While we're talking gymnastics, I must say that I'm starting to be won over by Division I. Back in the day I'd catch college meets on television and find them a little lacking. Less difficulty than my Olympic favorites, inflated scores, silly floor routines. Not my scene.
Thanks to YouTube, though, I'm starting to appreciate the following:
- Hit routines. It's not easy to compete every weekend. And it's not easy competing in front of a packed arena as fans and teammates scream.
- The CROWD. Those folks are crazy. It's awesome. (Ah, the high school varsity team days, where at away meets, my parents were our only audience.)
- Girls who rock their floor routines. Not really feeling the weird techno theme that all of the Florida team has, but Alaina Johnson is lovely. And if you're looking for a real rock star, look no farther than this gem -- I've posted it before, and I'll post it again, gosh darnit!
Speaking of Shawn Johnson two ellipses ago, just watched Bud Greenspan's 2008 Olympics documentary, namely the Nastia segment. I'd love to see what her father/coach, Valeri, is really like in the gym. But he's pretty funny in the interviews:
"Nobody likes beam. I went on it once. I couldn't run. I could only walk slowly. I don't like to talk about beam. It's crazy."