Pan American Games: Event Finals Day 2

It’s the final day from Lima, where some people will continue doing some things! Exciting! Today begins with vault/beam running together, then Pbars/floor, and then HB all alone at the end.

Judging from the schedule, I’m guessing our interminable awards break will come after vault/beam, and then we’ll have the final three events, and then the second awards session that we don’t have to watch because the competition will be over.

The beam final is the one I’ve been most anticipating across these two days (see: name of website), with McCusker and Eaker, Saraiva, and Francis, and Black on her quest to Simone the meet. Should be a delight. Let’s hope no one is encouraged to compete with a concussion today chum chum chum chum.

In withdrawal news, Daniel “The Shoulder” Corral has withdrawn from the HB final, which means Genki Suzuki will take his place.

Jorge Vega (remember that guy who called him Yorg?) just missed out on making the floor final, but he’ll be the favorite here in the men’s vault final.

Lot’s of fun shots of all the coaches (I mean fans) waiting for this meet to start. Everyone here has a credential or is the mom.

Things you don’t need to do: Introduce the FIG people before every competition. They are not the athletes. The people are here to see the athletes, not Donatella. This stuff is just pointless ego stroking.

Jorge Vega: still short. News.

Also short: Flavia.

These are the insights you come here for.

Men’s Crunch-death Final and Women’s Wobblies Final

Porto – VT – Shewfelt attempt with a massive lungex8 directly off the mat and into the Pacific ocean. Kept it to his feet?

Porto – VT 2 – Kas 1/1, lunge back, more comfortable than the first vault, feet apart in the air and flexed, still a fairly large lunge

13.650 average

Orrego – BB – why do we have to wait for this routine? It is the first one. bhs loso series, smoothly done – full turn – side somi, huge break, can’t save it, tries with a few leg up corrections but falls in the end – side jump, check and arch to save it –  – side aerial, solid – switch and switch 1/2, secure but short of position – aerial to split to bhs, broke connection after the aerial – 1.5, stuck, great dismount


Toro – VT 1 – Kas 1.5, pretty solid, medium size crossover lunge – knees and what not

Toro – VT 2 – handspring rudi, high, hop back –

14.033 average

Francis – BB – neck stand mount – side somi hit with an arm wave correction – split jump 1/2 from side, well done, secure and a nice split position – bhs loso loso and she falls. Went for the big difficulty, which you know I appreciate – switch to split leap – aerial to split to bhs, will get that series credit – Y spin with a leg-up wobble converted to choreo because UCLA, Carol decided it was artistic for no deduction, and same – transverase aerial to back full, a little short this time with a hop.

Danusia fell, final is cancelled.

11.733. She and Ariana are like, “Well, we both fell, so whatcha gonna do.”

De Luna – VT 1 – Kas 1.5, well done, nice completion of the twist, small hop back and a little off line

De Luna – VT 2 – handspring double front tuck, super deep landing with a hop back, but he got it to his feet.

14.183 average

Diaz – BB – bhs loso series, step back to control it – split leap 1/2, short of split – side aerial, large break at the hips, saves it – full turn – aerial with a check – switch to switch 1/2 with a check, probably broken connection as well – switch ring, awesome save because she landed with one foot entirely off the beam – punch front full. She hit.

12.433 for mission WE’RE TRYING TO GET PERU A MEDAL. That score is very high for that routine, is what I mean.

De La Cruz – VT 1 – Kas 1.5 – nice power, quick twisting, hop to the side. Nice form overall, just some crossed and flexed feet but not too aggressive.

De La Cruz – VT 2 – handspring rudi, a little awkward on landing with a hop back but mostly nice power and height

14.183 for him as well

Black – BB – switch leap mount, hit – double turn to full turn, small check in between – punch front, solid – bhs to layout, secure, she always lands that on her toes only, but it works for her – switch to switch, back leg on that switch, some short position – side sodi, small lean – 2.5 dismount, hop forward. Solid Ellie did Solid Ellie. Nicely done.


Lopez – VT 1 – Kas 1.5 – one of the stronger ones so far, a medium-sized hop forward, but he has the form until the very end, and has the direction and distance.

Lopez – VT 2 – his double front is super super deep as well, nearly a butt scraper but he pulls it out. Very Dipa style.

