Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Happy blogbirthday to me, and news

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Today marks one year since I started blogging instead of boring my boyfriend's head off about gymnastics- he's subjected to much smaller doses now :) I really enjoy blogging, I won't really be able to keep up with the amount I post now in the future, but I'm still committed..and I love discussing things with commenters. Feel free to tell me post suggestions or how I should really keep an eye on my loooong run-on sentences.

I think it's fitting that on this day we get a glimpse of the amazing McKayla Maroney in action, since she is a favourite of mine.. Trying not to be biased here but she had three surgeries with the last in December and is only back a few months in the gym. No bother to her it seems..as she unleashes not just the amanar (and her second vault from 2011, the Lopez) but a brand new double layout! Her coach also taught Mattie Larson her own amazing version of this skill, but even so it's not one I would have envisioned for her. We have seen tantalising double layouts before like Jordyn Wieber's that never materialised, but McKayla does look stronger than before so with extra stamina on floor it would slot in nicely. Maybe 3.5, double layout, 2.5-front layout and double arabian. She's more of a twister so I think she would find this easier than taking out the third pass and slotting in a double pike to end instead. She used to do a double arabian so that's not new but its return is very welcome since her knees are glued together..how often do you see that? Inga Sckarupa, Anna Myzdrikova and Sarah Finnegan..nearly as rare as a TTY! As for bars, hmm. They are better and I wasn't afraid watching them that she was about to majorly mess up, a definite improvement. The dismount has always been spot-on, maybe she could double it if she has the stamina.


USAG are trickling out the videos, yesterday showed Brenna Dowell and Kyla Ross, also training new skills. I've harped on about Kyla's lack of difficulty before but I really hope she has more in the bank than what's she's showing here. The bars and beam combinations do look nice and will bump up her score, it is floor that's quite disappointing. Double tucks are too easy, whips or not. She needs to chuck her beam one too. Here's hoping for a lovely Geinger-Pak-Stalder-Shaposh and maybe side aerial-LOSO-wolf jump-sheep...double pike dismount. And a floor with no double tucks or twists! It has been suggested that the floor skill could be a timer for a whip-double arabian. Here's hoping! I find it hard to get excited about Kyla's gymnastics, as lovely as her lines are there's very little spark to her..which doesn't just come with difficulty. Regardless, I want her to do well as she has enormous potential and it would be a shame if she was crowded out and bumped into NCAA too early. Come on Kyla, 6.6 bars, 6.5 beam, 5.9 floor and 5.8 vault!


Now Brenna is really busting out the big skills. Here comes the first showing of her amanar..and a thoroughly unexpected full-in double layout! Brenna is an extremely hard worker, acknowledged by her coach as his best gymnast in that regard, and she has made great strides of improvement in the last year- her bars have cleaned up bigtime. Not that they are perfect, but they are a lot better. She favours front tumbling, by contrast to just about everyone else, so these huge back tumbles are a real surprise. I love how clean it is when she begins the twist in the full-in, though it's hard to tell if she pikes down or not, it seems like she does but I don't think it's significant enough for actual downgrade. This girl could be a real surprise, and a super solid contributor for team finals.


Here is Rebeca Andrade's amanar! It's not as clean as some of the best, but it's so floaty and easy for her..just like McKayla Maroney's in that sense. She beat British powerhouse Tyesha Matthis who unveiled a double double, but she also fell off beam and her DTY to counter was not enough. The meet was barely publicised, fielding two Brazilian teams against a whole host of British clubs. Jade Barbosa won the senior AA..looks like a junior AA was not contested as such judging by the lack of number 1 beside Rebeca's name. Competition was not fierce and Jade appears to have struggled, but still an encouraging result given her recent return to the gym. Sadly Ruby Harrold looks to have had major trouble with her bars again. The results are here and here. It's worth noting that Rebeca is missing a compositional requirement on bars (a release), so that's why her d-score is so low. Beam and bars ARE very promising but need a ton of upgrades. Watch the vault here.

Romanian and Chinese Junior Nationals start this weekend. Not all of the Chinese girls will compete, but a sizeable proportion. This is more important for Romania who are looking to EYOF of course. I think that team depending on size has pretty much pointed itself out though- in order of importance: Andreea Munteanu, Andreea Iridon, Madalina Blendea, Laura Jurca, Silvia Zarzu with Paula Tudorache maybe worming her way in.

