Looking Back: Interviews of 2014

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Photo Credit: USA Gymnastics

2014 was a busy year but I still managed a few interviews that I was very excited about doing. Hope you enjoy/enjoyed them!

Author Interview: Julie Cross Part 1 and Part 2 - I had the opportunity to interview Julie Cross, the author of a great coming of age story of a gymnast entitled Letters to Nowhere. The book was amazing and Cross had great insight into the world of elite gymnastics having been to the Ranch a few times as a coach. I would strongly recommend her books. They're labelled as "young adult" and everyone I know has loved it, including World Champion Simone Biles!

Kirsten Beckett (RSA): Hungry for More - Kirsten is someone that I started to follow closely after Doha 2013, when she won me over with her lovely floor exercise. She continues to be a staple in South African gymnastics, having made 4 of the 5 finals at the Commonwealth Games.

Brenna Dowell: I Moved On Part 1 and Part 2 - This interview was done early in 2014, prior to the 2014 world selections. She talks about how she felt after being named to the 2013 Worlds team and then being delegated alternate. Since then, she's ready to start her collegiate career at Oklahoma but has not ruled out a return to elite gymnastics.

Spotlight on Thema Williams (TTO) - Thema Williams is a star for Trinidad and Tobago gymnastics. She was the first gymnast to compete a Tkatchev in her country. She attended Worlds 2011 and has even been to the Karolyi Ranch a few times. At the time of this interview, she was training at Geddert's Twistars and has since decided to stay longer, hoping to continue improving her skill set and achieve her goals.

Thank you for all these interviews and I hope to do more in the future!


Looking Back: New Seniors of 2014

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Ashton Locklear and Coach Qi Han at the 2014 World Championships

It's always nice at this time of year to take a moment and reflect on this crazy sport and who managed to survive. On the list of New Seniors, there were quite a few seniors that were part of the conversation as juniors. They were toted as "the next big thing." Looking at European Championships, World Championships, and other competitions, it's interesting to note which gymnasts lived up to the hype and even some that flew under the radar.

Senior in 2014 (born in 1998)
Alexandra Eade
Lorrane dos Santos
Mariana Oliviera
Heaven Latimer
Isabela Onyshko
Kirsten Peterman
Aleeza Yu
Claire Martin
Sarah Pais
Louise Vanhille
Enus Mariani
Eythora Thorsdottir
New Zealand
Charlotte Sullivan
Andreea Munteanu
Silvia Zarzu
Maria Kharenkova
Viktoria Kuzmina
Emma Larsson
Veronica (Nica) Hults
Amelia Hundley
Polina Shchennikova

Lived Up To The Hype
There were quite a few gymnasts who did really well.  Isabela Onyshko and Aleeza Yu competed at the World Championships while Kirsten Peterman competed at Pan American Championships and was named alternate to the World team. Onyshko did well qualifying to the all around final at the Commonwealth Games. Yu was on track to be one of Canada's all around gymnasts at World Championships but unfortunately suffered a knee injury in the first rotation.

I first became aware of Charlotte Sullivan at the 2012 Pacific Rim Championships where she made the beam final shortly after the Christchurch gym in New Zealand had been destroyed by an earthquake. Although a few other Kiwi gymnasts have come into the spotlight, Sullivan attended the Commonwealth Games where she placed 16th in the all around finals. She was a member of the 2014 World Championships team that placed 22nd and competed on all 4 events.

Of the 3 Frenchwomen, I'd have to say Claire Martin had the most successful senior debut. The French team was badly hurt (literally and figuratively) by injuries. The team was probably 2 injuries away from calling Isabelle Severino out of retirement. Claire Martin did well at European Championships where she placed 7th in the balance beam event final. At Worlds, she helped France to a 13th place finish and a team berth to the 2015 World Championships. She continues to show strength on balance beam and floor, where she really shines.

Romania had to deal with the untimely injury of Diana Bulimar and it was hard to rally around a team that had a big hole to fill. Of the new seniors, both Munteanu and Zarzu did an excellent job. Munteanu particularly scored a 15.2 on beam in TF that would have won the balance beam event finals. They're a young team and have room to grow hopefully only aided by the return of Bulimar.

Kharenkova... she's a bit of a mix of living up to the hype and falling apart in my eyes. Maybe it's because I was never a true fan so I apologize. Kharenkova was the 2014 European Balance Beam Champion beating out teammate Aliya Mustafina. Unfortunately, injury kept her from being 100% at the time of World Championships where she had a disastrous routine in qualifications. She redeemed herself in team finals, however.

The Swedish team is definitely one that is one the rise. Emma Larsson has done a superb job filling the holes where needed. She's a beautiful and lively floor worker with an exciting uneven bar routine as well. There are some countries where you just hope they qualify a team to the Olympics because you don't want to deal with picking only one athlete. Sweden is definitely one of those teams!

Unfortunate Injuries
The unfortunate injuries group actually covers the entirety of the US girls that are listed here. Polina Schennikova had an elbow injury that kept her out of Nationals. Amelia Hundley had surgery earlier in the year but she never seemed to return to Hundley-form. She was able to do the all around but with a 1.5TY. Nica Hults had injuries that kept her from competing in the all-around.

Heaven Latimer is probably one of the most hyped Canadian juniors now senior because of her lovely triple series on beam that ended with a layout full. Unfortunately, she had an injury that kept her out and she returned to Canadian Nationals only on uneven bars. Hopefully she can come back to form and aid her team.

Probably the 2 most heart-breaking injuries for the gymternet were those of Enus Mariani and Eythora Thorsdottir. Both had "back issues" - Enus to the point where she was off the National Team and everything about her injury was kept very quiet. However, they're both back now and that's what counts! Italy is doing really well so Enus will need to add some difficulty but a strong all arounder, especially one who thrives on uneven bars, could only help Italy. The Dutch team has a tight group of girls but Eythora's prowess on beam and floor are sure to help. She is also a solid all arounder but those 2 events are where she stands out.

