European Championships recap: Part 1

I’m home from my vacation in Florida, so now I have time to ramble on to the 3 people reading still my blog…

EC recap part one: How badly did I predict the competition?

(Answer: very)

AA

I predicted Aliya Mustafina for gold… she won!

I predicted Russia’s second gymnast for silver… Anastasia Grishina beat Ksenia Afanaseva in qualifying and finished 3rd… not too shabby

I predicted Larisa Iordache for bronze… she got silver… again not too shabby

I hoped Gabby Jupp would place in the top 5… she injured herself on her beam dismount in qualifying and had to withdraw 😦

I had no idea who Guilia Steingruber was before this competition… she tied for 4th place with Diana Bulimar

I was 3/3 on podiums and 1/3 on placements… so far so good

Vault

I predicted Janine Berger for gold… she wasn’t even in the competition (oops)

I predicted Maria Paseka for silver… she crashed both of her vaults and finished 7th 😦

I had Larisa Iordache win bronze because I had no idea who else was competing 2 vaults… she tied for silver

I didn’t know that Guilia Steingruber had a Rudi and a Tuskahara 1/1… she vaulted both and won

I had no clue that the Netherlands had a decent gymnastics program… one of their new seniors, Noel van Klaveren vaulted a DTY and Tuskahara 1/1 and tied with Larisa Iordache for silver

I was 1/3 on podiums and 1/3 on placements…

Bars

I predicted Aliya Mustafina for gold… she won!

I predicted Becky Downie and Ruby Harrold for silver and bronze… they both bombed and finished in 7th and 8th place 😦 😦

I had no clue that Swedish gymnastics existed… Sweden’s Jonna Adlerteg won the silver

I thought Maria Paseka wouldn’t compete bars… she won the bronze…

I predicted Anastasia Grishina for 4th place… she bombed qualifications 😦

Podium: 1/3, Placements: 1/3

Beam

I hoped Aliya Mustafina would win… she bombed the qualifying round 😦

I predicted Larisa Iordache for silver… she won!

I hoped Elisabetta Preziosa would win bronze… she wasn’t even in the competition (facepalm)

I wanted one of Ksenia Afanaseva or Anastasia Grishina to qualify to beam EF… Ksenia bombed the qualifying round and Anastasia only got in after Gabby Jupp got injured, but won the bronze

I hoped Vanessa Ferrari would make it into the finals… she didn’t qualify

I thought Diana Bulimar’s beam wasn’t high enough in difficulty… she proved me wrong and won the silver

Podiums: 1/3, Placements 0/3 😦

Floor

I hoped Ksenia Afanaseva would win… she did!

I hoped Larisa Iordache and Diana Bulimar would win silver and bronze… they did!

I wanted Aliya Mustafina in EF… she qualified but was pulled out and replaced with Anastasia Grishina

Podium 3/3, Placements 3/3!!!!!!! 😀

(real post coming soon)

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Dream teams: USSR

Dear everyone who reads my blog: I’m going to be on vacation for the rest of this week, so I won’t be blogging Euros 😦

The Soviet Union. Also known as the deepest, most graceful, and innovative pool of gymnastics from 1972-1992.

It’s a shame that Olesia only competed internationally from 1987-1990, she was soooooo ahead of her time, competing a beam routine (not this one) with a D-score of 6.4 now in 1990.

Known as one of the greatest dancers in the history of gymnastics, Oksana’s signature birdie exercise was the first gymnastics routine I watched from before 2008. Her dance and artistry blew me away.

One of the greatest innovators in the history of gymnastics, Aleftina was too inconsistent to make it onto the world team at any point during her career and was unable to get any of her original skill named after her. (Like her double-twisting double back and gainer rulfova)

Dear The Couch Gymnast,

Thank you for introducing me to this amazing obscure soviet gymnast. If only she had competed for another country…

-me

Maria’s routine is the epitome of Soviet balletic grace. In fact, when I first saw her, I thought “She really could’ve been an amazing ballerina”

Spanish flair at its finest, and complete with a beautiful double-twisting double back and leotard.

