perfect 10 A random assortment of thoughts on the sport of Artistic Gymnastics... Mon, 02 Jul 2012 21:34:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 2012 Olympic Trials Mon, 02 Jul 2012 19:06:01 +0000 We raced home from our vacation so that I could be home in time to watch the Trials live @ 6pm.  But alas, the coverage was delayed here and didn’t start until 9pm.  Yawn.   I’ve got to admit I’m usually conked out by 10pm.  But I made an exception and even convinced Jason (husband) to stay up and watch with me.  It’s the Olympic Trials after all.  Kind of a big deal.   And although it’s not the same as it used to be, it’s still pretty exciting!

Here were my thoughts as I watched, pretty much in order of what I saw in the TV coverage…

  • I like that tie-style leotard.  That’s a pretty one.  When did that one debut?  2011 Worlds?
  •  Gabby Douglas on vault.  Dang!  What a start!  That’s how you want to kick off a competition.
  •  I like how Al Trautwig talked about Elizabeth Price bringing her 73-year-old coach to tears.  If there is anything I remember about Bill Strauss it’s that he ALWAYS cries.  Not that it isn’t genuine but it’s not like it takes much for that guy to bring on the waterworks, right?
  • The scoring help by NBC was a good idea, I think.  The red, yellow, green indicator next to the scores.  It gives the average viewer just a little bit of help in comprehending the complex scoring.
  • Maroney had a rough go on bars but I like her lines.
  • Anna Li really rocked her bar set.  To quote Jason, “that one handed split flyaway – that’s pretty sweet!” (talking about her 1/1 tkatchev, of course)
  • I asked about Elizabeth Price in my Nationals post b/c nobody was talking about her and they didn’t air any of her routines.  After her Beam set, it sure seemed like folks ought to be talking about her.  Is she usually that solid on beam?   Aaaaand… Bill Strauss is crying again.  

    Photo courtesy of

  • Sacramone nailed her beam set.  She seriously looks exactly the same to me as she did in 2008.
  • Nastia  – what’s going on with her hair?  Looks a little wild.   Ahhh, that was sad to see – really needed to knock our socks off on bars- glad she landed that dismount at least.  “Poor Nast” -Jason
  • Raisman on Beam – so… romanian looking with her choreography, but dang, she was solid, nice dismount.
  • Ross – gorgeous lines on bars.  Definitely seems to be an asset to the US team there.
  • Bross on Bars.  I’ve never been a huge fan of her gymnastics style but man, that was just heartbreaking.
  • Douglas – wow – fumbled her grip on bars but stayed on.  Beautiful as usual.


Photo courtesy of

  • Elizabeth Price on floor – pretty awesome tumbling and such controlled landings.  For a “power” athlete, she has such a pretty line and I like how she smiles throughout.  Nobody did her any favors, though, with her music and choreography.  Agree?  Disagree?
  • Raisman – that girl has hops!  I suppose everyone else is used to her tumbling now but my jaw still sort of drops when I see her.
  • Liukin  did a nice job on Beam to finish up.   Probably the last time we’ll see her compete, I suppose.
  • Maroney – I like her look on Floor.  Nice routine.  She’s a bouncy one, too.
  • Ross  was gorgeous on beam.  Didn’t look too nervy to me.  Can’t ask for much more than that at Olympic Trials, can ya?
  • Haven’t said much about Wieber yet.  She was fine on bars and beam, nothing spectacular.  A great triple turn on Floor and a crazy good floor routine in general.
  • Great vaults from Sacramone.  Couldn’t really ask for a better performance from her today.  And it was fun for me to see a brief shot of her talking to Kim Zmeskal after vault.
  • Raisman’s Amanar looked scary to me.  Was she having an off day or is it normally like that?
  • Maroney still blows my mind entirely with her Amanar.  Amazing.  There aren’t enough adjectives for her vaulting capabilities.
  • Wieber’s Amanar was good but not great.  Didn’t seem like she got a whole lot of pop off the horse.    Overall, she is just a rock.  Wow.  She seems unflappable.
  • Gabby Douglas on Floor.  I really like how much she smiles and how she genuinely seems like she’s having fun.  A few minor issues but she still rocked the set.
  • Price is so unassuming.  WOW – she also has a spectacular Amanar. If I hadn’t just seen Maroney’s I would have been even more impressed.  They didn’t show her on Bars.  How is she on that event?
  • After the competition wrapped, I quickly tried to comply a team in my head.  And as it turns out, I was right on the money with the top 5.  I was a little off with the alternates, though.  And when the alternates came out, I didn’t even recognize the last one – Sarah Finnegan, it turns out.  I saw a couple of her routines at Nationals.  What’s her strength?  All Around?  Bars?
  • I was kind of pulling for Sacramone to be an alternate.  I know her particular strengths are not as needed, per se, but she has such a wealth of experience and she would be a good leader and presence for the team.   And ’08 team finals aside, she’s a rock and you could put her up in a pinch.
Well, that’s about all from my stream of consciousness.  What did the rest of you think?