Under the Radar
Alyssa Baumann and Ashton Locklear were not on my list to say the least. Locklear had been attending camps but I guess I always brushed it off. I was wrong. I think after Bross, Ohashi, and Kocian being injured, I was very skeptical of WOGA which clearly I should not have been as they had two girls on the Worlds team (Baumann and Madison Kocian). Baumann was crucial to the USA on balance beam, where they showed a relative weakness in terms of depth compared to previous years. Baumann secured her spot as the lead off on balance beam in team finals with her 6.0D. Her qualifications score was enough for 14th place in the event.

Early on in the US domestic season, it became aware Locklear would be on the team for her uneven bar skill level and impeccable execution. Her legs go for miles and she's also managed to optimize the code with connections that, even when missed, still give her above a 6.0 difficulty. She finished the World Championships competing three solid uneven bar routines. Her effort in the event finals left her in 4th place. We've already seen video of her working a Ricna. I''m sure her uneven bars will only continue to improve and hopefully she's healthy enough to add back the other events.

You can find the list of New Seniors for 2015 and 2016 here. 2017 will start to be added this year.

What were your impressions of the 1998 group - the new seniors of 2014?


This Week in Training: Before the Holidays

5:29 PM Arabian Punch Front 10 Comments

Simone Biles edit by jordynslefteyebrow
More christmas icons here

I keep forgetting to include this gymnast so I'm not forgetting this week! Margzetta Frazier of Parkettes is working a whip through to triple. You should also check her instagram for some pretty neat bars upgrades (stalder-pak-stalder-Chow here). IG: margzetta
A video posted by Margzetta Frazier (@margzetta) on

After her knee injury, Maggie Nichols is working hard on the uneven bars. She shows both a Chow (which I believe is new) and Maloney.
A video posted by Maggie Nichols (@swaggiemaggie2016) on

Simone Biles posted a video on instagram of her double twisting double layout, named after fellow American Cup competitor Victoria Moors. Simone has such ease with her tumbling and her double double is finished so high that it was only a matter of time until the Moors came to be. I am glad.

Youna Dufournet is working a new balance beam mount. She has chosen to work the round off - layout step out onto the beam. Very few gymnasts choose to do difficult mounts. Vasiliki Millousi competes this mount and Natsumi Sasada does round off - layout full onto the beam. Youna posted video afterwards of her Def!!! I'm amazed because it was in connection.

Marine Brevet's account is set to private but she is working a full twisting layout.

Nia Dennis' piked Tkatchev is back! Scratch that. Nia Dennis has a Church (toe on piked Tkatchev). The teammate of Gabby Douglas is hard at work.
A video posted by 💋Nia💋 (@niaadennis) on

2014 World Bronze Medalist on Vault, Mykayla Skinner continues to work bars and keep her name in the USA all around discussion. She shows a new section with Maloney (toe on Shaposhnikova) to Pak salto, and also a Van Leeuwen (toe on Shaposhnikova with 1/2 turn). That might just be her new beginning (not metaphorically, literally).

Giulia Steingruber posted video of her working a new skill - a Church (toe on piked Tkatchev). I'm curious to see where this will go as she currently has a Shushunova (full twisting Tkatchev) that lacks some height. Will she swap the two or make some new connection? This is from her facebook page where she also shows her bhs-layout.

In Italy, two stars are working different dance skills. Vanessa Ferrari is working a switch ring on the low beam. For some reason, I thought she already had one but I guess not. Enus Mariani, known for her dance and flexibility, is working a Mustafina on floor - the triple Y turn.


This Week In Training: Around the World

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edit by flipsandgrips16 on instagram

Deanne Soza is recovering from her eye injury and is hard at work in the gym. Looks like she has most, if not all, of her skills back. Here she is working a double arabian that is beautiful.
A video posted by Deanne Soza (@deannesoza_2020) on

Morgan Hurd is working a 2.5 punch front full. This is her gym's instagram (fsgym) and has videos of her and a teammate, Cameron Machado, working some UB upgrades as well.
A video posted by First State Gymnastics (@fsgym) on

Maggie Nichols is coming back from her knee injury and shows her Chow (stalder Shaposhnikova variation) on uneven bars. She recently stated in a youtube video that her rehab is going well and that she's actually ahead of schedule. I wish her the best in her recovery.
A video posted by Maggie Nichols (@swaggiemaggie2016) on

Jazmyn Foberg and Laurie Hernandez recently committed to the University of Florida. Both won't graduate high school until after Rio so we have plenty of time to continue to enjoy their elite career. Here is Jazzy working a double double.
A video posted by Jazmyn Foberg (@jazmynfoberg) on

Sofia Busato stole my heart and the hearts of many at last years European Championship with her lovely floor exercise. Here she is working a triple. She is also one of the Italians with a DTY.
A video posted by Busy❤ (@sofia_busato) on

Carlotta Ferlito is slowly coming back from her slew of illnesses. She recently showed a full in on floor which she brought back for the first time since her junior days. She is also working a double layout. Things in Italy are getting intense and she will have to upgrade everywhere to guarantee an all around spot.

Erika Fasana is has recorded footage of her working a Ray (toe on straddled Tkatchev). IG: erika_fasana

Mira Boumejmajen has been working her Van Leeuwen and now shows how it will fit into her routine.

Laura Longueville also posted a video on bars but with the title "Remember." Not sure if she's injured but it's a nice combo - Ray; toe-on, toe-on full, to bail. IG: lauralongueville

Great Britain
Becky Downie is working a van Leeuwen. It might help her get rid of her pre-dismount clear hip half. You should also watch this video because it made me laugh (here)
Une vidéo publiée par bdownie92 (@bdownie92) le

Mary-Anne Monckton - if at first you don't succeed, try and try again. Monckton is still rehabbing after her peroneal tendon repair. She's been working some bars with the light boot and managed to learn a new skill. Here she is with her new Deltchev.