Team finals lineup:

VT: Omelianchik, Priahkina, Dudnik (1 original vault and 2 DTYs)
UB: Dudnik, Schennikova, Filatova (Dudnik’s arabian mount+Schennikova’s hindorrf+Filatova’s exciting routine=:))
BB: Groshkova, Priahkina, Dudnik (with routines still competitive 20 years later)
FX: Groshkova, Filatova, Omelianchik (Soviet dance and performance ability at its finest :D)

I case you haven’t guessed, my favorite events are beam and floor…

European Championships hopes

If I was able to control the future…

(In bullet form, as I’m really tired)

All-around

1. Aliya Mustafina
2. Anastasia Grishina/Ksenia Afanaseva
3. Larisa Iordache

According to Valentina Ronodienko, Afanaseva is training an amanar (!?!?!) and plans to compete all around.

Aliya is definitely the top favorite for this competition; her form looks good on every event except floor, where she’s having stamina issues. Her triple twist also looks really messy.

I hope Grishina is able to redeem herself from London.

Romania is only sending 2 (?!) girls to Euros, Larisa Iordache and Diana Bulimar, who are the other 2 favorite for the medals.

I prefer Idordache, and her difficuly is better, so I hope she wins over Bulimar.

I also want Gabby Jupp to do really well

Vault

I hope Janine Berger is competing here and wins over Maria Paseka’s “amanar”

Larisa for bronze since I don’t know anyone else competing 2 vaults (I’m a bad gymfan :()

Uneven bars

1. Aliya Mustafina
2. Becky Downie
3. Ruby Harrold

Although she’s not at her full difficulty, Aliya’s routine is really the creme of the crop here.

Both Brits have really exiting routines and I’d love to see them take silver and bronze here.

(Downie: Ricna and Downie; Harrold: Bhardwaj and Zuchold)

Good luck Anastasia Grishina!!!!

Beam

1. Aliya Mustafina
2. Larisa Iordache
3. Elisabetta Preziosa

Aliya’s beam is my favorite and connection heaven (D+A+D+A+D O_O), so I want her to win. Especially since her last two ECs have been disappointing.

Larisa’s beam is soooo difficult, with 2 full twisting elements and a triple twist dismount.

Elisabetta Preziosa is more of a hope than an actual prediction, but I love her flexible style and general flexibility ❤

Both Afanaseva and Grishina have awesome and creative connections.

I WANT ALL THREE RUSSIANS IN THE BEAM FINAL!!! 😦

Gabby Jupp's beam is pretty. So is Vanessa Ferrai's.

Floor

1. Ksenia Afanaseva
2. Larisa Idordache
3. Diana Bulimar

Afanaseva's artistry on floor is 10x better than everyone else's in the competition except Aliya's. Her floor is also my favorite.

I want Aliya on the podium, but she's been having floor stamina issues 😦

I say she should drop the triple twist and do double arabian/double layout/2.5 twist+punch front and a lot of difficult turns and leaps, but no one listens to me…

For 2nd and 3rd, the Romanians are the top favorites.

Again, I prefer Iordache to Bulimar and hope she finishes ahed of her.

Diana's double layout is pretty, though.

Medal Count

Russia: 3 gold, 2 silver
Romania: 2 silver, 2 bronze
Great Britain: 1 silver, 1 bronze
Germany: 1 gold
Italy: 1 bronze

😛

Dear readers, what are your predictions for Europeans 2013?

Dream Team: China

Part two in a series of dream teams (European championships post coming soon!)

Since discovering that no one in China reads my blog, I feel like doing a dream team to (hopefully) expand viewership (a bit famewhoreish?)

The 1997 beam gold medalist in my head, Kui was so ahead of her time, competing a layout-stepout mount, amazing layout 1/1, and a whip+double layout on floor.

And dear NBC, her specialty is BEAM, not floor.

-me

Cheng is quite a nice contrast to the typical Chinese gymnast, with her strengths being vault and floor with powerful tumbling (like her Cheng and Amanar vaults, and Silivas on floor) However, she also had a lot of grace and performance ability.

Flexibility. Innovation. Grace. That is the equation that makes Li Li an amazing gymnast.

Perhaps one of China’s best all-around gymnasts, it’s a shame that Zhou Duan disappeared from the ranks of elite gymnastics after 1997. Apart from her bars, she also won the silver medal on vault at the 1997 world championships, had a beam with a layout stepout mount, barani, and switch-leap+rufova, and a beautifully performed floor.

