Archive for the 'nastia liukin' Category

Flipping Out – Women’s Gymnastics Trials

Little girls in leotards-i.e., female gymnasts – had their trials on Saturday and Sunday in Philadelphia, and a few more Olympians were named. The trials were only one step in putting together the team, as two team members, Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin, were actually named to the team. Another 12 hopefuls will go to a camp in Texas and perform for Martha Karolyi and the selection committee. The team will be named after the camp, and will be chosen based on their performances at the camp as well as previous competitions.

This selection system has led to some fantastic finishes by the U.S. team, but at the same time, it is also a system begging for corruption. The announcers have said many times that the gymnasts are all aiming to impress Martha Karolyi. A system where one person wields so much power is frightening. Continue reading ‘Flipping Out – Women’s Gymnastics Trials’

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Try the Trials: Diving and Gymnastics

With less than two months before the Olympics, the Trials are happening at a fast and furious pace. Diving and gymnastics preliminaries have already begun, and swimming and track and field are at the end of next week.

Diving: Laura Wilkinson is the most recognizable athlete trying to make the team. She won gold in Sydney, and was an Olympian again in 2004. You may have seen the commercials on NBC that proclaim she is still a contender – even though she is over 30. (GASP!) Not many divers have careers as long and prolific as Wilkinson’s, and gold in Beijing would be a fitting cherry on top. Christina Loukas is currently in the lead in the 3-meter springboard, and is earning her highest marks on the most difficult dives. Two teenagers dominate the early men’s competition. David Boudia and Thomas Finchum each earned four perfect tens on their first dives, and have the early lead in the 10m platform competition. Catch the rest of the diving trials live on NBC at 3:30 ET Saturday, and 3:00 ET on Sunday.

Gymnastics: The glamorous sport of the Olympics – that is, if you find busted ACL’s, broken bones, and ripped up, calloused skin glamorous. I digress. After day one of the men’s all around competition, Alexander Artemev is in the lead. The bigger stories are the injuries. David Sender, the U.S. all around champion, sprained his ankle in practice on Thursday. Paul Hamm broke his hand at the national championships. Both gentlemen are still eligible to be named to the team this Sunday.  The women start competition tonight. Shawn Johnson, the reigning world champion, will undoubtedly be one to watch, but the U.S. overall is as stacked and talented as they have ever been. Also check out Alicia Sacramone’s powerhouse vaults, and Nastia Liukin, the daughter of two Russian gymnasts. The men’s finals will air Saturday on NBC at 4:30 ET, women’s competition will air Saturday night at 8 ET, and 7 ET Sunday.