2019 Pan American Games Live Blog | Women’s All-Around Final

Welcome to the live blog for the women’s all-around final at the 2019 Pan American Games, held in Lima, Peru!

Please refresh your browser every few minutes to see the most recent updates, which will appear at the top of the page.


1. Ellie Black, Canada, 55.250
2. Riley McCusker, United States, 55.125
3. Flavia Saraiva, Brazil, 54.350
4. Kara Eaker, United States, 53.750
5. Martina Dominici, Argentina, 52.800
6. Thais Fidelis, Brazil, 52.700
7. Danusia Francis, Jamaica, 51.650
8. Victoria-Kayen Woo, Canada, 51.250
9. Luna Fernandez, Argentina, 50.450
10. Marcia Vidiaux, Cuba, 50.000
11. Andrea Maldonado, Puerto Rico, 48.900
12. Yesenia Ferrera, Cuba, 48.700
13. Luciana Alvarado, Costa Rica, 48.450
14. Simona Castro, Chile, 48.250
15. Anapaula Gutierrez, Mexico, 47.750
16. Karelys Diaz, Puerto Rico, 47.475
17. Sandra Collantes, Peru, 47.450
18. Paulina Campos, Mexico, 46.600
19. Heika Del Sol Salas, Costa Rica, 46.300
20. Ariana Orrego, Peru, 46.250
21. Katriel Sousa, Venezuela, 45.900
22. Ana Palacios, Guatemala, 45.800
23. Paola Ruano, El Salvador, 45.775
24. Maria Del Sol Perez, Chile, 44.000

4:22 pm. Inquiry DENIED, and Ellie takes the gold!

4:19 pm. Still waiting on an inquiry about Riley’s floor score………but I personally don’t think it’ll affect anything. Or SHOULD affect anything. Anyway, I think the inquiry was related to her switch full that comes at the end of her routine…she does a switch ring to switch full, and to ME, the full looked underrotated, which is why I was like “idk WHAT she did” but it’s usually a full and it definitely wasn’t today. Ellie should definitely stay in the gold medal position.

4:16 pm. Andrea Maldonado PUR BB: Hit her flight series very well, and the rest was also good, but then she crashed her 2.5 dismount which is A BUMMER.

4:15 pm. Apparently an inquiry is being filed on floor…I don’t know what for yet, but Riley is more than a tenth back so if it’s just for a tenth it won’t help.

4:12 pm. Anapaula Gutierrez MEX UB: I wasn’t typing at the beginning but she had a pretty solid release and Pak, and she hit the rest very well, a really nice set for her!

4:11 pm. OH GODDDD, it’s a 13.525 and she’s just over a tenth back from gold, CRAZY.

4:08 pm. Riley McCusker USA FX: Tucked full-in, a little bit of a wild bounce back onto one foot OOB. Front double full to front tuck to stag, looked a little off coming out of the first skill but she super quickly corrects and has no problem for the rest. Good leaps after that, and then a double pike with a hop back. Pretty smooth in her wolf turn. Switch ring GOD her form #chefskiss into another leap after that but I didn’t see what it was. Double tuck, high and stuck for a strong finish. Idk…it could be close but she’ll need a 13.650 to match Ellie and she’s definitely capable. AWW HER MOM’S CRYING.

4:07 pm. Okay, Kara Eaker comes in at a 12.350 on floor which puts her at a 53.750 all-around, currently in third behind Ellie Black and Flavia Saraiva. Rough. 😦 But I also won’t be mad if it means Flavia medals. BITTERSWEET, or the gymnastics tagline, “exciting but also sad.”

4:06 pm. Waiting for Kara’s score……

4:05 pm. Danusia Francis with a 51.650 after vault! Luciana Alvarado 48.450, Karelys Diaz 47.450, Katriel Sousa 45.900

4:03 pm. Kara Eaker CAN FX: Front layout to front double full, and her triple full both go well, the triple is maybe a quarter twist overrotated. Memmel to full turn, UGH, and then 2.5 to front full, ends up tucking the full completely and still has to sit it. 😦 Poor kid, she looks devastated in that moment. Double pike to finish, a little low but mostly fine. Switch ring half at the very end.

4:02 pm. So a 12.600 is a bit rough for Ellie but she still finishes with a 55.250 AA which is higher than her day one, so…it’s not done yet but Riley can definitely make up for the difference right now if she does what she did on day one.

3:59 pm. Ellie Black CAN FX: Front full through to triple full, super solid! 2.5 through to double pike, ugh, goes a little far back into that 2.5 and lands the double pike fully OOB before stepping off the mat completely. I wasn’t typing through the rest but she hit everything and I don’t think that mistake will jeopardize her TOO much, unless one of the U.S. girls completely blows up and has a lifetime best routine or something. But we’ll see!

3:58 pm. Flavia Saraiva with a 54.350! Victoria-Kayen Woo with a 51.250, Simona Castro 48.250, Ariana Orrego 46.250, Maria Del Sol Perez 44.000

3:57 pm. Flavia Saraiva BRA FX: Double layout, great!! Love her little skip into her switch full. Tucked full-in, solid landing, maybe the tiniest bit shy. Switch to tour jeté full. Queen. 1.5 to front full, steps over but in a dance-y way. Switch ring, very precise. Whole crowd is clapping now. I don’t care if she’s 50, she will always need/deserve floor routines that are fun and bubbly and have the crowd clapping along for the last pass. Double pike, solid. Great routine, fantastic all-around performance. 13.900!

