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Photo by Ginnastica Artistica Italiana


Despite having taken a dramatic turn, the 47th World championships left us with a number of beautiful routines.

Here are my top favorite ones which I deeply enjoyed watching, and in case the reply button is not working, sorry I broke it.


Brooklyn Moors of Canada, floor routine/event final

Her opening tumbling pass is alone a real head turner. The Canadian gymnast is one of two women who have competed the double front half out at a major international competition.

The skill was rated an E previously but was upgraded to an F starting from 2013.

Moors performs another rarely done pass, a double full forward (D) to a full (C).  She also performs the highly artistic Semenova turn (D), and a Ferrari (D).

The fresh senior shows artistry and grace in her floor routine, something which we don't see quite so often nowadays. Her elegance and beautiful style earned her the Longines Prize for Elegance in the championships.

Moors qualified to floor final and finished in fifth place. She had the lowest difficulty score and the second highest execution score in the final.







Elena Eremina of Russia, uneven bars/qualification

A routine that includes a Nabieva (G) to pak salto (D) to Van Leeuwen (E) cannot NOT make our list.

Eremina had a highly appealing uneven bars routine which earned her tons of fans. She had the highest execution score in the event final but finished in second place due to China's Fan Yilin outscoring her in the difficulty panel.

She is so easy to watch on the apparatus.




Jade Carey of USA, floor exercise/event final

While there is - like - a lot of room for improvement, her outstanding technique has her make our list.

Jade makes her difficult tumbling look so effortless. She twists so fast that there is room for one more twist. The double twisting double back tuck could easily be a triple which has never been done before in women's gymnastics.

She also starts her full twist so early in her full twisting double layout which has us believe that she could do the Moors or the double twisting double layout.

She has clean style which probably what earned her the highest execution score in the floor final.

What Carey needs is to put energy in her choreography and to allow herself to connect to the music.






Diana Varinska of Ukraine, uneven bars/qualification

Varinska's performance in the championships made longtime gymnastics fans feel so nostalgic for the days where Ukrainian gymnasts had a strong presence.    

In Montreal, the first year senior became the first Ukrainian gymnast to qualified for the all around since 2007 and the event finals since 2010 at a World championships.

On the uneven bars, Varinska does an extremely unique combination; a Maloney (D) to clear hip circle (D) to Tkatchev half turn (E) to straddled jaeger (D) which is worth massive 0.6 connection bonus.

She swings the bars so smoothly. To be highly competitive, she needs to upgrade her routine (it is rated at 6.0) and to be more confident on her Tkatchev with half turn to Jaeger combination as she can be seen bending her legs which what costs her heavy execution deduction.





Ashton Locklear of USA, uneven bars/qualification

Yes, her routine lacks difficulty and originality but she has beautiful lines and swings the bars gracefully. She is so elegant and demonstrates power in her flight elements. 

Despite having a noncompetitive D score, her ridiculously high execution got her a spot in the event final. She got 9.066 while her D score was 5.5. The most difficult routine was Chinese Fan Yilin's which was rated at 6.5. The second lowest, among the bars finalists, was Ukrainian Diana Varinska's which was rated at 6.0.

Hopefully, she spices up her game by next year.





Ragan Smith of USA, floor exercise/qualification.

A lot of music used in floor routines feel as if they are just background noises. The choreography is just arm waving and the focus is only on the tumbling passes.

Smith's routine is anything but that. She is full of energy and puts so much effort in her choreography which goes well with the music.  

Her tumbling is difficult but a bit traditional. She does a double layout (F), 1.5 twist (C) to triple twist (E) - which is worth 0.2 connection bonus, double tucked Arabian (E) to stag jump (A) -worth 0.1 connection bonus, and a double back pike.

Smith had the highest execution score, among the finalists. She qualified in first place but an injury sustained during the all around's warm up forced her to withdraw from the championships.





Anastasia Ilyankova of Russia, uneven bars/qualification

Ilyankova has a very calm approach to the uneven bars. She is so artistic and elegant. She does the Hindroff (E) and the piked version of it (F), which was originated by Shang Chunsong of China. 

She does three bars transition, Maloney (D), Ezhova (D) and Van Leeuwen (E).

