Secret Classic Podium Training

I haven’t been obsessively refreshing the USAGym youtube page all day. You’ve been obsessively refreshing the USAGym youtube page all day. What is obviously the most important day of your life, Secret Classic podium training, is finally here and the videos are flooding in for our intense dissection needs, providing us with…WAIT.

Has Skinner gotten rid of both tomato-armpit AND stab-a-boob???

THIS WILL NOT STAND. This better just be a podium training acro-through, and she’s saving the difficult and important parts of the routine for competition. Otherwise, I don’t know what I’ll do. Shut up with that full-in dismount whatever, I WANT TOMATO ARMPIT. I mean, we do get “rigor mortis pottery” at the beginning of this video, and then “I’m nervous about my upcoming hip replacement surgery” toward the end, but THAT’S IT. Not good enough. She also appears to have added in her own homage to Ol’ Flappy. Derivative.

In important upgrade news, Laurie Hernandez showed up like a monster to upset the bars cart with this upgraded 6.4 bars routine.

Serious team final implications with this, as it potentially gives Hernandez a second event to help make her case (along with beam). This separates her from the pack of 6.1 bars options (like Biles and Nichols) and helps turn the attention away from vault (and who has an Amanar) and onto what Hernandez can potentially add on bars and beam, which could total more than an Amanar adds anyway. The execution is fine, though not ideal (those damn stalder full legs), so we’ll need to see how this is evaluated to see how much she’s really gaining here. To be a viable bars option, you have to beat Biles by at least a couple tenths since the team could always just put up Biles and be fine.

Speaking of bars specialists, Kocian showed her normal 6.6 difficulty and no apparent ill-effects from her lifetime of shattered bones, hurling her right back into the lead in the bars specialist hunt, though Locklear also showed her same, normal 6.5 routine.

The mystery of Miss Bailie Key continues as she showed a perfectly hit and acceptable “you could compete this” bars routine in podium training, though she will not be competing any events in the actual competition. Um…OK? But…you’re already here. And doing the routine. It’s so Texas Petitions.

So…now we have to talk about the floor routines, don’t we? I guess we do.

Let’s start with the best part.

I totally get that her extreme facial expressions are mugging for the audience in a way I often criticize in NCAA, but I will take this energy and attention to performance any day over boring slop or crazy nonsense or a small child’s routine. I could watch it 20 times in a row, and it needs to be seen by the general public at trials/Olympics. Jeremy Miranda, I hope you already have a binder full of flow charts of ideas for Laurie’s floor routines, otherwise you have failed.

Gabby also has a new floor routine.

There’s not a lot here. We’ll need to see it in competition. All the choreography is pretty stationary and located entirely in the corners, though she is much more comfortable showing her personality now in floor routines than she was during the last quad. There’s much more facial attitude and shoulders going on now. I don’t have a strong feeling about the music either way yet, which on the scale of Gabby’s floor music history, makes it a 17-time Grammy winner and a chorus of angels.

The circus is in town!

No matter which one it is, MyKayla Skinner’s floor routines always seem like what would be going on in the background behind a carnival barker, don’t they?

In other news, glorious luminescent mermaid #1:

Glorious luminescent mermaid #2:

Remember how Rachel Gowey does gymnastics? I know. I had kind of forgotten. She even vaulted today. WHOA NOW.

Jenny Rowland is totally rapping her fingers together going, “Eeeeeexcellent…”

On the topic of vault, Miss Douglas will not be vaulting here, which is terrible news and means we have to put Project Team Final Vaults almost entirely on hold until nationals. Though, it is better news for Maggie Nichols since a vaulting door is definitely still open for her to make her case later on.

Also, Simone was there. And just did normal Simone business. She was so bored by her own awesomeness (see screencap at the top). “Ta da. Yes. I’m great. Fine. Snore.”

The junior women’s AA final at the European Championships also took place today, and if you’re a fan of splat-fests, this competition is your husband. Top qualifier Elena Eremina ended up winning in spite of getting lost in a tornado during a bars pirouette and accidentally doing 16 turns, leaving her with no idea where her home was. But, since that was her only major mistake in the meet, she’s basically the queen of stability.

For the remaining podium spots, Switzerland continued being a thing now as Lynn Genhart came from no one knowing who she was (and qualifying in 14th) to take silver, and Martina Basile of Italy took bronze. Basile managed to hit 4-for-4, the requirement for a medal, suffering a major break in the hips on beam but critically fighting to stay on.

The other significant contenders had boxes and boxes and boxes of trouble. They were basically hoarders, except of beam mistakes instead of old newspapers. Kinsella of GB had a serious shot at gold here but fell on beam to drop out of the medals, and Iliankova of Russia had a nightmarish hellscape of a meet in which she crashed vault and proceeded to fall 18 times on the same acro series on beam.

Elsewhere, Crisan of Romania won the artistry award for her moving interpretation of Romania’s bars history in the second rotation. She mounted to the high bar, attempted to do a stalder, and promptly proceeded to fly off the bars and exactly horizontally out of frame. Very evocative.

Next up is men’s nationals tonight. It’ll be exciting. Remember to write CHEESEBURGERS ON HORSE on a piece of paper and tie it to a tree to help Sam not fall.