The United States is always labeled as homers. “We only root for our own gymnasts and basketball player and hockey teams” but while this is not 100% true on any level when things like this happen this is why we get such a bad rap.
I know free speech says we all get our own opinion but in cases like this I am sorry there just is no real debate. One gymnast competed one of the most original routines of all time. She is a 5 time World Champion on the Uneven Bars. A two time Olympic gold medalist and would have been 3 times if she had not fallen at the 04 Olympics. She is also 6 time European Championships Uneven bar Gold medalist. (I won’t include Russian Championships because those are as biased as the National titles Nastia has and have no merit in the world of international gymnastics IMO. If you would like to take them into consideration go ahead)
Her competition has one Olympic silver medal that many believe she didn’t even deserve. Nastia is also a world champion on bars once and has two other silver medals.
Only one of Svetlana’s titles is a debate and that is in 1996 where she made a mistake (on her pak solto) and was gifted the Gold medal (tied with Elena Piskun) over French’s Isabelle Severino who was blatantly robbed even with her messy leg separated Def.
What makes Svetlana’s UB titles even more impressive is she did them over 3 different era’s in the sport (and 3 different codes) she also did not compete in a time where only 3 gymnasts had a shot at the title due to the code. If Svetlana fell she was out of the finals. Nastia never had to deal with that winning her silver medal at the Olympic when in any other era she would not have made the finals.
I am not a big Svetlana fan overall. I find she got a lot of gifts in her career (European AA (2002)against Verona Van de Leur comes to mind) but the one event she shined on was the UB.
If you want to debate her weak floor was overscored I’ll agree with you. If you want to debate her vaults were a mess landed low (though difficult) again I’ll be the first one in line to take your side but to even try and debate that Liukin was better on bars then Svetlana just makes everyone look bad.
Now before you slam me for free speech don’t get me wrong. Not everyone has to prefer Svetlana’s way of doing bars over say He Kexin or Beth Tweddles. I prefer both of their routines over Svetlana’s (you can also include Mo Huilan and Bi Wenjing to that list) but matter of taste doesn’t = deductions.
If it was up to me we would go back to the way bars was in the 70′s and 80′s because I much prefered those routines over anything we have seen in the last 10 years.