Women’s All-Around … Predictions!

Okay, I’m going INSANE sitting here on the West Coast not being able to see Shawn and Nastia and all the women live. I keep imagining them there in Beijing… walking into the arena… getting ready… chalking the bars… warming up… and I see the competition starting – RIGHT NOW they’re performing. They’re running and tumbling. They’re scared out of their minds and nervous and so excited. They’re entire lives – even if only 16 years – is at the pinnacle of everything they’ve dreamt of RIGHT NOW. This very second that I’m typing this. And that is the essence and joy of the Olympics. For just tonight – Shawn Johnson, Nastia Liukin and 22 other women get a chance to smile at their biggest fans, there in the stands and at home wathcing tv, and say to themselves – “I made it!” Win or lose, these girls are in the Women’s All-Around competition at the Olympics, the single biggest gymnastics comeptition in the world. The biggest of dreams will be won and lost tonight, and I am going crazy knowing that it’s happening, that people all over the east coast are seeing it right now, and I have to wait another 2 hours and 22 minutes.

So… to make use of some of my nervous anticipation and excitement, I’m going to blog what I think the night is going to look like. I’m going to visualize it, see the routines in my head as you’re seeing them live and hopefully be right on target when I get to see it live.

Here goes nothing.

As the first two qualifiers into the all-around, Nastia and Shawn will be on Olympic Rotation, meaning they will start on vault, then move to bars, beam and floor – in that order. Both Shawn and Nastia compete well in this rotation, although it favors Shawn’s strengths slightly.

Shawn goes into the All-Around with 9 world medals and as the 2nd place qualifier

Shawn goes into the All-Around with 9 world medals and as the 2nd place qualifier

Rotation 1 – Vault:


  • Start Value: 6.5 – She’ll do a 2.5 twisting yerchenko, the hardest in the competition and one of very few in the world who do it.
  • Execution: pretty solidly always between a 9.0-9.3. She has a tendency to take a cross-over step to the right. My DREAM is that this one night in the Olympics she sticks that vault for the first time ever in major international competition. I know that she CAN stick it, but Shawn is consistent (in this instance) almost to a fault. I predict she will take a step, albeit a small one to the side. She’ll get a .10 deduction for it.
  • Score: 16.125


  • Start Value: 5.5
  • Execution: limitless – when she hits this vault, she is beautiful and really rocks out even that low start value. I’m predicting she WILL hit – she’ll be absolutely mentally and physically focused. She normally scores between a 14.5-15.025
  • Score: 14.975
Shawn goes into the All-Around undefeated in her first senior year and as the current World Champion and 1st place qualifier.

Shawn goes into the All-Around undefeated in her first senior year and as the current World Champion and 1st place qualifier.

Rotation 2 -Uneven Bars:


  • Start Value: 7.7 – gigantic!! She has the hardest bar routine in the world, matched only in start value by 2 Chinese gymnasts.
  • Execution: Nastia is near flawless on this event. If the 10.0 system was still in place, I wholeheartedly believe this is the event and the gymnast we would see the first and perhaps only Olympics ’08 10. She has amazing lines, hits every handstand and keeps her legs glued together – her form is nearly flawless. She generally gets around a 9.4-9.6.
  • Score: She scored a 16.9 in team finals – the highest score yet in gymnastics. She’ll stick her dismount, hit her handstands, not be too close to the bar on her pac salta (release from high to low), and I believe she’ll match that again tonight – 16.9.


  • Start Value: 6.4 (I believe) – her lowest scoring event.
  • Execution: What she does here she does very well. Great form, great height on her releases. Hardest dismount in the competition.
  • Score: 15.325

Rotation 3 – Beam:


  • Start Value: 6.7
  • Execution: Usually in low 9s – she’s beautiful here. Her lines and unique moves, especially the Liukin make her the girl to watch on beam.
  • Score: She got a 15.975 in the prelims and she was underscored. I think tonight she’s going to hit and hit hard… her form will be great as usual and she’ll end up with a 16.125


  • Start Value: 7.0
  • Execution: Shawn is generally a complete rock on this event. She literally tumbles on the beam – a two backhandsprings into a back layout pass. She also does a standing back with a full twist. She is constantly jumping and tumbling on here. She makes it look like she’s on floor. Her dismount is incredibly difficult, as well. She usually gets around a 9.2-9.5S
  • Score: like Nastia – she got a 15.975 in the prelims and was ROBBED. Her routine was about as near perfection as it gets – literally not one balance check. Tonight she’ll be rock solid again, and she’ll get the fair sore of 16.475.