Ilyankova had the second highest execution score among the bars finalists, which was 8.866.

In the event final, she finished in fourth place.





Shallon Olsen of Canada, vault/qualification

Her Cheng is not perfect but she completes her twists and sticks the landing with no problem. That was her Cheng debut and I am impressed as well as excited to see more of her.




 Written by Gigi Farid

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If you have been a long time fan of gymnastics, you would know that US Olympic gold medalist Dominique Moceanu is very vocal about the physical and emotional abuse she endured at the hands of long time US head coaches, the Karoylis.

She had to go through what people usually do and say when victims come out and talk about their abuse; they disbelieved her, said she is doing it for attention, they themselves had good experience so she must be lying, that person would never do such a thing...you name it.

In the past week, Moceanu used Twitter to voice her support to the gymnasts, who fell victim to USAG's failure to protect them from sexual assault at the hands of disgraced team doctor Larry Nassar.

She has also called people to support and believe the victims and not to stand on the side of the alleged abusers.

This is really good and we need more people like her, because unfortunately nothing is ever gonna change unless those in power are pressured to do something to eliminate the horrific crimes committed against the innocent.

But things took an ugly turn when it came to former Soviet gymnast Tatiana Gutsu's allegation.

In a MeToo post, Gustu alleged that six time Olympic champion Vitaly Scherbo raped her during the Stuttgart cup in 1991 and that then fellow gymnasts Rustam Sharipov and Tatiana Toropova knew about it and did not stand by her side.

Moceanu at first tweeted her support for Gutsu.




But then through screenshots that was circulated online, it appeared that Moceanu wrote a supportive comments on Sharipov's Facebook status where he denied the accusation. Moceanu's comment heavily discredited Tatiana's story.

Before I post her comment, do you remember what happened when the sexual assault allegations against Larry Nassar came out?

People were quick to leave supportive comments on Nassar's Facebook and since it never happened to them and they knew him well, then these women must be lying. And like we said at the beginning of the post Moceanu herself had to endure the same thing when she talked about her abuse story.

But her supportive comments on Sharipov's Facebook showed she has done the same exact thing as those whom she fought against.

The "He would never do such a thing"

You would never knowingly allow abuse to happen.

The "You are a decent person so you wouldn't do this"

"I do believe Rustam when he says he wasn't aware of any of the abuse because he would never cover for anyone who did this kind of sick thing. He's the most honest and decent human being."

The "victim is lying let's point out their flaws in her story"

I've heard all sides of this story and something isn't right.

The "it is true there are victims out there but this woman is not one of them"

As many know I stand with any woman (when true which is most of the time) who has been victimized and comes forward from abuse.




You could say " he is her friend and friends should stick to each other"; people who do bad things have friends and family whom they are nice to like corrupted politicians and criminals - also unfortunately good people can make bad decisions when dealing with victims since they grew up in rape culture (that's why raising awareness is much needed) , and Moceanu's comment was 100 percent about supporting Rustam and 100 percent discrediting Gutsu, which heavily contradicts her tweet about urging people to support the victims.

She also defended him because he is a "good friend" not because she was there when it happened and knows the truth.

It is worthy of mention that Rustam was not accused of rape, Gutsu only said that he did not protect her at that time. Hence, we do not know what exactly happened.

1984 US Olympic gymnast Kathy Johnson made a brilliant comment, she showed compassion and support for Gutsu and at the same time offered a very helpful advice that could definitely sort things out.





Now, remember when we said 'things took an ugly turn', this time it took an even uglier one.

After the screenshot was seen by many gymnastics fans, they called Dominique out and tried to point to her that what she has just done, contradicts her message and makes her a hypocrite since she did not follow what she preached when one of the people she knows was involved.

Dominique defended herself saying that knows that Rustam is 100 percent innocent and that she supports both parties while stressing that her track record speaks for itself.





She has also stated that her comment was misinterpreted,



and launched an attack on those who are trying to make her understand that her comments are very harmful to the victims of assault and does not help the case.



Her accusations led her fans to bully those who called her out like Lauren Hopkins of Gymternet website.









In response to Dominique's attitude, Lauren came forward with her MeToo story which sums up why what the former gymnast has done, is very problematic and unjust.








