This post brought to you by Viktoria Komova. I was watching YouTube videos, one titled “The Times Komova Gave Up And The Times She Fought” and then her 2012 AA routines. Just seeing her take all those unnecessary steps on her vault drives me nuts. I appreciate that she did that to make way for Gabby Douglas to win, but very frustrating to watch nonetheless.
This dubious honor also goes to Yang Bo for just never getting it together at a Worlds or Olympics.
Yeah, while Pavlova pretty much always came out on the wrong side of the 50/50 calls, the Beijing vault final is her own fault. So was the shitshow in TFs, not that she didn’t have plenty of company there.
That said, she had no chance of a vault medal anyway. Of the three finals she made in 08, there was only one where she could’ve feasibly medalled. And she hit then.
Mo Huilan, for sure. Cheng Fei after 2005-06, when she started to lose her mental game. Liu Tingting. Tan Sixin and Huang Qiushuang probably would’ve frusrated me, too, if I’d liked either gymnast enough to care.
Cheng Fei always had her moments, even in the first couple of years of her career. No reason at all why she shouldn’t have had silver on floor in 04 and 05. I think I’d distinguish her vault from her other events in that respect though. She almost always hit to the best of her ability there. Even in Beijing, I think the EF was a consequence of not being able to compete the Cheng reliably any more by that time. It was floor where she was really frustrating.
MyKayla Skinner. She could have been a true threat to Simone Biles with proper coaching and a different attitude. Instead, all that talent was wasted and we watched years of awful, chucked gymnastics from a pouty, entitled brat.
Have said this for years, but Mykayla Skinner had a ridiculous amount of natural talent, equal to, or potentially even greater than Simone. I’m not sure that different coaches would have helped, different parents perhaps.
Simone really ended up as the blueprint of what’s possible with good coaching, a less entitled attitude, and good mental game (because we all saw what happens when the mental game is messed up).
In the same vein as Skinner to a lesser extent, Shawn Johnson. I’ve said Simone Biles is what Shawn could have been had her coaches worked on her jumps and leaps and taught her a proper set instead of letting her throw herself around. Because what she was able to do physically without true technique is crazy.
I wonder in Komova’s case if Aliya didn’t get injured if that would have forced her to become a better competitor. She wouldn’t have been the sole star and perhaps learned to compete domestically or do you think she would have “given up” then too. ?