I picked this one because it's arguably the deepest field of any all-around competition. It is one of the least disputed all-around results, but one of the most exciting too. Russia at this point was suffering a bit from the break-up of the Soviet Union but still had 3 talented all-arounders in the mix- Svetlana Khorkina, Dina Kotchetkova and Roza Galieva- Galieva of course fuelled by being unceremoniously chucked out of the 1992 all-around. Romania had a deep field of Simona Amanar, Lavinia Milosovici and Gina Gogean. This Olympics also saw an unfair switch- Amanar replaced Alexandra Marinescu who qualified and was deemed 'lazy' by Bellu. Lovely. USA had an incredible pool of talent and even though Kerri Strug was out due to injury, Shannon Miller coming off the back of Olympic AA silver and two consecutive world titles, Dominique Dawes and Dominique Moceanu were all in the mix. Rounding off the top contenders were Mo Huilan of China and Lilia Podkopayeva of Ukraine- the reigning world and European champion, both of whom were most notable for not having a weak event, though both had suffered with inconsistency. Svetlana Boginskaya now competing for Belarus brings up the rear. So, 12 great gymnasts vying for the title. WOW.
Once again, can only get NBC's coverage. Complete with fluff of course. Opens with Dominique Moceanu who was probably one of the most hyped gymnasts never to actually achieve notable individual success. Now Kerri Strug's team final moment. Nice bit on Shannon Miller. Spicing it up now with some evil music for Tatiana Gutsu and tears from Roza Galieva. Lavinia Milosovici looking like a badass in a church, interesting. Some triumphant music introduces Dominique Dawes, Lilia Podkopayeva and Svetlana Boginskaya. The hell are they doing as afterthoughts when Moceanu is first? Nice, NBC. Okay back to the dome. On a side note, I hated this audience. Too loud for home gymnasts, barely reacting at all to superb performances by others. London this year got it right I think- loving their own, but so impressed by the others and really enthusiastic. great stuff. Moving on.
D'aww Tim looks so young. Nice close-ups of Kerri's seriously swollen ankle, delightful. Bigging up Lilia, good stuff.
Moceanu BEAM Looking terrified to be up first. Nice Silivas mount. Nails the BHS-LOSO-LOSO-LOSO combo. Love that combination, so hard to not wobble on it but she doesn't flicker. Her height here is ideal for it of course, 4'4 or something like that. Nice leap series, almost comes off on her punchfront but miraculously saves it. Lots of prancing going on here. Struggles to hold a handstand, she's rattled now. Really nice double tuck dismount, just a slight movement on the landing. Pity the huge wobble will take her right down on her first event. Fairly boring white leotard with some hint of red and blue, she looks well in it though. 9.6
Kotchetkova BARS Beautiful form, great handstands. Nothing too exciting, but really nice height and flight on all elements. Great looking double layout dismount, piked the first bit though. A red white and blue leotard, looks fine but a bit dull. 9.787 Nice
Podkopayeva VAULT I absolutely adore her vaulting and this vault is gorgeous- yurchenko half-on pike front-half out. Beautiful. Small hop back, nothing major- really flawless in the air. Second vault is the same one but she sticks the landing. Just gorgeous. And John Tesh comes out with the classic 'We talk so much about landings but it seems unfair to me that the bulk of her score is not coming from what she does in the air'. WTF?? Very elegant black leotard with a jagged sweetheart neckline, not gone on the mesh stripe on the sleeves though. 9.781
Khorkina BEAM Seems too tall for the beam, odd after the last routine shown was Moceanu. Nice acro mount straight into two layout-stepouts. Lots of random arm and leg posing. No real hesitation on anything though. Great dismount, gainer double full. Holds the stick for forever, bit like NCAA. I absolutely hate this leo, makes her look like a clown. Black with spiky white neckline. 9.787
Cut to Marinescu in the stands chewing gum, looking about 10. She doesn't look angry, just interested in the competition. Good for her. Cheers for Gogean.
Gogean BARS The eternal model of boring efficiency. Very boring transitions, but by no means the only one to use them. Nice pirouette, seriously low Tkachev, no air on it whatsoever. Really nice form and sticks a textbook double layout. Job well done. Romanian standard issue leo, I cannot remember anything about it except the colours as soon as she dissapears off the screen. 9.7
Mo VAULT Lovely DTY, great form and very speedy twisting. Big step forward to steady the landing though. I don't know if that was her first or second vault or what. Red white and yellow leotard but I like how it's done, one yellow sleeve, one white sleeve joining the red bottom half. And her second one is shown after Miller's bars. It's beautiful, lovely landing.
