Monday, June 30, 2008

Olympic Team: Nominations Countdown

Zee suspense. She iz murdering me quite painfully.

While we wait for the official team announcement (there's a whole lotta speculatin' goin' on), here's something to distract you:

Emma Dennis featured in today's
news. Lovely photo!

I have no idea where the announcement will come from. I've got the AOC webpage and the Gymnastics Australia webpage and The Age online opened. I'm jumping between forums but they're as clear as I am. My computer is hating me hitting Refresh so much.


I probably won't be home tonight so keep your eyes on the nightly sports reports to see if we get anything. Anyone who can video and upload anything would be showered with digital praise.

...Ok it's now gone 10:00, hold onto your hats.

*trumpet fanfare* GA has broken the news.

Your 2008 Olympic Women's Artistic Gymnastics Team is...
Dasha Joura - WA
Shona Morgan - VIC
Lauren Mitchell - WA
Ashleigh Brennan - VIC
Georgia Bonora - VIC
Olivia Vivian - WA

Peggy Liddick - National Coach
Martine George - Team Coach - WA
Misha Barabach - Team Coach - VIC

The following athlete and coach have been named as reserves:-

Gymnast - Emma Dennis - VIC

Coach - John Hart - VIC

Some Time Later: Fox Sports has updated about it; hopefully it will be on their cable news channel soon because there hasn't been anything for the last hour (not even in breaking news). The official GA press release is slowly doing the rounds.

They have put some photos up. It's a shame they're so small.

(I'm intrigued by the "Beijing-themed photo opportunities" that the girls apparently had today in the presence of the media. Clearly, with pithy paper lanterns and computer printouts of the Beijing logo sticky-taped onto tables, the AIS spares no expense!)


mistysakura said...


Okay, Olivia brings a nice SV on bars, but doesn't she usually get hammered in B-scores? It's true that we have five other AAers on the team and bringing another one doesn't help much in the 6-5-4 format, but we just left a Baitova off the team, and what with Ashleigh's health issues they'll probably want to keep her safe and use someone's 1.5TY, none of which are looking terribly consistent at the moment. Besides, okay, okay, I just wanted to see Emma's floor in Beijing. :P

Despite wanting to see Emma there, man I really, really hope this stays as the competing team. Unfortunately, I think we'll end up using Emma, but... *fingers crossed*

Flipper said...

I like Olivia, I really do, but I'm SOOOO disappointed for Emma. I really thought she would make it!

Anonymous said...

Team Prelims (in no order):
Vault: Ash, Lauren, Shona, Georgia, Dasha

Floor: Ash, Lauren, Shona, Georiga, Dasha

Beam: Ash, Lauren, Shona, Georgia, Dasha

Bars: Olivia, Lauren, Shona, Georgia, Dasha

Doubtful we will get into team finals with this line-up. A lot of pressure being placed on Ash to do 3 events, no way would I risk Olivia on beam after her 3 falls yesterday, despite her Nistor/Liukin.

Mez said...

With all the hype surrounding her, in addition to her mostly solid performances at Nats, I am VERY surprised Emma didn't get a team spot.

If Ashleigh is still hurting, though, we may end up using her after all.

Poor Mel J! Poor Amber! They missed out but will hopefully stick around for Worlds and 2010 PAC/CWG. I personally hope they do!

Anonymous said...

Mez, your comments re the tacky paper lanterns and Beijing signs are nothing to do with the AIS - they were put there by Peggy. Don't assume just because the comp was at the AIS, the AIS is responsible for the setup. When Peggy goes into that place she takes over like it is her own kitchen. Wouldn't you prefer GA focused their money on things like international travel or support for the girls than on pathetic things like lanterns???

Anonymous said...

To the person who left me this in the last post after I posted the team:

"If some of these reports are just being given without any inside info, it's childish and incredibly immature. If Olivia is named on the competing team, I think Peggy really must've lost her mind."

I obviously had inside information! :)

Anonymous said...

Do agree that Peggy must have lost her mind though!

nade00 said...

