Rumors and Previews of the Secret U.S. Classic

There is nothing secret about the Secret US Classic (so named for it’s sponsor). Plenty of bloggers are on site, Gym Examiner is giving live updates, USA Gymnastics and Gymnastike are posting podium training videos and the seniors will be live-streamed and broadcast on Universal Sports. It’s enough to make a gymnastics fan do cartwheels of joy! As we gear up for the competition tomorrow, here are the rumors and things we can expect from the U.S. Secret Classic.

All Around Competitors

After so many gymnasts announcing that they would just be doing a few events, I began to despair about the all around for this meet. But it is looking like it might e a great competition after all. In fact, it might give us a preview of that coveted second all around spot for the Olympic team. Gabby Douglas is apparently doing the all around after all according to an article in the Des Moines Register. Aly Raisman will be competing all around, as will Kyla Ross and Anna Li. Chellsie Memmel still has to qualify to nationals so she will be competing all-around as well. Many others may join in the fray, but we will have to wait and see. Either way, it should be be a great competition!


According to camp videos and podium training videos, we have upgrades galore – and not surprisingly most of them are on bars. Anna Li, Brandie Jay, McKenzie Wofford and Wieber all have upgrades on bars from the last time we have seen them. Sabrina Vega has upgrades on beam, McKayla Maroney has upgraded her second vault and has minor upgrades other places.

Beautiful  Routines

Despite a US reputation, we might be in for a real treat on floor. Sarah Finnegan is absolutely delightful to watch on floor – her poise and style are light, elegant and refreshing to see. Anna Li will be debuting her new routine as well. Is it a floor routine or a heart pulling, dramatic and breathtaking dance piece? I am not sure! It is incredible though and a treat to watch. And of course we will be treated to the beautiful lines of Nastia Liukin as she returns to competition on beam and Kyla Ross.

We will finally see a few more pieces toward completing the puzzle of our US Olympic team. It should be a great weekend!

April National Team Training Camp

April National Team Camp Line Up courtesy of USA Gymnastics

Gymnasts making a bid for a spot on the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team attended the last national team training camp at the Karolyi Ranch April 20-30, before the series of U.S. based competitions to select the team begin. The camp schedule started with media time, conditioning and a short workout on Saturday followed by two days of verifications. Sunday, the gymnasts verified their current progress on vault and bars to Martha Karolyi and the rest of the national team staff. Then on Monday, they showed their readiness on beam and floor. Photos from the camp can be seen on the USA Gymnastics Facebook page. Looks like the girls had fun.

2011 World team champions Jordyn Wieber, McKayla Maroney, Sabrina Vega, Alicia Sacramone, Alexandra Raisman, Gabrielle Douglas and alternate Anna Li all attended the camp.  2009 World all-around champion Bridget Sloan, 2009 World silver medalist Rebecca Bross, and 2012 City of Jesolo Trophy all-around champion Kyla Ross were also present. Other senior gymnasts vying for a spot on the Olympic team in attendance were Amanda Jetter, Brandie Jay, Elizabeth Price, Brenna Dowell, Briana Brown, Grace McLaughlin, Sarah Finnegan, Mykayla Skinner and McKenzie Wofford.

Gymnasts were expected to verify at least two full events at camp. This requirement led to the noticeable absence of 2012 Olympic hopefuls Shawn Johnson, Nastia Liukin and Chellsie Memmel.  USA Gymnastics released the following statement regarding their absence on Facebook:

“At this stage of their training, they were unable to fulfill camp expectations, which were to verify at least two full events. They have decided to continue their training at their respective clubs in order to participate at the 2012 Secret U.S. Classic.” (USAGymnastics)

The process to determine the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team will continue with monthly training/verification camps and three major competitions. The first competition, the 2012 Secret U.S. Classic is just 3 1/2 short weeks away. It will be held in Chicago, Ill. on May 26, 2012. This will be the last qualifier to the 2012 Visa Championships, which will be in St. Louis, Mo., June 7-10, 2012. The top 8 all-round finishers from these championships along with any other gymnasts the Selection Committee chooses will advance on to the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials-Gymnastics held June 28-July 1, 2012 in San Jose, Calif. The 2012 U.S. Olympic Team will be named at the end of the competition.

