Chow: Is he selling out one gymnast for the other?

Shawn and Gabby’s coach comes across as a really great guy but after reading the most recent articles about Gabby and the upgrades he has planned for her I have to wonder if he is selling out Shawn for the possible success of having Gabby on the Olympic team.

Gabby has plans to add 4 more tenths to her uneven bar routine before June to go with her most recent upgrades. According to this blog Shawn has very little plans to upgrade

It seems like Chow learned the lesson Shawn missed by not upgrading her bar routine for 2008. It ended up costing her the AA gold medal. Yet Chow is planning on doing the same old lack up upgrades for Shawn in 2012? Perhaps that would not be a suspicious if Gabby wasn’t doing so much upgrading.

I realize they are different gymnasts and Shawn in weary of her injury but it makes no sense to not go for it if you want to make the Olympic team.



24 Responses to “Chow: Is he selling out one gymnast for the other?”

  1. natty Says:

    Not particularly suspicious, the dynamic is bound to be different. At Gabby’s stage of career, she’ll likely listen to her coach without question. At Shawn’s stage, she’s part of the decision process, has the experience, and isn’t only in it for the medals. Seems like her mental game is the big obstacle to upgrades.

  2. JAS Says:

    I hope Chow is smarter than that it would really improve his chances f

  3. JAS Says:

    I really hope Chow is smarter than that it would really help his chances for Olympic coach and possibly one day Marta’s job (if Nastia doesn’t get it) to have two girls on the Olympic team. Then again I wonder if Shawn isn’t trying to give too much away? Or maybe she is aiming for consistency right now and hopefully she will do some upgrades and surprise everyone closer to trials. I hope that’s what she does maybe with her knee she is trying not to peak to soon or something. But if he is trying to sell her out for Gabby (no offense to her) then he can go jump on the Nastia bandwagon!

  4. Amy Says:

    Makes total sense though. SJ’s problem is her knee + mental block. She can only upgrade VT (claims to be throwing an amanar in the pit), BB (afraid to do twisting elements), and FX (afraid to twist & pound the knee). There aren’t too many upgrades to be made on those 3 events that don’t aggravate her knee or play with her head. That leaves bars, team USAs biggest weakness, unfortunately its also SJ’s weakness. Her shoulders aren’t too flexible, learning new grip holds (or whatever they are called) & her dismount is already hard enough. IDK. Seems like there’s not too much she can tap into that’s not gona go to her head or knee.

    • JAS Says:

      I really hope Shawn makes the Olympic team but she is gonna have to get past the mental block of the fear of injuring her knee again I understand her being cautious and maybe not doing full upgrades this early in the season but by the time it gets close to trials I think she needs to give all she’s got

  5. nero Says:

    I think Chow is smart, he knows Gabby has a MUCH better chance at making the team than Shawn, especially after American Cup. Marta was beaming! Where does Shawn contribute?

    Vault-no we have much better amanars floating around
    bars-no her bars are super clean but IMHO putting her in the bar rotation is gold medal suicide
    beam-yes but by how much? A tenth or two?
    floor-who knows

    Gabby is in the best position, an amanar and the best bars in the US

  6. TCO Says:

    Silly post.

    Why would Chow limit his chances? If Shawn is competitive, he would want her in the mix.

    Shawn is just not getting past the knee. I would not bank on it being 100% psychological either. She is feeling something in there and that knee is not up to par. Happens. You break ligaments and they are not the same after. You tear a meniscus and now you are missing a part of the original structure of your knee (they cut out the torn part).

  7. suz Says:

    On facebook though she said she had a lot of upgrades when someone asked and that she just couldn’t say what yet. That was after this blog. I’m guessing she just meant she isn’t going to have the most difficulty in the world anymore.

  8. doughnut sundae Says:

    From a political perspective, I think Shawn Johnson has a better chance of making the US Olympic team than Jordyn Wieber. But from an athletic perspective, Gabrielle Douglas is as likely to be named to Team USA as Nastia Liukin.


    Having spent billions on the Olympic Games, broadcasters, advertisers and sponsors (and even the British government, who has overrun its 17 billion dollar budget) aren’t giving to charity. They are paying for ROI.

    So when Marta emerges from the bowels of HP’s Pavilion arena after Trials with her Fab 5, everyone from Comcast to Coca-Cola expects to see the most recognizable face in gymnastics marching toward the cameras… and into their ad campaigns. It is a ‘wish’ the IOC, FIG and USAG should be all too happy to oblige.


    Gabby was confident.

    What are the odds of putting a sentence like that together in a historical context? Like everyone else watching the American Cup on TV and Youtube, I was shocked by her mettle and awed by the performance that followed. It was surreal watching a girl whose self-doubt seemed cancerous just months before exude confidence.

    But a one-day exhibition does not make her Olympic caliber.

    “Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson are our top gymnasts, and they’re proving themselves [now] in 2007, and Nastia even before that.” – Marta Karolyi, Samantha Peszek: A Shot at Glory

    In the years leading up to Beijing, Nastia and her alter ego were showing the world they weren’t one-hit wonders, that winning wasn’t a fluke, that they could excel in the Artic Circle of elite competition and endure the Sahara of sweltering media and searing expectations.