Stale news by now but Oksana Chusovitina won the Trnava Gymfest AA. She posted the highest scores on beam and bars, just pipped to the post on vault by what must have been an incredible DTY from Anna Pavlova, who managed a 15. Oksana also claimed the vault title and placed second on beam. Anna won the floor event final. Full results are here.

I've updated the list of gymnasts turning senior this quad. You can find it here. All gymnasts marked with an asterisk are new additions to it, and all worth watching if you haven't heard of them! First and foremost if you only pick one unknown to watch would be Elizabet Vasileva, who is a rythmic-artistic crossover. All (European) girls born in 1998 and 1999 are elegible for EYOF. YOG is 1999 ONLY, and restricted to one per country. Junior Euros next year will be for 1999 and 2000 girls. I was sooo excited when I heard new senior Maddie Leydin verified a Counter-Kim-geinger combination. Sadly, though I had hoped it wasn't an error- it is; she actually does a Markelov-Geinger combo. Included in the same routine are a Ricna, Pak and shaposh, pretty impressive!


41 comments:

  1. There is actually no requirement for an acro line w/ 2 saltos this quad. Maroney could be actually dropping the 1.5 to dbl tuck (PLEASE???). I don't think this one is like Wieber's- the fact that she is verifying it at camp, on a somewhat competition surface, says it's not just playing around.

    But yes, Kyla, Kyla, Kyla...
    The Komova II upgrade is a YEAR overdue (it was in her set at Jesolo)... and exactly how I feel about the bars sequence depends on what that stalder is supposed to become. Clearly it's not staying that (it's useless, no CV); my guess is it becomes her shaposh 1/2 variant. That will add 0.2 to her DV, and will likely get her into bars finals at worlds (if she goes), but she'll still need help to medal... And it won't help her anywhere near as much as what she'll need for AA (at least to medal).

    The fact that she's showing a new beam combo (not even a new SKILL) on a LOW BEAM WITH MATS, makes me think this is very new (like last 2 months new). And it only adds 0.2 to the DV... And she won't get credit for her switch ring internationally, which will drop her score. The whip to dbl tuck on floor (assuming she uses that pass), only adds 0.1. Plus Kyla has apparently said that her issue on floor is endurance. She's not adding enough difficulty to really make her case for the all around. And she's not high enough on beam to medal in finals (possibly not enough to qualify). Without even MORE upgrades, if Kyla goes to worlds as an AAer, she should thank Jordyn for not trying.
    Kyla's real problem is that w/o upgrades she's maxed out at about 59 in the AA- she won't score more than a few tenths higher than what she got in Jesolo/Germany anywhere. I'd say it will take 60 in the AA to win and a high 59 (above 60) to medal this year.
    Obviously, they've (she and/or her coaches) finally realized her main ticket to worlds this year is to have a finals/medal worthy bar set, but I think it may be a little too little, too late

    But what I said about Brenna's upgrades was holy shit. I'm guessing she has a 2nd vault- there's no real reason for her to upgrade to the amanar this year without it. (Given the number currently w/ 2 vaults, there is no way the US is going to not send 2 vaulters to worlds) She competed the DLO at Jesolo- I'm wondering if the 1/1 just goes there. If so, it's probably not going to be enough - her floor is only 5.9 right now. She needs a better floor though (and someone to work with her to give her a floor that works for her).

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    1. Yes, but I don't see Maroney with a 3.5, DLO, Double arabian, double pike. She's a twister first and foremost and her 2.5-layout is glorious and looks so easy for her. And no danger of the 3.5 getting downgraded like it would be if it was a triple full. I hope these skills here mean the 1.5-double tuck is gone forever..they must mean that, right..? Also, when she had harder tumbles back in 2010 endurance was a BIG issue, that's why I think reducing the number of double saltos is smart. Also, 3 double saltos is boring! Depending on how easy the 3.5 is for here she could do that second or third instead and keep the harder DLO and double arabian to the start (if they ARE harder for her, I suspect they are with her insane twisting ability).

      What is her beam d-score? 6.2 last year but she was given lower than that at either Jesolo or Chemnitz or both. I know different code but she should be able to get it to 6.5 range. What would a double pike add? That dismount was first done in the late 70's, it has no place in a US beam. Even on floor if she cannot add much difficulty to her tumbles then she should concentrate on leaps, and maybe cracking out some turn combinations if she has any turn ability up her sleeve. I know she added the Ferrari but she dropped a pass and got 5.3, which Chinese juniors can match. I think her Jesolo/Germany scores would be as good as could be hoped for WITH her current routines, she does have great execution but they were still a tad generous I thought.