3:56 pm. Ariana Orrego PER VT: FTY, clean with a hop back.

3:55 pm. Martina Dominici pulls slightly ahead of Thais Fidelis with a 52.800.

3:54 pm. Marcia Vidiaux with a 50.000 after a rough beam and floor, Sandra Collantes with a 47.450 also with some weak spots in her day, Paulina Campos with a 46.600.

3:53 pm. Martina Dominici ARG FX: Tucked full-in with a little hop back. Popa. Both solid. Arabian double front, little step forward. Clean double tuck, a little hesitant with the landing, has to step it forward, but not bad. Solid double pike to finish. Another gymnast who had an excellent performance today! 12.850

3:52 pm. They just cut to Ellie Black and she’s basically sound asleep, I’m sobbing. I mean, I’m sure she’s awake but it looks hilarious and amazing.

3:51 pm. Thais Fidelis finishes with a 52.700! Ana Palacios with some struggles on bars and beam only with a 45.800, looks like her DTY was also a little weak today.

3:48 pm. Thais Fidelis BRA FX: 1.5 through to arabian double front, fantastic! Just a little step to the side. Still waiting for someone to Aly Raisman that pass with a punch at the end and I think Thais and/or Ellie Downie will get it. Tucked full-in with a hop back. Switch full to stag. Double tuck, open and clean, hop back. Switch ring to split ring leap. Finishes with a double pike, clean and high on the landing, hop back. Great day for her! 13.250


1. Ellie Black CAN 42.650
2. Riley McCusker USA 41.600
3. Kara Eaker USA 41.400
4. Flavia Saraiva BRA 40.450
5. Martina Dominici ARG 39.950
6. Thais Fidelis BRA 39.450
7. Luna Fernandez ARG 38.450
8. Yesenia Ferrera CUB 38.250

3:45 pm. Still waiting for Kara’s beam score.

3:43 pm. This is the longest all-around competition EVER. They usually finish in like 90 minutes? Why is this one almost two hours at the end of the third rotation?!

3:40 pm. Kara Eaker USA BB: Switch leap mount, UGH, wobbles and grabs the beam, then falls. UGHHHH. Switch ring and full Y turn are fine. Hit the front aerial to split ring jump to back handspring super well, I love her dance out of it so much every single time. Side aerial loso, just the one loso today, hit another series after that but I couldn’t type fast enough and then forgot every single skill in it, I think it was a leap to a back something or other to a Korbut? Split leap to side somi, golden. Switch to switch side. 2.5 is great. Really bummed about that fall. 13.500, I mean…REALLY NOT BAD WITH A FALL.

3:37 pm. Ellie Black CAN BB: Double spin, leg slightly up, punch front is fantastic A+ great. Bhs layout is actually pretty excellent in the air from this angle, and not as piked as usual. Switch leap to switch half, little bobble into the back handspring. Good on the side somi. 2.5 with a hop forward. Another excellent routine! This top AA group is KILLING beam today. #NotTodaySatan 13.900!

3:36 pm. Really glad the judges are taking their sweet ass time today.

3:29 pm. Flavia Saraiva BRA BB: Back handspring mount fluidly into a split jump to Korbut, get it beam queen. Roundoff layout is super solid. Full turn, very nice. Split leap to sissone, fantastic. Bhs loso, she knows she’s off there so she just does the one loso (she normally does two) and takes the bobble instead of risking the second loso and falling. SMART GIRL. Switch ring leap, front aerial to split ring jump, side somi, slight hip adjustment. Split ring leap, little bobble, I still can’t get over how amazing her ring shapes look. Double pike with a lunge back. Absolutely fantastic routine. DO THIS IN EVENT FINALS PLEASE. 13.500! Not bad considering the missed skill. 8.1 E is great for her.

3:26 pm. Martina Dominici ARG BB: Split leap mount, switch to switch half, maybe a tad low but solid. Roundoff layout, wobble and leg up, but hit! Punch front, step forward, a little tentative, but also hit. Side aerial, showed really nice amplitude on her jump series, switch side, all good. Double pike, the second flip looked slow to rotate and her chest is pretty low, but it was a hit dismount, and an overall excellent routine for her! 12.800

Katriel Sousa 11.750 UB, Sandra Collantes 12.200 FX

3:25 pm. Yesenia Ferrera CUB VT: DTY, leg form is a bit wild, step OOB, but she showed more power than anyone else who did this vault from the top group, and overall it was stronger in form as well. 14.500!

