A Very Important Trials Preview

The Olympic Trials are just a few short days away, and there are still so, so, so many questions we need answered, like whether Maggie Nichols is going to show up with 2015-style with competitive top-three vault and floor routines to send tremors through the presumptive team of Biles, Raisman, Douglas, Hernandez, and Kocian.

And that’s it.


How’s a person supposed to preview Olympic Trials under these conditions? When we’ve had so many competitions that we already know everything and have talked about it 45 times? I can’t work like this!

But of course I kid. Trials will be much more entertaining and interesting than simply waiting to see whether or not Nichols hits an Amanar and then cryogenically freezing ourselves until the Olympics. I mean, I’ll be at the meet, so it’s already more important and glamorous than anything else that has happened this decade. (Keep an ear out because we’ll be Gymcasticing from trials.) Plus, there are actually several other questions that will need answering in addition to the Nichols equation.

2. Will Madocklearashtocian finally catch on as the official BARS FIGHT nickname?
Only if Locklear beats Kocian by plural tenths. Otherwise, they’ll be back to their original mashup couple name, Kocian.

3. Will Gabby Douglas hammer throw a sack of Japanese kitchen knives labeled “stay pressed” into the crowd after finishing top three on bars on night one?
Will be tough for her, but she finished 4th AA at nationals and needs to do something heroic to make sure she earns one of the AA qualification spots at the Olympics.

4. Will Andrea force Ragan Smith to play Candyland with her during the third rotation?
Critical. Could have huge implications for who ends up getting the anchor spot on Hi-Ho Cherry-O in the team final.

5. Does the fact that Maria Paseka’s Cheng at Russian Cup looked like an instruction manual on how to make saltwater taffy help Skinner’s alternate chances?
It doesn’t. But at this point, Skinner would be a medal favorite on vault if she were to end up being needed.

6. Will Al accidentally call her Heather Locklear at any point during the competition?
Vegas is giving 3:1. I’m putting my life savings on it.

7. Will Martha get up at the end of the competition and announce her successor by bestowing a jewel-encrusted neck-pinch glove upon the new monarch?
With great power comes great responsibility. Neck-pinch wisely.

8. Will the number of “Laurie Hernandez just stands there smiling during someone else’s routine” shots outpace the number of “Simone Biles just stands there smiling during someone else’s routine” shots?
The race is going to be super tight. Like Komova/Wieber style. I wouldn’t want to call it. But that’s why we love sports, right? Is Laurie Hernandez being given too many chalking-up closeups to soon?!?!?!?!?! THE PRESSURE.

9. Who will be sent to the hospital after getting struck in the eye by a rogue Swarovski crystal before falling directly into a plate of banana cream pies?
Steve Penny, I’m looking at you. This competition is threatening to be really straightforward, so you’re going to need to step up the entertainment factor if that’s the case.

10. Will Simone make the Olympic team?
What if she just didn’t?


17 thoughts on “A Very Important Trials Preview”

  1. Haha the entire world would end if Simone didn’t make the team. Martha will fall over dead if Simone doesn’t get the automatic spot.


  2. Is the Madocklearkardashian debate even important since Kocian isn’t going to survive the post-trials camps? She’s far too brittle. Just hold on Ashton for a few weeks…


  3. A comparison of two possible teams:
    Team #1: Biles, Raisman, Skinner, Kocian, Locklear.

    VT: Kocian, Raisman, Skinner, Biles (gold for Biles, probable bronze for Skinner. Chusovitina or Hong will probably get silver)
    UB: Raisman, Biles, Kocian, Locklear (probable bronze for Locklear or Kocian. Yilin, Spiridinova, Kapitonova, or Seitz will probably get gold and silver)
    Beam: Kocian, Locklear, Raisman, Biles (gold for Biles, bronze for Raisman. Silver probably will go to a Russian or Chinese, but I don’t know which)
    Floor: Kocian, Skinner, Raisman, Biles (gold for Biles, silver for Raisman, tears for Skinner)

    AA: Raisman, Biles (gold for Biles, bronze for Raisman. Silver going to Melnikova or Chunsong)

    Team: gold

    Alternates: Douglas, Nichols, Hernandez.

    If Kocian or Locklear go down, swap in Douglas
    If Raisman or Biles down, swap in Hernandez
    If Skinner goes down, swap in Nichols

    Medal haul: 5 gold, 1 silver, 4 bronze.