14.133 average puts him just behind

Pisos – BB – bhs loso series, nice and floaty – switch to switch 1/2, short on the switch 1/2 position – aerial, just got her feet mixed up it looked like, not quite right on and falls – split leap to side aerial, very small lean – 1.5 dismount with small hop.


Nin – VT 1 – Kas 1.5, small hop forward, solid, good height, just some feet, not quite the distance or direction as Lopez, but still a solid one.

Ellie is inquiring her D score on beam.

Nin – VT 2 – exceptional Dragulescu – he nailed that one today – just a small step back and the level of cowboy we expect on this vault, which is all

And his leg didn’t even fall off! Until afterward…?

14.416 average puts him in first.

McCusker – BB – wolf triple is smooth – same on the double – split leap to aerial to straddle, pretty elements, smoothly done – bhs bhs layout, a leg-up check today but she pulls it back – switch to switch 1/2 to Korbut, still a little short on switch 1/2 but this one looked a bit better – side aerial to split to back tuck, another leg-up check on that back tuck, has to hesitate to bring that leg back down – bhs bhs double tuck and sits it down. Overcooked that dismount but just a touch and couldn’t save it with a step back.

13.333 still puts her into 2nd behind Black.

Vega – VT 1 – struggles to land his handspring randi first vault – short landing and a large lunge forward/sideward and off the mat. Knees low but did not touch. Will get the benefit of difficulty.

Vega – VT 2 – Kas 1.5 second vault is comfortable for him but his landing is kind of awkward, a step forward and then a little lean to try to avoid another step but he took it anyway. In behind Nin and in second place.

Eaker – BB – switch leap mount, hit – split ring leap, sigh but secure – Y spin, overturns it by a hair but covers with a vage – aerial to split ring jump to bhs, well connected – side aerial to loso loso is very crisp, right on – split leap to side somi, hit – switch ring to bhs korbut, solid as well – she’s on today – switch to switch side – ro bhs bhs 2.5 dismount, stuck. Nailed routine. She got that one.

Leru – VT – destructive double front attempt, never had a chance and sits it down – huge cowboy and not close –

Leru – VT 2 – Sits down his Kas 1.5 as well. So not his day on vault.

15.266 for Eaker. She’s ahead by 1.7 LOL.

Saraiva – BB – bhs mount to split jump, good elements, questionable connection – ro layout, saved with a little lean – split leap to sissone, pretty – bhs loso loso, pretty solid, did well to hit it because she didn’t get her normal amplitude – switch ring, step back check – aerial to split ring jump, small hop forward – side somi and has to grab the beam WHY – split ring leap and lands with 1/3 of one foot on the beam and falls – double pike, two steps back. SIGH.

So, your beam podium will be Eaker (winning by 1.7), followed by Black with silver, and McCusker with bronze despite the fall.

Vault podium is Nin, then Vega, then De La Cruz. Vega lost it on that first vault landing.

This isn’t going to help the “McCusker can’t hit under pressure” thing because she’s had two falls in this competition, though if she’s consistent at nationals and selection camp, no one will remember or care. She has still won medals both times she has fallen.

So this is silver, gold, gold, bronze, silver for Black in her five competitions so far. One to go. Kind of want it to be bronze on floor so she can have two of each. It will be tough because she has the two Americans, Moors, and Saraiva in this final, but doable.


The three medalists in this beam ceremony have to go up 3rd, 6th, and 7th in the floor final in about 7 minutes. Fun prep.

I don’t know why I found the beam medalists raising those little teddy bears or statues or whatever aloft so hilarious, but that’s where we are.

Men’s Tippelts Final and Women’s Pretend to Dance Final

On floor, the Brazilians, Argentinians, and Americans are competing back to back, and the Canadians are separated. Which I think is racism.

Barretto – PB – front toss – peach with a little arch in hs – solid through the middle on the diam elements and the front straddle – tippelt, clean handstand, healy – stutz to one rail attempt and totally collapses and comes off. Resumes with double pike dismount, hop.