3:24 pm. Karelys Diaz 13.050 VT, Maria Del Sol Perez 11.600 UB

3:21 pm. Thais Fidelis BRA BB: Full turn, super solid bhs loso loso, just a little low with her chest. Switch to switch half to straddle jump, a little short on the last bit, and a front aerial to split jump to back handspring, leg up, but she really showed off her toe point in that series. Wolf jump to sissone. Side aerial, wobble, Punch front, solid! Double pike is great, chest is just down below horizontal. Amazing job! 13.000

Luciana Alvarado 13.250 VT, Ana Palacios 12.600 FX, Andrea Maldonado 12.000 UB

3:19 pm. Simona Castro CHI VT: FTY, nice and tidy! Just a lunge back. 13.250

3:18 pm. Danusia Francis 12.650 FX, she should pretty easily go 51+ again!

Paulina Campos 12.050 VT

3:15 pm. Riley McCusker USA BB: Lots of pressure right now but I really hope she can just go to town on some angry beam. Triple wolf it a TINY bit bobblier than normal but her double is golden. Split leap to front aerial to straddle jump, check at the hips, and then I think she has a little wobble on choreo. Same. Bhs bhs layout is the most solid it’s been. Just little knee form things. Switch to switch half to Korbut is great. Side aerial to split jump to back tuck, little adjustment in her hips. Double tuck with a lunge back. She’s getting so confident with this! The bobbles in the past would’ve turned into worse but now she corrects them so easily. 14.200

Anapaula Gutierrez 13.900 VT, did a Yurchenko 1.5.

3:13 pm. I still don’t know what happened with Ellie’s beam score in qualifications, but she’s capable of a solid 13.5 with a hit routine so hopefully she can do that today! Otherwise if Kara kills it she’ll have a pretty great chance of taking over that lead…it’s a wide gap right now but Kara pulling in close to a 15 will make a big difference.


1. Ellie Black CAN 28.750
2. Kara Eaker USA 27.900
3. Riley McCusker USA 27.400
4. Martina Dominici ARG 27.150
5. Flavia Saraiva BRA 26.950
6. Thais Fidelis 26.450
7. Andrea Maldonado PUR 25.800
8. Luna Fernandez ARG 25.700

3:07 pm. Ariana Orrego PER BB: Bhs loso, hips are crooked in the layout and she’s too far to the side to hit it. 😦 Fall. Full turn. Side somi, wobble, transverse split jump half is better. Side aerial, swings her leg through too far and falls again. Peru was amazing on day one but today just isn’t their day. Low back leg on her split leap into a tour jeté and then into a jump. Front aerial to split jump to back handspring is done very well. 1.5 with a hop back.

3:06 pm. Long wait right now for Marcia Vidiaux’s beam score. The wait for Ellie’s bars score was almost 10 minutes, FYI. Like…what are you doing.

Finally in, and it’s a 10.900, yikes and ugh ugh ugh.

3:04 pm. WOW, 14.300 for Ellie! She has almost a full point lead going to beam.

3:01 pm. Karelys Diaz PUR FX: AMAZING double pike, OMG. Her body position on the landing! She won nationals last month and I really underestimated her with Andrea Maldonado and Paula Mejias here, but Karelys has been amazing this whole meet! Also crushed a 2.5 to front tuck, switch leap to switch full pretty great as well. Double tuck is clean but slightly short, just steps forward out of it. Hit the last pass just a bit short. 11.650

3:00 pm. Still waiting for Ellie Black’s score…

2:57 pm. Luciana Alvarado CRC FX: Simone’s old music! Love. Double pike, a couple of steps back. Switch ring to tour jeté half, then a triple L turn! Okay, Sanne. 1.5 with a hop forward. Split ring leap had some form things going on. Full Y turn. Nice switch half down into some choreo. Clean front handspring front full. Another excellent routine for her today! 11.400

2:56 pm. Ellie Black CAN UB: Maloney to Hindorff, good! Short handstand before the Shang, hop change to piked Jaeger to Pak, form issues on all but they’re her usual minor issues. Van Leeuwen, good, just some ankles, blind full, EXCELLENT tucked toe front half, the landing was nuts. 14.300

2:55 pm. Paulina Campos 12.100 FX, Sandra Collantes 11.350 BB

2:52 pm. Flavia Saraiva BRA UB: Low piked Tkachev into a Pak, toe-on to Maloney to super low Tkachev, damn, her but practically touches the bar. Toe full, blind change to front giant to double front, really clean in her tucks but unsure of the landing, kind of flies forward. 12.800

2:51 pm. I can hear Simona Castro’s “Gangsta’s Paradise” music in the background and I’m truly living.

2:50 pm. Martina Dominici ARG UB: Toe full, a little rushed, some ankle separation, Maloney is clean, to a Pak, also well done. Van Leeuwen, gets it no problem, blind change, tiniest ankle separation, into the piked Jaeger, suuuuper high and tight double tuck! Just bounces in place. 13.300

2:49 pm. Danusia Francis 12.750 BB, Katriel Sousa 12.950 VT, Paola Ruano 12.150 VT, Maria Del Sol Perez 11.700 VT, Anapaula Gutierrez 10.900 FX

2:48 pm. Thais Fidelis BRA UB: Maloney to Pak, super arched and her legs are bent, van Leeuwen with some leg form issues, blind change to piked Jaeger, a little low but not too bad, VERY nice air on her Tkachev! Blind change, and a solid double tuck with a hop. 12.750

2:45 pm. Riley McCusker USA UB: Stalder full to Maloney to kind of a low Tkachev but still no problems getting it over, nice handstand after that, but then she misses the Ricna completely…omg idk what she was doing with her arms?! Like, she was like “NO, NOT CATCHING THIS.” It was so weird. 😦 Pak, van Leeuwen, toe-on, blind change, front giant to half-in double tuck with a step back.

