They're heading to the ranch

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Proud Parent
Feb 16, 2008
Here are the 12 women that are heading to the ranch for final selection.

The following names advance to the Houston Training Camp from which the 2008 Olympic Team will be chosen. Three alternates will also be named.
Shawn Johnson *

Nastia Liukin *
Chellsie Memmel
Samantha Peszek
Ivana Hong
Jana Bieger
Mattie Larson
Chelsea Davis
Corrie Lothrop
Bridget Sloan
Alicia Sacramone
Shayla Worley
* Have already been named to Olympic Team based on results of 2008 Olympic Trials

If I was a betting women I would say the team will be





Moderator/Proud Parent
Aug 25, 2007
North Carolina
Did anyone else REALLY enjoy Mattie's floor routine? I think she did fantastic on the floor and she is adorable. Didn't see her on anything else. Not sure if I missed it or if they did not show it.

I think your picks are pretty good. There is no way they won't pick Chelsea.
Feb 26, 2007
I think your picks are pretty good. There is no way they won't pick Chelsea.

DO you mean Chelsea Davies or Chellsie Memmel, I am sure they will pick Memmel, but I think despite how well Davies did this weekend, she doesn't really have a chance.

They should've announced Memmel last night too, she did so well in the last meets.

Geoffrey Taucer

Staff member
Gold Membership
Jan 21, 2007
Baltimore, MD
I think Memmel is a sure thing at this point.

If I had to guess, I'd guess the remaining three will be Peszek, Beiger, and Sacramone.

Hong, Worley, and Larson would all be strong picks as alternates.


Jul 5, 2007
Mattie's floor is gorgeous. Ivana's floor last night was pretty awesome too. That stuck double front with knees and feet together was really nice.

From what I've seen on youtube, Chelsea Davis is very impressive. I enjoyed her floor and her vault was very well executed too. But I just would assume they are going to go with the more experienced girls. Memmel and Sacramone for sure, and likely Bieger. If there was some sort of wild card, I'd expect it to be Mattie over any other relative newcomers. But I don't think that will happen, barring injuries or weird stuff at the selection camp.


I love Mattie's floor, way underscored last night, did you hear the crowd BOO?

I was among the fans that were booing her score last night. I felt she was way underscored. She has so much grace on the floor and her skills just flow together. I also felt that Nastia's bar execution score was not low enough. How many mistakes could she make? But, then again, I'm not a judge. But still. My dd and I enjoyed the whole experience. Got some decent pictures, too. It's a weekend we won't soon forget.:)
Feb 26, 2007
Nastia and Shawn both got some gifts on scoring last night. Nastia cowboys on her fronts and crosses her legs when she twists, and I haven't even started on that bar set from last night. Shawn does not reach spliit on her jumps and cheats her vault around. But, I think we all know that there was a desired outcome last night, and this is how it was achieved. Politics in sport are not new, and sadly they will never grow old either. You're either in or your not.


Mattie's routine was very good. I saw her the first night too. Also, I agree that they should have just called out Alicia and Chellsie right away, as there's no way they won't go. They could just be waiting to see exactly what events they want to put them on , so they can see who/what else they need.( Like how Alicia feels the desire to do beam)

And I cannot express how disappointed I am with Nastia's bars score. The dismount was horrendous, not including the fall on the pak, and the other bobble in handstand. There's no way she should have score that high. Before the 17's she received, she was hardly getting up there with a near-flawless routine. And those mistakes were pretty darn noticeable.

In general, score gifts will only hurt the USA Olympic-bound girls. It's not as obvious then with all the finer points that need fixing for the international scence when scores look good.
Jan 17, 2008
This is what I think..Below are the girls that will be on the team and my Humble Opinion on each!

Shawn Johnson - Still looks great. I think that she lights up a room with her smile. Is a positive role model for gymnasts. And seems like a pretty down to earth kid.

Nastia Luikin - Not Impressive. I think she gets too many gifts on bars. Does she tap her giants above the bar? And why isnt that a deduction? My DD had to relearn her giants because she tapped above the bar.

Chellsie Memmel - LOOKED FANTASTIC! WoW! Her floor routine had me want to jump up and scream. Did you see the entire Olympic Committe Stand up and cheer? Her bars are looking good, her vault on day 1 was near flawless in form. She is ROCK solid on Beam. If she adds some more difficulty, she could give Nastia and Shawn a run for their money for the All Around (after all she beat Nastia on night 2 even with Nastia's gift on Bars)

Alicia Sacramone - I dont know much about her, I think she has good experience and can be a leader on the team

Sam Pescek - Another good all arounder.. although Did anyone else catch Sam and Alicia texting someone and the comment about 'Scr ew you" out of Sam's Mouth?? that might come back to hurt her.

Finally I think Jana Bieger. for 2 reasons.. 1st she has great bars and second she has a female head coach.

The other wild card..> Mattie Larson. Getting the invite to the ranch could be the wild card.. her floor was beautiful. But I just dont think that she has the experience.

All and All there were some gymnasts that I dont want my Daughter to view as a role model. There were a couple that cast snotty glances to their coaches and a couple coaches that walked away from their gymnasts..

There you go.... my 2 cents...
Mar 5, 2008
North America
Sam Pescek - Another good all arounder.. although Did anyone else catch Sam and Alicia texting someone and the comment about 'Scr ew you" out of Sam's Mouth?? that might come back to hurt her.

OMG!! I noticed that too!! I was waiting for the commentators to say something in reference to that... Sam also said something like..."no good luck or anything..." I guess referring to who they were texting to???


