My World Championships 2017

9:33 PM Arabian Punch Front 3 Comments

Photo by Alexandra Leask for

Being able to attend the 2017 World Gymnastics Championships in Montreal will be an experience that I will never forget. This post will be a bit of fan perspective with gym thoughts throughout.

I've been to Montreal twice before, all centered around gymnastics. Once was to go to the 2015 Canadian National Championships and the second was to prepare a documentary on Rose and Victoria Woo. Again, gymnastics brought me to Montreal. Thankfully, I'm driving distance from Montreal. I wasn't able to get the whole week off but I could get a weekend off which gave me the opportunity to attend the event finals. We drove up on Friday night which meant my boyfriend was reading live blogs and twitter feeds to me. [He started slowing down near the end, speaking really slowly, and I've never been so antsy in my life!]

We were lucky enough to stay in the Olympic Village. This now apartment/condo complex was used as the village for the 1976 Olympics, the very Olympics where gymnastics Queen Nadia Comaneci scored her first perfect 10. We had a great view of the Olympic stadium and the way it lights up at night. We were about 2 train stops away or a 20 minute walk.

The first day, we walked there and I was so freakin' excited!! Think my boyfriend thought I was insane but, oh well, now he knows. We got inside and took a picture in front of one of the #MTL2017GYM signs. I wanted to do a handstand but he said he wouldn't support me. Lame... Not sure if we'll make it to this sickness and in health thing...

We got there in time to see some of warmups. Nothing too interesting happened.

Since we were driving the night before and I was working through parts of qualifications, I went into event finals blind, not fully knowing who was in and who was out. For example, I still thought Georgia-Mae Fenton had made it into uneven bars final.

The men started us off on floor. The craziest thing is just how far above the rest Kenzo Shirai is. His twisting form is impeccable and it's like he has this uncanny sense of how exactly to punch the floor to get maximum benefit from it. Yul Muldouer was also super impressive. Crazy that he beat out one of the floor specialists to make the finals and beat out the second one for a medal. He has crazy clean gymnastics and my guess is that he's even more motivated after his first World Championships. With a veteran team, he was the only one to walk away with a medal. Sorry, TWO medals. Manrique is just as beautiful to watch as I had hoped. Sad that he walked away without a medal, same for Leru, but we'll get there.

I was so excited to watch a high level vault finals. Vault and uneven bars are my favorite women's events and the finals didn't disappoint. Giulia Steingruber, my one true love, was first up and I was just as in awe of her as I was before.The height she gets on her Rudi is out of this world. I was nervous before the double twisting Yurchenko because it's not her strongest but she hit it well. And then we waited.

I got on twitter and saw the Shallon Olsen was going to attempt a triple twisting Yurchenko and was so confused on why anyone thought this was a good idea. From what I gathered, she had been training it for sometime and decided to submit it. However, during warmup, she didn't hit any of them so she opted for the Amanar. From what I saw, before she went, she was terrified. She fell forward but, thankfully, wasn't injured. I'm amazed her Cheng went relatively well for how scary the Amanar was and how upset she was afterwards. But Shallon picked herself back up.

Then oh Paseka... The disappointment is real. She seemed relatively comfortable with her Cheng and lo and behold, it's one of the worse Cheng's she's done in awhile. Her Amanar, on the other hand, was one of the best she's done. Paseka, I don't know what to do with you anymore.

I know we talk so much about the #goworld going around this worlds but I truly loved how the athletes AND coaches had such respect for each other. Many of them have been in multiple event finals together but it was really great to see how supportive they were or how they went to every gymnast even if it wasn't their teammate or their own athlete.

When Jade went up, I was truly hoping that she would have enough to knock Paseka from the gold medal position but with the big step on the Amanar, I wasn't sure it would be enough. She gets great height and has good form but I agree with most: imagine what she could do with more time with those vaults. Maroney was competing her Amanar for quite some time before having to hit in a big international competition. Jade literally became an elite for this meet. Her accomplishments are amazing.

Pommels was pommels. Confession. Pommels and still rings are my least favorite so I went to the bathroom, came back, decided to see if the boo was feeling it and he wasn't, so we went to grab food. Thankfully in the area, they had broadcasts throughout the concessions so you were still able to watch even if you weren't at your seat.

