2024 Cottbus World Cup

Cottbus World Cup 2024, February 22-25 (Olympic Qualification)

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It doesn't mean anything if you do not earn it. A record of competing at "insert # of " Olympics doesn't have any significance if you did not earn all trips.
There are valid arguments about merit, but they need to acknowledge that we don't actually have a system where Olympic spots must be earned.

Hence we have or have had at various points the tripartite spot, provision for the host nation to send someone if not otherwise represented, minimum continental representation requirements meaning gymnasts who'd never qualify otherwise got to go and the current situation where New Zealand WAG have been gifted a spot.

If Chusovitina had for example been Oceanian, she could've been no better than she is now and qualify to Paris essentially by default. Or if Uzbekistan were hosting and had nobody else qualified. Those spots at minimum wouldn't be any more merit based than a buy 8 get 1 free allocation.

@Denn in terms of career closing, I idly wondered about 2025 worlds. All federations can send someone to the individual worlds iirc? She seems to be on a downward trajectory now, but might like to be the first ever/first in eons worlds participant in their 50s.
 
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Imagine the Olympics if it were purely merit-based. What would the parameters be? Full teams and individual gymnasts have to show they are legitimate medal contenders to earn a spot? Sometimes even within the top teams, the team is formed by default (e.g., the USA 2008 team).
 
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Imagine the Olympics if it were purely merit-based. What would the parameters be? Full teams and individual gymnasts have to show they are legitimate medal contenders to earn a spot? Sometimes even within the top teams, the team is formed by default (e.g., the USA 2008 team).
A seeded competition like tennis? Earn your points at meets through the year, get into the Os based on rank/points, compete in the individual events and any country who has 4 or more gymnasts present can form a team for a team competition? Mixed team competition? If you have 8 or more gymnasts in the rankings you can make 2 teams? Fun to think of the possibilities.
 
It's an interesting thought experiment. One thing we can be sure of, it wouldn't look like it does now. There are currently gymnasts who are going/missing out because we've chosen 12 full teams instead of 15 or 10. Or because we allocate 3 qualifiers through the various EF routes instead of 2 or 5 etc. Those things aren't about pure merit, they've had to be filtered through the various practical and political constraints.

Whatever system we come up with is bound to be somewhat arbitrary, and there's no way around that really. But with that in mind, it's not immediately obvious why someone who's there because the system wants to encourage eg continental diversity has more legitimately earned their spot than Chusovitina would've if the system instead/also wanted to encourage longevity and age diversity. They're both examples of athletes being presented with an Olympic spot because of something about them that isn't how good they are at gymnastics.
 
The whole system of Olympic qualification is ridiculous for gymnastics. There are far too many gymnasts that are not truly world class. The system of qualification for Tokyo was far from perfect (and due to covid, didn’t really go to plan) but it at least allowed for additional individual athletes from powerhouse nations to qualify.

It made prelims so much more exciting, and I really enjoyed seeing 6 Americans do AA. The sport needs that so much more than it needs L10s with an extra passport.

Skinner, Carey, Guan and Ilyankova all medalled as “extra” athletes and Ferrari nearly did, she only became part of the Italian team due to a last minute injury.
 
1996 was arguably one of the deepest Olympics in terms of sheer talent and athleticism.
Even though it was 7 per team, the depth below the teams themselves was magnificent.

ETA: I SWEAR I meant no pun intended!
 
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2020/1's setup was really weird, but I agree with MC that we got a higher caliber of gymnastics. I get what they're going for with having continental diversity in the spirit of the Olympics, but when we're now having teams of 5 instead of 7, 2 per country instead of 3, and 24 in the AA instead of 36, the standards should be raised so we're still not having 6-8 subdivisions filled with gymnasts who aren't getting past qualifications.
 
2020/1's setup was really weird, but I agree with MC that we got a higher caliber of gymnastics. I get what they're going for with having continental diversity in the spirit of the Olympics, but when we're now having teams of 5 instead of 7, 2 per country instead of 3, and 24 in the AA instead of 36, the standards should be raised so we're still not having 6-8 subdivisions filled with gymnasts who aren't getting past qualifications.
The spirit of the Olympics is having the best athletes on earth, competing against each other. Elite sport cannot and should not aim to be inclusive or diverse, as it ceases to be elite
 
The spirit of the Olympics is having the best athletes on earth, competing against each other. Elite sport cannot and should not aim to be inclusive or diverse, as it ceases to be elite
Actually, the goal of the Olympics is to contribute to building a peaceful and better world by educating youth through sport practiced without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play. (https://olympics.com/ioc/beyond-the-games)

The notion that the Olympics is just be the best of the best is classic American elitism.

Giving athletes from smaller and underfunded nations the chance to compete in different sports is the beauty of the event. Just because they aren't a chance to win a medal or qualify for a final, doesn't mean their participation in the event is unworthy or undeserved. Just getting out on the floor can make a huge impact to that sport within that country.
 
Actually, the goal of the Olympics is to contribute to building a peaceful and better world by educating youth through sport practiced without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play. (https://olympics.com/ioc/beyond-the-games)

The notion that the Olympics is just be the best of the best is classic American elitism.

Giving athletes from smaller and underfunded nations the chance to compete in different sports is the beauty of the event. Just because they aren't a chance to win a medal or qualify for a final, doesn't mean their participation in the event is unworthy or undeserved. Just getting out on the floor can make a huge impact to that sport within that country.
I think we can all agree that the Olympic movement today is very far removed from its aims. Judged sports like gymnastics and expected to carry the burden of Olympic spirit in ways that other sports are not. And if we look at the overall standard of gymnastics compared with 1996, 2000, our sport has declined in quality.

If you think that the Olympics being the best of the best is an American notion, you are very much mistaken. In Russia it’s much “worse”. At least in America there is an element of personal achievement and growth. Here it’s just about what you can achieve for the government, not for yourself. From what I know, China is the same too.
 
I will say some of my favorite Olympic performances have come from athletes from smaller nations/Olympic committees who competed with extreme grit, even when they were not competitive. Say what we will about elitism (from any nation), but NBC has highlighted some of these athletes, and they're usually the ones that really impact me.
 
I will say some of my favorite Olympic performances have come from athletes from smaller nations/Olympic committees who competed with extreme grit, even when they were not competitive. Say what we will about elitism (from any nation), but NBC has highlighted some of these athletes, and they're usually the ones that really impact me.
Eileen Diaz lives rent free in my head.
 

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