7.27.2012

Olympic Women's Gymnastics: Predictions and More

What you need to know about the Olympic Gymnastics competition:

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.

PREDICTIONS:

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)

7.23.2012

Olympic Games: Gymnastics

I am working on creating a "preview" of sorts for the gymnastics competition at the Olympics. It will include who you need to know, what you need to know, and predictions.

First, however, I want to post some videos about how gymnastics SHOULD look (IMHO). Note: vault and bars will be pretty good at this Olympics; beam and floor - yuck, no innovation.

VAULT

Luckily the best vault of all time should happen at this Olympics. Unless she's injured (which is entirely possible with Marta Karolyi leading the team), she will get gold.

McKayla Maroney - USA - 2012




BARS

Bars should always be innovative, with good form, straight body lines, and good swing. Luckily, like vault, we have the potential to see some amazing bar routines during THIS Olympics.

Svetlana Khorkina - Russia - 2000


Beth Tweddle - 2011 - Best UK gymnast of all time - Will compete this year!



He Kexin - China - 2009
She may have been underage in 2008. She'll be at this Olympics too,
but many think it is unlikely she'll hit this well again:



BEAM

Beam is horrible right now due to the code of points. It is just trick-trick-trick. No artistry. There are bonus points for weird connections, which has led gymnasts to string together many mediocre skills instead of the big, innovated skills. You really won't see anything much like these...with amazing tricks, beautiful dance, perfect extension, and handstand work!


Olessia Dudnik - USSR - 1989


Yang Bo - China - 1989



FLOOR

Floor is HORRIBLE right now. There are too many requirements and artistry is almost nonexistent.You will see NOTHING like these.  

Cheng Fei - 2004 - China


Tatiana Groshkova - USSR - 1989


Penn State Punishment

Thank you to the NCAA for handing out an appropriate punishment to PSU:
$60 million fine; money goes to child sex abuse awareness
4-year bowl game ban
Scholarship reductions
All wins from 1998-2011 vacated
5 years probation

Now, if only we could get the Catholic Church to reprimand its child abusers. The NCAA has MUCH higher standards for its coaches than the church does for its priests. Hmmmm.

7.21.2012

Aurora

"Those killed in Aurora represent less than half a day's quota of annual gun deaths in the US. Today is the rule, disguised as the exception." - Mark Harris, saying it like it is.

7.13.2012

Sandusky Case

So the Freeh report is out. I have only read snippets, but this is my first reaction:

Do you think this would have (or could have) happened if a woman was knowledgeable? Doubtful. 

Each and every one of these people should be in jail. They are accomplices to abuse, which makes them abusers.




7.06.2012

Nectarine update

I had a good one. Life is good again.

Audrey sillies

Blogged, so I remember them.

Today:

She announced she needed to use the restroom during dinner and asked to be excused. When I said yes, she asked me to "save her place." I did. (There are only two of us).

Audrey just put her toy phone (the old school one that you can drag- pictured below) in timeout for being too loud. They are very loud.




7.03.2012

My Girls

Had such a lovely time with these girls last weekend (we missed you, Jen!). I am going to scan some of the girls' weekends photos from when we first started getting together. We look like babies. Chubby cheeks and all :).


Not always "Stellar"

I've cut down my daily websites from about 60 to about 11. Email, local newspaper, an international news site, five gymnastics sites, Reddit, Buzzfeed, and Stellar Interesting.

I absolutely love Stellar. Almost every post is something worthwhile- something inspiring, hilarious, beautiful, or informative. Lately, however, I'm getting increasingly annoyed with the frequent pictures of women. At first, I appreciated the beauty and artistry, but now I'm starting to feel like it's become an obligatory part of a website in which men are in the majority. I am starting to realize these photos are being appreciated more for their sexiness than their artistic style (I know... duhhhhh). I'm totally aware that many of the female readers love the photos as well as the men, but let me tell you, it's starting to feel like sexual objectification to me and it's annoying. I go to Stellar to expand my horizons and end up feeling like I'm visiting some high-end men's club (like an old school literary society). 

Below are some photos from this week. Beautiful? Yes. Annoying the shit out of me? Yes. Enough to drive me away? Not yet. 




p.s. I'm totally aware that this is the case with Reddit as well, but I just have higher expectations for Stellar.

7.02.2012

Isn't it ironic?

Dontcha think? Mitch Daniels, new prez of Purdue.


Move over "Buffy" and "Freaks and Geeks"

I have a new favorite teen show and it's soooo good!!! It's from Australia and it's called, "Dance Academy." Yes, a teen show about ballet. I'm in heaven! Plus, the characters are amazing and the writers actually have the teens confront their issues rather than deal with them in the usual cliche ways. Check it:


On a brighter, more colorful note...

I love this book that I bought for my artist-friend's baby-to-be:


I'm annoyed

I'm annoyed that Dan "came out" over four years ago and it feels like four months ago.

I'm annoyed that have depression and will forever.

I'm annoyed with people who don't know how blessed they are (hypocrisy noted).

I'm annoyed with people who "want it all" and don't seem to realize that means that others will have little or nothing.

I'm annoyed that I have yet to a good nectarine this summer and that the raspberries I am eating right now for lunch are soggy (and that I had to look up how to spell raspberry).

I'm annoyed that I am so grumpy.