I've decided to make a goodwill game report after each night when the game concluded till the Games end. So that those of you who are outside of the US may enjoy the games too. These reports will not be written by myself(that's doesn't mean I don't have the telant to), it will be written by others gymnastics fans in e-mail form (since these are e-mails from Gymn-L) who are at New York watching the competition live, please enjoy!
1) Dominique- I must say, she deserved the win and was very emotional upon realizing she won. Her start values were ten for all events except vault where she had a 9.8 and a 9.9 Her vault score was 9.587, bars-9.625, beam 9.75 and floor 9.7 (As I continue I will just list scores, know that they go from vault on.) Her bars in very interesting, with her mount somewhat like Amy Chow's but goes right to the Shapashnikova. Her pak to toe on was great and was her 1 1/2 to double front. She really was spot on entirely and I hate to make false predictions, but she just may be national champ in a month. Her only flaw that I saw was that her triple didn't fully rotate.. 2) Olaru- the perfect example of not needing ten SV's since none of her routines did. She was consistent but unspectacular and I really didn't take too much notice of her. Her scores were 9.55, 9.55, 9.625 and 9.25. 3) Amanar-in person she is spectacular. Her fall on beam was unfortunate because the rest of her routine was great. I really liked her floor though there was a technical error from the meet. the green light wouldn't turn on so the head judge had to raise her hand to signal to go. Her vaults were great but she still pikes badly on her phelps. her scores were 9.6, 9.425, 9.15, 9.675. 4)Meng Fei- Love the floor. She was also very consistent. Her bars and beam start from ten , but her vaults are only 9.5 and 9.6. her scores were 9.237, 9.5, 9.6, and 9.5 5) Sapunar- it was very unfortunate. During her warm-up vault she hyperextended her knees and was in tears for a few moments. I think it rattled her. However once past vault she was really great. Her bars is the typical CGA clean and crisp. Her routines are exciting and I really like her. She only had on 10 SV and that was bars. Beam and floor were 9.9 and vaults were 9.5 and 9.6, her scores were 9.012, 9.575, 9.525 and 9.475. She has a bright future and I think she will do well at nationals. 6.Olga Teslneko had a hard day. She just looked sluggish. She has great form and typical Ukrainian technique. her SV's were all tens except vault which was 9.5 and 9.6 I'm sorry I don't have much more on her. her scores were 9.025, 9.6, 9.425 and 9.425 7) Khorkina SIGH,- my friend Sveta didn't do so well. She had trouble on her khorkina vault and her 1 1/2 yurchenko was off. Her bars were fantastic, and her beam was good except for a few big bobbles. She just ran out of steam on floor. She was VERY unhappy and left the arena. I really felt for her. Her floor was to pulp fiction and her triple full was really nice. I really hope she does better in EF. 8)Zeena Mclaughlin-SImone- I told her you said good luck and she almost cried. She was very happy to know that people in Australia are thinking of her. Ok, her SV's were v-9.5 and 9.8-she did a yurchenko full and a 1 1/2. her score was 9.262. Her bars Sv was 9.8 and she got a 9.250. her bars was not so great today. Her beam SV is 9.8 and it was pretty good for a 9.4. Her floor was a 9.9 SV. When the music started, it was Simona Amanar's music and there was a short delay. She looked rattled but did very well. I really like the floor ex and a lot of the fans were cheering for her. 9)Ling Jie-I didn't see much of her because most of the times I had stuff to do was during her routines. 9.8, beam 9.9 with a score of 8.65. She had two falls on that routine and the audience really seemed to feel for her. Her floor was a 9.9 SV and a 9.525 score. 10) Produnova- very difficult night but she held up really well and was very sportsmanlike. She had big steps on her vaults and her phelps was so bad I almost choked. Her back was arched and her legs bent and it was terrible. Her vault score was 9.375 though. Her bars was a 9.4 for a decent routine, her beam a 9.05 for a fall, and floor a 8.95 for a fall on her double front. She did nail her arabian double, punch front and her artistry was great. 11) Alena Polozkova. I think I can sum it up by saying, before her floor we were chatting and she was very down. She was very cute though and her SVs were v-9.5 and 9.8, bars-10 with a score of I told her a great floor would be good to get her back on track. She hit floor and then gave me HUGE smile and a thumbs up sign. So, that's about it. Dominique cried quite a bit during the awards ceremony and the new USAG president presented her with a 10,000 dollar check. All in all it was a fun night. I thought you guys might want to know about it. Oh yeah, it turns out halfway throughout the first rotation we discovered that the Hungarian and Chinese judges were in the wrong seats and their scores were coming up inverted as a result. It was kind of funny. I hope you enjoyed this. I'll be back tomorrow night with the men's AA. How was the TV coverage? Goodnight, AlisaTo the Top
