Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Where Does the Double Pike Belong?

Like many gymnastics fans who came of age during 92-96 quad (i.e. old people), I had grown accustomed to seeing hard tumbling passes at the end of the routine. Shannon Miller, Dominique Dawes, Kerri Strug, Simona Amanar, Lavinia Milosivic, Dina Kochetkova, etc. mostly dismounted with full twisting double backs at the end of their programs. And this fact was frequently highlighted by the commentators, who praised seeing gymnasts execute hard skills at the end of an otherwise exhausting program.

This is no longer the case. Double pikes and double tucks abound at the end of routines and even though I recognize that today's gymnasts are doing an additional pass (though some did have four), I find this to be disappointing.

Which is why I was pleasantly surprised when I saw Wakana Inoue's recent floor routine. She does her double pike as her second pass after an incredibly difficult 3.5 twister mount. She performed a triple twist as a dismount, the fourth pass in her routine.

I don't know enough about performing high level gymnastics to truly understand the difficulty of performing one skill vs. another. And I'm sure it varies according to gymnast. For some a flipping move might be harder, for others a twisting skill might prove trickier.

But from the perspective of the spectator, it can be something of a let down when the final skill pales in difficulty and excitement to the opening element.

2 comments:

Author said...

Hello

Loved your "Fakelyn" essay in the Times and want to know if you would consider presenting s similar work for the Brooklyn Non-Fiction Prize next time.

We are having our Literary Brooklyn event at St. Francis College on Dec 14th. Please write to brooklynfa@yahoo.com

Author said...

Hello

Loved your "Fakelyn" essay in the Times and want to know if you would consider presenting s similar work for the Brooklyn Non-Fiction Prize next time.

We are having our Literary Brooklyn event at St. Francis College on Dec 14th. Please write to brooklynfa@yahoo.com
Brooklyn Film & Arts Festival