The 2016 P&G Championships Senior Day Two Live Blog

Welcome to the live blog for the junior women’s session on day two at the P&G Championships! Refresh your browser every 3-5 minutes or so for the most recent updates, which will appear at the top.

11:24 pm. In addition to the top eight, Desiderio, Dowell, Gowey, Locklear, Nichols, Schild, and Skinner will go to Olympic Trials! Once again the roster is 15, just like in 2012.

11:14 pm. It melts my heart to see Nia get a medal for bars after her crappy year, tearing her Achilles to start out 2016. Also thrilled about Amelia getting an automatic trials berth and finishing SIXTH. When she started elite as a junior, even her coach thought she’d last a couple of years and phase out. Six years later she is one of the best in the country and had a fabulous meet here after dealing with injuries in 2014 and 2015. SO proud of her!!!

11:04 pm. VAULT STANDINGS

1. Simone Biles
2. MyKayla Skinner

BARS STANDINGS

1. Ashton Locklear 31.3
2. Madison Kocian 31.15
3. Laurie Hernandez 30.45
4. Simone Biles 29.85
5. Rachel Gowey 29.65
6. Gabby Douglas 29.6
7. Amelia Hundley 29.45
8. Nia Dennis 29.1

BEAM STANDINGS

1. Simone Biles 30.8
2. Aly Raisman 30.65
3. Laurie Hernandez 30.6
4. Alyssa Baumann 29.7
5. Ragan Smith 29.3
6. Gabby Douglas 29.25
7. Madison Kocian 28.65
8. Ashton Locklear 28.6

FLOOR STANDINGS

1. Simone Biles 32.15
2. Aly Raisman 31.3
3. Laurie Hernandez 29.6
— MyKayla Skinner 29.6
5. Gabby Douglas 29.25
6. Madison Kocian 29.1
— Christina Desiderio 29.1
8. Olivia Trautman 28.7

11:02 pm. Biles wins athlete of the year and Raisman wins sportswoman of the year, same as last year! Also another coach of the year for Aimee Boorman!

10:57 pm. FINAL STANDINGS

1. Simone Biles 125.0
2. Aly Raisman 121.1
3. Laurie Hernandez 120.5
4. Gabby Douglas 117.8
5. Madison Kocian 116.45
6. Amelia Hundley 115.55
7. Alyssa Baumann 114.95
8. Ragan Smith 114.8
9. Rachel Gowey 113.7
10. MyKayla Skinner 113.5
11. Brenna Dowell 112.35
12. Christina Desiderio 111.4
13. Emily Schild 111.25
14. Lexy Ramler 109.9
15. Margzetta Frazier 109.35
16. Lauren Navarro 109.1
17. Olivia Trautman 108.9
18. Maggie Musselman 108.75
19. Abby Paulson 107.95
20. Emily Gaskins 107.9
21. Kaitlin DeGuzman 106.3
22. Ashton Locklear 59.9
23. Maggie Nichols 56.45
24. Nia Dennis 29.1

10:56 pm. Automatic Trials finishers include Biles, Raisman, Hernandez, Douglas, Kocian, Hundley, Baumann, and Smith! Probably 5-7 others will be added as well, with Nichols and Locklear obvious choices.

10:51 pm. Aww, everyone comforting Skinner, including Brenna who had her own bad moment on beam. I think she said something like “I had a war with beam.” Definitely near tears and absolutely feeling a lot of physical and mental pain.

Locklear BB- Double wolf turn. Bhs loso, and I WISH she would fix her knees. Punch front. Huge wobble on side somi going back and forth between falling off backwards or forwards, but she saves it ultimately. Side aerial into her jump series with a bobble. Lovely extension on switch to switch half (flexed feet on the latter) to back tuck. Double tuck with a step.

10:48 pm. Skinner BB- UGH, punch front dismount and she’s off immediately. Bhs to tuck full and she splits the beam and then poses I’M LITERALLY SCREAMING. Oh my GOD poor MyKayla but in a few years she’ll look back at that and be like “yeah I frigging OWNED that.” The rest is mostly good. Crashes tucked full dismount. Poor thing and she looks like she’s trying hard to not cry.

10:47 pm. Aly Raisman wins the silver medal in the all-around with a 121.1 total and a 60.65 all-around today!!! 15.3 on beam. OMG SHE’S SO PROUD OF HERSELF. Congrats between her and Laurie, silver and bronze medalists.

10:44 pm. Raisman BB- Punch front pike to wolf jump, solid bhs layout, switch to back tuck is so great, she’s really SO freaking confident now. Maybe she needed the past year to get her life together. She’s SO different now. Sissone to pike jump. Side aerial. Switch half. Punch front to split jump, super controlled full L turn to full pirouette. Patterson dismount with a tiny hop forward.

10:41 pm. Nichols UB- Toe full to Maloney to pak and she loses form there before her toe on, has to swing and tries the toe on again which she arches a bit before going back up to the high bar. Toe half is also full of issues before her Jaeger, late handstand before dismount, which is a stuck double layout. Well, that was a mess, to put it bluntly, but she kept getting it back under control so there’s that.

Gowey 57.1 AA for a 113.7 total, Hundley 14.75 on bars for a 57.7 and a 115.55 total.

10:39 pm. Kocian gets a 13.75 for her FTY vault for a 58.3 AA and a 116.45 total, a little over a point behind Gabby. Hundley 57.7 for a 115.55, Dowell 14.3 on floor for a 56.15 and a 112.35 total, Desiderio 55.3 AA for 111.4 total.

10:38 pm. Biles gets a 15.1 on beam for a 62.1 AA tonight, totaling a massive 125.0. For comparison, last year’s was 124.1.

10:36 pm. Biles BB- 2.5 wolf turn with a sliiiight loss of control at the end but she gets it back super quick. Hits jumps, Barani with a tiny bobble, bhs loso loso with a wobble, punch front to sissone. She will make this team if she gets a 4 on this event but I know she’s probably STILL pissed about those mistakes. Great switch to switch half to back tuck, tucked full-in loses steam and is a bit low forcing her to take a step and her face is like MURDER. “My legs are just so dead.” “It’s okay.” “It’s nooot. That was like the worst routine all week.”

Douglas 14.9 VT to finish with another 58.9, and a 117.8 total

10:35 pm. Douglas VT- Very nice DTY in the air with a big hop back. You can so tell the Amanar is coming. She’s so clean and the power is fab. Might as well wait and bring it all when you need it.

10:34 pm. Hernandez gets another 14.8 on floor to finish with a 60.05 today, and a 120.5 total.

10:30 pm. Hernandez FX- Double layout with slight leg sep and a hop back. Great work on double arabian to stag. Excellent front layout to front double full to front tuck. Lots of energy on her leaps, and obviously on her choreo, which she is selling the crap out of. Basically sticks the double tuck, a little deep in the knees but still great. Big smile at the end. Martha Karolyi’s like YAAAAS.

Baumann gets a 15.0 for her vault bringing her to a 58 AA for day two, and a 114.95 total. Trautman 108.9 total, Frazier 109.35, Gaskins 107.9.

10:27 pm. The podium is basically locked with Biles on top while Raisman and Hernandez will fight for silver. No one else can mathematically make the podium unless Raisman or Hernandez melts down. Raisman is a tenth ahead of Hernandez right now and has about a five-tenth edge on beam versus Hernandez’s floor. It’s gonna be close!

10:22 pm. After Seven Rotations

1. Simone Biles 109.9
2. Aly Raisman 105.8
3. Laurie Hernandez 105.7
4. Gabby Douglas 102.9
5. Madison Kocian 102.7
6. MyKayla Skinner 101.45
7. Amelia Hundley 100.8
8. Ragan Smith 100.1
9. Alyssa Baumann 99.95
10. Brenna Dowell 98.05
11. Christina Desiderio 97.95
12. Emily Schild 97.55
13. Lexy Ramler 96.55
14. Olivia Trautman 96.5
15. Maggie Musselman 95.05
16. Lauren Navarro 95.0
17. Abby Paulson 94.85
18. Margzetta Frazier 94.6
19. Emily Gaskins 94.4
20. Kaitlin DeGuzman 92.6
21. Ashton Locklear 45.75
22. Maggie Nichols 42.85
23. Nia Dennis 29.1

10:20 pm. Raisman gets 14.15 on bars, Douglas 14.45 on floor, Gowey 14.05 on beam, Dowell 12.5 on beam :(, Schild 14.75 on bars, and Smith’s beam score comes in as 15.0.

10:18 pm. Smith BB- Double wolf turn, switch leap to straddle jump, gorgeous bhs layout series, standing full with a wobble. Punch front tuck to sissone with a little hesitation on the landing, front toss to jump, sheep jump, and ALMOST STICKS THE PATTERSON DISMOUNT!!!!! That was great, and Kim loves it. Great comeback after bars.

