Sunday, August 30, 2015

Gymnast Youtube Accounts

Photo Credit simonebiles on instagram


Oh to be a gymnastics fan in the digital age! We get to see snapchats of Australian and Italian friends sharing treats from their respective country. We get to see instagram photos from post-meet banquets. We get to see vines from nights out or of new skills. It's really a lot of fun to be a gym fan with social media at our fingertips. I've started to update a social media page but it is slow in coming about... Here's a list of a few gymnasts and their youtube channels. There really are some great videos that the gymnasts are making.

Mary-Anne (Mez) Monckton (AUS) || Channel
So Mez is literally the bomb.com. She started her youtube channel to document her rehab from ankle surgery and it was great to see her progress from learning to walk properly again to jumping to full beam routines! Most recently, Mez competed at the 2015 World University Games and documented the trip. I really love that we get an inside view on the rooms, the village, the competition hall, etc. The one I link to below doesn't have any gymnastics in it, it's all about the village but I think it's really neat!


Nile Wilson (GBR) || Channel
I only just discovered Nile Wilson had a channel. The videos are very well done and he has over 1000 hits on most of them. The one linked to below is a day in the life while at National Team camp at Lilleshall. There are also some funny bro moments in there.


Maggie Nichols (USA) || Channel
Maggie actually started her channel quite a few months (years?) ago but she's done a Q&A, leo collection vid, partner yoga challenge, and she also made a video from behind the scenes of 2015 Secret Classic.


Jake Dalton || Channel
Jake posted a few training videos and a few random things on his YT channel. I'm not sure if he plans on doing some rehab videos as he's scheduled for surgery soon.

Simone Biles (USA) || Channel
Simone has done "A Day in the Life" video as well as some videos from a trip to Belize for her brother's wedding.


Marian Dragulescu (ROU) || Channel
At 34 years old, Dragulescu is making a comeback for Team Romania. Dragulescu has started posting numerous videos of his training including a new vault (front handspring double front with a full twist - an extra half twist from his namesake vault). You can follow his journey on his channel.

Any others that should be added to the list? Anything that you would like to see from the gymnasts?

Saturday, August 22, 2015

World Championship Predictions 2015: August Edition



Prior to the US domestic season, I tried to come up with my Worlds team and see how it would change through the season and comparing it with the final result. I've decided to do it for a few more teams as well. I tried my best to put the team finalists as the first three listed followed by a semicolon but for some countries it just didn't work.

USA
Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas, Bailie Key, Maggie Nichols, Alyssa Baumann
VT: Aly, Maggie, Simone; Bailie/Gabby
UB: Bailie, Gabby, Simone; Aly, Maggie
BB: Bailie, Maggie, Gabby, Aly, Simone
FX: Gabby, Maggie, Bailie, Aly, Simone
Alt: Mykayla Skinner, Madison Kocian/Ashton Locklear, Kyla Ross

Why Alyssa and why not Kocian? Why isn't Alyssa even competing? I'm gonna be honest. I think the USA can just send 5 and make the 6th person an alternate. Pre-Classics, I had Kyla in the spot. I now realize that she's a bit redundant as an UB/BB worker. The spot can better be optimized with a specialist with EF/medal potential routines. The issue with bringing a specialist is that one of these top 5 girls will miss out on the AA. Do you take Aly out of bars despite her being one of the top 4 consistently? Would you take Gabby off of VT to allow Skinner to attempt to qualify for event finals? It's very difficult so in this moment, I say 5 members + a faux alternate. As the other countries start their competitions, we'll get a better idea of the other team makeups. I picked Alyssa over Madison Kocian because Kocian is pretty breakable and Alyssa can substitute anywhere really.

RUS
Aliya Mustafina, Viktoria Komova, Daria Spiridonova, Maria Paseka, Ksenia Afanasyeva, Maria Kharenkova
VT: Aliya, Ksenia, Maria P; Viktoria, Maria K
UB: Viktoria, Aliya, Daria; Maria P, Maria K
BB: Maria K, Vika, Aliya; Ksenia, Daria
FX: Ksenia, Vika, Aliya; Daria, Maria K
Alt: Seda Tutkhalyan

With Sosnitskaya out, the Russian picture became a littler clearer. Hopefully Ksenia can manage to stay healthy. She has been dealing with some dental issues but no gymnastics injuries from what I've seen. The final spot really comes down to Seda Tutkhalyan and Maria Kharenkova. Unfortunately, I feel like the Rodionenko's favor Kharenkova to Seda. Seda would offer an additional vault score and EF potential so if Afan or anyone else is out, Seda is surely my first choice alternate. Russian Cup is coming up and we'll have a better idea of Kharenkova vs Tutkhalyan. Could they both go and leave Spiridonova out? I think it's possible but they'd be sacrificing a possible EF medal... Granted, if it's not Daria, I'm sure we can find a second Russian to make EF.

ROU
Catalina Ponor, Larisa Iordache, Andreea Iridon, Andreea Munteanu, Silvia Zarzu, Laura Jurca
VT: Silvia, Laura, Larisa; Catalina
UB: Laura, Andreea I, Larisa; #sendhelp
BB: Andreea M, Catalina, Larisa; Andreea I, Laura
FX: Laura, Silvia, Catalina, Larisa
Alt: Stefania Stanila

I posted this on twitter and the number one comment was no Diana. I'd love to send Bulimar but if it's just for uneven bars, I don't think it's worth the risk. I made Jurca the 2nd AAer with Larisa. Other than beam and floor, Romania actually struggles to get 4 competitive athletes on vault and uneven bars. You could take out Zarzu or Larisa to make room for Diana but then you use one floor and vault athlete. Not sure Romania can afford that risk. If Did has another event, that would change things for me. Stanila can do UB so she's my number one choice for alternate.


