Saturday, June 9, 2012

Internationally Inexperienced doesn't equal Untalented.

Heather Maynez
"It's not a good idea to put a very inexperienced gymnast on the team. That's begging for trouble. Her upgrades won't even help her get an alternate spot."

I read this in a forum after Day 1 of Nationals about Corrie Lothrop in 2008. Corrie was later placed on the 9 person Olympic Squad. And I was like... "Wow, we sure should respect these girls' chances more. You never know who can make the team."

And here we are in 2012... and I read this:
"I can't picture Marta taking a chance on an athlete with such little experience. Also compared to the rest of the field she's pretty weak."  

This was in reference to Kennedy Baker.

I was a little bit taken back. Kennedy's talented. Like, really talented. If you missed the fact that she medaled at the US Classics, she was also the 2009 Bars champion and has been a National Team Member since 2010.

Oh, and then there's this.

(Video by USAG)

She opens with a 1.5 to Double Arabian and then completes a DOS SANTOS for her second pass. 

She also has a host of other big skills that she completes cleanly such as a Patterson which she almost stuck on Day 1 of competition.

Kennedy's AA Start Value is only 3 tenths lower than McKayla Maroney. Kennedy hit 58.05 yesterday. That's a really big score. Bridget Sloan's only hit that once in this scoring system; Sabrina Vega never has. Kennedy could fill in due to injury on literally any event. 

Am I saying that Kennedy's spot is a done deal? To be honest, after last night, I'm starting to wonder if Jordyn's spot is a done deal! (Not really, but you get my point.) Of course it's not a done deal. 

But I will say, a gymnast not having international experience doesn't mean she's untalented. Just because you didn't pay attention to her before this year doesn't mean she hasn't been around. And don't hate on Kennedy (or Elizabeth or Brenna or whoever else), until you've seen them perform.  

For what it's worth, it was less than a year ago when I read this quote about Gabrielle Douglas: 
"A career ended last night."

Anything can happen kids; This is gymnastics. 


  1. Terrific tumbling from Kennedy, but her FX looks straight out of NCAA. I do not want that at the Olympics. And we already have Aly Raisman to give us icky bodyline, Gabrielle Douglas to offer up crappy choreo, and countless gymnasts to provide bent wrists. Why add one more gymnast who has all 3 of these things?

  2. Anonymous- how dare you speak of Kennedy that way! She is an amazingly talented young woman with drive and ambition! Is there anyone out there that is perfect? I dare say no. Unless you can do what Kennedy does do not speak ill of her!

    1. Calm down, my goodness. I didn't speak ill of her as a person. I'm allowed to criticize her gymnastics and unless you've never criticized another gymnast's routines, you have no business freaking out on someone else just because you don't agree with them. (Interesting you didn't leap to Aly Raisman's defense even though I criticized her as well.)

      If someone brings up reasons why Kennedy should make the team, it's perfectly reasonable to point out why she shouldn't make the team.

      I said nothing about her drive and ambition. It goes without saying that all these girls are amazingly talented young women. It goes without saying that no gymnast is perfect. At least it should go without saying, but apparently some people are not mature enough to understand the difference between disliking a gymnast's skills and hating the gymnast as a person. Apparently you need people to spell this out for you in every post?

    2. Hello, Kennedy's Mum.

  3. Well said! All of these girls deserve tons of respect!

  4. I think some people forget that if most of these girls that "have no chance" of making the usa team were born in a different county, they would be at the Olympics.

  5. I agree so much, anything can happen.
    To people who thought Gabby's career ended at last year's visas, to people who thought Nastia would definately make the team after classics and act like she's done now,to people who say that Mustafina will be the Dobre of the quad and never get back, to people who thought Romania was done at 2011, to people who had never heard of Sarah Finnegan or even Larisa Iordache so they think they have no chances: YOU CAN'T PREDICT THE FUTURE, CHILL. The fact that Alicia Sacramone is doing an awsome sheep jump is the best proof that in gymnastics ANYTHING can happen

  6. i agree with the first post. her floor reminds me of a NCAA routine

  7. Her floor does remind me of a NCAA routine but not in a bad way, I like her choreo, it's different

  8. That's some pretty impressive tumbling, but I'm not sure that second pass would get credit as a Dos Santos. I've seen similar attempts downgraded to a piked double Arabian value.

    Otherwise, that routine could best be described as dance-free. She walked through the entire thing.

    1. a piked double arabian is a dos santos...a laid out double arabian is the dos santos 2...they are both called the dos santos, so yes she does a dos santos

  9. It's training has a unique routine. No wonder she reached the finals.