      Interesting, what do you think she could do? I wonder if front tumbling ability could at all translate to handspring vaults. A Rudi would be awesome..I'm not even going to mention a Prod even though she is the queen of double fronts on floor. I must have missed the DLO, I did watch her floor but I was focusing on her front skills I suppose. If she has the endurance for both DLO types that would be amazing. I'm not sure why the Fongs are kind of ignoring her floor choreo/presentation. She's no natural dancer but it could be suited to her better than not really trying.

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    2. Maroney- I don't see her w/ that either, but there is a small possibility. If the new pass doesn't mean the 1.5 to dbl is gone, I will definitely scream!

      Kyla- She got 6.1 on beam at the Olympics, but she received 5.8 at Jesolo (at least in the AA, not sure about EFs), and 6.0 in Germany. The only difference between those two would be her connecting the aerial and the sheep (it was not even questionable about it at Jesolo). Unfortunately, I think that connection may always be a questionable one internationally. Adding the double pike would actually only add 0.1 in difficulty- and if it were to come at the cost of not being able to stick it, it wouldn't be worth it. She could get 0.1 by doing RO-BHS-dbl tuck. They were definitely giving the switch ring- but she shouldn't be getting it w/ the new rules. I wonder whether it would be considered a switch leap or just a devalued switch ring. The first would be a disaster for her D score (-0.5, unless they moved it to after her switch-back tuck combo, -0.4 then)

      Floor- the 1.5 to dbl full HAS to go! For one, I feel that she can't afford the risk of the double being recognized as a 1.5. And first yr juniors can do that pass! And if I counted right, she has only ONE D dance element- and with the low difficulty of her tumbles, that just inexcusable. She should have at least 2- and 3 would be better. (Many of the L10 gymnasts have just as difficult tumbling, or more, as she does.) Reportedly, she has a new floor routine, which will be great.

      Brenna- A rudi would be awesome- I'm guessing maybe a front full though? I'm wondering if she might could do a Tsuk vault- and that makes more since, given the vault rules for this quad. I'm really doubting an ability to do the Prod- even the men can't really manage to do their version of it w/o cowboying, and the vault is higher! I'd actually forgotten about the DLO at Jesolo until I rewatched it- but I can't see both types in the same routine. She's definitely not a natural dancer- but I wish they'd bring in Dominic Zito, or someone like him, to choreograph her a routine. Jordyn isn't a natural dancer either, but her Wild Dances routine is very good.

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    3. Most Olympic videos list 6.2 for Kyla. I love hearing how the code would treat a certain gymnast's routine etc; so thank you for that. It is a wish of mine to learn how to code! I do know CR, and the values of some skills and how many acro and dance count towards but it's a lot of knowledge to amass and I've already built up so much gymnastics knowledge in the space of 18ish months so it will probably take more time to absorb ha.

      Seriously, it's something I expect a Chinese 2000 baby to do! That pass had better be relegated to the bin. Jordan Chiles for instance is doing a 1.5 to triple and she is 5 years younger. Yes, she definitely does! I follow Zito on twitter. I should find out some more of the top choreographers and stalk them too. I'd like to see Brenna with a better floor too. Haha yes a Prod is out of reach for 99.999% including the 3 girls currently attempting it, it just came to mind for Brenna's double front ability. But, nahh no need to knock herself out with that monster.

