Friday, 14 December 2012

Best of 2012

Ahhh review time. Feel free to give your own responses!

Best gymnast: A tough one but I'm going to go with Aliya Mustafina. After her long recovery and a shaky performance at last year's Voronin Cup, she had fallen off the radar. Fast forward to Euros and aside from bars, still very shaky and seemed certain to make the team but uncertain to shine in her own right and to be the shadow of Viktoria Komova. In London she was dominant on her team, performing on all 4 events, sparkling in the all-around where she snatched bronze and beautiful on bars and floor where she picked up medals. After leaving as the most decorated gymnast of the games AND of the quad, Aliya faced a shitstorm when her personal coach was sacked as head coach and her teammates mentioned her in their slandering, but staunchly refused to comment on the situation to the press. Classy.

Best vault: McKayla Maroney, Olympics Team Final.

Best bars: Beth Tweddle, Olympic Prelims

Best beam: Mariya Livchikova, Brno Grand Prix. Other contenders were Anastasia Grishina, European Prelims, Maria Kharenkova, Pacific Rim EF and Sui Lu, Olympics EF. Mariya wins due to her exquisite lines, originality, no wobbles AND a stuck dismount. Superb.

Best floor: Eythora Thorsdottir, European Prelims. Yes, a junior. Her floor is beyond exquisite and the most exciting one all year, which is why she trumps much more difficult exercises. Other contenders were Laurie Hernandez, US Secret Classic, Aliya Mustafina, Olympics EF, Larisa Iordache, European EF, Mai Murakami, Japanese Nationals and Aly Raisman, Olympics EF.

Most artistic gymnast: ^ Eythora.

Best music: Maria Kharenkova. LOVE it.

Best comeback: Aliya Mustafina

Most inspiring performance: Kieran Behan, Olympics Prelims in a tie with Yang Hak-Seon, Olympic EF. Screw WAG, nobody comes close to these stories.

Best leotard: Oooo. USA Olympic AA. Other contenders were Russia team Stuttgart World Cup and Britain Olympic Prelims


  1. Aliya picked up Medals on Bars and Floor, not beam. Her fightback should help other athletes see that it is possible to comeback strong after such a serious injury.

    Interesting choices.

    1. Ah thanks, never would have spotted that. Bars and beam just go together in my head..bars and floor really is an interesting mix. Hopefully we will see her sharpen up her beam for next year anyway.

  2. I definitely agree that Aliya was the best gymnast and had the best comeback. It was very admirable and I don't know how many could come back like she did. Also, Mckayla's vault was amazing. Vaults can get ugly pretty quickly but that was gorgeous. I love Beth's bar routine. It's very exciting and unique unlike a lot of other routines. I would disagree about the Leo though. I loved the US team leos or the Russian AA leos.

    1. Yes, no other amanar this year actually deserved its score. They're so inflated for everyone else that McKayla should by rights have a bunch of perfect scores for a fair comparison. Nah, the team leo was okay but nothing special. Russia's team and Vika's bars leo were nicer than the AA one, there was something off about it- the structure of the bodice and neck was odd and overdone or something.

    2. Agreed to disagree about the leos but agreed about the vaults. I thought McKayla's TF vault should have had a higher execution score compared to everyone else.

  3. Aliyas comeback, Mckaylas vault in TF.

    My hopes for 2013-Someone not american to win scam just to shake things up a bit and not make the new quad start off boring. No mention or at bare minimum of the Fierce 5.I don't hate them but Im so over them and ready for new quad. Kyla Ross to win AA at worlds.

    1. I wonder will Russia actually send someone. But then, even with Vika and/or Larisa at full health, they haven't a chance with the scoring. Sure at the last one Jordyn with a huge error on bars had an 0.6 execution lead on Larisa, who is much less laboured and had no outright error.

      I don't see Kyla winning gold, I'm not sure. She really needs monster upgrades to contend.

    2. Hmmm this is tricky.
      Suppose the below gymnast show up at scam with eithee modified or upgraded routines. I think next years scam might actually be won by a non American.

      Russia:Komova/Musty: Both can match Ohashi on bars and probably score better if theyre both in shape. They both will outscore her on vault. It would come down to floor and beam. If priessman is Brough instead of Kyla, komova/musty stilk beat her on bars and beam. Lexie needs a lot of work on Beam.

      China: Yao/Deng lin lin or new senior?

      Romania: Larissa/Diana B

      USA: Katelyn/Priessman , Katelyn/ Ross, or Katelyn/Price.