    Team #2 (more likely): Biles, Raisman, Douglas, Hernandez, Kocian
    VT: Hernandez, Douglas, Raisman, Biles (gold for Biles)
    UB: Raisman/Hernandez, Biles, Douglas, Kocian (bronze for Kocian, but in this case there’s only one bite at the apple)
    Beam: Douglas, Hernandez, Raisman, Biles (gold for Biles, bronze for Raisman)
    Floor: Douglas, Hernandez, Raisman, Biles (gold for Biles, silver for Raisman)

    AA: Douglas/Hernandez/Raisman, Biles. Only Hernandez OR Raisman will get a shot at the all around (I favor Raisman). (gold for Biles, maybe silver for Douglas but only if she pulls it together)

    Team: gold

    Alternates: Nichols, Locklear, Smith (third spot only matters if two team members go down)

    If Kocian goes down, swap in Locklear
    If Raisman, Hernandez, Douglas, or Biles goes down, swap in Nichols

    Medal haul: 5 gold, 2 silver, 2 bronze


    1. I think you’re really pushing it here with individual medals. Skinner vault medal? Lol. US bars medal? Lol. Raisman beam medal? Lol. Raisman AA medal? Lol. I think the US scoring, aka scoring while on drugs, is making theit numbers look amazing, yet reality us, they won’t score anywhere near that in Rio. Skinner can’t beat Biles, Hong, Paseka, even Chuso. Koclear can’t beat Yilin, Downie, Spiri/Kapitonova, Seitz, the other Chinese. Raisman beam was clobbered last year at world’s and probably won’t even qualify above Hernandez and Biles, and though the AA is looking more open without Iordache, Raisman probably won’t qualify and if she does, she won’t be at the Russians and Chinese.


  4. One other way to build the team is to go after the most guaranteed medals first.

    In order:
    Team-gold. Team composition really doesn’t matter
    AA-gold for Biles
    Floor-gold for Biles
    Beam-gold for Biles
    Vault-gold for Biles
    Floor-silver for Raisman
    AA-silver for Raisman
    Vault-something for Skinner

    Less certain medals include
    Beam-something for Aly
    Bars-something for Kocian or Locklear

    So building a team using most guaranteed medals first:
    Biles, Raisman, Skinner.
    That leaves 2 bars spots and 1 beam spot.
    Hernandez fills the bars and beam spot best.
    The remaining bars spot goes to Kocian or Locklear.

    Biles, Raisman, Skinner, Hernandez, Kocian/Locklear

    Once again, no Douglas.


    1. Skinner would be lucky to place 5th or 6th on VT.
      Biles, Paseka, Hong are the favorites.
      Steingruber, Chusovitina, and Karmakar are going to be in the mix for that medal too.
      Wang Yan, Sae Miyakawa can also beat Skinner.
      She is certainly not guaranteed a medal on VT.


      1. Paseka’s Cheng looked very questionable at Russian Cup. Chusovitinia is 40 years old and her vaults are a bit lacking in amplitude. Karmakar’s vault is super risky and if she has any execution problems she’s likely to end up 8th like she did in vault finals last Worlds.

        Skinner’s Amanar and Cheng are both pretty solid, which is helping her chances. It’s not a done deal but I’d say she’d have a good shot at silver or bronze on vault finals if she makes the team.


  5. Im sorry but all of you people are crazy if you think raisman can outscore Laurie on an international stage. DELIRIOUS


    1. because she didn’t outscore Jordyn and Gabby in qualifications in London….and she didn’t outscore Laurie at Pac Rims…..and she isn’t the most decorated female US gymnast from London….you are the crazy one. Laurie is good – but she is really only better than Aly on bars. They are both great on beam.


    2. Raisman vs. Hernandez is interesting, Laurie will have around a 1 point advantage over Aly on bars, but I think Aly would make that up on floor & vault. And yes I know her Amanar is unlikely to get 15.5 internationally, but realistically I’m thinking most of the margin would come from floor anyways. So in the end it comes down to beam, where both are usually in the low 15s. Laurie did get a 15.3 one day at P&G though whereas Aly seems to always be around 15.0-15.1. So Laurie definitely has a chance to beat Aly internationally but I do think point-wise they’ll be close. Laurie’s odds will improve if the Olympic judges score her floor routine like they did at PacRim where she was around a 15. I personally think her floor routines deserve around a 15 but she didn’t quite get there at Nationals.


  6. Podium training videos so far are weak. Nothing revealing…..Maggie doing a spotted db db. No gabby vt or ub, no Maggie vt video…

    They pretty much made up the team already going by who got interviewed….


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