Sunday, October 7, 2012

Olympics - The Good

Similar to how DavaiStoi! did "The Good", "The Bad", and "The Undecided" for Euros, I'm going to the same for the Olympics, starting with "The Good."
(Please comment; this is my first blog post so I would really appreciate comments!)


USA. Hit, hit, hit, hit, hit. That's how they qualified in 1st place, and how they managed to have their 3 all-arounders place 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. More to come on that last part later. Marta seems to have finally understood the winning strategy of her home country, Romania. Remember in 2000 and 2004 when the Romanians went out and hit every routine while everyone else fell all over the place? That's how Romania won back-to-back Olympics team titles.

Canada. They just squeaked in, but they did qualify for team finals for the first time in history. Awesome. They could have done even better had Peng-Peng Lee not torn her ACL, but alas, she won the competition for "who can next have an Olympic-dream-ending injury." A real shame, because she had worked hard to come back, and had looked fantastic this year. Instead, we were forced to watch the fugnastics of Elsabeth Black and Brittany Rogers. Where oh where is Mikaela Gerber? At least they had Vaculik and Moors so the team wasn't total fug.

Vault Qualification. Two Germans and two Canadians - i.e., half of the vault final was gymnasts not from powerhouse countries. Toss in Yamilet Pena and 5 out of 8 are not from top countries.

Team Final:

USA, again. They hit the shit out of that team final to take the title in convincing fashion - FIVE POINT difference between them and Russia (more on Russia later), who imploded. However, a team title by 5 points is almost unheard of. Even the Soviets didn't win team titles by nearly that much - yes I am aware that they lived in a different CoP.

Canada, again. 5th place? No one expected that. Most people expected GB to finish 5th, especially considering they qualified in 5th.

Romania, somewhat. After their trainwreck of a worlds last year where they sufficiently humiliated themselves by walking away with NOTHING, they came away with team bronze. I certainly thought they would fight for silver, but more on them in "The Undecided."

Sui Lu - China. The only team member to actually understand the concept of consistency. Yes He Kexin hit her one routine in her first legal Olympics, but while Sui Lu hit, she watched her team implode around here. At least she can take comfort in the fact that no one is filing accusations about being underage at her. Which is more than can be said about some of her teammates. Cough Kexin cough, cough Linlin cough, cough Jinnan cough.


Aliya Mustafina. 2010 AA champ. Tears her ACL in April of 2011. 15 months later, wins the Olympic AA bronze. Yes, in 2010, many expected her to win this in convincing fashion, but given the circumstances, a bronze is pretty damn impressive. Some people can come back from an ACL tear in less than a year, which is what she did, but not many win 4 Olympic medals 15 months after what can be a career-ending injury. Just look at Peng-Peng. UCLA is like a consolation prize, next to what she could have had, had she not torn her ACL. Anyways, she won that bronze fair and square, and don't even attempt to convince me that there should ever be an instance where Aliya is "just as good" as Aly. More on the AA final later.

Viktoria Komova. Hit the shit out of an AA final that should have been her title. The fact that I have to live with Douglas as the Olympic AA champ for the next 4 years makes me cry myself to sleep. Her vault was pretty messy, and she certainly could have saved that landing better, but that Amanar is pretty damn nice. Her bars, as usual, were the class of the field (apart from Mustafina), and beam was actually much better that the trainwrecks we saw at Euros. Her floor was probably the best I've ever seen from her, and should have won her the title. Alas, it seems the international judges suddenly love American fug more than Russian beauty.

Gabby Douglas, I guess. Congrats on winning the biggest title there is in gymnastics - OH WAIT, you didn't really deserve it, thanks to your fug beam and floor. Komova won that title, fair and square. I hope you know it. More to come on you in "The Bad."

Honestly, this AA final had the potential to be the best since 1996, but thanks to injuries and world's stupidest rule (2 per-country), this AA final really sucked.

Vault Final

Honestly, not much good here.

