Wish: Jessica Lopez makes it into the AA and uneven bars finals this year.
Jessica Lopez is one of the hardest working gymnasts in the business. She does not have the perfect gymnastics physique, struggling with flexibility issues- particularly in her back- but she has worked so hard to overcome this. She and Nilson Savage were already working incredibly hard before London Worlds to improve these issues. They managed to loosen her up enough to perform some impressive moves on beam, which she hadn't been able to do in the past. They also amped her difficulty in the hope of her making AA and EFs in London, but a rough qualification round put it out of the question. It was sad to see after such terrific preparation.
Now, they are back at it again, working hard to make her as competitive as she can possible be- at the age of 24! Jessica is a gifted bar worker, with a fabulous swing and a good tight body position. Her pirouette work is exemplary and she can shine here if it all comes together. She also, however has the AA goods to grab a place in the finals if she can pull off a good qualification round.
Here she is on bars in Ghent. You can see she has that kind kind of athletic 'pushy' swing that Rebecca Bross uses. She is blessed with a better leg line though. The swing 'up' and the leg form on her dismount is just stunning too. Her big issue is going to be that dead hang in transition.
It is always fantastic to see a gymnasts from a nation not known for its gymnastics to excel. It is also amazing to be able watch so much growth, change and improvement throughout a long career. This is why Jessica Lopez is the first for my wish list for Rotterdam this year!