Maggie Nichols is Going to Tokyo


The final U.S. women’s gymnastics assignment for the spring has been made.Yesterday, USA Gymnastics announced  that Maggie Nichols will be competing at the 2014 Tokyo World Cup. This is the third (and final) international assignment the US has made for this spring.

Peyton Ernst, Kyla Ross and Maggie Nichols on the podium in at the City of Jesolo.

Nichols, a second year senior, has represented the USA internationally three times in 2013 (including an exhibition) and once this year. She had a great competition last weekend at the City of Jesolo meet, coming in third in the all-around behind two U.S. teammates. More importantly, she showed consistent, solid routines on every event. She performed a dynamic, entertaining routine on floor, placing third in qualifications (but did not advance to event finals due to the two per country rule) and showed a great beam set as well.

Nichols replaced Peyton Ernst who was the nominative gymnast for the competition and who represented the USA at the Tokyo World Cup in 2013. This comes as no surprise, as USA Gymnastics had announced earlier in the month that the final decisions would not be made until after the City of Jesolo Trophy meet. Ernst is the second alternate for the team representing the U.S. at the Pacific Rim Championship behind Brenna Dowell.

Peyton Ernst, Bailie Key and Maggie Nichols. Photo from Maggie Nichols Twitter.

The Tokyo World Cup  is the final meet of the 2013-14 International Gymnastics Federation World Cup all-around series. It will be held at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium April 5, 2014. Many of the same competitors seen at the 2014 AT&T American Cup, the most recent meet held on American soil in the series, are expected to compete. They include 2006 World all-around champion Vanessa Ferrari of Italy, Victoria Moors of Canada, Carlotta Ferlito of Italy, and Roxana Popa of Spain. Asuka Teramoto of Japan, the defending champion, is also expected to be there.

 

Have You Heard the Latest? Simone Biles


Simone Biles has been in the middle of turmoil and change over the last month. She has been dealing with a shoulder injury that caused her to pull out of the AT&T American Cup. Additionally, she and her coach announced a decision to change gyms.

Martha Karolyi confirmed to Gymnastike on Sunday that Biles had been given the ok by her doctors to return to training and would be able to compete in the upcoming Pacific Rims Championships. Indeed, Biles spent her 17th birthday at the national team verification camp, where she hoped to make her case to be named to the Pacific Rims team.

At March Verification Camp. Photo by Simone Biles

At March Verification Camp. Photo by Simone Biles

Biles was added to that team yesterday, when USA Gymnastics confirmed the six gymnasts who would be representing the USA. In response, she tweeted:Screen Shot 2014-03-25 at 2.56.05 PM

Today, the Houston Chronicle confirmed that the Biles family are in the process of building the World Champions Centre, which will become the permanent new training center for Biles and coach Aimee Boorman. In the meantime, they will be training at AIM Athletics in The Woodlands.

AIM Athletics say that their goal is to “develop outstanding athletes who will deliver quality performances and a positive public identity to the community.” They want to “help each athlete grow as a total person and develop skills to better meet the challenges of a rapidly changing society.” This seems like a great environment for Biles in the midst of her own rapidly changing life.

2014 USA Pacific Rims Team Announced


USA Gymnastics announced the women’s artistic gymnastic team representing the US at the upcoming Pacific Rims Gymnastic Championships on the heels of the City of Jesolo Trophy meet. Martha Karolyi and the rest of the selection committee used the results from the meet to make their final selection for the upcoming championships in Richmond, B.C., Canada, April 9-11.

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The team is made up of three seniors and three juniors, following the format of the competition. USA Gymnastics is sending USA’s best. This team is full of champions, including seniors Simone Biles, the reigning World all-around champion, Kyla Ross, the reigning 2013 World silver medalist and 2012 Olympic team gold medalist and Elizabeth Price, 2014 AT&T American Cup champion and four time World Cup aa champion.  Rounding out the team are juniors Bailie Key, reigning US junior national champion, Nia Dennis, and Norah Flatley who all showed strong performances at the City of Jesolo Trophy meet last weekend, sweeping the medal podium.