Saraiva – FX – solid DLO, some legs apart in the air, little step – split element that they changed angles during  – full in, just a little forward with a hop – split leap 1.5, around –  back 1.5 to front full, step – drops too early on Memmel attempt – split ring, a little hoppy on landing – double pike, feet, small shuffle back


Karstadt – PB – elbows up in first hs – a hitch in his healy getting back up to vertical, some form and a hesitation – stutz is off line but pulls it back – he does not die in his work to one rail, which is nice – double pike dismount, two lunges back


Fidelis – FX – 1.5 through to double arabian, large lunge forward OOB but I think she kept her initial foot in bounds for just .1 instead of .3 – full-in, bounce back – switch leap full, not quite around for me – double tuck, another fiarly large bounce, struggle to control these landings today – switch ring and split ring, a bit two-part in the split ring – double pike, another bounce.


Calvo – PB – healy is cleanly done – Bhavsar is smoothly executed – Tippelt, same – some long pauses in handstand, and an arch or two – double pike dismount, legs well apart, short landing with a large lunge forward


Flavia Saraiva is inquiring her floor D. Ellie Black is like eff this I need to do a handstand. INQUIRY REJECTED. Obvi.

Black – FX – popa, solid finishing position – front full through to 3/1, took it right into the corner and successfully landed, just a small shuffle – 25 through to double pike, was sure not to take it OOB this time but did land pretty short with a lunge forward – split leap full – fairly indistinct in some of these split positions, as in the difference between her switch leap 1/1 and a switch side 1/2 wasn’t as evident as it should be – front 2/1, just a tad under with a crossover step

13.433. Will be tough to get her sixth medal.

Bock – PB – shudder in elbows on his first hs – healy – peach with a readjustment and back arch – front tuck 1/2 to arms is solid – stutz – front straddle to arms – Bhavsar, very smooth – Tippelt, hit – double pike, a small stagger back. Had some issues at the beginning, but the second 1/2 was quite nice.


Dominici – FX – full-in, lunge back but keeps it in bounds – popa, nicely around – doubel Arabian, another lunge, just does keep it in the corner – switch ring and split leap full, solid – double tuck, bounce back – Floor Rulfova and I’m obsessed – switch 1/2, some position deduction there – double pike, smallest bounce up in place


Vergara – PB – arm walking on first handstand, and while I was typing about that, he’s already off the bars. I just saw him leaning toward of Pisa off to the side – super huge height on a front straddle – Bhavsar, good – Tippelt to healy, solid – stutz just a bit short of vertical – double front pike, bounce back


Magistrati – FX – double pike, chest up landing, bounce back – wolf triple, gets it around for credit – popa, good – whip to double tuck, shuffle back with two steps – wolf double, also credit, just a little hesitant in both – switch ring and switch side – just a front layout, but it’s clean? – 2/1, bounce.


Nuñez – PB – peach 1/2, quickly done – diam, solid – tuck 1/2 to arms – front straddle, nice and high – bhavsar, a little less smooth than some in his catch but fine – Tippelt – stutz 1/2 – double pike, hop forward. Very nice routine.


McCusker – FX – full-in, bounce back but keeps it in bounds – front 2/1 to front tuck, overcooked the front 2/1 today and really had to pull around the layout, was not able to stag and a OOB – split leap full, nice – double pike with a bounce back and what looked like another OOB, possible both feet – triple wolf, around, just a little clunky today – switch full looked pretty good today but a bad angle to judge – double tuck, deep with a hop back. Not her best.

13.300 currently in third. Got away with just the 0.2 OOB deductions and got credit for her switch full, so as high as she could have hoped really.

Malone – PB – hip circle up to hs – Makuts, hit well – muscles up a front toss, deductions there – Tippelt, solid – diam is super smooth, nice – stutz – double pike bounce back. That one handstand will hurt but a mostly solid routine.


Eaker – FX – front lay to front 2/1 to front tuck, a little hop – 3/1 with a somewhat large lunge back, two steps – double Y is full completed – 2/5 to front full, a little off line with a hop, just keeps it in bounds – leaps are lovely of course – double pike, stuck. Still don’t love that ring 1/2 at the end, rushed and a little bouncy. But nice routine.

13.800 puts Eaker just a tad ahead of Saraiva on floor.

Souza – PB – peach 1/2 – peach – double front tuck to arms, very difficult and well done individually, but he struggles a little in the straddle cut out of it – front straddle, good – Tippelt – double front 1/2 out, hop back, not too large

14.366 gives him silver.

