Monday 12 November 2012

The Joys of Youtube

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 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. 


  1. Haha, I love this! You should have included some four year fan comments, though I think I would go insane if I had to see some of those again =/. Currently I've been dealing with some guy who keeps whining that Ferrari experienced a travesty and lost her medal because she was Italian. I keep pointing out that she managed win 2 all around medals with falls, that athletes like Beth lost medals but didn't go around complaining to the media about a bias the way Ferrari complained about Ponor and Musty, and that Musty had a flippin ACL tear and Lauren has like 5 different injuries and they don't go around whining either, but to no avail, he just keeps going on and on. I decided to spare myself the grief. Most of the people who say that Ferrari was robbed were Italian, and I keep saying that you shouldn't let that blind you, but then I just get called an arrogant American, etc. I feel your pain =/.

  2. haha omg. Everybody needs to subscribe to your youtube channel and see you call people out WITH EVIDENCE. :)

  3. oh don't forget the diehard Nastia & Shawn fans.
    Top X Beams montage: Where's Shawn?! :(
    Top X Bars: Where's Nastia?! :(
    Top X AA: Where's NASTIA AND SHAWN?! :'(
    They are worse than 4-year fans in my opinion because I don't know if they are aware there's a little more to gymnastics than Shawn's flawless split leaps and Nastia's perfect double front 1/2.

    1. Haha I forgot about how annoying that is. I see Shawn beam coments a lot more though.

    2. Hahaha so true. And then cue lots of "Why weren't Nastia and Shawn in London??!?!?! :(:("

    3. Hmm now that I think about, I don't think there's any two-time Olympians for US WAG.
      Must be the Kellogg's tour ;)

    4. Not since Dawes and Chow. Talent has developed x1000 since then, I would be surprised to see any in Rio or (Tokyo? I believe they are forerunners for 2020 bid). Have you heard of Biles and Priessman's upgrades?? I'll make a new post soon.

  4. Oh another pet peeve: comments about how ALL chinese gymnasts are underaged and cheating and not worth watching. I'd watch most chinese beam routines over Shawn's any day.

    1. Except Bai Chunyue's beam! It's hilarious how focused Monica Phelps was on her age, while Dong Fangxiao was ignored. Anyway, yeah and that's why it's going to be annoying when Zeng Siqi makes major teams because she looks really young.


      Haha I think Monica Phelps was the best. Then Christine Still & Shannon Miller.
      Does anybody know what happened to her?? I wish she continued commentating.

      But seriously. I've no clue how Bai ever made it that far. She wasn't a bad gymnast but just not the typical type that the Chinese delegation chooses. And they definitely have a wide field to choose from.

  5. Don't forget artistry trolls! Perhaps some of the most virulent, nasty and narrow-minded comments in existence."Gymnastics was better back in the 60s/70s/80s/90s," "She has zero grace and femininity," "The Russians are the only true artistic gymnasts, the Americans are just acrobats," and on and on and on. You find comments like these on every freakin video. Or how about the saying a gymnast won only because she is American, a particular favorite these days.