American Classic – Senior Live Blog

American Classic < US Classic < US Championships < Olympic Trials

But we’ve arrived at base camp? I guess?

I watched bits of podium training yesterday, and…it was pretty rough. I’m very interested to see whether that was just podium training things, whether that will continue in the actual “competition” (to reinforce, it’s basically just camp with a fancy name), or whether lots of those people won’t end up competing those events.

In the first rotation, the GAGEs will be on vault, Sunisa Lee and DiCello are on beam, and Blakely and McCallum are on floor. Among others. 23 seniors here in all. In PT, the GAGEs did only timers on vault, no actual twists except Scott, whom I saw do some fulls.

Feed is starting. We do see some GAGEs warming up vaults. Wong is working DTYs. The vault and beam feeds are currently active (you know, the usual). Kara Eaker just tried a tucked Y1.5 Evy Schoepfer style and fell. Intentionally tucked, not like “I wanted to do it laid out but it didn’t go great.”

So heads up, this looks like it’s still the pre-meet warmup, rather than the touch warmup. So we’re still a while away. Love the efficiency! But I’ll let you know what’s happening here as everyone finishes up their final rotation of warmup.

OK lining right up in front of the judges for introductions at the end of the warmup period.

Introducing the athletes with only their first name and their gym is a choice. But of course we still have to do a national anthem.

Now we’re into the actual first rotation touch warmup for realsies this time.

The floor feed is currently just a shot of a team USA flag signed by Aly Raisman. You know, because it’s her FAVE ORG EVAH.

Rotation 1

S Lee – BB – wolf triple, nicely done – wolf double, very smooth as well – aerial to split to bhs, good quick combo – switch ring to split leap, nice – switch to switch 1/2 to split ring jump, not a check in sight yet – side aerial to loso to loso, solid landing (she was about 50/50 on that in PT) – bhs bhs and just a layout dismount. Well that was delightful and perfect, though she did not dismount with anything.

Faith Torrez with a pretty large stumble back on a Yfull

Eaker – VT – does the tucked Y1.5 (?), much better than her training attempts, landed with a medium hop to the side

Because we couldn’t possibly be expected to have working scores.

German – FX – double double, pretty solid chest up position on landing, lunge back – DLO 1/1, hop back and OOB – front full through to double tuck, very secure landing – split leap full, a bit short there – full in, small slide. Great difficulty and didn’t look like she was going to die on any of it. 13.55

Witte hit a yfull on vault. Sears finishes bars with double tuck

Pilgrim – BB – candle mount – side aerial to back tuck, larger leg-up break – straight jump full fromt side, bend at the waist – front tuck, deep but landed – aerial, good – double tuck, controlled landing.

Wong – VT – pulls around her DTY – chest down and a small slide – also much better than her training attempts.

Ava Siegfeldt fell on a between bars gienger.

Hit yfull for Kratzer, large bounce back.

Mueller – FX – full in, chest down, small slide –

Scott – VT – high full, pretty easy for her, small hop, a little piking

DiCello – BB – candle mount, good – wolf triple and wolf double are fine – side aerial through to switch to split – aerial, small hesitation into straddle jump but fine – bhs loso loso, some knee bending, small check – switch 1/2, back leg well short – straddle jump 1/2, solid – long pause before dismount – bhs bhs double tuck, pulls it around, chest down and a lunge back. She looked like she was going to die most of the time on that dismount yesterday, so this was a win.

Skye Blakely – FX – DLO, steps back OOB, legs apart in teh air, but solid chest up landing position – switch ring to split leap full, back leg short on split full – full-in, medium bounce back – wolf turn double, good – front 2/1, smallish stagger out of it – switch full, not quite around – double pike, hit. 13.1

Alipio – BB – side aerial loso loso is nice – bhs bhs layout, also quite solid – split leap to switch 1/2, check – split leap to side somi, secure – straddle jump 1/2 from side position, lean correction – aerial, pause before split to straddle, so one lost CV there – split jump 1/2 from side, hit – also dismounts with just a layout. Some checks but really good work on her most difficult elements. Nice to see.

Landry – FX – wolf double, slightly shaking but around – split full – double pike, a little low, slide back – double tuck, jarred back some on landing – nice split position in ring – 1.5 to front full, some knees but controlled –

Zeiss – BB – hits her requisite wolf triple and double – bhs loso, check – switch to switch 1/2, larger leg-up break there – split 1/2 from side – aerial, some hesitations here, staying on – side aerial is good – split to sissone – 1.5, small hop.

Close-up of the bars judges gossiping is really all I’m here for.