Miller BARS Gorgeous straight form and bodyline, nice hop full into Geinger, looks like some leg seperation but with this angle it's too hard to tell. Perfect double laout, stuck landing. I am bored of double layouts. White leo with giant red, blue and silver stars. Not a fan of giant stars in general but this looks pretty good. Enormous white scrunchie to match as standard. And that earns her a pat on the arse from Nunno.
Galieva BEAM Opens with a fluff on her in 1992. Contains Alexandrov stating that it was very difficult to take her out, but the pressure was on to bring home medals. Lots of lingering close-ups of her huge eyes. Also shows Tatiana Gutsu saying she understands but had no say- like duhh. She looks 20 years older! Back to the actual gymnastics. Gorgeous backhandspring mount. Really nice acro series, perfectly in line. Nice Rulfova. Chorepgraphy contains too much back arch-back arch for my liking, very Bai Chunyue. Double tuck dismount with a tiny hop back. Same clown leo. 9.825
I'd like some scores now?
Milosovici VAULT Milo wearing an ill-fitting leo with no bra and a fluffy fringe. Hmm. Really nice vault, handspring half-on pike off..or maybe it's supposed to be laid-out. Only a slight shuffle on the landing but if you listen to the commentary you'd swear she rolled off the mat. White leo with red and blue on the shoulders and sides, probably the same as Gogean's. Second vault takes a big step forward, but nice in the air. 9.743
Dawes BARS The original high flier. Fantastic Hindorff- HUGE height. Nice form throughout, some unusual moves. Great full-twisting double dismount but takes two steps back. Same leo as Miller, suits her also. And we are told she was prom queen, err..interesting. 9.812 With those steps, that's too high.
Boginskaya FLOOR I am still missing loads of scores here. Bogi looks like's raided the local MAC. Probably one of the best at using great chorepgraphy that broke the mould. Nice full-twisting double tuck, stuck. Very nice combination front tumbling pass into punchfront and runs right into another. And now a flail around the floor bit. A master as resting in the corners with arm movements. Nice last pass, twist into punchfront but out of bounds. Nice routine all the same. 9.6
End of rotation standings: Galieva leads, followed by Dawes and Huilan.
Khorkina FLOOR Nice twisting first pass. Fast paced music slows down a bit for her second, which looks like a 1.5 into 1.5 from the very bad angle shown, takes a step. Nice leap series into prone. Lots of posturing with her hands on her hips. Clean front tumbling pass into a very dramatic end pose.Well done. 9.7 Ever so slightly generous.
Podkopayeva BARS Woah big form break at the start, completely bends her knees on a transition. Working well with the rest of the routine, great form. Laughable to hear that hop full-hop-full-geinger is considered three releases in a row, but it is cool. Nice dismount. Hmmm. 9.8 Slightly generous too. And the camera pans to Lilia's bleeding rip on her hand being looked after, lovely.
- AA ad break intro shows a serious amount of Moceanu. Hello, Miller? Dawes? Interesting that the only Karolyi gymnast is set as the biggest hope when in reality the other two far outranked her.
Miller BEAM Love her series of back rolls into handstands, a favourite of mine. Sadly this the worst case of flexed wrists ever. Nevertheless, a gorgeous routine so far. Very tidy punchfront. Nice layout-stepout series, moves her foot back to steady but no wobble. Yay a Valdez, love them. Ughh wrists. Into the dismount and sticks a full twisting double back, albeit with a low landing. Crowd goes NUTS. Replay shows her foot actually slipped off, great control not to even wobble on that. 9.862 WOW
Galieva FLOOR Oh no, I knew this was coming, Galieva not being able to hear her music again. I really love this music, very lively and suits her. Nice whip into full twisting double back, tiny bounce on the landing. Nice front tumbling pass, though I'm getting sick of these pretty fast. Here comes Shannon's dismount and the noise is seriously unreal. Galieva is determined but you can tell she's a bit lost. Nice combination pass into fabulously high straddle jump at the end. Noise has died down a bit but goes nuts again over Shannon's score. This is a joke. Galieva has a nice full-in again, but is rattled. Can't hear anything and struggles at the end into her end pose. This is hard to watch. 9.637 And she is devastated. She has had one of the worst Olympic experiences considering her talent and considering that nothing was down to injury or a mistake.
