Friday, July 29, 2011
Well, it has been nearly a week since out first foray into the gymnastics season. And it has taken me damned near a week to recover from such excitement. Well, a combination of excitement and tired nerves. I am not built to travel.
Anyway, thanks to Universal Sports, which just magically appeared on my TV about two days ago, I have been able to rewatch the Covergirl Classic. (Stupid name.)
Alright, let me start by saying that TV is so unflattering. This channel makes everyone look like cows. In real life, even Shawn and Alicia are so fricking itty bitty. I mean, we all know that, especially if you've seen them compete live before. But from about three rows up, Shawn looked as fit as a fiddle.
As always, the junior meet was more exciting than the senior meet. Because there were four billion girls competing, the meet seemed to go on forever, but I didn't mind. Al Fong was especially creepy, sporting a gigantic bright yellow t-shirt to the big event. Mary Lee Tracy did exactly zero things for her juniors while her assistant (her daughter?) did everything.
Kyla was Kyla. People bitch and moan because she is "boring" and doesn't stand out enough, but you know what? She is clean and she has lovely presentation. For these two reasons, I support her. When I think "flashy" I think of Nabieva, so maybe I don't like flashy so much.
Ohashi appeared to be on suicide watch. The poor thing looked miserable. Her faceplant on FX was eerily Karpenko-ish. And I'm sure it didn't help things when the entire audience got up and moved closer to beam before Ohashi went up. Oh, and she was last. The entire arena huddled around beam and stared at it. It was uncomfortable.
I kind of love Simone Biles. Her DLO on FX is what dreams are made of. She just had that indescribable sass and fire that this old timer just loves.
Few of the senior girls possess that same sass that I so crave. Perhaps Gabby Douglass, who might be my number one favorite at the moment. Like, just to see her is to love her. She really does have everything you would want in a gymnast. That, on top of her being a military kid. I want for her all the good things.
Her training partner, Shawn Johnson, perhaps you've heard of her, was not that bad. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw her. Maybe it's the wide-screen on my TV, but she looks huge compared to what she looks like in real life. The girl looked super nervous. And who could blame her? Gym mothers were huddled behind her on UB, screaming and pushing their kids down toward the railing. The cameras were up her ass the entire time. After she put her hands down on UB, she walked away, red in the face, and immediately started walking through her beam routine. Which happened to give the gym moms a group coronary. Kids were just about flipping over the railings while their mothers took pictures with Shawn looking seriously disturbed in the background.
Shawn kept repeating this one part of her routine, it was just some choreo, but it looked so pretty when she was doing it on floor. No wrist flicks or anything. But it didn't come across the same way on beam.
Another thing I noticed is that they didn't announce Shawn before she went up on UB. Probably to save the poor girl on FX from an Atlanta-stlye deafening scream.
People can hate on Jordyn Wieber all they want. I love that bitch. Again, why are we complaining about clean, difficult gymnastics? There is this attitude these days that if you're not Aurelia Dobre, then you're a terrible gymnast. I disagree. There is a place for clean, solid gymnastics, and that place is in team finals at the Olympics.
Aly's bar... experience... was even more hilarious in real life. She must have stayed up there for at least four minutes. And I'm pretty sure she made eye contact with the audience while she was up there. Her vault was something else. I never saw her land it in warmups, so I imagine everyone was pretty nervous when she competed it. I know I was. I was sitting directly in front of vault, only a few rows back, so I was privy to all of this. She landed the vault, took a billion steps back, and then smiled. It was this odd look of amusement and relief. I probably had the same look on my face.
This vault was far less horrifying than Keely McNeer's Pak. No joke, she caught the Pak with her jugular. Her neck. Not her face, not her collarbone. She caught it with her windpipe. And her coach was all "Meh. Real athletes keep going," and just let her go on with her routine, which she botched probably because she couldn't breathe. I get, like, pulling a Kerri Strug and competing with a sore ankle or whatever. But your neck is something else. If you smash the tube in which you use to breathe, maybe you don't need to go on with the meaningless Covergirl Classic. Just something to think about.
Alicia was Alicia. Oh, but there was a super cute moment before Aly's FX. Alicia gave Aly a hug and a kiss, and then Aly pointed out a corner to Alicia. It was the corner where Aly would land her Arabian-punch front. Alicia hauled ass around the floor, which meant about ten out-of-shape camera guys were also running, trying to keep up with her. She stayed in that corner until Aly landed her pass, after which she clapped, and walked away.
We happened to be sitting behind the Jetters. Let me tell you, Amanda's dad is the cutest/funniest thing. He got up, and stood right next to the railing during her beam. He was more animated than an on-camera Bela Karolyi. He was jumping, grabbing, hugging himself, and cheering. It was really cute to see.
Sabrina Vega was more impressive in person than I thought she would be. I hadn't really formed an opinion of her before. I had only seen random youtube videos of random meets. But she has that little something extra when you see her live. Really a beautiful girl.
I know I'm in the minority, but I'm not as in love with Alicia's FX as everyone else. I love the first 2/3s of the music. Very epic. But then it goes in to the Step Up crap. What's that about?? While I'm happy that there was little-to-no thigh rubbing, it still seemed to be a lot of angle hips and booty thrusts. I do love when she does the double arabian, and the music goes silent, and all you can hear is her blast the landing.
What else, what else... ok. Aly's FX. Again, maybe it's Opposite Day, but I didn't HATE it. It's not a masterpiece or anything, but it was appropriately insane. Watching it live, it didn't seem nearly as awkward. The down-to-the-floor bit was cute.
That's all I have, for now. If anything else jumps into my head, you'll find it here. Now it's time to get geared up for Visas, which is all but one block from my apartment.