As we get closer to the US Secret Classic and the beginning of the US based qualification competitions, announcements are being made, training videos are being released and speculations are running rampant. It has been a month full of media and interviews and training. And the landscape is changing.
Alicia Sacramone, Rebecca Bross and Nastia Liukin have all announced that they will each be focusing on two events (Sacromone vault and beam and Bross and Liukin bars and beam). Many gymnastics fans were saddened that they will not see Sacramone’s floor routine competed on a world stage or Liukin’s floor routine, choreographed by the famous SYTYCD choreographer Travis Wall, competed at all. The WOGA three-peat (Carly Patterson in 2004, Liukin in 2008 and Bross in 2012 Olympic All Around Titles) has been talked about for so many years. For many fans, it is sad to see that dream die and Bross removed from the all around. However, Bross looks great on bars and it seems Sacromone’s vault is quickly getting up to speed.
At the same time many gymnasts are focusing their events, others are upgrading everywhere they can. McKayla Maroney is upgrading her second vault to a Mustafina. Jordyn Wieber is upgrading one of her tumbling passes to a fabulous double layout. Anna Li, Elizabeth Price and McKenzie Wofford are all showing upgrades on their bar routines. Wieber has also hinted on a possible upgrade on bars and Sarah Finnegan is rumored to have some floor upgrades as well as a possible amanar.
A training video of Chelsie Memmel on beam was released and though she seems to be following her usual MO (little press and not going to camp) it sounds like she is ready to compete. Liukin will only compete on beam at Classics as her endurance on bars is not quite there yet. This casts some light on whether or not she will be ready by Nationals to show her all important bars routine, but doesn’t count her out yet. Shawn Johnson will not be competing at Classics at all, and though she sounds confident in her plan to compete at Nationals and the Olympic Trials, her coach has cast some doubt on her readiness.
Many gymnasts will only be competing a few events at the US Secret Classics, putting us all off a few more weeks to see where everyone “really” is. With all the recent media coverage, speculations on Liukin, Johnson and Bross’s contributions are waning, while pondering on the possible contributions of Sarah Finnegan, Kyla Ross and others increase. One of the most exciting US elite gymnastics seasons in history is heating up, and everyone is ready for it to begin.