Articles by "USA Gymnastics"
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Photo by Ginnastica Artistica Italiana



Simone Biles has set her eyes on competing at the 2018 US Classics.

The American gymnast told NBC that she plans to have her competition comeback debut at the US classics of next year which will be held in July.

There, she will compete only on two events but will compete on all four at the P&G championships the following month.

The multiple World champion has previously announced that she will return to full time training next November. She has already started light training in August.

On muscle soreness and pain, she said "It’s going to be rough. But the muscle memory is there because I’ve come and I’ve played in the gym. All of my skills are basically still there. There are a couple of skills, like on [balance] beam, that I haven’t done yet, like a dismount, because why would I just chuck that? There’s no way. And I haven’t vaulted since the Olympics."

Biles has taken a break since the Rio Olympic Games where she won four gold medals. She said that she has always had in mind to take only one year off the sport.

The 20 year old gymnast's longtime coach Amiee Boorman moved from Texas to Florida and will not be coaching her anymore.

Simone will announce the name of her new personal coach soon.

Written by Gigi Farid

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Photo by Silvia Vatteroni
Simone Biles has announced that she will resume full time training starting from next November.

No date has been set regarding her comeback competition.

The American gymnast, who returned to gym in August in order get back in shape, said she hasn't decided yet on her next goals.

Her last competition was the Rio Olympic Games.

Biles is the winner of four Olympic gold medals as well as the first woman to win three consecutive World all around titles.

This year, she is enjoying the dating life for the first time in her life as she has before scarified the traditional teenage lifestyle for the success in the sport.

Simone is dating gymnast Stacey Ervin. They took their romance public last month.

Written by Gigi Farid



USA Gymnastics has released the name list of people whom they declared permanently ineligible for membership with them.

The list included Larry Nassar who is being charged for sexually assaulting dozens of athletes while working as USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University physician doctor.

As per their website, membership in USA Gymnastics is a privilege granted by USA Gymnastics. That privilege can be withdrawn by USA Gymnastics at any time where a member's conduct is determined to be inconsistent with the best interest of the sport of gymnastics and of the athletes they are servicing.

The move came a year after the abuse scandal broke out.

Since last year, more than 100 women and girls came forward and accused Nassar of sexual misconduct while working at the organization and the University. One of which being Olympic medalist Jamie Danzester.

Nassar, who was the team doctor for U.S. gymnasts at several Olympics, is as well facing charges of child pornography possession and first-degree criminal sexual conduct involving a family friend allegedly abused from the age of 6 until she was 12.

Written by Gigi Farid

See also Twistars, Olympic Champion Jordyn Wieber's Former Gym, Hires Coach Kathie Klages Who Is Alleged To Have Covered Up Nassar's Sexual Abuse Against Gymnasts

Aly Raisman Blasts USA Gymnastics Over Poorly Handling Sex Abuse Scandal And They Respond



Ragan Smith headlines the USA's World championships team. Photograph: Ginnastica Artistica Italiana

The number-one gymnastics country in the world has finally announced its World championships team. The United States will send Olympic alternates Ragan Smith and Ashton Locklear, and first-year seniors Jade Carey and Morgan Hurd.

Ragan Smith was no surprise. Smith, 17, has dominated the all around stage this year, winning the American Cup in March and the national title at the P&G Championships last August. She will have some international competition in Montreal for the all around crown (read: Larisa Iordache has looked insanely good lately), but a medal, of whichever colour, is certainly within her grasp. Same goes for her two best apparatuses, beam and floor. She is not as dominant as Simone Biles was last quad, especially on floor, but she could win medals on both events. Smith has recently improved so much on bars that she could even make the event finals on the latter apparatus. She is likely to come home from Canada as the United States’ most decorated gymnast.

