You Asked, The Gymternet Answered

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It’s time for the 177th edition of You Asked, The Gymternet Answered! We apologize if we haven’t gotten to your question yet, but we try to answer in the order in which they were received (unless they are super relevant and need to be answered in a timely manner). Something you want to know? Ask us anonymously by going through the contact form at the bottom of the page.

Would a J.O. level 10 routine with a start value of 10.0 also have a start value of 10.0 in NCAA? Is it different for each event?

It depends…the codes are basically the same and generally gymnasts can go straight from level 10 without having to really make any major changes to their routine construction, but there are some subtle differences related to the worth of certain skills. Generally, though, I think some skills end up being worth more in NCAA than they were worth in level 10, so it’s super rare/unheard of for level 10s to have to come into NCAA and learn more difficult skills. The only major difference right now is that a Yurchenko full is still worth a 10 in level 10, but it was devalued last year to a 9.95 start value in NCAA, so gymnasts are now starting to learn a bigger variety of 10 vaults at the J.O. level to make recruitment easier.

Is Simone Biles the first gymnast to grab the beam or fall during an Olympic beam final and still win a medal?

That I can think of, yes…maybe back in the day it happened, or maybe I’m just forgetting something, but I can’t recall any other beam final routines that medaled with a major mistake. That being said, grabbing the beam is only worth 0.5, compared to a fall on or off the beam, which is a full point, so there’s a huge difference between the two and she definitely wouldn’t have medaled with an actual fall.

Whitney Bjerken hasn’t specifically endorsed any products. Has her channel affected her NCAA eligibility?

No…having a YouTube channel in and of itself isn’t enough to affect eligibility, though it depends on how the NCAA looks at it. They have lots of rules and lots of exceptions to those rules regarding eligibility, so I’ve heard of some athletes who weren’t granted scholarship money due to monetized YouTube accounts, but others have still been allowed to receive scholarships, and then there are those who have made more of a compromise, being allowed to have monetized accounts but only if the channel had nothing to do with their sport. Also, generally accounts like that are okay until they commit, but once they sign a letter of intent, they can’t continue.

Before Ashton Locklear’s back injury, was she promising on vault or floor?

She never actually got to do either at the elite level so it’s hard to say. I’ve seen her train several floor passes over the years and she was a very clean twister…and as a level 10 she had some great work on floor. I don’t remember any of her vaults being incredible or anything like that, but had she been able to continue vaulting past 2013, she probably could’ve made some improvements to both her difficulty and execution, enough to make her a solid all-arounder today.

Do you think Laurie Hernandez took a break because she thinks it’s the best way to stay healthy all the way to Tokyo?

I think she took a break because she spent her entire life training in gymnastics and once she reached the Olympics, her ultimate goal, she had no reason to keep pushing past it. Taking a break can help with longevity from one quad into another, but it’s not guaranteed that she’ll come back near the same level after a one or two year break.

In the 2012 quad, Alicia Sacramone took a year off from competition, Shawn Johnson took two years off, and Nastia Liukin took three years off, but none of them made the team. In the 2016 quad, Kyla Ross and McKayla Maroney pushed right from one quad to the next but hit their peak before Rio, whereas the two who took a two-year break ended up making it.

The timing of a comeback is a person-to-person thing, not a hard and fast rule, and if you reach a physical peak, it doesn’t matter how much time you take off.

Why were only certain gymnasts part of the Super Six trophy ceremony at NCAA Championships? Do those who worked hard all season but weren’t there not get trophies or rings?

I don’t know what the rule is about how many people can be on the floor at NCAA Championships, but there are definitely rules that limit participation on the floor compared to the regular season, where literally everyone who’s part of the team can be there. Only those on the floor for the competition get to go up on the podium to get the trophy, but everyone who is part of the team gets a trophy/ring, even if they’re not physically on the floor during the competition.

I follow Whitney Bjerken and I’m curious, because she’s been going to the developmental camps at the ranch. How does TOPs work? There’s an A, B, and Diamond team. How are girls chosen to be on each team? Do the developmental camps have anything to do with this?

