Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Imperfect perfect 10's

I noticed a comment under the youtube video of Milosovici's 1992 perfect 10 floor routine stating something along the lines of 'How is this a perfect 10? She hops on the first pass!'. Which is true, she does. But it brings to mind all of the other 'imperfect' perfect 10's. Check out Nadia's iconic 1976 bars routine, she shuffles her feet forward on the landing. Kim Gwang Suk's 1991 bars- bent knees. Lots of other shuffles and small steps come to mind, not to mention form errors and deep landings on vaults. Yet they are given 10's.

Most of the time, the routine may not have been neccessarily perfect in every single element or landing but it WAS exceptional and of such a high calibre that it deserved it. It does get murky in and around 1989 when they were being handed out like competition numbers BUT it does hold true for a lot of 10's, especially ones which were not politically motivated. Nadia's first 10 on her optional bars is the perfect example- the shuffle did not matter because the calibre of the rest of the exercise was so exceptional and in that competition, so much better than those scoring right under the 10 that they had little choice. (I do think Ungureanu should have gotten one too though). There literally are perfect perfect 10's- Fan Di and Lu Li's bars are definitely springing to mind. Nevertheless, I do think it should be a legitimate score when someone has an exceptional routine and raises the bar, especially if it is of a much more noticeable higher standard than everyone else. I do NOT want them handed out like candy and I know it's not going to be as visually exciting given the difficulty score confusing it for casual fans, but nevertheless. Maroney's TF vault is the perfect example. Yup there was a leg seperation and tiny tiny leg form but are we ever going to see a vault like that again? Maybe not for several several quads (unless from her of course) but it was far and away the greatest Amanar ever performed. And yes I will include Rosu and Fei in that. One Australian judge who blogged a bit about the Olympics stated that the judges for Vault TF would have been too scared to give the 10 due to the harsh rules penalising score variation and of course, it being a score that's just not given anymore. However before EF those judges were told that if she replicated the vault exactly, not to be afraid to give the 10. Or 16.5 in this case. That shows you how aware they are that it did actually deserve it.

Bottom line, it is good for the sport. And it does not neccessarily have to be utterly flawless- just almost, and better than everyone else.

9 comments:

  1. Hmm I disagree about giving Maroney a 10 for execution. Best Amanar ever? Yes. But I hate her feet on the landing.

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    1. The old 'forward momentum' stick? Fair enough. I would argue it was so 'almost perfect' and so much better than everyone else and what has gone before that it was well worthy of the 10, especially as it has often been used for that purpose before- reward someone who was excellent, not neccessarily perfect.

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  2. I'm okay with the harsher scoring actually- it's always hard for to watch older routines and see their scores so close together. It IS a shame that we'll never see a perfect 10 again (unless maybe they change scoring rules again).

    And I think you meant Lu Li? Luo Li was a great bar worker, too. In all honesty, I only found out about Luo Li because I was looking for Lu Li videos a while back and she comes up. Interestingly, their first names ("Li") are actually different characters, but Lu Li and Li Li's are the same. Confuses the hell out of me sometimes.

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    1. Uggh, yes I do mean her. Hard to seperate the two in my head. Yes I heard that both Li ShanShan's have different characters in their names? Seems to be quite common!

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    2. I just checked it up: and YEAH THEIR FIRST NAMES ARE DIFFERENT (same last name though)! Li Shanshan the girl who headcased in the BB EF in 08 but had the insane beam d-score is 李珊珊, while Li Shanshan 2.0 who everyone confuses with 1.0 is: 李姗姗. Your gymnastics knowledge never ceases to amaze me- I hope your new job will be something related to this. Shame to waste all this passion. :)

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    3. Chinese is fascinating. I would love to learn it. I can see it has the label of being the hardest language to learn though.

      Unfortunately no. Ireland's unemployment rate is 15%- and that is with hundreds emigrating every week. Everyone my age is in Australia. I can't really do anything with my degree at the moment so I am just doing a stop-gap job until I start another course next year. This country is a gymnastics wasteland. There ARE a few gyms producing elites to Euros and even Worlds last year and they do have some nice routines but the difficulty is sooooo low. There's only two gyms in the whole country that are really world class facilities, one is actually in Britain and is where the Chinese team stayed. Sadly there is just not the funding or interest in Olympic sports, gymnastics is fairly end of the line.

      Anyway I am hoping that we could improve the way Britain has, in time. They did have elites before Beth though. Have you seen Annika Reeder? She's great.

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    4. I'm not very good at all- just enough to get by, really. Your English (I assume Irish is your first language?) is way better than my Chinese. The hardest part about the Chinese language is that for reasons unknown, China never took that linguistic step and adapt an alphabet like Japanese and Korean. Therefore, one must essentially memorize each character. There are patterns across some characters that help with the process, but still, 100,000+ is a lot; I'm familiar with maybe 1,000 after years of Chinese school on weekends (thank you, parents). I always admire those who don't come from a background and still enroll in courses (like, at my university)- crazy! Anyways, if you do want to learn/have the time: check out livemocha, which you can do for free if you also help others. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Livemocha).

      Haha the U.S. gov claims that our unemployment rate is "7.8%" but it's actually double that if you count people who settle for part time employment or give up altogether. I didn't know there were large numbers of emigrants to Australia! Does that not appeal to you? I just think of nice weather and toilets flushing the opposite direction and the coral reef that's dying out! Wouldn't mind living there at all.

      Do you consider North Ireland part of Ireland? Sorry for my confusion: you acknowledge that Lisburn is in Britain but you also refer to it as part of the "whole country." Well, in any case, have fun with your job! :) My ideal stopgap job would be being a bartender or barista.

      Watching some of Reeder on youtube- her swing on UB isn't bad for the first half of the routine, but I think I like her floor best. I'm a sucker for stuck well-executed DLO on floor or UB dismounts.

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    5. Nah English is my first language. Irish is second. In our constitution Irish is the first language of the country, but it has died out so much. It's what centuries of being part of the UK and plantations does, so it was eventually seen as a backwards language with no chance of progression, and was not taught in schools- in the 19th century etc. Now it is forcibly taught in schools, from 5-18 but it's all grammar and literature which is no fun so everyone still hates it.

      Ahh. Well our live register is only counting fully unemployed people. The numbers would be far higher except for emigration. Nope it doesn't appeal at all! I'm not one for heat or killer insects. I don't think I could leave home.

      No I consider it as part of Britain. Its citizens choose which nationality they want. Geographically of course it's all the one island. Sports wise, almost all organisations cover the whole island. All athletes can choose which country they want to represent- at the Olympics and so on. So it's a bit ambiguous alright. Ah will do, jobs like this are so social and I have been unemployed for 8 months losing my mind.

      Yes, her floor is great. She has my favourite double layout.

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  3. Another example might be Mary Lou Retton's 10 at the 1984 Olympic AA competition. Her landing is clearly not 100 percent stuck but she gets such incredible amplitude on the vault that there was no choice but to give her a ten relative to the other scores given.

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