The team will begin podium training on Monday, April 7th, preparing for the first day of competition on Wednesday, April 9th against 15 other countries from around the Pacific Rim. The USA will compete in the draw with Canada, China, Hong Kong and Panama at 7 p.m. PT for the team and all-around competitions. Juniors advancing on to event finals will compete on Friday, April 11th at 6 p.m. and seniors will compete on Saturday, April 12th at 2:30 p.m. The full schedule includes men’s artistic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics and trampoline gymnastics.

The competition will be livestreamed at pacificrimchamps.com.

This is Gymnastics Photography! Capturing the Moments You’ll Never Forget.


It is hard to get up close and personal in elite gymnastics. Most gymnastics fans are not able to attend many live elite meets. Even if you find yourself at a meet and have great seats, it can be hard to see those things that really define the moments we love in the sport. The expressions of victory, of celebration, of triumph. The moments of intense determination, of disappointment, of heartbreak. How many people actually saw McKayla Maroney’s “Not Impressed” face in the arena that day?

Victoria Moors. Photo from christylinder.com

A picture is worth a thousand words. In gymnastics a picture is worth so much more. It captures the angles we analyze, the height we marvel at and the movements that take our breath away. A picture captures the play of the eyes in a mesmerizing floor routine, the shared triumph of joy between a mother and her child or teammates celebrating a long awaited perfect 10. The moments we love in gymnastics and never want to forget.

Danusia Francis and Sam Peszek after Francis’ perfect 10 on beam. Photo by Christy Linder (christylinder.com)

In the North Carolina airport after the AT&T American Cup, my flight was delayed for hours and eventually cancelled. I shared this flight with gymnastics photographer Christy Linder. It’s not hard for one gymnastics fanatic to spot another, and so we quickly became friends. I was excited to meet her, as I had already used her pictures in my posts for the meet and had fallen in love with her work. Her personality is as delightful as the pictures she takes.

Christy was a former collegiate gymnast, and her teammate Kristin Myers had come to cheer her on. You see, getting on the floor as press at an elite meet is no easy feat. Like the gymnasts she photographs, Christy has worked hard to follow her dream. The love of a sport she has done all her life has given birth to a dream of going to the Olympics in a different way – as a photographer.

Christy’s teammate, a published author and wonderful writer, recently wrote this post about Christy’s journey. It tells the behind the scenes of what it takes to be a part of this sport – after you have retired your grips.

Christy Ann Linder and her Artistic Journey to The American Cup

Posted by  on Mar 10, 2014 in From My Perspective

Not too long ago, I received a text from my friend Christy Linder:

Media request granted!!

To which I responded:

I'm all in.

Here’s the rest of the story:

Christy and I grew up in the same gym.  Together we survived competitive gymnastics.  We leaned on each other when the grueling sport threatened to break us.  We are teammates.  Our bond is for life.

Rarely do we talk.  Texting works best for us.  It most closely replicates the millions of conversations we shared in the gym.   Time is of the essence when you’re almost next in line.  We knew to be discreet and keep it to a minimum so coach wouldn’t assume we were messing around instead of concentrating.  Punishment was not a risk worth taking.

Gymnastics is a sport of discipline.  Obedience.  Focus.  A constant test of emotions.  Mental toughness.  Self-control.  Darwin was right: only the strongest survive.

Canadian Victoria Moors

Christy and I were Level 10′s – the level required to have any hope of receiving a full collegiate scholarship, which we both did to Michigan State University.  While we were not elites – the level at which Olympic gymnasts compete – we both understand the commitment, sacrifices and  mindset required to continue to return to practice hour after hour, day after day, year after year.

Gymnasts are determined forces of nature.  They do not give up.  Not when they fall.  Not when coach says she’s not good enough.  Not when she’s dying to quit so she can just be normal.

