Oh the poise! Oh the elegance! Oh the skills! The Couch Gymnast has detailed why this routine is so awesome. I know I am desperately unoriginal, but this is my absolute favourite routine of 2010.
I love the fact that someone "across the ditch" is having so much international success. I like the original skills, and the mount. I like her tumbling. I know she won the floor, but for me, Mitchell is beam worker, first and foremost.
World's Bar final: Tweddle getting gold. I have posted her routine twice already. I love the complete madness of her routine. Heaps of difficulty! Heaps of releases. This lady, along with Nastia and He, has set a new standard for uneven bars. I don't think the event will ever be the same again.
World's vault final: Sacramone's win, Mustafina's silver and Barbosa getting bronze. Two stories of redemption from tricky times in 2008, and a story of a young lady's potential being realised. See part 1.
I am borrowing this phase from Aunt Joyce, because there is really no better way of saying this concept. I believe it deserves a category of its very own because no matter how hardworking, polished or talented a gymnast is, if they cannot get their game together in the important meets, what they can do means little.
For me, Mustafina showed heaps of mental win. She was not intimidated by the pressure. She hit her routines in team finals when her team mates did not. This was her first senior international competition. With the look in her eyes, you would never have known it. Her face is young, but her eyes look much older.
If I have to pick one person out for competing on an injury, it would have to be Natasha Kelley, who competed most of a college gymnastics season on a torn Achilles Tendon. Of course, I was amazed by Rebecca Bross competing on a strained ankle, which then became a fractured ankle. The amount of work ethic these gymnasts have astounds me.
Mustafina - who else? What a class act!
At the moment, the examiner discussion centres around the most under-rated female gymnast. I have always planned to base the third part of 2011 reflections on a number of gymnasts who I think were under-rated or unsung this year. Only the gymnasts who find their way onto the podium are given glory, but for every gymnast who gets to the podium, there are several hard working gymnasts who lack luck, training, talent, or mental smarts. But this does not take away from the good work that these gymnasts do, or the beauty that they bring to the world through their gymnastics.
Amy Regan (Scotland)
Regan, who is fifteen, is the Scottish all around champion. She just missed the Commonwealth medal stand for her floor routine, behind Cairns, Mitchell and Brennan.
Regan was the only person in the Commonwealths to compete a double layout. It was beautiful. Even through a few of the other skills were not quite 'on,' I really enjoyed watching her routine. It is great to see someone from a non-gymnastics nation attempting difficult skills, doing some of them well, and pleasing the crowd while she was at it.
Her routine was good entertainment. The audience adored it. This girl is tailor-made for NCCA. (Gosh, I have nominated two people for NCCA in two posts!)
If Anna were in a team other than the talent-packed Russian team, more attention would be given to her. As it is now, Mustafina, Nabieva, Komova, and Grishina seem to take up most of the attention when it comes to the Russians.
Dementyeva is as inconsistent as Nabieva, but her execution is much better. Her beam is lovely to watch. I especially like her illusion turn (but then again, I have a general love of illusion turns). I wanted to post her hitting beam (she falls quite a lot) but embedding was disabled.
I also like her floor. Her twisting is beautiful, and her flexibility is evident in her leaps. She actually dances to the music.
Overall, I think Demetyeva has been overshadowed by bigger gymnasts this year, in both personality in skills. But she is still beautiful to watch. I hope that she learns to manage her nerves and keep improving her gymnastics.
Kytra Hunter (USA)
Kytra Hunter has not had the best year, After putting lots of effort into making the Worlds team she did not quite make the cut, and it turned out that she did not have the high school credits to go to Florida either.
Kytra is not a ballerina. Her form is not as good as some gymnasts. But man is she powerfu! Her floor would give Newton a heart attack. Many have said that if Kytra were from another country, she would be a sho-in to their gymnastics team. This is true. She is a victim of being from a strong gymnastics country.
Gymnastics is by and large an individual sport, but whether you make it to a team or not depends on the others around you, and the rules governing the sport. Hollie Vise did not make the Olympics because she was a bar/beam specialist when the team needed a vaulter. Kytra did not make the Worlds because the team needed a bar worker. Despite being a Hills girl, Kytra is not one of those. She is amazing on everything else, but her talents could be covered by other gymnasts.
Hopefully, Kytra will get her high school credits and go to Florida next year. It will be good to see what they do with her.