next summer?? When was this announced, that's pretty exciting if that is true.ReplyDelete
Anonymous at 10.45, I wouldn't say Memmel let the US down as such. She did a decent job in the circumstances, though I'd have expected her to score a couple of tenths higher in TFs and also to make the bars final. It's just that the US were relying on her to make more than a 1 event contribution. It's certainly worth asking whether she could have done so, if she'd been more smartly paced and for example not done AA.ReplyDelete
However, although some of those stupid decisions (eg fruit chicken fruit diet) were clearly Chellsie's, Marta also has to take some blame. She could've identified early in the process that Chellsie was a necessity on bars, advised her privately that she was going to be named to the team, and asked her to tailor preparation accordingly. She didn't.
This matters because a healthy Chellsie could actually have won the US the gold. I have no doubt that someone will chip in saying China finished too far ahead of the US to be caught, but that's not really true. I'll do the maths.
The gap between China and the US was 2.375. Had Chellsie been healthy, she'd definitely have done floor over Alicia, who looked weak in podium training and prelims. She might have done beam, but that's less clear.
On floor, Alicia got 14.125. Had Chellsie done floor, realistically she'd have hit (she's consistent as fuck) and the routines she did at Trials would probably have got about 15.5 internationally. Yes I know some of it was sloppy and she can't dance, but it didn't stop Johnson. That would've closed the gap to 1.00, even with Alicia's beam fall.
Bear in mind that if it'd been close on floor, neither Shawn nor Cheng Fei would've been likely to water down. We all saw what happened when they competed their full difficulty in EFs- it went much better for Shawn than Cheng! So let's assume that Shawn would've scored what she scored in every other round of competition on floor, 15.4-5. That's taking the deficit down to 0.6-0.7, even with Alicia's fall on beam, and counting Nastia's slightly underpar routine on floor too (the lowest of her four floor routines in Beijing).
Obviously if Chellsie had done beam too, that would've been enough to put the US ahead- bear in mind she wouldn't have done beam unless she was capable of at least 15.9. But even if she hadn't done beam, which she might not have done, Cheng Fei would've had to do her full difficulty. Which she was not consistent with. So a healthy Chellsie, even contributing on only one more event, might have made all the difference. None of this is to necessarily blame her, or to say the US were better than China. It's just what could've been.
The only way they WON'T have a selection camp next year is because the Olympics creep up VERY fast after Olympic Trials. Still, Marta will obviously have the 8 or so girls at the ranch leading up to the Olympics, fighting to avoid an alternate slot. There's ALWAYS selection camps if you really think about it!ReplyDelete
Name the team at trials?? Yeah right.ReplyDelete
The USOC is requiring that the team be named a certain number of days ahead of the Games and there is not enough time between Trials and the Games to have a selection camp, so yes, it will be named at Trials. This is the USOC's requirement and USAG doesn't get any say over it. Obviously there will still be lots of preparation time at the camp and in England for Marta to break and wear down the girls.ReplyDelete
The truth is that some of these girls eat far less than fruit-chicken-fruit and/or keep down far less. Most of these girls have eating issues. Chellsie is the only one to actually be honest about her diet on TV.ReplyDelete
I wouldn't blame Martha for all of the injuries. Girls from every country get hurt because the difficulty in the sport has gotten out of hand and is now too difficult to prepare properly. Coaches still use old school methods. The fact that these girls now have to stick every pass only adds up to taking more landings on the hard floor and more injuries. How is a coordinator supposed to prepare a team properly? It is sad to see all of these girls go down, but the problem really begins with the FIG and the type of things they are requiring these older, beat-up bodies to do.
I am really excited about Grace at Pan Am games. She is a beautiful gymnast and has really strong bars. Looking forward to seeing her compete at this level!ReplyDelete
My god, I thought for a second that Marta finally realized that her camps are ruining our chances for gold, but of course, it was the USOC that is going to save us. Peretty sure Chellsie is already qualified to 2012 Nats. either by being on the national team or being a 2008 Olympian, unless those rules have changed. At nats, she should do beam only, petition and go full boat at trials.ReplyDelete
Has anyone though about the fact that Chellsie might just be doing this because her goal was Worlds, and she doesn't want to put her body through a competition if it's Pan Ams & not Worlds? I'm sure her should is hurt, but she said it wasn't a big deal. I think she opted out because she doesn't need/want to go to Pan Ams.ReplyDelete
Exactly, what is the point of competing Pan Ams unless you're an up and comer making a name for yourself.ReplyDelete
What is the point of the comeback if it's not competing? Sitting out Pan Ams due to injury makes sense. Just opting out for no real reason means she totally wasted the last six months.ReplyDelete
While I wouldn't blame Marta for all the injuries, she can certainly be blamed for poor management of cleaely fragile athletes. The US have either the deepest or second deepest programme in the world, and yet having a chronically injured athlete whose injury limits her participation on the team has become the norm for them (Peszek and Memmel in 08, Hong in 07, Liukin and Memmel in 06, Bieger in 05, Hatch and Kupets in 04- need I go on?). It is not necessarily the norm for other teams.ReplyDelete
Specifically, she is to blame for not having ensured that Sacramone and Memmel were better protected in the 08 selection process period. It must have been very obvious to her that both were essential for the team, and were carrying chronic injuries. Both should therefore have been instructed to limit their events at Nationals and Trials. There is no reason on earth why Alicia needed to compete vault so much, once it became clear she wasn't upgrading. And having Memmel throw a DTY at the selection camp, WITH WHIPLASH is utterly inexcusable.
Perhaps Chellsie and Alicia would've got injured in 08 anyway. But if they'd been better managed, it would have been in spite of Marta not because of her. She is accountable for her own poor management.
"I'm not surprised Mckenzie Wofford was not named. Blah, blah, blah......"ReplyDelete
In more relevant news, Wofford got a cast (broken metatarsal) removed just a few days before camp, and was not up to speed.
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