German Sophie Scheder

Gymnasts are far from delicate, even though their televised appearance may tempt you to believe otherwise. Gymnasts are warriors.  Machines.  Athletes.

Linder gets this.  She was a great gymnast.  Like all great gymnasts, she understands that no skill worth having comes easily.  Now her skill is gymnastics photography – recognizing and capturing the  true essence of what it means to be a gymnast.

A year and a half ago she picked up her first camera and started with the basics.  Since then she’s practiced a countless amount of hours, done thousands and thousands of repetitions, and made the necessary corrections to master her skill.  She has sacrificed time with her family and put her finances on the line to invest in her dream.  Along the way she’s proven herself by becoming the most popular photographer for UCLA Gymnastics.

Her candid results  have been breathtaking. Electrifying. Mesmerizing.

Christy Linder’s images are real.  She does not cover little girls in pretty boxes.  She  captures women.  Women who can bust through brick walls with fierce determination and  strength.  Superheroes who are not afraid to bleed in the name of victory.

Italian Vanessa Ferrari

Two weeks ago, I sat in the stands as Christy photographed The Nastia Liukin Cup – the pinnacle meet of any Level 10′s career – and The AT&T American Cup – the most prestigious elite international competition the United States has to offer.  When I learned she’d earned her media credentials to photograph from the floor, I knew it was a really big deal.  I was all in.  I booked a flight and watched with pride as my teammate continued to make her gymnastics dreams come true.

Christy Linder’s photos are the best gymnastics pictures I’ve ever seen.  She uses her lens to portray the complex sport of gymnastics with beautiful artistry, honesty and great detail.  The whole world is noticing.  The gymternet is begging for more.  The name Christy Ann Linder is becoming recognizable.  Elizabeth Price, Brenna Dowell, Victoria Moors, Nastia Liukin, and Jordyn Wieber are all fans, just to name a few.  Mary Lou Retton even personally thanked Christy for “capturing priceless moments” as she and her daughter, Level 10 gymnast McKenna Kelley, celebrated her Nastia Liukin Cup victory.

Mary Lou Retton and daughter McKenna Kelley, Nastia Cup Co-Champ

Christy Linder brings to the world of gymnastics photography her athletic experience, her artistry and her game face.  She nailed her international debut.  I’m so glad I was there to watch her shine.

American Cup Champs Sam Mikulak and Elizabeth Price

Check out her stunning photo blogInstagram and Twitter.  When you like what you see – because you will – give her a follow.  You’ll be glad you did.

Brenna Dowell and Coach Al Fong

City of Jesolo Video Roundup


The City of Jesolo Trophy was live streamed this weekend, allowing us to catch all the action. You can watch the team and all around competition and the event finals competition in full. Or, you can follow the links below to go to each individual routine that earned a medal this weekend.  (Videos linked in gold are from Gymnastike and require a subscription to Gymnastike Gold).

Seniors

All Around Top 10

1) Kyla Ross – USA – 58.00 Vault, Bars, Beam, Floor
2) Peyton Ernst – USA – 57.650 Vault, Bars, Beam, Floor
3) Maggie Nichols – USA – 57.450 Vault, Bars, Beam, Floor
4) Mykayla Skinner – USA – 57.20 Vault, Bars, Beam, Floor

Senior Vault

1) Mykayla Skinner – USA – 15.634 average – 
2) Alesia Leolini – Italy – 13.617 average – watch here

There were only two competitors in the senior vault final.