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  2. Happy blog birthday! I'm really impressed that Maroney was able to get these skills back with the amount of time and injuries she had. Since it has been confirmed by many blogs, I want her to perform the TTY this year and surprise all the fans that said that she wouldn't be able to come back well. Her bars seemed to get better even though it wasn't a full routine. The gienger was sky high and the pirouette before the dismount wasn't late like it usually is. I really love her form on the double arabian and double layout. I always loved Alicia, Gabby, Inga, Sarah, Anna, and Mckayla's since they keep their legs together. I'm hoping she could do a 3.5 or even a quad twist, DLO, double arabian, and 2.5 layout full. For Kyla I like her new bars and beam combos. She should upgrade more though. On beam it reminds me of Olesya Dudnik, except without the extra LOSO. I would love for her to add another LOSO and do Dudnik's pass, but she's too tall. On floor she needs to get rid of the double twist and double tuck. These things were done in the early 70s. People say gymnasts do harder skills now, but in reality they just do more hard skills. For example in the 80s and 90s they were doing DLOs, full ins, triples, double fronts/half outs, and double doubles. Now they are still doing those skills, but with an extra tumbling pass like a double tuck or pike. Honestly it was better because the gymnasts from the past were innovators and artistic. Anyways, I also love Rebeca's amanar. I think it is the 4th best to Ebee, Simone, and Mckayla. I am also impressed with Brenna, but her DLO full out is piked. I really like Gulias and Christina Bontas's DLO with full twists because they keep the perfect position. Brenna has really good form like most GAGE gymnasts, but she doesn't have the dance ability that most of them have. It's great that you have this blog! I know how it feels to bore and confuse other people with gymnastics. I'm sorry about this super long post because I have nothing better to do. My family hates talking about gymnastics and most of my friends are on vacation, so I can't rant to anyone about gymnastics. I also have no school work since it's summer break. Even if it wasn't summer break, I wouldn't have anything better to do. 6th graders get so little homework and my sister says that 7th graders do too. Who do you think will make the worlds team now that Maroney is back? Who do you think are the best juniors? Do you think that if there was no age requirement any juniors would make the worlds team this year? Do you like the age requirement? IMO it keeps great gymnasts away from Worlds and Olympics. I even did a whole 7 paragraph essay on it for my 6th grade English class. Catherine, you're a flawless blogger! xoxo

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    1. Ha I had to look up sixth grade- you definitely appear older from your writing! Wait a few years for really killer homework. I'm trying to hold off on Maroney TTY, only one blog that I would actually trust has said it and even then it's all about the vague hinting moreso than outright. I DO think she could do it this year all the same. Yes, she seemed sharper on bars. The geinger always seems like she has paused in the air.

      Yes thank you, Dudnik is definitely who came to mind for that. She would have room if she doubled up a bit..in the days of BHS-LOSO-LOSO-LOSO, gymnasts were able to sneak them in on top of each other. Much shorter gymnasts, but still. I would LOVE to see Dudnik's combo done. Yes, almost all of the super hard skills were done in the 80's and 90's, just less passes. Routines like Deliana Vodenitcharova's would still be fairly competitive decades on. I'm seeing a lot of people saying Rebeca's amanar needs more height. I just can't judge that from a vertical video from a slightly odd angle myself!

      Giulia's is a little messy, but Bontas' is just perfection. She is another who said she trained DLO off beam. There's zero interest in gymnastics here, super small population, interest taken up by national sports etc. It is broadcasted at the Olympics and people sort of talk about it then on forums, without actually knowing anything..but that's like it.

      My team would be, with Ohashi healthy and Wieber not contending- Biles, Ross, Ohashi, Maroney. If Wieber DOES compete this year and Ross does not upgrade much, then I'd stick her in for the second AA. If Ohashi is not healthy and Wieber is not contending then I have NO idea. The best US juniors are Bailie Key, Nia Dennis and Laurie Hernandez. The best international juniors are Rebeca Andrade, Andreea Munteanu, Andreea Iridon, Maria Bondareva and Anastasia Dmitrieva. A personal favourite that I could not call best would be Eythora Thorsdottir.

      I'd lower it by a year. I understand the opinion that 'if you can do it, go for it, and scrap the age limit' but I just would NOT want to see freakishly talented girls like Kim Gwang Suk stretch theemselves that early to contend with the best..it's just too much. In her day difficulty was not near as much of a big deal. Haha thanks anon!

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    2. You're welcome! Thanks for the info! Yeah, I guess it would be freakish to see 8-12 year old girls competing. But, no matter what the age limit is there would still be someone with enough talent who just misses the limit. I want it lowered so there aren't so many scandals. Daniela Silivas and Olga Mostepanova are some of my favorites, which is the main reason I want the age limit lowered.

      I think and hope Maroney can do a TTY this year, but you're right. It is more of hinting than actual proof. I probably shouldn't get my hopes up about that. I'm excited to see what Biles could do and see Skinner's possible half on double twist. Skinner has so many difficult skills it's exciting, but her attitude and vines are kinda off.