Jul 5, 2007
Yeah but Alicia said "damn you people" in response pretty clearly so it's not only Sam. I thought that was pretty funny. Better cut back to Shawn waving.
Jun 11, 2008
I think that Alicia, Chellsie and Sam are sure bets in addition to Shawn and Nastia.

I really don't think they'll pick Jana for a few reasons: She's not very polished, and really doesn't point her feet (she just tries to point the toes with her foot bunched up instead of in a straight line with the leg), and doesn't seem to have the same flair as Shayla or Ivana. Personally, I think it should be Ivana, and btw, she has a female coach as well as a male coach. I personally loved Mattie's performence all weekend long and think she has a good shot too. I was among the people that boo'd her score as well.

I think Jana, Shayla and Mattie should be alternates.


Jun 26, 2007
Ontario, Canada
I think that in addition to Shawn and Nastia, Alicia, Chellsie and Sam are sure bets. They all bring a lot to the team in their own ways.

For the final spot, at this point I think it would be Jana. When I was looking at the event results, Jana was the only person not already a sure thing to place top 3 on any event (bars in her case). Also the fact that she has a female coach doesn't hurt.

However, a lot can change in a month. Both Bridget and Shayla are coming back from injury and will likely be in much better shape come selection camp. I would love to see Shayla make the team if she is healthy.

I don't think Ivana or Mattie will make the team, although they could be alternates. Ivana is too inconsistent and Mattie doesn't have enough experience.


Jul 5, 2007
Honestly though, I wish in the time NBC wastes to show us Alicia texting and Chellsie getting a snack, they would show some more routines. Great girls, but I don't need to watch them text and have a snack. That's pretty much my life anyway. It's pretty pathetic to go around stalking them like that. I understand the human interest angle to some extent but I follow gymnastics relatively closely and probably feel some more investment or what have you in these people than the average viewer, and even I'm not even vaguely interested in half of what they're pushing. I have a pretty hard time believing anyone is. On the other hand, give me more than one of Randy's routines and then I'll be interested. Is there some reason this is impossible? I truly don't understand. Surely NBC must be aware of the limits of watching someone pace back and forth for the umpteenth time while we listen to Tim and Elfi make coughreally useless/cough educated comments.
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Sep 13, 2007
way out West
Actually, I've been on the floor working at bunch of those meets (I've been on TV/YouTube a lot over the last few years...unintentionally) and the camera guys know nothing about gymnastics, and the media people are just out to "tell a story". They have to run back and forth while people yell at them through the headsets. Everyone with those headsets on is hearing all the craziness...and they sometimes say some weird stuff.

The whole meet revolves around the top gymnasts, and even the judges are at the mercy of NBC. It doesn't matter if the event is live or not. Nothing happens until they are given the "okay". 9 times out of 10, it's not the judges who slow the meet down, it's the media people. Unfortunately, when there is nothing on the media itinerary to cover, instead of getting the other, less well-known gymnasts, they just keep their cameras near the important gymnasts, waiting for their next direction.

It's sort of too bad, because less gymnastics is actually televised, while all of the top gymnasts are shown. There were several segments the other day where there was absolutely no gymnastics.

Ah well...such is gymnastics of today.

Granny Smith

Proud Parent
Jun 21, 2007
Couple of thoughts on my behalf:

Jana - Well, Jana has been consistent and that may be what gets her on the team. Her form has a lot to be desired, but I think it would be pathetic if she only makes the team because of her mother. That's not the angle that the media should be working, but that is all they seem to keep mentioning. I guess if she makes the team, she should give her mom a big high-five!

Sam & Alicia - I watched the 2 of them interact at the Trials and they seem so real and you can tell that they are pals! I really like both of them and was happy to see that they could still have a good time at such an important event. Sam is 15/16 yrs old and if the worst that comes out of her mouth is screw you, I don't think that's too bad. I am a mother of a 11, going on 12 yr old and she knows worse words than that - she better not say them in front of me though! :cool: I know that she is on camera and she needs to know that, but her conversation didn't both me at all and it definitely didn't have any affect on how she performed those 2 nights. I think she is fine as long as the screw up wasn't said to Marta.

Nastia - The girl needs to smile, really it's ok, no one will hurt you, let loose a little bit! She was definitely handed gifts both nights on bars.

Shawn - She is solid. Personally, I like other gymnasts more because of their personalities, but Shawn's gymnastics is awesome. I don't think her personality is at the same level as her gymnastics. She's young, I think in a couple of more years her personality will show through more.

Chellsie M - You could tell the crowd was hers at the Trials. I think that she outperformed Nastia. She will be on that team.

Would love to see Chelsea Davis or Maddie Larson sneak onto the team, but won't hold my breath. Bridget, I think, did herself in at the Trials, she did not perform very well. I would say the same for Ivana. As for Shayla, I think she would have been right up there, unfortunately her injury has come at a bad time and I am not sure she would be 100% in time and with the talent pool that there is, she really doesn't need to be on the team. Hoping that she squeezes an alternate position.

Looking forward to July when the team is announced, but have a feeling that the powers to be already know who they are taking and the camp is again just for show (as were the trials) and then comes the announcement!
May 14, 2008
Mattie Larson is the gymnast who I think surprised me the most at Trials. I don't pay much attention to juniors, so seeing her one routine in the Nationals coverage and then seeing her at trials live- I am totally in love with her gymnastics. I would absolutely love to see her on this team in any way, whether it is as an alternate or on the team. She could be a real asset, though I know her lack of experience hurts her a bit. But her floor routine is gorgeous and I feel like she adds some balletic beauty to her routines that international judges would love.
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