Senior Bars

1) Madison Kocian – USA – 15.033 (6.10/8.933) – watch here
2) Kyla Ross – USA – 14.967 (5.90/9.067) – watch here
3) Giorgia Campana – Italy – 14.00 (5.30/8.70)

Senior Beam

1) Andreea Munteanu – Romania – 14.833 (6.40/8.433) – watch here
2) Alyssa Baumann – USA – 14.20 (5.80/8.40) – watch here
3) Elisa Meneghini – Italy – 14.20 (5.90/8.30) – watch here

Senior Floor

1) Mykayla Skinner – USA – 14.533 – watch here
2) Kyla Ross – USA – 14.233 – watch here
3) Andreea Munteanu – Romania – 13.967 – watch here

Juniors

All Around Top 10

This event was not livestreamed. All videos for the junior all around and team are from Gymnastike Gold, which requires a subscription.
1. Bailie Key – USA – 58.25 Vault, Bars, Beam, Floor
2. Nia Dennis – USA – 56.3 Vault, Bars, Beam, Floor
3. Norah Flatley – USA – 56.1 Vault, Bars, Beam, Floor

Junior Vault

1) Bailie Key – USA – 14.934 – watch here
2) Jordan Chiles – USA – 14.350 – watch here
3) Laura Jurca – Romania – 14.234 – watch here

Junior Bars

1) Bailie Key – USA – 14.267 (5.60/8.667) – watch here
2) Nia Dennis – USA – 13.933 (5.40/8.53) – watch here
3) Marina Kawasaki – Japan – 13.367 (5.40/8.533) – watch here

Junior Beam

1) Norah Flatley – USA – 14.667 (6.10/8.667/-0.10) –watch here
2) Bailie Key – USA – 14.533 (6.10/8.433) – watch here
3) Andreea Iridon – Romania – 14.30 (5.80/8.50) – watch here

Junior Floor

1) Bailie Key – USA – 14.533 (5.90/8.633) – watch here
2) Laura Jurca – Romania – 13.733 (5.40/8.333) – watch here
3) Yuka Momiyama – Japan – 13.633 (5.30/8.433/-0.10) – watch here

Photo from USA Gymnastics by Filippo Tomasi
If you find videos on you tube not listed here, please let me know in the comments and I will add them.

2014 City of Jesolo Wrap up and Results


The results are in from the 2014 City of Jesolo Trophy. It was an extremely successful meet for the USA. They came out strong to win the team and sweep the all around in both the junior and senior competitions yesterday. Today they added 13 out of a possible 15 medals in the junior and senior event finals.

Bailie Key put in an amazing performance winning gold in the junior team, all around, vault, bars and floor and a silver on beam (to USA teammate Norah Flatley). Kyla Ross did not have quite the meet that everyone anticipated. She came in with a downgraded routine on bars, and then had two totally uncharacteristic mistakes. Ross balked her first attempt on vault in the all around (the same deduction as a fall) and fell on beam in event finals. Even so, what is an “off” meet for Ross is still better than most people’s best, walking away with team and all around gold medals and silver medals on bars and floor.

The USA dominated in the all around in both the junior and senior divisions, taking 1st -6th in the seniors and 1st-3rd in the juniors. All of the girls who competed all around finished in the top ten.

In the senior all around, Peyton Ernst took the silver with a strong performance, followed closely by Maggie Nichols with the bronze. MyKayla Skinner was in close contention for the all around gold until a fall on floor left here in fourth. Had she stayed on her feet, she would have won! Nia Dennis had a solid competition, taking the silver in the juniors, followed closely by Norah Flatley for bronze.

Skinner also made a big splash in the senior event finals, winning the gold on vault and floor with her incredible difficulty. Madison Kocian strengthened her bid as a bars specialist for team USA by winning a gold on bars over US teammate Ross. Alyssa Bauman rounded out the medals with a silver on beam.

In the junior event finals, Jordan Chiles came away from her junior international debut with a silver on vault. Nia Dennis added to her all around and team medals with a silver on bars; while Norah Flatley, the celebrated beam worker, did not disappoint and did a fabulous routine to add a gold on beam.

Emily Gaskins had a rough event final on floor, as a fall and a big out of bounds took her beautiful floor routine to score at the bottom of the pack.

Andreea Munteanu and Laura Jurca both came out strong for Romania. Munteanu won beam finals and took the bronze on floor. Jurca was right behind the American’s at every turn, taking fourth in the all around, bronze on vault and a silver with her charming floor routine.

