Before you start, I just want to apologise for the videos not being embedded – WordPress was having none of it for some reason. All the screenshots below are clickable, and will open YouTube in another window.
Georgia ‘No Grips’ Dabritz
NCAA champion gymnast Georgia is a joy to watch on bars. What makes her all the more impressive is that she never wears grips – hence the nickname!
Who can forget her incredible performance on the uneven bars at the 2012 London Olympics? While I don’t find her routine as enjoyable to watch as others that are more fluid and flowing, the level of technical difficulty she displays is just incredible.
I was gutted that she stumbled on the landing, but she still managed to take home the bronze medal.
(Watch from 16:26.)
Former Olympic champion and Florida Gators gymnast, Bridget Sloan, is one of my favourite gymnasts to watch. Her floor routines are full of energy and personality, and the huge smile on her face makes this particular one an absolute joy.
Team USA, 2016 Olympic Games
The US women’s team made history at the 2016 Olympics, winning the all-round gold with some truly outstanding performances. The first I’m going to mention is Aly Raisman and her stunning floor routine.
I still get goosebumps when I think about her becoming overwhelmed by emotion as she finishes and is hit by the full weight of everything she’s just accomplished. I almost cried with her when I first watched it.
Gabby Douglas returned for her second Olympic Games. I personally loved her performance on uneven bars, even the small mistake she makes. The way she recovers from it and carries on going, displaying remarkable strength and control, is amazing. See if you can spot it!
Madison Kocian, the team’s bars specialist was one I was very excited to watch, given that the uneven bars are my favourite apparatus. She definitely did not disappoint. She may have just lost out on gold to Aliya Mustafina (whose routine was very similar, with just a few added skills earning her some extra points), but I’m confident we will see big things from her at the 2020 Olympics.
Simon Biles, widely thought of as the best gymnast in the world, gave a remarkable all-round performance. On floor, she stunned with powerful tumbling passes jam-packed full of skills. I look forward to seeing what she delivers in 2020.
I’ve saved my favourite until last, with Laurie Hernandez and her vibrant and joyful floor routine.
The song choice is impeccable, her timing flawless, and the amount of personality and sass she injects into her performance is captivating. I get goosebumps whenever I watch it.
How could I leave this historic moment off my list? At the 1976 Montreal Olympics, a fourteen year old Nadia Comăneci became the first gymnast to ever score a perfect ten.
This routine will be very different to what we’re used to seeing in modern gymnastics, with two notable differences being the space between the two bars, and a skill known as belly beating (when the gymnast holds the high bar, curls around the low bar and ‘bounces’ her stomach off it).
I love watching old routines, as it’s very interesting to see all the ways gymnastics has changed, and see former skills that have since been banned. Which leads me onto…
Watch the incredible moment Korbut stuns the crowd with a skill that became known as the Korbut Flip. It was later banned for being too dangerous.
Sky Sports very kindly reached out to me to see if I would support their campaign with the Women’s Sport Trust.
#ShowUp is all about encouraging women to get more involved with sport – whether that be watching or playing.
I plan to continue watching the incredible gymnasts who inspire and amaze me, and start playing badminton again with Dave.