Netherlands/This Week in Bloopers
Chantysha Netteb is still on the mend after her ACL tear at 2013 Worlds. Although she's made an appearance at many vault event finals, she's a solid all arounder for the Dutch when at full health. Here she is working uneven bars and the shaposh craze. The first Van Leeuwen attempt didn't go so well though... Check her account for a bars combo and her also working a double double on the ropes.
A video posted by Chantysha Fahrelle Netteb (@chantyshanetteb) on


Glasgow World Cup 2014 Live Blog

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A live blog of the Glasgow World Cup 2014. Looks like they're doing 2 flights and the first 4 are warming up currently.

Live video here (need proxy, zenmate and tunnel bear work)
Live results here

Erika Fasana - DTY - she's happy. Good block. Just a lost of leg form in second twist. It'll only get better as she gets more confident with it. 5.8/14.633

Mai Murakami - DTY - good form, maybe not as great height? She makes it around well just a small hop back. Good form throughout. 5.8/14.566. Hmm, thought it was better than Fasana.

Jessica Lopez - DTY - good block. Pikes down a bit for landing. Salutes quickly. 5.8/14.800

Pauline Schäfer - FHS layout 1/2 - very straight in block, just a little pike for the landing. 5.4/14.133 (5.0 if piked, will check official results later)

Ellie Black - FHS layout 1/2 - good vault. decent block, also a little pike for landing. It's hard to really judge vaults I'm not used to seeing... 5.4/14.400

Larisa Iordache - DTY - good block and form just a little hop in place. K, in slow mo, some crossed ankles in 2nd twist. 5.8/15.000 - damn.

Georgina Hockenhull - FTY - good block for a FTY, pikes for landing, small hop in place. I believe she could add at least another half twist. She was reserve for the World Championship team. Commentator Christine Still is her coach. 5.0/13.833

Vanessa Ferrari - DTY - yikes! Didn't get the best block and she's shaking her hands afterward. She tucks her last salto as she's been doing but she didn't make it all the way around either. Hope she's ok. 5.8/13.566 (if they credited her with DTY). She's first up on bars then.

Vanessa Ferrari - she took out her piked jaeger. did giant 1/2 to L-grip giant, to full pirouette to straddled jaeger. then some toe-ons. a little hesitation in handstand before dismount. not a bad routine for her. I really wish they'd reqork it just because l-grip isn't great for her but this was definitely one of her better routines, I'd say. 13.466

Georgina Hockenhull - starts on low bar hop grip change to endo 1/2, stalder, chow (stalder shaposh), bail, stalder full with loss of form, shoot to high; tkatchev a little low. DLO. Seems to let go a little early but get's it around fine. 13.833.

Pauline Schäfer - high bar, toe on giant to gienger, huge; kch 1/2, full pirouette, giant?, giant 1/2 to straddled jaeger, clear hip, bail to handstand, toe on shoot to high; ooh Moors. I have no clue when they're laid out vs. not. Really nice. Best execution so far without a doubt. 13.133... I don't know what her D is so...

Ellie Black - clear hip-Shang; hop grip change to Jaeger to pak. under bar change thingy. toe on giant, toe shoot to high; full pirouette. Moors. Nice nice. I am eagerly awaiting that Shaposh yo. 13.833.

Mai Murakami - clear hip-toe on-giant 1/2- piked jaeger caught close; bail shoot to high; full pirouette; full twisting double layout. She has room to connect things in there but it was clean. She high fives Fasana :D 12.500. Really need some D scores.

Erika Fasana - Maloney - immediate 1/1, giant 1/2, L grip gets kind stuck. toe on Tktchev. comes over on bail. comes off to get back on the other side. shoot to high. DLO. poor girl. So on her Maloney and in L grip she bends her legs (like an exaggerated set for a Jaeger) so she loses the straight line.

Jessica Lopez - piked tkatchev-pak leg sep; missed handstand, Maloney, uprise 1/1, straddled Tkatchev to Gienger; kch 1/2 to straddled Jaeger; a little late on 1/2 pirouette prior to double front dismount. Not her best routine but I think all but 1 of her connections was there. 14.200

Larisa Iordache - stalder 1/1, toe on, toe on shaposh; late on her 1/2 also so low/late straddled jaeger; gets her Ray to pak; toe on shaposh; full twisting double layout. definitely not her best routine. She struggled a bit in her connections. 14.433.

Erika Fasana - bhs-layout 2 feet; switch leap-back tuck;  switch ring nowhere near ring; full turn-Y turn was solid; side somi grabs herself and manages to stay on. front aerial leg wobble. split jump - wolf jump. ro-double pike. she survived. 13.100

Vanessa Ferrari - bhs so-bhs-so, layout 2 feet. switch split-ring leap not at ring per me.... sissone. missed connection i think to front aerial-sheep. switch 1/2 done well. ful turn. solid. switch ring was better. confused split-wolf-split? double pike, low. 13.600

Mai Murakami - bhs-bhs-layout 2 feet-sheep jump. side aerial. double turn. solid. <3 front aerial.  bhs-loso. wobble. korbut. "good body tension. good technique." switch split wobble. split jump-sissone. not great at 180 in my opinion. double pike. best dismount of the 3. I was gonna say "Do it for Asuka" but didn't want to jinx her haha. 13.400

Pauline Schäfer - oh she does the backwards mount to split. cool. bhs-loso. She has some really nice lines and extension. comes off on that. front aerial-side somi. a pretty one if I may say so. double turn wobble and step back but stays on. solid Schafer. side aerial. switch split-sheep. nice.  gainer straight dismount. 13.366