TOPs is a talent recognition program that looks at physical abilities rather than skills. The goal of TOPs is to identify gymnasts with the physical capabilities to go far in the sport and reach the elite level with the right coaching, and it’s focused mainly on strength, conditioning, and flexibility. TOPs gymnasts can be at a variety of levels, and usually start testing around level 6.

In the summer, gymnasts aged 7-10 are tested on physical abilities at the state/regional level. The 50 best seven-year-olds in the country are named to the Diamond team based on physical abilities only, and they don’t go to national testing. But those aged 8-10 who pass physical abilities at the state/regional level (the top 100 at each age for a total of 300) get invited to the national TOPs testing in October, where they do the same physical abilities testing as well as basic skills testing.

From there, a total of 50 gymnasts aged 8-10 are invited to attend the national TOP training camp in December as part of the TOPs A team. This group is considered the TOPs national team. An additional 50 gymnasts aged 8-10 who don’t make the national team are also invited to attend a training camp as members of the TOPs B team, but these gymnasts have to pay their own way to the camp, and the Diamond team is also invited to attend a camp at the ranch.

The TOPs camps are five-day training sessions that give athletes and coaches the opportunity to work out with the national team staff, addressing technique, progressions, and training programs to implement at home, with the goal being that these programs will put the gymnasts on the right path to elite.

Developmental camps are different from TOPs camps, and include gymnasts at a higher level (level 9-10) and age group (around 9-13). These camps are held regularly throughout the year, and are invite-only, with the gymnasts receiving invitations based on performances at level 9 Eastern and Western Championships and level 10 Junior Olympic National Championships.

Some of the older TOPs gymnasts are also selected for developmental camps based on how they looked at the TOPs national camps, and most gymnasts invited to developmental camps are preparing to attend elite qualifiers either at the Hopes or Junior Elite level depending on what they’re individually ready for.

Essentially, TOPs is the first step to becoming an elite, though it’s not mandatory. It just helps recognize gymnasts at early stages of their careers. The same is true for the developmental camps. Sometimes gymnasts might not be strong when they’re younger, and so at 8-13 or so, if they’re not doing well at J.O. meets and didn’t make it through TOPs testing, they’re not really brought up as potential elites in the eyes of the national team staff. But if these girls end up blossoming at a later age, they can attend an elite qualifier and reach the elite level despite not going through the TOPs training or developmental camps.

Does the new individual qualification system mean it’ll be harder for gymnasts who turn senior in the Olympic year to qualify for the Olympics?

Yes, for sure. Those in countries that qualify full teams just have the problem of making their country’s team, but those hoping for an individual spot are in a bind, with most of the nominative spots given away at 2019 worlds. They basically have to qualify through world cups or continental meets, where there are only a limited number of spots remaining, so it’ll be far more difficult than it will be for gymnasts who are eligible for 2019 worlds.

Why does the gymternet hate Gabby Douglas?

I have no idea. Because she beat Viktoria Komova in London? Because she has a life outside of the sport and doesn’t always attend gymnastics-related events when her former teammates do? Because the bigger you fly the harder people want you to fall? I don’t always love her gymnastics, but people literally hate her for no reason, which blows my mind. They pick apart every little thing she does or doesn’t do, but let the same transgressions slide for everyone else. I can’t think of any singular thing she did that makes people hate her, so my biggest guess is that people are jealous of her and her success because it happened to eclipse the success of another gymnast they liked.

Since Svetlana Khorkina’s gainer layout full isn’t in the code of points, could another gymnast get it named? Would it be a G? Without the twist, what would the value be?

Yes, another gymnast could get it named, and yes, I think it would be a G. A gainer layout without the twist is in the code, and it’s a C.

What type of financial and time commitment do you need to train as an elite? Does the college scholarship make up for all of the money spent?

The time commitment is usually around 30-40 hours a week in the U.S., and the financial commitment could be as much as $50k a year, depending on the gym. With a college scholarship being worth basically around $50k a year as well, it ends up being about an equal payoff.

