As the World Turns. Grishy Style

When Anastasia Grishina refused to do beam during the 2012 Olympic team finals I personally thought Russia would be done with her but they weren’t. They sent her to Europeans where she finished 3rd in the All Around and everyone thought she was turning a new leaf until a recent meet where she claimed a pinched nerve and took herself out of the competition. The rumor was she wasn’t really injured and was having trouble controlling her nerves and it looks like Russia believes that to be the reason for her recent “injury”

The blog, Rewriting Russian Gymnastics has all the dirt.

Someone in Russia saw something at the meet Grishina took herself out of to not want her to be at Worlds. I can’t believe they would just make something up to take her out of the meet so they could add Anna Pavlova to the team (a girl they wouldn’t even name to the National team the last few years in spite of the fact she competed and did well)

The article also mentions that Grishina was to blame for the Russian team not winning the Olympic title. While she certainly played a part in it she was not the only one. The article mentions she ” is at least partly” to blame and that is a fact. A big fact.

What do you think?


74 Responses to “As the World Turns. Grishy Style”

  1. Dee Says:

    Did my eyes really see that they might need to use Pavlova?

    Ponor comes back for the 2012 Olympics and now Pavlova might be back for this Worlds…be still my heart.

  2. DL Says:

    Grishna just doesn’t have the mental toughness to be a champion at the moment, and it doesn’t help that she does a sport where hesitation can be deadly. She’s probably better off taking some time to decide if this is something she really wants to do.

    • mimi Says:

      i agree but it also doesn’t help that rodionenko don’t seem to put any weight into sports psychology and making the gymnasts feel like they believe in them. if the girl has potential and isn’t mentally tough enough, invest some time into building her confidence up instead of tossing her aside every time she doesn’t meet the standards. it will hinder the mental strength not help it. at the end of the day, they are teenager girls not soulless robots with no anxieties, feelings, fears. if they went to the trouble of training their minds as much as their bodies they would have much tougher, and probably happier, gymnasts.

      it’s no wonder grishy’s not there with mental toughness. same with demy. i don’t know, i just feel bad for grishy and this valentina bird p!sses me off no end.

      • sanitynmotion Says:

        This is where Marta’s whole modus operandi might have some applicability. Rodenko (sp?) should make it so that Grishina is overscored in domestic meets to build up her confidence level; then when she goes to international competitions it’s less likely she’ll headcase. This is what Marta is doing now with Simone and was doing with Gabby pre-Olympics. I hate it because someone always gets pushed to the side unfairly but it seemed to have worked, at least for Gabby.

        But then again it takes becoming that favorite in the first place. Grishina obviously is not favored.

      • mimi Says:

        i thoughts this too. i think it does mean it’s to the other gymnasts detriment but you’re right it did wonders for gabby’s confidence. grishy could do with a bit of that.

  3. sainabou nyang Says:

    When I read last year that she refused to do beam in TF, I thought what kind of gymnast refuses to do an apparatus at the OLYMPICS because shes scared. In the words of Bela Karolyi, why was there no preparation?

    The best part if the article is how Russia is relying to heavily on Musty and Ksenia for medals which is stupid. Komova bless her heart has yet to put up a fight when a medal is on the line. Demy is well Demy who if the rumor is true should retire. I would die if they put Pavlova on the team but does she even have the difficulty anymore.

  4. CMR Says:

    Am I the only one who at least appreciates that the injury is a pinched nerve? Maybe the form wouldn’t allow them to just put “nerves.”

  5. JAS4 Says:

    I really like Grishina’s gymnastics but she is a teenage girl with Valentina breathing down her neck on top of maybe being a more nervous person to begin with so its no wonder she doesn’t have the confidence she needs maybe she would do well to compete at outside meets like Pavlova for a year or two and then try to get back on the national team after she gets some confidence

  6. JAS4 Says:

    In the article it mentions Paseka might be out due to the problems she has been having with her vaults but I wonder if Valentina hasn’t been pressuring her to throw a TTY but she can’t now she has Valentina’s wrath

  7. Catherine Says:

    If they ARE bringing Nabieva, then they’re not bringing Paseka- 3 per event. Grishina fits in beautifully. Komova does as well, leaving Nabieva the opportunity to do bars and beam. Paseka and Pavlova are a waste of a spot at that point, Pavlova especially- she is done with international competition like that, and throwing that pressure on her now out of the blue would be so unfair. Paseka- what can she do in that team, swing bars? There’s no point in that.