She was downgraded there with connections in addition to not getting credited for the Ricna so that’s going to be a rough D. My reaction was basically the same as her mom’s tbh. 13.150, D is 5.5, not as severe as I thought, I guess she still had 8 skills even without the Ricna!

2:44 pm. Victoria-Kayen Woo 12.550 BB, Andrea Maldonado 13.400 VT

2:43 pm. Kara Eaker USA UB: Church to Pak, nice, just some slight leg form issues. Good van Leeuwen, clear hip right into handstand, clear hip full is also SUPER on the bar, sway in her back is just slight, piked Jaeger and a double layout, clean with a little bounce back. Her double layout is pretty much PERFECTLY straight, it’s insane. She just bends her knees to prep for the landing, similar to vault. 13.950

2:42 pm. Luna Fernandez 13.350 VT

2:40 pm. Yesenia Ferrera CUB FX: Tucked full-in, bounces back into a lunge with her back foot OOB. EXCELLENT 2.5! She floated right down into that landing. 1.5 to front full is good. Beautiful switch leap to switch full. Super open double pike, bounces back OOB again. Some really good things in there. She just needs to get used to competing again. 12.500

2:38 pm. Riley had some trouble with a release in the touch warm-up but Sandra Collantes gave us some good work on beam as “Mambo #5” played in the background with “a little bit of Sandra in the sun.”


1. Ellie Black CAN 14.450
2. Riley McCusker USA 14.250
3. Flavia Saraiva BRA 14.150
4. Kara Eaker USA 13.950
5. Martina Dominici ARG 13.850
6. Thais Fidelis BRA 13.700
7. Marcia Vidiaux CUB 13.000
8. Victoria-Kayen Woo CAN 12.950

2:34 pm. Paola Ruano 11.100 FX

2:32 pm. Luciana Alvarado CRC BB: Bhs loso, a little jerky between the two, but solid overall. Front aerial, dances back out of it into a side aerial, nice. Just a slight check. Switch leap to split leap to split jump, good! She seems so calm and smooth. Transverse split jump half, nice toe point, but a little bobble. Check on the full turn, comes in a bit low and piked in her punch the front full dismount but she lands it no problem, and overall that was very nice and she has a lot of truly great qualities in her movements! 12.450!

2:31 pm. Katriel Sousa 11.650 FX

2:29 pm. Marcia Vidiaux 13.000 UB

2:28 pm. Simona Castro CHI BB: Switch leap, nice, bhs layout, a bit piked and a leg-up wobble, but nice save. Front aerial, hip check, straddle jump. Wobble on the full turn. Switch half, just some foot stuff, and she’s a little low on the sissone to wolf jump. Side aerial, another break at the hips, switch side after that was good and solid after everything else. Ugh, sat the 2.5 dismount. 😦 What a bummer. 10.650

Maria Del Sol Perez 10.550 FX

2:27 pm. Paulina Campos 11.500 BB

2:25 pm. Sandra Collantes PER UB: UB: Blind full, some slight ankle separation, blind change to straddle Jaeger, hit her feet on the bar in the swing out of it. UGH. Bail to toe shoot, nice handstand before her giants into her double layout dismount, comes off the bar super low and does it to her knees. But because she comes from NCAA she’s like “nbd” and smiles as she leaves. 10.950

2:24 pm. Andrea Maldonado 12.400 FX, Anapaula Gutierrez 11.100 BB, Ana Palacios 10.400 UB

2:23 pm. Flavia Saraiva BRA VT: DTY, leg form is a little softer and looser than it was the other day and she’s also a bit short with a rebound forward and her chest down. 14.150

2:21 pm. Martina Dominici ARG VT: DTY, so glad she has this back, it’s mostly good, she’s just a little short coming in for the landing and kinda leaps forward out of the landing. Just needs a tiny bit more oomph and in her block to make this look nicer. 13.850

2:20 pm. Thais Fidelis BRA VT: FTY, nice amplitude, pretty clean in the air, mostly solid on the landing. Best-executed vault so far by a lot. 13.700

Victoria-Kayen Woo 12.950 UB, Luna Fernandez 12.350 FX, Danusia Francis 12.750 UB, Yesenia Ferrera 11.250 BB

2:19 pm. Riley McCusker USA VT: DTY, MUCH better than day one!! Twists it well and lands it very well, just chest down, a little off to the side, and some crossed ankles in the air. 14.250

2:17 pm. Kara Eaker USA VT: Yurchenko 1.5, came in REALLY low and bent-armed onto the table so her block was pretty weak, has to fully tuck her knees for an entire full rotation but the landing is just as good as it was the other day. 13.950

2:16 pm. Karelys Diaz 11.475 BB, Heika Del Sol Salas 11.400 FX, Ariana Orrego 11.400 UB

2:13 pm. Ellie Black CAN VT: Just a 20 year wait for her for some reason. Literally no one has gone, why is this such a problem?! She waited up there for straight up three minutes before vaulting. Handspring front layout full, but it’s great, almost stuck! The usual with the piked hips off the table and she holds the pike a bit longer than she has been lately but the landing was great. 14.450

2:12 pm. The top group is still finishing up vault but the rest of the touch is done! Any second now.

