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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:

Raisman layout 2016:

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.”


13 thoughts on “Women’s Podium Training and Men’s Podium Talking”

  1. This was amazing, Spencer. Your translation was spot on. Who knew finishing in 16th place was a desired outcome?! Bless, Danell…BLESS.

    BTW, is anyone else as excited as I am that Paul said he plans to continue competing beyond Rio?? That literally made my day.


  2. I feel like I m gonna be disappointed with a lot of people not showing upgrades at all at PG and also trial… I mean us will still win team but it just disappointing…. anyine else getiing thia same feeling after seeing podium vids?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mistake of the day: reading this in a quiet library. I think a little coffee came out of my nose at “tincture of doodly-woo.” Also, “my body is made of dust and I am 90” is exactly how I feel anytime I try to do gymnastics.


  4. I’m disappointed Aly has no real upgrades – I was hoping to see one on beam and maybe something little on floor. But I guess she’s really trying to max her E score. I hope it pays off for her. Her layout on beam looks way better and I think she will get her full 6.5 if she performs it like that and doesn’t miss her leap out of front tuck. For beam TF I would put Aly, Laurie, Simone (this is assuming Laurie makes the team and Maggie doesn’t). Gabby has too many beam flubs for me to trust her. I really love Maggie, but she just isn’t top 3 on anything. Laurie beats her on beam and bars, and probably level ground on floor. Vault is TBD. If Marta takes a bars specialist (likely Kocian because she’s training all 4 events), then there isn’t room for Laurie AND Maggie/Regan on the team. Only 1 can go.


    1. I am ok with aly not upgrading and just cleaning up her form and maximizing the E as even with upgrade on fx she’s unlikely to catch simone anyway and if she hits her fx, there’s not anyone else that can catch her anyway since it is really already one of the most difficult routines. Her beam just need more cleanup work and better connections, not upgrades. Same for cleaning up amanar.

      I am disappointed if gabby doesn’t get her amanar back. I mean she probably still have good chance for silver but US could definitely use an amanar in the team at this point due to the dubious status of Nichols amanar. The line up would be a lot easier at this point if gabby has a usable amanar. she did put in some upgrade on fx so we will have to see how that goes…. I am still waiting for that “huge” new ub rel upgrade she was talking about. I mean if she doesn’t show anything else at PG, I don’t think we will unfortunately see anything else new since it’s very rare to upgrade in the last 2 wks before trials.

      As for Nichols, no amanar AND no 15+ fx = alt. status at most. Which is what I fear will happen. There’s just too little time left to believe that if she doesn’t show at least something right now at least in podium that we will see them ready for trials.

      I think Laurie with her most recent bars upgrade (if she can replicate it again and hopefully with a little cleaner form too) and with her excellent beam pretty much has that spot locked up…

      As for Koclear, it’s a close call as discussed but I think maddie has a disctinct advantage in the higher D ub score that will likely prevail over Locklear slightly better E score internationally. Also she can in an emergency back up do all other 3 events while Locklear can only do beam. So unless Maddie has a significant meltdown, the spot is hers to lose. And as discussed, I would be very surprised if there is not a bars specialist since a bars specialist would significantly raise the team total more than another specialist (which is the main concern of team first even if there is a low chance of US medaling in ub EF). Unfortunately, if Locklear isn’t selected then she won’t likely even be considered for alternate role whether as if it’s the other way around maddie could possibly be…

      The fight for the alternate positions are also real interesting with dowell, skinner, smith, Nichols (if she doesn’t have amanar and 15+ fx back)…


      1. we think the same way. I think sadly for Maggie her strengths are similar to Aly – vault (with amanar) and floor. And I think Aly’s beam is better. And unless Aly majorly melts down, she is on the team – not just for her skills and medal potential, but for her leadership. Maggie isn’t going to challenge Simone, or even Laurie or Regan on beam. And her bars are just good, not standout. So whereas Laurie really compliments Aly and fits in with a team of Simone, Aly, Gabby – Maggie really doesn’t at this point. Maybe she will surprise us!


    1. yes! I love Aly and I like to see positive things about her. Yes – her form sometimes. But she really has improved so much. All the guys interviews just made me laugh. haha


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