Georgina Hockenhull - bhs-loso just a little wobble. switch split. breaks a connection. switch straddle 1/4. front aerial - sissone? - wolf. full turn with a little flourish.  side aerial solid. she has such calm choreo. switch 1/2. side somi. nice height. double tuck dismount. 13.466

Ellie Black - double spin with a little wobble. ASac's the front pike as per usual :) bhs-layout 2 feet just a little wobble but stays on. bhs-tuck full. steps back and wobbles but stays on. switch split-switch 1/2. good connection. front pike. 2.5 hop forward. 14.833

Jessica Lopez - wolf-split solid. switch side 1/2. wolf full. side aerial. front aerial wobble. bhs-bhs-layout. another leap. full turn. 2.5 and flies forward a bit. 13.633

Larisa Iordache - bhs-tuck full. bhs-layout. loss of leg forma  bit. double turn. steps forward to save it. switch split-switch 1/2. solid connection. front aerial-split jump-sissone.  side somi. solid. Larisa smiling at the end of her routine. Triple twist. a little short i'd say... She waves to her people. 15.166.

Just .233 separating Ellie Black in 2nd from Jessica Lopez in 3rd.

Erika Fasana - double layout with just a hop. full in nice. double Y to illusion. switch ring to switch full. switch 1/2. she has some dramatic choreo moments. haha. and uses her face too. solid double pike. just stays in. step forward. 13.733

Mai Murakami - i love this routine for her. Double layout a little short so she hops forward.  solid triple twist. 1.5 punch front full. Christine said quint spin?! #cray. Definitely a lot and well controlled. solid 2.5 routine. Glad to see her doing well again. 13.833

Vanessa Ferrari - double layout. too low in full in to do the back tuck which she warmed up. double tuck. switch ring-switch full. front aerial. Ferrari leap. another leap but I don't understand how far around it was. double pike. steps oob. potentially 2 feet. 13.400

Pauline Schäfer - handspring double front. double tuck. large step back. ring leap-switch ring. triple I think. Front layout full. another leap. Double pike. Step forward. Christine said a bit static and I agree. She has such beautiful lines but a lot of her choreo is very slow especially for such fast paced music. 12.733 for 4th place at the moment.

Georgina Hockenhull - double arabian. 2.5 punch front. switch ring - split full. double tuck.  solid double turn. double pike. 13.266.

Jessica Lopez - whip triple. super solid. switch? full. double L turn. 2.5  with a hop but goes straight into choreo. solid switch ring and switch 1/2? double turn and full? haha I'm a mess clearly.  double pike. takes a step forward. solid. 13.266. seems low maybe? but i don't know Ds.

Ellie Black - 2.5 through to double twist. front full to double tuck. one foot OOB I think.  double twist to stag. Didn't seem to get off the ground enough? We'll see! 13.566

Larisa Iordache - it looked tucked - tuck full in. k. piked full in. triple? quad? split leap switch split full. solid triple. double Y hop back. solid double pike. LOVE <333333333


Gymnastics Rehab: Mary-Anne Monckton

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edit by pikedtkatchev on instagram

Australian gymnast Mary-Anne Monckton returned from the 2014 World Championships with a nagging pain in her ankle. After visiting the doctor and multiple tests, she learned that the injury that had been bothering her for some time was peroneal tendon tear. The Commonwealth Games Silver Medalist on balance beam had to have surgery. She has since decided to make a youtube video diary of what her rehab looks like on a weekly basis.

Here's the intro from the first video:
Following the 2014 World Championships in China I returned home and underwent surgery on my left ankle, which had been bothering me for about a year and became so painful that it hindered my training and competition performances. Turns out that one of the peroneal tendons was ruptured, so the surgeon had to attach it side by side to the tendon next to it.
You can find Monckton's channel here and watch the first video below. She's now off crutches and is already more than 4 weeks post surgery.

Here she is at Doha Challenge Cup earlier this year where she earned a 14.700/16.300, just .15 behind Romania's Larisa Iordache for the silver medal.


Raisman Returns: Better Than Ever

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Two time Olympic Champion Alexandra Raisman recently sat down with USA Gymnastics to talk about training for Rio. Apparently, Raisman always knew that she would return for a 2nd Olympic cycle even before the 2012 Olympics had finished. After a much needed break, she has worked with her coaches Mihai and Sylvie Brestyan for her comeback. The Brestyans are no strangers to comebacks having coached Alicia Sacramone to a successful comeback after a year off where she became a world champion on vault.

In this video, Raisman manages to show some of her old skills along with some new ones. On floor, she is working a double layout. Raisman mentions working the 1.5 through to double arabian but has not worked in the arabian punch front yet just yet. We see her training her triple twist and piked double arabian onto a soft surface. On bars, she showed a Maloney (toe-on Shaposhnikova) as well as some toe-on giants. I'm most impressed with beam and the fact that she has her Patterson dismount back. She also shows that she's adapting to the code adding leaps to some of her beam acrobatic skills.

I'm also impressed with how Aly looks. Although this was just a short video and we haven't seen routines entirely put together in a pressure situation, she seems much more controlled and much more precise in everything she's doing. We know she's heard the criticism about 180 degree splits, pointed toes, etc. and in this video, it seems like we're starting to see some of these changes.

The ultimate question is where will Aly fit on the team. Honestly, who knows? Right now, the United States has a beam deficit that is actually worse than our bars. Aly could fill that spot easily if we assume her difficulty is comparable to her Olympic routines (or will be come 2016). She mentions the all around 3rd place tie break and how that was also a motivator for this comeback. How and if she fits into the all around situation will be interesting to find out but I, for one, am excited.


Gymnastics Injuries Nov/Dec 2014

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It is with great sadness that we learn of the retirement of Ukraine's Mariya Livchikova. Unfortunately, her knee injury prior to Worlds was a confirmed ACL tear and after this 3rd tear, Livchikova decided to call it quits with gymnastics. Now that she is no longer competing, she will focus her energy on her education and her long term goal of becoming a coach. We wish her the best of luck with this process.

