2024 US Olympic Trials MAG Day 2 (6/29)

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I’m just worried if WAG doesn’t take the exact highest scoring team for TF no matter what that there will be undue outcry. The Washington Post team calculator thing is not helping.

The selection criteria for WAG is completely different than MAG. It’s picking a team for qualification lineups specifically, not TF, it’s looking at both D scores and E scores, consistency and percentages of hit routines at all events since ‘23 Worlds, and composite strength of the team as a whole.

MAG looked at Nationals and Trials scores together as one competition, used math to pick the team, and absolutely nothing else.
Regardless of what happens with WAG, people will whine and make a big deal (justified or unjustified). That's just the way things are now with social media.
 
The question is why has the men’s programme decided on this selection criteria
Then men didn't want subjective criteria. Scores and only scores, and only recent scores. Even qualifying to Trials was very score-driven, just see how Tate Costa figured out that throwing loads of difficulty on night 1 of nationals was his ticket to Trials (and the national team and all the valuable feedback that comes with that.) Stephen Nedoroscik probably identified that a slightly less difficult routine that he could hit over both nights of Trials was his ticket to Paris. I don't begrudge either of those gymnasts for reading the selection criteria and working within the rules to maximize their chances.

Doesn't mean I'm not heartbroken for Shane Wiskus who subjectively looks like he should be an Olympian, but the math was cruel and said he's not an Olympian.
 
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I do think that taking Paul Juda and Asher Hong means no more event medals. Taking Yul meant a possible parallel bars medal.

Asher still has a chance of a vault medal. Just hasn't competed his 2nd vault domestically because it was irrelevant to selection.

The selection criteria for WAG is completely different than MAG. It’s picking a team for qualification lineups specifically, not TF

Picking a team for qualification lineups is very unintelligent when you're a team that has a 100% chance of making the final. Really for any team, the #1 priority should be maximizing the medal chances. The only time a team should be centering their selection on qualification score is if they have absolutely no medal chance anywhere and just making the team final would be the victory.
 
The question is why has the men’s programme decided on this selection criteria

What Robin said above, but also here are more details from @ShaneWiskthem (mod note: who is not ShaneWiskus, btw) on Twitter:

Seeing a lot of tweets about the USMAG selection criteria where I don’t think the authors have the correct information so I thought I’d clear some things up 🧵

Criteria document for reference:

The criteria took Trials AND Nationals scores, combined and unweighted. That is essentially 4 meets of data. This criteria was decided on by the USAG staff in consultation with the athletes and coaches, which is what we as fans have also requested for years.

I think a lot of people don’t follow MAG and so don’t realize that this system came about in large part due to USAG’s issues of the past. In previous quads, athletes were often chosen based on favoritism and racial bias. This system was created to eliminate that possibility.

There were multiple different mathematical scenarios where the team would select itself, without any committee input. Once again, this is what fans have been asking for for years: an unbiased, objective selection system free from the potential of favoritism.

I’ve also seen many asking why the criteria was not written to exclude a single-event specialist and the answer is that it would utterly unfair. These procedures were written after the conference at 2024 Winter Cup.

Stephen was the only realistic single-event specialist prospect for this team. Patty was always a big “maybe possibly” and didn’t really factor in until relatively recently.

If the committee had done what many are saying they “should” have? That would mean writing the selection criteria, at the very end of an Olympic cycle mind you, to purposefully exclude a singular athlete. It would be categorically unfair to target a specific athlete in this way.

I am 1000% against putting single-event specialists on teams, as anyone who’s followed me for any amount of time knows. But I also STRONGLY disagree with the idea of changing selection procedures within 6 months of an Olympics to exclude a specific athlete.

The committee also agrees with me. In the minutes from their selection meeting for the Olympic Trials, they discussed whether to bring more AAers vs specialists to Trials/NT and agreed that it would be unfair to change course and exclude specialists at this late juncture.

What I would like to see, and what I fully expect to, is for USAG to correct their public procedure for this coming quad to say “no single event specialist will be considered for any international team competition assignments.” That would be the time to make changes to procedure.

For ppl saying they shouldn’t have gone highest scoring team, what do you want them to do? Choose a worse team? The singular goal for this program this quad, as agreed to by staff, coaches, and athletes, is a team Olympic medal. Period. The highest scoring team is the only way.

USMAG is not USWAG. They do not have the luxury of not sending the highest scoring team. Japan and China are essentially unbeatable and GB, despite not making the best team decisions themselves, are still extremely competitive for a bronze along with Ukraine.

This system was objective, created with the athletes’ input, and for the explicit team goal agreed upon by anyone associated with the program. This is what we have been asking for for years. If you’re upset your faves weren’t chosen, that’s ok! But don’t blame the system.

All Khoi had to do was hit pommel horse. He only hit 2 for 4. The other athletes had to hit PH as well to knock Stephen out, they didn’t. Yul only needed to execute his normal, he didn’t. Shane didn’t place high enough on specific key events to beat out Paul.

Would I have chosen this team strategy? No. But do I want to go back to the old days where USAG was choosing teams based on favoritism and racial bias? ABSOLUTELY NOT. I will take an objective score-based selection over that any day of the week.