    Rodionenko needs to shut up. Running down all of her athletes. We don’t need to hear about Grishina’s attitude- it shouldn’t be broadcasted. Grishina was her little star, until the Olympics and now with the coaching change. If she has got a problem with her back- then everyone else needs to get off her back, including Semy and Ivanova! It could all be a delightful mind game to scare Grishina into performing well before the team is finally picked. But I don’t think we’ll be safe from surprises until they actually walk into the arena at prelims.

    • Karlie Says:

      I agree. The Rodionenkos have a bizarre habit of trash-talking their own athletes, which I find both irritating and sad. Before the Olympics, it was Mustafina (“she’ll never win any medals!” “She’s not important on the team” etc.). Nabieva was called obese for gaining five pounds when she was sick. I think Pavlova’s gotten shade in the past as well, as has Dementyeva. Now it’s apparently Grishina’s turn, and it’s appalling to see this done to an athlete who already clearly suffers from nerves. I can’t understand why they adore Afan so much – she fell too in TF, and she was a known headcase before she (mostly) pulled her shit together for a surprise World Champion victory on floor.

      Pinched nerves are painful. Apparently what happened was that Grishina claimed that she couldn’t compete because of back pain, and the Rodionenkos trashed her in return. Then she discovered the pinched nerve and now her coaches are trying to use her diagnosis to do damage control with Valentina.

      • Akshay Says:

        Completely agree with both Catherine and Karlie.
        Also, I dislike Marta and her games just as much as the next person does, but Valentina sounds about the same. The difference I’m seeing is that Valentina seems to try to go out of her way to play mindgames with other countries more than Marta does (Aliya’s alleged TTY, Komova’s status, etc.)

      • Karlie Says:

        (I should add that I adore Afan as well, I just find Valentina’s shifting favoritism odd.)

    • lol Says:

      Pavlova is still training with hopes of a career. She would love a shot at worlds. You make no sense at all when you say it is not fair. Do you think she is training full time for fun?

      • Catherine Says:

        Yes I would. She’s not even on the national team, only competing in tiny meets and turning around and throwing her on the team last minute with no indication since she quite clearly is not competing competitive elite routines would be unfair. It would be a huge amount of pressure and at this point in her gymnastics career, her body cannot suddenly handle upgrades. She does a layout off bars, her beam and floor are completely watered down..why should she be thrown into the lion’s den? They would be setting her up to fail, and silence objections to her not being put on the national team. She has freaked out at international competition repeatedly before when she was at her best so why would that be any better now?

      • gymtruthteller Says:

        I find it hard to believe that Anna is training full time for no reason. That makes no sense to me either.

      • laurensy Says:

        As much as I want Pavs back on a Word squad, this would spell disaster. She for me is in the same boat as Nastia, headcasing when it matters, (not all of the time, but still too many for the coaches liking). Can’t quite put my finger on, it but for me she hasn’t handled her transition from junior to Senior. I think the fans as well as the coaches had high expectations, and she hasn’t really delivered like we and they thought she would. What she has accomplished is by no means trivial, but for someone of her caliber, she could been great.

      • gymtruthteller Says:

        Anna finished 4th or 5th at the Olympic games and many people think she should have won the AA bronze medal. If people had higher expectations for her and she didn’t live up to them that is hardly her fault.

        I am not saying she should make the World team but to try and sell she shouldn’t go to worlds because it is unfair to her makes no sense to me. I cannot believe anyone would train as hard as she does so she can go to no name meets. She has to have higher expectations than that.