With a turn for the positive, a lot of junior/new senior hopefuls have returned to competition. Germany's Kim Janas (senior 2015) returned at the Bundesliga competition and showed an excellent UB. Her D-score was in the 5s without a proper dismount so this is promising. Eythora Thorsdottir of the Netherlands has returned from a back injury and has already competed three times. Her balance beam and floor exercise are just as beautiful as before. Brazilian Rebeca Andrade (senior 2015) joins this amazing trio of athletes back from injuries. She recently won Brazilian Junior Championships and continues to show proficiency on her Amanar. Enus Mariani of Italy has also returned to competition after over a year away from gymnastics due to a back injury. All of these gymnasts are a pleasure to watch and I'm glad they're back to competition ready performances. Now, we can look forward to their performances in the next competition season.

*USA Updates: While this list keeps track of returns to competition, a few of the American girls have returned to camp which means they have some baseline level of routine readiness and fitness to train in front of National Team Coordinator Martha Karolyi. Sabrina Vega, Bailie Key, and Rachel Gowey have all returned to camp.

A MAG injury list has been compiled by Full Twist here.

Name (Country)InjuryReturn to Competition
2014 Injuries
Elisa Cherino GERFractured cervical vertebrae (Mar)FB; site
Miriana Almeida MEX??? (Aug)
Sandra Collantes PER??? (Sep)
Maelys Plessis FRA??? (Sep)
Anne Kuhm FRACollarbone (Jan)
Simone Biles USAShoulder (Feb)Jul 2014
Kirsten Beckett RSAShoulder surgery (Aug)
Peyton Ernst USADislocated shoulder + surgery (Aug)
Ida Gustafsson SWEShoulder (Aug)
Louise Vanhille FRAElbow (Mar)Nov 2014
Rebecca Tunney GBRElbow (May)
Bailie Key USA jrElbow (Jul)Oct 2014 (c)
Alyssa Baumann USAElbow (Aug)Sep 2014
Ayelen Taribini ARGDislocated Elbow (Sep)
Yuna Hiraiwa JPNBroken Finger (Sep)
Kyla Ross USABack (Jan)Mar 2014
Elisa Meneghini ITABack (Oct)
McKayla Maroney USAKnee surgery (Feb)
Jade Barbosa BRAKnee surgery (Aug)
Diana Bulimar ROUKnee surgery (Aug)
Cintia Rodriguez ESPKnee surgery (Nov)
Aleeza Yu CANKnee injury (Oct)
Vanasia Bradley USA jrTorn ACL & meniscus, broken patella (Jun)
Nadine Jarosch - GERTorn ACL surgery (2013)
Torn ACL surgery (Jul)
Janine Berger - GERTorn ACL surgery (Aug)
Mariya Livchikova UKRTorn ACL (Aug)retirement
Maria Paula Vargas ESPTorn ACL & partial meniscal tear (Sep)
Kristyna Palesova CZETorn ACL, meniscal tear, ligament tear (Nov)
Roxana Popa ESPTorn ACL & meniscus (Dec)
Anastasia Grishina RUSTorn meniscus & broken patella (Apr)
Laurie Hernandez USA jrFractured wrist (Jan)
Torn patellar tendon & dislocated kneecap (Jun)

Nov 2014 (c)
Maggie NicholsDislocated kneecap (Aug)
Loan His FRA jrHyperextended knee (Jun)Nov 2014
Carlotta Ferlito ITACalf strain + medical issue (Mar)Sep 2014
Tyesha Mattis GBR jrAnkle (Mar)
Wendy de Jong NED jrAnkle (Jul)
Lauren Mitchell AUSAnkle (Oct)
Giulia Steingruber SUIKnee bone bruise (Mar)
Ankle ligament sprain + 2 stress fractures (Nov)
May 2014

Ksenia Afanasyeva RUSAnkle surgery (Apr)Nov 2014
Viktoria Komova RUSAnkle surgery (Apr)Aug 2014
Gabriella DouglasAnkle surgery (Aug)
Rachel Gowey USAAnkle break (Aug)Nov 2014 (c)
Sophie Scheder GERSprained ankle + 2 torn ligaments (Mar)May 2014
Maria Paseka RUSSprained ankle (Sep)Nov 2014
Maria Bondareva RUS jrSwollen ligaments in ankle (Apr)May 2014
Lexie Priessman USAAchilles tendon strain ('13)
Torn fibular ligament (Aug)
Mary-Anne Monckton AUSTorn peroneal tendon (Oct)
Evgenia Zhukova RUSTorn Achilles (Apr)
Valentine Sabatou FRATorn Achilles (Sep)
Francesca Deagostini ITAFoot injury/fracture (Jun-Aug)
Elisabeth Seitz GERFoot injury (Aug)
Foot surgery (Nov)
Sep 2014

Giorgia Campana ITAFoot injury (Nov)
Rebeca Andrade BRA jrToe injury (Jul)Nov 2014