Before the olympics, I decided to watch the routines of the three all around medalists at 2011 worlds. And Yao Jinnan’s energetic floor exercise caused me to fall in love with her gymnastics. 😀

If only she wasn’t injured…

Her form is perfection (go watch her vault in team finals). And her dismount is really unique; I wish more gymnasts now would compete it.

Team finals lineup (6-3-3)

VT: Yang, Yao, Cheng (AMAZING front layout half and Amanar, and one DTY)
UB: Yao, Li, Zhou (All three have unique skills on this event; the gaylord 2 for Zhou, stalder shaposhnikova 1/2 for Yao, and tkachev out of pike support? for Li)
BB: Yang, Li, Kui (Beautiful form and innovative routines from all 3 <3)
FX: Yao, Zhou, Cheng (All three have beautiful artistry, difficult tumbling, and awesome choreography (IMO))

Comment your dream teams below!

WTT 2013: Ladies FS

Time for the grand finale!!!!

(All I know about results is team USA won the whole competition)

Akko!!!!!!!!!!! Yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 😀

Maoooooo!!!!

❤ There are a lot of pretty skates tonight!

Zijun Li has really set herself up as one to watch next season (I still like Liza and Gracie better…)

Liza… 😦 If only you peaked at worlds instead of Europeans….

And to all the people writing her off because of her skates here and Worlds?

This sport is unpredictable. You never know what could happen.

And most skaters do not train to peak at cheesefests (as much as I enjoy WTT)

-me

Dear Adelina,

You are a very pretty and fiery skater. However, this music has caused me to be unable to watch more than 2 seconds of your performance.

DO NOT USE THIS FOR SOCHI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

-me

(Does anyone know why Ashley and Gracie's skates aren't on youtube?)

Gymnastics dream teams: Romania

Since figure skating is currently monopolizing my blog, I’ve decided to do a post on gymnastics to balance it out.

(The idea for this post comes from the amazing zarinaballerina at Maoforum, who wanted me to do something on Romanian gymnastics)

If you could take any six Romanian gymnasts and have them compete in a team competition, who would you choose?

My choices:

This almost goes without saying, Nadia is the most influential Romanian gymnast, the 1st gymnast to get a perfect 10, a beautiful bars, beam and floor worker-how can you not love her?

Aurelia Dobre is my favorite Romanian gymnast ever. Her artistry and technique is stunning and she has “it” which draws you into her and won’t let you leave.

This is my favorite floor routine in a nation bursting to the brim with awesome floor workers. Camelia Voinea manages to combine hip-hop, breakdancing, and a DLO+punchfront into one creative and amazing routine

Also known as the person who got zarinaballerina into gymnastics.

Try to watch this routine without smiling. You will inevitably fail

Silivas, Dobre, Voinea. The best ladies floor lineup ever, and all three of the gymnasts are on my top 10 list of favorite Romanians

To people wondering why everyone in the gymternet likes Pitic,

Go on youtube. Search for the Secrets of Deva, a documentary about her.

WATCH ALL NINE PARTS.

Then you’ll understand

(And her gymnastics is really, really, pretty)

-me

The team final lineup (6-3-3):

VT: Haidu, Dobre, Milosovici (one DTY and two beautiful FTYs)
UB: Dobre, Silivas, Comaneci (Beautiful and interesting work from all 3)
BB: Dobre, Haidu, Comaneci (Haidu’s beautiful mount+Comaneci’s floatiness+Dobre’s precision=an amazing beam lineup <3)
FX: Milosovici, Dobre, Voinea (It was so hard to chose between Silivas and Milosovici for the floor lead-off, but I like Milosovici's routine a little better-sorry Silivas fans)

What do you think? Comment your dream teams below!

(I will do dream teams for USA/USSR/Russia/China later)

WTT 2013-Men FS

It’s raining buckets where I live, so the perfect way to brighten up today is by watching some figure skating 😀 (sorry gymnastics, I promise you I’ll post just as much about Europeans next week)

Let’s start with the men’s freeskate.

(Again, all I know about the event is Konstantin Menshov withdrew and is in the hospital :(Feel better!)

That was amazing. Apart from the jump errors, what a beautiful and quietly passionate skate!

