First post of 2015! That's a shocking start :/ I've been sidetracked by minor health issues, such as a virus that floored me halfway through January (actually floored..) and developing a crazy heart rate (105 lying down and up to 180 working at a desk..??) which has now been resolved by the joys of modern medicine.
Anyway, most of my gymnastics absorption over the last while has been NCAA related, mainly frantically trying to put a team together in fantasy gymnastics that will score the magical 197. Week before last, everybody randomly decided to not compete floor and screwed me over. Week just gone...I got 196.95, sigh. If only Keeley Kmeciak was possible to predict on events on a weekly basis, but alas...
I really, really, really, recommend signing up for this next year for anyone who's wary. It doesn't take that much time (bit of research before signing up etc. will serve you very well) at all and is so much fun, and this is coming from someone who is pretty much locked out of actually watching the competitions due to timezone and international TV station paywall issues. The competition aspect of it is just so enjoyable, trying to improve week on week.
So, elite! I'm delighted that Aliya Mustafina is taking a break from driving herself to the brink, and won't compete at Russian Championships or Euros. Considering the pain and nagging injuries she's been dealing with for a long time now and the immense pressure of basically being a team, her statements towards the end of last year about not taking any breaks and work, work, work...it's a relief. I'm curious about when such a superstar gymnast will bow out from the sport...of course, hoping for post-Rio if at all possible. It would be devastating to see her go before her time because she pushed too hard or was pressured into shouldering her team when she wasn't physically able to do so.
Yao Jinnan is definitely going for the surgery in the US, and will be out for the year...this has been known for a while, just the matter of where and when that's not really known. The fact that it will be in the US annoys me and the reason why is because there are other girls on the team who have nagging injuries that would benefit more from surgery outside of China, instead of the dodgy healthcare they receive there. Nobody needs to be reminded that US healthcare is astronomical...going to Germany, the UK or Canada for instance would probably fund several for the price of one, especially the UK. Unless the surgery is actually pioneering and/or much better when done in the US, in which case the location is totally understandable.
I can't wait for American Cup! The somewhat lacklustre non-US roster isn't a surprise to me at all, this is pretty much always the case. The fact that a lot of people attribute this international scorning to scoring IS surprising though. It's a lot more to do with the fact that it's very early in the season, extremely far away for most, and has no event finals so only bronze in the AA is up for grabs due to the strength of the US roster. Most of the European crew will want to be focusing on Euros anyway.
I wonder who will exhibition/wildcard. Mykayla Skinner's AA spot is in doubt according to some, due to Bailie's recent performance at camp. The recent pattern tends to be not to have new seniors, or at least, not to have them unless forced by injuries to others. On the one hand, Bailie would be a local and it would be a great senior debut for her in front of a big crowd. On the other, she could well be better off honing things like her bars difficulty and the readiness of a more difficult vault for later in the year. Hard to know, I think they might want to hold off on her though and keep Mykayla unless she gets injured.
As always, watching Simone will be a treat and interesting to see her add in some new elements, although saving bigger things for later in the year by all accounts. The two falls at camp are not worrying in the slightest, she will be a force of nature as always.
It's pretty quiet on the interesting news front...can't wait for things to kick off.