Name (Country)InjuryReturn to Competition
End of 2013
Katelyn Ohashi - USAShoulder surgery + Back
Sabrina Vega USAShoulder surgeryNov 2014 (c)
Julie Croket - BELElbowAug 2014
Sarah Finnegan - USAElbow surgery
Enus Mariani jr - ITABack injury (May)Nov 2014
Eythora Thorsdottir - NED jrBackOct 2014
Gabby Jupp - GBRTorn ACL at Europeans; surgeryAug 2014
Kim Janas GER jrACL; surgeryOct 2014
Chantysha Netteb NEDACL
Lisa Ecker AUTR PCL and meniscusAug 2014
Luo Peiru - CHNAchilles & fractured kneecapretirement
Céline van Gerner - NEDAnkle surgerySep 2014
Adrian Gomes - BRAretirement
Koko Tsurumi - JPNAchillesNov 2014
Gabriella Douglas - CANShoulder surgeryMay 2014
Giorgia Campana - ITAElbowFeb 2014
Lou Nina - CHNElbowApr 2014
Maria Paseka - RUSBack painApr 2014
Anastasia Grishina - RUSBack pain/pinched nerveApr 2014
Diana Bulimar - ROMKnee injuryMar 2014
Youna Dufournet - FRAKnee surgeryMar 2014
Elisabetta Preziosa - ITAKneeFeb 2014
Adriana Crisci - ITATorn ACL after DTYFeb 2014
Ana Lago - MEXTorn ACL; surgeryMay 2014
Erika Fasana - ITATibiaFeb 2014
Marine Brevet - FRATorn Achilles tendon; surgeryMar 2014
Wyomi Masela - NEDTorn achilles tendon; surgeryJun 2014
Ksenia Afanasyeva - RUSAnkle surgeryApr 2014
Madison Kocian - USAAnkle sprain at P&GsFeb 2014
Jessica Lopez VENAnkleFeb 2014
Cintia Rodriguez ESPAnkle; surgeryFeb 2014
Jade Barbosa - BRALigament ruptureMar 2014

We wish all these athletes a speedy recovery and best of luck with their rehabilitation.


Gymnastics Routine to Sia's Chandelier

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British gymnast Ellie Botterill and her coaches worked hard to have a routine ready for Nationals. The song choice was one of the hits of 2014, Chandelier by Sia, which gained fame for the choreography done by Dance Moms star Maddie Ziegler. The music video has an eerie feel and uses contemporary choreography set in an abandoned home. Botterill does an amazing job taking this choreography and making it her own. So much so, that I've actually watched the routine several times just because I'm amazed at how well the choreography translated on to the floor exercise mat.

After sharing this routine on tumblr, different members of the gymternet have come forward saying that Botterill has recently performed in Matilda on the West End as Amanda (source). Twitter user ItzAFez66 linked to this video of Botterill singing in a cover of "It Can't Be True" from 13 the musical here. The next thing on her agenda is a trip to Qatar to play in The Sound of Music. Talented in singing, acting, and, obviously, dance, Botterill's future looks bright and we wish her the best of luck in all her future endeavors.

Below is the official music video of Chandelier that won Best Choreography at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards.


Central American and Caribbean Games Veracruz 2014: Day 2 EF

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The gymnastics portion of the Central American and Caribbean Games wrapped up on Saturday. Jessica Lopez was the female gymnast of the Games, walking away with an all around, bars, beam gold and floor silver. Her all around score was a strong 55.633 as she heads into the World Cup season.

Mexico had a few finalists on day 2. Both Ana Lago and Elsa Garcia appeared in the balance beam final while Garcia was joined by Karla Retiz for the floor final. Unfortunately, Garcia had a fall on balance beam that kept her out of the medals and had pretty significant execution deductions on floor. Retiz had a decent routine but did not have the difficulty to challenge. Lago proved she is back from her ACL tear after hitting a strong beam set, complete with a standing arabian and double tuck dismount that she hopes to upgrade to a full in.

1stJessica Lopez (VEN)14.250/15.400
2ndAna Lago (MEX)13.850/15.600
3rdYesenia Ferrera (CUB)13.525/15.700

1stYesenia Ferrera (CUB)14.100/16.100
2ndJessica Lopez (VEN)13.600/15.400-0.1
3rdDovelis Torres (CUB)13.425/15.800

Ana Lago BB

You can find more videos of MEX MAG and WAG here.
You can find videos of PUR MAG and WAG here.

Short live blog and leos below:

Ana Lago is in BB finals. The leo game is strong here :)

Sorry, my internet keeps going in and out so I won't be able to continue the live blog. Will update later with recap, leos, and more!

Rudy Sandoval (COL) - switch ring. solid. full turn little bobble. bhs loso bends at hips but ok. onodi! fancy and well done! front aerial little wobble. side aerial small bend at hips. switch side. side choreo. switch leap-split jump? double full. Very pretty routine! 5.6/13.025

Yessenia Ferrera (CUB) - split jump-sissone-front aerial solid. bhs-loso floaty but aggressive at the same time. switch leap-side aerial little wobble and hesistates to save it. sheep jump. slides down to a split. full turn wobble. switch 1/2. she gets height on her leaps. split jump-side somi keeps her thighs held and almost falls over but doesn't. bhs-double pike. damn, that's the most height I've seen on a double pike. She's so over everything. 5.6/13.425

Elsa Garcia (MEX) - switch leap-switch half. punch front leg up wobble. bhs-layout to 2 feet. wobble. side aerial. side somi and hips too far back so she falls. remounts to choreo. front aerial. switch ring.  full turn with a little wobble and goes past by 1/4. duper high double tuck. If she's working a full in too, I'd totally believe it. Long wait for Elsa's score. 5.8/12.5

Isabella Amado - bhs-bhs 2 feet-layout 2 feet. solid.  front aerial-sheep (slight hesitation). sheep. full turn. switch leap-back tuck. small check. switch 1/2 not near split. front tuck. split. sissone-wolf/pike? over time.  double pike! flexibility was only an issue right near the end so I don't know if nerves took over. But good routine!

Ana Lago (MEX)

My internet is dying on me...

Audrys NIN (DOM) - He reminds me 1000% of Stacey Ervin. And he just prayed to the Good Lord...  STUCK DRAGULESCU!!! woot woot! Just to the side of center. 15.425.  Kaz I dunno 2.5? He was facing away.

Jossimar Calvo (COL) - No! Lands a little lock legged on Kaz 2.5 (VT ID: 230) so he jolts back and falls. DTY super solid. He's upset.

Alexis Torres (PUR) - Damn. So solid. Kaz something (230 again). Slightly off center but otherwise amazing. Rudi? Didn't look like the greatest block but he survived it. Jolted his back.