10:17 pm. Raisman UB- Hop full, Maloney with leg sep to slow but nice Tkachev, Jaeger, toe-on to bail to stalder full to Ray, very nice for her. Toe half with ankle separation into a double front with a little bobble on the landing. Deep breath and then rolls her eyes a little after she comes off the podium, hahaha. Must be happy it’s over for two weeks.

10:15 pm. Douglas FX- Double arabian to stag to start off is good. Tucked full-in to back tuck is too far back and the back tuck punches out almost entirely out-of-bounds. Good connection though, but she’ll lose more for that mistake than she gains from the bonus. Stumbles around double L turn, but the Memmel before it was nice. Double pike is good. Double tuck into her jump to finish well. Coach FUEGO is there for a hug and some love. You can see in the slo-mo how rough her punch out of her full-in was…that could’ve been scary.

10:10 pm. Biles gets a 14.75 on bars, fair considering the mistake. Baumann 13.85 FX so I’m guessing she had a mistake there. Musselman 14.25 VT, Navarro 14.55 VT, Paulson 13.5 VT, Gaskins 12.1 UB, DeGuzman 13.6 VT

10:08 pm. Biles UB- Weiler half has a form break and she takes an extra swing, Maloney with slight leg sep, toe full to Tkachev, great handstand before her piked Tkachev to pak, toe shoot back to high, toe-on to full-in stuck. AWESOME recovery after that early blooper.

Kocian 14.6 FX, Trautman 14.75 VT, 15.3 Hernandez BB which I don’t understand because her night one routine was arguably better and scored the same.

10:06 pm. Hernandez BB- Punch front pike with a little stumble forward. Front aerial to sissone to split jump, great connections. Nice little bit of arm choreo before her bhs loso loso, which is solid. Full turn, sheep jump with a stumble. So far this is her weakest of the year…she’s usually rock solid and she’s had two little stumbles so far. Punch front, side aerial, both good. Switch to switch half with a little stumble. Switch ring is clean. Double pike with her chest low and a little bounce. Not her best but she’s still one of the top beam kids in the country.

Ramler 13.65 BB, Hundley 14.8 VT

10:05 pm. Locklear gets a 15.7, same as Kocian. To me, Kocian’s the clear pick.

10:02 pm. Locklear UB- Great first handstand into inbar full to Komova II to clean pak to Maloney to bail to Ray, all SUPER tight and clean. Inbar half to big Jaeger, fights for the landing on the full-in dismount. She is basically Russian.

9:56 pm. After Six Rotations

1. Simone Biles 95.15
2. Aly Raisman 91.65
3. Laurie Hernandez 90.4
4. Gabby Douglas 88.45
5. Madison Kocian 88.1
6. MyKayla Skinner 87.7
7. Rachel Gowey 86.25
8. Alyssa Baumann 86.1
9. Amelia Hundley 86.0
10. Brenna Dowell 85.55
11. Ragan Smith 85.1
12. Christina Desiderio 83.3
13. Lexy Ramler 82.9
14. Emily Schild 82.8
15. Emily Gaskins 82.3
16. Olivia Trautman 81.75
17. Abby Paulson 81.35
18. Maggie Musselman 80.8
19. Margzetta Frazier 80.65
20. Lauren Navarro 80.45
21. Kaitlin DeGuzman 79.0
22. Maggie Nichols 42.85
23. Ashton Locklear 30.05
24. Nia Dennis 29.1

9:54 pm. Dougie goes 15.05 for that beam and I’m OKAY WITH IT. All the points. Gowey gets 14.75 on bars, Ramler 13.65 UB, Paulson 14.15 FX.

9:51 pm. Douglas BB- Punch front pike with a slow connection up into her sissone. Clean bhs loso, very steady. Excellent standing full! Switch to switch half is also good, the tiniest little adjustment. Punch front tuck. This is a #RageBeam for sure after that bar routine. Slow and steady L turn. Good switch ring. Front aerial to split jump to pike jump, all good. Nails double pike dismount with a stick. Chest slightly down. She needs to be pissed off before every single routine for the rest of her life.

9:50 pm. Yay, Dowell got a 14.6 on bars. Not her best but glad to see she hit tonight after a mistake muscling up a handstand on night one. 14.15 for Hundley on floor.

9:47 pm. Raisman gets 15.5 on her Amanar! Nice. Hernandez gets 15.15 on bars, Ramler 13.65 UB, Schild 14.6 VT, Gaskins 14.65 VT, Trautman 14.4 FX (nice for her!), Frazier 12.3 BB, Navarro 13.5 FX, DeGuzman 13.25 FX.

9:46 pm. Raisman VT- Amanar, tucks her legs a bit in the second half while in the air, but a great landing. The fact that her vault looked the way it did at Jesolo and Pac Rims and looks like this now is insane. “That was good,” she says to Mihai when she comes off the table. He says “very good.”

Baumann BB- 14.7
Desiderio BB- 14.1

9:44 pm. Hernandez UB- Stalder full is a bit late into a stalder into a Chow into a Tkachev, good. Downie, Ricna to pak with leg separation on the latter, Endo half to Ray, full-in with a slight hop. She’s done this better but tonight did a great job of getting some tiny issues under control.

9:43 pm. Baumann BB- Excellent standing arabian. Front aerial to sissone is clean, solid bhs loso, switch to switch half is gorgeous, full turn, this is superb so far. As soon as I say that she has a form break on her switch ring and wobbles. Onodi with one bent knee, well-connected into her wolf jump though. Clean side aerial to split jump. Double pike with her chest down and a step. Mostly a great routine.

Kocian BB- 14.25

9:40 pm. Biles VT- Huge and GORGEOUS Amanar. Barely any movement on the landing. Aimee’s like here are some notes anyway even though if I were Aimee I’d just sit down and drink margaritas for the rest of my life. I’d be a horrible coach. In the slo-mo you can see the tiniest little hop on the landing but her form is PERFECT. I don’t think she even wraps her toes around each other anymore! 16.2!!!!!! Second vault is a Cheng, also huge and great, a little off to the side with her chest SLIGHTLY angled forward. 16.0 for the second vault for a 16.1 average which would’ve won worlds gold by like half a point. DAYUM.

Skinner got a 15.45 for her Amanar. 13.55 for Smith on bars.

9:38 pm. Smith UB- Great Jaeger, stalder to great handstand right into a Ricna, which is WAY too close and her hands miss. Kind of a hard fall. Inbar full to pak is good, Ray to high, stalder full to full-in with a hop but she looks unimpressed. I love Chris just picking her up like a baby and taking her off the podium.

9:37 pm. Skinner VT (cont)- 15.25 for Skinner’s Cheng, better than her night one score. Amanar is her second vault and it’s actually KINDA FREAKING GREAT. Just a small scoot on the landing, and she looked fab in the air.

9:36 pm. Skinner VT- Went for the Cheng first but it’s not her best. Form is clean but the block isn’t the greatest and she’s a little low, sliding back on the landing.

9:34 pm. Kind of a long wait between rotations but Simone Biles just nailed an Amanar in warm-ups. As if we should expect anything else.

9:31 pm. Nia Dennis got a 14.6 on bars! SO happy for her, coming in knowing she doesn’t have a shot on the team after her Achilles injury.

9:28 pm. After Five Rotations

1. Simone Biles 78.95
2. Aly Raisman 76.15
3. Laurie Hernandez 75.25
4. Madison Kocian 73.85
5. Gabby Douglas 73.4
6. MyKayla Skinner 72.45
7. Amelia Hundley 71.85
8. Ragan Smith 71.55
9. Rachel Gowey 71.5
10. Alyssa Baumann 71.4
11. Brenna Dowell 70.95
12. Lexy Ramler 69.25
13. Christina Desiderio 69.2
14. Margzetta Frazier 68.35
15. Emily Schild 68.2
16. Emily Gaskins 67.65
17. Maggie Musselman 67.45
18. Olivia Trautman 67.35
19. Abby Paulson 67.2
20. Lauren Navarro 66.95
21. Kaitlin DeGuzman 65.75
22. Maggie Nichols 42.85
23. Ashton Locklear 30.05
24. Nia Dennis 29.1

9:27 pm. 16.05 for Biles on floor. BLESS. Paulson gets 13.35 on beam, only Schild and Musselman left to go in this rotation.

9:23 pm. Biles FX- Full-twisting double layout with the tiniest of baby hops. Hits jumps nicely. Biles into a split jump, awesome. She barely has to try. Double wolf turn has nice control. Love the smile in her dance before her double double, which is almost stuck. Why isn’t the crowd freaking out at every second of this routine?! Tucked full-in with a slight hop back and then her signature ending pose. Fantastic. As always.

