Sunday, October 24, 2010

MORE RUSSIAN HISTRIONICS....OR JUST PLAIN RUDE?

As much as I have adored the drama brought by the Russians the past ten days, there has to be a limit. I also understand that Aliya Mustafina has been working hard, and that she is probably very, very tired right now. I still don't accept tanking beam, which is pretty much what it looked like to me. Maybe it was more of the 'all or nothing' melodrama. Maybe she really couldn't save that fall, but it kind of looked like she gave up to me.




And maybe if she were a little older and a little more experienced she wouldn't have done that at all. And maybe she would have thought of her tiny little team mate who was coming up after her and needed to be reminded that Russia is invincible, or at least what is possible, she wouldn't ha,ve done it either.  Dementieva needed a leader.  But I will forgive Mustafina that because although she acts like a woman of the world she is still but a baby.


What I find it difficult to forgive, however, is their behavior on floor today.  So Mustafina didn't have the best routine, but she was leading for a lot of the event.  Afanasyeva, who never ceases to disappoint me by HEADCASING every single time there is some pressure on her completely screwed up a routine she has been doing all week.  But part of me always kinds of expects that.




But what really bothered me was that they left the floor before the final was finished.  They moved to a corner, had a group hug with their coaches and left the floor while there were still four gymnasts to compete.  Rude.

She doesn't exactly look heartbroken, does she?


Mustafina came back, probably because she was still in the lead at the end and got sent back.  I heard Peggy Liddick say that they were all in the back gym weeping.  What's the problem?  Aliya medalled despite the fact she was understandably dragging today and Afanasyeva made big mistakes and has no one but herself to blame.  I know I sound harsh, but seriously.  She lost herself that gold medal.  But if you can spend five minutes after your routine not crying on the competition floor you should stay there.


That's heartbreak.




Izbasa was a mess and she also left floor after twenty minutes or so.  I can understand her position more (though I will say to satisfy the "TCG Hates The Russians" people, I also think Sandra was rude and badly behaved for walking out too- I merely saw more evidence of her distraught emotional situation- the Russians were laughing and talking as they walked out).  Sandra has clawed her way back from her injury and this should have been a big moment for her and she screwed it.  She was beside herself with tears from the moment she walked off the podium.   The Russians weren't even crying when they left.  They just upped and walked out.
It was a little disappointing to watch.  I love the drama of the Russians, I love the gymnastics, but sometimes,  just sometimes, I don't like the attitude.

44 comments:

  1. Well said. I couldn't agree with you more. In fact, I thought you were more than kind in your words about their rudeness.

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  2. I agree with you about the floor final. They showed the girls walking off after Ksenia's disaster and I must say it was highly disrespectful and rude! I love them but that was uncalled for. He Kexin sat through the entire bars final yesterday and had to have a camera stuck in her face most of the time but she was respectful of the other competitors and stayed to watch. I also don't agree that Sandra left either, I feel that all gymnasts should stay through the entire event final at all times! Take a note from the men ladies!

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  3. I know I'm skirting the issue, but I loved how Soviet Dementyeva looked today... right down to the swish of the ponytail.

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  4. I wondered when they left whether they were just moving to another side of the arena or....? However I saw the bags over the shoulder and thought "Omg, they are really walking out before their competitors are done!"
    I would LOVE to hear what they were saying. I need to learn Russian stat.

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  6. Don't forget the scene where one of the Russian coaches was trying to console Mustafina, patting her on her shoulder, and came close to losing a hand. Baby got claws!

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  7. The commies showed their overdrama. A Marta-hardened team should be able to beat them. We will crush them! *beats shoe on podium*

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  8. I haven't watched yet, but it's true to form in keeping with the time they all marched out of the Olympics literally TAKING OFF their silver medals. As for Mustafina, statistically speaking, this was to be expected. You can't be perfect all the time, especially at just barely 16. Happened to Shawn Johnson at Worlds too. I'm surprised Afanasyeva keeps showing up given the headcase issue. Marta's being harder on Mattie Larson than the Russians are on Afanasyeva, and there are many more Afanasyeva mistakes to be tallied up. I hear the Romanians have been in a delightful mood these Worlds, maybe the Russians could learn from them. -- The C Score

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  9. Musty's crying might have simply been a result of physical and emotional exhaustion. She's competed on every event in every single competition this week after all, and she's only 16. She might also be angry with herself for messing up.

    I have some issues with Russia's attitude as well, but am going to give Mustafina the benefit of the doubt on that one.

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  10. I also noticed that during the medal ceremony, many of the Russians did not shake the American team's hands prior to mounting the rostrum.

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  11. Mustafina wasn't crying- not that I saw.

