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Thread: U.S. gymnastics championships

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    U.S. gymnastics championships

    Did anyone watch last night? Simone Biles barely hung on for the overall gold after missing the bar with her feet in the final routine. But Kyla Ross had one big balance save on an otherwise perfect beam routine, and couldn't quite catch Simone.

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    Custom Title Johar's Avatar
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    Oh, crap, I forgot!

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    Since my cable provider stopped showing the TV Guide Channel, I miss everything. Rats! It sounds pretty exciting. But after an Olympics, I'm once again completely ignorant about any of the competitors. Female gymnasts don't seem to hang around very long, and I don't follow the sport closely enough to keep track. That's why every time someone says that a successful ladies' figure skater needs to be sprite-sized, my blood runs cold. I can't bear the thought of skaters with a shelf life of three years in Seniors. Thank goodness that hasn't happened (knock wood) yet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    Since my cable provider stopped showing the TV Guide Channel, I miss everything. Rats! It sounds pretty exciting. But after an Olympics, I'm once again completely ignorant about any of the competitors. Female gymnasts don't seem to hang around very long, and I don't follow the sport closely enough to keep track. That's why every time someone says that a successful ladies' figure skater needs to be sprite-sized, my blood runs cold. I can't bear the thought of skaters with a shelf life of three years in Seniors. Thank goodness that hasn't happened (knock wood) yet.
    Well, it did. Tara Lipinski being exhibit A. But age limits seem to have ended that.

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Well, they announced that the whole Fab Five planned to come back for 2016. We'll see how they feel about it two years from now.

    One thing I noticed at this U.S. championship is that you can tell at a glance the difference between the girls with serious World and Olympic aspirations and the those who are just in it for fun at the national level. The latter look like normal teenaged girls. If they are old enough they have a normal girl's body, breasts, female shape, etc. The prospective Olympians have that testosterone driven barrel chest, no breasts, narrow hips, and strong core that overtraining imposes. (There are some exceptions, like Nastia Liukin, who commentated last bight.) I would think twice before encouraging my daughter to take up this sport obsessively.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    Well, they announced that the whole Fab Five planned to come back for 2016. We'll see how they feel about it two years from now.

    One thing I noticed at this U.S. championship is that you can tell at a glance the difference between the girls with serious World and Olympic aspirations and the those who are just in it for fun at the national level. The latter look like normal teenaged girls. If they are old enough they have a normal girl's body, breasts, female shape, etc. The prospective Olympians have that testosterone driven barrel chest, no breasts, narrow hips, and strong core that overtraining imposes. (There are some exceptions, like Nastia Liukin, who commentated last bight.) I would think twice before encouraging my daughter to take up this sport obsessively.
    This is what I mean. Thank goodness right now skating is made up of a reasonably diverse group of ladies, though none of them is exactly hefty. But my hat's off to the gymnasts, who are probably among the bravest athletes of all. Even the male gymnasts don't have to do some of the life-threatening moves that the ladies must execute. The guys' apparatus mostly requires them to hold on while they're moving around. The girls have to do double flips backward in midair, with nothing to hold on to. If I had a daughter who went into gymnastics, I wouldn't sleep for the next fifteen years.

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    Missing Tdizzle and SDiggity golden411's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    The guys' apparatus mostly requires them to hold on while they're moving around. The girls have to do double flips backward in midair, with nothing to hold on to.
    Don't think you're being quite fair to the guys.
    Females have uneven bars; males have high bar (equally perilous, to my eyes) and parallel bars.
    Both genders have vault and floor.
    The one difference in terms of riskiness, IMHO, is that the skills for beam seem more daring than for rings and pommel horse.

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    Yes, but the guys hold on to the high bar and the parallel bars though most of the tricks, and even onto the rings except for their dismount. They also hold onto the handles on the pommel horse. I'm not saying their routines are not challenging--clearly they are! But they rarely have to let go on these pieces. As a rule, they're older and bigger (by far) during their peak years, too. It's not that the guys are wusses but that the girls now take their lives into their hands when they're in little more than middle school, and it makes me anxious.