      I love Dudnik's pass and the BHS to 3 LOSOs. Dudnik's pass can get .4 in connection bonus today, which is very impressive. I wish she would have competed today because her 1990 routine still has a difficulty of 6.4 and is very different, graceful, and original compared to today's routines, but her split leaps annoy me. She also has barely any balance checks and one of the best triples. I also like Yang Bo's BHS-LOSO-Rulfova and her flexibility, and Tatiana Groshkovas difficulty and flexibility. I believe that Tatiana Groshkova and Yang Bo are the best beam workers because they have everything, while Dudnik is the 3rd best since she lacks flexibility. IMO Tatiana Lysenko had the best BHS to 3 LOSOs. Her LOSOs were high and hit close to 180 split. Th last one just stayed in one place. My favorite beam pass was Catalina Ponor's in 2006: Onodi/Mostepanova-aerial walkover-Kochetkova-BHS-layout.

      You're probably right about homework. It'll be harder in high school. Middle school just seems so easy since my elementary school was much harder. In the 5th grade, I had about 3-5 projects at a time. My friends don't like discussing sports. I occasionally rant to them about it and get them confused or sad. I get them confused with things like Russian names I can barely pronounce and get them sad with Elena Mukhina's story.

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    3. Actually fifth grade/sixth grade is reminding me of Judy Blume books, and Babysitter's Club. Both are way before your time but if you don't read way ahead of your age group they are 10 bazillion times better than Twilight etc. Just wait until university if you go, you'll be moaning then about too many assignments!

      The others that come to mind are Maria Filatova and Lavinia Agache, loved them. I'd say there were other Soviets too. Not sure what to think about Dudnik's leaps. They suck obviously, but who knows what they'd look like if it mattered to her score. I'm sure it would have been worked on more. Groshkova's is my favourite, then Dudnik because of the combinations, then Yang Bo. Hmm...then Ekaterina Vandisheva, then Dong Fangxiao 2001...Yes, Cata is just magnificent on beam.

      Ha I cannot pronounce anything. I can spell them alright..I had just gotten Belokobylskaya's name right without having to look it up since she was the hardest and then she retired :( I was so surprised when Iordache's name was pronounced Your-da-kay in London instead of Ee-or-dash like it is in my head. I'll have a fun time in Antwerp I think!

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    4. I never read Twilight and don't plan on it. In fact, I use to make fun of it until I decided I shouldn't judge it unless I've read it. I want to read Maximum Ride and reallyy like the Hunger Games series.

      I have to watch Maria and Ekateriana since I haven't seen or heard of Ekateriana. Nevermind, just saw them. Beautiful series from her!

      I was really confused about Iordache too! I never really tried pronouncing Yulia's last name since I only watched her one beautiful routine from 2011 Worlds. I was also confused about Mustafina when I knew absolutely nothing about her since I discovered her by looking at Komova's Wiki. I basically knew nothing and was confused by gymnastics since I only saw Olympic Trials and 2011 Worlds online.

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    5. Now, that I saw the podium training of Ekaterina instead of the one with the fall I need to gush. It was so perfect! Difficulty, elegance, toe point, flexibility, exciting mount, exciting passes, and stuck dismount. The BHS-gainer onodi! The round off 2 BHS to 2 LOSOs! The split positions! The full turn! The scales! The Silivas type thing! The part where she holds her leg up while turning! Excellent choreography! The stuck round off-BHS-double tuck! ABSOLUTE PERFECTION AND THE DEFINITION OF ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS! This is now my favorite beam routine even if it is podium training! Thanks for letting me know about her Catherine!

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    6. I do recommend Harry Potter though. My favourite books when I was that age were probably the Anne of Green Gables books, which I still read- they are just that good. And Enid Blyton.

      I mention Maria but I actually mean Olga Bicherova, I get the two of them confused grr. Olga was underage when she won the 81 world AA title, and there was a huge fuss about it in the US because the age rules had changed and a load of their girls missed out on opportunities because of it, as well as the 80 Olympics. Now Maria's 1977 euros routine would be in my list I think. And Omelianchik's 1985, and Mostepanova 83/4.

      Yes, it's such a pity she didn't reproduce that in finals. It is just perfect.