Baumann UB- 14.45
Hundley BB- 14.0
Gaskins FX- 13.9
Frazier UB- 12.95

9:21 pm. Baumann UB- I hope she hits tonight! Short handstand before Chow to pak, another good handstand before the toe full into her Maloney to bail (short) to Ray, good. Blind change to huge straddle Jaeger. She’s so good on this event when she’s hitting! Lovely double layout, stuck with her chest angled slightly forward. YAY ALYSSA!

9:19 pm. Some more scores…a 14.7 for Dowell on vault, 13.1 for Desiderio on bars, 12.5 for Trautman on beam, 13.85 for Navarro on beam, 13.3 for DeGuzman on beam. DeGuzman with five events is less than three points ahead of Biles with only four events.

9:18 pm. Hernandez gets a 14.8 on vault which is fair. Ramler got a 14.15 for her Yurchenko 1.5 vault. 14.9 for Skinner on floor and WE DIDN’T GET TO SEE IT. Her night one routine was really good…proud of her for keeping up this huge performance level and for making herself a contender when in 2012 you figured she’d probably just quit elite and go off to college. She’s come so far!

9:15 pm. Hernandez VT- DTY, good enough, block wasn’t great and there was some leg sep in the air, and it’s not a huge vault and she takes a step back.

I wish they were showing MyKayla Skinner on floor. 😦

Nichols BB- 14.35
Kocian UB- 15.7

9:13 pm. Kocian UB- Inbar full from a great handstand right into her Komova II to pak (ankle sep) to Chow half. Inbar half to straddle Jaeger is nice, great handstand before her stalder into her stalder full right into her full-in dismount, STUCK. Yeah, that was FANTASTIC.

9:12 pm. Living for this Rick Raisman cam and shoutout to lil bro in a Red Sox shirt even though the Red Sox are hurting my soul right now.

Aly gets a 15.7 for floor, her best since her comeback.

Smith VT- 14.7

9:10 pm. Raisman FX- This leo is perfect. Aly needs to design everything always. 1.5 through to double arabian to front layout is PERFECT. 2012 levels of glory. Great leap work and she hits her double L turn nicely. Dos Santos to stag is great. Double layout with a slight bounce back…leg form in the second layout could be tighter but that’s being picky. Double pike with a tiny bounce. Excellent.

9:06 pm. Nichols BB- 2.5 wolf turn is very steady. Front aerial + sissone + split jump is nicely connected. Great clean side somi. Wolf jump is really low into the front tuck but the connection is good. Just needs more height. Side aerial with a break at the hips and a wobble. Switch ring with a small check. Flight series is bhs + loso, not bad. Switch leap. Double pike with a step back. Not bad, but she’s not making the team for beam.

Gowey VT- 14.9
Douglas UB- 14.5

9:03 pm. Douglas UB- She looks GORGEOUS. Her hair!!! GORGEOUS. Great first handstand before inbar full to huge piked Tkachev to pak, YES!!! All connected. Inbar half to Endo half is crooked and she muscles up and has to regain her rhythm. Wow. Chow half, inbar, and a double layout with a tiny bounce. Damn, aside from the issue on the Endo that was a great routine.

8:58 pm. The seniors will begin right around 9 pm EST. After day one, ten-time world champion Simone Biles led with a 62.9 with 2012 Olympian Aly Raisman and first-year senior Laurie Hernandez tied in second at 60.45 while reigning Olympic all-around champion Gabby Douglas was fourth with a 58.9.

Tonight the seniors will fight not only for the podium, but for spots on the national team and at the Olympic Trials, coming up in San Jose from July 8-10. The top eight all-arounders will automatically qualify to trials, and the selection committee headed by Martha Karolyi will determine others who will join them. In 2012, 15 girls got the nod to go, but that was a year heavy with specialists so it could be a tighter group going this year.

Article by Lauren Hopkins

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115 thoughts on “The 2016 P&G Championships Senior Day Two Live Blog

    • In all honesty I am amazed every day at how dedicated Lauren is to all of us. I have participated in numerous other online forums big and small, and I have NEVER seen a moderator answer every single question s/he gets asked, without fail. Unbelievable. You truly have a lot to be proud of, Lauren. You run hands down the best gymnastics site on the web.

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  1. On Simone’s Amanar, I was honestly half expecting her to get a 10 e score. I was like, great landing, it’s a domestic competition, it’s the Olympic year, everyone’s just drooling over her at this point, we may legitimately see that happen.

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    • Yeah, I think it could at Trials. If she hadn’t hopped tonight, it would’ve been a 10 and I would’ve been PERFECTLY FINE WITH IT. If anyone deserves a 10 in this scoring system, it’s Simone.

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  2. Scoring all over the place tonight – Aly’s vault better than Mckayla? Umm, probably not. Good for Aly, but still. And Laurie 15.3 beam? She had so many balance checks and didn’t do all of her connections. Same with Gabby’s beam – not really a 15 beam in my opinion *sigh* But them they hammered Alyssa on her beam. Frustrating.

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    • At this point scoring is almost irrelevant because the team has been the same for months and likely won’t change unless someone manages to become a breakout star, which 99% isn’t going to happen. Would be nice to see it more even but no matter what the scores are, the rankings are typically accurate.

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    • I agree about Alyssa’s beam but disagree about Gabby’s beam. Gabby’s beam truly was phenomenal, and that’s about the only performance of hers all weekend I would say that about. I only saw twice so perhaps I missed something, but I counted two balance checks and otherwise form was quite good.

      Baumann should have scored better on beam in my opinion.

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  3. While I love Aly, when I compare her Amanar to Mykayla’s, I can’t help but feel that Aly is getting overscored. Mykayla’s form is substantially better in the air, and her landing tonight was better as well (it was comparable on night one). Yet she scored less than Aly on both nights. I really don’t understand how that is happening and find the inconsistency to be quite frustrating, particularly for Mykayla who is in a bigger dog fight for a spot than Aly is.

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    • yeah – I agreed with the scoring last night but it was a little off tonight – to be fair to Aly, her block is better and she gets more height and distance. But Skinner had a pretty nice vault – and while I don’t know if it should have been scored higher, Aly’s should have been lower.

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    • I think the domestic judges seem harsher on mykayla vault than internationals. I think her two vt are definitely competitive for podium, esp given the question status of paseka.

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      • Agree, and if this was a six-person team I’d take her just because she’d be basically automatically on the podium if she hit. But unfortunately she can’t really contribute anywhere else.

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  4. Is it creeping anyone else out how much Al is salivating over Laurie? 😂 maybe it’s just me but he calls her beautiful every five seconds

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      • @Melissa okay good haha… you could tell he wanted to say it all night and at the end he was finally just like “okay I gotta say it, she’s a beauty”

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        • Wasn’t it him or Tim who when she was a junior said something like “you have to see this girl move on floor?” I was like…horrified. Hahaha.

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      • I really wish they would replace Al – can we just have Evan and sam and nastia???? PLLLEEEAAASSEE! Maybe a little Tim for entertainment.

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      • @Lauren yes I remember that!! I actually remember it worse though, I think he said something like “when the dads see a 14 (13?) year-old move like this they’re going to go crazy” or something like that… I specifically remember the comment referenced dads which made it extra creepy

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      • The comments made about Laurie reminds me of the comments about Moceanu in Atlanta. If you go into the comment sections on Moceanus Olympic floor routines it’s horrifying considering the people watching are in their 20- 30s saying things like “i love seeing her shake her little butt” or stuff about boners, masturbation or things even more disturbing…. AND SHE WAS 14! I just really hope this doesn’t happen to Hernandez in the US or Saraiva in Brazil as a result of Rio.

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    • Clip of Tim saying gross stuff about Laurie is here at 58:27: https://youtu.be/GbUQwE9N3aM?list=PLJBt-Bl-D7nb8aNnKpgPmdlvypVH0aAA2

      He says “Okay, dads in the audience, she’s 13. And she dances like THAT.”

      Sexualizing a minor gymnast is one thing, but sexualizing a minor gymnast who is Latina, and thus part of an ethnic minority that is over-sexualized in the American media adds an extra layer of gross. And then there is making a comment that assumes that all middle-aged males watching are similarly sexualizing her, which just makes me want to throw things.

      And for all that, her dance seems pretty age-appropriate. Even if it wasn’t, it wouldn’t make his comments okay.

      I wish he had been made to apologize, at the very least.

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      • nah…he’s not the only one with that type of reaction. i remember the behind the routine where magey haney said a judge once criticized her by saying that laurie danced like she was at a club. i think i saw a video of laurie competing when she was younger and MLT’s reaction to her dance was this awkward smile, like “what is she doing?” obviously a lot of people, including myself, really like her dance; but that type of reaction isn’t unique to tim or al.

