perfection is possible

blatherings about gymnastics

Modeling and the American Cup!

Posted by Rawles on February 15, 2009

So, while bb Shawn is dancing up a storm (or at least practicing in order to do same!), Nastia was walking in the annual Heart Truth Red Dress Collection at NY Fashion Week and looking lovely in her crazy robe dress.

Nastia models Max Azria for the Red Dress Collection

Nastia models Max Azria for the Red Dress Collection

Though more exciting (to me anyway): her Max Azria campaign is finally officially released and, keeping true to the few dribs and drabs over the last few weeks, is stunning. The full image book is available for viewing at as is a soft focus, strummy music, artistically shadowed video lovingly depicting Nastia taking the photos for the campaign.

Nastia stars in Max Azria's Spring 2009 campaign

Nastia stars in Max Azria's Spring 2009 campaign

So. Whee! In case you cannot tell, I enjoy seeing gymnasts doing all of this kind of stuff. Except for when Shawn makes me watch Dancing with the Stars. (I still enjoy it, just begrudgingly.)

Now, moving on to gymnasts doing actual gymnastics! The American Cup is THIS WEEKEND. I feel like I have been waiting an eternity for what is arguably the first BIG competition of the 2009 season. The full roster was released a while back:

Brittany Rogers, Canada
Youna Dufournet, France
Kim Bui, Germany
Rebecca Downie, Great Britain
Koko Tsurumi, Japan
Amelia Racea, Romania
Kristina Goryunova, Russia
Bridget Sloan, USA
Jordyn Wieber, USA
Jessica Lopez, Venezuela

I have already spoken on my excitement about Bridget (paticularly since reports that she’s been training a front triple twist!) and I’m sure Jordyn will do fine. It’s also nice to see Jessica Lopez back as I felt her floor was a standout last year. Plus, Koko Tsurumi is always good to see and Brittany Rogers is one of Canada’s outstanding new seniors. But I have to say that the person I am most excited about (hopefully) getting a peek at this comp is Becky Downie.

Great Britain's Becky Downie

Great Britain's Becky Downie

The British National AA Champion wasn’t super on my radar in previous years. I saw peeks of her at 2007 Worlds and heard about her getting into two finals at Euros last year. But it wasn’t until I was watching the full (full!) coverage of the Beijing AA that she really caught my eye. She was in the last group, having just sneaked into the final in 24th place after a rough prelims, and she worked herself all the way up to 12th. Also known as the highest Olympic AA placement for a British gymnast ever.

I was very impressed watching her, moreso even than various people in the 2nd and 3rd groups. She’s clean, has an entertaining and balanced floor routine, and a very nice DTY. She’s also second only to Beth Tweddle on bars in the UK and she hit an excellent set in the AA final (plus she does a Ricna which is just an awesome skill). I’m really curious to see what upgrades she might have and just her new routines in general. I think she could do some good things this year.

Though even more than I’m excited about her at the American Cup (dubious as I am about getting to actually see much of her in the broadcast), I’m excited to see what she might do at Euros. In Beijing, she dropped her second vault to concentrate on AA, even though she made vault finals at Euros. The field is minimized this year with both Chuso and Pavlova out with injury, so I’m curious about whether she’ll go for that, or continue concentrating on AA (or do both!). So, excitement everywhere. Main point being, I think she’s a talent that I would like to see grooow.

Now, let’s hope I didn’t jinx her!

Here’s Becky at the 2008 British National Championships. I WANTED to post her Beijing AA final floor (which was better), but I was thwarted in numerous ways.


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