Rosen – BB – bhs loso loso, some knees, hit – full turn, small hesitation – side aerial to split jump to sissone, some short positions – switch to switch 1/2 to korbut – aerial, nicely done – split leap full, check, nearly around, could get credit – onodi, hit, smallll hesitation – bhs bhs double pike, just does get it around.

So the floor feed cut out before McCallum went on floor. I assumed they weren’t showing her like they didn’t yesterday in PT, but also I didn’t hear floor music so maybe she just didn’t go. But it was weird that they cut the feed, which they didn’t do for the other events once they finished.

Would be cool to have scores so we could find out, but sadly that technology is impossible.

Warmups for the second rotation now. Sears just did a huge layout on beam.

Rotation 2

Sears – BB – bhs layout 2 feet, very strong – switch to immediate front tuck, huge save, large break but kept it on – split jump 1/2 from side, pretty solid split position – split to straddle jumpt to back tuck, good – switch 1/2, secure – aerial – bhs bhs double tuck, step back. Really good work. You’re going to be so obsessed with her in NCAA.

Pilgrim – FX – nice high double Arabian – 1.5 through to double tuck, chest down, hop forward –

Eaker – UB – piked hindorff, good – Church to pak, also quite clean – shap 1/2, crazy legs but caught it – clear hip full – toe 1/2 to piked jaeger, nice – orphan 1/2 turn on high, late – DLO, holds the landing, some piking. Got pretty crazy on her shap 1/2 but the rest was nice. 13.05

German – VT – easy yfull, large lunge back

Mueller pulls around Y1.5 on vault. Has to tuck it toward the end.

Siegfeldt – BB – front tuck, step forward, controls it – bhs bhs layout, hits, arm wave correction – side aerial, hit – switch to switch 1/2, huge break but keeps it on the beam miraculously – aerial, check – 2/1 dismount, hop to the side

Blakely – VT – yfull, large bounce back

Wong – UB – toe full to maloney to pak to van leeuwen, legs in van leeuwen, otherwise smooth – stalder 1/2 to jaeger, high jaeger – 1/2 turn on high – DLO 1/1 dismount, just does get it around, chest down, hop, but a hit. Very pretty first few elements.

Alipio bounces way back out of a double tuck on floor, avoids putting a hand down but it was close, OOB. Lovely leaps.

Kaylen Morgan hits a yfull with a hop back. DiCello will not compete floor.

Draser – BB – wolf double double, good – side aerial, hit – lone bhs – redoes it into loso and it’s quite smooth – aerial to straddle to split to back tuck combination, also quite solid – split jump 1/2 from side – switch to switch 1/2, some flexed feet but not bad on the positions – double tuck is quittte low, just did get it around.

Kratzer – UB – big piked haeger – church to pak, also great amplitude there, some leg break on pak – van leeuwen, again a little legs – giant full to FTDT, lands hunched over but a really solid hit overall.

Looks like no vault by McCallum. (Not a feed cut out situation, like she didn’t vault.)

Rosen – FX – DLO, some tucked knees, but hit easily, small slide – double arabian, shuffle back – finishes double tuck.

Klein – BB – side aerial to loso loso is quite secure, bent knees – punch front, deep but held, check – straight jump full from side, hit –

We lost the bars and beam feeds there for the end of Klein;s beam and the start of JaFree Scott’s bars. ($30/month!) But Scott fell on a release.

Sunisa Lee – FX – DLO, hit, pikes down some at the end, good control – just a layout second pass – switch ring to split leap full, lovely positions – double L is quite clean and clearly around – back 1.5 to front full, gets low at the end there with some tucking, but hit, hop to the side – wolf triple to wolf double, easy – and just a layout final pass.

So only showed two passes, but she pulled the DLO out and the leaps and turns were perfect of course.

Props to her also for not being like, “NO ONE SHALL SEE MY SOMEWHAT UNFINISHED GYMNASTICS.”

Torrez – UB – toe full, a bit late – maloney to tkatchev, great height on connected ttkatchev – pak, some legs – van leeuwen, small leg break – piked jaeger, hit, some feet – cast 1/2 – DLO, flings it out and just does get it around with a lunge forward. Highlight was the tkatchev out of the maloney, usually those are dumpy and hers is not.

Rotation 3

Siegfeldt – FX – popa, hit – DLO, good height, bounce back – front tuck through to double tuck, jarred landing, pitched forward, nearly had to put a hand down –

Zeiss is our first vaulter, so looks like DiCello and Alipio have scratched there.

Floor and bars feed have frozen (fun!)

Witte – BB – bhs bhs layout seties, hit – split jump full, really nice extension on that split jump – switch to switch 1/2 to back tuck, secure – aerial, pause before side aerial to split jump – onodi, large break, bend at the hips, keeps it on – double pike, step back. Those leaps! Here’s my beamer, next beamer.

