Wednesday, April 28, 2010


I'm tired.  It was Pac Rims Podium Training today and the big guns are out!

(By the way, the pictures are mine- so please ask first.  I probably will let you- I'm a softy)

Let me first say, and I never thought I would, Jordyn Wieber is back, and she is the business.  She of the unfortunate name spelling has come back a tad taller, a bit older and with an ability to perform.  Gone is the little skill-monger who rambled through the American Cup, blithely unaware of the impact she was making on the gymnastics world.  Here now is the same girl, with many of the same high levels of skills, but with some maturity, and dare I say it, even an elegance about her.

Her double layout full twist dismount on bars was landed over and over again but her dance on floor had improved immeasurably.

I spoke to her after a she is a sweet little thing, despite her routine answers.  She is clearly happy as hell to be back though.  I never thought I'd say it, but I am a newfound fan.

Her new floor routine suits her to a tee.  It is modern, dynamic and she smiled (in a natural, uncheesy way) all the way through. Everything about Wieber was a win today (except for some slight bar issues) and now that Bridget Sloan is injured and Bross is looking laboured, she may just have a free pass to the AA.

Rebecca Bross was having a hella time on bars, and looks a bit injured, as is Kyla Ross (ankle?).  She looked fairly tight on floor though.

Sloan looked good on bars but struggled to land on the problem ankle.

Sabrina Vega has some leg separation issues on bars, but looked pretty on floor.  Ungureanu looked really tense the whole time.

I spoke briefly to Bridget Sloan and she did indeed confirm she is college shopping, but she isn't completely sure of what she'll do or if she'll go.  She is just waiting to see how it all plays out.

Kristina Vaculik looked awesome today.  Her Rufolva is truly poetry in motion and when I spoke to her she was still (and fair enough too) high off her success at Cottbus.  She is heading to Stanford, which she chose for educational reasons, but is totally thinking of vying for a worlds spot this year.  She said she will have to see how it will work out with her training elite from college but wants to try.  She and some others are planning to hang out in Melbourne a couple of days and see the sights after the competition.

Most of the Canadians were impressive.  I love Riley Cholod's beam form too.

Brossy and Dominique Pegg, who looked great today, seem to be old pals and were having a catch up when I spoke to Kristina. Pegg does a great standing back half on beam and did one of the highest double pike dismounts of the day.

What else?  the Chinese looked pretty but didn't wow me.  I did enjoy the incredible cuteness of teeny junior Zeng Siqi, though she was a hot mess on beam.

The Russians were kinda bizarre.  Ksenia Afanasyeva looked great in training.  She worked bars and beam hard, and even nailed a few bars landings.  I am a longtime fan of Ksenia's and I really hope she can shine here, where the pressure is somewhat less than at Euros and she is out of Semenova's shadow.  She is highly talented, but horridly inconsistent when the pressure is on.  This may, however, be her one chance to prove she should still be part of the Russian mix.  Uh oh.  Pressure right there.

The Russian babies were mixed.  Yulia Inshina was the most solid.  She looked good on beam, while Rodionova and Stepanova looked prettier but had some rough runs.  Anna Rodionova was crying after her first rotation on beam, and was just as despondent after a rough run on bars at the end.  She left the stadium in tears.  She was not a happy camper.

Zammo is there!  She played with her hair, watched the Russians and generally looked fabulous all around.

Raisman landed double arabians and double fronts all over the place and I only saw her miss one, in one Patterson on beam.  On floor she tumbled brilliantly.

The Aussies looked tense, tense tense.  I don't think they are ready for the pressure of a home crowd.  Georgia Wheeler looked good on beam, and both Georgia's swung well on bars.  Larissa Miller, unfortunately was having a shocking time and could not perform a jam to save her life.

Coach watch.  As I said, Teodora Ungureanu looked the most tense of the US delegation.  Peggy Liddick did not look happy at all, which does not bode well for team oz.  The Canadian 'Old Russian Hen Brigade' just looked.....well.... busy.  Davydova was quick and responsive.

Sharpy looked totally chillaxed and Marta was her usual self.  Even Kathy Kelly looked slightly less deranged than usual.  The old Russian coach, sorry I don't know who he is- looked grumpy.  I think he wants to be in Birmingham.

The Chinese, on the other hand, looked fairly relaxed.

Valeri Liukin, as was pointed out to me, was virtually silent.  I have decided that all of his years have made him a fatalist.  At this point, especially with a gymnast like Brossy, what happens will happen no matter what he may say.  That's my theory and I am sticking to it, anyway!

I don't even wear pink, but my inner gay man pines for one of these pink sweatshirts the Singapore girls are sporting.

Okay. Couchy sleeps now.  Back tomorrow.



  1. Who is Ungureanu coaching?

  2. thank you sooo much for the update!!! please keep them coming :)

  3. I am so incredibly jealous of you, CG. I'm loving the pictures, though. If anything cool ever happens in Cincinnati, I promise to go and provide running commentary.

  4. Who is Ungureanu coaching?

  5. Well, you certainly did take some awesome pics there!

    Admiring your mad skillz from halway round the globe.

    PS: Long live allnighters and procrastination!

  6. Wow, what a post! THANK YOU for all the updates =)

  7. hey,
    i'm a gymnastics fan from singapore and i'd really like to say thank you for all the gymnastics coverage you've been providing! gymnastics is not a very big thing here and it's really heartening to see the singapore team competing over there. (one of them's my junior in school!) love the photos. thanks again :D

  8. Wow thanks for this! Your commentary is always great (nothing beats your 09' Words)

    Have you noticed any upgrades any of the gymnasts doing?