Bars finals. So like I mentioned, I went into things a little cold. I think I subconsciously knew Diana Varinska made it more because of the "Ukrainian gymnastics isn't dead!" posts but I was still surprised. I'm glad that she hit. I was so glad to see my girl, Nina D. It was hard watching her wait to see if/what color medal she would get but I'm still so happy for her. Seeing Eremina's routine was great. A NABIEVA IN REAL LIFE!!!! OH MY GOODNESS!!! Then the shocker moment. I really can't believe Fan Yilin won. There was that one pirouette that was super late and muscled. I thought it wouldn't be enough but in true 4-way world champ, she shocked me! I'm sad and don't understand what happened to Ashton. She had one job which was to hit. She's still a beautiful bar worker so we'll see if this affects her for future teams.

I'm writing the rest of this way later so it will just be bullet points. I apologize. I'll take notes next time! But still rings was impressive to have such a star studded final. There was also a very knowledgeable group. everyone was ecstatic for Samir Ait Said when he landed. And I blame Zanetti, I think, for the crosses with the hand out (or is it Petrounias?). But then Liu went further with his little neck game. Way to try and make still rings more interesting.

Boo thang and I walked around for a bit. I wanted to look for the mini olympic Museum (that's not what it's called). But I know last time I was there, there was info on the stadium and it's design and previous Olympics. As we went to fnd it, turned out we were in the area where the athletes got on the bus to their various hotels. So I got a picture with Tutya, told her I loved her and her Olympic beam and how amazing it was. I got a picture with Nagornyy and then a group of like 20 8 year old girls bombarded him after haha. Whoops. Sorry! Before we left the area, Khorkina was there and we got a picture with her too! Cray!

Oh yeah, then we were walking around town and bumped into eventual floor world champ on our way to exchange some money. More cray!!

Man vaults are cool. Crazy to see Dragulescu vaulting the Dragulescu in person. There were some real judging issues - your knees almost touch, maybe could be counted as a fall, and your E is like 8+. Alrighty then.

I don't have much to say about beam other than I'm very happy for Alt and Schafer, her little voodoo skill is cool. Obviously, I'm happy for Morgan too but I think these days, as long as the American hits, they'll medal. Beam scoring was still weird with only Schafer getting the only 8.0 E but still.

PBars. Heart broken for manrique. Again. Oleg is beautiful to watch.

Mai was up first for floor and I didn't know she was seeded first. She hit her routine beautifully with excellent difficulty and clean skills. Brookyln Moors was just as amazing to watch as you would expect. Jade Carey reminds me SO much of Brenna Dowell. Excellent tumbling but with some work to do on the dance. The biggest surprise was how excellent Claudia Fragapane was. Honestly. Her presentation was great. When Tyra walks about H2T, head to toe, modeling, Fragapane embodies H2T dancing. It truly was a joy to watch.

Also, sad times to ending with Ferrari's injury. That was heartbreaking.

High bar. What a freakin hilarious mess. Bart goes up. So so routine. Epke has his huge ass error. We were shocked the first time. Shocked with every slow mo. Then the way the scores went up, shocked to see him pass the medals and for so long. SO SO sad for Leru!! The only thing that made it tolerable was the fact that adding the point back didn't get him a medal. More mistakes. The one hit routine! Goodness gracious it's enough for gold. That final was a wild ride. The skills are enough to make it crazy. High bar is truly a great way to finish meets. The releases are heart stopping. You're constantly on your toes wondering if people will catch releases, how many can be connected, crazy German giants, crazy dismounts. It's just non stop excitement!

I have to mention the scoring. I should've mentioned this earlier. On the board, they would show Bart Duerloo, let's say. He was on first and they'd put his score on a sort of bar graph. then on the right was Epke Zonderland. And as his score went in the bar would raise. So there were quite a few things where you stood with bated breath (Jade vs Paseka for example) waiting to see if the bar would surpass the other person. It added to the crowd's anticipation, excitement, and involvement. We screamed a lot haha.

It was my first World Championships and was such an amazing experience. Hope I get to go to another major international meet again!