I’ve decided to do more boring predictions for the 2012 Olympics gymnastics competition
1 USA will win gold
Some people may be predicting a blowout, but I’m not. I think the competition will be closer than expected, but I still predict the US will come out on top in London. They have the deepest field in the world, and the US is guaranteed to do three Amanar vaults (a vault with 2/12 twists), and other teams are not guaranteed that.
I’m not saying that the US is a lock; I’m sure Russia, China, and Romania will have some tricks up their sleeves. But I still think that this year the USA is going to win.
2 Aly Raisman will not make the AA competition.
Aly Raisman will hit all her routines in qualifying, but I don’t think she’s going to make the All Around competition. I have two reasons for thinking this.
First Gabby Douglas is getting stronger with each competition, and beating Jordyn Weiber (one of the few gymnasts in the world to do that!) and she has a high start value for her routines. If she hits, she can beat Jordyn Weiber for the 1st spot for the AA, and can certainly beat Aly Raisman for the second spot. (Go flying squirrel!)
Second of all, Aly Raisman struggles with her form. Her bars are well, not great, to put it mildly (words Tim Dagget has used to describe her bars: disaster, catastrophe, meltdown). She doesn’t point her toes and doesn’t have great extension in her split leaps. The Olympic judges are VERY picky about those things (as they should be!) and even more so in Europe. Even if Aly hits her routines, the judges are going to pick her apart for these things.
3 The All Around competition will be one of the most exciting competitions in a long time.
The field is wide open. Each of the top four teams has as least one (possibly two!) athletes could legitimately challenge for the AA gold. I have no prediction as to who will win the AA, and I don’t think anyone can really even narrow it down to the top two. It’s more like the top 6 or 8, really. That being said, if Viktoria Komova can do an Amanar, she’ll probably be a very deserving Olympic Champion. But she has to stay on beam…
4 McKayla Maroney will win gold on vault.
I’m not saying she’s a shoe in, as most everyone else is saying. Who knows what can happen? But she is definitely the US’s best chance for a gold medal, even more than team I would say. And deservedly so. She does two of the most difficult vaults in the world and makes them look easy. And beautiful.
What’s not to love?
Here’s her first vault (the Amanar I mentioned above) at the world championships. Gotta love it.
BTW, lest you think that the commentators talking about Maroney’s vault are biased because she’s American, that vault earned the highest score in the team final competition on any apparatus. Oh, and listen to the BBC commentators if you’re still not convinced.
5 Bars final will be just as much fun as the AA.
The field for the bars is very deep, with He Kexin from China, Aliya Mustafina (go Musty!) and Viktoria Komova from Russia, and Beth Tweddle (go Beth!) from Britain all looking to take gold. Can’t wait!
6 Larisa Iordache will win at least one gold medal.
Which one will it be? No idea. She has the potential to win three, in the All Around, balance beam, and floor. Keep your eyes on this kid.
7 Jordyn Weiber will not win the AA.
The last gymnast to win the World All Around title and then win the Olympic All Around title the following year was Lilia Podkopayeva from the Ukraine, and I don’t think Jordyn’s going to follow in Lil’s venerable footsteps. Jordyn’s weakness on bars will catch up to her in London, as well as the improvements of other competitors. I don’t see her wearing the mantle of Olympic all around champion. But Jordyn is a fighter, and a great competitor, so she does have that advantage over Viktoria Komova and Gabby Douglas, and maybe even over Larisa, who is very inexperienced. Even so, I don’t think it’s hers this year.
As I said, I’m not an expert, and much of this is based on what I’ve read. So don’t take anything I said seriously. In fact, I’m sorry I wasted your time by writing it.