Black is in third. Now you’re stuck between rooting for Moors or rooting for an Ellie medal sweep.

Moors – FX – brilliant Pod, just a small hop to the side – front 2/1 to front full and just does keep the hop in bounds with a couple arm waves to save another step – I MEAN ARTISTRY – double attitude turn, glorious – switch ring and split ring 1/2 – split jump 1/1 – 2.5 with crazy legs and a hop forward and OOB. Oh Brooklyn.

PB podium goes Nuñez, then Souza, then Bock

Someone in the crowd just murder-shrieked, so I assume that means Moors score came up? No?

“I stayed ON the floor today. So that’s good.” Ellie is a gem.


Now we’re dealing with a Kara Eaker inquiry. GIRL YOU’RE IN FIRST AND I HAVE TO PEE.

Kara Eaker inquiry has been rejected. OH BIG SURPRISE.

13.900 for Moors! She wins even with the 0.1 for OOB, which I thought was going to sink her gold hopes! ARTISTRY.

So it’s Moors, then Eaker, then Saraiva for the medals. Black takes 4th.

Men’s Icarus Final

Martinez – HB – Yam, good – tkatchev – 1.5 – endo – tak 1/2 pretty late – stalder – finishes double doubel layout with bounce back, not a complicated routine on the bar but no major mistakes


Suzuki – HB – Yam, good elevation, not the most extended shape – tak 1/2, nice finishing position – layout tkatchev – tkatchev – tkatchev 1/2, not too jerky swinging out of it – just late in a couple finishing positions – double double layout with a hop. Nicely done.

13.800. Solid.

Nory – HB –  tak 1/2 close – giant full – layout tjatchev to tkatchev to tkatchev 1/2, all good – layout jaeger full, best it has been in the three days – has to pull back a vertical postition from listing to the side afterward though and caught awkwardly on his subsequent release, which will be the biggest deductions – only a small hop on double double dismount

14.533, still comfortably into first

Zakutney – HB – ZLM, good – tak 1/1 is really late – high tkatchev to layout tkatchev, nice – layout tkatchev 1/2, hit – tak 1/2 – tkatchev 1/2 – DLO 1/1, stuck, a little bit of pike. The releases are great. I worry about the verticals.

13.966 and into 2nd

Cournoyer – HB – Yam, excellent height and position – small hesitation up to hs – tak 1/2 – tkatchev to tkatchev 1/2, good rhythm, right to fingertips – layout tkatchev 1/2, a little legs on catch – pretty late full turn finish position – double double layout, forward but hit with a hop, not too large

Apparently they have no idea what to do with this score.

Finally 13.833 for Cournoyer, puts him currently 3rd.

Godoy – HB – ZLM, fine – layout tkatchev to tkatchev 1/2, some legs on catching the second one – tak 1/2, really nice finish position there – tkatchev to layout tkatchev 1/2 – DLO 1/1, lots of piking there and a hop back but hits it.

This girl screaming just in the middle of a Stalder is an interesting choice.

14.200 still puts him into 2nd. I also officially don’t understand E scores. Because his was the highest.

Calvo – HB – Yam, a little piking – tkatchev, not the highest – tkatchev 1/2, a bit of legs – tak 1/1, quite late – tak 1/2, closer to vertical – double double layout, lunge back

13.666 for him.

Barretto – HB – ZLM – tkatchev to layout tkatchev to tkatchev 1/2 – tak 1/2, just a bit late – layout tkatchev 1/2, hit – tak 1/1, finished at horizontal – Yam – DLO 1/1, great stick on that dismount.

14.566! He goes ahead of Nory by just a third of a tenth! His routine was definitely cleaner.

Podium: Barretto, Nory, Godoy

And that’s the end of the Pan Am Games!


111 thoughts on “Pan American Games: Event Finals Day 2”

  1. Oh Spencer, thank you for giving me the laugh I needed over what is a truly awful situation with Finnegan and her insane mom.

    1. Came here to write exactly this. What does “chum chum” even mean?! I assume it’s religious but Google gave me nothing.

      1. I’ve heard its a family thing, like a made up word, that means “I love you” or just shows love in some way. If that makes sense…

      1. Short version is that Finnegan’s mom wanted her to not be evaluated for a concussion before yesterday’s meet because it would “distract” her before the competition. Then she was told that she had to be evaluated or she would be disqualified. So she was evaluated, failed concussion protocol and was not allowed to compete. But very sad that her mother wanted her to compete with a concussion and refuse medical care.