2:11 pm. Just as I said that the camera cut to Ellie Black getting ready to do her touch…ugh but then it cut away, so nevermind, lol.

2:10 pm. Really hoping Ellie brings it with a Rudi today but her full has been looking so strong lately, it might not be worth risking something bigger. I wish we could actually see the touch!

2:09 pm. Actually, touch warm-ups are happening NOW. They introduced all of the athletes instead of just having them walk in which was kinda nice.

2:05 pm. The athletes are marching out now and the touch warm-up is beginning!

1:56 pm. The women’s all-around final will be underway shortly!

For the U.S., it’s Riley McCusker and Kara Eaker coming in to challenge for gold ahead of reigning all-around champion Ellie Black, who won the title at home in Canada four years ago.

Also competing in the top group are Brazil’s Flavia Saraiva and Thais Fidelis, as well as Martina Dominici, and all three of these gymnasts have a chance to improve on their beam scores today after struggling in qualifications.

In addition to the top group, Peru will see two gymnasts in the second group, as NCAA standouts Sandra Collantes and Ariana Orrego both had a fantastic day one and helped Peru to a record-breaking fifth place in the team competition.

Fan favorite Danusia Francis of Jamaica is also in this group, as are Ana Palacios of Guatemala, who recently upgraded her vault, Cuba’s star Marcia Vidiaux, and Canada’s Victoria-Kayen Woo, who edged out Brooklyn Moors to make this final and will show especially beautiful work on floor.

60 thoughts on “2019 Pan American Games Live Blog | Women’s All-Around Final

  1. I am not understanding how Black ends up with a higher E score than McCusker. Solid routine aside, Black’s form should be tenthed to death and it wasn’t. Really baffled by those beam scores.


    • Yeah, I think it was high for sure…Riley could probably get close to a 9 without all of her checks and bobbles but unfortunately she had a bunch today. But an 8.5 for Ellie is pretty generous.


  2. wow… ellie repeating as pan am . i guess US will have to bring in the big gun as simone biles to reclaim the title next time….lol..


  3. Isn’t that the second time Kara has fallen on her beam mount in a big competition? Worlds 2018. Seems like she should switch to something else?


    • I thought she had a different mount last year, but I’m not sure. At this point maybe she should switch to something simpler. But she might be thinking “screw these mounts! I’m going to crush it next time.”


  4. Damn does Riley just suffer from Sam Mikulak syndrome in that she’s really great domestically but inconsistent internationally? I love both of them as gymnasts but they’re so frustrating sometimes!! Kara might be joining that club too, between this and worlds last year.


    • Riley was excellent in qualifications, and at classics…I think we have to remember (a) it’s not peak season yet (the US is usually at about 80% in July/August), (b) there’s a lot of travel for athletes involved here so they’re ALL at risk of just being physiologically done which is why almost everyone in this final except for maybe four people (Flavia, Martina, Thais, and Danusia) had large mistakes, (c) this was Riley and Kara’s first major international AA final which means insane pressure, and (d) literally everything else that goes into showing nerves in a major final. I think it’s much too soon to say she has Sam Mikulak syndrome when this is her first time out there in this situation! Her mistake at worlds came in QFs but she crushed it in the team final.

      Liked by 1 person

        • Yep, they’re human, they don’t have a lot of experience competing in major international Games, and they also have some pretty steady competition in Ellie Black. It’s not a bad thing that they didn’t win an AA gold here, and when these girls do make it big in the future, this will be all but forgotten. Aly Raisman finished off the podium in three world/Olympic AA meets (and didn’t make the final in a fourth), but then she won world AA silver. People need to stop being so fatalist as if one random meet when these gymnasts are operating at 80% will determine the rest of their future in the sport.


    • To be fair, she just finished US Classics and her performance there and here during qualifications was stellar…. I still do not understand this schedule.


    • it’s definitely the sam mikulak club…lol…. good in traning and qualification but falter in the final….

      at least the falter was during the individual effort and not during the team final, which i think is always what’s more important for the US program….. but it’s just sad because had they made these errors in TF, US would still have won by a mile but they would both have the hardware they were kinda expecting….

      but then again, riley can’t complain that she got a silver, even with a fall and kara got 4th even with two big mistakes


      • I think that’s a bit harsh and shows the fact that we as a society judge women harsher than men. Riley has had what – 2 international comps or this being her 3rd as opposed to Sams 100 competitions over many many years and a few quads and didn’t get called out on that issues many many years into his career? I think the comparison is a big reach. Like shoulder dislocating reach…

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sam = 8+ years of hitting in qualifications but not hitting in finals. Riley = 2 major competitions total, 2 falls total, came back from one to help the US win team gold at one meet, and still ended up second on the AA podium with a fall at the second. It’s a LITTLE different, lol. People gave Sam at least 3-4 years before they started questioning him.