Well, in reality, if Emma had gone she probably wouldn't compete floor anyway, She has a 5.6 while Georgia and Shona have 5.9, Ashleigh has 6.0, Lauren 6.1 and Dasha 6.3. She would only really be needed on vault.

I think if Olivia can improve that bar set over the next month then it will be worth it because she has scored over 15 internationally. SHE WILL ADD AT LEAST 5 TENTHS TO THE OVERALL TEAM SCORE, and on our weakest event.

Besides, does anyone see this as an indication Ashleigh is expecting to recover and do all 4 events?

If Ashleigh was in doubt, I think they would have chosen Emma becasue she can be subbed in on any event, while still being able to use Ashleigh on her best 1 or 2 events like beam and abrs where she has a big SV

Now Olivia is on the team, if Ashleigh can't do an event, they will either have to drop her and her big a-scores from the team completely or will have to put up Olivia when she really won't score very well at all.

Thus, one must assume they are certain Olivia won't have to compete anywhere but bars.

My lineup (in order) would be
Bonora, Mitchell, Brennan, Morgan, Joura
Morgan (for the AA), Bonora/Brennan, Mitchell, Joura, Vivian
Bonora, Brennan, Joura, Morgan, Mitchell
Morgan, Bonora, Brennan,Mitchell, Joura

Anonymous said...

I don't think Ashleigh's injury i a serious as many of us htink, or at least I hope it's not. If she were a huge liability to the team she wouldn't have been named.

Though I would've preferred Emma on the team I can understand why Olivia was chosen. Assuming everyone is healthy Emma would only be used on vault in prelims, which would boost our A score on vault by .3, however, this means that we would have to use Bonora's pretty mediocre 5.8 bar score.

Using Olivia we end up with a slightly weaker vault A score but and increase by .9 on bars.

Peggy is also thinking that we'll make the TF and possibly medal (God bless her delirious soul). Emma only has a .1 SV advantage over Ash whereas Olivia has a slightly better one over Ash/Lauren who are both between 6.3-6.5 depending on if they hit right.

I honestly think that if we hit we will be in TF. We're not THAT bad, we just choke big time. Lok at 2006 we had no expectations and we came 6th. 2007s team had Holli and Chloe and was being called the best eevr and we had massive nerves. I like that we're crusing under the radar and after seeing recent nationals from other countries a lot of star players are looking to great.

Italy depends on Ferrari a lot more than we do Dasha, and Brazil also rely heavily on Jade. Both of those girls will be expected to do AA in TF. If we hit ot the best of our abilities I don't think 6th place is out of reach. Romania and Russia will duke it out for bronze and 4th.

Anonymous said...

ooops I had a typo in my previous comment. It was supposed to read " AREN'T LOOKING TO GREAT."

Anonymous said...

don't forget France is missing Severino too....I reckon Brazil will be a force to be reckoned with, they have Dos Santos, Barbosa and Lais Souza. Great Britain is looking okay, they are very dependent on Tweddle. I think we will come in at 8th (Team Finals) or 9th spot.

Anonymous said...

This is Olivia's last year in Australian Gymnastics and therefore this is the one and only Olympics she can go to. Emma Dennis is only 16 and i can see her waiting 4 years for the next Olympics. This doesnt have to be the end of Emma's gymnastics career. I think it would be great to have Emma Dennis on the 2012 Olympic team.

Anonymous said...

Just because it's someones last chance to make an olympic team is no reason to include them when another gymnasts scores would be more likely to contribute to the team.(In particular Emma's vault and Floor)

What I don't get is the National coach has asked the gymnasts for consistency and the bottom line is that Olivia has not shown this at Nationals or Trials(even on her "specialty" event bars), yet she has made the team, what kind of message does this send to the rest of the girls?

Anonymous said...

The comment regarding this being Olivia's only chance at the Olympics is ridiculous. Wake up to yourself!!! The Government and the AOC do not invest millions of dollars in athletes to select people "because it is their only chance and others are young enough to wait 4 years". That has to be the most ridiculous thing I have heard - behind Olivia actually being selected that is!

