The Best of Each Event

We had a series of threads back on WWGym, but since those have disappeared into the ether with the board and there’s not much going on right now, let’s bring back the discussion/argument/healthy debate on who is the best on each event. Though the parameters of what makes somebody the best of the event is its own discussion.

Best Vaulter
Best Beam Worker
Best Uneven Bars
Best Floor

We had separate threads for each, but I figured one thread would be fine unless separate threads becomes necessary.

My submission for best beam worker is of course Yang Bo. At the very least, the best beam worker to never win a World or Olympic medal on the event. Her skills were precise, those LOSOs so floaty, and her routine was fluid with none of the modern-day skill-stop-skill-stop-halfbaked choreography-stop-skill.

Though Fan Ye is damn near coming for the crown.

Fan Ye’s routine is beautiful, but I dont think its in the same league as Yang Bo. Yang Bo shows much harder acro and mastery of that element of beam there. Of course, Fan Ye is disadvantaged there by the code she was working under.


Mckayla Maroney is the greatest female vaulter we have ever seen. What ranks her above Simone for me is that she could make vault artistic. And that’s near impossible


It’s so hard to compare across codes… In my book, Shushunova and Laschenova are right up there with Maroney and Biles. Shushunova’s phasing is unmatched and the way Laschenova flares out >>


Fully agreed with this. That 2012 TF Amanar was poetry. Much like with Gabby Douglas, I don’t think we got to see Maroney’s full potential on vault. She had the bad luck of being injury-prone with the combo of bad coaches and being Nassar’s target.

True. That’s why I said that what parameters make a gymnast the best on an event could be its own discussion. What are the commonalities that transcends the limitations of each quad’s CoP that the comparisons can be made? And because @ArnoldRimmer made a good point, apparatus changes.

It is. The apparatus has changed so much.

Amanar is one I always wonder about, what she at her peak might’ve done on the table and modern floor. But vault particularly.

Yeah, Simona Amanar too

A stylish run and hurdle – Yurchenko’s hurdle was HUGE when she unveiled the vault in 1982 and it got slightly smaller as her career progressed…now of course hurdles are much lower with chest forward and knee high.

A straight body line block with open shoulders.

Good height, form, phasing, and preparation before landing.

Also dominance. I don’t think any gymnast has dominated VT like Shushunova did. She won the two Euros/Worlds in 85 and 87, the World Cup and Goodwill Games in 86, Universiade in 87, and a slew of other national/international titles on the event.

In the vein of dominance, I think Maxi Gnauck is the best bar worker of all time. I’d love to eat my words, but I don’t think anyone will ever surpass her success on the apparatus and nowadays routines on UB don’t have varied musicality and rhythm as they did when the bars were closer together.

Olympic/Friendship Games titles: 2
World titles: 3
Euro titles: 2
World Cup titles: 2

Totally agree. I still have trouble accepting what happened to McKayla in the Vault Final in London. At the time I blamed Artur who I thought was abusing her. Now we all know it was Nassar.

I don’t think anyone is to blame per say, it was clear that Maroney was trying to stick her Mustafina vault and was just short. I would have still given her the gold. Had she done an Amanar like in either TQ or TF she would have won.

I think Simone wins vault and floor. I know it’s boring, but it’s true. Vault, I think, is unarguable. She beats Maroney on both the Amanar and the Half On. Although I think it’s fair to split the “History of Vault” into separate discussions about the Horse and the Table. For the Horse, I’m voting no on Amanar. I detested her Phelps. I can’t think of now who my favorite Horse vaulter is. I think you really can only look at the 97-00 Quad, as the widespread use of the Phelps in 93-96, and the overall quality of the second vaults before 92 was so poor.

And for Simone on FX, unless the floor Code was dramatically changed such that artistry became the primary component of the exercise (which it shouldn’t), I don’t think any floor worker in history could have overcome her difficulty advantage.


The best on each event. The best means so much more than just difficulty. On vault, yes she is definitely up there in the top 2. On floor, she’s not realistically in the top 20


I’m not sure if I could ever really come up with an exact “best” because it’s just not the way I think about gymnastics. A routine that I remember as both very artistically unique and technically excellent is my choice for floor…


Aliya Mustafina for bars. I like her swing style and this type of bars in general. The fly back and forth with smooth rhythm type of bars. Put this together with the over the bar tap into the 1.5 dismount… it’s just cool.

I love Suni’s bars too… but she always looks a bit archy piked on her basic kip cast handstands.


Triple post here… Alicia Sacromone for vault. I like the technique that she uses (flyspring tech… hollow / pike on). To me this is something that I remember as the best…

Also Maroney’s Amanar… I agree with @MaryClare that her vault just looked good.

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I think Amanar’s Phelps, a lot of gymnasts Phelps really, is another example of some gymnasts not being helped by the code they were in. Not as stark as Fan Ye on beam, because 97-00 saw some great vault, but it was a disincentive. And that’s a shame, because Amanar’s Kas/Tsuk was pretty good. I think 2000 Euros is the only major competition we saw the double?

That said, I think her Yurchenko ability and what she might’ve done on the table is the most important part of her vaulting.


I also like that she’s one of the few wag to do two very different entries (i.e. one with round off, one without)

Rosu was also phenomenal, it’s just we just saw her like 2 months vaulting those vaults


I miss those few years in the late 90s to mid 00s where we saw loads of gymnasts doing high difficulty Yurchenko and Tsuk/Kas entry pairs, ie not the Phelps. At the time I completely took it for granted.

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I definitely put Atler up there with best horse vaulters

It’s also interesting with the McKayla v Simone debate of how they would have fared under a 97-00 style code where you could only do 1 round off entry vault.

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Yeah, Atler when she was rocking a DTY and Rudi was among the very best in the world.

I had completely forgotten Mustafina had a Seitz. Stupid e-cap on transitions.