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Playing Catch Up Sat, 30 Jun 2012 21:29:46 +0000 This weekend is the US Olympic Trials and in the last 2 weeks since Nationals, I’ve been playing catch up.  I’m been scouring some of my favorite blogs and sites and trying to get answers to my questions, figure out all that has been going on during the past four years, and gear up for the Olympics.  I have barely made it out of USA gymnastics to look at the international scene.  I have SO many questions.  And I’ve found SO many things that surprised me.  Here are just a few of them off the top of my head, in no particular order…

  • Oksana Chusovitina is STILL competing.  This is truly mind-boggling to me.  How old is she now?  Like 50?*  One of the very first competitions I remember watching was the 1991 World Championships and she was in it and blew my socks off with her tumbling.  Incredible.  What an inspiration for the sport.  She’s a mother and she used to be on the same team with Nastia Liukin’s dad.  I hope more and more women follow in her footsteps.
    Oksana & her son, Alisher, back in ’08
  • What is the “scandal” that folks keep mentioning about Gabby Douglas’ old gym?  People keep referring to it but I can’t find any information about it.
  • Jonathan Horton is still competing?  Cool.  I’ve always liked him.  He’s gutsy and emotional and energetic.  I thought he was done.
  • Chellsie Memmel not allowed to petition into Nationals?  For reals?  I know that this is completely old news by now but seriously?   Lame.   A former World All Around Champion and US Olympian.  Even if she didn’t have a shot in the world and fell slightly short of 14 on the one event she competed at Classics… still seems wrong.  After all this time,  USAG should have done her a solid and let her through to compete in what would likely have been her swan song.     From what I was able to ascertain, Memmel did not attend the National Team Camps the past couple years.  Is USAG so insecure that they need to punish someone who doesn’t follow the typical protocol?  What is this really all about?Memmel back in the day.  Remember her signature scale?
  • I’ve been able to figure out the top athletes gunning for the women’s all around but who are the top teams?
  • And what’s a realistic expectation for the US Men’s Team?  How have they done this quad?
  • Rick McCharles and Blythe Lawrence are still my go-to blogs for information.
  • Alicia Sacramone.  First, she’s still in the game.  Second, if I didn’t know better, I would think I was watching re-runs of 2008.  Her vault and beam look almost exactly the same as four years ago.  Except her ankles aren’t so heavily taped.
I honestly don’t think I’ll be able to catch up in time!  We’ll see.  I’m out of town this weekend and the internet connection is slow so I won’t be able to watch the Olympic Trials until Monday.  I did read Blythe’s play by play of night 1 for the women, though, and I’m excited to see the action for myself.

*UPDATE: Yes, I know that Chuso is 37.  Husband just looked up, bugged-eyed, as he was reading and said “this woman is FIFTY and she’s still competing!??  Just an attempt at being witty, folks.