Sunisa scratches vault. Bars and floor streams remain down. LOL what a garbage service.

Pilgrim vaults a yfull, a bit short, hop forward.

Wong – BB – switch to wolf jump full, lovely switch, looks like she just does get the world full around – side aerial to loso, holds it well – L turn to full turn, gets totally off line and has to bend and grab the beam – switch ring, good – aerial to split jump to split ring, small arm wave – side aerial, hit – straddle 1/2 from side, good position – 3/1, under-rotated by about 3/8 of a twist – small hop to hop it around.

Lots of lovely moments of course, but that grabbing the beam.

Bars is back.

Blakely – UB – toe 1/2 to piked jaeger, good – annnnnd bars is down again. YAYAYAYAYAYA. Anyway we can see her in the very background of the working vault stream where no one is going. Looks like a hit double tuck dismount?

Kratzer – BB – wolf double goes mostly crazy but she keeps it on – straddle 1/2 from side, hit – side aerial to back tuck and falls – switch to sissone – front tuck, check – switch 1/2, hit – double pike, just survives, head nearly makes contact with the mat it was so low.

So we have nothing to stalk about right now because vault is done, beam is being judged and the bars and floor streams are down.

Scott – BB – switch to split, good extension – front hs to front tuck, medium check, good height – y spin with a larger break, bend to the side – aerial, check – sissone to split leap – pause before side aerial, but it’s well completed – bhs bhs 2/1, step to the side. A checky routine but still has so much ability.

We’re back on bars with kaylen Morgan – hits a jaeger – finishes double front, lunge forward.

Torrez – BB – piked barani attempt but comes off – back tuck full is well done, solid – side aerial to los, really strong – swtich to switch 1/2 to back tuck, a but short on back tuck but secure series – side jumps in combination, hit – double pike, step back

German – UB – toe full, a git late – van leeuwen – toe 1/2 to piked jaeger, some legs, good amplitude – stalder tkatchev piked, hit – pak, comfortable – good handstand on low – van leeuwen, solid – DLO, step back.

Eaker’s beam will round out the rotation.

Eaker – BB – switch mount to switch side, hit – y turn to full turn, small check – aerial, breaks connection into split ring jump, secure landing – side aerial to loso loso, strong – sissone to split leap to side somi, hit well – they need to figure out the choreography to get her back to the other side of the beam here – switch to switch 1/2 to korbut – switch ring – 2/1, small hop.

A really strong showing from Eaker. They’ve mostly fixed her routine in as much as they’ve ditched the split ring leap and she’s not risking a D snowball should she get a downgrade. Though of course some of those rings can still get downgraded, but they’ll be individual downgrades and won’t affect the rest of the composition.

One last rotation. The leader is SHRUGGGGGGG.

Looks like 14.1 for Eaker on beam.


Blakely – BB – hits back tuck full, small check – fhs front tuck, again just a small check – switch to swtich 1/2 to back tuck, just a little shy on switch 1/2 – side aerial looks good – aerial to split jump to straddle jump – double tuck, step to the side. Good hit.

Wong – FX – double double attempt, pulls it around! 3/1 is around, some leg crossing – 2.5 to front full, just a little short on landing, slide – double pike, very deep stumbles backward OOB and sits it down. I’m a little surprised the GAGEs are competing floor given how PT went, but at least they’re doing something.

Landry – BB – wolf double is hit – aerial, good – switch to split ring jump, some soft knees but secure – bhs loso – side aerial, large break, keeps it on – 1.5, small slide back

Rosen – UB – weiler and can’t get it to handstand, hops off – resumes with stalder to maloney to tkatchev, good – Ray to pak, straddles the pak – toe shoot – giant full – DLO, flung out, lunge forward

Barely any of the streams are working, but let’s hope bars holds on for Suni.

Scott – FX – DLO, well short, hands down – double pike, bounce back – switch ring, split leap full – really nice Memmel turn, pretty – floor stream died again.

S Lee – UB – nabeieva, straddles it into bhardwaj, good – van leeuwen, lovely – 1/2 turn to piked jaeger to pak to maloney to gienger, no big deal, very well done – FTDT, hop back.

Through with a good hit. Didn’t pull out her MOST composition. Had to straddle the Nabieva some this time. The rest was lovely.

Morgan – BB – hits wolf double and triple – side somi to split jump 1/2 from side, good work! – bhs to loso, knees rather bent – split leap to aerial to split jump, small check – side aerial, think she wanted to connect that into switch leap but didn’t – switch 1/2 to wolf jump – layout dmt

Torrez – FX – DLO I think, stream froze in the middle of her take off – hits full in, slide back

They keep zooming in Wong like they think she’s next on floor. She’s already gone. Eaker is next.

