Pan American Games Preview

Welcome to the most interest you’ve ever had in the Pan American Games! The competition begins tomorrow (Saturday), with the session-by-session schedule found below.

For US viewers, every session will be streamed on ESPN3 in Spanish, so you should be able to watch every moment. There will also be some TV broadcasts (i.e., the US women’s team session on Saturday is slated to be included in the ESPN2 window), though the TV coverage windows are listed as multi-sport, so you might want to have the web coverage on standby just in case. The TV coverage will have Bart and Kathy on the call, and here’s a live shot of me learning about that just yesterday.

July 27
4:00pm ET/1:00pm PT – Women’s Qualification/TF Subdivision 1 –
Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Jamaica, Dom Rep, Cayman Is

6:20pm ET/3:20pm PT – Women’s Qualification/TF Subdivision 2 – Chile, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Colombia, Guatemala, Venezuela, Panama

9:30pm ET/6:30pm PT – Women’s Qualification/TF Subdivision 3 –
USA, Brazil, Peru, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Uruguay, Bolivia

July 28
5:30pm ET/2:30pm PT – Men’s Qualification/TF Subdivision 1 – Brazil, Mexico, Canada, Argentina, Chile, El Salvador, Ecuador, Dom Rep, Uruguay, Puerto Rico, Guatemala, Bolivia

9:30pm ET/6:30pm PT – Men’s Qualification/TF Subdivision 2 – USA, Colombia, Cuba, Venezuela, Peru, Jamaica, T & T, Costa Rica

July 29
2:00pm ET/11:00am PT – Women’s All-Around Final
7:00pm ET/4:00pm PT – Men’s All-Around Final

July 30
2:00pm ET/11:00am PT – Event Finals Day 1

July 31
2:00pm ET/11:00am PT – Event Finals Day 2

In the women’s team competition, expect the US to take the gold medal, nothing new there. Canada is sending an exceptionally strong team that could have made a legitimate run at gold if this were one of the years (like, every other time) when the US sent a fully B-squad group to the Pan American competition. But with the near-A-team level of the US squad this year, it’s unlikely that they can be caught by the Canadians, especially a Canadian team that will now be without Ana Padurariu because the world is stupid and I hate everything. Padurariu has been replaced by Isabela Onyshko, who can of course do the job but not with the bars and beam scores we expect of Padurariu.

For reference, if we do a “domestic scoring” comparison between the US Classic and Canadian Nationals (caveat, that was in May), this US group would go 173.300 compared to the Canadian team at 167.665, so the US should have some margin for error.

I do like Canada as favorites for the silver medal. A full-strength Brazilian squad could have given the Canadians a run here, but the injury to Rebeca Andrade has of course stunted the Brazilians’ scoring potential, and word that Jade Barbosa had maybe a little something ouchie-related going on in training doesn’t help. Still, with Saraiva and Fidelis and the gang, bronze should be very doable for Brazil.

An interesting lineup note: we’ve learned today that the US will be putting up McCusker, Hurd, and Eaker in the all-around and that Leanne Wong will be competing just bars and beam. Under normal circumstances, you’d certainly have Wong contributing vault instead of Eaker, which leads one to believe there’s something going on with Wong, even though it could be as minimal as resting/precautionary considerations.

The doesn’t really change the baseline all-around podium expectations that it will be two Americans and Ellie Black, but there will be an internal race for the US spots (Eaker outscored Hurd at Classic) and we would expect nothing less. Get excited for this one because it should be an exceptionally delightful all-around final overall when you add in Saraiva and Fidelis as contenders, Brooklyn Moors as potentially the second Canadian (though she’d have to hit in qualification to stay ahead of teammates), the mystery that is Yesenia Ferrera and her return to competition here, Danusia Francis competing for Jamaica. We’re truly living in a golden age.

Also please note that Toni-Ann Williams is slated to compete for Jamaica despite The Unpleasantness That Shall Not Be Named happening only five months ago.

On the events, vault is a pretty deep apparatus in the Americas right now and should be a hotly contested affair, though with Shallon Olsen the favorite for gold. Still, if Ellie Black pulls out that rudi again, we could have a nice intra-nation battle. Marcia Vidiaux of Cuba has also shown us a rudi and a Tsuk 2/1 in the past, though we never see it consistently (Cuba things). If she has those and is hitting, don’t ignore her chances. She is the defending Pan Am Games vault champion after all.

Yamilet Peña is also here—thankfully no longer doing the double front, though that does stunt her chances of big scores, let’s be honest. Aleah Finnegan showed a second vault at Classic (Omelianchik) presumably with the intent of making the vault final here, Paula Mejias is competing for Puerto Rico and has placed well on vault in the past, and Franchesca Santi from Chile has a DTY—so it’s a solid clan.

