Ah youtube, the bastion of misinformed fans and outright halfwits. I am beyond thankful for such a wonderful resource, but the comments often frustrate me. So much so I pretty much signed up just to correct people.
Nadia and Olga forever!
Did you know that every list of someone's personal favourites MUST INCLUDE Nadia, Olga and Khorkina? Like, must. No exceptions. Extra bonus points if the commenter calls the uploader retarded. Everybody realises the above gymnasts were greats, but that is not to say that they had a monopoly on excellence, that their style appeals to everyone and that it's impossible to prefer other gymnasts. For instance, I prefer Teodora Ungureanu to Nadia. I expect to be taken out and shot for that. Teodora was not as fluid as Nadia, but she was far more exciting to watch. To me. The whole personal opinion thing just doesn't fly on youtube of course. As for Olga, I really do love her but I still prefer Elena Mukhina. And not just because Mukhina had a tragic end. She was a better trickster gymnast, and a better all-arounder. As for Khorkina, I realise her prowess, but I can't stand her and I usually fast forward over her performances. She is one, as I've said before, whose attitude taints her performances. Also, gross looking vaults and I never liked her beam. If you are one of those people who feel physically sick when you see a list of gymnasts without the legends on it, then get over it and make your own list.
Greatest Soviets: Where's Khorkina?
What's even better is when the above attitude is played out in lists where it's not even applicable. I always laugh when I see people practically crying over the cruel exclusion of Svetlana Khorkina from a list of most successful/favourite Soviets. Because the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991 isn't a clue at all. Likewise, it's always fun to see people DEMAND that Nadia be bumped to the top of lists of most successful Romanians which are based solely on medal count and not on legendary status. Nobody is ever able to point out when and where Nadia outmedalled Gina Gogean.
Nobody is ever able to do a skill better than the originator!
The best part of this one is how selective it is, and only really used in the case of big names. There are quite a lot of people who insist that McKayla Maroney's amanar is not better than Simona Amanar's, because Simona INVENTED it. I think the woman herself, who saw McKayla's at least once in person at Jesolo this year and who is actually working on a thesis on the subject, would give that accolade away. Yes well done on divining the fact that Simona did hers on the old horse and did not have the benefit of others doing the vault before her. It does NOT mean that it can't be bettered. We should have respect for originators using crappy equipment..like early DTY's, the amanar, full in's and double tucks on floor etc. It doesn't mean you can't prefer one done better though. But nobody is ever outraged that plenty of gymnasts have done the Def better than its (WAG) originator, Snejana Hristakieva.
We never see this stuff in the Olympics
YES YOU DO. Fabrichnova's, Patterson dismounts, Def's, Arabian Double Pikes, amanars and full-in dismounts were all performed at the Olympics. Skills like the triple back bar dismount may never be seen again because of the incredible height and power needed, and of course, only 2 ever managed it. Lots of people whine about the lack of Mo Saltos and counter-kims without looking up the fact that to do one would be penalised by the code. (But not the new one! HOW exciting). You'll be waiting a long long time for someone to do the arabian tuck bar mount too...nobody ever seems to cop the insane risk in some of the bar and beam mounts, and why then they may not be seen very often.
Shawn Johnson is the best beam worker EVER!
Sure you can have her as your favourite if you want, but no need to shove it down everyone else' throats. I always get the impression that the people who say this know no gymnastics before 2004ish and have no interest either. Objectively, she is not the best. I would struggle to put her in a top 15ish list. She has very low flexibility and no innovation. A hit routine from her contains not quite 180 split leaps, and a really low standing full- which is perplexing given her power, and that pixies like Douglas and Priakhina get it far more upright. Certainly she was very strong on beam and her acro line IS great. But Li Li, Tatiana Groshkova, Yang Bo and Olessia Dudnik at the least leave her in the dust and anyone who can't see that isn't worth arguing with.