Like to see the forward toe on work from Pilgrim on bars – maloney to tkatcehv, good – toe 1/2 – double pike dimount, hop.

Strong back tuck full from German on beam. Pulls out a secure standing front tuck – split jump 1/2 from side is solid – double tuck dismount, comfortable for her, lunge back.

Eaker – FX – buffering fun – we’re getting to see her take off four a couple passes, no way of knowing how they went – hits a 2.5 to layout third pass?

Another fun nugget is that the occasional scores they have shown on vault are only the E scores. Like everyone is getting 8s on vault.

Literally could not tell you what happened during Eaker’s floor.

Di Cello – UB – stalder full to stalder Shap to tkatchev, good – piked jaeger – high Church, solid – pak to van leeuwen – FTDT, small hop forward. Worlds better than in training.

Nice side aerial to loso from Mueller on beam good extension – punch front, check before split jump straddle jump – switch 1/2, nice lift, wobble – double tuck, step back.

Last routine of the day belongs to Witte on floor – double tuck, comfortable, chest up, small slide – popa, little hop – 3/1, some leg crossing, step back – switch ring to switch 1/1, good positions as on beam – 2.5, short, crossover stumble – split full, nice – doubel pike, wayyyyy deep and sits it down.

So that’s the end of the competition. We have no idea what happened because who needs working scores.

This competition is too not-real to make any kind of projections based on it. Lee isn’t there yet because she didn’t do vault and did half a floor but looks mostly on track. Not a great day for Wong with misses on beam and floor. Eaker’s beam composition is better. McCallum wasn’t shown, which is a whole other deal that doesn’t make much sense to me. If you’re ready to show your routines to judges in a competition…maybe she just didn’t want to be buffered.

Anyway, what a delightful viewing experience. Everything’s going great in this sport. No notes.

70 thoughts on “American Classic – Senior Live Blog”

  1. I really dislike the props comment, “NO ONE SHALL SEE MY SOMEWHAT UNFINISHED GYMNASTICS.”

    Spencer, you’re not the trainer, the coach or the athlete. In fact, you’re not part of that decision or understand the reasoning behind it at all. You’re basically shaming other gymnasts for electing to operate differently. Be better, do better.

    1. It’s a flipping sport! If you don’t want people to see your gymnastics, stay the hell home. It’s forgivable for juniors but seniors, nope!

      Be better do better??? Lmao how 2019 woke.

      1. Not really – people are competing in some events, showing half routines, etc. This whole even is a joke and gymnasts are showing that it’s not serious.

        You’re wrong – and the 2019 reference? Was that the year of people being “woke?”

      2. Seems like it’s not a sport – it’s barely being covered. And most gymnasts, including Suni, are treating it as a warm-up.
        I guess they all should have stayed home.

      3. Anneli, what’s your Instagram? I want to follow you. I’d love to learn about “sports” from you and also become “2019 woke”

        Asking someone to not be petty, like Spencer is all the time, is not a big ask, I definitely wouldn’t consider it “woke 2019”

        You seem like a solid Republican, Trump supporter 👏

      4. No I am absolutely not wrong. It’s literally an official competition used to qualify to championships. It’s your choice to show up unprepared but utterly ridiculous to play peekaboo with the cameras.

        Throwaway phrases don’t change anything Jan. Anyway, Spencer made this thoughts about your comment very clear in his last paragraph. Deal with it.

      5. You know we can tell that you’re the same person posting multiple comments right? I am not American so get your Republican bull away from me. The world doesn’t revolve around you lot.

      6. Seems like you’re wrong, Karen. I mean, Aneeli.
        Sure, you can qualify for championships here – but this is still a joke of a “competition.”

        Yay! You showed some of your gymnastics, but you didn’t compete all of your gymnastics or even in all the events! What actual sport does this happen in….

      7. I agree with Anneli. If USAG is claiming an athlete as a headliner for a competition that is only accessible behind an outrageous paywall, the reasonable expectation is that said athlete’s routines would be featured. McCallum doesn’t owe us routines, especially for a competition of this caliber, but it’s misleading for USAG to feature her and then deliberately not show her during the competition. Either it’s a competition or it’s camp/verification, but they need to pick a lane.

    2. But this isn’t podium training, it’s supposed to be a real competition, allegedly, so I don’t think ti should be option to not show your routines. Not blaming the gymnasts for their individual choices, but there should be a line between training and competition. If you’re scratching, sure don’t show that, but it seems like you can’t even tell with the way the camera is cutting in and out.