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2012 US Nationals Mon, 11 Jun 2012 18:37:42 +0000

I fell down the rabbit hole, folks.  After 3 years without gymnastics (seriously, I don’t think I’ve watched a single competition since 2009), I got online a couple weeks ago to read up on the latest happenings in the sport as we get closer to the Olympics.  And once I started reading, I couldn’t stop.  I stayed up way too late, browsing the archives of favorite blogs, IG, USA Gymnastics, watching videos, searching youtube and on and on and on.  I have so much catching up to do!

Photo by Stew Milne, US Presswire

We haven’t had cable since 2008 so we quickly ordered a digital antennae last week so I could watch nationals this weekend.  It got here just in time and as it happened, the live air time of the women’s finals on Sunday coincided perfectly with my boys’ nap time.  Score.   Here are my thoughts in no particular order.  Remember that I’ve been completely out of the loop for years and cut me a little slack, ok?

  • Some things made me feel like I had never left.  Al Fong and those black gloves.  Marta’s hair.   Tim and Elfi.  Alicia’s vaults.  Nastia and her beam choreography (more on that later).   But there was still a lot that surprised me.
  • Jordan Wieber – got to start with her since she took the title.  I honestly thought that by the time 2012 rolled around, she’d be washed up.   That sounds harsh but  I remember her from the 2009 American Cup and I just didn’t think she’d hold on and stay at the top of her game through the entire quad.   But she looked good.  She looked like a world champ.   I can’t say she knocked my socks off on any one event but she’s clearly a solid, high-class all-arounder.
  • Gabby Douglas.  I dig this girl.  She does gorgeous gymnastics, has incredible lines and she seems genuinely enthused about it all.  All four events are world-class.   Her personality makes me think of a young Amanda Borden.   Just totally delighted to be doing what she’s doing.  And then this morning, I remembered a line of Tim Dagget’s when Dominique Dawes was in her first Nationals in 1991.  Her floor routine rocked the house and Tim said “She’s just a little girl on a playground.”   That’s what Gabby Douglas seems like to me.  She’s not working.  She’s playing and having a grand time.  And bringing us along with her.   Hands down, she’s my new favorite.

Photo by
  • Kyla Ross – she also has beautiful lines.  I liked her more classical style.  What’s the deal with her?  Is she new on the scene?  Not as experienced?  They weren’t talking about her as though she is a shoe-in for the team but she looked solid to me.
  • McKayla Maroney – ok, I decided to look up her vaults online since they said she is the current world champ.  Watching her 2.5 yurchenko my jaw literally fell open.  Kid gets mad air.  I’ve never seen the like.  WOW.   What are her other events like?  Is she a one event gal?
  • What’s up with Elizabeth Price?  She got NO air time but she was in 5th the entire day.
  • Aly Raisman – Tim and Elfi were talking about her as one of our biggest stars but after Vault & Bars, my impression was just meh, looks like an Alicia clone.  But then she rocked her Beam set and her Floor routine basically blew my mind.  So I get it now.
  • Speaking of Alicia, her vaults looked just ok to me.  They didn’t have the same pop off the table that I remember.  Was it an off day for her?  Her beam looked solid.  Is she just a two event gymnast now or does she do floor still?
  • Ok, and on to Nastia.  Her beam routine was gorgeous as always.  But what’s the deal with her choreography?  It almost exactly the same.  And it was exactly the same in the entire last quad.  I think it’s been the same since she was 12.  Gymnasts used to change it up more often.  She is an absolutely exquisite athlete but I’m completely bored with her set.  Time to change it up.   Bars – she looked beautiful as always but really tired.    When did she start this comeback?   Is it reasonable to think she’ll be able to get in shape in time?   From where I sit, she would certainly be an asset to team USA on those two events if she was at the top of her game but it seems like time is running out for her.
  • I’ve long been a big fan of Bridget Sloan and I was so excited to see her.  But she seemed just mediocre.  Or is that just the way Tim and Elfi talked about her?