In my opinion, based on a long history of following this sport, USMAG simply hasn’t yet earned back the right to choose a team based on discretion. And if you want any more information on that, ask any of the Black athletes from the last 2 decades or read what they’ve said.
 
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Highest scoring team assumes everyone hits under Olympic pressure when history says that most of the time they can't even handle team final pressure at Worlds, but I guess high risk-high reward. Ah well, I should stop complaining. Nothing has changed since yesterday.
 
They didn't select the "highest scoring team" though. If they did, Khoi would have been on the team instead of Paul Juda. They selected based on best 3-out-of-4 average score.
 
The team with Yul on it may be this...*see picture below ? Some asked in this thread if it was worth it to leave Yul off a team for a one-eventer when the team only scored only a tiny bit less...but Stephen is on that team, too.

I'll be checking this math later. Almost all of the "guesses" I played with from three scores had PH specialists on the teams. These people can regularly score 14.5 or above on their routines. Most of the scores at trials were below 14.

As far as Stephen not doing his hardest routines, the routines he did do scored enough to get him on the highest-scoring team. A 14.85 is better than a 12 someone gets because he went for broke and fell off.

Unless the team is so obvious there is only one realistic choice, there will be complaints about the process. There are advantages and disadvantages to any approach.

The selection process doesn't have much to do with why the US women win more than the men. It likely has zero to do with it. There have been years with MAG selection criteria that looked very similar to the WAG one posted above. And I doubt that WAG doesn't do some sort of calculation to see what the highest scoring team would be.

To start with, there are at least 10 times more female gymnasts in the US. The best of 10,000 is going to be better than the best of 100 most of the time. There is way more talent on the women's side.

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Shane's message on Instagram was 8 slides long. I typed it all out:

"Thank you, Minneapolis.

The last few days has been nothing short of a dream. Never in my career have I experienced a crowd like you. A combined total of nearly 30,000 people screaming my name and erupting upon a stuck dismount is straight out of the dreams of my childhood. Every gymnast knows the ultimate goal, even beyond achieving their dreams, is to experience the perfect meet. Most athletes also hope that as long as they train to their peak level, perform at their very best, and do everything in their power to achieve their dreams, those dreams will become a reality.

My specific goals for Olympic Trials were to compete fearlessly, be present and have fun. Never in my career have I been as fearless, as present, nor had as much fun as I did throughout those 2 competitions. And I did it back to back, in front of nearly 30,000 people. Yet, immediately after the conclusion of night 2 I had an eerie feeling that it wouldn't be enough.

And it wasn't...

And this is where the nightmare begins. Immediately following the announcement of the team, because I am a traveling alternate, I was rushed to change into the Olympic warmups, march out onto the floor, smile for photos, experience the confetti, and see tears of the men whose dreams have just come true, all while fighting to hold back my own tears for very different reasons. After the march out I had to go in front of media exclaiming my excitement for Paris, talk to press where I was repeatedly asked how it felt to be named as an alternate. And then sit in the drug testing room for 45 minutes before I was brought to the celebration room with all the happy families and men who have now been given the title of Olympian (a feeling I can remember but now feels distant.)

It wasn't until I got back to my hotel room where I was allowed to let my true emotions come out (2 hours later.) And the first wave was so deep and so brutal the only antidote was to surround myself with people who love me the most. The family and friends who came to support me were all in one place waiting for me, and as soon as I arrived I felt the pain vanish. Almost every single person in my life who matters to me was there. And every single person gave me a hug. It's hard to feel pain in a moment like that. The night was spent recollecting and reminding of the incredible performance I had just put on, and I remembered those special moments I celebrated so intensely for.

Staring on high bar, hitting a near perfect floor routine, nailing my best horse routine of the season, sticking the crucial ring routine I needed a 3rd score for. Sticking vault while hearing my alumni perform our signature slow clap the stand (a tradition that was executed for every vaulter in the Gopher lineup,) at the Target Center on night 2 of the Olympic Trials, in front of 16,000 people. Performing my pbar routine only for the 3rd time since U.S. Championships after dislocating my finger and not being able to hang due to the immense pain of my still undiagnosed injury. And finally, the standing ovation I received from my hometown crowd following the competition. An image burned into my memory forever.

After a sleepless night, I received a text at 8AM with a schedule of activities for the day that started at 10am and ended at 9pm. Interviews, photo shoots, being announced again at the women's competition, and more. I was simply too fragile in the moment for any of it. I knew that what I needed most was to be home and in my own bed, which many can relate to. So I asked for permission and bought the first ticket home available.

I want to stat that my frustration in not making the team has no bearing on the athletes who did. I know for a fact that the team selected is the team with the greatest potential for success. Though I'm sad to not be named to that team, I will continue to train at the highest level to ensure our success should I be called upon. I hope my presence in this quad has helped push the needle in the right direction and motivated individuals to be at their best.

It is said that a happy life is not the measurement of how much happiness you experience throughout your lifetime, but the diversity of emotions that allows one to appreciate the complexity of the human experience.

Thank you to my family and friends for always supporting me no matter the outcome. Thank you to my girlfriend Luci for holding me when I needed it most. Thank you to my coaches who prepared me perfectly for this competition. Thank you Steve P. for keeping this old dog healthy, and thank you Minneapolis for a weekend I will remember forever.

Next stop... Paris
🇫🇷 "
 

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