Monday, August 24, 2009

On the Ksenia Confusion...

So it seems there is a bit of confusion over at the IG forums about the wording of yesterday's article about the Russian Worlds team and the Ksenia's injuries.  

The article, which I talked about yesterday, talked about the lack of age-elegible contenders for the Russian team, the upcoming Russian Cup and the Ksenia's injuries.

As I interpreted it, the Ksenia were out of the Cup, not Worlds.

The Russian Cup kicks off in Penza with the opening ceremonies, will determine the makeup of the team sent to worlds.
The women's all-around championship in Penza, however, likely will be inelegible for the world's team.  2008 Russian Cup Champion, Ksenia Afanasyeva and runner-up Ksenia Semenova are both out with injury.  Semyenova, the reigning world champion on uneven bars, and Afanasyeva went 1-2 at the 2009 European Championships held in April.

In my interpretation of this article, when they refer to the AA champion they are referring to the fact that whoever wins, with the Ksenias out, is probably going to be one of their very talented, but age ineligible gymnasts.  It doesn't say anything about them being out for Worlds, and frankly, I think they would have made a much, much bigger deal about it if both those girls were out.  

In fact I think their inability to compete in London, and not the age problem would have been the focus of the article if that were the case, and they definitely would have told us what their injuries were.
So I think we needn't panic yet.  I think the Ksenias place on the team is assured, especially with the age-eligible deficiency among the Russians, and the powers-that-be are trying not to exacerbate their injuries before Worlds by making them compete at the Cup.

A Tale of Two Ksenias..

The Ksenias

The Russian Cup maybe be somewhat sad in the ladies department because both the Ksenias have injuries. Hope they get better for London.

(Also, Russian coach, Rodionenko told IG that this year's Russian team selection for Worlds is going to be really hard.  The best of the Ruskies, like Komova, Mustafina, Dementyeva and  Solovyova are all age ineligible.  Rodionenko said it was the most difficult year yet for Russia, particularly as their is no team competition, which is their team's strength.  )

You know, I have always preferred Semenova because she is quite consistent, and thoroughly charming.  She has always had me me suckered in to that gorgeous smile and pretty little pirouette en atitude.  

But when I really look at the routines, and look at the gymnastics, I think i actually am a far greater fan of Afanesyeva's routines.  She is a beautiful gymnast, has such a wonderful line and shows gorgeous, mature dance.  If she wasn't so bloody inconsistent, I think she would be brilliant. And anyway, isn't that atitude turn named after both the Ksenias in the COP?

I was looking at the Beijing qualification scores today, and poor Afaneasyeva- she was mere minor deductions behind Pavs and Semenova in the AA qualification. Sje is quite a strong all-arounder, but with Pavs and Sem in her way, she missed out. Sometimes I wish the AA was top three per country.  I really do.
She wasn't that impressive in Milan (her performance, not her skills), with many falls, though she still achieved great results in the AA (even with a fall on floor).  But I think her second place was as much about the field as her performance.  

(In Milan?)

Afanasyeva can be what some call the 'headcase' gymnast.  I call it the "Ukrainian Syndrome"(they always had it way worse than the Chinese) personally.  Anyway, I do love her gymnastics when she is good, and I really hope she is better and can pull off a good performance in her own right if she makes it to London and that she will have a chance to qualify for something dammit!!

In a funny little interview with Semenova (CLICK HERE) on her website, she said she and Afanasyeva are best friends because, though the competition is tough between them, "we got so used to each other that we can't imagine- will we be able to make it separately? Without Ksenia here on the base, it would definitely be more difficult for me"


Yay!  Yay!  Yay!!!!

The Couch Gymnast is jumping for Joy!!!!!!!!