Sandra Izbasa. Congrats on winning a title that you and your messy vaults wouldn't have won if Maroney hadn't sat down her Mustafina.

Maria Paseka. I wasn't really expecting her to win a medal, but she did a pretty nice job and got herself an individual goodie bag. Who thought that Maria Paseka would win more medals than Grishina?

Bar Final

This final was awesome. Fab routines and hit sets. Probably my favorite final.

He Kexin. I didn't think she would make the team, let alone actually hit two sets to make it to the final AND win a medal in her first legal Olympics. Her bar routine it pretty ugly, given that everything is muscled because her routine was designed for a 12 year old, and she's now 16. Still, kudos on getting back to back bar medals. Her opening combination is pretty cool, I'll admit.

Viktoria Komova. That routine was so stunning (with a gorgeous leotard to go along with it) until she kicked her feet on the bar while getting ready for her dismount and cost herself a medal. Still, her bars are stunning.

Elisabeth Seitz. She had no shot at a medal, but hit her high bar routine pretty well. The form is crap, but the routine is pretty cool and exciting.

Yao Jinnan. Her only individual final of the Games, and she did a pretty damn fine job. Nice stick on the landing too.

Elizabeth Tweddle. Fabulous routine, and I actually thought before the Games started that she would win bars. Of course, she headcased her dismount and also cost herself the silver. Still, pretty fuck awesome routine, and kudos for going for the double double.

Aliya Mustafina. Could we ask for a better Olympic bars champion? Her routine blows me away every time I see it, and when she stuck that dismount I knew she was going to win. After everything she went through in the last 1 1/2 years, congrats on your gold Aliya :)

Beam Final

Not much fabulousness to report. Honestly the beam final was a major letdown after the bars final.
Not really nuts about either of the Chinese beam routines. Yes they have a ton of skills, but that's because they have ZERO choreography. This final was also quite a splatfest, given that 3 out of 8 fell, and Komova fell twice.

Deng Linlin. Congrats on your first legal Olympic gold medal. Whoop-dee-doo. She hit her skills, but all the Chinese beam routines are snooze-fests.

Ksenia Afanasyeva. She is so stunning. Honestly. Someone who actually understands the concept of ARTISTIC gymnastics. A couple less wobbles and she probably could have taken the bronze from Raisman. Don't get me started on Raisman's individual medals.

Sui Lu. She wanted it so badly you have to feel for her, but her routine is dull.

Honestly, this final sucked.

Floor Final

This final had the potential to be a fabulous podium. Instead, we ended up with the definition of fug as our champion, a prostitute as our silver medalist, and a beauty as our bronze medalist. Here's a rundown on who was in this stacked final:
2004 Olympic FX champ (Ponor), 2006 World AA champ (Ferrari), 2008 Olympic FX champ (Izbasa), 2010 World AA champ/World FX silver medalist (Mustafina), 2010 World FX champ (Mitchell), 2011 World AA champ (Wieber), 2011 World FX champ (Afanasyeva), and 2011 World FX bronze medalist (Raisman). Here's what was good:

Vanessa Ferrari. I'm not nuts about her floor, but she did hit the shit out of the set. I don't think she was cheated of the bronze, since Mustafina had a much nicer floor. Don't worry Vanessa, you still won an undeserving AA title six years ago.

Mustafina. Even she was happily shocked by the medal. I really like her floor - it's dramatic, artistic, and screams Olympic Arena. The only nice medalist on floor.

Ksenia Afanasyeva. The field was too deep for her to defend her world title, but her new floor is stunning (honestly, what floor routine of hers isn't?), and the choreography as usual is insanely hard. Shame about the out-of-bounds. Still, one of my favorite routines.

Catalina Ponor. I don't like her slutty routine, but she hit one of the best routines of her life and should have won over clubfoot (Raisman).

Well, that's it for "The Good"! Please comment, leave suggestions, let me know what else you would like me to talk about, etc.

- IllusionSpin