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      • @Gym Casual I can’t speak to everyone else, but my comment was more about Al and Tim raving about her body and her appearance over and over again. And what Tim said about her wasn’t “her dance is over the top” it was like inviting men to sexualize her. I just don’t like that in the coverage this weekend Al was commenting so much on her body and her face rather than her talent and athleticism, it just made me feel icky listening to the way he was talking about a 16-year-old :/

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  5. Did you see stupid Inside Gymnastics tweeted Ashton that her beam basically will keep her out of Trials?? WHAT? Even if you think that – why tweet the athlete? They’re supposed to be a professional organization. Unbelievable. Thank you for your consistent coverage of athletes that is super respectful. THAT is why I follow you and appreciate you. (For many other things like your crazy quickness and attention to detail – but you know what I mean.)

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  6. Now let´s talk about inflation. We all know things use to be different in an international field… By the way Douglas getting a 15 for that beam, c´mon. Sometimes I just thing they (the judges /the media/ whoever manipulates the scoring in the USA gymnastics) want to get people into thinking they (the gymnasts) are all that good when they actually are not. I don´t know. Scoring may
    be quite subjective in gymnastics but not that much to get to point where Raisman tops Skinner on vault. Please give me a break. Are they trying to favour someone? Just thinking…

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    • It doesn’t matter if they favor or not…the scores are within tenths of where they should be and the rankings are right. They’ve had the team they want in Rio in mind for months. Nothing at nationals is going to change it. It’s like 5% about scores and 95% about who fits the team and how they compete. Skinner could’ve gotten a 16.3 for her Amanar and still not made the team.

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    • In fact, when they make teams, they don’t even look at scores because scores are subjective. They look at rankings. Skinner sometimes is a better vaulter than Raisman, sometimes not. They go back and forth. But Skinner wouldn’t contribute anywhere else on the team except MAYBE floor, and Raisman will contribute on BB/FX as a #2 option for both.

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  7. My team is the exact top 5 AA. Easy decision. Everything is covered including back ups on all events. Alt should include locklear, Nichols, and skinner. If anyone completely melt downs or injured somewhere, those 3 alternates will cover pretty much everything.

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  8. Honest question here – what if Gabby does not get herself together by trials? I’m not saying she was terrible here, just not really good either and not putting up scores that would contribute anywhere, except maybe bars. I am not counting her beam because it was not a 15 routine. Do you think there is any chance that Marta doesn’t take her? Or does she just put her on the team and hope that come August she can perform?

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    • I was going to ask the same thing as J. I think Gabby is consistent but she is not top 3 of any of the events and AA only require 2 people. Laurie seems obvious choice over Gabby even if AA allow 3. Bars/Beams usually the reason why Gabby is selected but not so much this year. If team USA needs power for bars/beam, wouldn’t they pick Locklear (bars) or even Ragan?

      Also i want to ask, do you think it is safe to say that Gowey is at best selected as “alternate”?

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      • Considering Gabby beat Ragan on beam this competition, and then fell on bars, I’m not really sure what the impetus for taking Ragan is anymore. I think it’s safe to say Ragan is not going to be on the team after her performance this week.

        The trouble is that the US needs not one but two bars routines in addition to Hernandez. That’s why I have trouble seeing Gabby not making the team unless she falls off bars.

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      • I agree. After last night, I don’t see her contributing in the team finals anywhere except maybe bars. Beam and floor seem obvious to me – Simone, Aly, Laurie. They could use her on bars, but could just as well go with Simone, Laurie, and a bars specialist if need be. And unless she gets her amanar back, they’re not going to use her on vault – I see Simone, Aly, and I guess Laurie, considering Laurie scored better than Gabby at P & Gs. If they don’t plan on using her for vault, I don’t see the point of putting her on the team just for bars in team finals – they might as well pick two bars specialists if they’re going to do that.

        In prelims, it makes the most sense to me to do Biles, Hernandez, and Raisman for AA, with a bars specialist and someone doing VT, B, and BB. Gabby would fit in well there to do those three events in prelims, but in terms of team finals the US would score higher if they went with two bars specialists. Especially because Kocian does AA and could fill that gap in prelims. However, if she gets her amanar back, I think she’s a lock…

        I highly doubt she won’t make the team though – Marta seems to have a soft spot for her, from what I’ve heard and seen in interviews.

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  9. Gabby should have stuck with Chow, Skinner made me want to cry (Dowell too)
    Final thought, I pray Simone stays healthy, because I am not as impressed this quad as I was last. London team was perfection…Rio…..eh….China could take it.

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    • That’s patently absurd. The US would beat China even without Simone. With Simone, there’s no doubt. The Chinese are weaker on every event but bars, and the US might even beat them on bars if you look at the best scores of the year. It’s not even remotely close on floor or vault. It could in theory be close on beam, but the Chinese haven’t stayed on beam in international competitions for years, so realistically, the US should dominate beam too. If the US wins by anything less than 5 points, it will be a shock.

      Even with the devaluation of the Amanar, this US team is likely to score higher than London.

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      • the Chinese are going into the Olympics with the highest D score. but we know they are inconsistent don’t forget 2008.

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      • No the Chinese aren’t going in with the highest D scores. I already debunked this myth on flo gymnastics. Us has between .8 and 1.3 depending on if they have a third Amanar or not.

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  10. I think Maggie and Gabby are fighting for the same spot. Right now, I have a hard time seeing Gabby losing her spot. If Maggie absolutely kills it at trials, then I can see Maggie taking Gabby’s spot (maybe). Laurie is practically a lock at this point, and she offers a very TF-worthy bar set. So, the TF bars will be: Laurie, Maggie/Gabby, Madison/Ashton (probably Madison).

    Therefore, Gabby’s bars are not as important as they were in past years. Also, I think Maggie’s generally stronger on beam and floor than Gabby.

    Of all the girls at Nationals, I am most disappointed in Brenna’s performance. She seems like a gymnast who can win every practice, but will melt during competitions. I love her routines and I applaud her willingness to try new moves. She needs to get mentally tough. I hope her time back at Oklahoma will teach her how to compete. It’s almost like she wants it too much and puts too much pressure on herself.

    Team:
    Simone
    Aly
    Laurie
    Gabby/Maggie
    Madison

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    • Maggie’s bar routine has a 5.8 start value, and her execution is sub-optimal. They would use Simone over Maggie in TF if they are smart. I have been saying for weeks that the only way Maggie gets on the team is if she has an Amanar that is 15.5 or better and a floor that consistently is scoring over 15, AND Gabby needs to not have an Amanar. If any of those three conditions does not hold true, Maggie isn’t going to Rio. Gabby throwing the Amanar looks less and less likely by the day.

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      • I agree with you on Maggie, but I still don’t see why everyone still thinks Gabby is a lock. Her only contribution in TF would be on bars, and if you’re only going to use her there, you might as well just send Ashton and Madison. And in terms of prelims – in my opinion, it should be Simone, Aly, and Laurie vying for that all around.

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      • Maggie’s bars usually has a 6.0 start value. She missed a connection on Day 2. Simone should not have to do bars in TF. She should save some energy for AA finals. I agree that since Gabby is better than Maggie on bars, Maggie has to prove herself better than Gabby on floor and vault. Maggie was able to prove this in 2015, but we’ll see what happens at Trials.

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      • Marta stated that where Maggie has to prove herself is on floor and vault. If she is up to her old level after the injury her chances are better.

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  11. Can yall PLEASE get over it!? Unless Gabby has a meltdown like Atler ’00 at trials, BOTH nights, she is going to Rio. She’s the reigning Oly AA champ/worlds silver medalist, and she’s a great gymnast who won 2 AA comps earlier this year.

    Ppl won’t stop hating on this girl until she mails Komova her AA gold n apologizes to Jordyn Weiber for ‘stealing her spot’.

    Ppl are sitting there w their clip boards trying to find any and every reason to dog her. Meanwhile, Aly has spent the entire last year having issues, does an almost tucked Amanar every time yet, no witch hunt. (Im all for Aly also being on the team, but my point is my point).

    People are pathetically see through. Thank God Simone is as undeniable as she is, because, otherwise, I have a strong feeling she wouldn’t be quite as..um..’popular’.

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    • I both agree and disagree with you. I genuinely don’t understand how anyone can root AGAINST Gabby – or any of the girls, for that matter. When we’re debating about who belongs on the team, we can’t ever lose sight of the fact that they all work SO hard for this, that they’re unbelievably talented, and that they each bring something unique to the table.
      In Gabby’s case, I think her comeback has been stunning, and I’ve always loved her gymnastics (aside from her dance on floor, but no gymnast is perfect and fans can always find something to criticize). When 5 girls are officially chosen for the team, I won’t understand if everyone isn’t happy for those 5, even if they’re not the 5 some fans would’ve picked.
      But that’s the issue – it’s a 5-person team. So even though a lot of people like Gabby’s gymnastics, it’s natural that many wouldn’t have her in their top 5 favorites. Beyond that, there are legitimate arguments to be made for other girls being on the team over her. Of who I see as the “locks” at this point (Simone, Aly, Laurie, and Gabby), Gabby is the one that contributes the least in a 3-up 3-count situation. I think it’s fair to support other gymnasts if you think they could bring more to a team than Gabby. Disagreement is healthy when it’s respectful.
      When it’s not, and people say that Gabby doesn’t “deserve” what she’s earned, or when people make the fight for this team into a personality contest – that’s when your comment about a “witch hunt” becomes valid.