The International Gymnast Online has published an article/interview with my dearly loved/sadly missed favorite gymnast South of the Border, Elsa Garcia.
The good news, Elsa has her eye on London!!
It was terribly depressing when Garcia didn't make it to Beijing, because of an injury that hindered her qualification in Stuttgart and then missed out on a wild card draw.  But now, Elsa is all better and back in training.  She s, happily injury free, has changed all her routines and is working hard.
The smart, insightful and wise girl told IG why she hadn't given up,

"First of all I can't give up on something that gives fills me with happiness and that I still enjoy very much.  
Second, I know who I am, and what I am capable of doing if I set my mind to it, so there's nothing like training and setting new goals to keep myself motivated.  
Of course, not every day is a great day, but overcoming the hard parts is what makes us realize why we are doing this."

Her new bars mount is (running) jump to handstand pirouette.
She has two vaults, a one-and-a-half Yurchenko and a Podkopeyeva
She is training a double layout on floor.  Woot!

Read the rest of the article HERE

Sunday, August 23, 2009

If I had power....

The phone would be ringing in Deva....

Ring!  Ring! (that's what a phone sounds like where I come from)

"Hi Nicolae, it's just the Couch Gymnast.

How's things?  The wife? The kids?  Ah busy? ....I see.

Well, I was just calling to see how things were going?  It's been pretty quiet on the Deva front lately.

How are things in the gym?

Did you get rid of that owl?
Anyway,  I mostly just called to see how the world team training is going?
Any thoughts on who your all-arounders will be?
Missing Steli yet?
And how's Sandra's injuries?
And her hair?  She dyed it back yet?  Tell her she is much better blonde.
And how's young Ceresela?  She mended well?
I hope you're taking care of those new juniors.  No injuries?

That Octavian hasn't been hanging around has he?  I heard he quit his sports ministry job. Not getting any crank calls, are you?  Strange midnight visits?  Don't hesitate just to call the cops if you see or hear anything strange.

....Well... that's all.  Can you pop Lili on for a minute?"

"Hi Lili, it's the Couch Gymnast here.
Just wondering, how is beam training coming along? 
Not giving them all the same skills again, are you?  Don't forget to mix things up a little.  Remember, it's not a Ford production line.  Just a little advice from me.

Now, we are going to have two gymnasts in beam finals this time, aren't we? 

 None of this lone star Dragoi stuff we saw in Beijing.  THAT was disappointing.  

By the way, how is Dragoi?  Not plateau-ing is she?  
And Porgy?  Make sure she doesn't injure anything, okay?  You guys need her

And tell Haidu from me to eat everything on her plate, okay?

Also, can you tell that floor guy to run his music choices by me first, please.  No dinky stuff this year, okay? 

Anyway, that's all.

Bye now! See you in London!"

It's been frustratingly quiet in Romania these days.  It's killing me.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

A (belated) what I was thinking/ guessing game...

Yeah, it's taken me this long to watch day 2 of the US Nationals. .......

I had sound on the coverage I watched this time. Not sure if it was a blessing or a curse. Lord those commentators are numpties. Really. If I hear the term "coming out party" one more time from those sexist pigs, I am gonna set fire to NBC.

Sam Bam! Peszek's beam!! Holy toledo. It is so solid it is almost ridiculous!

I love Bridget Sloan. But for some reason, I can never take her "game face" seriously. Whenever she pulls her all-business expression before a routine, all I see and hear is this nervous little girl shrieking "how did I get here? What am I doing? Me? Beam routine? Me? National Champion?" Don't know what it is. But, as I say, I love her anyway.
Also, I kinda liked her raggy birds nest bun. For one, it wasn't a pouffy bump thing, and for another, at least it shows she's got a little bit of rebel in her.

Who is using Steliana Nistor's old floor music by the way. Anyone?

Lets play...

What's This?

It's Ivana Hong walking right past Al Fong. No eye contact. No howdy-doody. No "how's your Ma? By the way, thank Armine for my #@$%-hot execution scores". Yep, it's still the cold war in the Hong-Fong camp.

And what's this?

It's Ivvy being a good friend to Rebecca Bross after beam. Oh my heart ached for Brossy this day 2! I even got a bit teary for her during bars. 
To me, she is one of those outrageously talented gymnasts who aren't used to setbacks they can't fix like injuries and learning skills. Psychological setbacks are a whole new ballgame for the very young Miss Bross. I hope she finds a way through them, cos her skills pack a whollop. 
And quick, can those WOGA Ruskies inject just a teeny bit of grace into her floor?