    3. Yeah, gonna have to disagree with this one. This is the highest level of gymnastics, I think it’s 100% fair to praise the athletes like Suni who are willing to show their not quite finished gymnastics AT A LEGIT COMPETITION.

    4. You’re reading too much into this. Praising someone isn’t the same, at all, as shaming those who choose to do differently. For instance, I hope you don’t see praising people who choose to speak up about issues they’ve faced in the past as shaming those who choose to stay silent.

      1. What a sport – being covered by Flo, in a basic gymnasium, bad judging/no judging, etc.

        “So woke” lol. You’re dramatic.

        Suni isn’t even competing on all four events! So how is that different than her showing her incomplete routines? It’s a backhanded comment and it’s petty.

      1. Not to trolls like that cretin. Spencer is always just so PETTY, or haven’t you noticed? /s *projectile vomits again*

    5. First Anonymous (and all your other troll posts): You really are a walking cliche. “Woke” at its worst perfectly describes your nauseating self-righteousness. You really think your shit doesn’t stink and you piss the best ginger ale, sweetie pie. *projectile vomit* Anneli is completely correct, and you are a moron for not appreciating Spencer’s hilarious, acerbic, witty, and stimulating commentary. Don’t like Spencer’s writing? FUCK OFF HIS WEBSITE AND DIE!

    6. I think that often gymnastics fan want to have their cake and eat it too. We complain when gymnastics is not being treated like other sports but we are often unwilling to do the same. This is a competition that Grace and her coaches chose to attend. I could understand if a video crew showed up at Twin City Gymnastics to do a feature on a gymnast and Grace asked them not to show her routines. But I agree that the choice to not have competition routines shown is weird. Everyone knows that the gymnasts will not be in peak form at the American Cup (Suni dismount beam with a dismount, did one or two layouts on floor, DiCiello only competed 2 gymnasts, GAGE gymnasts were obviously nowhere near their peak.) But if you choose to compete you IMHO have decided that your routines are good enough to be watched. I don’t know of any other sports where that would even be an option. I think it can also be a disadvantage for the gymnast. As now everyone will speculate why she chose to and whether she is strong enough mentally to handle the pressure. Again, just my two cents and obviously have no claim to having a monopoly on the truth 🙂

      1. Actually not true. My new college liberal professor told me ‘opinions’ are steeped in white supremacy as a result of colonization. De-colonize opinions because its a tool for white supremacy. Haven’t you heard? So no people aren’t allowed to have opinions, unless you are a white supremacist. Jessica from Gymcastic talked to me about it.

      2. @Anonia Wow, little dRUMPfCUNT. You’re so bad at internet trolling you make Frothy Mix look good!

  2. Maybe some gymnast are basically boycotting flo! Have you considered that?

    1. No they are not boycotting Flo. Flo and it’s coverage is so far down the list of their concerns. You could make the case the coverage is so bad, it doesn’t matter what you do as far as fans judging you.

  3. Skye Blakely was 1st, Leanne Wong in 2nd and Karis German in 3rd. I believe Kara Eaker was 5th.

  4. My read of the comments above is lots of people were upset by Grace McCallum’s inclusion on the worlds team. Seemed like favoritism by USAG, and her subsequent performance at those worlds didn’t show anything to justify her inclusion. Now by allowing her not to show routines, it just looks like more preferential treatment. Not sure it’s fair to take it out on the gymnast though if these are the opportunities given to her.

    1. This meet is optional.. I dont know how usag is “allowing” her not to show routines. In order to be considered for the olympic team, she doesn’t need to compete at all until nationals.

      1. You’re talking about two different things. Fine the meet is optional, but she chose to participate. On top of that USAG is allowing her the option of not having her routines aired on TV to avoid scrutiny

      2. I think what we are seeing is similar to what we were talking about in that Jade Carey thread: USAG (at least, the women’s program folks who interface more with athletes/coaches) is afraid of its own shadow right now and there seems to be very little appetite to say “no” to an athlete when they ask for something that will benefit them individually. Which…look, the fact that USAG is overcorrecting this quad makes sense in light of…all the everything…but that’s how you get outcomes like this.

      3. @Anonymous 10:16 Carey is an opportunistic BITCH whose even more toxic daddy saw a quasi-legal loophole and WENT for it. END OF DISCUSSION.

    2. She was the national bronze medalist and scored a 14.6 on bars at Worlds – higher than any score of Morgan’s at 2017 or 2018 Worlds by the way, and Morgan downgraded in 2019. Leanne or Morgan could have easily made the team over Grace if they hit floor at trials, but floor was a problem for both of them that whole year while Grace was stable there.

