First, since it's freshest...
Like most people, I'm not impressed by the days-late apology. It definitely reads like a necessary and false apology generated by the backlash, rather than true remorse or even understanding of what they have done. This is compounded by the fact that the apology is directed by their action in covering the story at all, with zero mention of how they linked and exposed their very young target market to porn. No more, no less. 4chan has absolutely no place at all on a gymnastics news site and the utter failure to even acknowledge that is despicable.
It's worth noting that Gymnastike has several dedicated, well-meaning and knowledgeable writers and contributors. They are not to blame for this. (Although some gymnastics writers on the site are to blame for the lazy, copy-pasted click-me articles). Unfortunately they suffer for representing the site as a whole.
I'd hope that they have apologised directly to McKayla Maroney. We of course don't need to see it and she's under no obligation to disclose anything at all for 'closure' for her fans or anything. But I'd like to think they did personally apologise!
Has the apology changed your view at all? Do you think USAG and/or FIG should still sanction them?
Which did in fact take place weeks ago, yup. I didn't catch all of it but enough. A very different competition without Bailie Key stomping over everyone! And with infinitely less sass with Laurie Hernandez out also.
Nia Dennis was strong, but nothing like her full potential. Odd mistakes on THE most secure skill ever...her fully upright arabian. Floor errors, etc, much less dynamic DTY than last year, bars downgrades. It's not fully surprising given that she's not long back from injury, but if she's not more consistent and looking more at her ease in her routines next spring for her senior debut I will be a little concerned. She could be amazing. Training with Gabby Douglas too is very good for her I feel, it's a strong motivator and both girls have similar strengths.
I don't need to see an amanar next year or anything. I'd settle for the super strong DTY back in action, more spring and ease in her floor and an upgrade or two on bars.
I remain unconvinced about Norah Flatley in the AA. She too was dogged by silly mistakes...the two on beam was utterly shocking. But it's not that...it's how her other events compared to beam are progressing, and they haven't in my opinion. I'm also puzzled as to where her bars are going...she's not making the most of the code there really.
In fact, both Alexis Vasquez and tiny Victoria Nyugen are more impressive on beam to me. Super clean, still with that killer variation and flexibility. Just that bit cleaner than Norah. Not that I'm hating on Norah or anything. I'm just not getting the love. Yet.
Likewise Jazmyn Foberg. It is phenomenal that somebody who failed to qualify for Nationals her first year as an elite should win it the next. And even when we take into account the absences and injury list, this is still an enormous achievement and one which she fully deserved. 8 for 8, solid. But...there's usually a but...she's not standing out particularly on any one event just yet. She sure could in the future, but not right now. I'm interested to see how she progresses. Although, I fervently hope her difficulty stagnates. The huge leaps forward on floor and bars in particular are a little concerning, possibly too fast. Bars in particular, her releases are completely and utterly flat and on both events she's not at her ease.
Morgan Hurd is more than just a great dancer with adorable glasses. She is SO CLEAN! Look at her lines on bars. I love little technique queens and have my eye firmly on her. She didn't hit 8 for 8 but so what, she's very young.
Similarly, Deanne Soza is amazing to watch. Especially on bars but she has massive potential on every event. Her mistakes were crushing for me as a new big fan but again, lots of time to improve.
Jordan Chiles had a truly mixed season. From winning Classics, to disaster, to climbing back up the ranks admirably on night 2. I'd like to see her keep her current difficulty and just focus on the consistency. No need for more upgrades yet. Although..that front triple full looks amazing. I couldn't say no to that..
Clashed abominably with work, so much so that I only got to watch event finals. All in all, it wasn't really overly impressive. While some girls did stand out, there was nobody that really proved they have what it takes to make major inroads into worlds AA next year. But, perversely, I'm also a little glad about that. I do not want anybody peaking for a competition as a junior.
You may have noticed I focused on one gymnast in the run-up to this competition as my 'one to watch' and who I was most excited about. A few weeks prior, I wrote this article. Wang Yan definitely performed as expected. In fact, she surpassed expectations in some regards..with some upgrades on bars and beam (that barani though!) and she nailed event finals. Well deserved medals there. She also lived up to the headcase side unfortunately, throwing herself out of floor finals in quals and messing up in the AA too. She definitely proved herself as a 'someone'. Very valuable for next year for her team, and hopefully incredible experience for her. She's capable of more and I'm really hoping we get to see that.
Flavia Saraiva is quite frankly, a delight. She moves very well and is so wonderfully clean. I'm happy she got this chance to compete as individually she will always be outshone by Rebeca Andrade although of course, Brazil have more than enough room for two stars. They can complement each other quite well. As expected, Flavia did not have the difficulty to get right up and compete for the top spot, nevertheless, she's showing great potential. Bars, long a weak piece for her country, have shown some progress. Hopefully some nice steady addition of difficulty towards Rio will propel her up the rankings.
Laura Jurca was well, crushing. No medals is so disappointing. I have been out of the loop, but perhaps she is recovering from injury? Let's hope she can bounce back from this competition and add some difficulty while still maintaining consistency.
Speaking of consistency, Seda Tutkhalyan managed to prevail despite spectacularly lacking in that department in general. She is above all, interesting. Brimming with potential. I'm delighted with her beam routine in particular and she has certainly shown fantastic progress on bars. She definitely has it in her to be even stronger all-around and I'm looking forward to seeing her senior debut..hopefully with vaults that land where they are supposed to!
Ellie Downie did extremely well, although she was another showing inconsistency. Such power! Although I remain disappointed she isn't emulating her big sister on bars, her floor and vault are pretty awesome. HUGE DTY, I definitely think we'll see an amanar next year, which would be a first for GB. GB really have a strong crew next year with Tyesha Mattis and Amy Tinkler firmly in the mix too.
Sae Miyakawa broke my heart with her floor routine. And then made it soar on vault. She deserved to beat Ellie Downie on form and not because the latter had her second vault downgraded. We need stills of Sae's form mid-flight blown up and pasted in gyms across the world. Stunning work.
Who was your favourite? Most likely to make it big as a senior? Who will be the Komova?