Rotation 4 – Floor:


  • Start Value: 6.2
  • Execution: This is definitely not her best event. She’s fallen several times on her second tumbling pass. She won’t tonight. What she does, though, is have a unique, beautiful look about her. She’s almost awkward on this event – she’s lanky, but it makes for the most enjoyable watching. She pulls you in. When she hits it’s great. Not her highest in execution scores, typically and fluctuates a lot.
  • Score: She’ll hit tonight… 15.4


  • Start Value: 6.3 Shawn is World Champion (in general) and World Champion on this event. She loves to tumble and she FLIES when she does. She hits those tumbling passes HARD, and you see the joy in her face when she does it. She has said before that the entire US team loves to fly and they struggle staying in bounds. In the team final, she went out of bounds – first time I’ve ever seen her do that. Her first tumbling pass is a double twisting double back and it’s absolutely breathtaking.
  • Execution: Shawn is …. you-get-goosebumps good on this event. Her form is amazing, her smile is contagious, her jumps are sky high, and her choreography compliments her insane difficulty. She usually gets in the 9.2-9.4 range here.
  • Score: Shawn is going to end tonight on a massive high. She loves what she does, and she’s going to go out there completely determined and remind everyone (not that we need to be reminded) of why she’s World Champion here. She’ll rock this routine, and get a well deserved 15.775 to end her night.

Now I have to discuss the Chinese gymnasts. They’re super talented (albeit too young – there, I’m with Bela – I’m just going to say it!). I have a HUGE problem with breaking the age rule in this sport, but that’s another rant for another time. One of the biggest arguments in gymnastics this Olympics has been that a lot of people think that the Chinese have been consistently overscored. The anouncers are often baffled when, even after major falls, the Chinese gymnasts still get amazing scores.

I love this sport and I refuse to believe in anything but the integrity and authenticity in it. I may think differently after tonight is over, but regardless of whether these gymnasts are overscored, Juang and Yilian (spelling?) are both fantastic gymnasts and have insane difficulty. They are going to do ridiculously well.

Now, for the standings, my final predictions. Who will win tonight in Bejing? Who will take home the coveted gold medal in Women’s All-Around in gymnastics?

Gold: Shawn Johnson
Silver: Nastia Liukin
Bronze: Juang and Yilian will battle this one out – I don’t know enough about them individually to guess which will win.

Okay it’s 9:35… only an hour and a half… I feel a little less jittery. I’m so excited.

Congrats to all the women who made it into the all-around!!!

Good luck Nastia and Shawn – we know you’re going to represent the Red, White, and Blue with pride, grace and absolute class!

And Shawn??? – GET IT GIRL!!!!!!!!

Published in: on August 15, 2008 at 6:43 am  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. This is a really cool detailed post on the routines. Very cool! I’m not used to seeing such a breakdown.

    I’m writing to you because I run a site that links to other gymnastics sites called Links to Gymnastics (http://www.linkstogymnastics.com) The goal of my site is to make it easier for gymnastics fans to find gymnastics sites.

    I found your blog when I was searching the web for gymnastics and wanted to ask you if you’d like a link to your site from Links to Gymnastics.

    Either way I wish you all the best!

    Sorry for having to use a comment to send the message along. (Feel free to delete it) but I did not know any other way to send the message.

    If you’ve gotten a message like this I apologize for the duplication. The internet is a pretty big place and hard to keep track of sometimes.

    David F.P.
    davegymnastics at yahoo.com

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