Other random thoughts on the state of women’s gymnastics…

  • Why is it that the USA women have such unimaginative, unbearable floor choreography?  I just don’t understand it.  We have the most amazing collegiate scene in the world and the choreography in the NCAA ranks is outstanding.  It’s creative, energetic and well-executed by all different types of gymnasts.   Why such a dearth on the elite scene?  We should be so much better than this.  We obviously have choreographers who are phenomenal.  Why aren’t we availing ourselves of it?
  • I’m sure that I haven’t seen it abused yet, as many things are in the code each quad, but  I really liked the jumps after tumbling passes.   When it’s done well, it’s fluid and beautiful.
  • I like the forward hip circles on bars.  Those are interesting.

That is all for now.  I’ve still got a lot of reading, watching and catching up to do.  I’m trying to come up with my idea of an ideal Olympic Team but I don’t know enough yet.  What were your thoughts on the competition?   Got any insight for me?

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So Long, Farewell… Wed, 27 May 2009 16:09:20 +0000 As the rest of you have no doubt noticed, I’m beginning to realize that I haven’t had much time for my blog lately. In fact I’m finding that I can rarely do more than quickly skim the gymnastics blogs in my google reader, wishing I could pour over some of the youtube videos of cool bar mounts, before I have to rush back to working or caring for my eight-month-old.

With that said, I’m not quite ready to throw in the towel but I will officially be on hiatus for awhile. Perfect10 will stay up but I won’t be posting save for the occasional burst of inspiration and free time that happen to strike at the same moment.

I’ve had some requests from guest writers and I’m happy to entertain those if you are interested in writing an occasional piece but don’t want to start a blog of your own.

So long for now,

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Flip Outside the Box Fri, 27 Feb 2009 01:33:58 +0000 I got an email from the author of a new gymnastics book called Flip Outside the Box, featuring “creative women’s gymnastics elements.”   Thought it might be worth passing along to you all.  Here’s the website with info on the book and ordering information.  If any of you get it, I’d be interested in hearing what you think.

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2009 American Cup…things that made me go hmmm Thu, 26 Feb 2009 19:54:17 +0000 So I had to watch the American Cup in 3 different sittings this year. And I haven’t had a chance to re-watch it yet, which is rare for me. But here are some of my thoughts from the NBC broadcast on Saturday…

  • wieberJordan Wieber won.  No surprise there.  Didn’t it seem like the whole thing was scripted?   It all seemed a little too predictable, I guess.
  • It was definitely a two person race on the women’s side.  Kim Bui of Germany, who came in third behind Wieber & Sloan, was almost 4 points behind the leaders.   Ridiculous.
  • Bridget looked absolutely incredible.  She was calm & collected throughout the competition.   Her gymnastics was clean as usual and her tumbling was powerful.   Wow.  I can’t believe she didn’t win.
  • That said, I ended up liking Jordan Wieber more than I thought I would.  She certainly seems older than 13, don’t you think?  She was very poised in her interview with Andrea Joyce.
  • Speaking of Wieber, though, I can’t stop thinking about her level of difficulty.  While she doesn’t seem to be doing anything that is above her ability, I keep wondering why her coaches have her competing some of her skills.  For example, what’s the logic on competing a 2.5 yurchenko at this point?  So that she can hone and perfect it over the next four years?  I just wonder if that is wise, considering how hard it is to train a vault of that caliber.  She doesn’t need the vault at this point, does she?  Why not compete the double-twisting yurchenko and continue to work the 2.5 onto soft landing surfaces until it is truly needed?  I don’t know.  I go back and forth on this.    What do you think?
  • Youna Dufournet’s double pike dismount off Beam was downright scary.  And according to Tim Dagget, she did this repeatedly during practice.   She should not be doing this dismount. The judges should have docked her severely.
  • I really liked some of the cool dance elements from the women.  There were some great double turns on Beam (well, the potential for some great ones anyway!) and I really liked that jump 1.5 on Beam from… who was it?
  • Did Martha Karolyi get a new haircut?   I thought she was looking less like Donald Trump on Saturday.
  • The Men’s competition seemed much more exciting.  At least there were several competitors within range of first place.  And it came down to the last rotation, which is always interesting.56138661AP019_2005_World_Gy
  • It would have been great to see David Sender pull out the win after the rough go he had last year.  I was glad he had such a stellar meet.   I am a big fan of Hambuechen, though, so I was pleased to see him end up on top.  He also had a rough go in 2008.  Well done, guys.
  • Joey Haggerty looked great as well.  His form is fantastic.
  • Where was perennial middle man, Al Trautwig?  We haven’t heard commentary on NBC without him, in what, 10 years?  I liked the new guy but how about bringing back John Tesh!
  • Back to Bridget, I really like her lines and overall look (Elfi used the word “lovely” and I couldn’t agree more),  but I think she could add a bit more to her Floor choreography.    Agree?  Disagree?