      2. Wow. And the Panamerican Mom of the Year award goes to… not this lady.

        Honestly, I’m rooting for Morgan’s mom, who I’ve never actually seen before this competition but whose reactions are LIFE.

    2. Where did he write about/comment on Aleah’s situation? I can’t seem to locate this!

      1. He just hints at it where he says “Let’s hope no one is encouraged to compete with a concussion today chum chum chum chum” in this live blog.

    3. Was Ma Finney always this bonkers? I mean, Sarah made waves in 2012 but I don’t remember hearing so much.

      1. No idea. My guess is that based on the way that Sarah has turned out that yes, she was always this bonkers, but she just wasn’t broadcasting it on the internet before.

      This link has all the espn stations, right now neither ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU are showing the games. May start in half an hour according to one of those schedules.

  2. Very important (sarcasm intended) question. What the heck does chum chum mean?!?! Every time I read a post from mama Finnegan I try to channel every teacher I’ve ever had and use context clues to help me define a word I’m unfamiliar with. But the context keeps changing! “We won a million dollars chum chum!” “Our house burned down chum chum!” I’m so confused.

    1. From a post above I now know it means “Christ has unlimited mercies”

  3. On Olympic channel they are showing synchronized swimming… Any link to gymnastics streaming outside US? THANKS!

    1. Finnegan’s mom would make a great NCAA and club coach (a lot of them anyway, and sarcasm intended) as coaches never want their athletes evaluated for injury because , as one once said , “they’ll find something “ ….

      1. You have to look for the one that says “ginasia arts” (or something like that now that I’m on the stream it isn’t showing the title)

    1. Apparently this is on their caring bridge site? I don’t know what that is or where that is but maybe that will help with finding it.

      1. Caring Bridge is a website that allows people to have a personal site/blog to keep friends and family updated on a loved ones illness or surgery. For example, if a family member has cancer, you can provide updates on their personal site instead of having to email or call everyone with updates and deal with all the responses while taking care of a loved one.

        Finnegan’s Dad has stage IV pancreatic cancer. The site was probably started for that reason. It just seems like they are also using it as a family blog, which isn’t really the point of Caring Bridge.

      2. “Stage IV pancreatic cancer” – that’s almost always a death sentence. It’s like curable in 4% of people because it’s found too late.

      1. It literally sounds like the handmaid’s tale. but with gymnastics. yuck

      2. Sooo, the mom tries to excuse away her daughter ‘s concussion symptoms by saying the medical people testing her were mistaken … uh no, she has those “mistakes “ in her testing because she’s concussed…

        And I agree, an odd use of the caring bridge site as a running family blog…

    1. I think just Spanish feed. Bart and Kathy are for when it’s on a TV channel, yes?

  4. Lol this sucks… I can’t even get on the Spanish stream. I don’t have ESPN3 so I guess none for me.

  5. Riley continuing to not help her case for Worlds but that’s an amazing score for Kara.

    1. Yeah, Riley (or “Brilly” as I now think of her) has had… ups and downs at this meet. For me, we haven’t really seen anything new – she’s still great, she’s still inconsistent. That said, as long as she is bringing in the big scores on bars, I think she’s still very competitive for the Worlds team, though her scores there are frankly not THAT huge so I think someone like Suni Lee could still swoop in and nab that spot at some point.

      Kara also had a fall on BB in the AA final, but hit on two other occasions and won the event title, and her scores there are so huge that you almost HAVE to take her to Worlds.

      We haven’t seen much of Leanne Wong at this meet but I have loved watching her. She is so serious and intense. I think I saw her smile for the first time ever after her bars routine in quals and it was really sweet. She’s super talented and I like her more every time I see her.

      1. Dude, she came away with FOUR medals in this meet! Two gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze.. did she meet all your expectations? I guess not. But by no means was this not a great meet for her! It’s also the meet in which she has qualified to the most finals, by far! SHEESH!