      • sanitynmotion Says:

        Yeah makes no sense at all why someone would put in that time for training and not want to make the international meets. Then what gives? It’s not like she doesn’t have anything else/better to do…

        I would think a girl would know when it’s time to quit and obviously she doesn’t think she needs to quit yet. Who knows maybe she can surprise us.

      • laurensy Says:

        I thought she was training out of love for the sport. There was something, an article or video, that she was wondering why she wasn’t invited to be on the national. This was around late 2009/early 2010. I thought it had something to do with the Olympics, the nail in the coffin so to speak.

      • gymtruthteller Says:

        No one forced her to go to Nationals and try and make the National team. If she said she trains full time for the love of the sport and has no intentions ever competing as an elite again then why show up to Nationals?

      • Dee Says:

        ahhhh GTT to this day I still don’t know why she didn’t medal in the AA in ’04.

        While it might not be the greatest of ideas, it wouldn’t hurt to bring Pavlova back for this Worlds vs. others with a team title on the line. Maybe this is a way to test and see if she actually can be used again, since they seem to be in a little bit of a rut.

      • Karlie Says:

        Re: Pavlova’s training – she has stated in the past that she is training full-time because of her love for the sport, and for competition. I’m sure she’d love to be on the national team again, and probably went to the Russian Cup because she likes competing, but I also feel like it would be unfair to throw her in to Worlds – not because she hasn’t been training (she has) or doesn’t want it (she probably does), but because her routines aren’t really competitive. Since she blew out her knee in 2009 (ACL/MCL/meniscus, the deadly trio), she hasn’t been the same and she has pretty low difficulty on almost every event. I guess my point is that if Valentina were to suddenly put Pavlova on the Worlds team, knowing that her difficulty is far, far too low to medal, I would expect that Valentina was only doing it to justify her exclusion of Pavlova from the national team in the previous years.

    • laurensy Says:

      What have Semy and Ivanova been saying?

      • Brouhaha Says:

        That Grishina personally is the reason Team Russia lost to the USA during the Olympics

      • laurensy Says:

        Semy herself said this? I need proof.)

      • Catherine Says:

        Uh it will be in Cyrilic! 🙂 Semy waded in on Mustafina and Alexandrov before, blasting him and calling her difficult. The source translated will probably be on rewriting Russian gymnastics, I believe she made a comment on vk that her behaviour was just too much and was letting down her team.

      • laurensy Says:

        So she criticized Alexandrov and called Mustafina difficult or Grishina difficult? Sorry if I seem a little dense. This is very interesting.

      • sj0126 (@sj0126) Says:

        she called mustafina difficult. she just blames grishina for the silver. which is dumb.

  8. Case Says:

    Grishina is a huge problem for Russia. She freaks out at the worst possible moments on the biggest stages. If she can’t figure out the mental part of competing then her career is over.

    • mimi Says:

      but she can’t be reasonably expected to do that for herself – at 16/17 years old she should be getting the support for this.. rather than the the message “you lost us gold at the olympics! you suck! and by the way you better bring it now or you’re out” type of thing. Russia makes the problem worse than it needs to be.

      she also has some family pressures (i think i read she helps financially support her family as her dad was injured and not working or something like that) so i think it’s more than just headcasing as a gymnast. girl has some real life pressures at a young age and some are more fragile than others.

  9. Akshay Says:

    Still on Grishina, but a bit of a tangent from this discussion – is it just me, or is it incredibly annoying when people call her Nastia as well? I personally think Anastasia is a really nice sounding name, so why you’d ever want that horrendous nickname is beyond me. Plus there’s the whole matter of associating herself with Nastia.. well no one deserves that. 🙂

    • Lyra Gill (@lygill) Says:

      In Russia, Nastya is actually a nickname for Anastasia and is used by close friends and relatives.

      • Akshay Says:

        Oh, that I didn’t know. My apologies if I offended anyone; I just know a few of the Russian girls have mentioned Liukin as one of their role models, so I thought it might have been something like that. To be honest, the only people I’ve really seen call Grishina Nastia are people who are big Nastia Liukin fanatics on Tumblr.

