THAT Khorkina Vault

Why was it not given a zero? What were the rules in the 97-00 Code about landing feet first?

It was a 1 point deduction for not landing feet first. The judges helped her out a little.

But, UGH, the 2000 Olympic vault mess. It wasn’t her fault.


They pretty much opted out of applying that rule in Sydney. See also Allana Slater.

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Her feet did hit first, her toes touch the mat a split second before her knees do.

Worst debacle in gymnastics ever. Not her. That AA.


I think it was pretty simultaneous

I do too, so can’t really deduct in that situation.

Mind you, these vaults got 8.525 and 8.012 respectively, and the second one at least is clearly not feet first in real time.

So I think it’s fair to say they weren’t too bothered about feet first at this competition. Although that could’ve been relief that she was still walking.

Maybe they took the 1.0 off?

I cannot believe Liddick let her throw that.


Neither vault was feet first. The first one was hands first and the second was just plain terrifying.

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Like Peggy ever gave two shits about the health and safety of gymnasts.


Even without the vault setting, Aussie vault was terrifying then. Like a lot of gymnasts at that time, they came on low to the horse to start the rotation. Really frightening.

What did Slater do for VTs in the AA?

I seem to remember that the Aussies didn’t hit their vaults in Olympic training either and were very heavily spotted

There seems to have been a massive decline in Slater’s vt between trials (where she at least landed on her feet) and the Olympics

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I think she did a tucked cuervo, not that I can find video. I’m basing my guess on this Defector article (open the link in incognito mode, otherwise you need a subscription):

After Slater’s hunch was proven right, the gymnasts in her rotation were allowed to do additional warm-up vaults. Slater’s went particularly well, boosted by the adrenaline rush she got from saving the last two groups of gymnasts. “I remember saying to my coach, ‘Can I try to layout my difficult vault?’” she said, referring to the vault she had downgraded after crashing on it in qualifications. “He’s like, ‘No, no. We do the tuck. Do it successfully.’” She did.

Was she actually able to do the vault? The amount of arch that she is hitting the table with is enough to injure the low back right there.

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These aren’t great vaults by any means, but she did put them to her feet at Trials that year.

That wouldn’t make sense when you look how other straight barani attempts were scored in Sydney. For example Amy Chow’s admittedly very dished but solid and well controlled version was in 9.4 territory. Yang Yun’s superlative effort was 9.7 and Karpenko got about 9.6 in the AA.

Slater’s second vault is obviously worse than the first, and they couldn’t possibly have justified scoring it in the same ball park as Karpenko and higher than Chow aside from the fall. Especially as Chow’s landing was probably only 0.1 for the hop and 0.1 for the chest. That would have to be some home cooking.

@falcon9 the ones from 99 are better, though it’s still not very dynamic and the technique isn’t great. I think it was one of those skills where the gymnast is highly reliant on being very small and then it’s dangerous when they get even a bit bigger because the technical foundation isn’t there.

That second vault from trials is a disaster waiting to happen, and so voilà.

It’s kind of funny she was the one to call attention to the vault height


It is. The first one is much safer looking, but she obviously couldn’t get that vault round without piking the shit out of it by 2000. I wonder why she didn’t try the piking rather than the fling and banana approach in Sydney prelims. Obviously option three, none of the above would’ve been preferable, but as that’s not what happened it’s an interesting question. She could perhaps have got in the low 9s if she could still perform it like that, when you look at what Chow got.

@ArnoldRimmer do you know of any video of Slater vaulting in 1999? I tried to find something (anything!) but came up empty.