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blatherings about gymnastics

Wieber to the American Cup?!

Posted by Rawles on January 11, 2009

According to her website that’s the case!

Saturday, January 10, 2009
American Cup Competitor
Jordyn will be competing in the 2009 American Cup competition which will be held on February 20th-21st in Chicago, IL. Jordyn will be joining 2008 US Olympian, Bridget Sloan. The United States will be naming two additional athletes to their squad and many international athletes are also expected to participate. The finals portion of the competition will be broadcasted LIVE by NBC Sports on February 21st at 3:00 CT.

This is a surprising twist given that the 13-year-old US junior national champion won’t be a senior international elite until 2011. Wieber’s camp has come under a certain amount of criticism and concern in the past from gym fans who worry that Wieber is doing too much difficulty too soon and will burn out if she isn’t paced better. These concerns weren’t alleviated by the fact that she’s been throwing Amanars at training camps for quite some time now.

Wieber at 2008 US Nationals

Wieber at 2008 US Nationals

Have juniors ever competed at the American Cup before?! For the last few years it’s basically been used largely by USAG as the coming out party for the new seniors that were expected to make a splash or a little ball in honor of the current It Girl. (ETA: Apparently various juniors have actually competed at SCAM in the past, though, unfortunately, very few of them ever went on to anything notable once they turned senior!) For this very reason, people, myself included, were very interested in who was going to get the rather plum assignment with all of the big names currently out of competition.

I don’t think anyone guessed that any juniors were in the mix at all. Especially with new, untested, and promising seniors like Mattie Larson and Samantha Shapiro about. If the announcement on the site is accurate (and not someone in her camp jumping the gun) then this is a huge vote of confidence in Wieber and definitely an investment in her being one of their big stars when the London Olympics are about to roll around.

It also means that Bridget Sloan, many people’s first choice for the headliner of this year’s AmCup (once again, myself included), is definitely getting the assignment that everyone expected her to. It also means that there will be prelims (an issue of much confusion even for people planning to attend) for the competition and two more open spots. Though whether everyone will get to compete in the broadcast final is still unclear. There were four American girls competing at 2008 SCAM though, so it’s a possibility.

Those last two spots, again assuming this update is accurate, will be interesting. I would think that the people really vying would be the aforementioned Mattie Larson and Samantha Shapiro; along with Chelsea Davis, coached by Kim Zmeskal, and who copped to upgrading at the end of last year in an interview over at the excellent Gymnastike; Corrie Lothrop, who exceeded all expectations (including her own) by becoming an Olympic alternate and got some assignments post-Olympics at which she performed well; perhaps Olivia Courtney who was also sent out a bit at the end of last year; and, of course, the ever dogged Jana Bieger. (Is Sam Pezsek back in shape? How’s her ankle? How is her transition to Sharp’s going? Does anyone know anything about what’s up with her?!)

Hell, since Wieber is, at the very least, in the mix, maybe even maybe Kamerin Moore, Wieber’s adorable bespectacled teammate, who brought home some hardware from Top Gym in late November, will make a run. Apparently this is already Crazyville!

I, for one, am quite interested to see how this situation further develops! Especially when gossip starts leaking from the upcoming National Team training camp.

(FTR, my picks for the last two spots with be Larson and Shapiro.)


17 Responses to “Wieber to the American Cup?!”

  1. Brittany said

    I don’t see anywhere on Jordyn’s site where it says the American Cup will have prelims ?

  2. Rawles said

    It says that “the finals portion” of the competition will be broadcast. Thus implying that there is a prelims portion that won’t!

  3. mushibinky said

    oh i get it Bridget/Nastia vs Jordyn/Shawn. why so transparent nbc?

  4. TCOisbanned? said

    Jana, Jana, Jana! just kidding. I don’t think she has the scores although if she would just get more eye of the tiger she might. Bring back Rocky music.

    Shawn is out for all of 2009 and maybe ever.

  5. Rawles said

    TCO, I’m quite dubious about the chances of Jana getting the assignment as well, barring some other people still being injured. She wasn’t on the Olympic team and she’s been around for years so there’s no new up-and-comer storyline for NBC to harp on in her case. They could try a Just Missed Out storyline for her the way that they enjoyed with Chellsie Memmel, but, sadly, she doesn’t have the scoring potential of the a healthy Memmel. If she were capable of better scores or was more favored by Marta that might not matter, but alas.