      • Karlie Says:

        Nah, over at STOI! and Rewriting Russian Gymnastics they call her Nastia as well. Maria Paseka gets called Masha, and Tatiana Nabieva Tanya – they’re common affectionate nicknames in Russia.

  10. nero Says:

    I find it odd that a program that is scraping the barrel when it comes to competition ready athletes would black ball one of their brightest lights for the future. Sure she’s a little green, you can’t just throw her out there and expect her to be fine like you would with a Mustafina or Raisman. Yes she’s an elite athlete but she’s also a child who might need a tad more support. Don’t baby her but don’t throw her to the wolves either.

    I agree with the person above who commented on why she wasn’t properly prepared for beam at the Olympics. I’d say the failings of Team Russia in TF lies more with the coaching than the athletes. Some of the skills those girls were performing were a big WTF to me. Like Grishy doing a double double when they were already 3 points behind on floor. Nobody thought it would be a good idea to water down her first pass???

    I think a grown adult placing all the blame on one team member is tacky and frankly downright bitchy. It’s no surprise to me why Alexandrov left and if I were Grishina, staring down the path of being blacklisted from major competitions, I’d cut my losses and head for the hills.

    • gymtruthteller Says:

      They did not blame just Grishina. The article said “is at least partly her fault’,”. Those were the exact words and they were 100% accurate.

      I don’t see why people keep skipping the exact words used because no where do they blame it all on her.

      • sanitynmotion Says:

        Yeah it’s kind of like blaming ASac for losing team gold in China. It wasn’t all her fault either (both Shawn and Nastia had mistakes). I wish people would point out that Martha’s stupid training regime broke 2 of her athletes, so that should really be what was at fault.

      • gymtruthteller Says:

        Falling twice beats stepping OOB and a bobble or two. The US had no chance of winning that title unless Chinahas a melt down and they didn’t.

      • nero Says:

        They say it’s partly everyone’s fault but she’s the only one who seems to be paying for the mistake. I think both parties need to either regroup and try to develop some type of training that will help Grishina with her nerves or they need to agree that it’s not working and move on. It’s kind of crappy when you’ve put so many years into an athlete you don’t just want to give up but some girls just can’t compete.

      • gymtruthteller Says:

        I don’t agree. She keeps taking herself out of competitions. I think Russia has a real reason to be suspicious of the way she does things.

        There is no way I EVER would have allowed her on my team once she refused to go do beam in team finals.

        If any other gymnast had refused to compete at the Olympic games all hell would have broken lose.

      • gymtruthteller Says:

        This is the second competition she has taken herself out of. How many chances should they give her? After she refused to do beam AT THE OLYMPICS everything she does should and will be questioned. She only has herself to blame even if she really was injured.

      • sainabou nyang Says:

        Id love to see someone live on national TV in front of the world tell Marta “I’m not doing this event, end of discussion!!!” Then the camera would move in on Martas face as she struggles to contain her anger.

      • gymtruthteller Says:

        If Grishina had gone up she could have Mattie Larson’d away a team gold medal and I all I remember about that is how Marta made sure it never happened during an Olympics and how everyone agreed that Mattie was a head case and should never be given the opportunity to do it again. Same situation.

      • Catherine Says:

        No but Grishina gets the brunt of the blame. She lost about 2 points on floor I believe and then obviously Afan lost one but nowhere have they ever acknowledged that they would still have lost without the shitshow on floor.

      • sj0126 (@sj0126) Says:

        I don’t think you can compare Grishina and Mattie Larson because in Mattie’s case, if she would have either not fallen or gotten the connection on floor, the US would have won. Heck if she would have stuck a pass, they could have won.

        In Grishina’s case she could have stuck every pass and the US still would have won.

      • gymtruthteller Says:

        Makes no difference. Mattie didn’t know she only needed the connection to win. It makes it even worse for Grishina because she couldn’t even compete on beam which was like their third event (?) It just proves what a head case she is.

      • mimi Says:

        I would LOVE to see Marta’s face “nope not competing” at a major meet.

        not really because that would be terrible but the reaction would be priceless.