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    • I think that it’s kind of stupid that everyone jumped off the Gabby bandwagon after one off competition. But the team is so tight that a single bad competition from Gabby and one more hit competition from Aly and Laurie really could leave Gabby without an AA spot. I think that the only way Gabby won’t make the team is if she melts down at trials. But not being an AA at Rio is looking like it can be a reality if she competes the same way at Trials, she’s out, especially since it’s so late in the season. With her scores here, she would still be behind Laurie by a pretty good margin even had she done the Amanar with the same execution both nights. For the Olympic team, she’s pretty much in unless Nichols somehow gets better than her at bars in two weeks which isn’t going to happen.

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      • Yeah I think you hit the nail on the head, tbh. Gabby is someone who can consistently score above a 15 on bars while also scoring above a 15 on vault. She’s the only gymnast in the US who can do that right now. Amazingly, vault is relatively weak for the US this year. Between Aly, Simone and Laurie, we have the top 3 beam and floor routines available to us. However, we have only 2 vaults (and Aly’s is middling, to be honest, by US standards) and only 1 bar routine. That’s why we need 1 bar specialist and 1 person who can do bar/vault. While Gabby is not top 3 on any event, including bars, I believe she has the highest average score across bars and vault, which is why I think she’s a lock.

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      • However, at this point, I really don’t know if she will do AA. It would be tough to leave Aly out of the AA if she outscores Gabby at trials. The tough part is, you know Gabby, Aly, Laurie and Simone are going up on vault, beam and floor. As for UB, Simone is up, obviously, and the bar specialist is going up to get into event finals. That leaves two between Gabby, Aly, and Laurie. Gabby’s bars have historically been better than Laurie’s, and Gabby could in theory make event finals. Aly would be the obvious person to not go up, but again, if she is second for two consecutive meets, she is going up. So do they leave out Gabby and deny her the one chance she has of making an individual final, or do they leave out Laurie? It’s a tough decision.

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      • @MathewBoyle but why put Gabby on bars to make the event final, when she honestly does not have a chance of making podium?
        Laurie’s vaults are of about the same caliber as Gabby’s, so I disagree with you there too. At this point I do think that her place on the team is inevitable, but I hope she can get her amanar vault so she will be more useful than just one or two tenths of bars.

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      • @LM, I don’t think she doesn’t stand a chance. People keep talking like that, but the US has 3 of the top 4 bars scores of the year. I know everyone will whine about domestic vs international judging, but the reality is the Chinese and Russians aren’t very good anymore. I think the US could get gold and silver on bars, hypothetically.

        Also, Gabby’s vaults are better than Laurie’s, typically. We’ll see come trials, but Gabby was over 15 on every vault this year before nationals, while Laurie was never over 15 before nationals. I still have Gabby in the lead off vault position on vault for now.

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    • No one is on a witch hunt to get Gabby. The facts are that she finished fourth at Nationals and didn’t win any National titles. Therefore, she’s made herself a little vulnerable in the selection process. Stating her Nationals ranking and scores is not “hating” on her. In the U.S., past accomplishments mean nothing when selecting a future team.

      For Rio, I think the only locks are the top three AA’ers after Nationals and Trials. I love Gabby and would love to see her on the team. Her Nationals performance has not sealed the deal. But it also didn’t knock her out of contention like it did Brenna, Alyssa and Ragan.

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      • There are most definitely people on a witch hunt for Gabby. This board is generally respectful, but others aren’t. People do say she doesn’t work as hard and doesn’t “deserve” to go. Both of those types of comments I think qualify as witch hunting. Also, when people say absurd things like Ragan should go over Gabby, which does happen on this board, it is hard to see it as anything other than witch hunting. Ragan screwed up beam, fell off bars, and butchered her floor routine. At the end of the day, what’s the argument for taking someone other than Gabby? Simone, Laurie and Aly were top 3 on floor and beam, so there goes the argument for Ragan or Alyssa. Again, the spots to fill for the team are on bars and vault. Madison and Ashton are the only two better than Gabby on bars. Maybe you could argue both should go over Gabby. That’s a valid argument. I happen to think Martha isn’t going to take two bars specialists, and Lauren seems to think she’s not going to take any, but it’s at least a valid argument. McKayla Skinner has the Amanar and Cheng, so maybe you can argue for her and just “settle” for Simone’s bars in TF. That’s a valid argument. As far as I can tell, however, there isn’t a rational argument for taking anyone other than Ashton and McKayla over Gabby at this point.

        Now, if Maggie comes back with an Amanar and a 15.0 floor routine at trials, then yes, that’s a valid argument. However, it isn’t valid, in my opinion, to just assume Maggie is going to have those things. Quite frankly, I thought she looked pretty shaky at Nationals and was far from what I was expecting.

        I would say the most likely scenario that leaves Gabby off the team is that she repeats her bars and vault performance from nationals at trials, and Maggie nails two Amanars and two 15.0+ floor routines. If that happened, it would be hard not to take Maggie, as she would be used on 2 events, while Gabby conceivably wouldn’t even beat Simone for the third bar spot.

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      • I stand by my comment. Ppl have felt like she didn’t ‘deserve’ it because she beat ballerina Komova, and reigning world AA champ Weiber, ‘robbing her’ of her shot at the Oly AA.

        She could go out and get perfect scores both nights at trials, and you will still have ppl all over these forums/youtube claiming how she’s still _____ , or radio silence from those who can’t bring themselves to say anything positive about the girl.

        The coldest reception of an Oly AA champion I’ve ever seen. I swear, she’d have half the critics if she had won the silver in London.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I know that people cannot forgive Gabby for out-executing Komova in 2012. That’s a different witch hunt than saying Gabby is on the bubble for the 2016 US Olympic team.

      We should be specific about what witch hunt is at issue. I’m not focused on 2012 at all (Gabby won the Olympic AA fairly and deservedly). I’m focused on Gabby’s slightly vulnerable position for the 2016 team. It’s not “hating” on Gabby to say that she hasn’t made herself a lock for the 2016 team, yet. That’s all.

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    • At the moment, Gabby is a bit of an anomaly. It’s nearly impossible to imagine them leaving her behind … but you also can’t make an easy by-the-numbers argument for her. (Whereas Aly was top three on three events, which takes out the guesswork.)

      I doubt most people think she won’t go. It’s more that she could remove all doubt from the situation, and make a case that has nothing to do with past results, by rocking bars and maybe throwing an Amanar.

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      • I started this post to try and show that you could make the argument, but you’re right. You can’t. The team should be Aly, Simone, Laurie, Madison, and either Maggie or Ashton, if Martha went strictly by the numbers. Ultimately, between Aly, Simone and Laurie, the only “must remove” routine is Aly’s bars, which you remove by adding Madison. Once you do that, your lowest scores on each event are 14.8 (vault and floor), 15.0 (bars), and 15.1 (beam). No one has averaged over a 15.1 this year on beam other than the three locks (Aly, Simone, Laurie). Gabby would add 2/10 on vault and 1/10 on beam (including her disaster night 2 performance), for a total of 3/10. Taking the American Cup result, Maggie would add 2/10 on vault and 4/10 on floor, for a total of 6/10. Ashton would also add 6/10 on beam, but Maggie gets the edge for being able to fill in on any event if needed. If Maggie doesn’t come back to full strength at trials, then it still makes sense to take Ashton’s 6/10 on beam over Gabby’s additions. I don’t think Martha will do that, but the logical team would be Aly, Simone, Laurie, Ashton, and Madison. For Gabby to win by the numbers, she either needs to bring back her Amanar or average better than 15.4 on bars at Classics.

        Now, realistically, I don’t think Martha’s going to take Ashton over Gabby, so if Maggie isn’t healthy, Gabby is on no matter what she does. However, it doesn’t logically make sense to do that unless Gabby can be counted on to score 15.4+ on bars and 15.1+ on vault.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. I think the three top-ranked gymnasts after Nationals and Trials deserve to try and qualify for AA finals in Rio. The fourth ranked all-arounder should fill in as best she can. That means on bars:

    Simone
    2nd ranked AA person
    3rd ranked AA person
    bars specialist

    I think everyone agrees that the US has the top 4 AA’ers in the world right now. No matter what happens, a top ranked AA’er will not be able to try to qualify for AA finals. And another top AA’er will be two-per’ed out of AA finals. Those are the unfortunate facts. But think about it this way…other countries would love to have the debate we’re having. Russia is trying to come up with two AA’ers who can reliably stay on all apparatuses.

