A video of the Chinese National Team training has emerged, shot by some Australians who were beyond lucky to even be there...though it's hard to call people suffering through Beijing's poisonous levels of air pollution lucky. Sui Lu can be seen on floor at the start. Shang Chunsong is the one on bars doing the lovely Hindorff to uprise. Zeng Siqi and Tan Sixin are tagged. It's great to see that Tan is back on the National Team and in full training, though it's obvious she has deteriorated. Hopefully just growing pains, she should be able to adjust. Zeng looks great, lovely connections. The other two on beam towards the end are Wang Wei and Yuan Xiaoyang, two of the most promising juniors. Wang is the one who falls on the layout and then nails it. It's private so I can't embed, watch it here.
Videos are circulating of Beyond the Routine- a Gymnastike documentary following Mary Lee Tracy at her gym, CGA. I find it hard to watch, from the dog on the mats to her beratement of the younger girls, the explanation of Amelia Hundley's nickname, her condescension to her gymnasts, favourtism, obsession over some stupid clock all the way to her dangerous driving. All in all, it confirms what I had already thought about how she operates, and then some. In a much more uplifting documentary (and this time free, so I'll link), we get a look at the daily lives of elite gymnasts. Very excited about this one! It's called Off the Mat and first up is the lovely Nia Dennis. The first episode focuses on her family life, the morning routine, her interaction with her cutiepie little sister Mya, and how her parents balance her gymnastics with quality family time- like her dad's conversations with her on the way to gym. An immediate impression is created of a great supportive family, it's nice to see. Next will be looking at her daily gym routine I think. The first episode is here.
Here is yet another great interview with McKayla Maroney, at the Metroplex Challenge where she signed autographs for 3 hours and only left because she was made to- I like hearing stuff like that. McKayla insists that she's not done and will be gearing up for worlds. She has an automatic berth for Nationals given her Olympian status, though if she misses it and verifies routines before Worlds, she would still stand a very good chance..particularly with a TTY or Y double back.
Alicia Sacramone has officially retired. Given the excellent shape she was in last year after another injury in late 2011, it's a shame, but she's definitely been around long enough and has a lot of medals to her name. She's not a gymnast I particularly like or enjoy watching, but I appreciate her enormous talent and longevity. I'll miss the fierceness of her beam certainly.
Here's Beth Tweddle's third performance on Dancing on Ice. Sadly her expression regressed a bit, though I can't blame her for entering wooden gymnast mode given the huge complexity and difficulty of her routine, which she nailed. Hopefully she can polish her performance more in the weeks to come.
None of this is particularly new because the One to Watch post took me 3 days or so, so news got old in the meantime.
BUT this is new- Romania will only have 3 girls at Euros! Dropping a place is a little ominous. I'm thinking Larisa Iordache, Diana Bulimar and Stefanie Stanila. There's no team finals, much like worlds, though I'm not sure if there's an AA. If there is, I don't think Iordache will do it because she will have done so at LRSY a month before. Germany will not have Elizabeth Seitz or several other elites because of the timing, right in their exam season apparently. Edit- Diana Chelaru is returning to the National Team and Sandra Izbasa is in full competitive training for this year so both of them are in the mix. I'd like to see Daniela Andrei get the nod for Euros though, especially if they don't want to tax Iordache and Bulimar.
Ellie Downie will compete at the WOGA Classic. She is the younger sister of Becky and has some lovely work, looking forward to seeing her. Also Jordan Chiles, who will be competing optionals in her bid for elite.
Danusia Francis won beam at UCLA vs Stanford! Nice. I.want.videos. Time difference kills me.