    Mushiblinky, Haha. I hadn’t consciously thought of that, but you know you’re probably quite right about the narrative they’re going to try to craft there. I guess that wouldn’t work nearly as well with the likes of Larson or Shapiro, both of whom are actually more artistic than Sloan. Which, actually, Bridget isn’t that great a Nastia stand-in given the fact that it isn’t artistry she’s known for so much as being neat and having a nice line. It’ll be interesting to see how much they try to emphasize Bridget as the ~*~artistic~*~ side of the equation, when she’s really more clean and athletic than anything else. Shapiro vs. Wieber would be a much better analogue.

  6. […] Wieber to the American Cup?! […]

  7. chasingperfect said

    I dont think its fair for Wieber to go since she isn’t a senior yet. Let her do the junior stuff and rise in the rankings that way.
    I’d like to see Sloan, Lorthrop, Shapiro and Larson at the Am. Cup (which I am attending so I am very excited to see who the picks are!)

  8. TCOisbanned? said

    When they put in juniors like this it highlights how well pre-puberty girls perform and thus how age limits are blocking the best gymnasts and/or how countries have an incentive to cheat.

  9. Rawles said

    I doubt it’s any real campaign against the age rules (which I don’t see changing any time soon; at least in the direction everyone wants) so much as they need a storyline hook. They want to build Wieber up as the Next Big Thing. No Shawn or Nastia to draw attention, so they pull out 13-Year-Old Phenom vs. Olympian.

    And I do tend to agree that it’s not the wisest decision since there are a plethora of talented, but untested new seniors who will need to fill out US teams for real international competitions long before Wieber will be able to lend any assistance there who could certainly use the experience more at this moment.

  10. TCOisbanned? said

    1. I’m not saying that it’s a deliberate campaign…just that the action of “putting the best athlete on the field”, despite being underage, makes more publicly evident the issue.

    2. Also putting juniors inelligeble for senior comps seems to show that USAG has more value for Olys and is willing to not do so well at non-Oly meets. Whether or not you agree with their prioritization, that seems to be what they are doing.

  11. TCOisbanned? said

    And Rawles, I will self ban myself, if you want. Honest. Like at WWGym, it would be trivial to make a DL, but I have not. Can not even view it. So if you want me gone, say the word.

  12. sheldon said

    hey folks lets not forget that there are potentially 2 more spots up for grabs and we certainly should be seeing the nod going to Shapiro, Larson, Davis, Lothrop if healthy (Shapiro and Larson seem to have some difficulty staying in one piece)Peszek is opting for a later return in hopes of grabbing another world team birth otherwise she would be a front runner.
    The nod to the junior national champion(Wieber), who by all accounts has been hanging consistently with most of the senior squad (i.e results from Italy 03/08 and championships 06/08)is a refreshing deviation from choosing the anointed. She earned it wow isnt that a unique concept.

  13. TCOisbanned? said

    Do college girls ever do SCAM?

  14. Em said

    Jessica Lopez competes for University of Denver, and she will be representing Venezuela at Am. Cup.

    It’s going to be awkward for Bross and Weiber to be competing against one another. Bross attended Geddarts before moving to WOGA, I believe.

  15. Soapy said

    I don’t think college girls who compete for America have ever done SCAM and since you have to be a part of the camp system of to get selected and of course Marta has huge NCAA shaped blinders on about how competitive some of the top NCAA girls could be. (even though a lot of these gymnasts used to compete at the elite level) Even if she did, I’m not sure if a lot of gymnasts would want to go to Scam since it conflicts with their regular competitive schedule. Lopez was a last minute replacement for a Chinese athlete who pulled out becuase of a scary fall during prelims/podium training (I forget which) and she ended up having her floor routine on television. Since she has an easier time traveling than some of the other foriegn athletes it made sense to reinvite her.

  16. samantha said

    Bross and Wieber never really competed against each other… 2 years difference and 1 or 2 levels different at the time Bross was at Geddarts.
    Agreed lets see some new talent

  17. Salma said

    Well, what can we say? She won!!!!
    Congratulations, Jordyn!!!!

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