Visual Guides to U.S. Women Gymnastics, 2012

I'll admit it, I've been ignoring the U.S. Women's Gymnastics until the finals last night.

I didn't watch Sunday night, nor Monday night (the NBC primetime showings). I know — I'm terrible! I've mostly been watching volleyball (my high school sport, no less)….like all of it: Men and Women's, Indoors and Beach.

BUT, I did watch the finals last night — without knowing the results beforehand — and wow! Congratulations Team USA! That was amazing. 

Like so many other things, you don't appreciate a sport until you become educated in it. So while checking out the new Digg, I found the Atlantic Wire's impressive coverage of the U.S. Gymanstic's team. And this is incredible: the writers lay everything out, they define and explain the moves, the scoring system, what to look for — all with animated visuals to help you understand. 

For example, did you know about such a move called an "Amanar"? 

On vault, Wieber performs the difficult Amanar vault — that's one-and-a-half flips plus two-and-a-half twists. A couple years ago, hardly any women attempted it in competition, because it's so dangerous. If you don't get your twists around fast enough, you're still twisting as you hit the mat — risking a torn ACL.  

 

1. To get started: A profile of the U.S. Gymnastics Team

2. What everyone's talking about: Why Jordan Wieber didn't make the All-Around

3. A thorough explanation of what happened in the team finals (when I was watching the NBC primetime showing, I was wondering why we didn't see the third Russian's floor exercise; but it's all explained here): How the U.S. Gymastics Team Crushed the Russians 

And finally, to get you ready for Thursday,

4. "What to Watch for in the Women's Gymanstic's All-Around Finals"