Stay up to date with the latest happenings in Women’s Finals Competition on August 11th, 2019.
Our Live Blogging team today includes:
The 2019 U.S. Gymnastics Championship is going to open in the most thrilling way possible; it’s going to open with Sydney Barros on Floor. 2019 Jr. World Team Member has one of the most exciting floor routines of the century. Self-described as sassy fun, and inviting, Barros says that she looks at the crowd during the performance to invite them in. Choreographed by Dominik Zito and Kim Zmeskal, this routine represents Sydney. Kansas City spectators are in for a treat.
2019 Jr. World Vault Champion and three-time medalist at this years’ jr. world championships has set a goal of improving her routines from the GK Classic and making the national team this year. She’s adding in a double lay full-out on floor to aid her chances of retaining her current spot on the national team. After placing 4th in the AA at the Junior World Championships, she is one to challenge for the AA title here in Kansas City.
Coming off her GK Classic All-Around Championships win, Konner McClain isn’t looking to put pressure on herself, she just wants to stay calm. After some disappointment by just barely missing the World Championship team, she has worked on staying focused and calm throughout her competition performances. Though she was the traveling alternate, she did get to participate in the banquet at the World Championships and several members sent her a message congratulating her on her win. Other notable athletes like Morgan Hurd and Aly Raisman have used their spare time to nurture their hobbies like reading and fashion. They aren’t alone. McClain spoke openly about her love of make-up and said she may start a youtube channel.
While many of the junior women competing this weekend have multiple social media profiles with followers in the multi-thousands, the most anticipated junior gymnast in Kansas City has no social media. Asher Hong grew in popularity at the 2017 Winter Cup where he beat college students at the age of 13. Standing barely higher than the chalk bucket, his beautiful lines and clean gymnastics won over thousands of fans. Coming in as the reigning J.O. National Champion (15 year old division), he is expected to challenge for the 15-16 All-Around title.
His former teammate, current Oklahoma Sooner, and reigning J.O. National Champion (18 year old division), Laz Barnhill is also expected to challenge for the 17-18 title. Transitioning to the University of Oklahoma has brought a set of inspirations and challenges. He described the transition as going from the big fish in a big pond to a small fish in an even bigger pond. Even so, training in the bigger pond provides daily motivation as he trains under the same coach and in the same gym as Olympic and World medalists.
The future is bright with these athletes
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Days before the 2019 U.S. Gymnastics National Championships, Simone Biles celebrated her two-year anniversary with boyfriend and former National Team gymnast, Stacey Ervin. Though the most decorated American gymnast uses social media to share her triumphs and joys, her raw emotion was evident on the floor following podium training.
Through tears, she said of USA Gymnastics, ” We’ve done everything they asked us for, even when we didn’t want to. And they couldn’t do one damn job. You had one job. You literally had one job, and you couldn’t protect us.” She further expounded on the significance of USAG’s inaction saying, ” It’s hard to talk about. It’s really hard to talk about. I just feel like … I don’t mean to cry, but it’s just … it’s hard coming here for an organization and having had them fail us so many times.” And again, ” It’s not easy being out here, because I feel like every day is a reminder of what I went through, what I’ve been through, and what I’m going through and how I’ve come out of it.”
There was truly not a dry eye among those in the chalk covered circle surrounding Simone.
And yet, through all the pain and through each failure that the National Governing Body throws her way, she still thrives. Biles unveiled two new skills including a triple double on floor and a double double tuck off beam. If she successfully competes both skills at the World Championships in Stuttgart this fall, they would be named after her, totaling 4 skills named Biles in the Code of Points. She added that she only did one double double tuck onto competition mats before adding it into her routine.
Her future shines equally as bright with poise and humor as she joked that she still hates bars and reiterated that her trust is in her coach, Laurant. “Laurant makes the Impossible, possible,” said Simone. The impossible may, in fact, arrive next year when Simone could have a skill named after her on every event with Laurant’s ingenuity and her superiority. While the NGB that she competes under continues to struggle under the weight and failings of the past, the sky is the limit for Simone. Truly, no one has been more worthy of a sparkling GOAT on the back of their leotard like the one Simone wore during podium training.
— Olympic Channel (@olympicchannel) August 7, 2019
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