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  12. (I miss me some C score. HAve been learning all kinds of anatomy from weightlifting and injuries and such. Body is so complicated. Maybe I should have been a doc.)

    I still haven't watched the video (catching up via blogs). Probably watch the telecast tonight.

    The Russian disrespect is kind of galling, because you would think of them as gaurdians of the ethos of the sport. Not just members of their teams. Given the time and leadership they have had. But it's really more the opposite. Didn't they have a big issue with a man walking out of AA (or abandoning his routines) while still healthy after a fall. The Russian team came down on him and men around the world on different teams also, felt he had disrespected the sport itself.

    Also...in general I see more camaraderie and respect and heart from the men. Not saying the women have none. they surely do and I love to see it. But that said, there is just this thing with them all wanting to be the barbie doll on top of the wedding cake and it kind of messes up the mood of amateur sporting fellowship.

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  13. I agree. It was completely disrespectful and poor sportsmanship. Svetlana Khorkina did the same thing during the 2004 Olympic Bar Finals. She fell off the bars, grabbed the Russian Flag and draped it over her shoulders, and made a grand exit waving to the crowd, all while another athlete was competing.

    We get it, Russia. You want to be known as divas. But it would be better to be a diva with class, than a diva without.

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  14. Anonymous at 10:43 - the protocol for the team medal ceremony was for the hand shaking to happen before the winners mounted the podium - they'd already shaken hands with everyone and weren't meant to do it again.

    See video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_3nkUDnYFVE

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  15. I think you are right, TCO. There is a LOT more respect and goodwill among the men, especially in the EFs. I expect it about a less catty vibe, but the other big thing is that they are generally a lot older than the 'women'. Sure, Khorky stayed a diva until old age, but she has always been an exception rather than a rule. The most gracious winnders this week (of the women) have been Sacramone and Tweddle, the older, actual 'women'. That certainly says something.

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  16. Oh okay. I had the impression they were all crying in the back gym.

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  17. Don't bash Afan too much she is the least diva russian I have ever seen. You said Sandra left too and your giving her more praise that's just not cool couch. And to comment #October 24, 2010 10:43 AM The Russians did handshake them(USA). I'm pretty sure they rehearsed this ceremony before they even went out. The all shook hands at the beginning. The second time they do not do it, Ana Demen... was being airhead and did it a second go. Alicia was clearly amused. Stop the hate People.

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  18. I agree it was a little rude of the Russians to leave the area before the final was over, however, it didn't look to me like a diva moment--it looked like Mustafina wanted to get Afanasyeva to Semyonova before a breakdown happened. Kinda like a pre-emptive strike or something.

    As far as beam goes, though I agree it looked like Mustafina just gave up, we have no idea what really happened, and as others have said, she must have been exhausted by then. But it's completely unfair to put Dementyeva's lack of success on Mustafina's shoulders for falling and not being in the best mood after. Dementyeva didn't exactly hit well after Mustafina did in team finals, and Mustafina looked genuinely upset--we all saw the tears--after her beam fall. She also seemed to be quite happy for Lauren Mitchell when Lauren won floor.

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  19. I think couch gymnast you're being too hard on Mustafina, around the time that I have been racing I have not seen a bad gesture, not a bad behavior.

    Today I was really pissed off by his fall in bar, do not say I have done better but I do not think Dementieva has noticed.
    The girl is very young and has an amazing pace of competition, is really dead.
    And removing this case has always been the first to encourage their peers, even after his failure, see the competition is in Holland, in bar.

    I do not understand why you say that has not gone as it should in soil.
    It is true that he was very serious, but has done the exercise with all the enthusiasm in the world.

    Time to time, I understand your opinion but not entirely share mainly because Aliya has shown on many occasions to be there for your team.

    The CIA's Afanasyeva and if I found some fatal.
    Greetings!

    A test of what I say:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2dZ-h01VP8&feature=related

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  20. yeah the russians are starting to tick me off!! Just plain rude to walk out of the competition while others are competing!!! I don't care whether the girls where tired or not you still don't behave that way it is inmature and selfish!These girls are role models for young gymnasts and they sure aren't acting like it! And today when they had all of these extra teammates out on the floor for vault finals, what the heck?? DO they think they don't have to follow the rules?!?!?!?

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  21. THANK YOU!! couch gymnast for your constant updates and pictures!!! very much appreciated!!!! :):)

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  22. I will say it again, there were no tears in the arena. The Ksenias weren't crying. I saw one of Afan's coaches say something to her and she laughed! And Semmy certainly wasn't crying. And yes, I agree Aliya is very gracious when she is present and hasn't done anything else that could be construed as behaving like a bad sport. Nor did I ever say that. But today was different- and its not just the girls I am blaming. I think the coaches who let them leave were actually in the most wrong. it's their job to make sure the girls behave appropriately (but then one of those coaches actually kept nodding off during the P Bars final!!)