First-year senior Jade Carey, 16, was also hardly a surprise, because she is the only American to compete two vaults at the moment and she has incredible difficulty on floor. On vault, she competes a Rudi and an Amanar, which propels her in the Olympus of vaulters with the highest combined difficulty in the world, along with China’s Wang Yan. Carey’s Amanar has been up-and-down this season, but there is not high level competition on vault this year, and Carey has a strong chance of a medal. Despite not being as clean in execution, she reminds me of 2009 vault World champion Kayla Williams, who came out of nowhere to win the vault World title in London (and then went on to become a star at Alabama).

Ashton Locklear, 19, was more of a question mark. The Olympic alternate looks as polished as ever on the uneven bars, but her difficulty is quite low (5.5), because she has not regained all her inbar work yet (which is a pity, because it is the epitome of beauty-on-the-uneven-bars, and also of beauty in general really). The international uneven bars field this year is strong, but no one compares with Locklear’s execution, who could then earn a spot in the final. Once there, anything can happen. Many gymnasts bring more difficulty to the table, but Locklear has experience, execution and a reputation on her side, which may win her a medal.

The fourth spot could go to almost anybody, after Riley McCusker withdrew from the Selection Camp last week due to a stress fracture. After what we can assume was a tough decision, it was decided that first-year senior Morgan Hurd, 16, will have the honour to represent the U.S. at Worlds. Surprising? Yes and no. When we saw Hurd at the P&G Championships last month, she was coming back from an elbow injury, and she did not look particularly polished. Since then, however, she has kept improving, and in the video USA Gymnastics posted about her at the Selection Camp, she looked on fire: great DTY, beautiful double-double on floor, extraordinary lines on bars.

Other gymnasts had the potential to make the team. Jordan Chiles, who was named the alternate, has an Amanar and stuck everything we were allowed to see at the Camp, Alyona Shchennikova looked great on bars (and has a 6.3 D-score), my darling Trinity Thomas is a raw diamond with incredible potential. None of these gymnasts, however, who would have been perfect for a team competition, fit this year’s team, which is an individual championships only, as none of them seem to have the potential to medal on any event. The same could be said for Locklear, but Locklear. Has. The. Execution. (and the reputation, and she is a pro gymnast).

Overall, this is an excellent team, which shows plenty of potential for Montreal and for the years to come too. Ragan Smith and Jade Carey seem likely to come home with at least a medal. Morgan Hurd has potential to medal in the all around, and could possibly have a shot also on bars and beam. Ashton Locklear is still a big question mark, but her uneven bars work is exquisite, and if anything, we will have the pleasure to enjoy her routine once more this year.

Article by Talitha Ilacqua
Riley McCusker at the 2017 Jesolo Trophy. Photograph: Ginnastica Artistica Italiana

USA Gymnastics has announced today that uneven bars national champion Riley McCusker has withdrawn from the 2017 World Championships Selection Camp due to injury. The camp is scheduled for 18-22 September at the USA Gymnastics National Team Training Center. At the end of it, four gymnasts and an alternate will be named to represent the USA at the World championships in Montreal on 2-8 October 2017.

McCusker competed at the 2017 P&G Championships last August with slightly downgraded routines, as she was coming back from another injury. She still managed to win a gold medal on bars, a silver on beam and a bronze in the all around.

Nine women will attend the Selection Camp next week: Jade Carey, Jordan Chiles, Margzetta Frazier, Emily Gaskins, Morgan Hurd, Ashton Locklear, Alyona Shchennikova, Ragan Smith and Trinity Thomas.

Article by Talitha Ilacqua
Olympic champion Aly Raisman responded to a tweet asking about her opinion on a recent viral video which shows a high school cheerleader being forced into doing splits by her coach.

"Unacceptable. Never ever should happen ever. Forcing stretching like that will cause injury. Not sure what those coaches were thinking," the American gymnast tweeted.

"Athletes know their limits and coaches need to respect that. Mihai and Silvie (my coaches) never forced me to stretch. I stretched myself."

The viral video shows 13-year-old Ally Wakefield being forced into performing splits by her cheerleading coach, Ozell Williams, while pleading "please stop" nine times.

As a result, she suffered from torn muscle tissue and a pulled hamstring. She is now receiving physical therapy.