  5. Devastated for Riley that she was so close and yet so far from gold, but she fell and Ellie didn’t. The right gymnast won today (and of course so happy for Ellie that she repeats! You go girl!)


    • Agreed! The ranking is correct. Ellie had literally one mistake all meet with that pass on floor, and for her other three events she was basically at her absolute best, minus the usual form things. Riley is weak on vault, fell on bars, and wobbled throughout beam. She should’ve won on a fully hit day, by quite a bit, but it wasn’t a fully hit day, unfortunately for her. It’s a bummer when someone with the top potential in a meet doesn’t succeed at her best, but Ellie is more than deserving of this win.


  6. I miss the time when any third class US gymnast could easily win AA gold at the Pan Ams. They should have definetly brougth Biles. She is the only one who could certainly and easily win the AA gold even with mistakes and falls.


    • Biles chose not to be included in this meet, and the U.S. really doesn’t NEED a Pan Am Games AA title, lol. They use this meet to help test those who are in contention for worlds. Sending Biles to collect an easy win is pointless. A “third class” US gymnast could win in the past because other countries had weak competition. Ellie Black is a world all-around medalist and has consistently been a top five all-arounder in major world competition since 2016. With a fully hit meet, Riley could’ve realistically had a two-point win here, but part of competition is hitting and unfortunately for the U.S., Riley didn’t hit. Ellie did. Because she’s Ellie, and that’s what she does, and that’s why she can beat gymnasts who have the potential to blow her scores out of the water but don’t hit.


      • Yep. I think Riley is a gorgeous gymnast, and I would have loved to see her win, but Ellie own fair and square. Also, Flavia!


    • Personally I love to see other countries challenging. Worlds AA will be very interesting later this year. USA is not guaranteed the gold and silver anymore.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Really? I think that it is actually nice to watch a competition and have some competition. I think that Ellie, while not really my cup of tea as a gymnast, is a stellar competitor and I think that it is actually nice that the one who won is the one who did not fall. I think that the fact that this was not a runaway train also lends legitimacy to the competition.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Really? I actually think that it adds legitimacy that the winner could not count a fall and I like the fact that the winner was the one with the cleanest competition. And She lost (with a fall and a wobbly performance) to Ellie Black who is a great gymnast. Biles did not want to be on the team (and I think that she made the right call) as she probably felt that it was better for her to work on her upgrades for the fall.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Peaking is one thing, but I feel like Riley’s narrative in international competition is that it’s not a matter of if a fall will occur, it’s a matter of when will it happen. Domestically, Riley does great, but since 2017, she has yet to put together an international meet as a “hit.” I honestly thought maybe this was a “peaking” thing and she was peaking too early (I feel like last year she peaked at US Championships), and coming off her huge US Classics performance, I had high hopes for her, but after today, I feel like there’s something more there than peaking too early.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think the past two seasons she has peaked around nationals, but it’s only two. She literally just turned 18, it’s not like she’s been a senior for long enough to say it’s a trend. Look at Melnikova— she had a lot of inconsistency during her first two years as a senior, much worse than what McCusker has and just last season she started to hit just about every routine she competed. The more major international assignments McCusker gets, the more comfortable she will get with the environment and the better she’ll be as a competitor. Plus, it’s good that she’s performing her best in the summer because that’s exactly what you want to see for Tokyo.

      Liked by 1 person

      • The difference between Melnikova and McCusker is the depth the USA has over Russia. And yes, Riley is only 18, but there’s been American Cup and Jesolo in 2017, World’s in 2018, Birmingham Cup and Pan Ams now in 2019. There’s not one international meet that she has put together routines without any falls. Like I said, until Pan Ams, I thought this was a pacing problem, but now I’m not so sure, as she notched a great performance just at Classic only to have falls and lackluster floor and beam in the AA finals at Pan Ams, a competition that is in the summer when she has performed better. This is why it doesn’t seem like a pacing issue, it’s either endurance (which I don’t believe b/c she had a great performance both days of US Championships in 2018 to finish 2nd AA) or it’s getting to be a mental block. And if it’s a mental block, how do you help her or how many tries do you give her – keeping others who are just as capable at home?


      • It’s gymnastics, anything can happen. But i do notice a pattern that might be developing. actually not just mccusker but possibly also kara. i do think they need to maybe have a sport psychologist involved. Biles did and look how it worked for her.


  8. Riley missed gold for 0.125 … During the last world championships, Nina Derwael missed the podium for 0.033 and Angelina Melnikova for 0.034. Morgan fell off the beam, Nina and Angelina (nearly tied) didn’t fall (Angelina made some errors and Nina was just great). The judges decided to medal the gymnast who fell, and I found the decision quite unfair. It was heartbreaking because Nina deserved the first AA medal for a Belgium gymnast.That’s the sport, but today I find the ranking fair.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nina is a specialist and overscored and overated in the others events because they want to “ give medals for a small program gymnast”. Her beam is not medal deserver she counts with a big failure in the code ( overate two ugly wolf turns) , floor terrible and vault even worst.
      If the code was decent, Nina would be a specialist and that’s it. So be glad that she still can get her overscored points .