I like Bridgey's two turns combined on beam, but the rest of it doesn't exactly light my fire. It doesn't even light a sparkler.... or a match. Sharp's need a chorey person. Though that can't be entirely it. Bridgey (did you realise her initials are BS? That's why I call her Bridgey. Also because she has the same name as me.) can command floor. So why can't she command beam?
Also, I don't want to be mean, but the girl needs help. Can someone show her how to blend foundation? And maybe select shades?

What's this?

It's Valeri hamming it up for the cameras. You know, I am really starting to like this guy. Maybe its because i am seeing him coaching other girls. It doesn't feel so much like the intense, insane father/daughter show. Seeing the improvements in Ivana Hong. Seeing his patience with Brossy, and his near-tenderness with her during that awful bars routine. The man is a master technician. That is for sure. I've always felt slightly dubious of him, but now, I am growing to like him. Also, I like how he congratulates the other girls he knows too.

And what's this?

Unfortunately, it's not Alicia @#$%-slapping Andrea Joyce, hollering  "That's for my post-team comp interview in Beijing you unfeeling old bag!"  That's kinda what I was hoping for.
And yes, Andrea, they are Asac's girls more than they would ever be yours.  If her comeback fails, I vote Alicia for your job when you and the rest of the NBC are forced to retire!

Much as I really do appreciate Ivvies nice form, lovely music and pretty posing on floor, sometimes she doesn't really move to the music. 
The girl really does know how to finish a routine though, doesn't she?

And, what is this?

One of my favorite moments of Day 2. (It was, really nice seeing Nastia play assistant coach to the other WOGA girls (in fact any gymnast that crossed her path). She is both encouraging and knows when to leave them alone. I noticed her crouched in the corner, intently checking Ivana's last tumbling pass.) 
This picture is the moment when she grabbed Ivana Hong, who was freaking out about something not being paid in her routine, and chided her "Hey, don't second guess yourself. You got it!"
Sweet! And she clearly knows Ivana well!


A demoralised gymnast? 
The closest Brossy got to a smile by the end? 
An "I'm not really gonna cry" expression?
Don't worry, Becca, you''ll get yours.  It's coming, girlie, it's coming.  And idiotface will say its your coming out party.

Lawd, while they're at Sharps showing Bridgey how to apply make up, can someone show Sammy how to hit a split?

What's this?

It's the hag, rubbing her hands together, thinking "Zoon I vill have zem at camp. Zen za giggles vill stop and zay vill be MINE!"

And finally, what's this in the WOGA sandwich?

The 2009 Visa National Champion. Der.

P.S my favorite funny moment is from the Bross after she nearly nailed vault.  She said, in front of the camera, "ooh I need to pee but I am not going to make it!"

How Did I miss This?

Seriously, how did I miss this nugget of gymnastics history?
So, I thought i had Daniela Silivas's career down.  I knew her success, her brilliant routines, her 10's, her post-career marriage and child. I knew her funny, funny hair, her rivalry with Shushanova, and of the knee injury that just about finished gymnastics for her.

And a lot of the time, when I am fact-checking, I often go to the invaluable Gymnastics Greats for my information or clarification.
So how in hell did i miss the bit of gymnastics history where Daniela Silivas nearly became A GEORGIA GYM DAWG!!!
It is there, clear as day on the page!  Daniela was offered a scholarship from them, wanted to take it, but was refused in the end because she did not meet satisfactorily with the English language requirements.  What a pity.  Imagine if we'd had Daniela for that bit longer?  At Georgia.  Just imagine.

The World's Prettiest Leotard

Semi-Final Two Begins!!!

This is the second semi-final selection of the leotard voted prettiest by you.  As usual, vote in the poll on the side of the page.

College Sparkles

Green and Gold


Russian Swirls

Classic Black

 Cherry Blossoms

World's Worst Leotard

Semi-Final Final Begins!!!

