It was amazing how Sui Lu transformed into this consistent gymnast in 2011. She totally rocked in the WC event finals. Her beam was near perfect. It amazed me how confident she was. When she went to compete FX I was shocked at her upgrade. I was not expecting a stag out of the triple. She lost the gold to Afanasyeva but she proved that she can be an artistic and solid gymnast.
Some gym fans felt that Sui Lu should have won gold. I never had a blog back then to talk about this issue but when I first saw live coverage of floor finals my reaction was that Sui should have won gold. But being an Afanasyeva fan it was a special moment when Afanasyeva won. When I look back at the two routines there were many areas where both gymnasts had almost equal faults. Afanasyeva had obvious landing issues but then little things from Sui like leg separations in BHS and crossed legs also bothered me. I know, you all might think I'm being obnoxious but I'm just obsessed with gymnastics.
I don't care what anyone says but Afanasyeva is just so damn artistic, her movements are really beautiful. She will go down in gymnastic's history books as one of the most artistic gymnasts. When you watch her perform you just know it's artistic. The way she moves is very elegant. There is something really regal about her. She's majestic. It's like she's a natural dancer. Yeah, yeah people will love to argue that natural talent in dance does not exists but in this case I think Afanasyeva brings something natural in her movements. She is a unique gymnast. Some say you can be a natural born leader I think Afanasyeva has a natural talent for being artistic. When she made it to the 2012 Olympics I was pleasantly surprised that her execution was still great. Her spot on the Olympic team was justified. What surprised me the most was her beam. Low in difficulty but was a solid and beautiful consistent routine that was worthy of making it to another Olympic beam finals. Who would of thought that Afanasyeva would be the beam leader for Russia? She was never trusted and use on beam in any team final situation but she has finally proved to be a reliable beam-er.
I'm not sure what will become of Sui and Afanasyeva in the next quad but I will remember them for being able to finally enjoy some personal success. And hopefully gym fans will no longer see them as headcases.
Speaking of headcases, Gabrielle Douglas. I'm not going to go into details about her headcase-ness. I think most fans already know her story. I was happy that Douglas won Olympic AA. She deserved that gold medal IMHO.
It is sad that Komova loss but I think this will make Komova a stronger person. It's crazy that Komova is such a very gooooooood gymnast that I can still see her contending for AA gold in Rio 2016! I personally think Komova is a headcase. I'm still one of those fan who is rooting for her to win 2013 AA. She must win at least one WC AA gold. Most of us gym fans just want her to finally get that coveted AA medal. I just hope that she realizes that even though she has no major elite AA gold medal she is still one of the best AA'er in the world. Besides her AA floor I think Komova's bars is lovely. The way she just swings from bar to bar is beautiful. Plus the skills she does are even named after her. Her dbl dbl dismount is incredibly sky HIGH!
(Sorry about the quality of the video, it's very hard to find good quality videos of the Olympics)
Another headcase I admire is Huang Qiushuag. She won 3rd on bars in 2011 WC. Here is her QF routine. I love her pirouette work.
Check out the Ukrainian gymnasts routines. They have nice difficulty and artistry. The Ukrainians are true headcases. Check out Maria Livchikova's beam and Nataliya Kononenko bars.
Nataliya Kononenko bars were fantastic. She has a skill named after her called the Kononenko, it's a Tkatchev catched in mixed grip. It's a really cool skill because she connects it into a Jaeger. Really impressive work.
And here is Grishina's hit floor routine from Jesolo. Very pretty routine. I'm hoping she will have a great showing in 2013 after a disappointing Olympics. I'm still rooting for you.