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  13. Amelia Hundley is quite a surprise for me. I remember her finishing forth in the AA final at the Panam last year after being first in qualifying. I don’t know… Things always ends short for her. The US team can’t rely on her to do little things like getting a medal at the Panam’s AA imagine an olympic medal. She does good sometimes but I don’t see her anywhere in the US Olympic team.

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  14. I have not been on team Kocian/Locklear because I want there to be space for Maggie or Mykayla after the 4 girls who seem almost certain to go, but after Nationals I think Kocian has me convinced she should be on the team. I am still super sad about Maggie having so little time to come back from her injury, though.

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  15. Greetings everyone. I’m a frequenter of this blog (bless you Laura for being meticulous on your coverage, civil & non-discriminating to gymnasts, responsive to us your readers). I myself am proud of our U.S. women (& men’s) teams. IMHO, gabby gets a lot of flak partly not only because she has a confident self esteem, maybe because she’s black, & significantly b/c of her media hungry mother. It’s a shame she’s presently one of the least appreciated OLY AA champ. Her detractors forget her results were based on judges’ collective hands. Her worlds AA, Scam, & Jesolo results speak of some consistency and competency in her. OTOH, if she performs at Trials to the same degree as Nats and Oly team camp & MArta still includes on the team, then Gabby’s detractors/naysayers/witch hunters’ collective heads will explode . In the case Maggie and Madison/Ashton outperform her, there’s valid argument for Gabby to be excluded. But you have to admit she fought to keep her routine errors to as few as she could and her day 1 FX & day 2 BB routines show she’s committed to her training and not relying on her Oly AA & Marta’s pet status.

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    • And thank you Vin for calling out some of the realities of this discussion. I’m also a frequenter, I’m a mom (still cool ?) and have lived long enough to understand a few things about people. Gabby was awesome in ’12, people loved her (me too) and imo, anyone who accused her of “stealing Jordyn’s gold” were in the ridiculous minority. Once she decided to return for ’15-’16, her public stock took a plunge when she ultimately left Chow’s. Athletes should be able to change coaches, yes, but when you have the combined effect of leaving a coach that fans rather love and respect – and the emergence of the public seeing a mother who is pursuing money via her daughter’s celebrity – unfortunately sends an athlete’s public stock down even more. That doesn’t make Gabby’s family bad people and the public doesn’t have to agree with it. Cutting to the chase – and here’s what I think may be happening to Gabby now – gymnastics is obviously tying her to her family in an unhealthy way. Her success brings her family money and vice versa, of course. She’s 20 years old, the important life milestone at this age of emerging from your family into your own person is being manipulated and/or stunted. I don’t think she’s in control of her life much at all. Fans say she doesn’t smile, she told nbc that she doesn’t “quite feel mentally ready”. Who really would? There’s a great deal of pressure and internal conflict going on imo and that’s the “inconsistent” Gabby we’re seeing now. Disagreements welcome, but that’s my two cents. Fast forward 10 years and I think we’re going to see a lovely and successful woman.

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      • completely agree! I think that’s the difference we see between Aly and Gabby – they have both made amazing comebacks to arguably the hardest sport to come back to – it’s just Aly has a very different family dynamic, trains at home, doesn’t feel the same obligations. Aly’s path since London was totally different and she’s back with Mihai who is very good at mental aspect of this sport. Athlete’s should absolutely be able to switch gyms and coaches to suit them, but there’s something to be said about being with a coach or gym that knows you….know’s how to push you…..know’s how you excel…and when you don’t have that, and you have outside pressure, it can be extremely hard. I don’t know what Gabby’s true motivation to come back – to prove to herself, to prove to others, to win again….regardless, I hope she’s doing it for her and not to prove stupid haters wrong. Because she is an amazing gymnast and I think once her heart feels it, she will get that confidence back.

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  16. What about a team – Simone, Aly, Laurie, Madison and Mykayla? Tree all arounders plus 2 specialists (where Madison can jump in anywhere in case of an injury?)

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    • They aren’t going to leave Gabby off the team for McKayla Skinner. McKayla has averaged only a couple tenths higher than Gabby on vault so far this year, which Gabby more than makes up for on bars. Your team would be weak on bars. Assuming Laurie, Simone and Aly are in, as it appears after classics, your holes are

      1 person who can do bars only
      1 person who can do bars and vault OR 1 person who can score at least a 15.4 on vault AND a 15.1 on floor

      Really, Maggie Nichols is the only realistic alternative to Gabby, and I get the sense from Martha that she’s taking Gabby anyway, and it’s the bars specialist who would be left out if Maggie makes her way in.

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      • and from the ways things are looking, I am not sure if Maggie will be able to displace Kocian at this point bc she would have to score 15+ on bars as well as getting her amanar back and scoring 15+ on fx… if she is on the team, she would also have to get a better score on bars than simone since she would have to do ub also in TF…

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  17. Reading some of you, from Europe (France), is so funny : so much patriotism and self congratulations. Simone is obviously above the world. Aly and Laurie are SO overscored (E and D-scored) ! I don’t think they are better than chinese or russian girls (wait and see, it won’t be long).
    Sorry but everyone doesn’t agree they US have the top AAers in the world !

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    • I was going to write a long reply, but I think the results speak for themselves. The only non-US gymnast who has pushed the Americans for silver in all around has been Larissa, who probably isn’t even going to Rio. The other gymnasts have obvious weaknesses. Shang Chungsong has a crappy vault. Aliya currently has the floor routine of a US junior. Maybe she will upgrade. I do like Aliya a lot and wish her the best.

      However, it is rather nasty of you to get on this blog and essentially chalk up all our thoughts to patriotism and self-congratulations when we have the reigning silver medalist and are the only country to have put up 60+ scores in AA this year. It is fine to disagree, but don’t act like it’s based in fantasy when in fact it is based on actual scores.

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      • That’s not entirely true. Shang Chungsong posted a 60+ at Chinese nationals, a meet that usually scores about the same as international meets. And I think she hasn’t peaked yet. After 2014 worlds, she has just been getting better and better and I think by Rio is when she’ll be getting in the neighborhood of what she can do at her peak. Do I think she’s going to bust out a 1.5 or DTY? Sadly, I doubt it (though I would love it if she surprised me like Saraiva did). But the highest d scores she’s gotten on the other events are a 6.9 bars, 6.8 beam and 6.7 floor. So she gets as close as anyone’s gotten to Simone in AA d score, with Aly coming in about the same. And Shang is actually cleaning up exponentially. While vault hasn’t really improved that much her bars have managed 15.5, her beam has gotten up to 15.6 and her floor had gotten up to 15.1. And if you add that to a 14 vault she’s at an AA 66.2. I really think she can slip into a silver medal and in position for attack if Simone falters. I think Shangs biggest shot for gold is beam. She does the 6.8 pretty clean and if she brings back the Korbut out of her front tuck she’s at a 6.9. Aliya is a huge question mark, her beam and bars are in the right place (upgrades for sure on those events according to her) and Starkin said they were going to see if they can bring back her Amanar and an amped up floor routine after worlds but I doing it. I think if she can hit all her spins than she can do really well (her Euros PT d score was a potential 5.7). I think she should do 3 tumbling passes she did in Nanning and work on the Semenova to Memmel Combo in addition to the double L turn. I don’t know how much that would lift her d score but her floor at 2014 worlds EF was a 6.2 without the two spins she’s added since then, so I wouldn’t count her out of a 60 score either.

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      • Shang got a 59.2 once you take out all the domestic bonuses. She hit all Her routines that day too. Also 15.5+15.6+15.1+14=60.2, still below Simone’s lowest ever international all around scores. Also lower than Aly, Gaby, and Laurie’s best scores this year.

        I understand people’s desire to create competition but the reality is there isn’t much evidence of competition. It is conceivable that Shang busts out all these great routines and takes silver, but any American would be favored over her

        Beam gold is more realistic but Simone still wins if she hits. It’s just not a lock the way vault, floor, and AA are.

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      • Im not trying to say that a 60.2 from anyone going to come in near Simone. Simone can fall and still win, even if by a small margin. I just think that a 60+ score that Shang, and many US gymnasts are capable of can challenge with mistakes from Simone. I would love to see a competition at the top even if Simone is clean but unfortunately, it’s no longer plausible. I know that Shang (and all the gymnasts) got bonuses of a point or over in the all around, but if you look at last years competition all the girls scored generally higher at worlds with the same d scores, even with the domestic bonuses so I’m going to assume the scores were accurate and they looked pretty accurate to me. I wouldn’t say Simone is necessarily a lock on beam for gold if she hits. She’s definitely the champion barring disaster on vault, all around, floor and obviously team, and I’m not trying to die play get beam either. I mean certainly a silver and at least a bronze but there are multiple girls who are around her level. Sanne Wevers is looking like an excellent dark horse. When clean she gets an 8.8 to 9 and if you combine that with her so far highest 6.6 d score she can drfinitley win. Shang has a 6.8 and could go to 6.9, and she’s gotten 8.6 to 8.7 before in e score. If Iordache is healthy she can scored well above mid 15s and if Aliya adds back her standing Arabian and gets all her connection values, she’ll be in the same position as Sanne at a 6.6 with potential of getting around a 9 execution. Simone has a 6.8 if she hits, but has never gotten a 9 or above at a fairly scored competition. Sure, Aliya and Iordache are “what ifs” on beam, but Sanne and Shang have both done what I’ve listed. So while Simone is the favorite for the beam title, I wouldn’t call her a lock.

