WAG Grace McCallum?…… (US Olympic Team Discussion)

Sk8ermaiden

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Tom Forster is a coward is why. He is so terribly afraid to do anything except take the top all arounders.
 
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Sk8ermaiden

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After nationals he finally answered how he would select the team and that he wouldn't just do the top all arounders - that they would be picking the Olympic team with the highest score potential. And the potential to win the most medals.

And then he picked the top all arounders, and straight up admitted that it was NOT the highest scoring Olympic team, (and also definitely not the team that will win the most medals) but he decided to do it anyway to "maintain the integrity of the process." Like...um. What integrity of what process?
 

QuietColours

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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
 

Lucia

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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
This. Grace did what she needed to do fair snd square IMO. The US field is just so deep.
 

skschlag

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Both did what they needed to do. but as stated above, Grace can fill in any event. She was top 5 on 3 of the events, and 7th by .001 on vault.

Really, he could have gone either way, and there would still be criticisms. At least he was transparent, told everyone the reasoning, whether we like it or not. And, my guess is he was not intending to just go AA order, but in the end, the 3 person committee decided that it was best. Coming from an age of secrecy, turmoil, and well, just craziness, I appreciated his explanations on what the committee did, and why. They were in a no-win situation, but went with what they thought was best for the team, and explained why.

I personally was thrilled with the team! so excited to see what they, and all the gymnasts, do in Tokyo!
 

Flippin'A

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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.
 

gym_dad32608

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First, disclaimer, absolutely nothing against any of these remarkable gymnasts. They are all amazing and in rarified air, so I am only talking about it from an analytical/strategy standpoint.

The big question is the 4th spot. We all know the team is going to win/lose (most likely win) based on the performance of those top three girls. So in my opinion, in that 4th spot you are looking for someone to augment the weaknesses of the team, in other words, a specialist not an all-arounder. This is someone that is going to compete one, maybe two events at team final. Skinner or Wong probably should have been that 4th spot Skinner, given her scoring potential on vault, she could have added about .5 higher to the team score at least on that event based on how she has been vaulting. While McCallum does have slightly better results on vault than Lee, it still is not as much as what Skinner could add to the team total. The same case can be made for Wong, although she adds the .5+ over two events floor and vault over Lee. So strategically Skinner or Wong give the best chance for highest team total. McCallum only marginally better. Ultimately, it really is not going to matter as far as winning the gold because the team will be fine. But my logical tendencies scream that this makes little sense to have put McCallum on team.

To compound things, placing Skinner in the +1 also makes little sense. A wasted medal opportunity since you already have Jade as a potential medal vaulter. While Riley did not perform last night, she makes more sense as if she hits bars, she has medal ability.
 

Ginger

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I think Grace, MyKayla and Leanne were/are so close to each other it could have gone either way (and people would be still upset no matter what way it went).

As for chosing MyKayla for individual spot and 'wasting medal opportunity on vault', there is a huge question: is Jade currently in shape to be a medal contender? She performed beautiful Amanar on night one, but didn't do second vault. She was 4th at nationals, performing two 5.4 vaults and being outscored by Jordan Chiles who had the same D.
I know she wanted to play it safe as she goes to Olympics no matter what... but I am still wondering.
 

Tweb

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Tom Forster is a coward is why. He is so terribly afraid to do anything except take the top all arounders.
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.
 
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cp13

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Although this current team is not ideal with strength/weaknesses. I think people forget about the controversies of the past with Olympic Team selections with Maggie Nichols, Vanessa Atler, etc. I am not a fan of cherry picking the team. One or two athletes always lose out and it's sad. Hand picking the team opens the door for politics and favoritism. These athletes work so hard they deserve a fair selection process. Grace McCallum would not have been a great choice for the individual spot either as she doesn't seem to have one great event. I thought their decision for the team was fair. It rewarded the top 5 finishers who were healthy and competed 8 full routines. Maybe Skinner will surprise everyone and will qualify for vault finals. I am sure she is just thrilled to be a competing member for the US regardless if it's for the team or as an individual. It would have been nice to see a bars specialist in the individual spot but I think Skinner is deserving of an opportunity to compete as is Grace.
 

CLgym

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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.
 
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gym_dad32608

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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.
 
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Lucia

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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.
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.
 

Eleven sol

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I like that is was transparent. If they wanted to be on the team they had to bring it when it counted. Same as any other sport in the Olympic Trials. And I’m so glad Mykayla brought it and made the team as an individual. It feels a lot like vindication, and she earned it.
 

Tweb

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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.
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.
 
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Tweb

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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.
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.