Anonymous asked: Do you think that the FF have a good chance at making it to Rio? I think that mainly Kyla, McKayla and Jordyn have a shot, if any... Obviously Kyla needs to upgrade significantly but what if she does? I feel like this is a group of girls that is more determined to go to a second Olympics than we've seen in a while.
Honestly, at this point it’s so hard to say. If you look at 2009, none of the girls we though were “2012 hopefuls” made it that far. Even when a gymnast looks really, really promising, injury and burnout and getting eclipsed by newbies just happens, even to the best of them.
Of the five, I’d say Gabby and Jordyn are the least likely to make it - Gabby because she seems to lack the drive and interest to do so (which is totally fine - not a condemnation, just an observation) and Jordyn because I think that she will burn out, whether it be physically or mentally or a combination of both. Jordyn peaked physically in 2011 both in terms of fitness and in terms of maxing out her difficulty. I don’t see her breaking low 6 D scores on any event but maybe bars, where she struggles with consistency and execution, and vault if she manages to get the Amanar back (which is a big if). I am just not sure she will be able to maintain the difficulty level and fitness much longer (or the desire to to do) but I would love if she proved me wrong, as she’s a sentimental favorite of mine.
I think the other three are much likely to be legitimate challengers for spots on that team. McKayla needs to upgrade her 2nd vault and fix her technique issues to remain necessary on that event, because Simone is about to eclipse her there. If she does that and cleans up her FX, I think she can take a specialist spot if she can also stay healthy. I think she really wants that Olympic gold, so I’d be loathe to count her out even with Simone biting at her heels. Kyla is the one I have the most doubts about, just because she can only bank on her great execution for so much longer. While I don’t want to diminish her success at 2013 Worlds, the field was pretty scant this year in terms of difficulty and it won’t be next year or the year after that or the year after that. If she doesn’t upgrade significantly, she is going to be relegated to her tablesetter role from 2012 at best in the future, if she makes teams at all. I think she could be very useful as a UB BB specialist if she continues to upgrade gradually on UB (she has the potential to pull a Mustafina and show up with a 7.0 set a couple of years from now with the right pacing) and if she can break out of her cautionary BB work and get herself a 6.4 D score there (which is entirely possible for her, but not all that likely given Gym-Max’s emphasis on caution over risk) then I think she could be very useful. Aly, I think, has a very good shot at making the team if she keeps up with her comeback. Ya’ll are going to think I’m crazy for saying that, but hear me out: girlfriend is indestructible. She’s never had a major injury, she’s always in peak physical shape, she’s naturally powerful and explosive and not at all fragile. She’s got mental focus like I’ve never seen before - nothing rattles her. You may not love her form (does anyone?) but you’ve got to respect her athleticism and her drive and focus. Aly could make that team just by virtue of being the last healthy gymnast standing - or by being the only one to stay on the equipment. You couldn’t pay me a million dollars to bet against Aly Raisman.
So…those are my thoughts.