Her doctor said that the injury was caused by the coach's knee on the back of her thigh to try to keep her posture straight. She added that it could possibly fracture the pelvic system and reproductive organs as well.

Williams was fired after the video, which was taken last June, went viral this week. Trying to defend himself, he said that the video was taken out of context.

Williams was previously fired from another school last year for the same exact reason. It is alleged that he told girls at another of his classes he would 'punch them in the face' if they messed up.

Written by Gigi Farid






Twistars gym has recently hired coach Kathie Klages, who got suspended from MSU for being a hardcore supporter of Larry Nassar who is being prosecuted on charges of sexually abusing dozens of athletes.

Twistars is owned by John Geddart who coached  2012 Olympic champion Jordyn Wieber.

According to court documents, Klages tried to convince a mother of one of Nassar's alleged victims that his digital penetrations of her daughter's vagina was a proven medical treatment and that the child pornography the FBI said it found on Larry Nassar's computers and hard drives may have been planted to frame him.

In a motion filed in a federal lawsuit, Klages told the MSU athletes to respond with 'No comment,' to any questions from media or police and to forward any calls to the legal department regarding Nassar investigation.

The American coach got suspended by MSU following claims that she defended Nassar and discouraged them from reporting his conduct. She later stepped down.

According to sources, Klages is only hired for a temporary period as she is filling in during an employee's absence, while Geddart is on vacation.

Jamie White, an attorney representing several of Nassar's accusers, has expressed his outrage at the hiring of Klages at Twistars.

 "It sends a message to the victims and it's a huge slap in their face as far as Mr. Geddert is concerned," said White. "Regardless of Ms. Klages ultimate finding of guilt or innocence or involvement in this matter, to bring her back into an institution filled with kids where she's being accused of covering up or not reporting abuse of minors over the course of 20 years is very frightening."

During trial, it was mentioned that Geddart allegedly walked in the room while Nassar was performing said medical treatment and made a joke about it.

Twistars is being also sued for knowing about Nassar's abuse and failing to stop it.

Written by Gigi Farid



Via Instagram


Yesterday, US gymnast Katelyn Ohashi published the first part of her journal recalling the emotional abuse she suffered regarding her body while training as an elite gymnast.


Today former teammate Sarah DeMeo revealed on Twitter new horrific details of what happens behind the scenes of elite gymnastics training

DeMeo quoted Ohashi's tweet adding "Remember forcing us to do beam routines w/ a weight belt around our waist? Much love & respect to my talented & brave former teammate" which was liked by Ohashi.



As an elite gymnast, DeMeo trained at GAGE and as an NCAA one, she competed for Alabama University. While Ohashi trained at GAGE and WOGA during her elite career. She now competes for the UCLA Bruins gymnastics team.

It is most likely, the harsh training took place at GAGE.

Written by Gigi Farid






US gymnast Katelyn Ohashi revealed depth of suffering while being trained as an elite gymnast.

Ohashi, who started training at WOGA at the age of 12, published the first part of her journal which recalls her being traumatically body shamed by everyone including her coaches and herself.




" I experienced these cruel, unwanted body remarks from just about everyone— coaches, fans/gymnastics followers, National team staff, my mother, and even myself," wrote Ohashi. "It started when I was 13, barely weighing 70 pounds. I’ve been told I looked like I swallowed an elephant or a pig, whichever was more fitting that day. I was compared to a bird that was too fat to lift itself off the ground."

"If I “looked” bigger on a given day, I had to run and condition with heavy sweats until it seemed like I was “ready” to start practice."

The American gymnast mentioned that she has even been asked to sign a contract that would prohibit her from training if she did not lose weight.

Ohashi felt pressured to live up to a certain standard and fit the stereotypical body type of a gymnast. Her coach believed that messing up or falling is a result of her being too heavy.

One day, she was home alone and hungry. She found her brother's food, her mom used to hide from her, and ate too much of it.