    3. I doubt Russia will be sending anyone to SCAM. Komova still is a little off form since she is just coming back from injury. Although I heard she did bars at Voronin Cup today.

      For Aliya - her main thing is Worlds and Universiade, so I am not sure she will go to SCAM, she might choose to just do World Cups or something.

      However, anything can happen and they do send someone. It could be Dementieva.

    4. Ive been searching for videos of the voronin cup with no luck. Triple twist even had bailie key amd amanda jetter being there, which can't be right.

    5. Voronin Cup barely has results out, nevermind videos. There are two videos that I have seen- of Komova and Mustafina doing bars in podium training or prelims. Both qualified to bars finals- Mustafina in first. But they were at a ball the night before which went on late so they didn't compete in the finals. Mustafina did beam also and fell. Both looked excellent on bars but it's quite far away. Komova had a big form break though.

      Triple Twist were using an unverified list that was floating around. There were some Dutch and Brazillian girls on the WAG side but that's about it.

    6. I don't see Deng Linlin at least. Chinese National Games are fairly close to SCAM and it's a massive deal for them, with lots of financial gain. It will see lots of retirements afterwards, and girls like Deng Linlin will not run the risk of a comp like SCAM before it. Yao is more of an option, but she too would probably be concentrating on regaining full health for the Games. She would not be a direct invitee but could be subbed in I think.

      Russia were super pissed at SCAM last year and Jordyn competing as an uninvited junior. I don't see them sending either of their top 2, but maybe Demy or Shelgunova. Neither can challenge US. A fully healthy Larisa with some of her pre-London projected upgrades could and would challenge US but not under unfair scoring.

    7. Russia needs to get over scam 2011. With healthy vika/musty they can take on a team of ohashi/ priessman or ohashi/ross.

      Jan camp is going to be crucial. Kyla please have at least 5.9-6.0 floor. I would love her to win AA at worlds next year but more importantly to stay healthy, in shape, and consistent for rio. Oh and scope up some world medals in between.

  4. ** I think you mean that Chinese Nationals (May 8-12), which for 2013 is also the Chinese National Games qualifier competition, is fairly close to SCAM. The actual Chinese National Games will be Aug31-Sep12, close to Worlds, and more much important than Worlds to them. The gymnastics part will be held before Worlds and essentially the top 3 AA will get selected for Worlds (I'm basing this off of 2005 & 2009).

    In any case, I agree- I don't see any Chinese or Russian gymnasts at SCAM. It's funny how that's pretty much the only World Cup the U.S. participates in and it's pretty much the only World cup nobody else cares about. :P

    I'll give best music to Afan's 2012 OG FX. Can't beat Kill Bill! And her choreo made it work as well- not something anybody can pull off.

    My personal favorite BB for this quad:
    Livchikova's routine is original though: LOVE the fhs-front pike combo. Hope to see more from both girls next quad (aka I hope Tan is not done for! I know that UKR needs Livchikova though).

    If you feel up for it, maybe you can do a Best of the Quad post? And a Wishlist for Next Quad? :D

  5. Yes thanks, confusing the two! Yeah, they've too much to be getting on with to be ripped off after a long expensive journey. Also not a huge amount of point in Russia exhausting their seniors or testing their juniors when they have such a huge non-American deficit before they've finished warming up...not much of a true test.

    I'd love to hear what the trio have to say about Shelgunova's sheep Pak if it hasn't recovered by then..certainly she has done it better and was recovering when that travesty was performed, but I'm sure there would be a lot more comments while their own gymnasts execution is lauded. Sigh.

    Nah, second favourite is Aliya's. It's perfect for her. I like mash-ups that are done well and embody the gymnast. Aliya's also incorporates (though not directly, but it IS identical) a part from one of my favourite songs, which is not a melody or song you'd ever expect to hear- Cradle of Filth, Nymphetamine. A British band no less, fitting. Another example of a perfect mashup that I can think of straight off is Courtney Kupet's 2009 floor. LOVE IT.

    Ah Tan. Out-headcasing the master headcase HQS is some feat. She seems to be at least unofficially off the NT and is training at home. Sad to see her fade, but it may not be permanent. She's still young but her best events are not really lacking there so who knows. I want China to be a force in the AA and I don't see anything of the sort amongst the ranks.

    Sure, just not until the week after next. I am working in a row until Christmas Day. The store I work in is the busiest in the country..the aisles have traffic jams and look like the main streets of Tokyo. Just 3 floors but 700 staff says it all!