Italy did well on their home turf, and even without their top two gymnasts, took silver in the team event and bronze on vault, bars and beam in the senior division.

Complete results are listed below, or you can watch the team and all around competition and the event finals competition to see all the action for yourself. Individual routines are linked below and more will be added as they become available.

Seniors

All Around Top 10

1) Kyla Ross – USA – 58.00
2) Peyton Ernst – USA – 57.650
3) Maggie Nichols – USA – 57.450
4) Mykayla Skinner – USA – 57.20
5) Rachel Gowey – Mix Group (USA) – 56.750
6t) Alyssa Baumann – USA – 55.70
6t) Elisa Meneghini – Italy – 55.79
8) Maddie Desch – USA – 55.650 
9) Erika Fasana – Italy – 55.550
10) Natsumi Sasada – Japan – 55.150

Team Results

1) USA – 231.650
60.60 VT, 58.30 UB, 55.60 BB, 57.150 FX
2) Italy – 221.50
57.35 VT, 56.65 UB, 54.95 BB, 54.55 FX
3) Japan – 217.800
55.60 VT, 54.80 UB, 53.70 BB, 53.70 FX
4) Australia – 206.70
55.55 VT, 49.85 UB, 48.15 BB, 53.150 FX

Senior Vault

1) Mykayla Skinner – USA – 15.634 average –
2) Alesia Leolini – Italy – 13.617 average

There were only two competitors in the senior vault final.

Senior Bars

1) Madison Kocian – USA – 15.033 (6.10/8.933) – watch here
2) Kyla Ross – USA – 14.967 (5.90/9.067) – watch here
3) Giorgia Campana – Italy – 14.00 (5.30/8.70)
4) Kiara Munteanu – Australia – 13.933 (5.70/8.233)
5) Georgia-Rose Brown – Australia – 13.767 (5.80/7.967)
6) Marina Rizzeli – Italy – 13.367 (5.60/7.767)
7) Chinami Otaki – Japan – 13.333 (5.50/7.833)
8) Yuki Uchiyama – Japan – 13.167 (5.70/7.467)

Senior Beam

1) Andreea Munteanu – Romania – 14.833 (6.40/8.433) – watch here
2) Alyssa Baumann – USA – 14.20 (5.80/8.40) – watch here
3) Elisa Meneghini – Italy – 14.20 (5.90/8.30)
4) Natsumi Sasada – Japan – 14.00 (5.70/8.30)
5) Stefania Stanila – Romania – 13.70 (5.50/8.20)
6) Kyla Ross – USA – 13.433 (5.60/7.833) – watch here
7) Yuki Uchiyama – Japan – 13.40 (5.50/7.90)
8) Giorgia Campana – Italy – 13.133 (5.80/7.333)

Senior Floor

1) Mykayla Skinner – USA – 14.533 – watch here
2) Kyla Ross – USA – 14.233 – watch here
3) Andreea Munteanu – Romania – 13.967 – watch here
4) Elisa Meneghini – Italy – 13.933
5) Stefania Stanila – Romania – 13.633
6) Wakana Ionue – Japan – 12.667
7) Erika Fasana – Italy – 11.6333
8) Kiara Munteanu – Australia – 11.567

Juniors

Team Results

1. USA – 228.00
2. Romania – 212.9
3. Italy – 211.4
4. Japan – 218.45
5. Australia – 200.70

All Around Top 10

1. Bailie Key – USA – 58.25
2. Nia Dennis – USA – 56.3
3. Norah Flatley – USA – 56.1
4. Laura Jurca – Romania – 55.5
5. Emily Gaskins – USA – 55.2
6. Jordan Chiles – USA – 54.9 
7. Sae Myakawa – Japan – 53.2
8. Josra Abdelaziz – Italy – 53.1
9. Ragan Smith – USA – 52.65
10. Sofia Busato – Italy – 52.55

