A Marta Manifesto

So Worlds are over, at least for TFs, and the US KILLED IT. They were really amazing. I am impressed. I will get to that in a mnin a minute.

I am impressed with the GYMNASTS. I am not impressed, even a little, with the leadership shown by Marta Karoyli. I nnever am, but I find myself especially angry this time.

A lot of athletes, including Becca Bross, Macko Caquatto and Chellsie Memmel, were injured before Worlds even began.. Then Alicia Sacramone went down with a torn Achilles. Now, not all of these injuries can be blamed on Marta. For sure, some of the blame is for coaches, and some injuries are blameless.

Still, looking at the track record, it seems that Marta MUST take some of the blame. She obviously overtrains the hell out of these girls, and she also has a great deal of power–mess with Marta and if you are a bubble girl you won’t have a prayer.

Then there’s the Anna Li situation. Anna, for reasons known only to Marta, was not the alternate for bars. You know who WAS the alternate for bars? Alicia Sacramone. Now, I love Alicia. But she doesn’t train bars, and also? She was not IN THE COUNTRY. Yes, Anna was injured, but she was still training bars in Tokoyo. Not to put her in is just petty, and that kind of middle school pettiness has no place in Marta’s position.


That said, though, the girls who did compete deserve tons of accolades. They were brilliant. Weiber and especially Maroney did fantastic Amaners (and Maroney’s especially was underscored, given the E score for, say, Tatiana Nabieva). Universal Sports didn’t show Douglas bars, which is absurd, but it must have been good. Weiber’s certainly were, and Vega’s were fine. Vega’s beam was also just fine, and Weiber’s beam was good as usual. Raisman was rock solid on beam–she really does cram a lot in there. They went into floor with a big lead and rocked it. Maroney’s 3.5 twist was SO high and beautiful. Weiber’s floor wasn’t as good as she can do it, but it was good enough. Raisman had to wait and wait for TV before she good go, but when she finally did, it was high and clean and crisp. She also gave the girls a great little pep talk before they went–she’s really come into her own.


So. Many, many congratulations to these girls, who lost their leader, had to deal with Marta being a jerk, and still managed to win by FOUR POINTS. I’m sorry that Alicia and Anna did not get to compete, but:


Sabrina Vega

McKayla Maroney

Gabrielle Douglas

Alexandra Raisman

Jordyn Weiber




One response

  1. Koruton

    First of all I really enjoyed your newest post (found your blog only some months ago and was impressed by your “who is the boss of Rebecca Bross?”-post!)
    I have been worried about the National Team and its “coordinator” too. I really don’t know whether only the American Team is counting so many injuries or then we just might notice it more because we pay closer attention to the single members of US team than to, lets say, the Chinese gymnasts.
    But even disregarding the number of recent injuries of US gymnasts there have definetley some startling facts come poblic…
    Even the National Coach apparently had wanted more time for the girls to realx so that they would be at their best during the competition. Apparently they had had only as much as 2 (!!) days off during the 42 days leading to the qualification. Now people can tell me all they want about gymnastics being a very demanding sport – this amount of training can not help the gymnasts to be at their best when it really matters. There are countless studies out there proving that the 80’s training motto “the more the better” can’t lead to long-term success. We have seen that already at the olympics 2008 when the US team did not perform nearly as well as they could have, looking worn out and exhausted, every girl sporting several taped limbs.
    Marta IMO took a huge risk putting in so many first-year-seniors – this could have gone terribly wrong regarding the outcome of the competition. Now, these girls don’t (yet) have the weak points typical among veterans (Sacramones achilles tendon, Memmels shoulder etc etc.) and might be less prone to injuries – but Marta just burns these girls on her team out and counts on the following years seniors to move up and take the spots of the gymnasts gone down with injuries.
    This year it might have worked but USA Gymnastics is apparenty finally ready to do something against the infamous overtraining and decided to name the Olympic Team directly after the trials, cancelling the usual selection camp. We all really hope that it is going to show and the US Team will shine at the Olympics and hopefully have an age average slightly over 16…

    October 18, 2011 at 5:53 pm

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