Monday, April 14, 2014

My Favorite American Gymnasts

I have been wanting to do this for a long time, so now it's finally here! Enjoy!

  1. Shannon Miller: Shannon is my favorite gymnast, ever. Coming from the best era of gymnastics (the 90's) and being the most decorated American gymnast EVER, Shannon was equally powerful and artistic. This is a combo that you don't see anymore. I love Shannon's beam routine from the 1996 games. If she hadn't been hurt in 2000 I think she may have had a chance to make a third Olympics and that would have been amazing! 
  2. Shawn Johnson: The way Shawn worked the beam has not been done before or since. Honestly there was never a waver and Shawn was a true all around gymnast, even if some would say she was weak on bars, in actuality, her difficulty was low but she executed her skills flawlessly, with her legs glued together and she had good swing. In my humble opinion, Shawn should have won the all around in 2008 but that's neither here nor there :). 
  3. Chellsie Memmel: It's pretty impressive to be a competitive gymnast for just 1 Olympic cycle but Chellsie stuck around for 3!! I love that Chellsie is so consistent and defied so many predictions by always performing better than anyone anticipated. I so wish that she would have been able to compete at the 2012 trials but it wasn't to be. Really though, anyone who can do an illusion turn on a balance beam is quite impressive. 
  4. Courtney Kupets: Everyone was buzzing about Carly Patterson in 2004 and make no mistake, Carly was amazing. But I prefer the style of Courtney and her consistency. Her bar routine was beautifully executed and although her floor choreography garnered some harsh critiques, I thought it was super fun. 
  5. Kyla Ross: Kyla needs to upgrade, plain and simple. If she does, she will definitely continue to be a force to be reckoned with. Kyla's style is tentative but her form is amazing compared to other athletes these days, down to her hands. Everything always looks perfect. I have high hopes for Kyla to be actually able to make a second Olympics if she stays healthy and increases her difficulty. 
  6. Kristin Maloney: Kristin was a silent competitor, her gymnastics was not showey but it was strong and you could count on her hitting all four events. I really enjoy watching her because she always seemed so calm and collected. Even though the Sydney Olympics were a disappointment I was still happy that Kristin could be part of them.
  7. Terin Humprey: When Courtney McCool was pulled out of the team event in Athens, no one was sure how Terin would do in her place but she totally rocked it. Terin had awesome form on bars and great technique as well. 
  8. Bridget Sloan: I love that Bridget got here moment in the sun after becoming world champion in 2009 because after that she was struck with injuries and unable to make a go for her second Olympics in 2012. She was able to make an amazing comeback before being hurt and surprising everyone with how great she looked. But she did have a way of outperforming the favorites when no one expected it! 
  9. Dominique Moceanu: Who couldn't love tiny Dominique at the 1996 games? I always enjoyed her beam mount and her floor routines post Olympics. She really had a promising comeback before she was injured but she left a lasting impact on the sport. 
  10. Tabitha Yim: Tabitha is kind of a wild card because she's the only one on the list not to go to an Olympics. But Tabitha is one of very few gymnast who really sells her floor routine to me. She actually felt the music and was dancing with it, not just to it. She was a great all arounder and if it weren't for her being hurt I think she had a shot at Athens. 
Honorable Mentions;
  • Aly Raisman
  • Hollie Vise
  • Jordyn Weiber 
  • Courtney McCool
  • Elizabeth Price
  • Morgan White

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