      • Wauw, are you in a bad mood?
        All gymnasts use the code to their advantage and all are judged by the same people. If you have a problem with the system, send a letter to the federation but don’t blame the gymnasts. Please, have some respect.

        Liked by 1 person

        • People are so gross in how they talk about gymnasts. They pick who they personally don’t like and somehow blame all problems in the sport on them and don’t even see that it’s just their own bias. EYE ROLL.


      • If the judges wanted to “give medals to small programs”, they would have given the bronze medal to Nina and not to Morgan, who FELL and win by nothin (0,033 !). On the contrary, they proved they want to give medals to the biggest program, the US program. Nina and Angelina deserved the bronze medal.
        Concerning the code, Riley also does on the beam the “overate two ugly wolf turns”… And nobody more than her tries to take benefits from the code. On beam, her D-score is 5.3, with 1.1 connections. At US classics the judges gave her the full 1.1, but not at the Panams, and I really doubt that she can obtain more than 0.4.
        US gymnasts are just human (even Simone) : during the last international big competitions (world championships 2018 and PanAms), Simone, Kara, Riley, Morgan, Sky, Kyla fell. Grace McCallum and Leanne Wog are the only one not to have fallen.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I am an international judge and I can promise you 100% that the results of no competition I’ve been to has ever been decided in advance. The judges are educated and trained to do the job they do. Gymnasts work so hard for these competitions and the judges want to ensure the best gymnast wins. There is no conspiracy. The gymnast who performs best wins the medal. Don’t forget that at international events the judges are not allowed to speak during competition and they are yellow and red carded for poor judging. Bias is punished by removing the judge from the competition or banning her/him from future competitions. International competition is not the same as a domestic event. Gives the judges some credit please for the incredibly difficult job they do

        Liked by 1 person

        • When the difference is 0.03, or 0.001, it’s a choice between two gymnasts. That doesn’t mean conspiracy … And that doesn’t mean the result has been decided in advance, but at the end of the competition. A difference of 0.01 cannot be considered as an objectivable, provable bias. Judgement isn’t a science : if it was, all the judges will give the same score, but it’s far to be the case. Sometimes, the difference between different judges are very different. How can you explain it ?
          I am not disrespectful towards judges and I completely agree that their job is difficult, but they are also humans.


        • So strange to be an international judge and to stalk on a US gymfan site … Don’t find it very ethical to take part …


        • This isn’t a “US gym fan site,” I actually have far more coverage of other programs than I do of the US, and all of my favorite gymnasts with the exception of one are from outside the US. In fact, I traveled to Euros this year and am traveling to worlds as well, but I chose not to travel to any of the domestic US meets despite LIVING in the US. The US is the best program in the world and has been for the past decade, so obviously coverage is going to talk about them consistently because I’d be an idiot if I was talking about the current state of gymnastics in the world and didn’t mention the US, lol.

          Additionally, judges are almost always coaches or have similar jobs that make it necessary for them to follow the sport, and they will read this site to find out what’s going on in the world. Judging isn’t a full time job so pretty much everyone who is judging, especially from smaller programs where they don’t have as many opportunities to judge at a high level, is involved with the sport in another way, and they always know what’s going on outside of just the few competitions they’re judging each year. Many judges actually come to this site to learn more about the sport because they’re from super small programs and get zero training, so they watch other competitions and read live blogs to see what the larger programs are doing (I know of several judges from countries that are just getting started with artistic teams and this is one of the only resources they have).

          Liked by 1 person

        • Sorry Lauren, I didn’t mean that you are supporting specifically US gymnasts. In fact your knowledge of all national programs is absolutely amazing and you are very objective and a true gym lover whatever the nationality of the gymnasts.
          I was speaking of your readers and fans who write comments on this forum : most of them are fans of US gym, sometimes very hegemonic and sometimes very contemptuous towards other gymnasts. Some of them (I could give names but I won’t) are really “America first”. I don’t blame them, why not ! I just find questionable that somebody whose name is “a fan”, on this forum, could be an international judge. An international judge should not be “a fan” and should not express their view on a fan forum.
          Sorry that’s my opinion.


        • Thank you for clarifying, I put a lot of hard work into making sure I cover everyone in the sport without bias and it really offends me when people think this is just another “US fan blog.” But yes, there are many fans of US gym on here, at least in terms of the most vocal people. Most of the judges who I know that read this site, however, are international…I don’t know of any US judges (at least not brevet/international elite judges) who regularly read this blog, but I do know that lots of international judges do and I know that none of them would be posting pro-US stuff.


        • I add that your post, Lauren, was non appropriate. I don’t pretend to know anything, I just love the sport. And for nobody who loves this sport and want to follow it, you are the only site. Happily, there are many sites for gym fans. Gymternet is an excellent one … among others (not all of them are American).


