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Performances Worth Remembering

Posted by Rawles on December 7, 2008

So, I have this habit wherein I enjoy wandering around YouTube looking at vaguely obscure videos of gymnasts I know and/or like back when they were juniors or before anyone cared about them and suchnot.

In these travels, I occasionally come by videos containing really great routines or skills that I often didn’t know said gymnasts had done or were not widely broadcast, etc. This is fun! And exciting! To me, anyway. And in the hopes that it will be, at least, mildly entertaining to you, I’ve decided to share these as I encounter them. You may have seen them, you may not have, but either way, they’re worth remembering.
 
 
Few would accuse Carly Patterson of being an especially exciting gymnast and, truly, I would not be one of those few. She always seemed to lack a certain amount of feeling, to be a little robotic. Frankly, she just wasn’t that interesting. And while I don’t hold the fact that she parlayed her Olympic glory into a “singing career” against her in the way that some gym fans do, let’s face it: it is and probably always will be a very hilarious development. Not really in a good way. But one thing that I could never fault Carly Patterson for was her almost freakish ability on balance beam. Everything she did was so preternaturally light and floaty it was almost mesmerizing. This video is from a 2002 podium meet.

What’s most remarkable about this (besides her being like 13 and doing the double arabian dismount), I feel, is her back full (:16). Not only does she do it with actual, honest-to-goodness true full-in technique (i.e. doing a full twist and then the salto, instead of twisting during the salto), but it’s not even really tucked. I look at this and feel like she could have trained up to a full-twisting layout. But then when she dropped the tucked/piked back full for a plain layout, it wasn’t that great, so who knows. What I do know is that this is pretty awesome and that it’s disappointing that by the time Carly made her successful run for the Olympic AA title in 2004, there really wasn’t much left of interest in her balance beam routine outside of her bitching dismount. But, oh, there was a time!

Three more, after the jump!
 
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Posted in Bridget Sloan, Carly Patterson, Chellsie Memmel, Jana Bieger, Performances Worth Remembering | 6 Comments »