The Balance Beam Situation

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama

Women’s Podium Training and Men’s Podium Talking

The videos are here! The videos are here!

For an Amanar, that sure did consist of only two twists.

Also, Vanessa Ferrari’s routine composition is not a role model!

I’ll be interested to see what D score Gabby gets for this because I’m not giving credit to that back tuck out of the back full or that turn combo. That’s why it’s called podium training, though. Deep breaths. She’s certainly trying to squeeze every last tenth out of that routine to make a push as the third floor worker.

Cheryl Hamilton certainly had some background faces and some conversations with Kittia about that one.

On bars, Maggie is looking pretty much on track with where she was last year. It’s a 6.0 difficulty, which isn’t necessarily going to make a splash on these days when you’ve got the Locklears and the Kocians and the Gabbys and then Hernandez doing 6.4, but that dismount landing looked normal and secure without tentativeness.

On beam, nothing looked too troubling or scary either. There are still a few unfortunate moments like that wolf jump to front tuck, but at least she has seen the light and eliminated the two consecutive wolf turns at the beginning, so let’s all celebrate forever what we have been given. Looks like she’s going for 6.1 here.

We’ll see if she ends up competing the AA, but she also showed some floor tumbling.

Three of her floor passes, not the double double, which may be a bridge too far at this point. The bits of leaps we saw looked fab, obviously. It seems like she’s getting there. Overall, this is farther along than I expected her to be at nationals podium training. Note that no video of her vault ever materialized.

In other news, Simone Chengs to Mars.

Brenna is doing her 6.5. It’s not the full difficulty she could do, which would be pushing 7 if she threw everything in, but the idea is that it will be more consistent for her. Jury is still out, though, and that fingertip shap 1/2 is still nerve-wracking.

The rarest of all birds, Madison Kocian being healthy enough to do a floor routine. With tumbling! And she didn’t even almost die until the fourth pass!

I will not fall on a back tuck at nationals.
I will not fall on a back tuck at nationals.

I will not fall on a back tuck at nationals.
I will not fall on a back tuck at nationals.

Aly Raisman’s training Amanar looked the usual amount of “oh, your legs” but also remains viably team final. You know that thing is getting a 9.3 E score at the Olympics anyway.

The question of all questions, which of these beam routines do you want going in the team final at the Olympics:

With this routine, Hernandez has a solid shot at finishing second on beam, and it would be a necessary achievement for her Olympic case. She needs a big beam placement more than Douglas or Raisman do, who have more leeway to afford to be just OK. The positive for Hernandez is that she doesn’t have many built-in deductions in her beam routine. She’ll lose some for the switch 1/2, lack of back-leg 90 on the switch ring, and landing position on the double pike, but most of her leaps are pristine and she has the potential for a very high E. It puts more pressure on Raisman to hit all those connections to stay with her.

On the topic of Raisman, note how girl has worked out that layout since last quad.

Raisman layout 2012:
raisman2

Raisman layout 2016:
raisman1

Now I’m a real boy!

Some other people also did some other things that were the same as classic. So, you know, go watch Alyssa Baumann and feel better about life.

The boys don’t get routine videos because their podium training sessions are just one giant and a DUDE YOU GOT THIS SWING IT HARD. But, we do get interviews. As is traditional, they are 99% ambiguous lies, so let me translate.

“Obviously, just, I should be on the Olympic Team. I have been reading the selection procedures compulsively while maintaining my hair crease and designing a fourth chest tattoo of a big-horned sheep, and item 1A is that certain people whom I’m not naming specifically should absolutely be on the team because they’re really good at three events and placed in the top three there at nationals. I don’t know who that would be. I’m just speaking generally. About certain people.

In unrelated news, did you know I was in the top three on three events at nationals? Because I was top three on three events. Events. Specialist. Top three. Events. Vote Paulie 4 Lympics.

Also, 6×3=18. I’m like totally all the math classes. So, if you need any times tables at the Olympics…Bingo. Top three on three events.”

“Mmmmm, cheeseburgers. Cheeseburgers, cheeseburgers. Horse blondies. Cheeseburgers. ME WANT CHEESEBURGER. I’M SO HUNGRY YOU GUYS. THIS IS MY CRY FOR HELP. CAN’T YOU TELL? CHEESEBURGERS.

I’m just going to go on the floor and handle my business. What? What did I say? What else could that mean? That’s not funny.

My body is made of dust and I am 90.

‘Rutrition’ is a word. Why? What do you call it?

I did well at nationals, but I’ve also been playing around with Spencer’s team calculator so I know that there are really good arguments for me as an alternate. Spencer’s so smart, isn’t he?”

“Dude, I’m dude. It’s dude.

Did you just ask me how my body is? I could answer that a lot of ways, so I’m just going to talk about needing some wood. It’s fine because I’m doing cupping, and contrast baths, and taking a tincture of doodly-woo, and doing full-moon raspberry juggling because of my energies and their alignments, so I’m good to go.

Bro man, dude. It’s totally dude.

Chris Brooks is 29. Which is 90. That’s what he told me. Dude.

My greatest strength is consistency. Why are you laughing?”

“I’m great. Like really great. I’m so much better than all these monkeys.

I’m 4th on floor, 4th on rings, and 6th on pommels, so to be in those top 3 guys on three events…huh? What, Paul? No, I don’t need your math class. I’ve been competing with all of these guys for multiple decades. Even Yul. I’M TELLING YOU I DON’T NEED A MATH CLASS.”

The difference-maker will be who can perform when called upon. Starting with this meet, though. The rest don’t count. I haven’t fallen a couple times on horse this year. You’ve fallen a couple times on horse this year.

It’ll be tough. Every guy here could make the Olympic team. Except Steve.”

“Yeah, I’m not making the Olympic team.
But at least I have the bone structure of a cartoon superhero.”

“What I took away from Hartford is that don’t get your leg chewed off by a goddamn dog, that’s what I took away from Hartford. CLOWN QUESTION, BRO.

Can I interest you in some revisionist history? Great. Because I actually did pretty well at nationals. I just blew your mind, didn’t I? Science!

These weird idiots did dumb things like “watch nationals” and “pay attention to the results,” so they think I’m a long shot to make the team now. I’m totally making the team. That’s how I prove that I don’t need to prove anything. Because I’m the greatest awesome that’s ever awesomed.”

 

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