Now, this is an opinion post that does not aim at attacking Moceanu but rather showing you how victims get silenced and that you need to be very careful on what you are stating and saying because it could be very hurtful to the victims and you could find yourself part of the problem.

Kudos to Hopkins for sharing her story, which hopefully makes people understand how victim shaming works, and hopefully Moceanu can cool down and think outside the box.

Please note that, there were several tweets on Moceanu's and Hopkins side that got deleted.


Written by Gigi Farid

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Leanne Wong's was our no. 1 floor routine of the championships. Photograph: YouTube

Here are our 10 favourite routines of the 2017 P&G gymnastics championships.

1. Leanne Wong (junior) – The Queen of Elegance is the perfect combination of difficult tumbling and picture-perfect choreography. Perfection is an underappreciated quality in elite gymnastics these days.


2. Kara Eaker (junior) – Kara’s lyrical beauty on floor and her rhythmic gymnastics style may bring tears to your eyes.


3. Maile O’Keefe (junior) – Maile developed a new maturity on floor, her routine is a story of unfolding dramatic beauty, she is magnetic.


4. Riley McCusker (senior) – Riley’s ‘sassy ballerina’ routine will bring a smile to your face, while her virtuosity will prevent you from taking your eyes off her.


5. Adeline Kenlin (junior) – Grace and finesse are one with Adeline, who among all that beauty can casually throw a Podkopayeva II tumbling pass.


6. Emma Malabuyo (junior) – Fun but composed, difficult but light, Emma’s floor routine is a joy to watch. She is a sunray among all the tempestuous drama of elite gymnastics.


7. Ragan Smith (senior) – The Olympic alternate embraced her new mature role within the team, showing off a new well-choreographed routine, which, paraphrasing her coach Kim Zmeskal-Burdette, aims to be cute but sassy. Goal achieved!


8. Luisa Blanco (senior) – The Alabama commit did not get any media attention, but her polished work is a beauty and her balletic pointed toes are the highlight of her routine.


9. Marz Frazier (senior) – The UCLA commit proved that you can throw big skills out on the floor, and still dance like you are at a party and have fun. Miss Val must be proud!


10. Trinity Thomas (senior) – Another gymnast who got undeservingly little media attention, Trinity seems to be blessed with wings, so high she flies when she tumbles and dances. Impressive!



Article by Talitha Ilacqua
Lots and lots of skills were added to the CoP during the 2013-2016 quad. Here are my top eight favorite skills.

Photo by Silvia Vatteroni




8

Originator: Brenna Dowell

Skill: Double forward pike on floor


Rating: F





7

Originator: No one (since more than one gymnast competed the skill at the same championships, it was added to the CoP without bearing any name) 

Skill: Change leg ring leap with half turn on floor


Rating: D







6

Originator: Simone Biles of USA

Skill: Double layout half out


Rating: G







5

Originator: Victoria Moors of Canada

Skill: Double twisting double back layout


Rating: I





4

Originator: Katarzyna Jurkowska-Kowalska of Poland

Skill: A split jump with 1/1 turn (360˚) to the ring


Rating: D







3

Originator: Aliya Mustafina of Russia

Skill: Triple Y turn

Rating: E







2

Originator: Pauline Schafer

Skill: Side somi with half twist

Rating: E






1

Originator: Shang Chunsong

Skill: Piked Hindroff on uneven bars

Rating: F






By Gigi Farid







I haven't gotten over the 2013-2016 Quad neither do you. Here are the absolute ultimate highlights of the quad.


Russia's Ksenia Afanasyeva learning and competing an Amanar at the age of 21.





Afanasyeva debuted her Amanar at 2013 Universiade Games. There, she earned a gold medal on the vault. She again competed the vault at 2015 European championships and won a bronze medal.

Learning and competing such a difficult vault at the age of 21 is definitely one of the ultimate highlights of the past quad.


China's Yao Jinnan Competing the rarely done and most difficult bars release Mo Salto




In 2013, Jinnan had our jaws dropped when she trained and competed the Mo Salto, a very difficult and rarely done uneven bars release. Unfortunately, the skill did not help her much. At World championships, she fell on it  during the uneven bars final taking her out of medal contention. She hasn't competed it since then.