Junior Vault

1) Bailie Key – USA – 14.934 – watch here
2) Jordan Chiles – USA – 14.350 – watch here
3) Laura Jurca – Romania – 14.234
4) Aya Megga – Australia – 14.084
5) Sofia Busato – Italy – 13.60
6) Alysha Djuric – Australia – 13.551
7) Desiree Carofiglio – Italy – 13.00

Junior Bars

1) Bailie Key – USA – 14.267 (5.60/8.667) – watch here
2) Nia Dennis – USA – 13.933 (5.40/8.53) – watch here
3) Marina Kawasaki – Japan – 13.367 (5.40/8.533)
4) Anda Butuc – Romania – 13.20 (5.10/8.10)
5) Josra Abdelaziz – Italy – 13.20 (5.30/7.90)
6) Darcy Norman – Australia – 13.067 (5.50/7.567)
7) Alice Linguerri – Italy – 11.667 (4.90/6.767)
8) Laura Jurca – Romania – 11.267 (5.0/6.267)

Junior Beam

1) Norah Flatley – USA – 14.667 (6.10/8.667/-0.10) –watch here
2) Bailie Key – USA – 14.533 (6.10/8.433) – watch here
3) Andreea Iridon – Romania – 14.30 (5.80/8.50)
4) Yuku Momiyama – Japan – 14.067 (5.50/8.567)
5) Laura Jurca – Romania – 13.667 (5.50/8.267/-0.10)
6) Desiree Carofiglio – Italy – 12.60 (4.80/7.80)
7) Sae Miyakawa – Japan – 11.033 (5.0/6.033)
8) Alica Linguerri – Italy – 10.167 (5.0/5.167)

Junior Floor

1) Bailie Key – USA – 14.533 (5.90/8.633) – watch here
2) Laura Jurca – Romania – 13.733 (5.40/8.333)
3) Yuka Momiyama – Japan – 13.633 (5.30/8.433/-0.10)
4) Pilar Rubagotti – Italy – 13.333 (5.30/8.333/-0.30)
5) Sofia Busato – Italy – 13.233 (4.90/8.333)
6) Ayu Koike – Japan – 13.133 (5.20/7.933)
7) Andra Stoica – Romania – 13.00 (5.20/8.10/-0.30)
8) Emily Gaskins – USA – 11.067 (5.30/6.367/-0.60) – watch here

Jesolo Podium Training – Seniors


Gymnastike has been on the scene and providing video coverage of podium training for the 2014 City of Jesolo Trophy. You can watch here with a Gymnastike gold subscription.

The first thing that strikes me about this group of senior gymnasts, is how many classically “beautiful” gymnasts are there. WIth some of our powerhouse champions taking a rest, there is room for some of our gymnasts who show flexibility, poise and graceful lines. It is a fun.

Kyla Ross looks like, Kyla Ross. Clean, beautiful and well prepared for this meet. It seems unlikely than anyone else will really challenge her for the top of the podium, there sure are a lot gymnasts giving it a try!

In podium training, I was most impressed with Madison Kocian. Her bars are as beautiful as ever, but she really looks great on every event. I absolutely love her new floor routine. She really looks ready to try for the all around tomorrow.

Peyton Ernst also looked great. She brings a beautiful new floor routine as well that really suites her. Maggie Nichols showed some EXCELLENT beam and bar work and just looks solid and ready to go.

MyKyla Skinner is doing her best to bring the most incredible, crazy difficulty to the table. She is competing two incredibly hard vaults (amanar and cheng) as well as some of the most difficult tumbling in the world. It will be interesting to see how she scores internationally.

Madison Desch, Alyssa Baumann and Rachel Gowey also all looked beautiful. Such graceful work on beam and floor, they really draw you into all they do.

Tomorrows competition will be an excellent opportunity to really see how these girls are stacking up against each other. They all look really ready for so early in the season. It is really exciting to see!

It is actually quite silly to make predictions at this point… but here I go.