    This is the standard. Nothing has changed.

    Membership to America’s Olympic team is by conscription, not volunteerism. Only the proven are pressed into service, athletes whose never-ending quest for perfection has produced results and demonstrated fortitude in the face of adversity. Team USA is an enviable group, an assemblage of champions and clutch players, a sisterhood of stoic consistency.

    Gabby is a Comaneci coach’s dream, tiny and talented with the flexibility of a rhythmic. She has staggering potential but never seems to gather enough courage to make it a reality. She should be beating Komova at her own game – soundly – not playing second fiddle to teammates. Because she is performing well below her true potential and lacks proof that she is of the stuff that champions are made, I doubt she will gain an Olympic berth to London. But if she is patient, she may be the one to watch in Rio.

    • Nay Says:

      I agree with most of everything that you say but I think its really tough to say 145 days from now Shawn will make the team because of advertisers and Gabby wont. Take it from someone who works in advertising, we follow the crowd. If the crowd goes all goo-goo ga ga for Douglas or if they can form a home turf rival, then sponsors will quickly add on a new athlete if need be and may the best athlete win (there is always money to be found in advertising, TRUST ME).. and that is who will be on the wheaties box! I think Gabby showed how far she can come in such a short time, so Im not to keen to count her out just yet, Id rather wait and see because as this point if she stays healthy and matures more who really knows? Also why we cant have more than one olympian coming out the same gym, its not Shawn or Gabby, why not both!

      • JAS Says:

        I would like to see them both on the team 🙂

      • doughnut sundae Says:

        Without obvious injury, bad luck or festering media, without an Olympic-sized audience, expectations and competitors, Gabby performed fabulously. But the metamorphosis makes her a wildcard. The timid, easily defeated girl (whom we all shunned from our fantasy squads) was fairly predictable – her tremendous talent could be sabotaged by a lack of confidence. We could count on a score that would reflect this and we could build a team with that consideration in mind.

        But now, having watched her swing from meh to magnificent beyond the shallow halls of the Ranch, whom should we expect to show up at Nationals, at Trials… at the Olympics? The London team is too small and stakes too high to rest hope on a wildcard. America is better off playing the straight flush it holds in its hand rather than hoping to draw a royal one during the event.

        Gabby has shown that she can be one of the world’s best gymnasts – in a utopia. But in a dystopia, Nastia will probably deliver. Neither of whom should be on the US Olympic team, in my opinion. The new Gabby is unproven and the new Nastia, unfocused. Both will need more than a year of convincing (i.e., competitive gymnastics) before they can be taken seriously.

      • gymtruthteller Says:

        Gabby beat Jordyn. If she hits even if it is messy Marta will put her on the team. Most likely at the expense of Kyla Ross which is something I keep saying and it pisses me off even more. That kid could hit like crazy and Marta wouldn’t care.

      • Sandy Says:

        Does anyone know why Marta refuses to acknowledge Kyla Ross? It confuses the crap out of me. Even when asked after Worlds about newcomers she said nothing about Kyla, but mentioned Lexie Priessman has “wonderful artistry.” WTF?!

      • gymtruthteller Says:

        Kyla is going to get screwed. How do you not at least mention her? Even NBC was smart enough to bring her for their photo-op op in Cali.

        IMO If Marta does not send Kyla to the Pac rims then she is hiding her from the every 4 year public because she has no intention of taking her to the Olympics.

      • JAS Says:

        Yeah I would love to think Marta is hiding her to be a surprise at the Olympics but she is most likely gonna screw her for Nastia

  9. Sandy Says:

    There’s a large possibility SJ will surprise us. I think she’s smart and is staying silent for a reason. She’s backed by Nike and is the darling of US gymnastics – also, you don’t see her in the media circuit at major competitions (like someone else we know) so you know she’s working hard at the gym and focusing on her one task this year – to make the London team. She put forth some serious time in getting her knee to be stronger at a point in the Olympic calendar that gives her even more time to work on upgrades and her confidence. I wouldn’t count Shawn out. While it will be a difficult feat, I think of all the ’08 Olympians, Shawn has the best chance. And I agree it doesn’t hurt that she makes for great marketing.

    • gymtruthteller Says:

      I am giving her credit for not showing up to the American Cup to watch and get face time like certain other people with fraud meets in their name.

      As far as I know Alicia didn’t show up and neither did Chellsie Memmel which means they are serious if only in their own minds.

  10. Ak Says:

    I think Chow would love to have 2 gymnasts go to London!!!

    Don’t count Shawn out; she’s tough.

  11. nero Says:

    The problem for Shawn is the USA needs to max out on vault and bars because, for the most part, beam and floor will be a wash. The US can severely outscore everyone on vault especially if Russia shows up with 2 amanars or even 1 which I think is a possibility.
    What girls contribute the most on vault- Wieber, Douglas, Ross, Raisman, Maroney
    What girls contribute the most on bars- Douglas, Ross, Bross
    Any combo of those girls takes care of beam and floor
    Those are the top girls in the running IMO

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