Here is the second round of leotards voted by you, the readers, to be among the worst of the lot.  As usual, vote in the poll on the side.

Orange Stocking Cleavage

Soviet Gold

Nineties Swirls

Nineties Splodges

Rainbow Capped Sleeves

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Aussie! Aussie! Aussie! Oy! Oy! Oy!

Yep, i will be doing a bit of the patriotic ole poolside chant at the London O2 dome in October when the Australians get up and do their thing 
(I really  hope the British don't get as dirty as the Italians when you cheer for another country next to them!!! I got some filthy looks when iwas cheering for Tweddle on floor!)

So, the Australian Gymnastics Blog (well, really, it was Gymnastics Australia, but who goes there when we have the far more amusing and analytical ABG to read the news on?) anounced the Australian Team for the World Championships. The ladies in question are;

Georgia Bonora
Lauren Mitchell
Shona Morgan 
Larissa Miller.

Me? On the Team? Again?

So you'll probably recognise at least the names of the first three who are Olympic veterans now.  I am hoping and a'praying for a event finals spot for Mitchell, as well as some serious AA finalling for a couple of the girls.  Shona Morgan placed 15th in Beijing in the AA.  Georgia finished 13th. She has had ankle operations, but is apparently back and fighting! I hope she can do even better.  Larissa Miller is considered something of a bars specialist for Australia with (last I heard) a 5.8 difficulty, which doesn't sound like much in the grand elite scheme, but it's big for our girls!  

As mentioned before, the Australians have decided to take another group of gymnasts just to give them an idea of what the big competitions are like and a sense of travelling and competing (i feel like they may be competing in a meet somewhere too, but that could be WAY wron)g.  This group includes some very, very talented little 'uns, Brit Greeley, Emma Dennis, Emily Little, Emma Collister and Fiona Coley.
Are you sensing a bit of a name trend in Australia in the early nineties?!  I am.
I hope they watch, and learn...

Anyway, GO GIRLS!!!!
Also, what I really, really want to know is, will Liz Chetkovich get teary (or at least a little bit choked up) if we win a medal? That, I'd love to hear.....

Some Idle Gossip...

According to Aunt Joyce's Ice Cream Stand, Nastia's new floor routine is being performed to Carmen.  Both Svetlanas, Khorkina and Boginskaya used sections of Carmen in the past.  The new routine is being described as "avant garde and unique".  AJIS, also claims that Nastia originally had the music Ivana was using, but then changed it.  I wasn't sure, but now, I am really looking forward to seeing it, though who knows when that will be?

(Also, I've been staring, transfixed at this picture for a while. It's really notvery flattering when you stare at it for a while. Nastia looks like some insect queen about to trap some lesser insects by stunning them with her radiant pink shell, shooting a slimy web from her eyeballs (or perhaps toes) and then taking them back to her nest and feeding them to her young.  Or is it just me?)

And the semi-final winners are....

According to the latest poll, the two leotards that will go into the grand final of the World's Prettiest Leotard contest are:

Russian Marble

Asac in Violet

And the two leotard's that will go onto the grand final of the World's Worst Leptard Contest are:


Nineties Geometrics

Watch out for the next semi!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Will she or won't she?

So Nastia has said she is going for it.  Her pa says he'll let her go if she's ready.  Marta probably wants her Olympic star to be there.
But the question is, is Nastia, as reigning AA Champ, ready for worlds?
There's been a few rumbles in gymland that she won't be.
That she may be "injured".
That she may not be able to get her routines codeworthy and polished in the brief time between now and Worlds.
Is Nastia going to the Ball?
If so, can she win gold on bars and beam?
Can she compete against those who went straight back to the gym after the Olympics (which, I think it's safe to say, would be true of the Chinese girls)?

What do you guys reckon????

Seriously Creepy.......Cerasela Patrascu

(Photo: Gymbox)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I nearly forgot!!

