With Simone Biles, Kyla Ross and Larissa Iordache all out of the American Cup due to injury, the all around competition looks to be much more wide open – and much more even than in recent years. Though I am sad not to see these amazing girls compete, it definitely sets us up for a great all around competition.
Elizabeth Price (Ebee) tweeted that they (her and Brenna Dowell) were “Ready to Go.”
Elizabeth Price has won three world cup events in the past two years. Brenna McDowell has yet to be tested on this type of international stage, but she has the goods if she delivers. The two Americans both have the advantage with their awesome Amanars on vault. But the international field is all looking very good and have all been tested on the world stage!
Vanessa Ferrari of Italy just keeps getting better with age. She came in sixth at the 2013 World Championships and has looked good here. Giulia Steingruber of Switzerland was just after her in 7th at Worlds. The next three girls were all packed together at Worlds. Victoria Moors of Canada in10th, Carlotta Ferlito of Italy in 11th and Roxana Popa Nedelcu of Spain in 12th. Rounding out the field is Sophie Scheder of Germany.
Things to watch for:
Victoria Moors on floor! I cannot wait to see this live! Victoria is one of my all time favorite floor workers, and with her double double layout, she will be hard to beat on floor if she lands on her feet. She has also brought in some upgrades on beam. Brenna and Elizabeth on vault. Sophie on bars. Vanessa on floor. Carlotta on beam.
And though I don’t write about men’s much…. you CANNOT miss Fabian Hambuechen on High Bar!
This looks to be a GREAT American Cup competition even without the prominent stars.
Aly has the most difficult floor routine in the world. This is due to her incredible tumbling. She has an original and creative routine representing her Jewish roots. Aly’s downfall is that she doesn’t have the balletic style and form that the international judges look for. It is unlikely that she will score a 15.8 at the Olympics (though I saw that routine in person, it was AMAZING! She is so, so high in the air, it is unbelievable). Last year she qualified first into the floor finals, but finished third. She comes in with an upgraded routine, and her difficulty and sky high tumbling and leaps will help her challenge for the gold.
Jordyn Wieber (USA) 15.6/6.2 or Gabby Douglas (USA) 15.45/6.2
Jordyn Wieber has, in my opinion, one of the most fun to watch floor routines. She brings energy to the floor, performs with her entire being (including her eyes and her smile) and has incredible musicality. She has a lot of difficult tumbling and leaps with a lot of amplitude. However, like Aly she does not have a balletic style. Her toes are pointed, her fingers graceful, but it is not the style international judges appreciate. She too is unlikely to score this high in the Olympics. However, she will definitely be a challenger for the podium – if she makes the finals.
Why might Jordyn not make the finals? A little problem called the two per country rule. Gabby Douglas has been improving on floor each and every meet. She has the difficulty, the form, the amplitude and the flexibility to score well. However, her nerves often get to her, leading to lots of bounces out of landings. Her groovin’ beats also are not likely to win a lot of points with international judges. But if she scores over Jordyn and makes the finals, she will definitely be in the mix.
Larisa Iordache (ROU) 15.3/6.4
Larisa brings a brand new floor routine to the Olympics that is full of energy and incredible difficulty. She is second only to Aly in that department. She performs with a delightful air of freedom and abandon that brings a smile to your face. She doesn’t have the perfect form or the perfectly stuck landings of her other Romanian teammates, but she will without a doubt challenge for the gold.
Catalina Ponor (ROU) 15.275/6.2 or Sandra Izbasa (ROU) 15.1/6.1
Catalina is a worldwide favorite. She performs with a dynamic and aggressive grace that is all her own. In her new floor routine, she plays to the crowd with a swankiness that only she can pull off. Oh, and did I mention she was the 2004 Floor champion? After taking a number of years off, Catalina has come back with a vengeance and looks better than ever.
Sandra Izbasa is the reigning Olympic floor champion. She also brings a new routine to the Olympics, which I happen to love. She has beautiful form and generally sticks all her landings. It will be interesting to see if she make her way into the finals.
Lauren Mitchell (AUS) 15.25/6.3
Lauren brings a very unique style of dance, music and presentation to the floor. She has a highly difficult routine to boot. Though she does not dance with grace and beauty, the judges and fans alike seem to appreciate her originality. Lauren has a hard time with many of her landing/jump combinations, which can make or break her routine. If she hits, she will be challenging for the gold.
Vanessa Ferrari (ITA) 15.1/6.2
Vanessa won a bronze on floor way back in 2006. All these years later, she continues to bring difficult tumbling and has even upgraded. If Vanessa stays healthy, it is likely you will see her in the event finals.
Ksenia Afanasyeva (RUS) 15.067/
Ksenia comes in as the 2011 World Champion on Floor. Her floor routine was without a doubt, one of the highlights of the entire championships, and remains as one of my all time favorites. The Russian team has been battling injuries this year and have put in lackluster floor performances. However, that is not likely to be the case at the Olympics. Four of the five gymnasts could easily qualify for finals. Which two will come out on top is anyone’s guess.
Anastasiya Grishina (RUS) 14.933
Anastasiya is the most classical of classical gymnastics. She has perfect form, perfect execution and is mesmerizing to watch as she floats through her floor routine. As I said before, her main barrier to event finals will be her other teammates. So make sure and see her routine in qualifications. You won’t want to miss it!
Victoria Moors (CAN) 14.9/6.1
Victoria currently holds the title for beam dreams all time favorite floor routine. She does one of the best double twisting double tucks there is. She PERFORMS her floor routine as if she is on a stage. And she does it all with beautiful form. She brings an energy to her routine that doesn’t translate through the television, but let me assure you, it is captivating.