Tag Archives: Ellie Downie

Olympic Preview — Team Great Britain

The Olympics are close. Disturbingly close. Some might say panic-attack close. As such, it’s probably time to start previewing things. I’ll begin this multi-week previewing process (there’s a lot to get through) with a look at some of the major women’s teams vying for medals at the Olympics, starting with Great Britain.

You’ve come a long way, baby. 20 seconds ago, Great Britain was excited to qualify a team to the Olympics. 5 seconds ago, simply making the team final was a massive accomplishment. Now, Great Britain stands as the most likely heir to the big four to replace Romania (the queen is dead, long live the queen) and enters the 2016 Olympics with the sudden pressure and expectations that go along with being one of the top teams in the world. Simply qualifying to finals is no longer good enough. It’s expected. WE WANT MEDALS.

Becky Downie — two-time European bars champion, general resilient badass, the shorter one but the older one
Ellie Downie — 2016 European vault and floor silver, sliding into your podium finishes, the taller one but the younger one
Claudia Fragapane — 2015 European floor silver, 2014 Commonwealth everything, so energetic that you don’t care about her form, makes you really uncomfortable when she gets called “pocket rocket”
Ruby Harrold – 2014 Commonwealth AA silver, her bars composition is more important than your life,  coming to make LSU the best bars team in 3…2…1…
Amy Tinkler – 2015 British AA champion, the one who isn’t Ellie Downie but who’s also making Great Britain good on vault and floor now, nicknamed “Tinkles” by just me

Projected Olympic Lineups
Vault: (Harrold), Fragapane, Tinkler, Downie
Bars(Fragapane?), Harrold, E. Downie, B. Downie
Beam: (Tinkler), Fragapane, E. Downie, B. Downie
Floor: (Harrold), Tinkler, E. Downie. Fragapane

And by projected Olympic lineups, I of course mean what I would do. A.k.a., the correct answer.

Vault and floor are easy because Becky Downie doesn’t do them anymore. (Thanks, girl!) On vault, the team will have its pick from four viable DTYs in the team final. It’s a far cry from recent years of Imogen Cairns making teams because she had a 1.5. Fragapane’s vault is sloppy, but she tends to outscore Harrold, who can land chest down and take a larger lunge. On floor, the clear standouts are Tinkler, E. Downie, and Fragapane, who should all manage to score well into the 14s, the team’s best argument for challenging the likes of Russia and China.

Great Britain will, however, have some serious decisions to make on bars and beam as to who goes in qualification and who has a shot at the all-around. Continue reading Olympic Preview — Team Great Britain

On Championships, Both Man and European

Seventeen days. Seventeen whole days of barren desert wasteland until the beginning of the men’s Olympic Trials and women’s nationals, with nothing to quench our thirst but a mirage of Maggie Nichols doing an Amanar that turns out to be a cactus with a snake stuck to it.

What are we supposed to do? Snob out about salto positions during the diving trials by saying things like, “It’s just hard for me to watch diving because of all the cowboy technique…”? I mean, I guess we could do that. But it’s just not the same. IT’S NOT THE SAME I TELL YOU.

Still. One day at a time. One competition at a time. Just need to hit four-for-four. And, because all the competitions in the entire history of the solar system converged upon each other last weekend, several items slipped through the cracks, so it’s time to circle back around and address a couple of them.


For some reason, the women’s senior event finals at the European Championship took place in the middle of the night, almost like they were on a different continent or something. Really inconsiderate.

On vault, Giulia fully Steingrubered all over the place and used the D-score advantage from her rudi to sneak just ahead of Ellie Downie’s superior execution scores and win her first gold of the day. Bronze went to the extremely injured Ksenia Afanasyeva, who was so injured that she had to do two vaults in an event final.

DTY+Lopez is the event-final vaulting regimen of choice for pretty much everyone these days, which is why the rudi remains such a valuable asset for Steingruber. While the three Amanar+Cheng sisters (Biles, Hong, and Paseka) will be the medal favorites in Rio, Steingruber is setting herself up as the next best bet with vaults that will keep her ahead of Team DTY+Lopez and Team Prod Chucker. Continue reading On Championships, Both Man and European

Euros 2016: Aliya Hits When Aliya Wants

European Championships – Senior women’s qualification

-In qualification, Great Britain edged Russia by a mere tenth to advance to the team final in 1st place. I have to say I’m a bit surprised it ended up being as close as it was given the various exhumed corpses Russia was forced to prop up with broomsticks, put some lipstick and eyelashes on, and throw onto the apparatuses.At the same time, GB did not have Queen of Varna Ellie Downie competing bars or beam, didn’t get the necessary bars score from Ruby Harrold, and had to count a beam fall from Fragapane on her exact-sphere with a full twist. Is “frightened armadillo ball” one of the acro shapes?

-Team GB will expect to do a bit better on bars and beam in the team final but did dominate floor, outscoring all the other teams by several billion points and not looking like they were about to die with every turn. Fragapane and Harrold showed quite impressive control in tumbling, and Downie scored well enough to get into the floor final in spite of a couple minorly iffy landings and going OOB on her Flying Dos Santos. On floor, pretty much every other team was going, “1 1/3 Y spin, stumble, CREDIT PLEASE????” and the judges were going, “No…”

-Russia also suffered a fall on beam when Tutkhalyan came off on her full, causing Valentina to pull out her wand and blast Seda’s name off the Black family tapestry once and for all. Russia did come back with some untouchable bars routines to close the gap with Great Britain, and in a bit of a surprise there, Mustafina and Melnikova beat Spiridonova, two-perring her out of her bars final and not helping Spiridonova’s Olympic team chances even a little bit.

-Now, let’s talk about Mustafina. In typical Aliya fashion, she appeared at podium training earlier in the week looking like she has been Anastasia Romanov this whole time and just emerged from 100 years spent living in a series of underground tunnels. She definitely had all the plagues and might have been a baby opossum in a leotard. Continue reading Euros 2016: Aliya Hits When Aliya Wants

Things Are Happening – May 6, 2016

Upwards of several things occur each week that aren’t significant enough to warrant a full post, because meh (they’re not critical news like GIFs of beam boob-stabbing or making fun of Trautwig’s every word), but they still happen. And I might suddenly have strong opinions about them starting now, so here we go…

1. SHOCK! DOCTOR Rene Lyst will not be returning to Arizona State next season.

The first stiletto of the offseason has dropped. I know you have to pick your jaw up off the floor about this astonishing and unexpected development. After ASU put DOCTOR Rene on the side of the road in a ditch “administrative leave” with only a couple meets left in the season, there was a really huge chance she would be welcomed back with open arms for 2017. Risa Perez 7, Rene Lyst 0.

Now that the saga is finally over and Rene is hanging up her Ghost of the Moulin Rouge meet dresses, it’s time to start compulsively whispering JEN KESLER and ELISE RAY into an old stovepipe to see if that does anything. You never know.

Based on team quality and reputation (these days), the ASU job would be a step down for most of the current D1 head coaches, but also MONEY PLEASE, so not necessarily.

Most teams in this position, however, will try to go with the fresh-faced, up-and-coming assistant coach/lower-tier head coach who might be planning to stick around for a while to build a program into something we remember to pay attention to. That’s what Arizona just did with Tabitha and is 99% why I want ASU to look at Elise Ray. We need Tabitha and Elise going head-to-head as NCAA head coaches.

2. Meanwhile at Penn State… Continue reading Things Are Happening – May 6, 2016