Jordyn Wieber Regains Her Status as America’s Best

Jordyn Wieber won the AA at last night’s Kelloggs Pacific Rims Championship, bringing a strong performance throughout the night. As the NBC broadcast closed, Tim Daggett said that it was the best four routines Jordyn has ever put together in one night of competition. I agree. She still has a little work to do – sticking her vault, really connecting her new passes on beam, and connecting her jumps at the end of her tumbling passes. But her performance was definitely worthy of a world champion. I was especially proud of her beam! When she unveiled her front handspring, backfull, back handspring combination two weeks ago I wondered if she would ever really be able to connect it. I mean, it is SO hard! And now, only two weeks later it looks GOOD! Still needs faster connection, but WOW. So impressive! As was her aerial side aerial combination.

I was so hoping she would have a great competition! Two weeks ago, I was sad for Jordyn as she ended the American Cup. Though she won the title, she didn’t have the best meet and she was outscored by Gabby Douglas, who was performing exhibition routines. Many people in the media really made it seem like Jordyn’s chances for the future were bleak. Though I never love to see someone have a bad meet, I remember how perfect Jordyn looked at last years American Cup. And how she seemed to peak at the Visa Championships- and then go downhill from there. So I was actually glad that Jordyn didnt look her best. I think she peaked too early last year, and am glad to see her not at her peak yet this year. But Jordyn’s demeanor at the end of the meet seemed very dejected. It hurt my heart to see her so. She has so much to be proud of! I think John Geddert, Jordyn’s coach (I love that guy!) said how I was feeling best in a recent interview in the Detroit Free Press:

On the flight back to Michigan from New York the day after the American Cup, the coach of women’s world gymnastics champion Jorydn Wieber didn’t like the vibe he was getting.

“Coming out of there, there was a variety of sources — media being one of them — giving us the feeling that we were a failure that weekend,” Geddert told the Free Press this week. “And I guess about halfway home on the plane, I’m going, ‘She can’t be sitting there feeling like that.’ You can tell by the way she was conducting herself that it was like there was no excitement from the win.”

So the next day at practice, at Gedderts’ gym in Dimondale, coach and gymnast had a frank conversation. “I want you to feel the champion you are,” Geddert told her. “You endured. You fought. You upgraded. You did everything you were supposed to do.”

Asked on Monday how Wieber is doing, Geddert said that she’s coming off a “great week” of training. “Things are going according to plan,” he said.

“Things are going according to plan.” I would say so! Great job Jordyn! It is rumored that she still has more upgrades to unveil, so hopefully we will see those at Classics.

Team USA Women’s Prelims Videos and Scores

“Watching” Prelims through twitter and blog updates was quite a different view of a competition! I think it made me way more nervous! But the young rookie team did well. Thanks to Mrsangeandbella and piibunia for all the video uploads! Here they are in the order of competition.  You can watch each individually below followed by scores and placings or just check out this playlist.

USA Womens Prelims Playlist


McKayla Maroney


Sabrina Vega


Aly Raisman

14.933/6.3 6th Place, Qualified for Event Finals

Jordyn Wieber

15.233/6.2 3rd Place, Qualified for Event Finals

Gabby Douglas



Gabby Douglas


Sabrina Vega


Jordyn Wieber

14.566/6.0 3rd Place, Qualified for Event Finals

McKayla Maroney


Aly Raisman

 14.833/6.2 1st Place, Qualified for Event Finals


Sabrina Vega


Gabby Douglas


Aly Raisman


Jordyn Wieber


McKayla Maroney

5.533/6.5 Vault 1; Vault 2 14.639

 Average: 15.083 1st Place, Qualified for Event Finals


Aly Raisman


McKayla Maroney


Sabrina Vega

Good Geinger. Makes piked Tkcatchev, excellent! Tkatchev. Dismount is full in with just a small hop. Someone up in the gallery, maybe Martha, is just screaming her lungs out for the girls as they perform. 


Jordyn Wieber

14.8/6.3 7th Place, Qualified for Event Finals

Gabby Douglas

14.866/6.4 6th Place, Qualified for Event Finals


All five of our girls finished in the top 12! What an amazing feat! Jordyn is just over .1 out of first. Aly qualified in 4th.

1 KOMOVA Victoria  RUS 60.15714.53315.73315.40014.491 

WIEBER JordynUSA60.03215.43314.80015.23314.566 

3 YAO JinnanCHN59.03114.86614.56615.06614.533

 4 RAISMAN A. USA 58.432   

5 DOUGLAS G.USA 57.657  

9 VEGA Sabrina USA 56.665   

 12 MARONEY M. USA 56.332

USA Finished 1st in the team qualifying scores.

1.USA 234.253
2.Russia 231.062
3.China 230.370
4.Romania 227.228
5.Japan 223.543
6.Australia 221.846
7.Germany 221.163
8.Great Britain 220.553