A month or so ago, a person called Sam, not sure if it was a boy or girl Sam, so let's just say person, emailed me to have a rant about some of the things she or he didn't like about gymnastics at the moment, hoping I would write something about it. Well, I just thought it would be better to let Sam speak for him/herself. Besides, we all know how fond I am of a rant- and it doesn't even have to be my own.

So here is what Sam had to say;

"Firstly, doesn't it really annoy you how many gymnasts nowadays just do a jump onto the beam: five out of the eight Olympic beam finalists did it (the exceptions being Liukin, Pavolova and Tsurumi) and I just think it looks awful! I know someone like Johnson wants to get straight on the beam to do her series, but how hard is a press handstand for an Olympic level athlete? My idea of how the IOC/FIG could do something about this is to make the mount automatically count as one of the eight elements that determine the D score. Maybe then we would have more creative mounts (look at chachakid's YouTube montage) instead of the bloody jump on GRR

Also, do you have the same feeling I do that vault is DYING ??? So few gymnasts nowadays have two vaults that it almost seems like they will struggle to fill up eight spots at the next Olympic event final! I know US gymnastics best, and I can't think of a single top up and coming gymnast who trains two vaults, despite those such as Weiber and Bross - and Peszek if she makes a long term comeback - being more than powerful enough to do so. It seems like nowadays, vault finalists and AA contenders rarely go together, the only one springing to mind being Pavlova. Johnson should definitely have had to vaults, but she wanted to concentrate on AA instead. I think the IOC/FIG need to sort this out to prevent gymnastics becoming a three event competition - my idea is that they should make it compulsory again to have two vaults, maybe not for AA but definitely in Prelims and maybe TF as well. That way every gymnast becomes eligible for vault final by default, exactly as they are on the three other events."

I particularly though what Sam had to say about vaulting was pertinent. I wonder if she is right about the compulsory two vaults. Things might get a little more interesting then.
And I too, am bored of the no beam mount. It s a brief opportunity for a gymnast to show some daring or at least some originality.
But press handstands? I have to admit, unless the gymnast makes some interesting variation on them, I am sooo bored of them!

Possible the best gymnastics article I have ever read...

I found this fabulous old article the other day.  It was an opinion piece about why the U.S women's gymnastics team didn't deserve the gold at the 2004 Olympics.  The writer, Meghan O'rourke produced many and varied reasons why the girls shouldn't have won, mostly due to uninspiring performances and a general lack of style and the "joyless efficiency" she saw in their performances.  

The thing that got me about this article was the absolutely fantastic writing.  This woman had a way with words and some wonderful descriptions.
She also really sunk her teeth into that oft-debated competition between power and grace.  And she does it so, so eloquently. 

Even if you don't agree with what she says, I'd be very surprised if you didn't enjoy the way she writes about the sport, from the vantage point of someone who has clearly done it and clearly loves it.

Here are some of the descriptive highlights from the article;

She described Oana Ban as;

 "at eighteen she resembles a hybrid of a D-cell battery and a slinky, bounding from tumbling pass to tumbling pass with alienating ease"

(photo from Gymbox)

Catalina Ponor, who possessed;

 "a graceful, earthbound style" that "combined old-school elegance with unerring athleticism"

She had interesting things to say about the presence of grace both in gymnastics and in life;

"Bhardwaj was compelling because she brought grace to the beam with her.  Grace is a funny quality, one that, in our high-speed world seems old-fashioned and strangely valueless.  Those gymnast who are primarily tumblers at heart Ban, Kupets, Patterson, may fly higher than their peers.  And yet the grace of Ponor, Bhardwaj and Khorkina packs twice as much spirit into every moment.  It makes the gymnasium seem bigger around them."

(Photo from Gymbox)

The U.S performance (she excludes Humphrey and Bhardwaj);

 "the beam and bar exercises were gracelessly efficient.  The performances on floor appeared strangely schizophrenic, alternating between stunning stumbling passes and stumbling dance moves."

In praise of Lin Li's bar routine;

 "innovative set of intricate turns and beautiful static poses that dissolved into the athletic velocity of her giants before a perfect dismount. It was what gymnastics was meant to be: a combination of strength and power, flexibility and precision, like a beautiful fight scene in a samurai movie, at once stylized and fluid."