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      • The results will happen in Rio and we will see. Just remember that Aly didn’t qualify for the AA in Glasgow and was not on the podium in London. Laurie has just never compete in an international senior competition (Jesolo is a USA-Italian competition). Her UB and floor were massively overscored in PG. Gabby is not so good strong and perfect than she was in Glasgow. In the other hand, Shang and Steingruber look very strong. English girls and Saraiva keep upgrading. Melnikova and Mustafina were not in Glasglow (Melnikova D-scores are the same, or even a bit higher, than Hernandez).
        So, in no way there are four superstrong US gymnasts at the top of the world and nothing around. There is one superstrong gymnast and 8 or 9 girls, from different countries, who will compete -on near equal terms- for silver and bronze.

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  18. I dont think Gabby will be left off the team. Its more to it then just making it to RIO. My thing is I think she will def struggle to get into that AA spot. If and when she makes it to RIO, and she doesn’t make the AA final, it will be a big story… I can already see it now.

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  19. I am starting to feel for Gabby. She is not my favourite gymnast but that does not give me the prerogative to defame her for every single mistake that she commits. After all she is still a human and has emotions. No matter how much I dislike her demeanour, and putting controversies aside, I only care about her gymnastics and the US team more than anything else. She needs to regain what ever she needs to in order to compete for the US to the best of her ability so she can help the team win its second consecutive team title. Her routines are still valuable to the team and she can technically be used for any event as an anchor.

    If everyone is healthy my team is Aly, Simone, Laurie, Gabby and Madison. Unless Maggie Nichols gets back to her form last year her chances are really really slim. Madison will certainly be used in the qualifications and so only three girls can fight for the AA spots. I just hope that Marta will choose properly who these three will be.

    It is becoming more apparent that Gabby’s AA spot is not as secure as it was in 2012 however all her routines are still more than good enough to be used in the team finals. So she has to be in the team, period. Even though I would personally prefer someone else (Ragan). Can we all just refrain now from bashing any of them? Our words can be detrimental to their psychological being and in extension to their performances during the Olympics.

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  20. I’ve been visiting your site regularly for a while, and I have to tell you, I’m hugely impressed. Not just by your incredible breadth of knowledge, not just by your engaging and gently humourous writing style, not just by your ridiculously fast and accurate live-blogging ability, but most of all for the respect you ALWAYS show for the gymnasts you write about. There are other places out there on the internet whether the level of contempt and twisted conspiracy-theorising about gymnasts is quite disturbing – especially when its targets are only teenagers, for the most part – and says far more about the people making those kinds of comments than the gymnasts they’re commenting about. I love that you bring an expert/critical eye to gymnastics, but are never jaded or cynical. You’re doing a pretty amazing job here. I’ve just made a PayPal donation, with thanks.

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    • Thank you so much! It’s truly appreciated, your donation and most importantly your kind words! Whenever I write anything the first thing I think of is “the gymnasts and their parents could read this” and I’d never want them to see something hurtful…there’s definitely a way to talk about bad skills/routines without being demeaning to the athlete as a person but too often, criticism becomes more rude than snarky. I’m grateful you noticed that I try to stay away from that, and thank you again!

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  21. Does anyone with an *international eye* have a gauge of what you think Aly might score with that Amanar/Beam (and even her bars) at the actual Olympics, I love Aly Raisman, but I feel like the US Judging system really rewards her poor form, and the international judges do not. The only score of Aly’s I think will translate at the Olympics is her floor.

    I can’t see her getting that second all-around spot, so if I had to work off of the results from National’s, I definitely think it’s Laurie + Simone going in.

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    • Actually, in 2012 Aly received higher scores at the Olympic Games than she did at home. When comparing all domestic vs international scores for 2011 and 2012, Aly was earning almost exactly the same scores between the two, and internationally her bars scores were higher than they were domestically on average…including at worlds and the Olympics for hit routines.

      Her bars will most likely score a 14.1-14.3 for a hit routine. That’s her bars bubble and she’ll likely remain in that bubble. At 2015 worlds with a fall, she had a 13.066, so a hit routine was looking to be at least 14.066, and possibly a tiny bit higher. In Rio, it’s safe to say that a hit routine will get at least a 14.1.

      On beam, the reasons she had so many issues last year at worlds was because of her connections…she went in expecting a 6.3-6.5 – which is what the U.S. domestic meets were rewarding her with when she went for everything – but she only got a 5.8 in quals because she didn’t hit anything. Now, she has restructured her routine and is showing confidence on her connections. She’s getting a 6.5 at home and I think she’ll get a 6.3 at the Olympics because I doubt they’ll give her layout an E, even if it is looking better. They’ll downgrade to a D and she’ll lose the CV tenth. Her e-scores realistically will be around 8.2-8.6, give or take, for a clean routine, giving her about a 14.5-14.9 or so.

      Her Amanar…based on how others with similar form have done internationally this quad, I’d say around a 9.0-9.2 e-score isn’t far off, so a 15.3-15.5 if she lands well (which she’s been doing since classics). She got a 15.133 last year with at least 0.3 off for the landing (probably more, I’m going by memory) so a better landing this year would get her to about a 15.3-15.5 for sure, which isn’t that far off compared to how she’s doing at home.

      Laurie is actually pretty overscored domestically as well, so it’s really not just Aly. Watch Laurie and Brenna’s DTYs back to back from day two. Brenna got a lower score than Laurie despite Laurie not getting a block at all (her elbows were so bent, her shoulders nearly brushed the table) and almost not getting it fully around. She’s lucky she twists quickly because that could’ve been disastrous. And yet, a 9.0 e-score. Her day two bars and beam scores were actually pretty questionable as well, especially her beam given that several noticeable stumbles still gave her an 8.9 D. It’ll be close between the two if they both go up in AA in qualifications…but really, Aly is not the only girl getting some domestic love from the judges this year. Pretty much everyone in the top group is.

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  22. I think the people who are for sure in the olympics are (if they stay healthy) Simone, Laurie, Aly. Possibly Madison, Ashton, Maggie, Gabby.

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  23. As someone who doesn’t have Gabby on her hypothetical team, I just kind of want to address this whole conversation about how everyone who doesn’t have her as an Olympic pick is just a hater. There are definitely a fair share of idiots out there who just don’t support her because she beat My Favorite in London, but as for myself, I have been supporting both Gabby and Aly throughout their comebacks and defended Gabby multiple times to haters, and I know that’s not just true of me for those who don’t think she’s a great fit for the team.

    Because that’s all it comes down to in my mind: she’s not a good fit. She’s currently being easily outstripped as an AAer, so she doesn’t have automatic berthing rights for that at this point, and her scores on individual events aren’t enough to make her a lineup favorite anywhere but bars, which in my mind just doesn’t necessarily justify her. Assuming Maggie has her vault and floor back strong at Trials, which yes, I know, we don’t know for certain yet, but at this point everything is still hypothetical, I just think it makes way more sense to send someone who can contribute on multiple events than to send someone for one event where she’s not even always in the top three. Gabby is a great gymnast, yes, but she’s competing with other great gymnasts, and has a way better shot than some great gymnasts- I mean, how much do you think Russia would love to have Alyssa right now with their beam lineup in crisis? If Gabby brings the rumored Amanar to Trials and they’re secure, then yes, 100% I would have her on the team, but with things the way they stand now, a Maggie with her routines back just makes more sense to me.

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  24. so if the presumptive team is biles, raisman, hernandez, douglas, kocian, then who does ub in qual? this question is important as it directly impact who does AA EF.

    The highest score, most logical combination is biles, hernandez, douglas, kocian. But that means aly is automatically disqualified from AA EF.

    But if you have aly do ub in qual to try for an AA slot then aside from a slightly lower qual score (of having to use biles ub score, a neglible hit in the grand scheme), but then you are putting up a laurie ub routine for the first time ever in TF without trying it out first in qual. they put up the Nichols ub routine for first time in 2015 TF but that was not deliberate and it was due mostly to Brenna headcasing. So I doubt they will do that at something like the Olympic on purpose…

    Sucks for aly, but she is a team player so I think she understands if she can’t do AA…. also laurie is not bad AAer. She can certainly push douglas. and if she makes it to AA EF she would be pretty competitive for a podium slot anyway I think.

