Monday, December 24, 2007

USA's Pickle.

So the USA is preparing for the Olympics, like all countries. They have 4 great gymnasts, who barring injury, will make the team *knock on wood*

Nastia Liukin - UB, BB
Shawn Johnson - VT, BB, FX
Alicia Sacramone - VT, FX
Shayla Worley - UB, BB

But, if you can count, you can see that the USA needs 1 more vaulter, 1 more floor worker, and 1 more bar worker.

The USA has plenty of gymnasts who can come just for vault. Peszek, Hong, Trani, Stageberg all have DTYs and can fill in for the team on that position. Hell, Worley has been working on a DTY and can end the need for a vault specialist. I'm not worried on that.

But, the bad part is on the Uneven Bars. Liukin and Worley are by far the best from the USA on this event, but thats where it ends. Johnson has a very mediocre routine compared to the rest of her events, except the Ray [double twisting double layout] dismount. The only two gymnasts that I think can come fill in on this spot would either be Jana Bieger or Darlene Hill. I feel at the moment that Memmel hasn't got enough of her skills back for this spot, but if she continues to work on her injury, she can.

And then, out pops the floor exericse. Shawn and Alicia are reigning Gold and Silver medalists respectivaly, but there really isn't anyone else that level. I would think the best bet would be either Jana Bieger or Chellsie Memmel. Both have the capabilites to score well on floor and post a low 15.

So then, after all that hubbub, here is my projected team for Beijing.

VT : Worley, Johnson, Sacramone
UB : Bieger, Worley, Liukin
BB : Worley, Liukin, Johnson
FX : Memmel, Johnson, Sacramone

ALT : Darlene Hill, Ivana Hong

Darlene could cover UB or FX if neccesary, Sacramone would cover for beam, Hong could cover for vault as she is probably the cleanest vaulter with a DTY from USA.


D'Andrea said...

I think the USA needs somebody more consistent for BB as well. Shawn only hit 50% of her routines at Worlds. She faltered in both prelims and TF and Martha will not tolerate that come Beijing, not even from the golden girl. And this is if Shawn stays the same as she has been in 2007. Let's not factor in the very real possibility of any growth spurts or something of that nature.

Hong will always be my dark horse pick. She's clean and has great form. She just needs some amplitude and endurance (and higher A-scores). I'm hoping she's at a great learning curve and will bring good surprises in 2008.

April said...

If it were my choice, I'd use Bridget Sloan on floor. Where she lacks in difficulty, she can make up in performance. She's very, very clean with very pretty lines (that she doesn't show with choreography, but still...).