Saturday, September 27, 2008

And the Best Jazz Hands Award Goes To...


So, in first place in this weeks poll, not so surprisingly, was our new olympic champion, Sandra Izbasa. How great was she that night? As Difficulty Plus Execution said, she single handedly saved the face of Romanian gymnastics at the Olympics. I have to admit, her win surprised me. I knew she was a great floor worker, but with names like Fei and Johnson and seeing how much the international judges loved Liukin's routine, I really didn't factor her in for gold. Perhaps a bronze, but gold? But that was a corker of a routine. Not so graceful. But, although i appreciate the gorgeous dance-y routines, I have nothing against the high energy exercises if they are done well (A-sac being a great example). 
It reminded me too, that years ago, I don't know when, or which competition I was watching, that it was during a floor ex that I really noticed Sandra Izbasa and how talented she was.   It was also wonderful to see all the hard yards Sandra has put in for Romania over the last years rewarded at such a major event. 
It's sad Stels didn't have the same luck, but she has got herself a nice share of world medals over the years.  And, as i have said so many times, I nearly got a bit teary when i saw the gracious way Cheng Fei congratulated Sandra after her routine. It was truly lovely.


Yes, that's right, Alicia nearly won another poll. She actually only lost by a meagre one percent. I'm starting to think that even if i had a poll on "Best Bar Worker" or "Least Personality" you guys would all still vote for A-Sac!!
Her floor work could be truly awesome. And i am happy to say that i was there the day she won that World floor title in Melbourne. She was hot! (We were a little distracted by the entire Chinese population of Melbourne waving flags in front of our faces. They were nearly as enthusiastic as the ten year old gymnasts screaming for Monette in the front rows. (I felt sorry for the Chinese contingent, though, because the day before, many supporters had obviously bought tix assuming Chinese gymnasts would be in the AA finals (ussually a safe guess) but the coach had pulled his girls and they had nothing to cheer for.) Also, my friend Megsy was REALLY hungover (a tale i will tell you guys another day, cos it's pretty funny!) and the flag waving was making her feel even sicker than she already was.)
ANYWAY, although I generally find watching gymnastics on television is a lot more rewarding, seeing Sacramone that day really made me realise the unbelievable power and height in her tumbling. Daiane Dos Santos was there too and she was a-mazing too, but of course, she had the usual OOB and stepping problems. Alicia on the other hand maintained her explosiveness but did everything cleanly at the same time
It was sad to see her usurped by Shawn Johnson later, but that kind of tumbling gets a little hard on the body at twenty. She is amazing just for doing what she does.


Speaking of which, third place went to Ms Cheng Fei and I am so glad. I've always thought she had more charisma than any other gymnast around. And I certainly can't think of another Chinese gymnast who can match her in personality. There is something incredibly regal, but incredibly human about her at the same time. Even when she was younger, she still looked older and wiser than her years. Watching her move around in her floor routines, was like watching a queen at work. Her tumbling was huge like her vaults, but her dance was still quite graceful. That, i think is why it was so hard to watch her fall.  It is almost shocking to see her stumble. I was so saddened to see her not be able to recover herself for the floor finals.  It would have been vindication for the vault disaster at least.
But hell, when Cheng was on on floor, she was brilliant. I will never get enough of seeing Cheng's fist in the air after a great routine! Wish we'd seen it more in Beijing.  She had a lot of pressure on her in those games.  Didn't they say that floor music had been composed especially for her?  That is a weight to carry. I hope she'll be back.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for such a great gymnastics blog. Your posts are always very interesting and different from the regular old news everyone's posting. I have a request about the colours you have chosen. Black background with white text? OWWWW my eyes are burning. I have to look away every 5 seconds and blink 50 times before I can keep reading or I fear I'll go blind. Ok, a little dramatic, but would you consider changing it to something less contrasting?
    Thanks again for your great work!!