A few things worth mentioning: First, some nice things: 1. I loved the way they introduced the gymnasts at the beginning. They all had to walk up to a microphone, and introduce themselves. Most of them said, "Hello, my name is ______and I am from_______." The Chinese were really cute- just about everyone else knew how to say this in English, and I don't think they did. Meng Fei just said, "Meng Fei, China." and I still don't know what Ling Jie said. She was so adorable, you could tell that everyone in the audience thought so. Poor Zeena McLaughlin had to go first, (they went alphabetically, according to country) and she kept looking back at a volunteer, not sure if this is what she really has to do. Svetlana Khorkina was funny too. She had a big smile on her face, and the only way I can describe her voice is joyous. "Hello everyone! I am Svetlana Khorkina, and I am from Russia!" 2. The last meet I attended was the Olympic Team Competition, and after experiencing the "I'm embarrassed to be an American" feeling after the way the foreign athletes were treated there, I was proud to be one last night and even proud to be a New Yorker, something that does not happen often. Sure, the crowd cheered the most for Dominique (but she deserved it) and the second most for Sierra, but they showed appreciation for everyone, and seemed honestly sorry for anyone who fell. One moment that stands out was the supportive, encouraging clapping that everyone did for Ling Jie after she fell twice from beam. And after Alena Polozkova fell on bars and beam, she got some of the loudest applause after she hit floor (unless it was just because they liked her tacky leotard- this is Long Island we're talking about). And there were a group of girls who yelled "Let's Go ______" for just about everyone at one time or another. -that's who Svetlana was blowing kisses to after vault. The only thing annoying about the crowd was the use of flashbulbs, usually only when Dominique was up. Not as bad as in Atlanta, but it got worse as the evening went on- I guess the security didn't do anything and the people got braver. Of course, there are some things I could have done without... 1. Taz, the mascot dancing around between rotations 2. The people shooting t-shirts into the crowd between rotations- this is getting more and more popular- first I witnessed this at an Islander game last year, then a Mets game last weekend. They make obnoxious noise, and at one point I thought they were going to hit the girls warming up on beam! 3. The elevator music during everything but floor- too loud and makes me not want to ever listen to Phil Collins again 4. The big fat check they handed Dominique at the awards ceremony. She looked embarassed about it. How cheesy. 5. And the worst of all.......I had awesome seats in the second row, the corner between vault and beam, I had my Dad's camera with the telephoto lens (no flash of course) that I took 36 pictures with, and found out this morning when I tried to take the film out that it jammed and I GOT NO PICTURES AT ALL!!!!!! Well, at least it was only the first night, I am going Tuesday and Wednesday and my seats are just as good..... Anyway, I just wanted to share some of the experiences I had that you won't get on TBS (well, judging from last night's coverage, what did we get from TBS? Oh yeah, Bart and Cathy calling both Russian gymnasts "bizzare" and "freakish")- if anyone has any questions or things that they would like to share, feel free to e-mail me. I'm off to watch TBS tonight, but then I'll be back there live tomorrow and Wednesday! Thanks Ted Turner! Ellen Mastic Beach, Long Island, NYTo the Top
It was an incredible night for Dominique and she deserved every bit of the win! She has matured so much both physically and gymnastically and her floor routine and she was just beautiful to watch. Our Russian visitors staying with us for one month- Ksenia Kekkonen and her coach Olga Efimova- were very impressed with Dominique. On the other hand, I was very dissappointed in Prudunova whose form I thought was very sloppy and her skills poorly executed. Khorkina was good as usual but seemed to give up going into floor knowing that there was no way to catch Dominique. By the way, we videotaped the entire competition! Every blessed routine including the emotional award ceremony. Seeing Dominique's tears of happiness brought tears to our eyes as well. What a great comeback for her. I'm sure we will see many more great things from this gymnast!To the Top