Mo BARS First transition has so much flight you can almost see her being able to sit on top of the high bar with it, it looks tough to actually catch. Here comes the Gaylord, superb. Second transition is really difficult, no sitting on the bar in straddle and jumping for her. Lovely high Tkachev. This is beautiful stuff, gorgeous lines. Nice double layout, tiny leg seperation and a small shuffle on landing. The best bars routine of the whole competition, bar none. 9.8 Pfft underscoredl. Dawes got higher with much bigger steps back. Joke.
Dawes BEAM Oooh another Valdez. Nice leap series. Acro line is impressive, roundoff into 3 layout-stepouts but they are seriously choppy. Pretty bad form but I doubt they will penalise her for it. It just does not flow very well at all. Difficult dismount sequence, but again very choppy. Replays highlight the leg seperations in her round-offs and how low her full twisting double back was. It will still get a 9.8 Yes 9.825 and nobody cares about form.
Milosovici BARS Nothing special, but super Romanian efficiency. Nice form and I like her high to low transition. Nice dismount. 9.737
Boginskaya VAULT Lovely clean form on a 1.5 Yurchenko. Has to take two giant steps forward though. Looks like they are vaulting into a sandpit. Replay shows slightly bent knees. Second vault is the same with a slightly smaller step forward.
Amanar BEAM Very clean punchfront mount. Nice acro line, BHS-LOSO-BHS-LOSO. Not perfect form in the air but good. Very efficient leaps. Nice double tuck with a small hop back. Good for her. 9.725
Moceanu FLOOR Please no. The Karolyi's are responsible for all the barf 70's Romanian routines, but I hate this one the most. Great full twisting pike back, but steps out of bounds. Really not at her peak here. Nice combination twisting second pass. Here comes the cringeworthy choreography. Not a bad front tumbling pass, gets a lot of height and bounces out of it. Oh god the part where she pretends to have a tantrum...ugh stomach turning stuff. Ugh more embarrassing choreo. Nice twisting final pass to end but another step on landing. Crowd are loving it. 9.687 and there is no comeback from that AND beam.
Kotchetkova BEAM Love her eponymous move, full-twisting back handspring. Slight hesitation on the second layout stepout, nothing major. Another with too much back-arching as choreography. Great Rulfova and a stuck double tuck dismount, nice. Well deserved 9.825
End of rotation standings: Dawes leads Miller and Kotchetkova who are tied. Crowd are ecstatic.
Woah seriously glitzy leotard in the background! Black bodice with seriously glittery silver on the neck and sleeves. It would stand out even in today's sparkly leotard infestation. Camera pans to the Clintons. Little known fact: Clinton did everything he could to help the Northern Ireland peace negotiations and eventual Good Friday Agreement and had a big impact on it. So I like him.
Miller FLOOR Shannon is busy adjusting the huge scrunchie eating her head. Great double layout but stumbles forward a bit. Elfi is banging on about how much trouble she has had with it lately and how it cost her in team finals. Take the thing out then, no? That is costly. Moving on, lovely floaty second pass and I like this music, she dances well to it. Crowd are silent, either speechless after the mistake or miffed they can't clap along to this. Full twisting double and steps OOB. Damnit. That takes her out, she's gutted of course. 9.475 Ouch.
Mo BEAM Mounts with her one-arm handstand which is an utter joy to behold. Lovely precision in her movements.Stunning leaps and so high in her layout. Teeny tiny hesitations here and there. Lovely dismount, takes a kind of step that she kicks out. 9.8 Also very slightly high but I can't begrudge it for this routine. Elfi and co. are up in arms. Durr Dawes bars?
Dawes FLOOR Killer double layout, nails it. Love her music. Whip into twist into punchfront and underrotates it, her feet can't grip the floor and she sits down. This kills me every time. Huge groan from the crowd and her sparkle dies, but she keeps plugging away. Really nice full in pike, such a shame. As she's crying someone says off camera 'all right dom', yeah she's fine thanks for asking. Lots of charming close-ups on her face, just like they did for Shannon and Roza. 9.0 And the crowd boos. Did they not see her sit down? Gutting all the same.