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    7. Thanks for the recommendations! Oh, I never knew about the Us controversy thing. I just thought it was something that never got punished when I researched it. I understand the fuss, but sometimes I think the US makes a big fuss about losing. I wasn't really into the Beijing Olympics gymnastics. I only like the swimming then, but the US were very sore losers. Bela was making a big deal over whether the Chinese were underage or not. Honestly the only people who know that or not is the girls and the government. Also, during the women's uneven bar ceremony in 2008, they were so rude to He. WATCH:/watch?v=6qmMV1a48KM. They talked about how Nastia should have won. I don't like the tie break, but I really hated watching Nastia on bars and floor. Her form killed me.

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    8. Also, did you see Balie and Polina's videos? I like Balie and Polina on beam. They are very graceful. I also like Balie new arabian wolf jump.

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    9. I'm not sure which of He or Yang I wanted to win. Yang's routine was a bit samey, but so precise and lovely. She was deducted for muscling up after transitions. And then He's routine had the best of both worlds and was more exciting but ugh the dead hangs. I would have tied those two.

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  3. Happy blog birthday Catherine! I'm really glad you decided to start a blog. I really enjoy your posts and it's nice to have people to talk gymnastics with - no one I know is into it as well.

    McKayla looks great. I don't think anyone expected her to have her skills back and looking so good, she does look strong. The time off seems to have coincided with a bit of a growth spurt/puberty for her but she looks great and maybe lighter training during that period actually worked out better for her rather than getting small injuries here and there.

    Andrade's amanar looks great, esp since she's only 14 and she doesn't seem to have problems getting it around fully. Her form off the table is pretty good too, I'm sure she will be able to get more height off with more time and practice.

    Brenna's interesting, she seemed to have fallen off the radar a little bit with Biles being really on top form this year, the recently returning members of the Fierce 5, and the junior wundekinds like Bailie, but at this stage she might be GAGE's best hope.

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    1. Thanks! I think her new frame is interesting, I'd actually prefer if she kept that extra weight/muscle..she was a bit too frail and injury-prone looking before. It could mean more endurance to have more difficult floor tumbles and less invitation for injury. A lot of people are saying she needs 5-10 pounds off, but she HAS entered puberty and adjusting is better than straight out trying to cheat growth. Toning more would be the key at this stage I think.

      Brenna is definitely interesting, I could see her on the 2014 worlds team if healthy, no problem at all.

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    2. Yeah I think she looks better this way too, and as long as she is fit, who cares? She's a gymnast, not a fashion model. Her body type pre-London seemed like the sort which didn't hold on to muscle that easily which probably made it more difficult for her to build strength compared to Jordyn/Aly/Simone. Some toning could help but I don't think she needs a ton of it either, and as she progresses into the competition season I think some of the remaining weight will drop off with training. It's really good to see her back and serious at gymnastics again. I try not to get my hopes up with predictions as anything can happen in gymnastics, but really hoping to see a TTY this year or next...

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    3. i must admit it is strange to see mckayla with a more 'womanly' figure, im so used to her being a tiny petite little thing. but she looks like healthy and fit. she's grown up a lot in a year. and like you said, it may be of benefit to her in helping her avoid injuries etc.

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    4. Yes, I'm all for a stronger McKayla! Seeing her amanar in 2010/11 especially was kind of freaky how she had that in her. I think if she went back to the gym in December/January and had an amanar in May..then a TTY is definitely in the realm of possibility. Depends on how much time she needs for other events moreso than her capability I think.

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  4. Happy blog birthday!! Please keep it up as often as you can! I don't usually comment but I follow your blog faithfully, checking once or twice a day for updates. Thanks so much for doing it--yours is definitely my favorite gymnastics site, and I read them all.

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  5. Happy blog birthday to you, Catherine! I'm a regular reader even though I don't comment much. Truth to be told, I absolutely love gymnastics but have no personal experience in it whatsoever and do not know the terminology. I have a question though, and I hope it doesn't sound too silly. We often read about how a gymnast doesn't have the endurance or stamina on events such as floor routine and bars. Kyla Ross has mentioned this, for instance. So how is it that these gymnasts pull long hours for years on end, take no breaks whatsoever, and yet have endurance issues? I am not at all trying to belittle their work or their tricks as I can't possibly imagine being able to do those things. But like for Kyla, she took only two weeks off after the Olympics and then was back in the gym. And I have read that one or two days, much less two weeks, can be a lot off in gymnastics but is it really an endurance killer? Or take the Russians for example, they took little to no time off after the Olympics and then at post-Olympic competitions we are hearing about Mustafina's lost endurance on the floor and whatnot. I realize this question speaks to my ignorance of the sport but my curiosity has finally moved me to just ask.