What happens when Patrick Chan wins anything: (borrowed from my post on YNKF)

2008- early 2010: Patrick wins competition. People: He needs a quad, the system sucks, he isn’t manly, I hate his comments on quads, lower -GOE for quads, quadquadquadquadquadquad…

late 2010-early 2012: Patrick wins competition with 4t. People: OVERSCORED!!!!!!!!, his artistry sucks, he needs better programs, he can’t fall 2x/3x/4x and still win…

late 2012-now: Patrick wins competition with 4t and great programs. People: CHANINFLATION!!!!!!, fall deduction should be higher, SS is overrated, GO BACK TO 6.0!!!!!!!, this is why the sport is dead, his PCS is inflated…

That fall at the end was really weird

(Judging from the fact that his youtube likes meter is 2:4 in favor of the dislikes, and the first comment claims his PCS is inflated, I’ll assume he won over someone who was clean)

LEAVE MOROZOV THIS INSTANT, DAI!

The program was a nice jumpfest, but apart from the jumps and performance, it was rather meh…

I can’t believe I’m saying this about Dai and not someone like Florent Amodio…

Dear Takahito Mura,

I’m sorry for being a little harsh on you during the SP. The music suits you very well in this program and your jumps are huge. Just get more programs like this and I’ll become a fan, ok?

-me

Han Yan reminds me of Chan. Jumps, SS, style-it’s all there within his skating. (I hope he doesn’t also have the tendency to fall a lot)

I like the music.

His skating? Meh?

WTT 2013: Ice Dance

Perks of being stuck at home: you can watch all of WTT and no one complains

(Again, all I know of results is that Chock and Bates won)

1. I wish Davis and White were here
2. Madison is a little over the top in the beginning
3. I still prefer the Shibs to them….
4. Sorry C/B…

😀 I love W/P’s performance ability and wish they could’ve capitalized more on their 4th at worlds last year… stupid injuries…

Did all of the teams send their B and C level dancers to WTT? I like M/K, but I wish B/S were here, complete with awesome FD

😀 See above for more comments (I do like C/J more than M/K)

I’m tired. This competition would be about 10x more exciting if D/W, V/M, B/S, and P/B were here…

WTT: Ladies SP

Time for my favorite event!

(Again, all I know about scores or results is Adelina won and Mao finished 5th :()

🙂 Shame about the fall on the 3t though. And I miss the original version of this program with an IB+rippon 3lz, 2a in the second half, and illusion camel…

YAY ADELINA!!!! I prefer Liza to her, but you can’t deny how amazing she is when she is on!

Way to rebound from WC 2013 Akko! This program has grown on me and I love the hydroblade at 1:09 😀

I prefer Ashley Wagner’s Red Violin to Michelle Kwan’s

There, I said it.

*ducks tomatoes from fellow Kwan-fans/ubers*

Oh Liza… 😦

Nice besti squat? into 2a though

And Mao… 😦

That fall on the 3a looked really painful…

Nice energy from Mae, and I love her music.

Pairs, dance, and FS recaps coming soon!

WTT: Men SP

Since I’m currently stuck at home with a mild case of strep throat and have nothing better to do, here is my thoughts and snark on WTT men’s event.

(Disclaimer: I have no idea what the scores or placements are)

Dear FS fans:

I actually love Chan’s skating despite the falls, jump errors, inflation, and foot-in-mouth comments. He also has my favorite SP from the men this season and I’m glad that we’ll see it in Sochi.

*hides from angry mob with pitchforks and torches*

1. Jeremy!!!!!!!!!
2. Stupid quad…..
3. GET RID OF THE QUAD AND BACKLOAD YOUR JUMPS!!!!!
4. I still love your skating
5. You are my favorite men’s skater ever ❤

Advice for Dai:

1. LEAVE MOROZOV AND GET BETTER PROGRAMS!!!!!
2. Get rid of that ugly camel position at 1:42
3. GET BETTER COSTUMES!

(I feel very passionate about this topic, in case you haven't noticed)

Sorry Mura, but this music will forever be associated with Sasha Cohen in my mind. Everyone else will bore me. Including you.

Best 3a ever. He might not have the SS of the top men, but what a unique program!

(Dear Russia: why wasn't he at worlds again? Oh right, federation politics…)

(Love, the Menshov voodoo doll on GS)

Zzzzzzzz….. Nice jumps though

More recaps coming soon!