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    • It’ll be similar to worlds last year, where Maggie was the better choice for bars in qualifications but because Aly was the preferred AAer, she did bars there and they saved Maggie for TFs. Something similar could happen this year at the Olympics with Simone/Gabby/Aly in the AA, Madison on UB, and Laurie on VT/BB/FX in quals and then Laurie could go up on bars in TFs if needed.

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      • I really don’t think the initial original plan was for Maggie to do ub in TF in 2015. I think the plan A line up ub for TF was douglas, kocian, dowell. If brenna did what she was supposed to do, Maggie bars was definitely not top 3 and would not have worked in a 3 up 3 count in TF. So I don’t think they really “saved” Maggie ub for TF. It was more like they have to go to plan B due to brenna headcasing.

        also 2015 was different because it was a 5 up 4 count for qual whether as rio it’s 4 up 3 count in qual.

        It doesn’t seem like a common thing to have someone show routine the first time in TF without them showing it in qual first. Seems like a higher risk strategy that US and most other teams don’t usually do. I can’t recall when was the last time the US planned to do this deliberately from the start before qual.

        Not saying it couldn’t work but seems like it’s a higher risk more unconventional strategy that most of the time is not favored.

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        • Right, but Maggie still would’ve been the better option for bars over Aly in QF whether she went in TF or not. And whether it’s 6-5-4 at worlds or 5-4-3 in Rio doesn’t matter…it’s still one person missing out.

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        • Knowing Martha (And I don’t know her), regardless of the results of National’s and Trial’s, she won’t announce which Gymnasts will do the All Around until the last possible minute at the Olympics. And she’ll determine who participates in quals based on results we’ll NEVER see, so even if Gabby places 5th at Trials and makes the team, she could potentially slip into the Olympic training camp and suddenly become the #2 girl on the team.

          Aly had a great National’s, and suddenly Gym Fans have forgotten about her history of falls/mistakes on Bars + mistakes on her Amanar, meanwhile, Gabby had a mediocre showing at National’s and suddenly everyone has pulled her from the All Around.

          I think gym fans will go crazy trying to figure which all-arounder will get pushed out, let’s just trust that Martha will make the best decision.

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      • Was going to add Laurie’s ub is CLEARLY better than aly and would likely still score higher than aly with 1 minor error, but still it seems like a higher risk to not have her do it first, esp for a first year senior (not like Maggie who wasn’t a first year senior). I mean, what happen if they didn’t have brenna at least do her routine first in qual and showing it for the first time in TF. That would have been an even worst disaster.

        I think laurie is def more consistent than brenna but it’s still somewhat of a risky thing to do that. and as I said I don’t think in 2015 Nichols doing her ub for the first time was really the original plan.

        So there is really some good in previewing a routine in qual first.

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        • I mean, in a perfect world that’s what they’d do, but I’m fairly confident Aly will be in the AA, so this is the solution. And most gymnasts can hit their routines the first time they go up and don’t need to be tested with qualifications. Gymnasts are given jobs to do and if their job is to do an event in TFs but not in quals, that’s what they train for. Quals are a good way to get a first routine in but it’s not really a practice for TFs and many lineups change between the two for several teams. Since Aly is likely going to be doing AA in quals, it means someone will have to go. Madison will go for bars alone so it won’t be her, it’s obviously not going to be Simone, and that leaves Gabby and Laurie if this is the team. If Gabby continues having issues, I can see them cutting her for Laurie in the AA, but either way, they’re making room for Aly on bars in QFs and cutting someone who can realistically score a point higher than her on that event.

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        • Agreed and want to go on record as saying, imo, that LAURIE, as of now, DESERVES A CHANCE AT THE ALL-AROUND. She DOES ALL 4 events with consistency and top ten in the world right now according to gymternet calcs. I like Aly a lot, but if she gets to do all-around basically for some kind of 2012 redemption, I will be super disappointed. Look at Michael Phelps. He’s back this quad, but is only doing the events that are where his strengths lie. He’s a leader given his age and experience, of course. Apply the leadership and the strength events to Aly (floor, vault, re-evolving beam) and imo that’s the perfect role for her on the team. I’m sure Marta will agree;-)

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        • I’m going off of what we’ve seen in the lead-up to the Games. If Aly continues to beat Gabby and Laurie, she will be in the all-around for that reason, not for “2012 redemption.” That said, the three are so close, all three “deserve” a chance at the all-around. It’s not like Aly is coming in with a 54 AA and Laurie’s winning every meet with a 60+. Like it or not, business is part of the sport, and having two of the 2012 Olympians go up for the all-around competition in quals when the two of them beating Jordyn four years earlier was the biggest gym story of the Games is a big deal. If USA Gym was determining qualification lineups in 2013 and again in 2015 based on the business side of the sport, they’re absolutely going to do the same in the Olympic year. I’m not saying I agree with this and I know Martha doesn’t, but Martha and the selection committee don’t actually have the final say.

          If things continue to go as they have been, it makes more sense to have Simone, Aly, and Laurie in the all-around and Gabby doesn’t fit the team, period (I’ve done the math with every possible team QF situation and there are several team options that don’t include Gabby coming in before any team options that DO include her). But if Gabby does end up coming in as a big contender, which she probably will, and if the three all remain close with scores in the 59-60 range, if the USOC/Steve Penny have anything to do with it – which they do – Gabby and Aly will go up in the AA with Simone.

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        • Thanks a lot Lauren. This is the topic I wanted to get to the heart of. I understand the business side of sport and I think it’s important for us hard core gym fans to have this discussion. We can lament it (which would be rightful on our part or any other sports fan’s for that matter), but it is a reality. This said tho, a media-dream athlete still has to reach a certain level of performance in the Olympic process. Most of the time. We’ll see.

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        • Yeah, I fully agree that it should be all about who makes it happen when it counts, so if Laurie and Simone are performing best in the AA at camp and in podium training, then they should definitely be the ones to go with the last spot between Gabby and Aly. But just knowing how things have worked in the past…I’m not fully confident that would happen if they’re all scoring around the same. If Laurie has a clear lead, they’ll be fine with it, but Maggie was consistently second to Simone last year and still kinda got screwed even though she later proved when she did all four in TFs that she was clearly the best choice for AA. We’ll see what they decide this year but what could really help Laurie’s case is going pro. There’s also the story of “16-year-old defeats 2012 gold medalist for spot in all-around” which would be kinda huge so they could play it that way. But I think if all are performing around the same level, Laurie could be left in the dust.

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        • Ooh, Laurie going pro… I’ve often wondered about whether and when that might happen. I think she may have the maturity and interpersonal skills to go there and do it well. Hoping the next 7-8 weeks bring fairness and health for all the athletes. Back to the waiting game.

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      • As I was saying, the problem is gabby bars being 2nd best. so is US willing to also take her out of ub qual and letting laurie and aly both do AA if laurie and aly gets better AA score at trials? would US be willing to remove gabby from ub in qual and only use her ub in TF? doing in so means that laurie might be the one that they have to chance on her qualified to ub ef. laurie doesn’t have a real shot at ub podium. gabby is better but her chance of ub podium is still low but gabby will probably place higher than laurie in ef final even if she doesn’t medal. The qual score of not using gabby ub would be probably about maybe 0.3 points lower?

        So again can we ever see the scenario of gabby not doing bars in qual with her ub routine only being used in TF? This is the additional factor US has to be willing to put up with if we ever contemplate any kind of scenario in which laurie and aly fighting for 2nd AA slot.

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  25. well, aly did beat laurie out in AA narrowly at PG so I think aly’s case for AA is also good. Though I am a little concerned that she has glaring weakness on ub and that hernandez is a more “true” AA.

    The kink to a lot of this also is the fact that douglas is a lock as 2nd highest bars on team in qual and TF even if she doesn’t do AA. as such, they almost can’t have her not doing ub in qual and only shows her ub in TF. supposed she doesn’t fully deserved her AA status after podium and trials, would you be willing to take her out of qual ub and only use her ub in TF and not have a possible 2nd person qualified to ub ef ??

    A lower qual score couting biles, hernandez, kocian ub vs biles, douglas, kocian is neglible in the grand scheme of things. but how much will USA being willing not to have douglas qual to ub final. I supposed laurie could possibly qual to ub final with no real change of the fact that both douglas and hernandez has near zero chance of being on ub podium anyway. Maybe douglas will have better chance showing her “new huge” rel? who knows.

    The fact that douglas is good in ub also makes her scenario to be an AA becoming more likely than just by going by the raw total AA score….

    Anyway, it’s not a simple question at all.

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  26. Alyssa baumann is out of trial due to extensive elbow injury fro ub training. … :(… what a crappy way to end the season due to injury on one of her insignificant event…. Although she is long shot for rio, I still enjoy seeing her kick ass bb routine and the increased competition it brings… this sucks!!!

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