A question for the ages

Samantha Shapiro, Jordyn Wieber, Rebecca Bross. The big three of the U.S. Junior team are poised to do great things in 2009 — or 2011, when Wieber, the current junior national champion, comes of senior age.

Some commenters on this blog have noted that they enjoy seeing “mature” gymnastics. Many fans lament that a bunch of cool tricks without artistry does not make a good routine.

So here’s the question: If there were no age limit, who would make up the U.S. women’s team?

(Note: This doesn’t seem to affect the men. Paul and Morgan Hamm, 17 in Beijing, were practically infants. Dmitri Bilozertchev, 16 at the 1983 World Championships, was all of 20 when he made his amazing comeback in 1987. The fact is that male gymnasts usually peak in their 20s because they don’t have the power necessary to do big skills at age 13.)

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6 Responses to “A question for the ages”

  1. Nik Says:

    I think it would be the same… Rebecca bross may have had a chance but she was injured so out of the picture anyway. Sam Shapiro has a lovely beam and Jordan Wieber seems to be very powerful on floor/vault but they are nixed by Shawn, Nastia, Chellsie and Alicia. They may have rivalled Sam P for her spot but I think her solid performances and consistancy are why she is there and that still stands. The key was bars and I dont think any of the juniors have the capability to rival the seniors in bars.

  2. TCO Says:

    That might be the case this year, but there are certainly years when juniors would make the team. For instance were the Olympics last year, Shawn Johnson would still have helped a lot as a 15 year old. So, the general impact is that countries that can draw on their juniors by cheating (if they do) will have an advantage over countries that don’t.

  3. Em Says:

    We wouldn’t really know how well the juniors might have done because they weren’t trained to peak in 2008. Were the preparing for the Olympics, I suspect they would be training harder routines. Instead, they’re probably saving their bodies and pacing themselves for the next quad.

  4. Colleen Says:

    I agree with Em, but I think if age weren’t a question, Nastia would have been on the Athens team… and they definitely could have won. She could have won AA as well. She was just 3 months shy of being of age anyway.

  5. Marcus Says:

    Nastia wasn’t 3 months shy of being of age, she was born in October

  6. coach chris Says:

    Either way she was very capable of contributing in 2004

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