"I feel disgusting, as if I can already feel the fat growing on my legs. I don’t want to get in trouble tomorrow so I must force myself to do conditioning until my conscience is clean enough to fall asleep."

At some point, Ohashi felt that bulimia could be the only solution that could save her.

" I’m tired of only eating vegetables and I’m tired of running and conditioning every time I “look” like I’m a little heavier."

She recalled a time where she got kicked out several time because she was heavy which followed with being obsessed with weighing herself and not being able to start practice unless she steps on the scale.

"I can’t leave practice without knowing I’ve lost some weight." 

Ohashi did not name Valeri Liukin in her post, however, she was being trained under him during the time she wrote about her struggle with body image in her journal. 

Last June, former American gymnast Vanessa Atler gave an interview to Gymcastic where she revealed that she developed an eating disorder while being coached by Valeri Liukin and to this day she is still messed up because of it.

Atler said that Valeri would weigh his gymnasts three times a day, in the morning, after workouts and at night.

In response to Atler's allegations, Valeri sent a statement to PEOPLE via USA Gymnastics:

“I am sorry Vanessa’s experience wasn’t positive during her time at WOGA. When asked to help during a difficult time for her, my intention as a coach was to help Vanessa achieve her dreams, not make her training situation more difficult"


“My recollection of working with Vanessa is different and includes many positive experiences. Coaching techniques and perspectives have evolved since then, and I have grown as a coach through experience and expanding my knowledge.  Today, I firmly believe an athlete’s focus should be on training smart, with increased education in the areas of balanced nutrition, fitness, healthy lifestyle and communication.  This is the basis for our approach in women’s gymnastics.”

At that time, 2008 Olympic all around champion Nastia Liukin (Liukin's daughter) denied on Twitter the weigh ins in WOGA in response to a tweet that read that she talked about it in her book. She also advised the user not to believe everything they hear. 


  

Ohashi was a promising elite gymnast who was well known for her difficulty on balance beam. She was a four-time member of USA Gymnastics' Junior National Team, the 2011 junior national champion and the winner of the 2013 American Cup.

She was plagued by injuries during her first year senior and dropped to level 10 two years later. She then joined the UCLA Bruins gymnastics team.


Six time Olympic medalist Aly Raisman is highly disappointed at how USA Gymnastics has been handling the allegations of sexual abuse against former national team doctor Larry Nassar who also worked in Michigan State University.

Dozens of former gymnasts have come forward and stated that Nassar sexually assaulted, battered, abused and molested them while treating them for sports injuries.

Raisman, who declined to respond on whether Nassar treated her improperly and preferred to talk more generally, heavily criticized the sport's national governing body for failing to stop him and spending too much of the fallout attempting to “sweep it under the rug.”

She feels that no one is acknowledging how horrible what happened is or considering a serious change effort.

"What people don’t realize is that this doctor was a doctor for 29 years,”  said the 23 year old gymnast. “Whether or not he did it to a gymnast, they still knew him. Even if he didn’t do it to you, it’s still the trauma and the anxiety of wondering what could have happened. I think that needs to be addressed. These girls, they should be comfortable going to USA Gymnastics and saying ‘I need help, I want therapy. I need this."

Nassar was fired by USA Gymnastics in 2015 after working with the federation since 1986 over all and as its national medical coordinator since 1996. He was fired from Michigan State last September.

"The people at the very top, that work at the office every single day at USA Gymnastics, they need to do better," said Raisman who does not support how USA Gymnastics is currently handling the crisis.

She feels that the organization is trying to get on with business as usual and that they are not putting enough effort into working towards the best interests of the gymnasts.

Last March, former USA Gymnastics chief Steve Penny was pressured to resign from his position. He received one million dollars payout.

“A million dollars is a lot of money. They could do a lot of things to create change. They could create a program. They could even contact all the families that have come forward and say ‘Can we help your kid with therapy?’”

In mid 2016, Penny denied that they turned a blind eye to abuse claims and USOC backed them up as they refused to investigate in the matter. 