Have you heard anything about Dipa Karmakar since Rio?

Yes, she took some time off and then in training, she tore her ACL, having surgery in April. She’s still rehabbing the injury, so she won’t be at worlds this year, but she’s looking forward to Commonwealth Games in 2018, where she’s a favorite to win the gold on vault. She’s getting rid of the Produnova for now, probably because there is a new rule in the code of points that says any double salto vault will be downgraded to a single salto if the second flip isn’t completed, which would mean pretty much all of last quad’s butt-grazing Produnovas would be heavily downgraded and are no longer worth the risk. Instead, Dipa is focusing on learning a Rudi, which she’ll compete alongside her tsuk double instead of the Prod.

What is the skill at 3:30 called?

This is a belly beat, a common skill when the bars were closer together, up until the mid to late 80s when wider-set bars were adopted in order to accommodate more release elements. Now these skills would be almost impossible even for the tallest gymnasts out there.

How do connection bonuses work in NCAA? Say someone’s routine starts at a 10.0 without any connections. Would her start value go up to a 10.4 if she adds them?

No, any additional connections or higher-valued skills beyond getting to the 10 start value are just extra skills with no added value. But gymnasts do them anyway and go above and beyond because it leaves a lasting impression with the fans and the judges. Officially, a gymnast like MyKayla Skinner with basically elite difficulty on floor doesn’t get any special bonuses from the judges for her additional difficulty, but if she has a tiny hop on a landing out of a double double, judges are going to be more lenient with her than someone who takes a similar-sized hop out of a front layout or something simpler. In the absence of an open-ended code of points, gymnasts have to find other ways to stand out, so they continue doing more than what’s required of them even if it won’t really add anything to their start values.

Are Romanian coaches getting even worse at coaching?

I don’t think they’re getting worse, I think there’s just a fewer number of good coaches as the older ones are retiring and no one else is really stepping up into coaching roles. In other countries, we’re seeing former gymnasts come in and begin coaching, but in Romania, gymnasts are either leaving the sport behind entirely or are jumping ship and moving to other countries.

Do you think if Gabby Douglas upgraded last year she could’ve beaten Aly Raisman for the second all-around spot in Rio?

Yeah, they were close enough as it is, and a couple of tiny mistakes from Aly could’ve made things really difficult for her. With an Amanar and a couple of bars upgrades, Gabby absolutely could’ve taken the second all-around spot. Also, Simone Biles was insane last year/quad, but I think Gabby on her best days in 2012 could’ve contended with Simone and given her more of a challenge. Simone was probably the stronger of the two compared to Gabby at her best, but there would at least be a more exciting fight at the top!

Why have many British gymnasts changed their coaches? The Downies, Sam Oldham, Amy Tinkler…

For a variety of reasons. The Downies stayed at their gym but their coach got let go. Amy moved on to a new gym because she wanted to live in the London area so she could take advantage of opportunities to make money, which would’ve been hard had she stayed at home, because it would’ve required her to travel back and forth, taking away from training time. I hadn’t heard anything about Sam’s gym change, so I’m not sure.

Why was Martha Karolyi so determined to have Gabby Douglas on the team in 2016?

What I heard was that after all of the nonsense about the 2012 team being ‘awful’ at bars, she wanted to show the world that she could have a good bars team, and so when it didn’t really matter who ended up taking the fifth spot on the Rio team, she basically had to choose between a second vault medal from MyKayla Skinner, or proving to everyone that the U.S. was stronger on bars than any other program. Having a weak bars team was kind of a chip on her shoulder, so I think she liked that she could send a team that could win two bars medals and get the highest team bars score in team finals.