      1. Just read Spencer’s own post about why her selection didn’t make sense

        You’re trying to justify the decision to include based on subsequent worlds performance while ignoring her huge error in TF

      2. The 14.6 at Worlds is a complete validation of her potential on bars that the domestic judges saw at home. She was taken because of her AA placement and this bars potential. If Riley was healthy, by all means, yes she should have gone instead of Grace, but it’s not like Leanne and Morgan were actually better than her on bars.

        Spencer’s post was written with the assumption that Morgan > Grace on bars because even he, great as he is, did not expect Grace to score so well on bars at Worlds. And again Grace left the door open for them at trials, but neither was able to deliver their floor potential.

        I’m not justifying based on the worlds performance, I’m justifying based on the potential – potential that was seen at home during day 2 of trials, andd demonstrated at Worlds QF.

    3. Grace had recent surgery. That’s why she only did beam. You people don’t know the circumstances of some of these gymnasts. Give them a break before making assumptions.

      1. Apparently she just had surgery 12 weeks ago. I assume she wanted the competitive experience but without people judging her online. American Classic used to be a private meet where most gymnasts would go to try to qualify for nationals, but those already qualified would use it as a prep/test meet. I think they liked that privacy and don’t like that their one “private” meet is now public. I’m glad they have the option.

      2. My opinion? If you want private feedback, you do it in a private way. Have a judge show up at your gym, do an exhibition, do a practice, etc. If you show up to a public competition that is televised, you are agreeing to be televised.

        Any competition that is a qualifier for a national championship or for international assignments should be transparent. USAG has a major transparency problem right now. Stuff like this doesn’t help.

        Now, this kind of talk is distracting from what I consider the real story of this event – the regression of the GAGE gymnasts. I know it’s early season, but they have both seriously downgraded and still can’t appear to hit?

    4. This seems like a reach, connecting 2019 worlds to what happened this weekend. If I recall correctly, most of the outrage regarding selection was that Forster took the top six AA from trials, seemingly without regard to optimal team construction, because the result was pretty lopsided. Also because this method left Hurd out, but that’s another story. At that point, a lot of people wanted Skinner on the team over McCallum. However, since Tom had already backed himself into a corner with this VT/FX-heavy team, I believe McCallum was the more sensible choice. Her performance obviously wasn’t ideal, but she still qualified fifth in the AA with a fall. Her selection may have been controversial, but I think it is a stretch to attribute it to favoritism.

      And I agree that this is a systems issue, not the athlete’s. USAG needs to get their ducks in a row about what they’re promoting. I would have been fine with them doing whatever with a free stream like they did in 2019 (I think McCallum and McCusker both asked not to be shown?), but when they’re using specific athletes to advertise and draw in paying viewers, the standard should be a little higher.

  5. Guys McCallum had surgery just two months ago, don’t be so hard on her!

    1. There is nothing personal against Grace who I am sure is a lovely human being. But this is a sport and it needs to be treated as a sport. “If you are healthy, you compete and if you compete you are healthy”. The American Cup is never where gymnasts are at their peaks. People would be understanding of a sub par performance (I am not writing off Leanne for her performance here and definitely do not think that Suni will show up with a layout dismount at Nationals) but deciding to compete and ask not to be shown is rather odd IMHO.

    2. Someone is bad at math. Twelve weeks is not two months.

      The funny thing is that I think people would be a lot easier on her if she actually had shown her routines.

  6. Spence, idk if you read these comments, but it’s time for you to step in and moderate your blog. This is unbelievable.

    1. He never has and I’m sure he never will. There has never been any engagement with his readers so not sure why he’d start now.

      The foul attitude and negative outlook that Jessica and Spencer have on all things gymnastics has set the tone for the vile and vicious fan base we have now. Jessica always has to have a villain and a favorite; same with Spencer. The result is that we have a comments section full of people furious at one another for having opposing opinions. For these fans, gymnastics is a zero sum game – in order to like gymnast A you have to hate gymnast B. And if you like gymnast B, then it’s claimed you hate gymnast A.

      There doesn’t always have to be some person, some thing, some organization, or some rule in the gymnastics world that keeps you in a perpetually angry state. It might be nice to enjoy the gymnastics for once instead of submerging yourselves in negativity. EVERY sports organizations has quirks and frustrations and things that are annoying. Some gymnastics fans act they’re taking on a massive burden being a fan… is fandom not something to enjoy rather than wallow in despair?

      1. I think you’re overthinking this. 99 percent of the drama in this comment section is one asshole troll trying to channel the gymternet culture circa 2003.


      3. Oh bullshit. Look at the actual ARCHIVES, you imbecile. Spencer USED to answer comments until CUNTS like YOU became the norm in term of commenters. Jessica is almost as stupid as YOU; Spencer is NOT. Period.