The gymnast's mother demanded that they get rid of those who knew and looked the other way.

“Everyone is important,” the American gymnast stated. “It doesn’t matter if you’re the Olympic champion or you’re an 8-year-old that goes to gymnastics in Ohio, or wherever you are in the U.S. Every single kid is important and I want USA Gymnastics to do a better job with that.”

USA Gymnastics responded to Raisman’s criticisms in a statement sent to HuffPost:

Aly is one of our most-decorated athletes and has served as an athlete leader and the captain of two Olympic teams. We welcome her passion on this critical issue. As we have said, we are appalled by the conduct of which Larry Nassar is accused. And, we are sorry that any athlete has been harmed during her or his gymnastics career.


We’ve accepted the recommendations made by an expert, former federal prosecutor who carefully examined the organization’s policies. In the course of her review, she spoke to athletes, coaches and other members. We also adopted a safe sport policy and hired a new director of safe sport, who is building an implementation and education plan for our members. We are taking this issue head-on, and we want to work with Aly and all interested athletes to keep athletes safe.

Nassar has pleaded guilty for child pornography charges last July. About 37,000 images and videos of child pornography were found on his laptop. He is now awaiting trial on charges of sexually assaulting several female athletes.

 Raisman is the highest profile athlete to publicly criticize USA Gymnastics.

One of Nassar's victims is 2000 Olympic bronze medalist Jamie Dantzscher who filed a lawsuit in September last year anonymously under the name of Jane Doe. However, she was outed on social media and victim shamed.

Raisman, who has expressed desire to compete at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics, is known for being outspoken on social issues like body positivity, gay marriage and Trump's bad against transgender people serving in the military.

Written by Gigi Farid



Ragan Smith won the U.S. all around title. Photograph: Silvia Vatteroni

Day 2 of the 2017 senior P&G gymnastics championships was held in Anaheim, California on 20 August.

All around final

Olympic alternate and 2017 American Cup champion Ragan Smith of Texas Dreams, who was leading the field after Day 1, won the all around title with a total score of 115.250 (57.400 on Day 1 and 57.850 on Day 2). This was the first time since 2012 that someone other than Simone Biles was crowned U.S. all around champion! Smith had a more solid competition than Day 1, scoring a 14.350/5.4 on vault, a 14.100/5.8 on bars, a 14.350/5.7 on floor and a huge 15.050/6.1 on beam. Her beam score is one of the highest in the world and her floor score is the highest in the world right now! Smith is certainly one of the top contenders for the World all around title in October.


Second was Jordan Chiles of Naydenov, who sat third after Day 1, with a 111.850 (55.850 on Day 1 and 56.000 on Day 2). Chiles had a fairly good performance. She had trouble with her Amanar vault for a poor 14.100/5.8, but came back strong on bars (14.000/5.4) and floor (13.700/5.5), where she performed a leap jump out of her double layout. The highlight of her competition – and of the competition in general! – came on beam, where she stumbled on her wolf turn, and to save it she performed 1, 2, 3… a triple spin and managed to land it straight – incredible, Sanne Wevers would be proud!


Third was Riley McCusker of MG Elite, who was second after Day 1, with a 111.650 (56.100 on Day 1 and 55.550 on Day 2). McCusker had a great competition on bars (14.450/6.0) and beam (14.500/5.5), but struggled a bit on floor, landing out of bounds (13.200/5.2), and lost some precious tenths on vault, as she competed only a FTY (13.400/4.4).


Fourth was Trinity Thomas of Prestige with a total score on 111.350 (55.300 on Day 1 and 56.050 on Day 2). Thomas had a great competition. She scored a 14.350/5.8 on bars, a 14.200/5.4 on beam, a 14.200/5.7 on floor and a 13.300/4.4 on vault. Thomas is becoming a steady competitor and has so much potential, do not underestimate what she can do!