  11. sanitynmotion Says:

    I just ranted again and it went into cyberspace. 🙂

  12. sanitynmotion Says:

    I wish gymnastics were like football. If a team loses, fire all coaches. Or at least the head honcho.

    But no – in gymnastics let’s blame the teenager.

    If it went my way, the result after 2004 Olympics – bye bye, Marta!

    • gymtruthteller Says:

      It is not always the coaches fault.

      • sanitynmotion Says:

        I totally agree but they always seem to be the ones getting blamed (in football, maybe baseball too – but you’d know much more than I do on that)…

        I just wish in gymnastics, a sport dealing with very young athletes who’ve been stuck in a gym all day every day and are not what you would call “world savvy” people would see that it’s not always the gymnast. The coach is responsible for preparing an athlete mentally too. I think Brestyan did it a lot with Aly where he’d have her do a beam routine and then right before she’d do it he’d have her wait around like judges sometimes make an athlete do…he probably did that after the whole ASac debacle. There are ways to coach an athlete mentally, and if they don’t have it it’s up to the coaches to speak up about it especially for a team perspective. The whole Mattie Larson thing was probably all of the coaches’ faults because they saw her and saw she wasn’t hitting and headcasing. Yet they chose to send her to floor anyways. Marta went along with it. If this were football someone (probably Marta) would have been fired.

        And I personally just would love to see Marta fired for the crap she has done but it never seems to happen.

      • sportsfan Says:

        The major difference with this analogy is that Marta is her own boss, and to my knowledge doesn’t answer to the USOC, or anybody else for that matter. Other coaches in the various sports actually do have a higher authority to answer to. Do you think that Steve Penny is gonna fire Marta? Probably not. Do you think that USOC CEO Scott Blackmun is going to call her into his office and fire her? I doubt he even cares about women’s gymnastics. To top it all off, the Chairman of the Board of Directors is Larry Probst III, who is the executive chairman and former CEO of Electronic Arts. He has a completely different company to watch over, and his USOC post is probably just a vanity project for him.

        My point is that Marta wields ultimate control, but you guys already knew that. Let me ask a question though. Do you think Marta would act differently if the US had a sports ministry like other countries do? Instead of the very corporate structure like USOC has.

  13. Lithi Says:

    Have the Rodionenkos always badmouthed their gymnasts? If not, when did it start? I can’t imagine them sniping about Khorkina or even Produnova; those two would’ve pulverized them. ;p

    • Sara Says:

      Well the Rodionekno’s were only hired in 2008, so that’s really when it started unfortunately.

      • Lithi Says:

        I swear I heard their names mentioned in the ’88 Olympics, haven’t they been around for quite a while? I distinctly remember reading that they had been part of Soviet gymnastics even in Korbut’s time.

      • Katie Says:

        Rodionekno was a coach for the user. He went to Australia after Barcelona. They brought him and his wonderful wife back after letting go of arkaev to take over the Russian program.

      • sainabou nyang Says:

        I thought one of them ran the Canadian program as well and were called back to Russia.

        What was their issue wuth Arkaev? Why was he let go?

      • Katie Says:

        Yeah, I thi k he went to Canada after Australia. I think the main issue was arkaev was the lack of results and that he would put his gymnasts on the world and Olympic teams to get more money. Or he would poach other athletes at the last minute and they would have to go to him if they wanted to be put on the team. The personal coaches were given bonuses for their athletes and their international medals, etc. that’s why the rule that no national team coach could train an individual gymnast.

      • Katie Says:

        Whatshouldgymfanscallme did a really good five part story on the whole background of the rodioneknos, alexandrov, ussr gymnastics, etc. Start with part 1 and go the whole way through. It’s really informative.

  14. GymMom Says:

    A picture worth a thousand words. #Gabby #Excalibur #LittleBlackGirl

  15. biyatch Says:

    Anyone know anything about the rumors that Afan is hurt? Also anything about the “treatment” Iordache is supposedly under going?

    Nominative rosters were due to the FIG today. While not official it will be very interesting to see what Russia and the US turn in for those.

  16. gymglitterxx Says:

    So apparently AAU gymnastics is no more??

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