Monday, September 19, 2011

This and That

Catalina Ponor debuted her floor routine at this weekend's friendly meet in the UK.

Camp Tidbits:  Chellsie Memmel did parts of her bar routine during the first two workouts.  McKayla Maroney is back to doing everything after resting her back injury during the first selection camp.  It will be interesting to see if she winds up injecting cortisone shots in her back during the Olympic year after competing through disc issues.  Alicia did her rudi on hard mats yesterday, but she didn't do her yurchenko during the morning workout.  Frankly, that second vault needs more work.  The chances of Alicia ever upgrading appear to dissipate by the day.  Shawn Johnson is back to doing just about everything from Nationals on vault, bars and beam.  It looks as though Sheryl Shade put the word out to USA Today in case Shawn doesn't make the world team.  Shawn is one of the few gymnasts with an agent and making money.  Her endorsement potential is significantly enhanced by the appearance that she is going to be the 'old Shawn' during the Olympic Games.  Appearance is everything.

Viktoria Komova won the AA at the latest event for selecting the final Russian Worlds' squad despite not being up to snuff on vault or floor.  Her chance at AA Gold may need to wait a year.  Ksenia Afanasyeva finished second.  Maria Paseka vaulted a strong Amanar and showed why the coaches put such stock in her.  Check out the photo of her mother next to the podium on IG.  Vera is an international judge.  Also, try not to roll your eyes at IG kissing Paul Hamm's ass with their latest column about his amazing character and being such a 'wonderful' interviewee.

Komova, Nabieva and Afanasyeva swept the EF titles, but it looks like Paseka missed her Amanar.

Brandon Mroz landed a clean Quad Lutz at the Colorado Invitational.  It will not go in the record books as a 'first' since it was completed at a non-qualifying domestic event.

Ana Porgras is in peak form on beam again.

Julia Lipnitskaya is quickly becoming one of my favorite ladies after her performance at the JGP.  Look at the elegance and beautiful line that is emerging.  Julia feels the music and doesn't have to rely on cheap flash like students in the Mishin camp.  She looks to have a bright future.

Satoko Miyahara showed oodles of charisma in her second place effort.

Samantha Cesario continues to be a late bloomer.  Her skating is gorgeous, yet she sometimes approaches her jumps tentatively like someone who knows she is a bit old to be emerging on the Junior Grand Prix.  Samantha's jump technique has improved some, but her flip and axel continue to be unsteady.  A few of her elements slowed down or got a little sloppy in the short (end of spins), but this effort was much more refined.  Sam earned the bronze.

Joshua Farris' gold-medal-winning free skate at the JGP Baltic Cup.  His rapid improvement is delightful to witness.

Artur Jr's free skate.  He won silver and is just 'so St. Petersburg.'

Beth Tweddle floor.

Imogen Cairns floor

Sandra Izbasa vault

Catalina Ponor vault

Ana Porgras bars

Diana Chelaru bars.

Sandra Izbasa bars.

Amelia Racea beam.

Raluca Haidu continues to be on the bubble for Worlds.

Diana Chelaru looks to be pushing Bulimar off the squad.

Catalina Ponor rocked a beam set.

Diana Chelaru FX.

Amelia Racea FX

Ana Porgras FX


  1. I´m so happy to see Julia Lipinitskaya. She is incredible
    Catalina Ponor: I missed her!!! Is my favorite after Simona Amanar and Svetlana Khorkina!! The romanians gimnastics are back and I hope the russians too.
    Elizabeth Twiddle is amazing.

  2. Dave reportedly those who saw Julia live say Julia also has good speed accross the ice. Its like Tara and Sasha had a baby. :lol: I still like Adelina better though for some reason.

  3. Agreed about Lipnitskaya, she is going to be quite something! Re: Mishin, I just watched the Russian test skates on YouTube and and reckon he's felt the wind turn and is now allowing artistry and feeling the music back into his student's skating. Tuktamishyeva is skating more loosely and Gachinski is seriously improved too, I no longer felt like I was hallucinating a second Plushenko. Hope this lasts...

  4. Scoring wise, Romania and Russia really aren't doing all that great. It's crazy that even with their "last 6 standing" desperation lineup, the US should probably win very easily this year. The US is always good at winning the last Worlds before the Olympics.

  5. Double layout is not the skill I would have picked for Porgras.

  6. Julia Lipnitskaya has a lot of potential, but I think she has some ways to go. She still seems a bit juniorish to me. There were parts of her program which didn't feel like they suited the music, but I'm blaming the judging system for that.

  7. There video of the quad lutz?

  8. AJ - any truth to the rumor that Macko "injured herself pretty badly" on beam for selection camp comp today?

  9. Everyone is calling you a liar at IG. They say you are making stuff up about camp.

    Is this why you kiss Nastia's ass so she will give you info?