Anonymous said...

um Olivia is doing college gym for the next four years - so potentially your argument for having her included on the team (it is her last year doing Australian gymnastics) is quite false, as it was quoted in the International Gymnast magazine interview they had with her that Peggy thought Olivia could be included in international assignments for the Australian team during her college career. Whereas the inclusion of a younger up-and-coming gymnast (aka Emma in particular, but also, Amber, or Mel) would have been beneficial for the team at next years worlds.

Mez said...

Folks, if you're going to get snarky, shift it to the forums and boards, ok?

I value your opinions but it's a bit of a waste of blog space to argue back and forth. I welcome discussion but if it gets too prolonged, it might be beneficial$ (as a courtesy to all readers) to move it somewhere where ongoing discussion is encouraged.

Anonymous said...

I've written this online, but am gonna add it here. I think Emma should definitely have been on the team and feel Amber could well have been named the travelling alternate. Look toward the future Peggy.

I also don't think sending the 9th gymnast home would've been a good idea and imo, that would've been Olivia. I'd have had her stay at the AIS and train with Melanie and help keep her on her toes and also pass over the torch so to speak. As in the future Mel could well take over Olivia's role. The older gymnast who gets looked to who is more the lead off. And doesn't Olivia give the impression that no role is too insignificant?

As for competing 'cause it's her last chance. I think Peggy proved she does care one bit about sentiment when she didn't let Lynn Silcock compete in the final individual spot at 2005 Worlds but Olivia got onto the team the way she did on the 2nd day of Trials with her final routine and no-one used the final spot. More wasted experience ... so I guess that doesn't bother Peggy in reality, even though she tends to speak of it in articles quite a bit.

I'm a bit surprised that if Ashleigh is all okay that her coach is named and not Georgia/Shona's, after the debacle with him pulling Shona out of Pacific Rim. So are we really that confident that Ashleigh is oh so okay? Remember Monette last Olympics?


Anonymous said...

Perhaps because of his success, John Hart is despised by Jane Allen. She is the reason why John is not going to the olympics and she was the reason john did not go to Pac Rim. In order to protect the girls from injury at a critical, he would not let them go under another coach. Nothing to do with "needy" gymnasts. Oh yes, she and she alone is the reason why Olivia was selected.

Anonymous said...

Why didn't they name a 2nd alternate?? I was really hoping Emma would make it and Amber would be the travelling alt- she is so supercute!
Oh well, good luck to the girls anyways. I think they will struggle to make finals, especially is Ash is struggling with vault/floor. I think we need her beam but there is noone to fill that 5 vault spot with Olivia on the team. Thats where Emma would have come in handy. Hopefully Ash gets back into it ASAP. No more injuries!

Anonymous said...

Peggy as always has chosen her teams wisely and has been rewarded with sound results. This is one of our strongest women's teams that we have had, with eveyone fully deserving thier position on the team. Olivia, is our bars specialist and is greatly improving her floor and beam routines. so very worthy of her position on the team. Her leadership and guidance of the younger members will be of significant benfit in Beijing. All 6 girls deserve to go, and with a Vic / WA lineup the girls will feel very supported by each other.

Anonymous said...

Here here. Why risk taking a an inexperienced gymnastic such as Emma who will crack under the pressure due to unfamiliar territory. on the other hand, Daria, Shona, Ash, Olivia and Loz have all proven themselves in the international arena. Emma will get her opportunity, as the others did when they were younger.

Anonymous said...

What a great line up. there will always be winners , and there will always be the ones that miss out. all the girls are deserving, and Peggy has spoken

Anonymous said...

hi, john is dispised by Jane allen, that is no lie! She has it out for he entire club of Waverley, why? We can only assume that the club has risen with such success and continues to grow that she is worried that they will take over the profile of australian gymnastics rather than the institute prgorams....Jane just needs to realise that with prgress in the sport comes change and with change she needs to accept, john, his gymnasts and waverley as a great part of australian gymnastics and their successful future