  • I like that there are only 4 tumbling passes allowed this quad for the women.  Hopefully we’ll see a resurgence of choreography and dance.
  • Anyone watch the online coverage of the meet?  How was it?

Ok, that’s all for now.  What were your thoughts?  Did you enjoy the competition?  Still seem like a Scam to you?  Sound off below.

]]> 99 The American Cup & Other Odds and Ends Fri, 20 Feb 2009 20:49:14 +0000 So the American Cup is tomorrow. I have mixed feelings about it. As other people point out often enough, it’s a bit of a joke. It gets a lot of hype for such a small, Amerocentric competition.  But I still tend to look forward to it.  It’s a tradition and comes at a dry time in the gymnastics year.


The first Cup of the quadrennium always proves to hold some excitement because it’s just that.  The first Cup of the quadrennium.  It’s a chance to see the up and comers.  A chance to see what might be in store for the next four years.  A time for new faces and new gymnastics.  A time to see what we’ll love and hate in the next Olympic cycle.  Well, from an American perspective anyway. 

On the international side, it’s not often terribly exciting.    Do they just not invite the right folks?  Is it just the wrong time of year?  The commentators make it sound like an international gymnast would give anything for an invitation to such a premiere competition.  Really? Seems unlikely, given that there are usually very few prominent athletes from other countries.   I agree with Blythe over at the The Gymblog.  It would sure be interesting to see the gymnasts she mentioned in this post about the cup.   I’d be interested to know how they come up with the lineup, who’s invited, who accepted, etc.  Anyone know?

So we’ll see how things go tomorrow.  I’m not holding my breath.  But I’ll certainly be watching.

On to some other things…

1. About a month or so before giving birth I was asked to review a leotard for Foxy’s Fitness Fashions.   That proved to be difficult because my belly was too large to fit.  So finally, four months postpartum, I put the leotard on and can give it a fair review.    I was sent this leo.   The fit (all things considered!) was excellent.  It was snug but not too tight.  The fabric had the right amount of give to it and was not itchy.    I personally did not care for the design/colors of the leotard but I realize that I’m not 13 anymore and that my tastes have changed dramatically since that time.    Also, the hole on the backside of the leotard seemed a little large.  It goes pretty far over on the sides.

A Test Caption

Here's a close up of the fabric, taken by my husband. I wasn't brave enough to let you all see the full-body shot of me doing my old floor routine in our living room...maybe next time

So I give the leotard a hearty thumbs up and will gladly send it to the first person to answer the question below correctly.   It’s a size 12.

Question: There was a story televised about Martha Karolyi during the 1992 Olympic Games.  During the broadcast, she was referred to as an “ever-watchful” what?