      2. Well, what other meet has she competed at that had finals? Worlds and I guess Jesolo 2017. So there isn’t a lot to compare to. She also didn’t perform up to her abilities once she got to those finals, so…

        I think the performances Riley can walk away feeling really good about here are her bar routine from team and her floor routine from team and probably her EF bars even if it wasn’t quite as good as team. She can feel ok to pretty good about her vault, beam, and floor from the AA, and beam from team but all of those have some things that could be worked on. I would guess she would not be happy with her vault from team, bars from AA, or beam or floor from EF. I wouldn’t call that a great meet all in all.

      3. Finals of Worlds and 2017 Jesolo? 2017 Jesolo was early in the season, her very first season as a senior. And she did perform well in 2018 World finals- the team finals being the only finals she was in. She fell in prelims (just as other great athletes fell in their first World prelims- Morgan Hurd, Ragan Smith, Madison Kocian).

      4. The person above was talking about how she made more finals at this meet than at any other meet. I gave those meets as the only other meets with finals. At worlds she actually didn’t make any individual finals. I didn’t bother looking up what finals she made. I didn’t comment on her performance at either of them. The point isn’t how she performed in the finals at them. The point is that it’s stupid to say “she made more finals at this competition than any other meet” when she literally only had two other meets where she could have made finals.

  6. I think the statues are supposed to be indigenous Peruvians??? Not sure htough

    1. Oh my god no…. We don’t make caricatures out of people. Indigenous peoples in Peru have been historically marginalized and abused very badly so saying something like this is pretty offensive. I’m replying not to bash you, but because I assume you’re not from Peru and don’t have the cultural context.
      The statue represents a traditional peruvian statue from pre incan cultures (Chancay culture). It’s the games mascot, and the name Milco comes from Cuchimilco – the original name of the statuette.

      1. Wow, thank you for informing us about the historical and social context of the mascot and statues and for drawing our attention to the marginalisation of the indigenous peoples

      2. I also want to make it clear that I am VERY glad that the situation is not what I thought it was.

  7. I think Brooklyn going last helped her bc in terms of artistry, she’s SO MUCH better than anyone else in this final, as really only Flavia emotes in a good way IMO. So I feel like the judges saw Brooklyn and were like, ARTISTIC MUST GIVE POINTS!!

    1. Yes I would put Moors and Saraiva pretty equal in terms of artistry. Such different styles, both performed brilliantly.

  8. I know I’m probably going to get ripped to shreds for saying this, but should we be concerned that the US women sent a mostly-A team to an international meet that didn’t include China or Russia and only managed to get 2 / 6 gold medals?

    (They did win the team gold by over 10 points, which is awesome.)

      1. I don’t think Classic to Worlds is a useful comparison, because the scoring is loose and there is very little pressure at one while the other is the total opposite. But your point about Morgan’s scoring potential is a good one. She definitely needs to upgrade if she is going to keep the pace with the other Worlds/Olympic hopefuls, and I’m sure she knows it. I suspect she and her coach are following a long-term strategy with the Olympics, not Worlds, as the endpoint – in other words, while I’m sure we’ll see upgrades at Nationals this year, she doesn’t really plan to “peak” until 2020. So we won’t be able to really evaluate her chances until then.

      2. Yes and that Worlds also had the particularly harsh judging on beam so the scores there would be especially low.

    1. Well when you factor Simone in, you have an (almost, nothing is actually guaranteed) guaranteed AA, Vault, and Floor medal assuming she hits. Balance Beam is usually covered by Eaker (assuming she makes it to 2019 or even 2020) or Simone. Uneven Bars get a little tricky, because you have McCusker who is beautiful on the event when she hits and can go against the Russians and the Chinese. So for this quad at least we should be okay. I mean I don’t think we will win every gold, I’m sure something will happen and some country will get a gold on another event. As long as we have Simone the US is sitting pretty. I am interested in what will happen after she retires. We still have great gymnasts… but Simone has dominated the sport from 2013-2020 that is almost a decade. So crazy.

      1. Re: consistency
        I agree with you there on Morgan. She is more consistent than McCusker or Eaker. I do think the super reliable reward goes to Grace McCallum at this point, with Leann Wong right behind her, and both with similar (or higher??) scoring potential than Morgan. So, building a team – Simone, plus two high scoring reliables, then wouldn’t you want to add 1-2 more highest scoring potential if they hit?