        • I don’t understand the objection to a judge, international or otherwise, posting on a fan site. As long as they do so completely anonymously, it’s great to have to perspective and comments of a judge. Just like it’s great to have the comments of former or current athletes, of men, of women, of old-timers and teenagers. There’s nothing wrong with a judge posting comments as long as she/he doesn’t reveal who they are.
          And I hope judges are fans of gymnastics. Why would you even become a gymnastics judge if you’re not a fan of the sport? And judges are going to have their personal favorite athletes and they’re allowed to. They’re human and they’re going to have their own likes and dislikes. Of course it would be wrong if they let personal favorites get in the way of judging according to the rules and code, but judges in their off-time are allowed to be fans and they’re allowed to post on the gymternet.

          Liked by 1 person

        • That’s probably because, shockingly, I’m an American. So, shockingly, my perspective is an American one. Is your MIND BLOWN yet?

          And yet, despite being American, I go out of my way to bring coverage from every country in Europe, South America, Asia, and Oceania, and I travel around the world to bring coverage from non-US events when I haven’t been to cover a US event in over a year. Aside from one American gymnast, all of my favorite gymnasts are non-American. And you’re 100% wrong on what my tastes are in terms of artistry. I don’t find pretty much any of the American routines artistic, but please, feel free to tell me what my tastes are because you know more than I do apparently. Actually, my favorite routines in terms of artistry over the past few years come from Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Canada, Brazil, Costa Rica, Greece, Iceland, and Jamaica. I guarantee you probably haven’t even seen a single routine from gymnasts from half of these countries, but again, please tell me that I only like Americans.

          I’m so sick of people who think that because I’m from the U.S., I can only care about/cover Americans. The Americans have been the leading team for the past decade in this sport, and it’s because they have the strongest combination of difficulty and execution in the world, which is why they can win meets by ten points as a team. This is a fact. But this fact does not dictate what my personal style is and what I personally like. I often don’t write about what my personal favorites are because then people accuse me of being biased. So I’m either accused of being “pro USA” because I talk about them winning a meet, aka facts, and then when I do talk about my non-US faves, aka my opinions, I’m accused of being biased.

          I can’t win with you people, but the fact is that I spend the majority of my time covering gymnasts from all over the world to make sure gymnasts who wouldn’t normally get covered are being featured on this site. I have covered 127 meets in 2019 and fewer than 15 of them have featured U.S. gymnasts. And yet I’m still accused of “only caring about America.” I’m honestly fucking sick of it. I work too hard to bring coverage of meets that most people don’t even pay attention to (please tell me another site that has covered the Junior Asian Cup or Nordic Championships or the All-African Games or the Elek Matolay Memorial or New Zealand Championships) to put up with people like you accusing me of “only covering Americans.” If you don’t like what I cover, get off my site.

          Sorry, I normally try to brush these types of idiotic comments off, but I’m literally just so sick of working so hard to bring coverage of events that normally don’t even have results posted (the number of governing bodies I need to each out to on a weekly basis for information is basically a full time job) only to get people like this accusing me of only caring about the U.S. Feel free to call me defensive or say I’m overreacting but people can’t come to this blog and accuse me of things and be straight up rude and be shocked that I want to defend myself as someone who works my ass off to do this site FOR FREE to HELP PEOPLE.


  9. So funny how lauren finds american girls so many excuses but not for the others:-)))) lets face it, american program is not as good as it was during karolyis, without biles they wont win, or not win as easily, other countries are catching up and we can see the scores, funny how she could win if she didnt had the wobble, so is everyone else hahahaha


    • I didn’t give any “excuses” for the Americans? Can you not read? Nowhere in this live blog did I say “WITHOUT A WOBBLE SHE WOULD’VE WON!!!!” but thanks for inventing things I guess. Even when the U.S. was pushing to get an inquiry for Riley I talked about how there’s no way she should get the tenths back and that Ellie should get the gold.

      The U.S. girls were almost two points ahead of Ellie in qualifications, and if they had equally strong performances in the final, they would’ve likely taken gold and silver. That’s a fact. But they DIDN’T have equally strong performances in the final. They had multiple falls and mistakes. That’s not an “excuse” for them not winning, it’s…literally what happened.


  10. Dear Lauren,
    I’m European and read your website several times a week. Thank you for all the time, hard work and research you put into your commentaries. I find them insightful and detailed. I really appreciate that you cover events from all over the world and are happy to share your thought with us. Having read some of the above posts, I felt the need to let you know how much your work is valued and appreciated.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much! I really appreciate it, I honestly work so hard to cover more than just the U.S. since that’s what everyone else is covering, but I obviously also have to cover meets that the U.S. competes at as well. I’ll post 15 articles in a row that have nothing to do with the U.S. and then I do a U.S. Classic preview and people are like “ugh you only care about the U.S.” It’s so annoying. I love how strong and consistent the U.S. team is but stylistically they’re not my favorite and never have been. I can’t believe people can’t separate facts from opinions, and me reporting the facts of the U.S. performing well doesn’t mean I only care about the U.S. But thank you again, it’s nice to occasionally have someone recognize that I’m working hard and just trying to bring more coverage. ❤


    • I regularly check out new on all the best known gym blogs and sites that there are (that are in English) and it’s been my impression that Lauren seems to cover international meets (with no Americans) more than anyone (and I mean way more).


  11. Pingback: Around the Gymternet: I’m nauseous. | The Gymternet

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