Bars is not as strong across the field, and the US will be looking to put McCusker and Hurd into that final as top medal favorites. Ellie Black certainly has the chops to get one of those “Damn girl!” 14s she gets sometimes, which would put her in line for a good result here, and Onyshko (or even Woo) could be a compelling second Canadian. Lorrane Oliveira primarily makes Brazilian teams for her bars—though she’s going to be tasked with contributing more this year without Andrade—and if it’s one of Barbosa’s good days, you never know. She’s a delight on bars, but also…Jade. Outside those top 3 countries, keep an eye on Nicolle Castro for Mexico. Hers is a glory-or-disaster routine, but she has scored 14 before.

Prognosticating about beam is a fool’s errand, but you’re looking at Eaker and McCusker aiming for the top 2 spots there, Black making another final (and hopefully Moors if she repeats what she did at nationals), and of course the most important thing is the plan to get Danusia Francis into a final somewhere, and by somewhere, I mean here. Francis has been denied her dismount mat for beam, and it’s very important to me that she, at some point, use the mat anyway to usher in the protest movement of our generation. Event finals at Pan Ams would be as good a time as any.

Floor should be an interesting one because—as long as Morgan Hurd is still holding back a little on her routine—this particular US team is not super floorsy in terms of bringing the huge difficulty. If Hurd steps up the composition compared to Classic she’s a good bet, and I still expect two US entrants into the final, but there should be an opening for Moors and Black and Saraiva and Fidelis and Ferrera and and and. Like vault, floor is a higher-level event for this competition’s roster. I haven’t mentioned Argentina’s team yet, but Dominici should be fairly compelling in the all-around and might have a shot at the floor final in that she can score into the 13s.

OK. Men’s competition. In an unusual twist, the US men are actually sending a weaker team than the US women are. Typically for meets such this, the US men are like, “Let’s go boys!” and the women are like, “Is there a Four Seasons? Otherwise pass.” Last time around—with very different timing with respect to nationals—the US men sent Mikulak and the whole gang.

This time, it’s Neff, Malone, Suzuki, Breckenridge, and Bock—presumably on a mission to see who might be able to give the US team a high bar routine in the hope that it’s not another year of “Colin Van Wicklen counts as a HB specialist now.” Also highly fascinating will be the performance of Brody Malone, the standout freshman who dominated the AA in Stanford’s upset performance at nationals this year. It will be worth watching how he actually matches up with some of the other senior elites in an FIG competition.

Brazil is sending a formidable group that’s pretty much at worlds-team level, with Arthur Nory and Francisco Barretto and Arthur Zanetti, so they’ll look to sweep up a solid bucket-worth of medals (perhaps vat?) with that squad. Canada has also sent nearly the same team that finished 18th at worlds last year, though now including Minnesota’s Justin Karstadt, who recently recorded the top AA score at the men’s Elite Canada competition.

Mexico is sending some favorites like Daniel Corral and Fabian de Luna. Meanwhile, Colombia will have to do without Jossimar Calvo here, so fling my corpse right into the mud.

I’ll be back with live blogs of the women’s competition tomorrow.

36 thoughts on “Pan American Games Preview”

  1. I want a Brooklyn Moors Pan Am Games floor gold medal so baaaadddddddd!

    1. I also want Brooklyn Moors to medal in the bars final. Gold on floor (silver for Ellie) and a bronze for Moors on bars (gold for Ellie).

      1. Well the bronze on bars is just not realistic based on Brooklyn’s gymnastics. The floor gold probably won’t happen based on the way the Americans were scored.

  2. It’s possible that Moors won’t have to worry about other Canadian teammates for AA. If I were doing lineups, I would want Woo over Onyshko on vault and presumably Woo is doing bars over Olsen. Assuming the beam and floor lineups are Black, Moors, Olsen, and Onyshko, that leaves Black and Moors as the only AAers. So I guess the question is whether to prioritize Onyshko having a shot at the AA by having her vault or the higher team total by having Woo vault.

  3. where do I access the ESPN3 stream? is it on TV or on the ESPN app?

  4. Ellie Black certainly has the chops to get one of those “Damn girl!” 14s she gets sometimes, – LMAO her bars are trash! Her dismount is trash! Her pak form is trash! But go off sis! Nothing this quad surprises me!

      1. So you are saying her bars are amazing? lol TRUTH hurts dont it snowflake!

      2. Lydia,

        Your level of comprehension is concerning. No one said, “her bars are amazing.” We chose not to berate her online, like you!

        Also, no one is a snowflake for standing up to your online bullying. I can only imagine what level of gymnastics you can perform, and whether this gym board would consider it “trash?”

    1. Why do you get a new nickname every time you decide to punish us with your boring, narrow-minded commentary that adds nothing of value to any conversation? We know it’s you every time. Pick a name and stick with it, most people aren’t taking you seriously anyway.

      Also, going off on Ellie Black’s form when you were defending Mykayla Skinner on some other post? Choices.

      1. Hmmm….you’re upset with someone for their derogatory comments toward a gymnast and lack of conversational value, but then you use another gymnasts poor form to make your last point?