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    Missing Tdizzle and SDiggity golden411's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    Yes, but the guys hold on to the high bar and the parallel bars though most of the tricks ...
    Disagree re high bar. I'm no gymnastics expert, but to my uneducated eyes, the release moves on high bar seem as numerous and as dangerous as on uneven bars.
    So I stand by my point that beam is the sole apparatus (but a biggie, of course) for females without a counterpart -- in terms of riskiness -- for males.
    If I had a son and a daughter who both were gymnasts, I believe that I would be as concerned for his safety as for hers. YMMV.

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    I think the most dangerous is the vault. You can kill yourself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by golden411 View Post
    If I had a son and a daughter who both were gymnasts, I believe that I would be as concerned for his safety as for hers. YMMV.
    This I will not dispute, Golden! I would have insomnia for either gender.

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    Custom Title heyang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by golden411 View Post
    Don't think you're being quite fair to the guys.
    Females have uneven bars; males have high bar (equally perilous, to my eyes) and parallel bars.
    Both genders have vault and floor.
    The one difference in terms of riskiness, IMHO, is that the skills for beam seem more daring than for rings and pommel horse.
    I agree. For me, High bar looks very risky as they whip themselves around a single bar and release. Rings are dangerous, too - momentum, getting wrapped up in a ring, sheer strength involved - every time I watch and iron cross, I hope that no one tears a ligament or overstrains a muscle.

    Pommel horse is likely the 'most boring' to watch for me, but I can see that it requires a great deal of strength and agility.

    And I agree with Mathman - Vault seems so 'tame', but many have died on that apparatus.

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    Custom Title skateluvr's Avatar
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    where is Gabby? didn't she say she was heading for another Olympics? So Kyla is the only gal still competing?

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    Quote Originally Posted by skateluvr View Post
    where is Gabby? didn't she say she was heading for another Olympics? So Kyla is the only gal still competing?
    Apparently all of the fierce 5 are going to be training.

    I think there will be newcomers on the team though. Of course, Simone Biles is one example - particularly with her FX and VT. Where was Kaetlyn Ohashi?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    Well, they announced that the whole Fab Five planned to come back for 2016. We'll see how they feel about it two years from now.

    One thing I noticed at this U.S. championship is that you can tell at a glance the difference between the girls with serious World and Olympic aspirations and the those who are just in it for fun at the national level. The latter look like normal teenaged girls. If they are old enough they have a normal girl's body, breasts, female shape, etc. The prospective Olympians have that testosterone driven barrel chest, no breasts, narrow hips, and strong core that overtraining imposes. (There are some exceptions, like Nastia Liukin, who commentated last bight.) I would think twice before encouraging my daughter to take up this sport obsessively.
    I'm going to have to beg to differ with this. I can hardly believe I'm posting this since I grew up doing gymnastics and thinking that you had to look like a little girl to succeed (and spent years being unhealthy because of it), but a lot of the senior level gymnasts now have a figure, and those that don't are probably naturally svelt. Look at McKayla Maroney- she's very slim, but she's still filled out some. Or you could look at the new national champion, Simone Biles. She's definitely not stick thin. Go back to last quad and look at Aly Raisman or Alicia Sacramone. There are now many body types represented in gymnastics. Yes you have to maintain a certain strength to weight ratio to stay healthy (too much weight increases the likelihood of stress fractures and decreases your amplitude) but it's become more mainstream to recognize that this ideal balance doesn't necessarily happen at the lowest weight you can maintain. Sometimes having more weight gives you more power, depending on your body. Other times it might make things harder. It varies by gymnast.

    For those that missed the broadcast, the whole thing is now up on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GbUQwE9N3aM

    As for the poster who asked about Katelyn Ohashi, she had surgery back in the spring (I think it was shoulder surgery) and is still too injured to train normally. It's a shame, but hopefully she'll come back next year.

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