    2. I agree. Whether Spencer likes it or not, this is a platform for gymnastics commentary and allowing people to comment anonymously contributes to the toxic and negative culture of gymnastics. People can’t sit on their high horses and point fingers at USAG, Nassar, Geddert, Penny and abusive coaches for doing the wrong thing and then turn around and mock these gymnasts to the point where it goes beyond being critical about a gymnast’s form and behaviour.

      What exactly do comments like hoping gymnasts get/stay injured, calling Jade’s gymnastics “autistic” or calling Simone “a monkey” (all comments I’ve seen over the years) even add to the conversation?

      No one is saying that you can’t be critical about a gymnast, but people should have enough awareness to monitor their own comments – all of the aforementioned things are unacceptable.

      1. It’s basically the gymnastics version of 8chan at this point. I’m not sure how some of these comments aren’t considered cyber-bullying. In my opinion, if you’re going to allow comments, there has to be moderation. There should be some ability for the administrator or, at the very least, patrons to moderate the comments for hate speech. That’s not saying you can’t be critical of the gymnastics. But telling someone anonymously to “F*ck off his website and die” is a line crossed.

      2. @Anonymous 1:11 You’re incredible. So telling an obvious troll to fuck off and die for idle, imbecilic bitching about Spencer’s commentary is a heinous crime?
        You probably posted the first garbage-fire comment!

  7. After this competition…I don’t see Kara or Leanne on the Olympic team unless they improve drastically in 2 months. McCallum is a question mark and Suni I see more in the specialist spot. My Olympic team is Simone, Jordan Chiles Riley McCusker and Morgan Hurd with Jade and Suni as specialists.

    1. That team is terrifying. 2/4 have had ongoing vault issues, 3/4 regularly have rough floors, and I see at least 1 beam miss and 1 bars miss in that group.

      Until Hurd, Chiles, and McCusker can put together a string of competitions without errors, I don’t think any of those 3 would work. They are all amazing, but haven’t shown the consistency they need to.

      You also can’t leave Lee’s bars and floor off the team…

      1. I don’t understand how Morgan, who has four individual worlds medals, is considered less consistent than Grace, who has zero. The ‚McCallum is consistent‘ narrative is baffling. I wouldn’t say any of this quad‘s gymnasts are Ross- or Raisman-level reliable, and I’d be surprised if Morgan is on the team, but it’s so weird to me how her falls at selection camp are held against her but Grace‘s falls at worlds are not.

        Anyway your team will be the top 4 AAers, whether they’re consistent or not, whether they’re a balanced team or not.

    2. Just because Suni hasn’t done vault and floor yet doesn’t mean she should be relegated to a specialist. In 2019 she only did bars and beam at US Classic (and missed Pan Ams as a result) but three weeks later at nationals of course placed 2nd AA. With her upgraded bars and beam even just sticking with her 2019 vault and floor will still keep her as the comfortable favorite to defend that silver medal.

      Riley is my favorite US gymnast this quad but Suni can match her score on beam and is between 2 to 5 tenths ahead of her on bars. And of course Suni’s floor will score higher even if Riley adds the double double which is by no means certain Since Leanne and Grace are looking vulnerable, Suni’s floor is needed more than ever for the team.

      1. Agree that score-wise, Lee is basically an upgrade on McCusker. Everything Riley does, Suni does as well, but often better. Which is a shame for Riley because she is a fantastic gymnast. Assuming Suni stays on track, I would consider her basically a lock for the team.

        Suni’s weakness has always been vault, and if I were team coordinator I’d want a back-up beamer since she isn’t always consistent there. McCallum and Hurd could both fill in, assuming they’re on track. Wong has the ability on both events but so far hasn’t shown the consistency. I’m keeping an eye on Chiles as well, after the improvement she showed at her last meet. Critical to her chances, as well as McCallum’s in my opinion, is showing a consistent Amanar.

      2. Simone and Sunisa are locks for this team. Simone will do the AA and Sunisa will do bars and floor and very likely beam if she maintains the level we’ve seen from her recently. That still leaves one more bars and beam routine which I believe still could go to a bars and beam specialist like McCusker or even Hurd.

        I think the toughest thing for Team USA will be vault. It’s very possible the US women’s team will need to put up two *relatively* weaker vaults in team finals. (Weaker meaning an average DTY). The only gymnast other than Simone and Jade who regularly competes a vault more difficult than a DTY is MyKayla and it’s questionable whether her floor would be strong enough to be the ideal 3rd score there. Likewise, Jordan could fill that spot with a super strong DTY, but then again her floor has been inconsistent throughout her career.