Even though Gabby ended up not medaling on bars, the team still had the highest team finals score by three tenths over Russia, so in a year where the U.S. team was guaranteed gold, that was like her own little personal victory. A medal on vault from MyKayla was statistically more likely than a bars medal from Gabby, so to me, it seemed silly that they didn’t want to capitalize on that, but hey. You could justify either of them and the team still would’ve won, which was the ultimate goal. They could’ve taken the weakest girl from trials and the team would’ve won, so really, it didn’t matter who went in that spot, so Martha was able to beef up the bars lineup and be like “wait, WHO’S bad on bars??” That’s a level of petty I can appreciate as someone who has made similar decisions in my personal life.

There’s also the marketing aspect of taking the reigning Olympic champion to a second Olympic Games. Gabby made history in doing this, and it was super appealing to USA Gymnastics and the USOC. With a huge gap ahead of the rest of the field, that level of flexibility allows for marketing decisions to reign over strategic ones. There were several marketing decisions made in the last quad that were kind of out of Martha’s hands, even though everyone just assumes Martha has the final word. She didn’t always!

What happened to Vanessa Atler? Why didn’t she make the Olympic team?

She just had a pretty rough downfall in her career beginning in 1999, struggling a ton with consistency, moving gyms, getting injured, showing up out of shape and unprepared for worlds, having two ankle surgeries, moving gyms again…all of that happened within the span of about six months. In 2000, she underperformed at nationals and then had a veritable meltdown at trials, placing sixth, but being left off the Olympic team because the selection committee thought if she couldn’t hit at home, there’s no way she would’ve been able to hit in Sydney. Heartbreaking, really.

If a level 10 gymnast decides to go to a college near her home that doesn’t have gymnastics, can she continue competing level 10 until she graduates college? Indefinitely? Or is there an age limit?

Yeah, gymnasts can compete in the J.O. system for as long as they want. Most retire by 18 because they move on to other things in life, others move from the J.O. system into adult gymnastics (there are plenty of club teams across the country that compete under the NAIGC umbrella, and they even have their own nationals), and some stay in J.O. a little while longer. It’s rare, because some do just want to move on to other things/not have to work out 20+ hours a week, but there have been women in the country who compete in the J.O. system into their 30s and 40s in the 18+ age division.

Are there any Amanars in the works for the U.S., or some other vault that’s not a DTY?

Not that I know of at the moment, though I’m sure some of the gymnasts with DTYs have the goal of eventually moving up to an Amanar. Like Margzetta Frazier. She has a DTY now, but competed an Amanar at the American Classic, and likely wants to bring that back for next year so it’ll be easier for her to get a spot on the worlds team.

Article by Lauren Hopkins

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42 thoughts on “You Asked, The Gymternet Answered

    • Gabby has never “played the race card” (which tbh is literally the most offensive thing I’ve seen anyone say about her), and it was her mom who didn’t pay her gym fees, not her, because she was a literal child and it wasn’t her responsibility.

      Liked by 2 people

      • The sheer sense of entitlement SOME people have to think it’s perfectly ok to simply toss around such a loaded, insulting accusation is…smh.

        You’re right though. Gabby came out of nowhere and left people’s fav gymnasts in tears in 2012. It’s that simple.

        Liked by 2 people

        • View from West Europe, nobody hates Gabby Douglas, but, except gym fans, nobody knows or remembers her : Biles is a hudge star, Mustafina is an icon and Douglas just doesn’t exist on this side. In 2012, Viktoria Komova appeared (for sport journalists and people who just like gym) as the best gymnast in the world and most of the people thought that scores in London were unfair and reflected the American influence on the sport. There has been many papers (grounded on American sources) to prove Komova was robbed. So, Douglas’ legitimacy as a gold medal seemed very very questionable. Once more, in 2016, she seemed to be favored to the detriment of both Skinner and Hernandez. Nobody hates her but everybody forget her very quickly.
          And myself, I like who she is as a person (a very determined, smart and talented woman), but I don’t really like her gym. But, I don’t like Iordache or McKusker’s styles, so please forgive me.
          And it’s a nonsense, and so contemptuous to say Douglas is “from nowhere” : everybody is from somewhere. She never played the race card : some people played this card against her.

