Thursday, January 24, 2013

This and That

Practice videos. Note Wagner still missed the double axel she fell on at the Grand Prix Final, is not upgrading to Nationals and fell on her footwork sequence.

Mirai Nagasu

Leah Keiser withdrew from Nationals due to injury.

Evgeny Plushenko bombed the short at Europeans and withdrew from the long due to injury. While it would be easy to choke this up due to #bootproblems excuses, his body has clearly been through a lot and few can remember the last time he bombed a short in competition.

Elizabeth Price is out of the American Cup due to a hip injury. Larisa Iordache will also not be competing. Currently on the roster: Kyla Ross, Victoria Moors, Koko Tsurumi, Asuka Teramoto, Vanessa Ferrari and Elisabeth Seitz.

Sadly, it looks like it will be another American Cup where the Americans are the only athletes fully prepared for a meet this early in the season and the others are simply competing for a little prize money. The Europeans will be gearing up for the European Championships, so there is hope we may see some decent exercises. We can only hope that a Mustafina future does not await them after the meet. Nothing good ever comes for international gymnastics who attend this meet. Produnova did the entire qualifying series in 2000 and was left with a broken foot by the Olympics.

A replacement for Iordache will be named soon. The replacement for Price will be named at the February camp. It is a major disappointment for fans, as Price stood a very good chance at upsetting Kyla Ross. It looks like she may have a predictable victory now. We can only hope that Lexie Priessman will be named and that Amelia Hundley will be this year's 'exhibitionist' (in the words of the UF commentators), so that MLT is all over our TV screens once again. Many of us long for the days when they gave her a microphone during the meets. Gymnastike could then return to CGA for their unintentionally hilarious and captivating documentary (accidentally brilliant), which if you haven't seen, is better than watching Liz and Dick.

The Teen Choice Tour was canceled. While it is sad that the gymnasts won't be given even more commercial opportunities to celebrate their Olympic win, it could be good for the sport that Wieber, Douglas and Raisman now have more of an incentive to get back in the gym. Somewhere, McKayla Maroney is still attempting to launch the first instagram-posing career.

Lena Degteva gave Gymcastic a great interview this week about life at Round Lake. Note that UCLA is subtly winning the PR war this year, even if their gymnastics cannot get it done on the mats. While Suzanne Yoculan was transparently manipulative, Miss Val may be even a greater master of manipulation, as she continues to get others to do her bidding. In addition to getting some of the more 'bullshit' NCAA combos she championed under the guise of 'varity' (gainer pikes, really?), that help teams or 'parity', it needs to be noted that she or someone in her program is infiltrating Gymcastic to be her personal PR source. (Last week, Sam Peszek even hosted the show.)

This week, one of the commentators who adores UCLA, noted that Shayla Worley (Public enemy #1) spends far too much time down on the floor, yet refrained from noticing that this is Val's M.O. in almost every floor routine where she has girls stretch their arms and limbs out and then turn over on the floor...unless she thinks that have a fitness issue like some girls over the years and has them run to left and right with their hands on their hips during her sexy rock n' roll routines. (Shout out Val, brilliant!) Last week, we heard the same commentator state that choreography is 'classier out west.'

More Nationals practice videos after the jump!

Christina Gao

Gracie Gold

Agnes Zawadzki

Caroline Zhang

Samantha Cesario


  1. "If Rhonda was this good at manipulation and tactical planning, she might have won an NCAA title by now."

    Jesus fucking christ... truer words have never been spoken.

    And I LOL'd at the GGMB comment about "lots of people think" ... as if gossip can predict who wins titles at the international level. Conspiracy much?

  2. Well written column. Honestly Val is the most overrated coach and chorreographer I have ever seen. If a flexed foot is your thing, you will be in heaven. After the second gymnast, I was no longer amused. After the third one, I was over it. After the forth, I realized that she had issues. After the fifth routine that looked the same as the others, I realized that she must be creatively limited.

    1. The thing that Val does so well by getting the message boards and this podcast on her side is that she creates the impression that UCLA is the most artistic team ever and that everything they do does deserve that extra .05 when the judges are implored to deduct for artistry in the post season. It is okay if Olivia Courtney has flexed feet, because she is 'artistic' and probably doing some tribal dance routine.' Val has about 15-20 moves that she mixes up and puts in the routines. She has many great routines, but a lot of the lesser gymnasts on her team do the same routines we've seen year after year, gymnast after gymnast, and are still lauded for being artistic despite being incredibly recycled.

    2. Miss Val's routines aren't exactly what I would call exceptional art, but at least she makes an attempt. Every other team is so boring, stilted & laughable that you should focus your ire on the rest of the dross that masquerades as dance, not UCLA. Please show me anything more artistic in NCAA - I'd love to see it, 'cause I don't think it exists.

  3. It hasn't been smooth sailing being a Mirai fan but I still have hope - she has so many wonderful qualities and it would APPEAR she has finally settled down into her more mature body.

    I still think Christina Gao can be something. I'm not really an Ashley fan but she's OK - it would be a shame if she loses momentum after well most of the season. The other American women - meh.

  4. When did everyone start wearing tank tops and black leggings for practices? Was there a group vote or something? I can totally understand not wanting to go full-glam like they used to, but some variety would be nice.

  5. I knew there had to be a reason that the UCLA coach kissed the butts of Abomb and company. I often wondered why she ever posted at that board full of racists. It all makes sense.

    1. Did you think they kissed Abomb and Co.'s butts because they genuinely like them? No, I figured out awhile ago that making "friends" with Abomb is like making a deal with the Devil to keep him and his sycophants from savaging you and your interests.

      Suzanne Yoculan (ever the manipulator) managed to charm Abomb into suddenly ceasing all of the "Shayla Worley is a Racist" talk that hit the board like wildfire a few years ago. One minute, they couldn't stop talking about the subject - and the next, it was as though a gag order had been issued. The same thing happened with a recent Gabby Douglas thread that was the mother of all diss threads; someone's "friendship" with Abomb paid off as they got Abomb to remove the thread entirely (you can't even find it in the "Dead Gina" forum).

      How "Abomb" of Abomb and his crew to use these "friendships" to wield some flimsy sense of self-importance; those of us who are removed enough from his penis know what's up.

  6. Best explanation I have finally heard why Val is 'lauded' for her choreography when all I saw was like stated earlier..grinding and rolling on the ground, especially for the larger gymnasts and chronic shaking of the that's it?

  7. This isn't exactly relevant but Hundley isn't a senior until 2014. Possibly Ohashi for Scam?

  8. Can anyone get access to the GGMB? I love watching gymnastics but wonder if you have to be invited to view the board.

  9. Let's face it, gymnastics floor routines suck in the dance department. Miss Val's may not be works of art but when you see them in person compared to any other team they definitely stand out. So if you think UCLA's floor dance is so so, I can assure you ( speaking as a professional dancer) all the others are dreadfully worse & if you can produce any evidence to the contrary I'd sure like to see it. Have to admit a guilty pleasure watching Loumincia though...