  10. I agree with previous comment about Julia--juniorish and a jumping bean. Really poor layback position. But very young (or at least looks that way).
    Hate the current judging system--sick of seeing Biellmans and I-spins in every program. Agree about Samantha--lovely skating, but again, thwarted by the system: an ugly I-spin (not her fault--all I-spins are ugly) and a pointless Biellman to ruin a very pretty layback..

  11. does anybody else miss the ponor roll on FX??

  12. I posted on a YT video of Yulia year or two ago, saying that she's going to be THE one to watch, not the other tacky Mishin skaters.

    However, let's not confuse LINE with EXTENSION. Yulia has wonderful extension without perfect turnout at the hips, similar to a rhythmic gymnast. But IMO as a former dancer and current dance instructor, Yulia's line is good but not great, because she falls back to showcasing her flexibility and extension over maintaining beautiful lines. One thing that prevents her from having beautiful line is her use of arms. They're rather messy and don't have good positions, in fact they detract from her lines. But it's obvious to me that she's had good dance training, better than Adelina or Liza at least.

    Lines has more to do with orientation of head, arms, legs, torso, when in motion or in poses.

  13. "..Yulia's line is good but not great, because she falls back to showcasing her flexibility and extension over maintaining beautiful lines. One thing that prevents her from having beautiful line is her use of arms. They're rather messy and don't have good positions, in fact they detract from her lines."

    Thanks for articulating exactly what was bothering me about her. I'm looking forward to her improvement.

  14. ^^^^^
    Anon @ 6:25

    You're welcome. To be more specific, Yulia's arms do detract from her having beautiful line because of she doesn't use her entire arms, let alone have fluid arm movements. It's very evident that Yulia only uses her lower arms to convey motion in the choreography, therefore highlighting oddly bent (neither straight nor rounded) elbows. The dependence upon wrist/ hand flicking, all the while retaining sloppy, static upper arm positions, is made worse by aforementioned faults.

    Now you compare Yulia's arms with those of pure, beautiful lines of the great Lucinda Ruh, especially stunning in her Gliere Harp Concerto LP in 1999, you'll notice exactly what I mean. Lucinda keeps beautiful positions while using her entire arms in fluid, purposeful movements.

    To be fair to Yulia, I watched that video with a critical eye because of AJ's praise of her lines, and because Yulia obviously is trying to infuse dance elements and positions into her programs. For me, to try to do it at all means to try to do it well and correctly. Otherwise, I wouldn't have offered such critiques. For example, I wouldn't criticize Adelina or Liza for their use of arms because they don't seem as focused on balletic lines or dance approach.

  15. Julia has beautiful flexibility and a nice presence on the ice, i don't see that much "feeling the music" though but she is VERY young. She has a LOT of potential!

  16. Can anyone tell me if Meryl Davis and Fedor Andreev are indeed dating? I read it on FSU.

  17. Enjoyed all the skating from Julia, Satoko and Samantha. All are very talented; however, the big plus Samantha has over the other girls (and I mean girls) is that she is fortunate enough to still have her triples after puberty. I betcha Satoko and Julia's coaches are keeping their fingers crossed that puberty is kind to them as well.

  18. Definitely think Lipnitskaya has some skills, but I dunno, she strikes me as quite mechanical, like a wind-up doll, and is not listening to the music at ALL. You could stick another faster-paced piece of music over that and it would probably seem more appropriate.

    She may be young, but can musicality be learned? IMHO she should skate to less emotional music. Maybe she and Farris should swap their LP music.

  19. Video of Mroz's 4-lutz. Didn't look very high, but very quickly rotated.

    This interview ( says Jeff Buttle choreographed his programs. That should be ... ummm ... interesting.

  20. I'm hearing rumors from Dominique Moceanu and others that Mackenzie Caquatto was injured at camp and is out of the running for Worlds. No wonder, after CoverGirl, Nats, and TWO selection camps. Way to go Marta. You broke another one.

  21. And apparently, Larry Nassar was pretty pissed about the injury, according to Gym Examiner:

    U.S. team doctor Larry Nasser, frustrated at seeing another world class gymnast go down with an injury, slammed the code of points that requires such a high level of difficulty from athletes.

    "These athletes train so hard, it is so very sad to see one of them injured. The sport needs to change and change soon. It has reached the level that the human body can not progress beyond. The FIG rules need to change and they need to do it very soon so that the sport can survive.

    It is getting to the point that too many countries can not even had a solid team to represent them at these international competitions. It is past the time for the FIG starts to take action."

  22. And if it was the result of something beam related, it's even dumber of Marta because does Macko even factor in for any scenario on beam??

    Too bad there weren't cameras around so everyone could aimlessly analyze the other girls' reactions to her injury to determine who is awful and who is not. eyeroll.

  23. AJ .... what the fuck. what info do you have re: camp and macko!

    also what are you hearing re: shawn, chellsie and shawn?

    why were certain competitors like casey jo magee (reportedly) is not invited to the second camp?

    which of the wogettes are at camp? any suprises going to show up on the pan am team?