Saturday, December 22, 2012
This and That
Children, we need to have a family discussion. I am worried that I am not well. For years, I hated Carolina Kostner's out-of-control skating and jumps that appeared to skim across the ice. Over the course of her transformation and slowing down, I have fallen in love with the Italian ice queen. Though I oppose most non-Torvill-and-Dean Boleros, I adore this program. Dare I say I find this to be the most choreographically interesting long program of the season? Many will point out that the score is quite high (Nationals inflation), but the performance is quite impressive and much improved from her recent performance in Zagreb. And yes, she won Nationals again.
John Geddert tweeted that Jordyn Wieber wishes to return to the gym and compete at Nationals. A recent article quotes Liang Chow as saying that Gabby will not compete in 2013. Many felt that it would be the opposite. It is interesting, as both gymnasts are headed on another tour to earn some well-deserved cash after their Olympic win. Recent photos of Jordyn Wieber have her looking in better shape compared to when I saw her struggle to land a 2 1/2 twist on an air floor at my tour stop. It looks like she has hit the gym since then and gotten trimmer. After the horrors of certain returning Olympics at 2009 Nationals, I don't expect much from either. It would be great for the sport to see Jordyn return after her Olympic disappointment (and a huge newspaper storyline booster/fluff piece waiting to happen), but she may need to train differently in order to save her body. Jordyn has another year of high school left, so training could very well be in order for her last year now that her friends will graduate without her. Gabby appears to be physically capable of returning to the gym. As long as either can be back by 2014 Championships, they should have plenty of time to prepare for Rio; whether they can make it back to the top of the sport is another story entirely.
Johnny Weir long wished to skate to Christina Aguilera. Here is his performance to Army of Me in the rain with rather curious hair. Are you still into the gender bending schtick? The skating is probably the best we have seen from him in a while. Johnny heads to Japan to skate in their Stars on Ice tour in January and February.
A look at the Gym Dogs' sneak peak. Shayla Worley appears to be in the best shape of her collegiate career, yet I notice that they cut away from her bar routine prior to her dismount. Her archy Hristakeava looks slightly more usable than Tanella's FT, but I don't know if we will see either competing. Jay and Couch ditched their 1.5TYs for this intrasquad, but Jay does show another option. Lindsey Cheek looks ready to be a standout for the team on multiple events and they desperately need her. Cat Hires also looks like she will return to the vault lineup. Sarah Persinger is in much better shape than last year and looks quite capable of earning big scores. Chelsea Davis' vault is a bit small compared to the others, but we will definitely see her on bars again. The gymnastics world waits to see how this team will fare in competition. (Note that Mariel Box graduated and that Mary Beth Box now competes...and we all have about the same level of excitement for each.)
Making Olympic Trials and missing the team often motivates a few gymnasts. This year, the handsome Paul Ruggeri looks to be taking his experience and running with it. He appears happier and more confident in his gymnastics.
Dare Maxwell's transformation into a bars and beam specialist is coming along swimmingly. She finally appears to have achieved that elusive swing on bars that so many of the Americans lack. It is unlikely that she ever would've achieved it at Texas Dreams. Big clubs are great for many, but the more individualized approach seems to be working for the former junior elite. Her routine for JO competition looks fantastic. Having a ton of competitions under her belt should help when she makes another run at elite competition. I could definitely see her battling with Texas Dream Nica Hults for international assignments in the future.
Kostner's short. The score was generous, but damn can she interpret music.
More videos from Italian Nationals