    2. Also, Morgan was obviously pacing herself here and did just enough to help the team to its gold. With upgrades in place and at peak strength, she would have been the one in some of these EFs. The US also has gymnasts who chose to opt out of Pan-Am selection (Simone, as mentioned, and Grace McCallum), as well as others in the arsenal (Sunisa Lee, Jade Carey, etc.).

      1. You can talk about Morgan “pacing” herself, but the truth is, her peak scoring potential is simply lower than McCusker and Eaker. Morgan has medaled at worlds because she hit to her best ability when the rest of the field was weaker on the day. A 55.7 (her bronze winning score from 2018 worlds) is lower than she got at classics and would have still placed her 6th in the meet.

        I get a very “Texas Dreams” sense about Morgan – there’s a lack of ease and amplitude to her gymnastics that makes it feel like she is at or after her peak. Her gymnastics just feels small to me. It makes me sad that she is doing the road to Tokyo show on Olympic channel, because I don’t see her making the team. Not with so many truly exceptional competitors in the US with much higher difficulty.

      2. True about peak scoring potential, but when it comes down to it, especially regarding Toyko 2020, the U.S. needs solid AA-ers who can deliver under the most intense circumstances. Because the Americans are so strong in general, this is not just about top scoring potential (Simone has that covered), but mental strength as well. Looking at scoring potential, pacing, coaching, experience, and mental toughness, Morgan has the one of the most solid packages so far.

    3. I expect the US will be significantly less invincible once Simone retires than they are now. However, until other top teams improve on transitioning juniors to seniors and depth, the US will always have the advantage. The US does not appear as if it will ever fall into the “we can succeed if these specific 5 are healthy” rut in the near future.

      On the other hand, as others have pointed out, as well as Simone, this team also is missing McCallum and Carey and Hurd wasn’t competing at full strength, so it wasn’t just a best-other-than-Simone team.

  9. I accidentally read the title of this blog as “Pain American Games”

  10. I’m interested Riley’s competition compared to Kara. Kara had two bad routines in AA to Riley’s one fall, but Kara has been stronger in the EFs. Which matters more– Kara’s lower low, or Riley’s rougher overall competition?

    1. Also, how do you evaluate against Morgan who was solid but not spectacular the one time she did compete, was two-per-countried everywhere and didn’t get the chance to show she was better or worse than that day? Or against Leanne who only did two events and was solid on what she did, but didn’t have nearly as much demanded of her.

      I feel like for the Americans, the less you competed at this meet, the better you came out of it (that is not true for Ellie Black who competed more than anyone and came out of it like a rock star).

      1. Black had her “off day” during qualifications, Kara had hers during the all-around final, and McCusker had a mistake here-and-there, but still came away with multiple medals.

        I think the USA won the team final by almost 11 points, so I don’t think this meet means much.

      2. Well, Black missed one routine during qualifications. It’s one less than McCusker and Eaker missed during the competition and she competed more.

      3. such a good point about what was being demanded off Wong. Kara even said herself that she put so much pressure on herself for AA final and that it got to her. And look how beautifully she did in beam finals.
        I mean, we’re all part of the problem here. Dozens of people wondering if Riley “had a bad meet” and if Morgan is doing enough and if someone else could’ve scored higher… The “only gold medals count” attitude is still strong.
        I think the falls are a reminder that these athletes do incredibly difficult, badass moves, and they should be celebrated for their courage and talent.

    2. Kara has a higher scoring potential, and she is still acquiring her experience at major international meets. The meets ahead will be more telling of her abilities with regard to nerves and consistency. Riley, unfortunately, has more experience on this circuit but maybe doesn’t quite have what it takes to deliver under pressure (… yet?).

    3. Riley’s rougher overall pattern is worse because people were already saying (fairly or not) that she is inconsistent internationally and doesn’t hit when it counts. This meet didn’t help her case.

    4. Agree with the comments that Riley’s issues here were worse than Eaker’s. Kara needed to hit BB in TF and EF, which she did, and show that she can contribute on at least one other event, which she also did (FX). She didn’t need to prove that she is a reliable AAer because that is not her niche, at least not yet, so I’m not really concerned about her wobbles there.