Team GB and Team Italy together at 2014 Euros


ITA
Vanessa Ferrari, Erika Fasana, Carlotta Ferlito, Martina Rizzelli, Tea Ugrin, Elisa Meneghini/Enus Mariani
VT: Martina, Vanessa, Erika; Carlotta, Tea
UB: Elisa/Enus, Carlotta, Martina; Vanessa, Erika
BB: Carlotta, Vanessa, Erika; Tea, Martina
FX: Carlotta, Vanessa, Erika; Tea, Martina
Alt: Giorgia Campana

Vanessa, Erika, and Carlotta are pretty much locks. Italy struggles on UB so Martina is crucial there. Elisa Meneghini and Enus Mariani have been injured but their prowess on UB could be utilized here. Enus is a better UB worker than Elisa based on previous performances BUT Elisa can be used in other events as well so I predict the last spot being decided between them. Giorgia Campana is also a strong UB worker but she has struggled on bars and excelled on beam. If she can get her bars back to where it's been, she'll have a shot at this team. Otherwise, Elisa and Enus are ranking above her. Italy will have 2 meets before Worlds so we'll get a better picture of Elisa and Enus' comeback status.

GBR
Ellie Downie, Becky Downie, Claudia Fragapane, Amy Tinkler, Rebecca Tunney, Kelly Simm
VT: Kelly, Ellie, Claudia; Amy
UB: Ellie, Rebecca T, Becky D; Amy, Claudia
BB: Claudia, Ellie, Becky D; Kelly, Amy
FX: Amy, Ellie, Claudia; Kelly
Alt: Tyesha Mattis, Charlie Fellows, Georgina Hockenhull

This one was really tricky for me because the status of two very important members is unknown - Rebecca Tunney and Ruby Harrold. Then, Tyesha Mattis is also a hopeful breakout star but we haven't seen her compete more than UB yet this year. Claudia and Ellie are the clear AAers at the moment. Tinkler could be one of them. Tunney could be one of them but I just have no clue what her status is right now so this was a shot in the dark.

CAN
Ellie Black, Isabela Onyshko, Maegan Chant, Victoria Woo, Madison Copiak, Brittany Rogers
VT: Maegan, Brittany, Ellie; Isabela, Madison
UB: Brittany, Victoria, Isabela; Ellie, Madison
BB: Maegan, Isabela, Ellie; Madison, Victoria
FX: Maegan, Isabela, Ellie; Madison, Victoria
Alt: Jordyn Pedersen

And I didn't put Brittany just because I love her (because I don't!). I think this team has an UB deficit that Brittany could solve and can also improve the VT standings.  Ellie and Isabela are the 2 AA gymnasts. Madison and Victoria will likely battle it out in trainings for VT/UB prelims spots which could affect if one of them does AA.

NED
Lieke and Sanne Wevers, Eythora Thorsdottir, Noel van Klaveren, Celine van Gerner, Lisa Top
VT: Lisa, Noel, Eythora/Lieke/Celine
UB: Noel, Lieke, Sanne; Eythora, Celine
BB: Eythora, Lieke, Sanne; Lisa, Celine
FX: Eythora, Lieke, Lisa; Noel, Celine
Alt: Vera van Pol

Praying to the gym gods to keep Noel safe (well everyone!). The biggest issue with the Netherlands is their consistency. I'm hoping it's improved since the athletes have seen so much success this year. The difficulty is there, the execution just needs to match it.

What do you think?

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Stunning Leotards at the 2015 Secret Classic


The Secret Classic is the start of the competitive season in the United States and with it comes some fabulous leotards. Here were some of my favorites from both junior and senior sessions and both podium training and actual competition.

The leo worn by Olivia Dunne was the first leo to catch my eye. And it caught my eyes even at the distance of the podium training videos. I was terrified that I'd see the actual picture or video and hate it but the opposite happened. I loved it even more. I don't usually love ombre but I thought this looked so perfect with the right amount of sparkle highlighted on the pinkish-orange leo (is it coral?).

We got a sneak peak of Ashton Locklear's leo on her snapchat and seeing the whole leo was worth the wait. I don't usually like white leotards but balancing with the black sleeves and silver accents was perfect.

This leo totally caught my by surprise. It's worn here by Shania Adams of Buckeye Gymnastics. I was going through videos and my jaw literally dropped when I saw this one. Again with the ombre that I apparently like now. But in motion, this leo is perfect. I searched for a while for a photo and felt like no photo could do it justice but it's stunning. I give this leotard favorite competitive leo of the meet!

I thought this leo was simple and beautiful. It matches MG Elite's "Frozen" leotard from last year. I like the design, color of blue, and don't mind the nude mesh at all.

This is another leo that I thought I might not have liked. I don't like that leo that Russia wore at the 2012 European Championships with the deep leo-colored mesh but somehow it's smaller on this leo and fits perfectly.

A simple leotard but I like the design.

Another training leotard. The body might actually be velvet but it looks great. It's like a perfect fusion of gymnastics meets ballet and Lauren Navarro looked great in it.

This leotard is an Aly Raisman original. Many members of the National Team as well as gymnasts all over the world have this leotard now and I love it. I would not mind in the least if this was a podium training leo at international competition. Some don't like the horizontal orientation or the white strip in the middle but I think it somehow works and looks great on every gymnast.

This leotard is basically a bonus. It's similar to the leotard Twin City Twisters wore last year except in blue. Maggie Nichols and her teammates looked great in this leo and it fits now that Nichols is committed to the University of Oklahoma.

All photos were from either Christy Ann Linder or USA Gymnastics

Were any of these your favorites?