Okay, I was there, here's some other stuff, or disagreements with others - Moceanu - A completely new gymnast, and one I love. Serious, CLEAN, attention to artistic quality, lines, nice choreography on floor and especially BEAM, all those who didn't see it on TV were ROBBED. Her Yurch 1*s in warmup were awesome, less so in meet, but her layout front 1/2 is TEXTBOOK, the heeldrive alone is worth paying your money. And BTW folks, its not a layout cuervo, that's what Polozkova does, the technique is entirely different. Back to Moceanu, to watch her stay on fully extended toe during the entire rotation of a dbl turn on floor was inspiring, considering the junk she used to do. And I love the serious, calm demeanor, as opposed to the fake smile/sell we used to get. If this new coach can get these results out of a girl this fast, may we send the entire national team to her. Bravo, bravo, a deserved win. Romania - looked off peak, good dbl twist Yurchenkos, Olaru stood everything up, but she is so archy on bars and was uncharactaristically sloppy on floor, and aside from her vaults and tumbling Amanar was UNWATCHABLE.Honestly, she is absolutely uninteresting or abonminable in every area except tumbling, she has NO swing on bars, and if she retires afterwards as has been threatened, I will heave a sigh of relief. She did however look quite pretty in the red/black leo. Teslenko - bars and beam stellar, her Higgens are my favorite moves, and she does the smoothest geinger on the planet. Okay on floor, but why is it the Ukrainians can't vault? A weak, sloppy, archy pike front and pike front 1/2 with no possible upgrading that I can see. Oh well, so she's a 2 event girl. China - Ling Jei. Oh my God. The tightest, straightest handestand position thru the hips and shoulders I have EVER SEEN. And the longest bar set, she healy's in and out of inverts twice, 2 releases, hecht btw the bars, etc, she never stops. Beam could have been the best, 2 falls. I liked the effort to be interesting on floor, choreog needs some finetuning, but overall impressive. Meng Fei. Typical, beautiful, consistant job, but why don't they fix the dreadful toe circle to dead hang section of her bar set? Again, you were robbed of her exquiste beam, it is head and shoulders above anyone else there. Khorkina - I got to see her warmup beam, it was perfect over and over again, she vaulted better than she has in about 2 years, but then you saw the rest. BUT, she and Prod were the ONLY 2 girls to really perform their floors, and the difference was noticeable. I wish Prod was in better shape, she was shaking her ankles all night, but it was great to see her in person. Her Pak is laughably strange, her Phelps is as close to the action I would like to see as I have yet seen. And her hair was fabulous. Sapunar - Her bars were basically good, her beam was spastic, her floor was unwatchable. She needs Prozac now, it's as if she's going to snap her own arms off her body when she uses them. I do not see the AA potential, but apparantly the USAG thinks they do. She wasn't a factor at all. Z McLaughlin - Pretty, flexible, consistent, good on beam and bars, great lines, i was impressed in a quiet way. I will look for her in the future. Polozkova - Was a good guest, she came, looked sexy, bombed, and left. It was nice to see 'her' vault (layout cuervo), even though it is heavily arched and piked down. I like her clean lines, her snap, and her routine construction, she just had a bad meet, as she tends to do. She is , however, definitely watchable. Kuznetsova was chalking bars for Polozkova, it was sweet, I really am looking forward to seeing her and Ungureanu compete. It was not a great meet, but there was interesting stuff, and I was glad I was there. On to the men tomarrow. Later, EricTo the Top
Women's All-Around competition 1 - Dominique Moceanu, United States 38.662 2 - Maria Olaru, Romania 37.975 3 - Simona Amanar, Romania 37.850 4 - Fei Ming, China 37.837 5 - Sierra Sapunar, United States 37.587 6 - Olga Teslenko, Ukraine 37.475 7 - Svetlana Khorkina, Russia 37.412 8 - Zeena McLaughlin, Australia 37.212 9 - Jie Ling, China 37.212 10 - Elena Produnova, Russia 36.775 11 - Alena Polozkova, Belarus 36.550To the Top
Quotes from athletes after AA.