      As for Riley, I think it would unfair to characterize this as a “bad” competition for her – she had some really strong moments, especially on UB, and came away with four medals – but she needed to show that she can be consistent internationally, which she didn’t really do. She was outstanding in TF but there was a serious downward trajectory in her performance here that worries me… She has so much potential but I still just don’t trust her in international competition.

      1. i can maybe chalk up the fx EF performance for riley as just being tired. but agree that as an expected AAers, she will need to hopefully get a full program error free soon. at least she did win gold in ub ef and did well in TF. But she needs to get the AA things together else we will see hurd taking up another AA spot in the final again. which is not bad but just not optimal for what the expectation is for riley

  11. So I’m watching the Olympic Channel stream with Blythe & Olly commentating, and during some HB judging delay Blythe just deadpans “I suppose the judges are having an existential crisis.” We were all thinking it

    1. Hahahaha, damnit, I wish I had had access to the feed Blythe + Olly were commentating on! They are pure GOLD!

    2. That’s why I recognized the female’s voice! I just watched a YouTube clip and couldn’t figure out who it was!

  12. Psst…Lauren…two things:

    1) Thanks for blogging MAG the last few days! You’re getting way better at identifying and naming the MAG skills 👍🏾

    2) You marked Suzuki as competing for Japan in the HB Standings…

    1. HA!!! Too many tabs open. Wrong site.

      Also, I have a concussion and that’s my excuse.

      1. Careful, if you say that to Lauren on her actual blog, she might go off on you. She doesn’t like to be corrected. She gets pretty defensive.

      2. 😂😂glad I’m not the only one who got that impression of her

  13. The US is poised to crush the team final by a huge margin at the upcoming worlds and Olympics. However, it is unrealistic to think the US can win every gold medal across all events. Team, AA, vault, and floor is as good as locked up for gold. Bars and beam will continue to be toss ups for the remainder of this quad.

    Bars is the most competitive event this quad with many women across many countries who can put together huge routines cleanly and score in the upper 14s. Beam is always unpredictable and goes to whoever has the best hit on the day.

    1. Agree with all of this. Between Eaker and Biles, not to mention the many other talented US beamers, USA certainly has the capability to win BB gold, but there is no guarantee there. I don’t see an American winning gold on UB, though a podium finish is possible.

  14. So Spencer, where did you get that photoshopped pic at the top of gymnast under the beam? lol

    1. Not photoshopped. Danusia did that at the Superstars in Gymnastics event in England earlier this year.

  15. Recent history led to many, many questions of ‘where were the adults?’ when events and comments should have raised many an eyebrow. Feeling a bit of the same here…. so I’ll volunteer to be the adult. Please remember we are not talking about the Kardashians or robots here. These are real kids working their tails off and real families dealing with intense and personal circumstances not meant for public display. They also all read these blogs as well. They deserve your respect.

    1. Agree 100% that these kids all deserve major respect for their hard work and sacrifices! But I don’t think this comment stream was particularly disrespectful. Most of it was simply analyzing the performances and results …

    2. Totally agree about respecting the gymnasts.

      As for the families, I think the criticism towards mamma Finnegan has been mild given that she expressed that she wanted Aleah to compete after deemed unsafe by a medical professional.

      Whereas the gymnasts are teenagers or young adults competing their sport, mamma F is blogging this insanity. I won’t mock a person’s religious views publicly, but I absolutely think that person should be called out for wanting to risk her child’s health and safety because she’s sad to miss out on a competition. A mother’s job is to prioritize her child’s long term wellness over the child’s short-sighted desires, and teach those priorities.

      1. I also think that Mama Finnegan has chosen to put herself and her views out there publicly. No one is forcing her to blog this information. By putting it out there, she is kind of making it fair game.

      2. Ha ha, I have to say, this entire live blog and comments stream have been really entertaining. I forgot about chum chum by the bottom, but yeah, it isn’t as though anyone was mocking a gymnast, it was a gym mom who chose to put herself out there with an obscure acronym that sounds cute, random, and a ‘lil ridiculous. 😉 Aleah herself seems normal, sweet, and of course highly talented.

  16. I won’t mock a person’s religious views publicly, but I absolutely think that person should be called out for wanting to risk her child’s health and safety because she’s sad to miss out on the competition. I think the criticism towards mamma Finnegan has been mild given that she expressed.

Comments are closed.