Milosovici BEAM Why did they send her out in an ill-fitting cotton leotard and no bra? The mind boggles. Fabulous mount- in fact very few are using easy mounts. This is a tucked Korbut, very slightly offline but not seriously so. Great acro line but seems a bit clumsy. Soo solid, and nails her double tuck. Great work. 9.775
Amanar FLOOR Effortless double layout, what a tumbler. Some interesting attempts at dance. I actually like this music, much better than the barnyard hoedown she showed up with in Sydney. Such height on her leaps! Fairly meaningless posey bit. Super stuff though, whip into 2.5 twist into punchfront right back into another pass with a triple full. Glorious. And a full-in tuck to end. Amazing. 9.737 That is underscored, Moceanu got a 9.687 with two out of bounds and Amanar's difficulty is huge. Bahh.
Moceanu VAULT NBC keep plugging her as if she is still in medal contention. Sigh. 1.5 Yurchenko, nice in the air. Takes a giant hop forward though. Sticks the second one and the crowd goes wild. 9.706 and the crowd seem to be pissed it's not a 10 as they all conveniently shut their eyes for the huge hop on vault one.
Kotchetkova FLOOR Fabulous double layout. Good music too. Nicely done second and third combination passes, very floaty just a slight hop on the second one. I absolutely love all the backhandsprings into straddle jumps going on these games because the height on the jump just looks so awesome, another great one here. Interesting choreography and a sky high double tuck to end. Great routine. 9.787
Lilia fluff! I absolutely adore this music they use at the beginning of it. Dramatic sun and clouds shot, oooh. 'Lilia was told by her grandmother when she was brought to the training centre at Kiev "Do well or do not bother" ' Tourischeva's hair is gross here. Shots of a ballet, and Lilia talking about the emphasis on choreography. I like the fluffs purely for the look at Eastern European gyms and backgrounds. Emphasis placed on how important a gold medal would be for independent Ukraine which is well done.
Podkopayeva BEAM Solid punchfront mount. 'She took advantage at the last world championships of other's misfortunes', annoys me everytime as it makes her sound not worthy. Nice BHS LOSO into Korbut, slightly offline on the Korbut. And now let's talk about Dawes instead of this beautiful routine Al. Really nice choreography, very much in command. Clean full-in dismount with a small hop. Lovely work. 9.787 Underscored
End of rotation standings: Huilan and Kotchetkova tied, Podkopayeva in third.
Milosovici FLOOR Lovely double layout. Fast music, dance is okay. Second pass three whips into a twist and punchfront- amazing! Still has it on floor. Nice low to floor bit. Last pass a full-in tuck with a step. Excellent work. 9.812
Dawes VAULT Good 1.5 Yurchenko but has a big enough hop. Very effortless for her. First vault not shown. 9.681
Moceanu BARS Lovely Shaposhnikova. Extremely straight on her Pak, looks like she ran into difficulty with it after catching as she looks awkward on the low bar. Great release, lots of height. Hops on her dismount a bit. Replay shows she pikes it a lot. Hmm. 9.762 Slightly too high, but not by much.
Amanar VAULT Great DTY, lovely form. Slight adjustment on landing but no hop or step. Sticks the second one, fabulous. 9.843 Well deserved.
Kotchetkova VAULT Gets almost no block off the horse on a 1.5 Yurchenko. Lands in a deep squat and takes a step. Damn. It's amazing she got it around at all though but that takes another leader down. Second vault looks to have a slightly better position on block but the same result, deep squat and several steps to steady this time. DAMNIT. That is some shoddy technique right there. 9.581 and the fourth leader falls.
Podkopayeva FLOOR This is one of the most familiar floor routines ever to me. Double front half out, excellent. Why has nobody done this since?? Two combination passes, very clean. Definitely one of the greatest front tumblers ever. Very lively music for balletic choreography but that's why it works I think. Here comes the fouette bit! Not a fan of the flexed foot match after but oh well. Ooo 360 degrees handstand. Full in full out, great stuff. Lilia's face when she ends is amazing, she looks so pleased but so humble or something. 9.887 and Milo kisses her in congratulations. The two of them have a nice moment, I wonder what language?