Sidenote: I noticed that the website has matching scrunchies for their leotards and I’m sure they sell a lot of them…but why?  Why do gymnasts (including Olympic gymnasts!) continue to wear scrunchies when the rest of us tossed them out around 1995?   Seriously.

2. While I was on maternity leave from this blog, I did some thinking about my blog.  When I started blogging in April of 2005 I was one of the only gymnastics blogs out there.  But now there are dozens.  And some that are really well done.  So what I’m wondering is this: What do I have to offer?  What is it that you, the reader, are interested in reading about on a blog like this?   In other words, should I keep this up? Or is it time for me to step aside since there are so many others out there?   What do you think?  I’m not looking for accolades here or anything like that. I’m just curious.  What do you think?

]]> 98 Wed, 28 Jan 2009 17:49:57 +0000 Ok, enough already!   No more threatening emails!   My apologies for the ridiculously LONG absense.  Perhaps some of you chalked up my absense to the inevitable post-Olympic let down but I have a better excuse.   On September 28th, I gave birth to my first child – see proof below.    Kind of took priority over my gymnastics blog, you know?  But I’m starting to get more sleep these days (and by more, I mean about 4 hours at a stretch) and the baby is napping more so I’m finally feeling up to posting again.

nightbeforeThe night before going into labor…no, that’s not a martini.  Just a fun glass

gryffinWith our best friends about an hour after giving birth.

dsc_2830Gryffin…only in the 15th percentile for height at this point – perhaps he has a future as a gymnast!

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2008 Olympics: Women’s Event Finals Thu, 21 Aug 2008 22:25:45 +0000 You’ve seen my thoughts on the Men’s Event Finals and to follow up, here’s my take on the Women’s…


Vault: Congratulations to Hong Un Jong who was able to capitalize on the mistake of Cheng Fei, the Gold Medal favorite prior to the finals.  A first for North Korea – well done.

Like most everyone else, I was thrilled with Oksana Chusovitina’s silver.  Her form seemed somewhat improved to me and her landings were spot on.  Doesn’t she normally compete a Tsuk 1.5 for her second vault?  That’s what I was expecting anyway and was impressed to see her pull out the double.    I hope she continues on to 2012 as she’s been quoted as saying.  What an amazing feat that would be!

As anyone who has read my blog will know, I am not at all a fan of an athlete falling and yet winning a medal over someone who did not fall.  So I obviously did not agree with places 3 & 4 in the final.  Alicia Sacramone hit two clean vaults.  Yes, they are not as difficult as Cheng Fei‘s but Cheng fell on her second vault.  Sacramone should have had the Bronze.   And who didn’t want to Sacramone have success in the final after the rough day she had in the Team Finals?   She deserved to medal here and she didn’t. 

Bars:  Everyone has been going on and on about the bizarre tie-breaker that gave Nastia Liukin the Silver to He Kexin’s Gold.  Yes, it was a strange outcome.  And I thought Nastia’s routine was better that day.  But did anyone else think that Yang Yilin should have taken the Gold?  She nailed her routine, had the same start value as Liukin and He (7.7), and she rocked her dismount.   What were the deductions for?   Regardless, it was a great final.

I also liked seeing Beth Tweddle’s routine.  She seemed a tad rushed throughout but she still hit for 4th place.  With her ridiculously high start value (7.8!) she almost snuck onto the podium.

Beam: Shawn Johnson finally got a gold here.  She hit a near perfect routine and her high A score ultimately put her ahead of Nastia Liukin, who also hit an impeccable set.   It was great to see her come out on top here.   With three silver medals, I thought Shawn was incredibly gracious in defeat all week but as she said herself:

“Of course, when you’re training your whole life to get to the Olympics, you train for gold,…”

It was great to see her big smile again and to at last have that elusive gold medal.

As for the bronze medal, I wanted to see it go to Russia’s Anna Pavlova.  Both she and Cheng Fei had small errors in their routines but I preferred Pavlova’s set overall.  They were so close – they had the same difficulty score and their execution scores were only separated by 0.05.  Tough call.  Who did you think should have had the third spot behind the Americans?