About why people like to watch gymnastics;

"it combines raw athleticism with the transcendence of pure style"

AND is this not the best description of Svetlana Khorkina you have ever heard?

"But gymnastics only moves for me when it swings- when awesome tumbling meets an expressive turn of the wrist, and suddenly you've got a flare-ignition.
Russia's Svetlana Khorkina has it.  
Style radiated throughout that beam routine, which she executed with finicky precision, her twiggy legs bending and flexing, her toes pointed hard, her fingers splayed elegantly, each kick so precise it seemed to delineate tendon never seen before.  Khorkina is the sexy Ice Queen of gymnastics- and its bitchy Queen Bee.  
It's no surprise the male commentators keep calling her 'temperamental' despite her good behaviour. 
Every move she makes is infused with atitude, of the kind you often find in the pages of fashion magazines."

To read the entire article CLICK HERE

Monday, August 17, 2009

Seriously... does it get any cuter?

So, the Russian junior we have all been waiting to become senior for what feels like forever, Aliya Mustafina, spoke to someone from IG after the Japan Cup last month. 

Aside from singing Nastia Liukin's praises and looking forward to helping the Russians in London at the 2012 Olympics, Aliya seemed to be surprised to discover people had heard of her over here in not-Russia (or possible even not-Moscow  Central Sports Army Club)

Witness this exchange;

IG: Could you give a message to International fans?
AM: Me? To international fans?  Is it okay from me?
IG: Yes of course.  You have worldwide fans.
AM: I'd like to say thank you to everyone who supports me.

See?  Cute as hell!

To read the whole short interview CLICK HERE

The Tallest Gymnast....or

Another Interesting Bruin!

UCLA's latest spotlighted athlete is freshman Tiffany Hyland.  Tiffany is yet another interesting character to add to Miss Val's brood.  Born in South Africa, Hyland and her family moved to America to avoid the violence that broke out in S.A after apartheid ended.  She was third in the AA of the South African National Championships last year.

Tiffany is well-travelled and has been to 13 different countries.  In the U.S, Hyland was coached by ex-Bruin Jamie Dantzscher at Diamond elite and went to the UCLA summer camp five years in a row.
One of the most interesting things about Tiffany's gymnastics is that she is 5 feet 8 inches tall.  Here is what she had to say about that!

"I love being tall!  Disadvantage are that it takes tons of energy to get my legs around on flips, and I can stand on the low bar and hold the high bar at the same time, which makes bars a little difficult!  Advantages are that I can chalk the high bar without leaving the floor, and I never have to worry about missing toe hechts on bars!!"

To read the rest of the interview and find out what Tiffany had to say about her travels and her heroes, go to the UCLA site (CLICK HERE)

Where in the World is...

Chelsea Davis?


Is she injured?



Miss the bus?

Down a dark hole?

Can anyone tell me?

I'm worried she is lost, out there alone, in the dark and cold, in only her Texas Dreams leo and handgrips looking for the American airlines stadium.

Though in reality, being the ditz I am, I missed the news that she was injured or some such thing.

(by the way, did you know that if you image search Chelsea Davis you get these horrible photos of some competitive diver smacking her face on the diving board?!  Holy ouch!  It looked BAD!)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

What I was thinking......

During the rotation 2 of Day (or the next installment of the silent version of NBC's coverage by some very king youtube user who shall not be named so they don't get into any trouble!)

Rebecca Bross- for a while i couldn't work out why she looked so strange, then I worked it out- no make up!! Well, hardly any compared to some of the other girls.  She looks pale.  And just a plain old pony tail.  No frills for this munchkin!!
She is very serious looking.  With those strong features, she is going to be very good looking in a few years.

I really liked her toe-on to pirouette to start on bars.

It always looks so funny when gymnast do the upswingy-thing from high to low bar in straddle and they are out of line.  Bross was out quite badly.  It looks so awkward.