Fifth was Margzetta Frazier of Parkettes with a 110.900 (55.400 on Day 1 and 55.500 on Day 2). Frazier scored a 14.550/5.4 on vault, a 14.100/5.9 on bars, a 13.250/5.3 on beam and a 13.600/5.2 on floor. This was the first time Frazier was named to the U.S. national team, and it is such a boost of confidence for someone whose previous coach told her that she did not belong to elite. Well done, Marz!


Morgan Hurd of First State was sixth with a 109.75o (54.100 on Day 1 and 55.650 on Day 2). Hurd had a much more improved competition from Day 1, scoring a 14.450/5.4 on vault, a 13.750/5.6 on bars, a 13.650/5.3 on beam and a 13.800/5.4 on floor.


Seventh was Emily Gaskins of Cincinnati Gym with a 109.200, eighth was Alyona Shchennikova of 5280 Gym with a 107.800, ninth was Elena Arenas of Georgia Elite with a 107.150 and tenth was Deanne Soza of Texas Dreams with a 106.450.

Event finals

Jade Carey of Oasis was the only gymnast to compete two vaults, and won the even with a 28.675. Carey had trouble with her Amanar on Day 1, but came back strong on Day 2, landing both vaults on her feet. She scored a 14.300 overall for her Rudi and her Amanar.


Riley McCusker won bars with a 29.000. She scored a 14.500/6.1 on Day 1 and a 14.450/6.0 on Day 2. Her routine is beautiful, and as her execution keeps improving, she will be a contender for a World final. Second was Olympic alternate Ashton Locklear of Everest with a 28.750. Locklear lost to McCusker in difficulty, as she performed a routine worth only a 5.5 D-score. She scored a 14.350/5.5 on Day 1 and a 14.400/5.5 on Day 2. Tied for third were Ragan Smith and Marissa Oakley of Everest with two 28.400s. Smith scored a 14.300/6.0 on Day 1 and a 14.100/5.8 on Day 2. It is unbelievable how much she has improved on bars over the last couple of years! Oakley was a delightful surprise. She scored a 14.250/5.9 on Day 1 and a 14.150/5.9 on Day 2, for a difficult and dynamic routine. Watch out!


Ragan Smith won beam with a 29.550. She was a bit shaky (and overscored) on Day 1 for a 14.500/5.9. She however performed a beautiful routine on Day 2 for a 15.050/6.1. Riley McCusker was second with a 28.900. She competed her slightly watered down routine beautifully, for a 14.400/5.6 on Day 1 and a 14.500/5.5 on Day 2. Third was Trinity Thomas, who impressed greatly for her composure on beam. She scored an overall 28.400, 14.200/5.5 Day 1 and 14.200/5.4 Day 2.


Ragan Smith also won the floor title with a 28.550 (14.200/5.6 on Day 1 and a 14.350/5.7 on Day 2). Just behind her was Jade Carey with a 28.500, who presented the most difficult tumbling passes of the competition and, she revealed, is training a layout double-double! Carey scored a 14.100/5.8 on Day 1 and a 14.400/5.8 on Day 2. Trinity Thomas was third with a 28.300, and she performed some tumbling passes that looked so easy for her. She scored a 14.100/5.7 on Day 1 and a 14.200/5.7 on Day 2.


Jade Carey, Jordan Chiles, Marz Frazier, Morgan Hurd, Ashton Locklear, Riley McCusker, Ragan Smith and Trinity Thomas were named to the U.S. senior national team.


Article by Talitha Ilacqua

Simone Biles and Stacey Ervin have officialised their relationship. Photograph: Stacey Ervin/Instagram

Big love news from the gymnastics world! Olympic champion Simone Biles has confirmed on Instagram her romance with gymnast Stacey Ervin.

Ervin is a former Michigan gymnast, a former member of the U.S. men’s national gymnastics team and a coach at the World Champions Centre, the gym owned by Simone Biles’ parents in Spring, Texas. Ervin competed for the university of Michigan from 2011 to 2015, from which he graduated in psychology. With the Wolverines he won one NCAA title in 2013, as well as two individual NCAA bronze medals on floor in 2012 as a freshman and in 2015 as a senior. Ervin was also a member of the U.S. men’s gymnastics team in 2015, winning bronze on floor at the 2015 U.S. Nationals.

