Here are the responses to the second question in TCG’s 2013 Retrospective. The second question was:
What was your gymnastics lowlight/s of the year and why?
Brigid McCarthy, TCG Editor and generally tired person.
1. Australia not making team finals in London. We should have been in that final.
2. Georgia Simpson’s devastating injury at Pac Rims. Can the gym gods just cut this gorgeous girl a break, already?
3. The injuryapalooza that was Lauren Mitchell on what may be her final Olympics. This girl is so talented, so tough and has been such a samurai for Australia. She deserved to have a better time.
Lauren Hopkins, TCG’s resident US editor/expert/awesomeness.
The Chellsie Memmel controversy, for sure. I can’t remember feeling that gutted over gymnastics in a long time, but she handled it with class. Jordyn Wieber not making AA finals at the Olympics was also pretty heart-breaking, especially with the cameras shoved in her face while she cried.
Elizabeth Booth, Russian gym connoisseur/historian of Rewriting Russian Gymnastics
Coaches Behaving Badly in the rundown from the Olympics. The realisation that the Russian women’s team underachieved thanks to the failure of their coaches depressed me beyond belief. Teenage girls showed more maturity than their mentors who were well into their 70s. Valentina Rodionenko’s tendency to wash her dirty linen in public proved infectious and the ultimate loss of Alexander Alexandrov, coach to the best Russian athlete of the 2012 Olympic Games, leaves a continuing question mark over the team administration. I wish the very best to his successor, Evgeny Grebenkin, but there must surely have been better ways to make this change.
Kristen Bruno, TCG Writer and expert Junior Watch-er
Victoria Komova had high hopes coming into the Olympics, and she’s one of the most beautiful gymnasts to watch. It was not only tough to see her cry and comment after the Olympics that she had ‘failed them 100 percent’ after winning silvers in the team and all-around- but to literally watch her crumble and “give-up” on her routines in event finals was very disappointing. I hope she continues and keeps training, because she truly is a beautiful gymnast.
Jen, Full In Full Out blogger and TCG Leotard Expert/funny, funny lady
McKayla Maroney’s fall in vault finals in London is the first thing that comes to mind. I felt sick to my stomach for the rest of that day and I still haven’t rewatched it. That just barely edges out Jordyn Wieber’s heartbreak after prelims. And Bridget Sloan getting injured and pulling out of Trials.
Blythe Lawrence, THE Gymnastics Examiner
Looking back on the what-might-have-beens. Losing Ana Porgras in January was a terrible blow to the Romanian team and to the sport itself. That Peng Peng Lee, who worked so hard and looked so good in 2011 and 2012 tore her ACL 12 weeks before the Games, was awful for the Canadian women, who rallied wonderfully and achieved a best-ever top five finish in the team competition. That Ksneia Afanasyeva and Anastasia Grishina and Jordyn Wieber did not have the Olympic Games that they might have. That Jade Barbosa didn’t go to London because of a stupid sponsor spat. Things like that.
Bea Gheorghisor, TCG Romanian oracle and writer of Gymnastics No Ceiling
The low of the year was at the Olympics, before qualifications, that Thursday when Larisa Iordache’s injury was confirmed. Not knowing if she will be able to compete was the worst nightmare becoming reality. Larisa was the key player in the strategy of the team and everything was uncertain at that point.
Bekah of the wonderfully opinionated Get A Grip Gymblog
I was really disappointed with the injuries on the Kellogg’s tour this year. It doesn’t seem like it would be that hard to provide a safe environment for a group of world champion gymnasts. Between McKayla, Aly and John’s injuries, I’d rather they just forget the tour all together in 2016.
Diana Gallagher, budding novelist and writer of TCG’s The Flipside column
Jordyn Wieber not qualifying to the Olympic AA final. Heartbreaking to watch that go down. I also would have liked to have seen Alicia Sacramone named an alternate to the U.S. team. She really put forth a solid, respectable comeback.
Ashlee and Brittany Buhler, the twin ‘baby bloggers’ of Triple Twist Gymblog
Jordyn Wieber not making the all around finals. It was such a sad day and I think the whole world was shocked. To this day, we have only watched the qualification round once. It’s just so sad and hard to watch your favorite gymnast have her dreams crushed at the Olympic Games. She worked so hard, and it broke my heart to see that happen to her.
Kristen Ras, TCG’s gymnastics historian/font of knowledge of World Championships past.
I was disappointed that my fave, Anna Pavlova, was not a part of another Olympic team. Obviously, Russia was great, but I was pulling for Anna. I really wanted her to have another opportunity to showcase her talents and artistry.
Rick McCharles, landlord and gym media watchdog over at Gymnastics Coaching
Canadian Men finishing 13th at Olympic Test Meet. Instead of qualifying a full Team to London, they qualified only one competitor.
Brian Taylor, TCG’s new specialist MAG writer
Team USA. This team had the goods to fight for multiple medals in London, even Team Gold, if they had a little help from a few other teams. They did not live up to the expectations, or I see it as peeking to soon. I feel redemption coming these next four years, with all of the members sticking around.
Craig Tilley, TCG British gymnastics contributor and enthusiast.
Another tough question, the British have done so well this year. Putting myself in the woman’s team’s shoes, if I would change one result on this year it would be the woman’s team finals at the European championships where they lost the bronze medal to Italy. The woman’s team won the silver medal at the 2010 Europeans (beating Romania) and knowing that they were capable of getting that bronze medal would have left a sour taste in their mouths. Despite not medalling they did really well at the European championships.
Jessica O’Beirne, head honcho over at the hilarious and wonderful Gymcastic
Peng Peng tearing her ACL! Oh, the horror! She was having an amazing year, unique skills, artistry…her gymnastics is so gorgeous! SHE WORE FLOWERS IN HER HAIR FOR CRYING OUT LOUD! I was gutted. Thankfully, she’s at UCLA, the only NCAA program to successfully put female college athletes on Olympic teams, finals and podiums in the last 24 years. I’m crossing my fingers big time for 2016. I predict she will eventually become Canada’s female Kyle Shewfelt.
Mila Storjohann, TCG German writer and longtime blogger at Gymnicetic
It’s been a fantastic gymnastics year for Germany. I can’t really think of a ‘low’.
Uncle Tim of the fabulous and funny Uncle Tim’s Talks Men’s Gym
Men’s team finals in London. Just thinking about Kohei Uchimura’s “handstand” and the 10-minute fiasco that ensued makes me want to eat a gallon of ice cream while listening to REM’s “Everyone Hurts” on repeat. How heartbreaking for Ukraine! How embarrassing for the FIG! Then again, what would the Olympics be without a MAG judging controversy? Le sigh…
Giulia Holzer, TCG Italy expert and finder of junior Italian stars!
My gymnastics low this year was Vanessa Ferrari’s fourth place at the Olympics. It’s always bad finishing 4th,just out of the podium, but coming 4th with the same score of the bronze medalist- it’s even worse. After all the injuries and disappointments of her career, she deserved something more.
Cecile H, TCG Translator
Yao Jinnan not medaling at all in London… but there are many more… unfortunately.
Thanks to everyone who contributed!
Readers- add you own highlights in the comments section below!!
Photo: Ana Porgras by Brigid McCarthy
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