I also noticed that she was really quite far over the bar for her Pak.  Nastia nearly always is too.  It scares the @#$% out of me when she performs it.  Every time. Maybe it's something in the training?  It looks impressive when its done like that I suppose.

As a general thing, though,Brossy's bar work reminds me much more of Memmel's in style, especially the way she bends and flexes so violently through the hips to thrust herself into moves.  Very similar.

Kytra Hunter's swaggery smile as she waited for her floor ex....Tasha Schwikert    much?!?! 

Needless to say, her tumbling is INSANE!! That piked arabian.  WOOT!!  With those two Arabians, she could give the Tweds a run!

Someone better actually give her some chorey though.  It looks like she was making it up as she went along in the first half!  The when it kicked in it was pretty dippity-do- emphasis on the 'dip' part.

Kytra is one of those girls that I just pray will be a college gymnast, whatever happens in her elite career, because she'd be so much dang fun!

I do believe I saw Bross smile, a whole smile with teeth and everything- for a nanosecond when she got her bars score!

Am liking Hongs hair. Cute little braid.   Girl still needs to work on that Tkatchev though.  I found the whole ex a bit of a yawn actually....

Jana B.  See? I just took one look at her and went "Uh oh" again!  What is it with this girl?
But I was right.  That routine was totally screwy from woe to go!  Does she actually posess any core strength?  Did she even want to hit a handstand?  Nice dismount but.

Bridgey's bar set was pretty rockin'.  Great new release.  Dismount kinda low?  I love how the coaches were having a joke about how she obviously clawed her way onto the high bar during that release!

Oh my lord!  What is it with GAGE and the dominatrix leotards??!!

 Or are they just recycling Terin Humphrey's old leos!!??  Poor Rebecca Clark!  That leo is HORRID!! Of course, I don't know for sure that she's from GAGE, but the info bar said she was from Blue Springs, and what with the leo, I'm gonna go out on a limb!!
Nice, simple, basic routine.  She had that lovely GAGE form though.

Oh hell, I was just hollering "go chellsie!" when something went terribly wrong  on my internet and I lost the next ten minutes of the Nats! GAH!  I heard somewhere that she lost points because her dad stayed on the podium with her.  Duh!  Kinda like Pavs going before the green light. OOPS!  But how was the routine?  Someone fill me in...

So there went the rest of that rotation!

Right, rotation 3.  Brossy is in the lead.  Bridgy is hanging on her coat tails.  Let's go!!

Hong is looking lovely as always on beam.  Nice dismount.  Gorgeous tight Onodi.  Her routine seemed very short, but maybe that is just because it was so lovely to watch.

Nastia's fringe bump is out of control!  Tis getting to drag queen proportions!!
Anyways, people have been going on about her looking pretty drab at Nats. I thought her routine was pretty great for someone who hasn't been back in training that long.  She is looking fitter than she did at the Classic too.

My favorite bit of the whole routine is during her mount when one of the little girls behind her pulls this incredulous, amazed faces as she presses to handstand.  It's hilarious!!
(Look at the little girl in red's face!)

Love Peszek's beam.  The girl is all business.  Though, hit a split will ya, Sammy!
Her side aerial is bizzarre.  Maybe it is because she doesn't have great flexibility, that her swing is all in the upper body, not sure.  But its odd-looking.
I really like her wolf jump though.  She hits it at the peak of her jump, unlike manyother gymnasts.

Aw, don't worry Bridgy, you gonna be a winner by the end of night two!!

You know why I love Bridget Sloan, apart from her gymnastics?  Out of all those girls, she looks them in the eye after she hugs them.  No one else does.  They hug and look/walk away, even if they are still talking.  It irks me.

OMG how much does the Brossy remind you of Steli Nistor on beam?!!  Miss I ain't going down for anything-no matter how out of line I am!  They both treat beam like its a boxing match they HAVE to win! .....until the landing.

I like how Nastia was doing her little counselling session to the obviously upset/ in pain Brossy before rotation four.  That was sweet.

On that note.  I'm to bed.  Tired.