The rise of US Simone Biles

























Biles established herself as a dominant force. She won gold in the all around and on floor exercise at all three World championships and at the Rio Olympics, she was basically unbeatable. She was as well the winner of two balance beam World titles and the winner of an Olympic vault title. In addition, she had a difficult skill named after her on floor exercise which is a double layout half out. Oh and she led her team to two World titles and Olympic one. Seriously, when was the last time we saw someone as dominant as Biles!


The continuing success of Aliya Mustafina


























Mediocrity was never in Mustafina's dictionary. The girl became a World champion on her weakest event (the balance beam) and three times champion at the first edition of the European Games. She won three of the same medals at back-to-back Olympic Games: gold on uneven bars, silver with the team and bronze in the all-around. Moreover, she had another skill named after her, a triple Y turn on floor.


Dutch Sanne Wevers winning that Olympic gold medal




That was one heck of a surprise. Her gold medal win left us speechless. Wevers is very much admired by hardcore gymnastics fans for her originality. For them, her winning an Olympic medal was merely a day dream. She turned that daydream into reality. What an astonishing accomplishment.


Multiple gymnasts from not so gymnastically strong countries winning Olympic medals




They didn't lie when they said that everybody loves the underdog. Gymnastics fans were more than thrilled to see three underdogs winning medals (in addition to Sanne Wevers) at Rio Olympic Games. Giulia Steingruber became the first female Swiss gymnast to win an Olympic medal, a bronze on vault. Germany's Sophie Scheder won bronze on uneven bars while Amy Tinkler of Great Britain won bronze on floor exercise.



US Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas making successful comebacks
























When was the last time we have seen a successful a US Olympic gymnast making her second Olympics? Yea I thought so. 



US Aly Raisman finally getting her Olympic all around medal




Raisman was devastated when she missed out on an Olympic all around medal in London due to tie breaking rule. She worked really hard and showed great improvements. Seeing Raisman getting her own redemption and winning the Olympic all around silver medal in Rio was very inspirational.


The Produnovas






Competing/attempting the Produnova vault was one of the most spoken about topics. Egypt's Fadwa Mohamed, Uzbekistan's Oksana Chusovitina and India's Dipa Karmakar have all competed the vault. Due its dangerousness and it being poorly executed, there have been calls for the Produnova vault to be banned.



Russia's Anna Pavlova comeback for Azerbaijani





Pavlova is a huge fan favorite gymnast. Seeing her getting shot down by the Russians after the 2008 Olympics, was not easy on the heart. She took the decision to represent Azerbaijan in 2013 and was seen again on the international scene. Her biggest accomplishment was a silver on vault at 2014 European championships.  



Italy's Vanessa Ferrari finally winning some serious medals




Ferrari suffered from so many disappointments. In 2010 2011 and 2012, she did not win any individual medal at a major international competition. This quad, she got her redemption (kind of) by winning a silver medal on floor at 2013 Worlds and a gold one on the same event at 2014 European championships.


North Korea's Hong Un Jong attempting the triple twisting Yurchenko







Un Jong has been submitting the triple twisting Yurchenko since 2008 Olympic Games. She finally attempted it at 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Despite it being a failed attempt, it deserved to be on our list.

Hong Un Jong being back on international scene





Un Jong rose to fame in 2008 when she became the first female North Korean gymnast to win an Olympic gold medal which was on vault. In 2010, North Korea was banned from all international competitions for two years thus she did not have the chance to shine in this period.  When the ban expired, Un Jong managed to medal on her strongest event at all three World championships. 


Four gymnasts tie for gold at 2015 World championships




Judges were feeling generous at this day. They gave gold medals to four gymnasts in a single event final. This was the first four-way tie for gold at a World Championships.

Other 

Giulia Steingruber winning eight medals at European championships including the all around gold which made her the first female Swiss gymnast to win so.

Dipa Karmakar being the first Indian woman gymnast to qualify on for the Olympics and the first gymnast of either sex from her country to grace the Games since Tokyo 1964.

Written by Gigi Farid

Photos by Silvia Vatteroni