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  23. Couch thanks for doing a great job at covering the championships. BUT...

    Do you speak Russian? Probably not. Lets all be happy for all the outcome. The Russians are not to blame. I will keep my mouth tight shut for my disdain for other countries.

    Keep up the good work and leave the politics behind. But then again you are the Queen of this site :)

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  24. It wasn't just during event finals. When Mustafina won the all around, she and the other Russians completely ignored Bross and Aly for several minutes. I get they're happy but turn around and be a good sport and congratulate others. Aly and Bross were quite respectful and walked over to shake Mustafina's hand they just ignored her. It was rude

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  25. It didn't look like they were being divas or being rude to me. Musty and Afan going over to Semmy and having a group hug with their coach seemed innocent enough to me.

    But I really don't know. I don't think any of can really know, simply because we're not them and we don't know what was going on in their heads.

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  26. Brigid, I've watched the video and I saw Mustafina cry after her falling off the beam (quite understandably), applaud Chelaru's performance and smile while clapping when Mitchell's score came up. I did not see her leave the arena and I did not see her sulk over the results. What I did find sweet is when the Russians yelled "Stoi" for Alicia Sacramone who was Mustafina's main rival for the vault title. I wasn't there, off course, but I didn't see any sign of bad sportsmanship from the Russians throughout the whole championship.

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  27. For craps sakes people! I NEVER said I saw Mustafina behave badly at any point except when they walked out in the middle of the floor final!!! And yes, I saw that with my own eyes. They walked less than a metre from me.
    It's not the group hug that is the problem- it is walking out in the middle of an event final which is thoroughly bad form unless someone is hurt. Mustafina has been perfectly lovely all week as far as I have seen and always pleasant with her rivals. This is not a black and white- 'All Russians and everything they do is evil'- point I am making. Neither did I see Izbasa behave badly at all either, but I still think she was wrong for leaving too.

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  28. I'm pretty sure it was a inside joke. Like you little headcase lol, you little headcase Affy. All innocent. And backstage real tears of sadness and emotion came out. I love Afan but her leo was gross.

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  29. Yeah, Afanasyeva's always been a headcase! It's part of her charm! She was a headcase staple of the Russian team when Mustafina was still in diapers!

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  30. TCG, I think you've been totally fair in your assessments. Thank you for all the photos/insight you've posted throughout this championships btw.

    It's a little frustrating though that some of the commenters here seem to be trying to construe every little thing the Russians do as being unsporting seemingly because they now have this 'diva' label.

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  31. I saw none of this, but I never agree with leaving in the middle of a final. Bogi left before AA finals were done and came back for her medal. Loved Bogi, did not like that behavior. It is never respectful. For goodness sake, we don't let J.O. level kids leave before the meet is finished and awards are handed out. How is that so hard at the top level of the sport?

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  32. The Russians are very talented as is Aliya, but her attitude is stamped with low marks for sportsmanship and maturity. Yes she is young, but so was Shawn Johnson and at the same age handled herself on the World stage with far more maturity.

    Also was it me or did anyone see Aliya cut her eye at Bross and Alica before her beam set?

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  33. well tca you have labelled the russian as diva so whatever they do people will always think they are diva. and i cannot beleieve you are accepting isbaza's action as ok and musty as not when infact musty hasnt done any bad sportmanship ot whatever.

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  34. Russia is great..they will be champions in the next years to come, just wait for Komova...Russia is full of divas and thats something u can't change...they love drama and they have bigger personalities than everybody else...everybody loves to hate them...they're amazing.

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  35. I thought the Russians leaving the arena was very Khorkina, circa: '97 Worlds. In the vault EF she missed her first vault, didn't do a second and walked out of the arena. Then, of course, there are her antics from the Sydney and Athens Olympics. *sigh* I just hope that this new group of Russian girls don't see this as behavior that they should be copying. I know Mustafina is a little diva, but hopefully she'll lead her team in being better sports than a certain other Russian diva from the past.

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  36. It's not against the rules to leave the floor during the competition and I doubt anyone noticed. And btw, you can clearly see in the TV coverage all the girls congratulating each other when floor finals finished, so I don't see what the big deal was.

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  37. I totally agree with you that Afanasyeva, Mustafina and Izbaza should have stayed until the end of the floor final, but I wonder if a part of it is also that by now Afanasyeva knows that she isn't quite the full package - and by that I mean that she lacks the ability to bring it off when it most matters and that must be heart breaking.Also, she must be aware that her time is running out - this may have been a last chance for her...
    I remember reading an interview with Katya Lobazniuk's mother which talked about how the girls mature later (the intense training means they hit puberty around 16)so they are emotionally less mature than their years. That probably goes some way to explaining the group crying session in the back gym.
    Is that Rodienko doing the group hug? Surely he should have sent them back.

