The Infamous Amanar

Maybe you have heard this word thrown around as if it were magical… the key to success. Right now in Women’s Artistic Gymnastics, it just might be. The amanar is a vault – roundoff, backhandspring on to the horse, laid out 2 1/2 twist flip off. It is incredibly difficult, and as such is awarded with a very high start value. So high in fact, that it seems that the gymnasts who are able to do it are able to gain enough advantage on one event to be almost unbeatable.

As a whole, the USA values gymnasts who are POWERFUL, fast and agressive. It is the American way. Which means that while most countries can dance circles around us on beam and floor, we have many gymnasts who have successfully competed the amanar – and this year, none of the rest do. It gives the USA a huge advantage in the team competition and in the all around. Ironically enough, we have enough gymnasts who can perform the amanar yet do not have a second vault. Which means that we may be the best vaulting team in the world, but we may not send anyone that can qualify for vault finals. So sad.

McKayla Maroney, widely acclaimed to have the best amanar of all time, and Jordyn Wieber explain the vault.

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