        This is what we call the, pot calling the kettle black.


      2. I am not upset in the slightest. The person is just boring and a parrot of offensive Internet stereotypes, regardless of their opinions and whethertthey are derogatory or not. This comment box would better without them. Simple.

        Also, there are many ways to make a point about not enjoying Ellie Black’s bars that I wouldn’t mind, and being a Skinner fan harping about form is not one of them because that is nonsensical. I am not sorry for saying that nor do I even think it was hypocritical of me at all. I am, in fact, very pleased with my #choices. Good day.

      3. @Choices Your nonsense is what we call a) illogic and b) a false analogy. Skinner’s form is known to be her greatest weakness, and the troll opened the door by a rabidly stupid attack on a gymnast whose form is a far less significant problem. Perhaps you are too dumb to have noticed ‘Lydia’s’ toxic trolling on thread after thread under at least ten different names that I myself have seen and managed to put together that it’s the same troll, same old shite, time after time? LOL!

    2. Isn‘t it great that in this sport there isn’t just amazing and trash? It would be quite boring if everyone would receive a 0 or a 10!
      Hmmm Simone crossing her toes on vault? I guess that‘s a 0!
      Mckayla had the slightest pike in the hips – 0!
      Nadia moved her feet on the dismount – 0!
      Kyla held her handstand for too long -0!
      Aliya had a leg separation on the shap 1/2 .. 0 points for her!

    3. You sound like a supporter of the Orange Turd currently occupying the White House. Someone needs to pull an Omar Little and “take care” of the moron in the WH. (Referring to the moron’s comments about Baltimore.)

  5. Eaker did a DTY at verifications in Feb it was pretty good… when is she gonna unveil it?

  6. Nicolle Castro will not compete, she has an ankle problem. She traveled because literally Mexico had no more alternates (5 girls went down with injuries before the games, not serious injuries but they’re being cautious) . She did some trainings and I believe she did the podium training too, but shared in instagram that she’ll no longer compete. Making the other 4 gymnast in the team do the all around.

  7. So no one is gonna talk about the groundbreaking, never seen it before on any WAG team for the US, the fact that the PAN AM US team has 4 Asian Americans on the team? Sounds about WHITE! No one is mentioning it. I think it’s so amazing!

    1. Because nobody gives a damn…..except for you. They care about actual gymnastics not stupid crap that has nothing to do with the outcome of this meet.

      1. Hmm sound about WHITE indeed. For minorities it’s a big deal Anon Racist! But I guess you are going to tell a minority group of Asian Americans like myself how to ‘feel’ as well right? Bye! I guess we shouldn’t feel proud to represent right? Go away racist!

      2. it matters to asian americans who can see themselves being represented at the top echelons of an extremely popular sport

      3. I think it’s pretty cool. Racial/ethnic diversity in the pool of elite competitors in the US has really changed in the last ten years and we should (all) be proud of that.

    2. So perhaps a stupid question, but Aleah Finnegan is Asian-American? (I feel quite confident that Riley McCusker isn’t, so I’m working off the process of elimination here.)

      1. Thank you, I was unaware. The name “Finnegan” threw me. Looking at their family picture I can see it now.

      2. Sarah F should have competed for the Philippines in 2012 at the Olympics instead of trying to make the US team. She would have been the star.

    3. I think it’s amazing!
      I also think your comment could have been more positive, it didn’t have to divert into a “Sounds about WHITE” rant.

      As an Asian-American, we tend to be less thought of when people think of minorities and our exclusion in pop culture, sports, etc. So I appreciate you taking the time to comment on the team and the fact that it is predominately Asian-American. However, I don’t think it helps by attacking others based on your assumption that there’s a racial undertone behind Spencer not mentioning it or someone else on this blog.

      I do understand what it feels like to live in the margins though, so I understand where those feelings come from and I appreciate you sharing.

      1. Thank you for this response.

        I found the original poster’s racist use of the term “white” offensive. Not all white girls are rich, entitled snobs – there are many of us who struggle behind a culture that marginalizes us into the stereotype of needing to be nothing more than a stupid, boring housewife who is repeated raped by her husband so he can have stupid babies. I despise that attitude.

  8. CBC sports in Canada is steaming pan-and on their website and app. Saturday broadcast schedule (EST) is:
    9:20 a.m. — Marathon 

    12:50 p.m. — Weightlifting
2:50 p.m. — Taekwondo Poomsae 

    3:56 p.m. — Gymnastics 

    5:36 p.m. — 3×3 Basketball 

    6:21 p.m. — Gymnastics
7:26 p.m. — Boxing
9:31 p.m. — Gymnastics 

    11:01 p.m. — Taekwondo Kyorugi 

  9. I saw morgan hurd on instagram doing a double lay out and front lay out punch double twist so I guess she will make floor finals. She is just pacing herself

    1. She did both of those at Classic too. The question is whether she adds back the Silivas.

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