The Dutch team. Photograph: Silvia Vatteroni

Thanks to the good soul of a YouTuber, most videos of the 2016 Olympic women's gymnastics qualifications are finally online. As a result, here is some further analysis of the Rio Games: a careful selection of the 10 most beautiful floor routines of the Olympic Games 2016.

1. Eythora Thorsdottir (NED)

Beautifully choreographed and interpreted, Eythora’s routine was the most artistic floor routine of the Games. Her expressivity, grace and fluidity were remarkable, and her difficult tumbling passes were equally impressive. I can’t wait to see more of her! Here is the link to her routine.

2. Oréane Lechenault (FRA)

In her floor routine, Oréane managed something that even most rhythmic gymnasts fail at: she managed to tell a story. In the routine, Oréane wakes up in the morning, goes through her day, and at night, she goes back to sleep. The choreography was superb and beautifully interpreted. Well done, Oréane! Link

3. Laurie Hernandez (USA)

Laurie’s routine was not classical, but equally entertaining. She brought her Latino side to the floor, and charmed the crowd with a sparkling, sassy, engaging dance. It is nice to see an attention to dance be back at the heart of USA gymnastics. It had been missed. Link

4. Pauline Schaefer (GER)

Pauline is mostly known for her beam work, but her floor work is equally superb. Her routine at the Olympic Games was a combination of beautiful tumbling passes, excellent pirouettes and jumps, and amazing choreography. Impressive. Link

5. Nina Derwael (BEL)

This young Belgian girl has great potential and I hope to see her succeed in the future. Known for her mesmerizing bars work, her floor routine is equally exciting. Her tumbling is not the best, but she brings such pathos and interpretation to the floor, that you can’t keep your eyes off her. She is only 16, but her poise shows already great maturity. Good luck for the future, Nina! Link

Flavia Saraiva competes on floor. Photograph: Silvia Vatteroni

6. Lieke Wevers (NED)

Lieke did not manage to repeat the wonderful routine she had performed in qualifications at Worlds in 2015, where she hit all her pirouettes and stuck her tumbling passes. But she has an innate elegance, and her interpretation of the music is always a joy to watch. Hopefully she will stay around for the next quad as well. Link

7. Marine Brevet (FRA)

Marine’s routine was pure fluidity, all her moves were linked in one big flow of music, arm and leg work and tumbles. And guess what? She even managed to keep her double straight in bounds. Perfect! Link

8. Simone Biles (USA)

With three consecutive world titles and an Olympic title, Simone is the queen of floor exercise. She is the perfect combination of power and elegance: her tumbling passes are the most difficult and better executed in the world, her jumps and spin are super clean, her dance and beautiful smile are engaging. Perfection. Link


                                      Simone Biles performs on floor. Photograph: Silvia Vatteroni                                     

9. Catalina Ponor (ROU)

Catalina’s routine is the epitome of maturity. Tumbles, dance, moves and pauses, everything was constructed to suit her perfectly, and it did. Her Rio floor routine was one of her best ever, it is a pity she narrowly missed the event final. Link 

10. Flavia Saraiva (BRA)

Powerful, engaging, sassy, Flavia’s routine was eye-catching. Not only did she manage to match good tumbling passes and great choreography, but she also showed to be capable to dance on three different styles and speeds in only one minute-ish. Amazing! Link



By Talitha Ilacqua


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