- Feb 13, 2015
I don’t get it. But them I’m not up on the minutia.
This. Grace did what she needed to do fair snd square IMO. The US field is just so deep.There is a very good reason for McCallum over Skinner on the team. It is: She’s usable on three events in TF, even if it’s not the first choice. And while her scores at Championships were lower than expected, she was coming back from injury and is showing the exact level of improvement we expect to see from someone peaking. Someone with a usable vault score for TF who is ranked 5-5-4 across events is a better choice for a competition where we don’t want to have to strip an athlete of credentials in case something goes wrong than the athlete who brings in another tenth in terms of total score, but is ranked 9-7-7 across the other events.
It is not: Taking the top four shows more integrity
I agree with you about Tom, I was never a fan of him being made coordinator. But he got the team right. The problem is giving Skinner the individual spot. We now have 3 or 4 gymnast (Biles, Chiles, Carey, Skinner) competing for two spots in finals on vault and floor and only one gymnast with a real chance to medal on bars.Tom Forster is a coward is why. He is so terribly afraid to do anything except take the top all arounders.
My heart hurts for Riley Her bars make me swoon, and we will never know how she could’ve done. I’m going to have to start following NCAA better after this quad.Thrilled for Grace but I don't see any sense in taking MyKayla to directly compete against Jade. One of them is going to cancel the other one out on vault and whoever comes off worse in that match is going to have to leave within 48 hours after qualifications meaning they can't even stick around to watch the rest of the competition.
There's a definite, logical, strategic argument that can be made for Grace (and I believe one could have been made for a few others like Leanne Wong as well although she didn't make her case well enough night one) but when you've got someone talking out of his you-know-what about how he literally just didn't care about a few tenths people are going to lose faith in the process. He should have had his arguments lined up ahead of time so that people could understand. As it is he just managed to make everyone angry-- he named Skinner as an Olympian and people are still saying she got robbed. He's leaving a potential bar medal at home while bringing one gymnast (either Jade or Skinner) who won't even be in contention for a medal.
Sorry for the rant. I'm thrilled for the team and I know Tom's in a tough spot because people care passionately about their favorites and every decision has big consequences emotionally and financially for the athletes, but that +1 choice was completely baffling to me.
I think you honor the integrity of the process by fielding the team that can win the most medals. People keep talking about being fair or how hard Skinner has worked, everybody has worked hard. I'm guessing you people also think Kim Kelly should have been on the team in 1992.So weird that two of our top 3 vaulters are going as individuals — so their vault scores can’t even help the team.
I agree with @gym_dad32608 that mathematically Grace (who I love) makes less sense in the 4th team spot compared to some others. If you are looking to create a team with the highest score potential, this is not it. The Balance Beam situation likes to crunch the numbers using various scores (trials day 1, trials day 2, trials average, trials best score) and a Grace team falls around 3rd-5th place depending on the scores used.
Of course, there are other reasons besides score potential to put Grace on the team (experience, consistency etc.) but my understanding is that Tom Forster did not really articulate any rationale. Apparently he said something about the difference of a few tenths wouldn’t matter and he wanted to maintain the integrity of the process. To me, it feels a little like a rank order without strategy. If true, that bugs me. As amazing as Simone Biles is, she is not immune from injury or illness….. So I’d like to think there has been some thought involved in creating a well balanced team. Our strategy shouldn't really be "well, we have Simone" (even though she is the GOAT)
All that griping aside, I am SUPER excited to see this group of incredible athletes compete!! I like them all for different reasons. And there is a little built in drama with those individual spots which should prove very interesting.
We can't do anything about this team but we need to get Tom out. I don't know who could take his place but I think he's a little to focused on pleasing everybody to make hard choices.I just dont get the "participation" trophies approach of well she did place during the trials so she deserves to go. Its a cop-out and kinda insulting to all these girls that worked sooo hard. I think they deserve a much more nuanced approach to how they make up the team, taking into account their history and recent performance and scoring. Rather than, well, we will just take the top 4. Otherwise, why the heck have a selection committee?! The committee members are supposed to be able to make these tough calls. That's what coaches at all colleges and Olympic teams are paid for and supposed to do. Figure out the best line-ups to maximize team scores. I am sure they use data and a pinch of the gut feeling to put their line-ups together. Maybe that was the committee's gut feeling, that Grace is going to peak higher than the others. I guess I am frustrated with the flip/flop of: we want the best scoring team, to the: we will just take the top 4 of the trials. Lets just say Tom etal. could stand to work on his external communication skills a bit better.
And this is all just academic discussion of course, the team is set, and I am super excited to watch and cheer.