  1. Kyla Ross
  2. Madision Kocian
  3. Maggie Nichols

The Italian Gymnastics Federation will be livestreaming the senior women’s all around and team competition on their youtube channel at 11 a.m. ET.

Jesolo Podium Training Report and Predictions – Juniors


Gymnastike has been on the scene and providing video coverage of podium training for the 2014 City of Jesolo Trophy. You can watch here with a Gymnastike gold subscription.

The USA Juniors are doing exactly what you want juniors to do at this point in the quad – get better and better every year. What an impressive group! Though there are some really sharp Romanian juniors, it is hard to imagine that anyone will be able to really challenge this group for the team gold.

Bailie Key on Beam. Photo from USA Gymnastics

Bailie Key is looking even more amazing than last year. Her year of maturing has brought a flow to her movement that was not present before. She seems to be able to let her personality shine through now, drawing you into her gymnastics perfection in a more emotional way. Her new mature floor routine is so much more engaging, and her beam routine is just beautiful to watch. What most impressed me though in podium training was her bars. Her handstands are, in my opinion, the best in the USA. It is hard to imagine that anyone will challenge her for this Jesolo junior all around title.

Nia Dennis continues to impress with her high flying bars, release moves reminiscent of Gabby Douglas. She undoubtedly does THE BEST arabian on beam in the world. Though there was no coverage of her incredible tumbling during podium training, it is a safe bet that she will shine on floor as well. Nia definitely has a great chance at the all around podium.

The other juniors are all looking fabulous as well. Norah Flatley continues to show some of the best beam work in the world. And she looks much improved on bars and floor. However, her lower start value on vault may make it more difficult for her to challenge for the top of the podium over some of her other teammates.

Ragan Smith’s move to Texas Dreams seems to be sitting well with her, and she looks really great out on the floor. She is cleaning up, showing more polish and finesse, and definitely looking ready to begin learning and adding more difficulty. Emily Gaskin is just gorgeous to watch on beam and her new bar routine really has a lot of potential. I look forward to seeing her floor as well in competition!

We only saw a little bit of Jordan Chiles in podium training, but what I saw was awesome! She is improving a lot in her presentation and polish. I can’t wait to see all her events.

One little Romanian junior definitely caught our attention. Laura Jurca does beam, well, like a Romanian, but with a spunk and pizzaz that is all her own. She will definitely be one to watch.

Without having seen a lot from the other countries competing, my predictions for the Junior all around podium are:

  1. Bailie Key
  2. Nia Dennis
  3. Norah Flately

The Italian Federation will not be livestreaming the junior all around and team competition. However, Gymnastike is on the scene and will be providing video coverage as it happens. The competition begins Saturday morning at 5:30 a.m. ET. (That’s just four hours from now!)

City of Jesolo Trophy Begins Tomorrow


Podium Training is finished and competition begins tomorrow in Venice for the seventh annual City of Jesolo Trophy competition. The junior women are up first on Saturday morning, beginning their team and all around competition at 5:30 a.m. ET. The Italian Gymnastics Federation will be livestreaming the senior women’s all around and team competition on their youtube channel at 11 a.m. ET, as well as the event finals on Sunday at 6 a.m. ET.

Team USA looked great in podium training, and are well prepared to challenge for most of the titles this weekend. Bailie Key is the favorite to win the all around junior title, while Kyla Ross will be looking to earn her third all around City of Jesolo Trophy title. Many USA gymnasts will be vying for event titles on Sunday as well. Below is the full list of the competitors.

