Tag Archives: Giulia Steingruber

Olympic Preview — The Individuals

Now that the teams are taken care of, let’s go for a spin around the neighborhood with the individuals.

Unlike the last Olympics, when Yamilet Pena was the only individual competitor to make any event final, quite a few single ladies should make a push at finals this year, if not challenge for medals. Some of the non-team countries have very strong programs, you know. Almost like they should be sending more than one gymnast or something…

To the events!

As has been the case for a number of years, vault is the domain of non-team gymnasts. Very few of the gymnasts on teams will even be attempting two vaults, maybe not even 8 of them. I could see a solid half of the vault-final field coming from this pack of individuals.

Hong Un JongNorth Korea – With an Amanar and Cheng, Hong is a strong medal favorite and the most likely challenger to Biles. She has already hit for the cycle this quad with a gold, silver, and bronze over the last three years and looks like a good bet for a second silver if Paseka is all Russia Back…

Giulia SteingruberSwitzerland – 2016 Euros vault champion and now pulling a total Sacramone by trolling the gymternet with videos of a handspring 2/1. Her rudi can compete with anyone’s score on any vault, but the problem child is the second vault, which should be a DTY but is sometimes not and is always nerve-wracking. She’s definitely in the medal hunt.

Oksana ChusovitinaUzbekistan – Doing the Prod now because why not. Given her theoretical difficulty with a Prod and often a Kas 1/1 second vault (7.0/6.0), she’s in the conversation, though the vault field is strong enough that she’s actually going to have to land the Prod in qualification to get back to the final. It can be a little Butt-a-Prod, but it can’t be a sitter.

Dipa KarmakarIndia – Samesies. Her Prod has been looking a little more realistic in the last year or so. No less knee-explody, but more realistic. The problem for Karmakar is that I actually liked her simpler Tsuk vaults back a couple years ago, but she has had to upgrade to the 6.0 to keep pace with everyone. It’s not as comfortable or consistent for her. Continue reading Olympic Preview — The Individuals

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