1. The preliminary competition is on Sunday. From the prelims, the top 8 teams qualify to finals, top 8 gymnasts in each event qualify to event finals, and top 24 gymnasts to all around finals. For individual finals, there is a two-per-country rule. So even though the USA will have three gymnasts in the top 24, only the top two will qualifiy.
2. What's a good score? All of the events are scored slightly differently, but a good rule of thumb is anything in the 15 range is good; above a 15.5 is excellent.
3. The USA is the favorite to win. They the won last year's world championships by a LANDSLIDE. Having said that, the USA won worlds the year before the Olympics in 2004 and 2008, and then went on to take silver at the Olympics. If they hit, the USA will win, but it will be very close if Russia and Romania also hit. China could factor in too, but only if they're flawless.
4. NBC's Olympic commentators are 75% idiot, 25% right. Take anything they say that's extreme with a grain of salt.
5. Larrisa Iordache, Romania's star, is apparently suffering foot pain and will not compete all around. If they're pulling a fast one, which wouldn't be a surprise, and she competes all around, she'll be a threat. Also, if she competes they will challenge for gold in the team finals.
6. Catalina Ponor from Romania (triple gold medalist in 2004) has made a comeback and is killing it. She's known for wearing way-too-high-cut leos (seriously, gross) and always hitting beam. I can't stand her b/c on her constant arm flailing, spastic back arching, and karate chop things with her arms, but I am impressed with her comeback.
6. Why didn't Nastia make it? Nastia started her comeback about 6 months too late. She just wasn't ready.
7. Why didn't Shawn make it? Although she retired due to a "knee injury", she really deep down knew she wouldn't make the team. Her strengths/weaknesses didn't "fit" the team. They needed someone who could score high on bars; she can't. Her vault used to be a huge asset, but now there are three USA gymnasts who do it better than she. In other words, she's not good enough.
8. I despise Marta Karolyi as the team coordinator. She's has way too power and has a habit of over-training, physically and mentally, the gymnasts. Many think she is the reason we are so successful, whereas I think it's because of the influx of amazing coaches from abroad, specifically China and the former Soviet Union. Only one of the our the US girls is coached by an American. She gets the credit that rightfully belongs to the girls' personal coaches. I will give her credit for implementing the monthly team camp approach, although I think it should be bi-monthly.
Team Prediction My Ideal Team Podium
1. USA 1. USA
2. Russia 2. Russia
3. Romania 3. Great Britain
All Around Prediction My Ideal All Around
1. Jordyn Weiber (USA) 1. Gabby Douglas (USA)
2. Viktoria Komova (RUS) 2. Jordyn Weiber (USA)
3. Gabby Douglas (USA) 3. Vika Komova (RUS)
Vault Prediction My Ideal Vault Podium
1. McKayla Maroney (USA) 1. McKayla Maroney (USA)
2. Sandra Izbasa (ROM) 2. Oksana Chusovitina (GER)
3. Oksana Chusovitina (GER) 3. Sandra Izbasa (ROM)
Bars Prediction My Ideal Bars Podium
1. Viktoria Komova (RUS) 1. Beth Tweddle (GB)
2. Aliya Mustafina (RUS) 2. Viktoria Komova (RUS)
3. Beth Tweddle (GB) 3. He Kexin (CHINA)
Beam Prediction My Ideal Beam Podium
1. Larissa Iordache (ROM) 1. Viktoria Komova (RUS)
2. Catalina Ponor (ROM) 2. Nastia Grishina (RUS)
3. Sui Lu (China) 3. Kyla Ross (USA)
Floor Prediction My Ideal Floor Podium
1. Sandra Izbasa (ROM) 1. Nastia Grishina (RUS)
2. Jordyn Weiber (USA) 2. Ksenia Afanasyava (RUS)
3. Aly Raisman (USA) 3. Victoria Moors (CAN)