Floor: With Sandra Izbasa taking the Gold, Shawn Johnson the Silver, and Nastia Liukin the Bronze, what an incredible Floor final.   I think any one of those 3 could have wound up taking the Gold.   Izbasa had the highest difficulty and Liukin the highest execution score.  It was fun to watch.  And good to see Romania get a gold medal.  Doesn’t quite seem like the Olympics if Romania isn’t in the mix, does it?

It was difficult to see Cheng Fei and Anna Pavlova struggle on this event after they both had trouble on Vault but otherwise it was a good final.

And so that concludes my Olympic blogging… for the most part :)  What did you think of the Women’s Event Finals?  Did you agree with the final placements?

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2008 Olympics: Men’s Event Finals Thu, 21 Aug 2008 21:26:54 +0000 I’m definitely experiencing the inevitable let down now that the artistic gymnastics portion of the Olympics has come to a close.  There is such build up, such anticipation for the Olympics and it always seems to fly by once it’s here.  I’ll admit though, that I did enjoy going to bed at a decent hour last night.   Anyhow, there is still much to talk and blog about so here are some of my thoughts on the Event Finals…

Men’s Floor: Zou Kai was amazing for Gold but I was so hoping to see Diego Hypolito come out on top.  His error on his last pass after a nearly flawless routine was devastating.   He looked absolutely crushed.   Here’s what he was quoted as saying after the competition:

“I don’t know what happened,” Hypolito said. “Everything was fine. I never expected this would happen. It’s an element I’ve been doing for years, and I never get it wrong. I’m sorry. I’m sorry to all the Brazilians.”

Anyone know if Hypolito is planning to continue competing after these Games?

Pommel Horse:  I admit I don’t know much about Pommel Horse.  I realize that Xiao Qin was dominant but I still don’t like seeing a routine with a big form break take the Gold.  It seems counter-intuitive somehow.  Bravo for Great Britain & Croatia on the Silver & Bronze.

Rings: Chen Yibing is brilliant.  His dismount, as I mentioned before, is fantastic.  I really like how he flairs out of it.  I was very much disappointed for Jordan Jotchev.   After taking the Silver (instead of the Gold he deserved) in Athens, I wanted to see him on the podium.

Men’s Vault: Didn’t get to see too much here with the NBC broadcast.  I could not believe that Marian Dragulescu basically carbon copied his performance from Athens.  That was unreal.  His first vault, again, was a perfect 10.  No question.  And then he biffs his second vault.  I just couldn’t believe it.    It was nice to see the Chinese Men’s gold medal streak interrupted finally with Leszek Blanik’s gold.

Parallel Bars:  But the streak picked right back up after Vault with Li Xiaopeng taking the title on P-Bars.  It was a well-deserved gold for him.  Great performance.  I also really liked Anton Fokin.  He has such a smooth style and his routine was quite pleasing to the eye.   Is anyone else sick of all the doubles between the bars, though?

High Bar: Poor Fabian Hambuchen.  It was his last chance in Beijing, a chance to make up for all his missteps earlier in the week but he was just not on at this competition.   He did pull out the Bronze but he could easily have challenged for Gold.  I was so impressed that despite his personal disappointments, he still seemed to be genuinely cheering for and encouraging the other men out on the floor.  Impressive.

Zou Kai… hmmm.  Apparently his start value was just unbeatable but his routine was boring.  Except for his excellent full-twisting jaeger his routine seemed unexceptional to me.  Am I airing my ignorance here?  Is there something that I’m missing?

Jonathan Horton: Wow!  What a show!  High flying release moves and a thrilling dismount.  I think a routine like that should take the top spot.  Anyone else think so?  Or am I showing an American bias?

What was your take on the Men’s Event Finals?  Agree with my assessment?  Disagree?

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