Sacramone’s 9.9

Welcome to our Gymnastics Message Board

Members see FEWER ads... so join today

I wish Postell had been at Trials. I think the 2004 Olympic team would have been better off with either Postell, Schwikert, or Memmel in place of Bhardwaj.
 
Postell qualified to Trials but withdrew to allow her teammate Katie Heenan to compete. I think she cited a lack of preparation or motivation, or something. But yes: a healthy and prepared Postell would have been amazing on that team.
 
Postell was 13th and didn’t qualify. Nicole Harris had to withdraw and Postell was called as the alternate, but she had already stopped training and declined. Katie Heenan was next in line at 14th, and she accepted.
 
Last edited:
I wish Postell had been at Trials. I think the 2004 Olympic team would have been better off with either Postell, Schwikert, or Memmel in place of Bhardwaj.
Bhardwaj did her job for the team and she made floor finals and was close to making vault finals had it not been for a short DTY. She was 8th in the AA and had she stuck her DTY likely would have knocked out Kupets for the 2nd AA slot.
Really the weakest member on that team ended up being McCool.
Domestically her questionable connections were given credit. She was dealing with an injury (wrist?) in Athens by that point as well. But she ended up being useless to the team.

USA could have and should have won that team final.
They got a bit unlucky in team finals. They only lost by .7 to Romania.
Patterson’s vault error was a .2 loss, her bars error was a .3 loss
Even after giving up .5 after two events, they held the lead.
Patterson ended up giving up .1-.15 on beam with a 9.612, she was capable of a 9.7-9.775 (9.725 TQ, 9.725 AA, 9.775 EF).
Her floor was also capable of going higher than 9.662.
Unfortunately Patterson’s errors alone were costly to the team. If Patterson vaulted and did bars like she did in TQ and did beam and floor like in the all around, US would have won gold.

That doesn’t account for Bhardwaj having to do beam, difference of .2 or Kupets stumbling on floor for a difference of .2.

IMO, the 2004 US team was over trained, over worked, carrying injuries and just had too much pressure on them.
Plus just was not their night in team finals.
I believe that having errors in team qualifications and finishing 2nd to Romania going into team finals demoralized them and took away their confidence.

I still don’t understand why McCool wasn’t put in on beam and floor for Kupets. But maybe she was too injured, not ready to compete, or Marta was punishing her. Ultimately McCool got locked into the team but she was really being counted on for her beam and floor and needed to be used on both those in team finals.
 
Postell was called as the alternate, but she had already stopped training and declined.
Postell had not stopped training. Postell declined because after not making it to Olympic Trials she decided to focus on NCAA and getting ready to attend Utah. When Marta/USAG called to invite her to compete she declined because she had moved on at that point and Utah was her priority. She had already processed not making it to Trials and as a result the Olympics and didn’t want to go through potential disappointment again.
 
Last edited:
Domestically her questionable connections were given credit.
While I do agree that concerns about McCool’s start value on beam were warranted, far too much emphasis has been placed on the reason being connections not getting credited due to slow tempo. Even if the only connection that received credit was her acrobatic series, McCool had enough bonus to start from a 9.8.

McCool was also at risk for not receiving credit on her Popa, full twisting wolf jump, and triple twist dismount. Under the rules at the time, turning dance and twisting elements could be devalued if they were more than 90 degrees short of rotation, or bonus not awarded if an element incurred 0.3 or more in deductions. She was often borderline on the Popa and full twisting wolf jump. Factoring in slightly crossed legs, under rotation of the twist, and a step or hop on the landing, and McCool could have easily been hit with 0.3 in deductions on her dismount.

If you look at the scores McCool received in Athens considering the mistakes that she made, it is clear that judges were willing to reward her for clean routines. She had a 0.3 wobble on the Onodi meaning that both it, and the switch leap + Onodi connection were not eligible for bonus, which is the main reason for the 9.7 SV. Adding 0.3 back to the 9.112 she received for this mistake alone bumps her up to a 9.412, even disregarding any changes to her SV. Therefore, the 9.5 to 9.65s that she was receiving at Nationals and the Olympic Trials do not seem unrealistic. I absolutely think McCool could have been scored more harshly both within the US and internationally, but the evidence does not indicate this is what would have happened.

Also, for what it’s worth, McCool did not receive a 10.0 SV on beam across all judges (4 judges both awarding start value and evaluating execution) for all routines at Nationals and Olympic Trials.

Nationals Day 1 - 4/4 awarded a 10.0 SV
Nationals Day 2 - 3/4 awarded a 9.9 SV

Olympic Trials Day 1 - 4/4 awarded a 9.9 SV
Olympic Trials Day 2 - 2/4 awarded a 9.9 SV
 
Last edited:
Adding 0.3 back to the 9.112 she received for this mistake alone bumps her up to a 9.412, even disregarding any changes to her SV.
So a 9.712 without the error and a clean connection into the Sheep (so starting from a 10.0)?

That break cost her 0.6?!
 
Last edited:
Postell qualified to Trials but withdrew to allow her teammate Katie Heenan to compete.
Noooooo. Postell and Heenan agreed they would both turn down Trials invites of anyone withdrew. Postell turned it down. Heenan did not. Not sure Postell ever forgave Heenan for that betrayal.
 
From what I recall…it was kind a “ride or die” thing. Either they both go or neither go.

There was a lot of pressure put on Heenan to accept the spot. I don’t have a real high opinion of her, but she hardly made the decision on her own. God’s plan and all that :roll_eyes:
 
Name a more iconic duo than USAG Domestic Judges and crediting any and all dance elements.
While poor judging has definitely occurred historically at competitions within the U.S., a few of the high profile resulting failures deserve a more nuanced discussion.
  1. 2004 Olympic Cycle
It is often stated that judges incorrectly awarded credit on dance elements on floor and this was not identified as a weakness heading into Athens. However, looking through the results from Nationals and the Olympic Trials, with the exception of Patterson, almost every contender for the Olympic team had at least one element downgraded on floor across the four days of competition. In fact, in Day 1 of Trials, McCool was only given a 9.7 SV.
  1. 2006 Worlds - Sacramone Qualification FX
  • The clarifications to the floor dance EGR were issued in April of 2006, and effective May of 2006.
  • Sacramone competed at the Ghent World Cup in mid-May of 2006, where she performed the dance series the exact same way she did at Worlds and received credit.
  • At Worlds, the A panel actually initially credited Sacramone with the dance EGR. If it were that blatantly obvious, she would have never been awarded the EGR in the first place. Also, note that there was no U.S. judge on the A panel.
  • USAG protested Sacramone’s 6.3 D score because of a downgrade to her Gogean. She also performed a tour jete in her routine, which now received no DV due to the downgrade on the Gogean. During the protest, the Gogean downgrade stands, but the A panel also identifies the missing EGR.
  • Note that had the protest not been filed, Sacramone would have qualified for floor finals. Thus we have Kara Raker’s ring element fiasco 13 years earlier!
  • There was clearly some ambiguity on what was acceptable around the world. For example, Joura performed a 3/4 turn in her dance series at multiple events, including at a World Cup in Shanghai, but was given the EGR. In fact, this was in her floor routine through Australian World Trials. (At the time, I figured she was getting the EGR credit because a 3/4 turn isn’t an actual element in the COP, and thus not violating the language of ‘no turns’.)
Again, in closing I’m not meaning to give excuses for poor judging, say it doesn’t exist in the US, or even couldn’t have done a better job in these two examples. However, the case is not nearly as black and white as most people think.
 
Last edited:

Welcome to our Gymnastics Message Board

Members see FEWER ads... so join today

Back