Posts Tagged ‘Olivia Courtney’

12 days of up and coming gymnasts, day seven

December 29, 2008
The elegant Samantha Shapiro, 15, is a rising star for the U.S.

The elegant Samantha Shapiro, 15, is a rising star for the U.S.

Jordyn Wieber and Samantha Shapiro, USA: Expect the dynamic Wieber and the elegant Shapiro to carry out this quad’s version of the Nastia and Shawn Show — that is, if Nastia and Shawn don’t return themselves.

Thirteen-year-old Wieber, the reigning junior national champion, was victorious at the Top Gym meet in Belgium earlier this month, while Shapiro competed alongside Nastia Liukin, Rebecca Bross and Darling Hill at the Pacifiic Rim Championships in the spring. There she dazzled everybody with her excellent form and sunny disposition (she didn’t stop smiling even when her floor exercise music stopped playing after her first pass.)

Look out for U.S. Junior Champ Jordyn Wieber this quad.

Look out for U.S. Junior Champ Jordyn Wieber this quad.

Shapiro, 15, also won bars and beam at the individual-events-only Pan American Union Championships in Rio against a strong field of, well, other Americans, including Olivia Courtney and Corrie Lothrop.

Wieber’s got the big skills (easy DTY, reportedly training an Amanar, effortless standing full on beam, double pike off), Shapiro’s got the elegance and grace (check out her uber-elegant mount). Like Nastia and Shawn, they’re two years apart. Hopefully they’re friends too — they’re going to be seeing a lot of each other in the next few years.

The weeks in review

November 25, 2008

There should be a blog that keeps tabs on all the gymnastics blogs.

Tidbits of the week: Triple Full reports that 2006 World Champion Vanessa Ferrari is having a sort of identity crisis. Ongoing injuries have hindered her training, and she’s gained some weight. Nothing precipitates an identity crisis in gymnastics like the expansion of a couple inches of waistline. It seems doubtful that the feisty 2006 World Champion will be able to make a tremendously successful return to elite international competition.

Rick at Gymnastics Coaching reports that Georgia is once again on top of the yearly NCAA coaches poll, followed by perennial runner-up Utah. And that Bela Karolyi called accusers Trudi Kollar and fellow defector Geza Pozar “trash” for their accusations of Bela and Martha Karolyi’s abuse. Tactful. Very tactful.

Before becoming U.S. Team Coordinator, Martha Karolyi was the shadow behind Bela, who obviously prefers the spotlight. Rick calls for her to address the abuse allegations, as well. I kind of doubt she will. Or that USA Gymnastics will make her.

A flurry of competitions, including the Milan Grand Prix, Toyota Cup, Massila Cup, Asian Championships and DBT Cup have taken place in recent days. The rule of thumb has generally been that if you dominated during the Olympics, you dominated these competitions too. Stars include Cheng Fei, Jiang Yuyuan, He Kexin, Sandra Izbasa, Koko Tsurumi, Lauren Mitchell, Fabian Hambuchen, Maxim Deviatovskiy.

“Competing” against a weak field, U.S. gymnasts Samantha Shapiro, Corrie Lothrop and Olivia Courtney steamrolled everyone else at the Pan American Union Championships. Lothrop won vault, Shapiro bars and beam, and Courtney floor.

Young Americans shine at 2007 Junior Pan American Games

November 27, 2007

Hard to believe Shawn Johnson and Samantha Peszek were competing at last fall’s junior Pan American Games.

Samantha Peszek, 2006 Junior Pan American Games, Floor Exercise:

It just goes to show what can happen in a year.

And it makes one wonder if one or more of the fantastic four the U.S. women sent to this year’s Pan American Games — Jordyn Wieber, Olivia Courtney, Mattie Larson and Chelsea Davis — could be in store for a similar fate.

The fact that they’re still competing as juniors about six months before the Olympic Trials (though Courtney, Davis and Larson are all age-eligible for Beijing) makes me think it would be nearly impossible for them to make enough of a first year splash on the senior circuit within the next six months to be chosen for the team.

Nonetheless, all are impressive, and are likely to be among the frontrunners in 2009. Particularly Wieber, who at age 12 is throwing almost all the difficulty of a Johnson.