And a short clip of Khorkina mistiming her Shap 1/2 and not coming anywhere near the bar to recatch. She's pissed. 9.262
Gogean VAULT Nice 1.5, small hop. Leg seperation on block but I think they're all doing that, just not showing the dead-on angle Gogean got all the time. Sticks the second one but it's not a true stick and she has to step forward eventually. Very efficient. Milo was by the side chewing gum ha. 9.775
Miller VAULT It's almost sad she has to go one better than her old FTY, as she performed the best one of all time. I don't know what this vault is, looks great though. Such form in the air. The landing jars her and she looks in pain. Does the second one and it's beautiful with a perfect stick. Wow. It looks like a Yurchenko half twist into layout front. Shannon waves to the crowd who are going crazy for her. Nunno is seriously loud and annoying on the sidelines but he was a great coach, gets her to smile again. 9.724 Looks a little high because they weren't out of 10.0 like most other people's but there was really nothing to deduct so that's fair.
Mo Huilan fluff! Rice paddy field, soft music. Pretty standard stuff, Mo trains hard and very far from home. It makes what's coming next even worse. Documents how her sister was chosen ahead of her for the National team but she begged to be chosen too and was accepted. I've heard several times that the sister showed even more promise, it's sad she was injured and stopped training. 'This is why I choose gymnastics. To win gold medals. For honour. For country and family.' Sniff.
Mo FLOOR I preferred her 1995 typewriter floor but this is great too. Very floaty double layout. Nice second pass and great height on her leaps. LOL chicken dance bit, classic. Third pass is a twist to combination and she steps out of bounds and everybody groans. NOOOOOOOOOO. So sad. Lovely choreo and gets the typewriter bit in but the sparkle is gone unsurprisingly. Lovely piked full in to end. Manages to smile. Hmm I actually did not know this, but the routine is out of a 9.9 and she needed 9.857 to win gold. That means it was probably impossible anyway had she not made an error. Still, she would have taken silver easily but I thought she had gold for sure in her grasp. 9.650 So a tenth for OOB and another deduction for the step itself. That means it WAS impossible as 9.850 would still not have gotten gold.
And Podkopayeva wins! What a fabulous AA with 12 actual contenders for medals, we'll never see the like of that again. Of course it was sad that two who qualified could not compete- Strug and Marinescu and it was awful to see Galieva, Dawes, Miller, Kotchetkova and Mo fail. In a way, it is interesting that this is the most undisputed Olympic win of all time, considering how many fell by the wayside. Clearly likeability has a lot to do with it. I do not like saying 'X was lucky Y fell' as it undermines their achievement and it is just how competition works out BUT if Gabby is lucky Komova had a crap landing on vault and Shushunova is lucky Silivas wobbled on beam then Lilia is lucky so many fell by the wayside, just as Carly is lucky Khorkina was wrecked at that point and Pavlova was underscored and Nastia is lucky the code favoured her whopper bars so much. That's how it works- you cannot blast Gabby's win and forget all of the other 'lucky' AA winners.
2. Gina Gogean
3. Simona Amanar, Lavinia Milosovici
Amanar was never going to get gold, but she was underscored. Dawes and Moceanu were overscored. Bleughh. I like doing this because it forces me to have a better insight and really notice the scoring like I wouldn't have before every other time I watched it. But it takes too long! I will do 2008 AA and maybe 1992 but it will take a while. Event finals ftw.
EDIT Thank you to GTT who explained there was something up with the composition of Amanar's floor- either she missed a requirement or failed to complete one so her start value was lowered accordingly. So I take it back when I complained about her low score. A big shout out to NBC who failed to show start values or even mention that perhaps not all routines (sans vault, which they did mention) start out of a 10. Because of that, this blog assumes pretty much everything was out of a 10. Even with that, the most blatant overscores still stand as a joke. I WILL include Mo and Podkopayeva in that, much as I love them, after thinking about this competition some more some of their scores were just blatantly ignoring mistakes.
Next up is 1992 AA. I will state that I wanted Lysenko to win (not at the time, I was 4). I think Miller and Gutsu were so evenly matched, neverthless- shady dealings there. I'm not going to bother with 2008 AA because that was sickening. 2011 BB and maybe the odd event final here and there.