        This is where someone like Grace fits in. She would never maximize the team score, but could fill in on all 4 events better than anyone besides Simone or Sunisa. You don’t want to risk having McCusker being the 3rd vault and floor score or Skinner being the 3rd bars and beam score. Jordan could fill in similarly to Grace in that she’s more well-rounded, but we need to see over the next several competitions whether she can have that consistency in every competition. Grace herself has not always hit, but has at a higher rate than Jordan.

        Despite all of this, I will go out on a limb and contradict what I wrote above and say that MyKayla’s chances are better than anyone realizes. I think Tom likes MyKayla a lot and would like to be able to put her on the team. If she can be top 3 on floor for the upcoming competition season, I think she’ll be on the team along with either the top beam and bars specialist or the 3rd best all-arounder.

        There is no other gymnast I can recall who has made so many teams (main team or alternate) after being completely written off. Not that I agree with any or all of those team placements, but it’s something to consider. She has literally made every team she was eligible for starting in 2014 whether that was a main or alternate position. That consistency is astonishing considering she’s often never in the conversation.

      3. Another delusional Skinner fan.

        ” I think Tom likes MyKayla a lot and would like to be able to put her on the team.”

        LOL. It doesn’t matter who is liked or not. Tom is too scared to deviate from using ranking to name teams. If Skinner is not in the top 6, she ain’t going to Tokyo. No ifs, and, buts about it.

        He has consistently picked teams based purely on rank so what makes you think he will suddenly change and because he has a heart for Skinner will put her on the team?

        Skinner made 2019 Worlds because she lucked out that she hit but everyone else in contention fell or was injured. That’s why she went to Stuttgart. Hurd, Wong, Chiles, Thomas all choked at World Trials with several falls. McCusker was injured and Finnegan only did balance beam. Even after all was said and done Skinner was relegated to alternate even though she placed ahead of McCallum at World Trials. So far that is the only time that Tom did not go strictly on AA finish.

        It does NOT bode well for Skinner that she was passed over and made alternate on a 5 person team. Now that it is down to 4 she has worse chances that two years ago. She also has additional competition in Blakely, McClain, and DiCello.

        If all the seniors have solid competitions, Skinner isn’t even in the top 10.

        Skinner is also useless for individual medals. She will be 2 per’d out of VT and FX and would never qualify for UB and BB finals. Suni, Biles, and Carey are likely to collect all the event final slots. If Suni and Biles are locked then the next two best AAers will go to complement the team. It will not be Skinner as one of those two. I firmly doubt she will even qualify to Trials on her own and will need to be invited since I question her being in the top 8.

      4. But don’t forget that Carey being off the 4 person team makes Skinner’s selection a possibility especially if a third floor score is needed. If for some reason Jade tries out for the team, that will mark the end for Skinner. However, Jade is certainly not giving up her Olympic spot just for a chance at making the team.

        Don’t forget also that Skinner historically peaks at trials. I’m not pulling for Skinner over anyone else but I’m starting to see 2016 and 2019 play out over again.

        This is just my friendly warning to everyone who will inevitably be shocked when Skinner becomes part of the conversation during trials. It’s happened every year she’s competed since 2014.

    3. I wish if Morgan can be on the team but I don’t see that right now but after nationals I will reconsider her position.. Riley I dont know the beam bar spot is hers but I hope she stays on the apparatus. Jordan has done really well so far let’s hope she keeps the pace and suni would be on my team as an AA.

    4. You literally have seen 1 competition of Riley who fell on beam TWICE, missed her usual connection on bars, and didnt compete floor, and yet somehow you have a burning in your beaver that she should be on the team? Oh ok.

  8. Why does everyone suck so much at vault now? Probably a bit of this is misremembering but in the 2008 and 2012 quads we had a lot more legit DTYs in both the US junior and senior ranks and in Europe too… now it’s like a big deal if an Italian can stand up a DTY and most of the US elites look like they couldn’t make an NCAA vault lineup.

    1. You’re right. It used to be that 90% of US seniors either had a very good DTY or a harder vault. Now we’re down to 3 gymnasts who can do a vault harder than a DTY, one very good DTY (Chiles), a couple usable DTYs (Sunisa Lee, McCallum), a couple scary DTYs (Hurd, McCusker), and quite few FTYs.

      Even worldwide, it seemed that many in the top 10 AA had at least a good DTY and now you have a very select few with good DTYs or harder.

      It might be due to the continued devaluing of the Amanar and other harder vaults but there is a still a huge advantage to a team and individual who can put up a harder-than-DTY vault.

      1. Other very good DTY’s in the US: Shilese Jones, Leanne Wong, Conner McClain

      2. I wouldn’t call any of those „very good“ compared to Ross or Key in the 13-16 quad, which is the point of this discussion here. Like yeah they’re some of the best now, but the best now is not that good.

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