Moving on to the Great North, it’s high time we tackle the prospects for Team Canada at the Olympics. Coming off the brilliant 5th-place success of the 2012 Olympics, the beginning of this quad was disappointingly thumpity-thump-thump for Canada as a team, regressing to finish 12th in 2014 against a somewhat nondescript field.
Fortunately, things have improved recently in the build-up to Rio. Canada managed a 6th-place finish at 2015 worlds, one that better reflects the current talent level and expectations for the country, and has put together a group of five for the Olympics that looks almost sure to improve on that 167.697 TF score that put Canada into 6th last year.
The focus for Canada will not be medals, as the most likely outcome would see Canada leave the Olympics with no gymnastics medals, but a number of competitive finishes should be in the cards.
Ellie Black – 2015 Pan Am All The Medals, 2015 Worlds AA 7th, the one who has been the best Canadian gymnast for the last 5 years, bum hops, Elsabeth not Elizabeth
Shallon Olsen – 2016 Pac Rims vault champion, actually brand new human, coming to save your country on vault and floor
Isabela Onyshko – 2016 Canadian champion, beam difficulty is COAL MINING + SMALL TALK, suddenly getting 58s, might finally have it together
Brittany Rogers – 2016 champion of all of life forever, best bars worker in NCAA, actually what will Georgia do without her, I can’t even, possible superhero
Rose-Kaying Woo – 2016 Canadian bronze, the one who’s the younger sister, here to make beam not sad
Projected Olympic Lineups
Vault – (Onyshko) Black, Rogers, Olsen
Bars – (Woo?) Black, Onyshko, Rogers
Beam – (Rogers) Woo, Black, Onyshko
Floor – (Woo) Olsen, Onyshko, Black
The Canadian qualification lineups are pretty easy to come up with because of the excellent use of complementary specialists on this team. Well played, Canada.
On vault, Canada has four 5.8 options now that Onyshko is performing a DTY, though her DTY is still in the “got a zero at trials once” phase, making that vault more critical for her individual hopes than it is for the team, which already has three more proven high-difficulty vaults.
Canada will be relying on Onyshko and Rogers to prop up that bars score and keep it competitive, which they are capable of as long as we don’t have another 2015 TF incident. I’m not sure where I stand with using Black vs. Woo in the TF on bars. Woo has some lovely qualities, but her difficulty at trials was just 5.5, while Black’s is 5.8 in spite of her wanting to get off the bars as quickly as possible and then burn them because they’re a stupid jerk. The two have lately ended up with quite similar total scores, so Woo’s presence does allow for Black not to have to deal with bars.
Notably, Canada elected not to use Black in the TF last year, using a 13.533 from Older Woo instead. Black came back two days later and got 14.000 on bars in the AA final. I’ll be watching the comparison between the two closely in qualification.
Continue reading Olympic Preview — Team Canada