Simone and Stacey both made their relationship official on Instagram.

Stacey posted a photo of himself and Simone at the USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame Induction ceremony last Saturday. He praised Simone for her accomplishments, and sweetly added that ‘[y]ou make me feel like I am the luckiest man alive.’


Simone later posted a photo of herself hugging Stacey, with the caption ‘always smiling with you’.

Un post condiviso da Simone Biles (@simonebiles) in data:

Congratulations to the new 'power couple'!

Article by Talitha Ilacqua
The all around podium. Photograph: Maile O'Keefe/Instagram

Day 2 of the 2017 junior P&G gymnastics championships was held in Anaheim, California on 20 August.

All around final

Maile O’Keefe of Salcianu Elite defended the all around title she won last year with an impressive 114.450 (57.200 on Day 1 and 57.250 on Day 2). Second was rising star Emma Malabuyo of Texas Dreams with a 112.450 (57.050 on Day 1 and 55.400 on Day 2). Malabuyo was on O’Keefe’s heels for most of the competition, but a fall on her beam dismount marred her chances of gold. Third was talented newcomer Kara Eaker of GAGE with a 111.250 (55.500 on Day 1 and 55.750 on Day 2).

Maile O’Keefe competed as a veteran on Day 2, maturely adjusting her routines whenever little mistakes happened, showing much improved floor expressivity and blowing kisses to the crowd at the end of the competition – she is ready to hit the senior stage! O’Keefe started the completion on bars, where she scored a 14.050/5.8. She then moved to beam, where she hit all her connections, including her triple series (free-cartwheel + LOSO + LOSO) that she had missed on Day 1, for an excellent 14.450/6.1. On floor, she improved her landings and showed off her exquisite presentation for a 14.050/5.2. Finally, she capped the day with one of the best DTY of the competition for a 14.700/5.5.


Emma Malabuyo is certainly one of the rising stars of the junior U.S. team, and will likely become one of the hot names for the 2020 Olympic team. Malabuyo started off her competition of vault, where she almost stuck a beautiful DTY (14.700/5.5). She then moved to bars, where she again hit her routine, with only one big step on the landing for a 13.850/5.4. Her beam routine was better than Day 1 in terms of solidity and confidence, but she over-rotated her double pike dismount and had to count a fall, which took her out of the hunt for gold (13.050/6.0). Malabuyo, however, finished strong on floor, with a stuck double layout and a fun choreography for a 13.800/5.3.


Third was Kara Eaker, who was even more polished (if possible!) than Day 1. Eaker began her competition on floor, where she performed a beautiful routine, which included a triple twist, for a 13.700/5.0. On vault, she competed a flawless FTY for a 13.700/4.6. On bars, she hit her set like in Day 1 for a 13.200/5.0. She completed her competition on beam, her best apparatus, where she delivered the best and highest scoring routine by any junior or senior at this competition, a massive 15.150/5.9!


Fourth was Adeline Kenlin of IGN, who had a much improved competition from Day 1. Kenlin started off on bars, where she had fall on her dismount on Day 1, to deliver a solid set – dismount included – for a 13.550/5.7. Her dismount is actually Nastia’s dismount, a double front with half turn. It is nice to see it back in competition. Kenlin then moved to beam, where she performed a more solid routine than Day 1, for an impressive 14.550/6.1. On floor, she competed an elegant routine, which included the rarely done Podkopayeva pass, a double front with half twist out (13.350/5.1). She ended her competition on vault, where she competed a good DTY, with only the chest a bit low on the landing (14.250/5.5).


