It’s time for the 288th edition of You Asked, The Gymternet Answered!
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Which current members of the U.S. junior team become seniors in 2021?
In terms of those who have been at the highest levels, Sydney Barros, Love Birt, Skye Blakely, Konnor McClain Zoe Miller, Sienna Robinson, Katelyn Rosen, and Mya Witte all turn 16 next year.
Here’s a list of other juniors who have competed in 2019 or 2020 who were also born in 2005: Olivia Ahern, Alyssa Arana, Love Birt, Hadley Bretschneider, Samantha Brogden, Elizabeth Cairns, Sophie Derr, Natalie DiLandri, Amy Doyle, Skylar Draser, Sydnee Evans, Maria Ferguson, Reagan Forkey, Georgia Gilmore, Cadence Goldberg, Emily Golden, Elle Hadrick, Julianne Huff, Sydney Jelen, Sierra Kaplan, Julia Krzywanski, Temple Landry, Rayna Light, Amber Lowe, Jordyn Lyden, Courtney McCann, Sydney McCord, Annalise Newman-Achee, Sophie Parenti, Lauren Pearce, Madison Perkins, Cecily Rizo, Camryn Rueda, Jenna Rusk, Jamison Sears, Chavala Shepard, Ui Soma, Kaia Tanskanen, Monica Todorov, Lindsay Van Eyk, Eva Volpe, Clara Wallace, Jaelah Warner, Madelyn Warren, Mahleea Werline, Paige Wills, Cami Winger, Jamie Wright, and Lexi Zeiss.
I heard Chloe Widner is no longer at Stanford. Is there any information on this or her status?
Well, officially she’s still there, and it looks like she also still has it listed on her social media, so I don’t think she’s no longer there and haven’t seen anything about the rumor that she isn’t.
Why doesn’t Morgan Hurd do more turns in her floor routine? I assume it’s just not her thing.
Yeah, I’ve always assumed she just prefers to build difficulty elsewhere because she feels like her strengths are more along the lines of leaps and acro…but without being at the gym during COVID-19, she’s been posting some skills on social media, including a double L turn from what I can remember, so maybe she’ll be adding a turn or two in the future?
Is Tonya Paulsson free from injuries now? Is she going to be a future star for Sweden when Jonna Adlerteg retires and Jessica Castles goes to college? How can she upgrade her difficulty to be a medal contender?
As of the end of last year, she seemed to have been doing much better, and I know she’s also been training based on social media, so we can hope she’s relatively injury-free! I definitely think she has the talent to take over as Sweden’s top gymnast in the future, and think her best way to increase her potential as an all-arounder is to continue focusing on bars (she’s gorgeous there and has the potential for bigger difficulty!) and then also work on getting a consistently solid FTY. If she can be a 13.5+ on vault and a 13.8+ on bars, and then have hit routines in the mid 12s on beam and floor, then her all-around potential could be around the 52+ range, which would be strong enough to make the all-around final at Euros, and to qualify for the 2024 Olympic Games.
Is the maximum number of women a country can send to the 2020 Olympics six? What happens if a country qualifies two all-around spots, a full team, and four nominative spots? Who decides which athletes can go?
Yes, it’s six, period. A country can’t qualify two all-around spots, a full team, and four nominative spots. Once a country qualifies a full team, they have two individual spots they can qualify, and the spots they qualify are determined by the competitions they attend in the order that they happen. Since the all-around world cups were scheduled to conclude first, a country who wins a spot this way would secure one spot via this option, and then with the apparatus world cups concluding next, a country who has already earned a team and all-around world cup spot could then earn one nominative spot at the world cups, and then that would be it. They could still go to the continental championships, but they would no longer be eligible to earn additional spots at that point because they already earned all of the spots that are available to them.
Do you think Olivia Greaves will be consistent going into 2021, and have a shot at going to Tokyo because her upgrades are incredible, especially on bars?
I hope so! I love Olivia a ton. She had a wrench thrown into her training with her coaches getting suspended, but she also benefits from having the Olympics being pushed back by a year, because she now has time to figure out a new training situation. I feel like if she can figure out a consistent training situation in the next year, she definitely has a strong chance at getting in the mix for Tokyo.
How will the two-per-country rule affect gymnasts with individual spots at the Olympics? For example, if two U.S. team gymnasts qualify for floor, and then an individual also qualifies, would all three compete in the floor final as the individual is only representing herself, not the team?
All athletes are representing the same country, regardless of whether they’re “on the team” or competing as an individual. Two per country literally means two per country. If a U.S. gymnast on the team qualifies first on floor, an individual competitor qualifies second, and another U.S. team gymnast qualifies in third, then only the first two would make the final even though one is a team gymnast and the other is an individual.
Russia hasn’t competed at the American Cup since 2011, but is that because they decline invitations or do they not receive invitations anymore?
They still receive invitations…every country that places a team in the top eight at worlds earns world cup invitations (and for the 2020 world cups, it expanded so that every country that placed a team in the top 12 earned them). Russia generally turned their invitations down, officially because they conflicted with Russian Championships, but also because there was definitely some bitterness related to Aliya Mustafina not winning in 2011. This year, they did accept their American Cup invitations for both MAG and WAG, and were planning on sending Nikita Nagornyy and Lilia Akhaimova, but with COVID-19 they ended up deciding to keep their gymnasts at home.
What do people mean when they say someone Zamarripa-ed something on bars?
I’ve never heard the term “Zamarripa-ed” for bars…in the past, like when she was competing, when someone was getting “Zamarripa-ed” it meant they were getting a 10 for a routine that wasn’t actually perfect, haha…I think that came from when she once had a vault with her chest fully down and was still given a 10 or something. On bars she was known for having basically perfect handstands, so maybe if you’ve heard that recently, it’s just someone complimenting someone’s handstands by comparing them to Vanessa’s?
If two-per-country wasn’t a thing, could Madison Kocian have made the all-around podium in Rio?
I don’t think she would’ve made the all-around podium over Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, and Gabby Douglas if all three of them were also competing in the final, and if Laurie Hernandez was thrown into the mix, then Madison would be fifth out of the five Americans, assuming all were at their best. But if it was a three-per-country thing and Madison was one of the three in the final with, say, Simone and Aly, then yes, she would’ve had a good chance at making the podium in 2016. She scored similarly to Aliya on bars at the Olympics, and then the two actually would’ve scored pretty similarly on the other three. Madison maybe would’ve had the edge on floor, but I think it could have come pretty close between the two overall for the bronze.
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Article by Lauren Hopkins