Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Nastia/Chellsie drama!

This is a tough one. On the one hand, Chellsie did not score enough to advance to Nationals and did not appear as if she is really able to nail her routines, judging by podium training as well as Classics. I do see the reasoning there. On the other hand, this girl is the comeback queen and has bounced back better than ever after injury before. She did not appear to have enough time to really get back into competitive shape, but giving her the chance to end her illustrious and frustrated career at Nationals instead of having her petition refused and bowing out her career on a bum note would have made all the difference. It is unlikely Chellsie would have advanced to Trials and more unlikely to be named to the team but no harm in allowing her to showcase her still impressive beam at Nationals and salute her numerous fans. Of course, rules are rules. But they have been broken before, most notably for Shawn Johnson who also failed to reach the scores required. One rule for one athlete and another for a different one does NOT go down well and is grossly unfair.

Nastia of course is the darling of US artistic gymnastics. The reigning Olympic AA champion deserves her due and was an exquisite gymnast at her peak. She clearly did a lot of media whoring etc. or whatever you want to call it since, but no harm in making money while she can. It is her attitude towards certain fellow gymnasts and her deliberate attention seeking showcased very well in her announcing her comeback DURING WORLDS and giving herself the accolade of spurring those excellent gymnasts on with her pep talk which really is nauseating. But on to her comeback. Of course many doubted her and were taken aback when she showed crisp, clean gymnastics in podium training and at Classics on beam. However the missed connections means her beam would not score well internationally (but not affected much by US overscoring). At Visas, both of her beam routines showcased missed connections, not perfect leaps, and night 2 obviously the grabbing of the beam. Her beam is fairly useless anyway in the scheme of things and as we kept hearing 'bars is where she punches her ticket to London'.

Bars were disastrous with a 2-night combination of serious breaks and form errors, overcooked pak salto, NO handstands, laboured swing, smacking the bar with her feet and single flyaway dismounts because she does not have the stamina to pull one out, especially not after having to cover up mistakes- further draining her. This is NOT a gymnast who can help USA. Hitting 1 routine out of 4 (and the 1 being mediocre) means this gymnast needs to bow out gracefully, thanking her fans for the support, no matter what her past history and current media darling status is. Her bars day 2 actually scored higher than McKayla Maroney's day 1. All I can say is LOL at favourtism. Yup, Maroney hit her feet off the bar and had struggles on handstands. And yet, she had a great easy much-improved swing, great releases- loved her geinger- AND a proper dismount.

Nastia, despite finishing 19th on bars and 6th on beam (overscored enough to get that score up there..) was invited to trials. This makes absolute crap of Chellsie's denied petition and is a kick in the face for her. Both gymnasts should have been given an equal chance to prove themselves, instead of one being shot down before the Nationals she by default qualified for and another eating bars and beam and getting a free pass. USAG and Marta need to cop on and standardise this rubbish. One rule for one and a kick in the face for another is not on. I would absolutely sign or help create a petition for her to stand down after the Olympics but unfortunately such blatant favourtism appears to be endemic in USAG.

Congratulations to Chellsie on a fabulous career and a brave comeback. Well done to Nastia for attempting a comeback also, won't take that from her no matter what I feel about her scoring and free passes.

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