          Liked by 1 person

      • 😂 Do some research.
        Did you not watch the Oprah episode years ago where she accused her first gym of racism? She also screwed two gyms out of money.

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      • I love Gabby and dont agree with the hate she got… From reading online last year however, I think people started hating on her around 2016 P&G’s and Olympic Trials. She had a few falls, was placing like 6th in the all around, had a super last minute coaching change and didn’t seem as enthused in the sport anymore ( it almost seemed like she was competing for the money or to please other people, not for herself and her love of the sport). Then you saw Skinner and Smith etc., who were trying their guts out, but no matter what they did at trials and p&gs but it seemed like those competitions did not matter at all, because despite average performances from Gabby, she was always going to Rio. So I think people thought she got on the team because she was Gabby Douglas, not because she wanted it the most or was the most deserving… Thats what I gathered from this era anyways, not saying I agree with it. I don’t think race or her falling out with Chow had anything to do with it.

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      • there are some blogs i’ve read that literally berate the girl. I’m no fan of her style wise, but really people, she didn’t do anything personally to anyone.

        Liked by 2 people

  1. I don’t know why you say that a bars medal from Gabby was unlikely. Gabby qualified in 3rd place to the bars final and there was only 0.1 between Gabby, Aliya and Madison. If she had not messed up EF it seemed likely she would medal.

    I think Gabby got the team spot over Mykayla because she was the more complete AA:er – qualified in 3rd place on AA qualification and could therefore easily cover any event if there were injuries whereas Mykayla had struggled to score highly on bars and beam – especially after her beam falls at trials and was therefore regarded as a higher risk

    Liked by 1 person

    • I didn’t say it was UNLIKELY. I said it was statistically not as likely as MyKayla getting a vault medal, not because of Gabby, but because the bars field was about 9 billion percent more difficult than the vault final. MyKayla easily would’ve won bronze in that field, and while Gabby qualified in third to the bars final, everyone was so close, it was a matter of who was going to hit, which could’ve been Gabby, but it could’ve been one of about 10 other girls all capable of scoring around the same. Also, MyKayla that summer regularly beat Gabby in the all-around, including on both days of Olympic trials, which is when they were expected to be at their best, AND at the Olympic team camps once they had both already made the team. I have absolutely nothing against Gabby being on the team, and think there were many reasons you could justify her being on there, but being a better all-arounder was not that reason…especially because I heard from people on the team that Martha really wanted to beef up the bars field, which was her biggest wish for that year — to have the best bars team in the world. In that case, Gabby absolutely was the best choice.

      Liked by 2 people

    • I’ve just spent some time playing with the scores from Trials (because what else would you do at 1am on a Thursday?!) and seeing what would happen if you had MyKayla instead of Gabby in both an ideal scenario and if one of the other 4 team members were injured and unable to compete.

      IDEAL SCENARIO
      – Highest scores: Equal
      – Lowest scores : Gabby +0.05
      – Average scores : Gabby +0.025

      SIMONE OUT
      – Highest scores: Gabby +0.1
      – Lowest scores: MyKayla +0.55
      – Average scores: MyKayla +0.225

      ALY OUT
      – Highest scores: MyKayla +0.35
      – Lowest scores: MyKayla +1.0
      – Average scores: MyKayla +0.65

      LAURIE OUT
      – Highest scores: Gabby +0.1
      – Lowest scores: MyKayla +0.55
      – Average scores: MyKayla +0.2

      MADISON OUT
      – Highest scores: Gabby +0.45
      – Lowest scores: Gabby +0.5
      – Average scores: Gabby +0.475

      Sorry, but your argument that a team with Gabby had better built-in alternates doesn’t really pass muster with me, at least based on trials results. Other than a situation where other team members had to fill in for Maddie, almost every ‘what if’ scenario works better with MyKayla on the team than Gabby.

      In an ideal situation with 5 healthy athletes the numbers are just in Gabby’s favour, but by such a negligible amount that it wouldn’t have made a difference to the end result or likely the team formation.