Javier Cervantes (MEX) - oh no!! fall. FHS 2/1. Does a little hop but has too much momentum back and falls.

Rudy Sandoval (COL)

Yesenia Ferrera (CUB)

Elsa Garcia (MEX)

Elsa Garcia (MEX)


Central American and Caribbean Games Veracruz 2014: Day 1 EF

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Live blog of the Central American Games Day 1 of EF featuring uneven bars and vault.

Elsa Garcia (MEX)
VT1: 1.5TY. Straight down the middle. She like floats in the air. It's kinda insane. Loss of form in the last half turn, very evident in slow motion. 5.3/14.4
VT2: Yurchenko 1/2 on, front pike off. Lands a little lock legged and jolts forward but she seems ok.
14.062 average

Paula Mejias (PUR)
VT1: whoa! Was that a Tsuk 2/1? She twists the last one around super quickly. Maybe landed with one over the line but hops in. Low chest. It's an impressive vault for sure. 14.625 - didn't see breakdown
VT2: FHS tuck 1.5. Think she landed midline but then hopped OOB and off the mat. Not bad in the air though.

Yamilet Pena (DOM)
VT1: DTY - she twisted a little early so she didn't get a good block. Lands with chest low. She definitely has better DTYs than that one. 14.150
VT2: Rudi - she slapped her legs so I thought she would do the Prod but instead she debuted a Rudi. Didn't get great height. Landed lock legged. Chest low. Saluted quickly and limped off the podium. Looked like they were massaging her quad as opposed to knee issue so we'll see

Nicolle Vasquez (PUR)
VT1: DTY - looked good. Not too much to say. Dead center. She could maybe get more height?
VT2: FHS 1/2 - Looked good! She's thrilled as is her coach!

Dovelis Torres (CUB)
VT1: DTY - bent arms on block, flexed feet but pretty good body position, 1 foot OOB after landing I think. 14.575
VT2: FHS tuck 1/1 - I'm not used to seeing them so tucked FHS always shock me. Looked good though. Good landing.

Yesenia Ferrera (CUB)
VT1: Rudi - yikes. I want ASac back. Bent arms on block has to whip the twists around. Deep landing and takes a step back.
VT2: Tsuk 2/1 - small step back. But otherwise was fine. Coaches are happy. Teammate is in 1st right now but I'm guessing this should take it.

Diana Ardila (COL)
VT1: 1.5TY think landing surprised her. She runs forward. She wiped the horse off so think she didn't get the block she needed. She's in the YJN UB leo. In slow mo, you see her hands slip towards each other so super narrow block.
VT2: Tsuk 1/1 no major issues that I saw.

Catalina Escobar (COL)
VT1: DTY not too bad in the air. Lands a little off center so small hop to save it. 14.725.
VT2: Yurchenko 1/2 on front pike off - little hop to side and quickly salutes.

Overally, pretty decent vault final! Lots of DTYs but nice 2nd vaults - some Tsukaharas, some Rudis, a few FHS tucks.  Not too shabby! Also, the girls were ALL amazingly smack dab in the center. Think only 2 vaults weren't dead center.

1stYesenia Ferrera (CUB)14.950/16.20014.825/16.00014.887
2ndDovelis Torres (CUB)14.575/15.800 (-0.1)14.275/15.30014.425
3rdNicolle Vasquez (CUB)14.725/15.80013.875/15.00014.300

Uneven Bars
Elsa Garcia (MEX) - low bar, stalder 1/1, toe on 1/2 shoot to high; 1.5 to jaeger, think she hit her feet but caught; tkatchev, toe 1/1, to bail falls over but saves it. shoot to high. double front dismount! Definitely not her best routine but she made it through. 5.8/13.200

Bibiana Velez (COL) - giant full to Gienger, hop change to Jaeger; bail, straddle shoot to high has to muscle up, double arabian dismount. Fist pump afterwards. She's happy. 5.6/13.350

Ana Sofia Gomez (GUA) - low bar, Maloney immediate uprise to Church bail, shoot to high, toe 1/1 to Gienger, toe 1/2 to Jaeger lacking a little height. Full in dismount. Decent routine just missing a little swing. 5.7/13.500

Ivet Rojas (VEN) - high bar 1.5 pirouette to piked Jaeger; giant 1/1 to bail, toe giant, toe shoot to high (Weird technique), giant half to double front. The fans in the crowd are happy. She's limping a bit. [By weird technique - she does the step down toe-on technique but also kinda whips herself down.] 5.2/13.2 Best e-score so far which I think is actually accurate

Melba Avendano (COL) - shaposh, jaeger, hindorff; bail little foot form issues, shoot; giant 1/1, winds up, half in half out dismount. Decent routine. I feel like it just needs some connections to be competitive and cleaning up some foot form issues.

Alexa Moreno (MEX) - clear hip, shaposh 1/2; think she fell over on a handstand and is improvising. Goes to low bar and back up. Alexa does Deltchev then kinda catches the bar so she ends up in a German giant position?! Hops off. Double layout dismount. 4.6/11.025

Dovelis Torres (CUB) - shaposh; clear hip 1/2 doesn't make it over so hops off. bail, toe shoot to high; super flighty Tkatchev (a little crooked); giant 1/1; double pike (she grabbed her thighs) 5.0/11.475

Jessica Lopez (VEN) - piked tkatchev to pak; misses low bar handstand; shaposh immediate uprise 1/1 to straddled tkatchev to in bar gienger; giant 1/2 to jaeger; giant 1/2 double front with a few steps back. 6.1/14.100

Below are also some leotard pictures

Yamilet Pena (DOM)

Elsa Garcia (MEX)

UB Event Finalists

Melba Avendano (COL)


Results: Elite Gym Massilia 2014

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Open Massilia Team Medalists
PC: Elite Gym Massilia Facebook

Elite Gym Massilia is one of the post-Worlds competitions that usually attracts a good crowd of gymnasts from around the world. This year's competition featured Olympians Youna Dufournet and Maria Paseka along with multiple World Championship attendees and European medalists.

