People I want to see continue in the next quadrennium
Posted September 3, 2008on:
With the Olympics over, it’s time for the gymnasts who competed in the Olympics to think about retirement or not (or have it thought about for them by their governments). Here are some people I hope will decide to stick around:
Barbosa is amazing — powerful and controlled, like Shawn Johnson (and unlike some other powerful athletes who can’t always rein it in, maybe Alicia Sacramone would be a good example, or Tasha Schwikert from back in the day). Barbosa placed an amazing third in the 2007 World Championships. She is great to watch on every event (except maybe bars). She and Johnson actually have a lot in common.
Not really sure why. She didn’t make the Olympic team. Her floor at Worlds in 2007 was atrocious. I guess I’d like to see if she can improve her artistry.
She didn’t make it to Beijing, but this girl has crazy potential. For some reason the judges didn’t really appreciate her bars at 2007 Worlds, but I thought her artistry and creativity (remember the crazy German-giant-to-reverse-Hecht?) I’d like to see her get some scores over 15 on the international level.
The Chinese gymnast who looked like anything but a robot. Her floor was the most charismatic of the games. Her choice of music was excellent, and she just totally shined on that event, particularly in the team finals. I want to see more of that, especially from China!
If anyone can pull off a healthy trip to the 2012 Olympics, it’s Johnson. She practices less than other elites (her talent clearly makes up for that) and has consequently suffered way less wear-and-tear. For me, Johnson will always be a better *gymnast* than Liukin. As much as Liukin is graceful, Johnson is powerful and an amazing tumbler, with perfect form anyway. (Not to get too much into this debate, but I think Liukin has way more form problems than people admit.) I think Liukin probably wanted the gold more, if you can even say that, but I think Johnson deserves one just as much. Hopefully she’ll get it then.
Didn’t make the Chinese team for being inconsistent in practice. But she was great at 2007 Worlds and in Cottbus. Hopefully we’ll see more of her!