USA

SENIOR

JUNIOR

Bailie Key
Nia Dennis
Norah Flatley
Emily Gaskins
Ragan Smith
Jordan Chiles

AUSTRALIA

SENIOR

JUNIOR

YASMIN COLLIER
Alysha DJURIC
AYA Meggs
DARCY NORMAN
EMILY WHITEHEAD

JAPAN

SENIOR

Sasada NATSUMI
INOUE WAKANA
Uchiyama YUKI
Otaki Chinami
Matsumura YASUHA
HONDA MINAMI

JUNIOR

Miyakawa SAE
MOMIYAMA YUKA
KAWASAKI MARINE
KOIKE AYU
Yumoto Yurika
Yatabe Sayaka

ROMANIA

JUNIOR

STOICA ANDRA
LAURA Jurca
DANIELA CIURUSNIUC
PENG ASIANA
IRIDON ANDREEA
FROLEA ADELA

Italy

Not posted

The 2014 City of Jesolo Trophy Teams Announced


USA Gymnastics just announced the junior and senior gymnasts representing the USA at the 2014 City of Jesolo Trophy. The announcement was made from the USA Gymnastics National Team Training Center at the Karolyi Ranch at the conclusion of the March National Team selection camp.

The senior team will be headlined by Kyla Ross, the youngest member of the 2012 Fierce Five Olympic Gold team and 2013 World all around silver medalist. She is the only team member that has been to a world championship or Olympic games before and this will be her fifth time competing at this meet. Joining her are seven other seniors, including six who have competed in the City of Jesolo Trophy competition in previous years.

Peyton Ernst and Maggie Nichols competed on the 2013 team, MyKayla Skinner and Madison Desch were on the 2012 team and Madison Kocian competed in 2011. Alyssa Bowman and Rachel Gowey round out the team as international “rookies”, with no previous experience as an elite gymnast in international competition. This assignment also marks Gowey’s addition to the Senior National Team.

2013 U.S. junior all-around national champion Bailie Key headlines the juniors. This will be Key’s third time representing the USA at this meet and she competed at four other international meets last year. None of the five other juniors joining her have competed at this competition previously, and only two of others, Nia Dennis and Emily Gaskins, have competed internationally before. Gaskins represented the USA at the Junior Mexican Cup in 2013, while Dennis competed in England back in 2011, though she was not representing the USA nationally.  This will be Norah Flatley, Jordan Chiles and Ragan Smith’s international debut. Chiles and Smith were both officially added to the junior national team with this assignment.

The City of Jesolo Trophy will be held in Venice, Italy on March 22-23. The seventh installment of this competition will feature gymnasts from USA, Australia, Japan, Romania, and Italy. There will be a team, all-around and event finals competition in both the junior and senior divisions. March 22nd will be the team and all-around competitions. Results from the first day will qualify gymnasts to event finals on the 23rd.

According to USA Gymnastics, National Team Coordinator Martha Karolyi said “This competition a great training ground for the upcoming Pacific Alliance Championships and World Championships.”  As the selections for gymnasts representing the USA at the Pacific Rims Gymnastics Championship and the Tokyo World Cup are to be announced later in the month, it can also be inferred that the performance of the gymnasts in Venice will help determine that selection.

The complete roster is listed below.

Seniors
Alyssa Baumann, Plano, Texas/WOGA
Madison Desch, Lenexa, Kan./Great American Gymnastics Express
Peyton Ernst, Coppell, Texas/Texas Dreams Gymnastics
Rachel Gowey, Urbandale, Iowa/Chow’s Gymnastics and Dance Institute
Madison Kocian, Dallas, Texas/WOGA
Maggie Nichols, Little Canada, Minn./Twin City Twisters
Kyla Ross, Aliso Viejo, Calif./Gym-Max
Mykayla Skinner, Gilbert, Ariz./Desert Lights Gymnastics

Juniors
Jordan Chiles, Vancouver, Wash./Naydenov Gymnastics
Nia Dennis, Westerville, Ohio/Buckeye Gymnastics
Norah Flatley, Cumming, Iowa/Chow’s Gymnastics and Dance Institute
Emily Gaskins, Coral Springs, Fla./Cincinnati Gymnastics
Bailie Key, Coppell, Texas/Texas Dreams Gymnastics
Ragan Smith, Dacula, Ga./Texas Dreams Gymnastics