      It therefore seems to me that Gabby’s selection over MyKayla (while not unjustifiable) was probably based on other factors like bars pride and publicity reasons. I also think that Gabby had proven that she could definitely hit when it counted most at Olympics/Worlds and that that was probably factored in too.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Why else wiuld marta has selected gabby? She did stated that she think she could beat gabby back into shape to hit when it counts and that did happened. .. it is obviously unfair to mykayla in that aspect regarding the trial but she does have her valid reasons…

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  2. For the training in JO past 18 thing, FloGymnastics recently did an interview with a former Lindenwood gymnast who chose to continue training so she could start competing at the JO competitions again even though she finished her time at NCAA just because she still felt a passion to continue doing the sport.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Not the Olympics, but Li Shanshan won silver on beam with a fall.

    The hate toward Gabby is definitely rooted in her beating Miss Precious Perfect in 2012 (whether that be Jordyn or Vika in the case of the individual hater), and then I think the selection process for the Rio team really didn’t do much to help that with a lot of people thinking her selection wasn’t fair. Which, of course, she wasn’t in charge of the selection, so it’s just stupid to hate on her for it.

    I’m also totally with you on appreciating the “We must be the best bars nation!!!” pettiness.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I think people hated the fact that potentially the 2 best gymnasts in the world at that time were black in what was regarded a white sport. They couldn’t argue with Simone’s dominance but could pick apart Gabby for almost everything. She outperformed Aly and should have qualified for the AA Final but that was overlooked due to the irrational hatred.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I think part of the negativity about Gabby is that she kind of has a reputation for being a ‘gym wrecker.’ She left Excalibur, Chow’s, and now Buckeye’s on bad terms. Plus there seems to be family drama too that’s out of her control but nevertheless gives her a bad image.

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  6. I think that there are definitely things in Gabby’s career that are worth questioning, but none of them are her fault. Whatever happened with her former gyms, that’s on her MOM, not Gabby. Are y’all seriously expecting a 14 year old to be in charge of her own finances and take the blame for something like that?? As far as the Rio selection process goes, Gabby went out there and did the best she could, she was chosen, and did people think she should just give her spot to Mykayla? I think trying to be “the best bars country in the world” was a little petty on Martha’s part, but Gabby was definitely a medal contender in the EF so it didn’t even matter. (I should also note that this is all coming from an Aly stan)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes Gabby was 14 when her first gym issue started but has gone on well into her 20s where she’s now an adult. It’s ok for things to happen once but now a second and third time…? Her mom is essentially a ‘mom-ager’ and it’s hard to keep accepting the excuse of her being a kid when it happens time and time again.

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      • Gabby isn’t ‘well into her 20s’. Gabby is literally just 21, she was 20 in Rio and she was 16-17 when she left Chows. I honestly don’t know how adult and put-together you were at those ages but as a 20-year-old who isn’t in the public eye, hasn’t spent all my life in a gym and is not a high-profile athlete, it’s not easy. You can’t blame her for relying on her mother, someone who has constantly placed everything on the line for her and her sport. Honestly, people need to get off their high horses and remember that she’s human, she’s just an average kid who put in a lot of hard work and became a successful gymnast. There are 21 year olds, celebs and otherwise, out there doing some crazy crap and you’all are camping up against someone whose main offence was to work out in a gym and get chosen for the Olympics through no fault of her own. Like, please! Seriously, she was getting more hate than the Kardashians at a point just for existing. Let’s just cut the crap and admit that the hate is grossly unwarranted.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Yes some people are more mature than others depending on the age and is why I had said that it’s unfortunate. And I never said anything about her Olympic selection. It’s that she has a lot of further distractions outside of the competition floor that makes it hard to pull for her, and these are things that she’s actually in control of. There’s a lot of reasons why multiple elite gyms said ‘no’ to her when she was attempting her comeback. She’s a great gymnast but brings troubles that she can limit.

