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.

Did the Pacific Rims upset Gabby Douglas’s Olympic Dreams?

Photo from the Gymnastics Examiner

One great performance does not a champion make. And one bad performance does not Olympic dreams break. Gabby Douglas went from bars specialist to all around threat with her great performance at the AT&T American Cup. There has been much anticipation over the last two weeks for this “show down” between Jordyn Wieber and Gabby this weekend at the Kellogg’s Pacific Rim Championship. That show down quickly became a one woman show when Gabby crashed on her first event. Jordyn put up one of her best performances yet.

Gabby went on to have a fantastics bars set and qualified for bars finals in first. However, she fell on the beam once and off the beam once as she competed her recently upgraded routine. She scratched floor as her ankle was sore from vault. In all fairness to Gabby, she did not look like last year’s head case during the Visa Championships. She was just off on her skills. She kept it together for the most part. In fact, watching it close up on tv (vs. in person), it did seem that her ankle was bothering her during the routine. It is still to be seen in the future if she can perform under pressure. But I don’t think she has really lost much in Marta’s eyes. According to Blythe at the GymExaminer,

Martha suggested that Gabrielle Douglas’s poor performance was due to her trying a bit too much of her difficulty all at one time. She was “overpressured” Martha said, first by having done so well in New York two weeks ago and then being expected to do it all again here, and Douglas is a gymnast who needs to feel “absolutely secure” in her routines to do them very well.

Martha suggests that dramatic changes (apparently Liang Chow wanted to introduce even more difficulty into her bar routine, giving her a 6.9 D-score, but that was seen as a little too much, so some of the difficulty was taken out at the last minute) suddenly don’t work with Douglas, and that Chow may still be getting to know his athlete and what works for her.

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I would say Gabby is still an “It girl” in Marta’s eyes, who just needs a little more time and experience. And the rest of the season will give her that! Besides, as our current top US bar worker- who put in a great bars routine even when everything else was going poorly- it will take a whole lot more to ruin Gabby’s Olympic chances than a missed vault or beam routine.