Fifth was the most elegant gymnast of all, Leanne Wong of GAGE with a total score of 108.250 (54.700 on Day 1 and 53.550 on Day 2). Wong started off the competition on floor, where she competed a flawless routine, which included a double Arabian to stag jump and a triple twist, for a 13.700/5.1. On vault, she delivered the best DTY of any junior or senior for a 14.800/5.5. She had some trouble on the uneven bars, where she missed a turn and had to take several extra swings (11.100/4.1). She finished her competition on beam, where she performed a much improved routine from Day 1 for a 13.950/4.9.


Audrey Davis of WOGA was sixth with a total score of 107.850 (53.550 on Day 1 and 45.300 on Day 2). Davis scored an excellent 14.500/5.6 on vault. She then scored a 13.500/5.2 on bars for a very good routine, a 13.300/5.4 on beam and a 13.000/4.8 on floor.


Event finals

The vault title was won by Leanne Wong with a total score of 29.450. Wong was undoubtedly the best vaulter of the competition, her DTY is flawless, her legs are glued together, and in Day 2 she almost stuck it, as she had done during warm-ups in Day 1. Wong scored a 14.650/5.5 on Day 1 and a 14.800/5.5 on Day 2. Second was Maile O’Keefe with a 29.300. O’Keefe delivered two beautiful DTYs for a 14.600/5.5 on Day 1 and a 14.700/5.5 on Day 2. Third was Emma Malabuyo with a 29.200. Malabuyo, who also competes a DTY quite flawlessly, scored a 14.500/5.5 on Day 1 and a 14.700/5.5 on Day 2.


The uneven bars title was won by Maile O’Keefe with a total score of 28.250. O’Keefe scored a 14.200/5.8 on Day 1 and a 14.050 on Day 2. Second was Emma Malabuyo with a 27.950, for a 14.100/5.4 on Day 1 and a 13.850/5.4 on Day 2. Third was Gabby Perea of Legacy Elite with a 27.650. Perea fell on Day 1 (13.100/5.8), but came back strong on Day 2, performing a stratospheric routine, worth a 6.5-D score (14.550/6.5). The routine includes an inbar full pirouette + Komova I + stalder Tkachev + Pak salto + Yao. She still needs to improve her execution, but wow – this is an Olympic-title-worth routine!




The balance beam title was won by Kara Eaker with a 31.000. Eaker scored a 14.850 on Day 1 and managed to improve on Day 2 with a 15.150, a routine that brought a smile on the judges’ lips. The routine is very difficult (it includes a free-cartwheel + LOSO + LOSO), but Eaker stands out also for her incredible execution. Her 15.150 is the highest score of the championships on beam, both junior and senior, the only score over 15 of the junior championships, as well as the third highest score in the world on beam this year. Second was Maile O’Keefe with a 28.950. O’Keefe scored a 14.500/5.9 on Day 1 and a 14.450/6.1 on Day 2, for some masterclass work. Third was Adeline Kenlin with a 28.500. Kenlin, who is the 2017 U.S. Classic champion on beam, scored a 13.950/6.0 on Day 1 and a 14.550/6.1 on Day 2.


The floor title was won by Emma Malabuyo with a 28.050 (14.250/5.5 on Day 1 and a 13.800/5.3 on Day 2). Her floor routine is fun, difficult and well choreographed. All tumbling passes seem easy for her, we are likely to see some upgrades soon. The same can be said for Maile O’Keefe, who was second with a 27.950 (13.900/5.2 on Day 1 and a 14.050/5.2 on Day 2). She has incredible potential to upgrade and I am sure she will do so for her first senior year next year. In her routine she showed great maturity and her attention to details is impressive. Third was Leanne Wong, who produced a routine that is a piece of art, for a 27.550 (13.850/5.1 on Day 1 and 13.700/5.1 on Day 2). Wong, who is also the 2017 Junior Olympic all around champion as a Level 10, is the perfect combination of power, flexibility and elegance, and I cannot wait to see more of her in the years to come.


The first six all arounders, Maile O’Keefe, Emma Malabuyo, Kara Eaker, Adeline Kenlin, Leanne Wong and Audrey Davis, as well as Gabby Perea, were named to the junior U.S. national team.


Article by Talitha Ilacqua