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?


This Week in Training: Playtime

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Arthur Nory (BRA) and Simone Biles (USA)
Photo Credit: Simone Biles

Jake Dalton said it perfectly: "Having some fun in the gym. Don't have to do routines right now so trying to have some fun with new skills. Even if I don't use the skills it's always fun to play around. #slowmo #playtime." It's a relative downtime for elite gymnastics so gymnasts have the time to work on new skills. As time goes on, they'll see what actually fits in routines and then try and piece them together. It took me some time to realize that but I'm glad with all this social media, we get to see what these amazing athletes are capable of even if it doesn't see competition in the end.

NEW SKILL ALERT! Last week, I missed this upgrade of Hannah Whelan. Whelan is an athlete who deserves praise for her longevity in the sport - from the baby in Beijing to the veteran in Nanning, she continues to eye the next Olympics. Her work on BB has always been helpful to team GB and she works a new sheep 1/2 on BB.

Roxana Popa is training a double twisting double layout dismount on uneven bars. Roxi has quite a few meets coming up and I doubt we'll see the upgrades soon but Worlds 2015 should be very very interesting. Euros too, most probably.

Claudia Fragapane, known for her powerful tumbling, continues to improve her all around status by working on bars. Here she is catching a Maloney (toe on Shaposh).

Mykayla Skinner is working the Li Xiaopeng vault done in MAG - a Yurchenko half on, 2.5 twists off! Basically, a Cheng with another full turn. She showed video of it a while ago along with her triple twisting double back. I'm actually amazed at how good the vault looks in terms of completed rotations and relatively straight body position. The "uneven weight" in the block doesn't seem changed so guess we'll wait and see what happens.

Youna Dufournet, known for her excellent uneven bar work, is working a new connection - a Ricna-Gienger. The connections continue with a toe-on giant 1/2 to straddled Jaeger. I'm not going to lie - I'm a bit concerned that the Gienger will be in bar and incur lack of height deductions. I also worry that this means the Def is gone. On the other hand, if she can connect a Def that would be insane.

Martina Rizzelli is working a switch ring on BB. It's on the low beam right now and needs a higher back leg but it looks like she has decent head release. We'll see what it looks like with more time and practice. (IG: martina_rizzelli)

Brazil's Youth Olympic Games competitor, Flavia Saraiva, is working hard. Here she is showing a quad twist. It's curretnly on the tumble track but you can tell how insanely quick she's twisting. Maybe this is a real life possibility. Maybe.

Danell Leyva is trying to up his all around game and challenge some of the best on floor with this triple twisting double tuck.

Arthur Nory is shown here upgrading his vaults. I can't quite see the first entry that well but looks like a front handspring double full (per Nastia Fan) and the 2nd is the coveted Li Xiaopeng - worth a 6.2. (Just a reminder that the MAG technical committee dropped the difficulty of all vaults by 1 point.)

Jake Dalton is working a DTDLO dismount on rings and a Kaz 2.5 vault (Yang II). Jake also has another video on IG of him training "that" pass - front double twist to front double tuck. #cray

Oleg Stepko, Azerbijan transplant from Ukraine, is seen here working a pirouetting skill on parallel bars to an immediate double front parallel bar dismount. The double front is becoming more common but it's always more impressive to have a connection into the dismount. There's also a video of him doing some pretty epic dance moves before he works some p-bar drills.

Sam Oldham shows some pretty impressive upgrades on rings - a double back connected to a tucked double double dismount

Frank Baines is working double doubles and triple doubles now on a mat over the pit. (IG: frankbaines)

This Week in Bloopers
The continuous upgrades of our World Champion Simone Biles cannot be ignored. Here she is bringing back the piked Tkatchev... or trying to anyway.

Confession time: I just checked Simone's I try to stay away from these as to a) not bother the gymnasts b) see how awkward people are when they ask the gymnasts about insanely personal things BUT I was curious if the new skill Simone tweeted about was actually a new skill and it's not, it's a new skill for her not the code. The interesting thing I learned was that Biles has a hard time with a standing full on the high beam. I'm shocked because I honestly thought that was the new skill. Who knew?!

Also, the Moors is real as I predicted! Finally! Now I just need the double double beam dismount. A girl can dream.

Which upgrades are most exciting to you?


This Week in Training: Can't Stop, Won't Stop

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Erika Fasana and Aliya Mustafina on Fasana's instagram

This week has probably been the most exciting in terms of upgrades. We have eleven athletes featured today and, while 3 are juniors, the remaining 8 are all seniors that were chosen as part of their countries World Championships delegation. Despite the fact that Worlds was less than a month ago, these athletes are back in the gym working hard towards the next World Championships in Glasgow.

The upgrade I'm probably most excited about is Erika Fasana's full twisting double layout (FTDLO). She does it as a beautiful full in and I think she keeps the stretched body position really well without piking in the second half (which I hate) and without overarching for those that hate that. Bravissima, Eri!

Ragan Smith (senior in 2016, USA) was recently added to the National Team. Here she is training a nice Patterson dismount. If you check the comments, Carly Patterson praised Smith's dismount.
A video posted by kimzb (@kimzb) on

Nia Dennis (senior in 2015, USA) showed her Amanar at the recent camp. She is also working hard on upgrades showing a FTDLO.

Lisa Top (NED) included this with the caption "Playtime" so I have no idea if we'll ever actually see it. Nevertheless, here she is showing around off to 1.5 twist punch double front. It's insane. IG: lisa_top.

Roxana Popa (ESP) has a few meets lined up for the winter season but that hasn't stopped her from working new skills in the gym. She's working a new low bar sequence on uneven bars. Most exciting, for me anyway, is her new double double. Roxi already has a very exciting FX with whips through to full in. This will only make her FX tumbling that much more exciting.

Jordyn Pedersen was the Canadian alternate at World Championships. She has verbally committed to the University of Georgia but plans to defer to after Rio 2016. Here she is showing a Maloney (toe-on shaposhnikova) to pak to Maloney. We talk a lot now about the need for a Shaposhnikova variation in routines and Pedersen has them.

Ana Lago competed in the 2014 World Championships for Mexico, her first meet after an ACL tear, where she competed vault, uneven bars, and balance beam. Here she is training a full in dismount on BB. If I'm not mistaken, Biles is the only gymnast competing it at the moment and it's the hardest dismount being competed.

Laurie Hernandez (senior in 2016, USA) had missed out on the last competition due to a wrist injury then knee injury. Her coach tells us not to worry as Laurie has recently been cleared! Here are some of the skills she's been working on. At the end, she shows a Downie (stalder piked Tkatchev) and Ricna (stalder straddled Tkatchev).

In most surprising upgrades, that goes to Tatiana Nabieva who shows a super high round off layout full on the low beam.

Not to be outdone, teammate Aliya Mustafina again shows a double layout. She first showed one probably 6 or so months ago. Just keep in mind Aliya has managed a 6.2 difficulty on floor with just 3 passes. Oh, the possibilities! IG: musaliya135.

This week in bloopers, we have Celine van Gerner who works whips to a tucked full in. She has some trouble on the first one but gets it right for the second one! Van Gerner continues to surprise me as she was selected as the sole 2012 Olympian for the Netherlands and continues to show upgrades even after injury and time off.