The Open Massilia competition was won by the 2nd Belgian team with a score of 159.033 closely followed by Canada's 158.767. In 3rd was the German team closely followed by the Swiss team who finished 4th. The all around competition in the Open meet, was won by Giada Grisetti of Switzerland. Rose-Kaying Woo of Canada was 2nd followed by Germany's Florine Harder. With an honorable mention, Eythora Thorsdottir has successfully returned from a back injury to compete all around in this meet which landed her in 4th place. European medalist Noel van Klaveren also competed in this division in the all around. This is her first major competition after taking some time off of gymnastics for family matters. She returned with 2 vaults and a strong floor with one of her best double layout mounts.

The most surprising matter of the competition was Belgium's team beating Canada. Canada sent their best juniors, all Rio hopefuls so it will be interesting to see where Belgium places for the 2015 World Championships which will determine which teams even have the opportunity to qualify a full team to Rio.

Open Massilia Team
1.Belgium 2159.033

Open Massilia All Around
1.Giada Grisetti (SUI)53.767
2.Rose-Kaying Woo (CAN)53.200
3.Florine Harder (GER)53.167

The Master Massilia competition took place on Saturday. The top 3 teams were Italy with a 162.067, Russia with a 161.900 and Belgium again with a 160.867. Italy and Russia both had mixed level teams. Italy's team consisted of Olympians Giorgia Campana and Carlotta Ferlito, World team member Lara Mori, and Sofia Bonistalli (who has one of Italy's few DTYs). Russia's team consisted of Maria Paseka, Daria Spiridonova who has won several competitions individually in the post-Worlds season, Polina Federova, Russia's alternate at this year's World Championship, and Liliya Akhaimova. Spiridonova won the all around followed by Giorgia Campana and Belgium's Nina Derwael. She is a junior that turns senior in 2016. She was the highest ranked junior of the competition and even came ahead of solid all arounder Carlotta Ferlito, who was 4th.

Master Massilia Team

Master Massilia All Around
1.Daria Spiridonova (RUS)54.167
2.Giorgia Campana (ITA)53.833
3.Nina Derwael (BEL '16)53.700

Derwael on UB 5.6/13.933

The final competition of the weekend was the Top Massilia which features the event finalists. The top 6 athletes were invited with the committee able of adding 2 additional athletes. (Junior vault rules were in effect)

1.Maria Paseka (RUS)14.550
2.Shallon Olsen (CAN '16)14.517
3.Noel van Klaveren (NED)14.483

Uneven Bars
1.Daria Spiridonova (RUS)14.633
2.Rose Kaying Woo (CAN '16)14.000
3.Giorgia Campana (ITA)13.467

Balance Beam
1.Claire Martin (FRA)13.933
2.Ayu Koike (JPN)13.433
3.Carlotta Ferlito (ITA) 13.133

Floor Exercise
1.Axelle Kinckaert (BEL '16)13.967
2.Olivia Cimpian (ROU)13.800
3.Lara Mori (ITA)13.700

Lara Mori FX Quals 5.3/-0.1/13.533

More videos can be found on piibunina's, MademeoiselleS13 Ginnastica Artistica Italiana's (ITA) YT accounts.
Additional results can be found on the official facebook page or here


This Week in Training: Know No Limits

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Amelia Hundley
PC: USA Gymnastics

This week in training has a few more updates. The two biggest surprises for me are Amelia Hundley and Asuka Teramoto and their potential floor upgrades. It makes you wonder what skills all athletes train but may never show in competition.

Amelia Hundley is training a double double.

Molly Frack is training a Weiler kip. It's not usually a pretty skill but this one is. In my opinion, Ebee had one of the best Weiler's in WAG so it's no surprise a fellow Parkette is doing one so beautifully.
A video posted by Molly Frack (@molly_frack123) on

Ellie Black and the men at her gym are working upgrades. Most impressively (or excitingly?), Black is working a Podkopayeva (double front half out). I'm most excited for her uneven bars because I think her old low bar connection is what keeps her out of the top 8 conversation. Now, she's working Shaposhnikovas which are basically law in this current code. The nice thing is that it adds D and also gets rid of her not having any low bar giant pirouettes.
2.5 through to double pike (1:08)
front handspring to Podkopayeva (2:05)
UB (8:10+)

Asuka Teramoto working a double layout on a soft landing

Erika Fasana is upgrading her UB combo. The connection of toe-on giant 1/1 to Maloney is new. (IG: erika_fasana)

Mai Murakami is also working a new connection of piked Jaeger to bail to handstand. (IG: gym_mai)

Taylor Lawson, the junior Parkettes gymnast who withdrew from US Nationals after a nasty landing and presumed concussion is back in the gym. Here she is working a double layout. (IG: tayalexis_1)

Wendy de Jong (NED) is training a van Leeuwen (toe on shaposhnikova with half turn). (IG: xwendyyy)

Sergio Sasaki (BRA) is training a piked Dragulescu (front handspring piked double front 1/2 out). These vaults always amaze me because of the sheer height you need to accomplish the double front then add on a 1/2 turn. They're insane to watch.
A video posted by Sérgio Sasaki (@sergiosasaki) on

Kenzo Shirai working whip to triple double (IG: kenzo_shirai)

Dominic Cunningham (GBR) has 2 new passes on floor including the coveted front double twist punch double front. IG: domcunn

This week in Bloopers we have John Orozco. It's not really a blooper, it's more just a funny taining moment. Orozco is working his air flare and USOTC teammate and roommate Donnell Whittenburg gets spooked.

Which upgrade surprises you the most?