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  38. Couch Gymnast, I must say that your blog does not reflect that of a person who was in Rotterdam in a professional (media accreditation) capacity.

    I think that you're blatantly overstepping the line when you start making judgement calls on the behaviour of these young girls. It's not very professional.

    It really does come across that you only obtained media accreditation so that you could observe these girls more closely. That's more than a little disturbing to me.

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  39. If its not against the rules to leave than let it alone. Did it occur to you that the Russian girls were laughing to stop themselves from crying. If the reports are true they were crying backstage than they were crying backstage. SERIOUSLY. Frankly better that you cry back stage than cry on the floor where you take the spotlight from others. At least they left quietely and the Russians congratulated the other girls.

    And I think its ridiculous to blame Mustafina for fallling in beam finals. Alexandrov said the girl was just exhausted and she probably just didn't have it in her to fight. This girl went over at her first worlds and delivered for Russia time and time again, and your going to criticize her for her one major mistake? Seriously?

    As for her teammate, first of all I'd say that this was the individual finals and her teammate was competiting against Mustafina. I'm sorry with how much Aliya has delivered for her teammates this week, to suggest she's responsible for their performances in event finals is too much. In fact Alexandrov said that his biggest regret that Aliya was the only individual medalist, saying he felt it was too much on Aliya's shoulders.

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  40. [Quote]It wasn't just during event finals. When Mustafina won the all around, she and the other Russians completely ignored Bross and Aly for several minutes. I get they're happy but turn around and be a good sport and congratulate others. Aly and Bross were quite respectful and walked over to shake Mustafina's hand they just ignored her. It was rude [/Quote]

    Mustafina did eventually turn around and kiss Bross. So to say she completely ignored her forever isn't true. In fact in this circumstance I'd say that the winner should be allowed to have some time with her teammates first. And it is Bross and Aly who should patiently wait.

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  41. I love the skills of this Russian team, but TCG is right. Their behavior has been rude. Aliya def looked as if she threw beam. Both gymnasts deserved to have their second vaults devalued in the final (they were piked!) I get that this team is amazing, but as this is the first team medal they have won as an independent nation they should more respectful of other gymnasts in the arena. Izbasa as well should not have acted that way. However, the Russian girls need to learn humility. Yes, they are the best team in the world right now, but they only beat the US by .2. If they had lived up to their potential and not got all headcasey in the team final they would have won by a much larger margin, but they didn't perform that way.

    In terms of the floor final, Vanessa was robbed. Mustafina was lucky to end as well as she did, considering the mistakes she had. If there was any gymnast acting like that it should have been Ferrari. In my opinion, the Russians were helped generously in the execution scores by the judges.

    TCG--youre awesome! Thank you for all your great coverage and insight!

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  42. To those saying that the Russians were rude: please remember that Russia isn't a Western country, and Russian people have TOTALLY different social values (and interactions) to what we have in Western society. So it may seem rude to you that they left the arena, but that's only from your "Westernised" viewpoint.

    And to suggest that Mustafina should've thought of Dementyeva before falling off the beam is ludicrious. Sorry, but it really is. And don't try to say that you weren't doing that, Couch Gymnast, because you DID, right here:

    "And maybe she would have thought of her tiny little team mate who was coming up after her and needed to be reminded that Russia is invincible, or at least what is possible, she wouldn't have done it either."

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  43. Anonymous 4.55. i was not there in professional capacity for my blog. I blogged because I was there. And the people I worked for were well aware of my blog and read it too, as are the FIG media staff aware of it. There was even a plan to write stuff for themat the beginning- but I ran out of time.
    I had media accreditation to work for the Daily Paper as part of the organization running the comp, where half my job, ironically enough for your criticisms was to report the gossip and goings ons behind the scenes as well as doing articles and interviews. I wrote here about what I see because I was in a fortunate position to be able to observe a competition from a close proximity. Funny how it is disturbing to have an opinion.

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  44. Wow, things haven't got this heated since I once had an opinion about Nastia, or Shawn, I don't even remember which. I know there are still a lot of you who probably have an opinion about this, but i AM NO LONGER TAKING COMMENTS, particularly now that i am being accused of being 'disturbed' for offering an opinion about what I see. This is a blog. I am allowed to have an opinion. You are too, but maybe you can take the discussion elsewhere because it has become about a lot more than something that happened in one event final. It is time to move on and continue with a positive view of the World Championships, as this post was not supposed to be at all a criticism of the Russians- who were utterly incredible- or their behavior through the entire meet. As I have repeatedly said, for the most part they were fun, funny and performed spectacular gymnastics.

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