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    1. I think (think being the operative word) that it's all to do with bringing a full routine together, and competing like in the Olympics over and over again. Gabby Douglas and Aliya Mustafina competed 14 routines in London, not to mention the insane amount of practice, podium training etc. etc. In the gym on a normal day it's not neccessarily about full routines..it could well be repetitions, and then moving on. But a full routine where you have to be at your best day after day is quite demanding on some types, depending on physical strength, any injuries/recovery, smartness of coaching/training and of course, mental fragility. Mustafina competed perfectly right through to routine number 14, no flagging. Komova and Douglas both flopped towards the end...for different reasons. Komova actually is the classic example, brilliant, talented, strong..but weak in mental game and endurance.

      One example just in one routine would be Maroney's floor in 2010/early 2011. She just wasn't capable of that difficulty all together. If you look at a gymnast like Dos Santos for instance (BBC commentary- 'you just have to wonder, will the energy ever run out?'. I think it can be down to body type and conditioning. US power gymnasts tend to do a LOT of conditioning, and be very good at it. MLT's girls nearly always win physical testing at camp, because they have a huge emphasis on it (with slightly controversial use of ankle weights, excessively in some people's opinions).

      Going back to Mustafina actually, she was dealing with knee and ankle issues last year and this year her back is a problem. She COULD bust out full difficulty but longevity is more important, she is pacing herself very well. Getting a bronze on floor in Euros is not worth aggravating her back for instance and missing training. But that is my very uneducated guess!

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    2. Well, Mustafina did fall off beam, incur overtime deductions, and wobble all over the place...and her difficulty was lower than Vika/Gabby aside from bars. I think she needs a more cleverly constructed floor routine to help with endurance.

      I think MLT needs to spend more time on form and artistry. Lexie is as strong as an ox, but can't hit a split or a beat and gets deservedly hideous e scores.

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    3. Ah, but that is not an endurance issue, moreso not being fully ready on beam from her recovery. She was busting out amazing floor and bars routines in EF, just as she was in prelims and that is endurance. She can do it when she needs to. Someone like Vika has more capability and difficulty but just can't do it, even when healthy at 2010 YOG.

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  6. Happy Blog Birthday! I've enjoyed your blog immensely. It's always very informative and it has unique posts. It's one of my favorite blogs. Keep posting fantastic posts!

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    1. Thanks anon! Frequency will go down a good bit in a few months or less but once blogger allow use from mobiles outside of the US it would definitely pick up.

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  7. Congrats on one year! I think I've been following you almost the whole time, though have never commented. Your blog is definitely my favorite. Thanks for the great content and keep up the good work!

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  8. I luv your blog, never miss it everyday. Carry on the Good Job. Regards from me.Happy a happy Handstand. .

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  9. Happy Blog Birthday!
    Like a lot of other people here, I've been reading your blog for a long time (almost the full year, I think!) but have never commented. So I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your blog. I'm also a relatively new gymanstics fan and I really admire how quickly you've become such a trustworthy source for news, opinions, and such!
    So, thanks so much for all your amazing work! I think you may have more fans than you realize :)
    -Lauren

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    1. Thank you Lauren! Lovely to hear :)

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  10. Happy blog birthday! I'm a new fan of gymnastics and your blog is one of my favourites. It's lovely to hear the opinions of a fellow Irish fan.

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  11. Dont forget ASac had a beautiful double arabian. Aly is by no means the worst at cowboying her double arabian I just dont get why she can't keep her legs together when she does pretty well in the pike double arabian.

    When Alicia did her comeback I remember her saying that she made an effort to work on carrying less muscle and work more on lengthening, doing a ton of pilates, etc. It will be interesting to see if Aly takes the same route. She's not full time back at Brestyan's yet but apparently she's been taking barre classes which could help with that.

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    1. It was great but I prefer the others doing it, maybe they are just slightly neater? Aly is choosing her next floor music already (via her twitter) so she's definitely on the ball.

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  12. i feel so rude - forgot to wish you happy 1st blog birthday before!
    i love your blog - i've learned so much from here in only a year and a half!

    hope you'll be around to blog for the big events coming up, always enjoy your insights!

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    1. Haha, that wasn't rude jeez! Thanks so much! Certainly will, looking forward to Portugal WC, Classics and Nationals. I will be at worlds but not liveblogging, moreso summing up.

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