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  7. I still think they should have taken Atler over Dominique Dawes. Dawes was one of my favorites, but she just didn’t have the difficulty level to be competitive. Atler had a meltdown and still placed sixth in the all around, clearly she could still bring value to the team. The US team needed her floor and especially vault. IIRC, a poor vault total in qualifications almost kept them out of the team final. They should have taken her for floor, vault and maybe beam. If she didn’t have to do bars, she probably would’ve been fine.

    I think she was kept off the team because USAG forced her into their media darling role and she didn’t live up to the hype because she wasn’t mentally cut out for it. But just because she wasn’t going to be a AA medal contender, didn’t mean she couldn’t contribute to the team at all. Especially in a quad where the team lacked any kind of depth.

    Obviously I still have a lot of feelings about this.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. i kinda knew that they would’ve picked gabby anyway. marta always like AAers. when you look at the combination of AA and bars, gabby fits that better than anyone else. not saying that she is necessarily everyone choice, but it’s all about how you like to have your puzzle done. It’s like back in 2012 with ebee and kyla. mykayla would have been the best choice for another medal but she would not have made the team as well rounded and the team would probably not got the highest bars total also. and since that was marta’s objective, there’s really no one else.

    Aside that, i still fault gabby for becoming “lacking enthusiasm” at the trial. but i do have to agree that she does have the higher AA score “potential” than mykayla…

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  9. I have a question: who are you champion in the Vault in the montreal World next mouth: Rebeca Andrade, Sae Miyakawa or Marcia Videaux – Cuba – ?

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    • If Rebecca hits her Amanar and Lopez, she has the best chance for gold since her execution is better than Sae and Paseka is inconsistent right now. Plus it seems like Hong of NK will not be competing.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I didn’t know Gabby experienced such hate in the US. She is not one of my favorite gymnasts for the sole reason that I always hate her floor music (we obviously don’t have the same music taste), but she has one of the highest picked tkachev ever. I always thought she should have gotten a Nabieva.
    But seeing some of the comments here leaves me flaberggasted; I had heard about the gym debt, but I hate when someone shames a child for their parents debts; plus, there is a place called Court were you can go and claim any unpaid debt.
    I really hope all this hate didn’t rob her of her Olympic experience, because no one gets there without a lot of pain, and it saddens me that her reward was ruined but a lot of people in their couches.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. TOPs state level testing for 8,9&10 year olds include physical ability testing as well as skills testing in compulsory type routines that are weighted in terms of scoring. I believe 8 yr olds are 50:50, 9 yrs are 40 physical abilities:60 skills and 10 yrs are 30:70. Upon qualifying to national testing, the skills routines become much more difficult but are weighted the same. There are also additional physical ability tests and a timed running test. I do not think the 7 yr old Diamond Team attends training at the NTTC. There are videos of the routines and scoring explanations, etc on the USAG website.

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  12. I don’t hate Gabby or her gymnastics. Same with Mykayla Skinner. Both do amazing gymnastics. But I’d be amiss to pretend that choices both girls made regarding sportspersonship and public behaviour resulted in others wanting explanation for their choices, and can have a consequence of not being seen in a positive or favourable manner. Others have taken their interpretations to the next and a juvenile level, which isn’t appropriate – bullying, electronically or not is not ok. However, questioning, discussion and disappointment in these girls – correction, women – for certain things – I believe is warranted.

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    • I’m just confused as to what Gabby has done that has warranted questions about her behavior. She personally hasn’t done anything, and most ‘shady’ things that have happened around her have been either her mother’s doing, or otherwise out of her control (getting a spot in the 2016 team despite multiple falls that summer, as if she had any say in deciding the team). I’ve known Gabby since she was 14 and have never once in my life see her be anything but a positive, supportive teammate. Don’t always believe how someone is painted in the media. Chances are you’re getting 1% of the story, and that’s the case with pretty much every gymnast. Some of those portrayed as America’s Sweetheart are actually awful behind the scenes, and those portrayed as cold or terrible are actually just introverted lol.

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  13. Sam moved back to Notts because he finished at University. Loughborough is a university so he trained there until he finished his course and then moved back to Nottingham.

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