As I wrap up my Olympic Difficulty series, I’ve been reflecting on how much the gymnastics world has changed on floor exercise in 20 years.
In 1992, gymnastics fans watched Lavinia Milosovici of Romania win the Olympic floor title with her jam-packed tumbling that earned her a perfect 10.0. Fast forward 20 years and Aly Raisman of the USA wins the gold with a similarly spectacular routine, complete with a punch front layout on her mount! Aly scored a 15.600 (6.5 D-score), so her 9.1 E-score was nine tenths off of being perfect. But the truth is, if Aly had competed her routine 20 years earlier, there is no doubt in my mind that her routine would have scored a perfect 10.0, too.
The difficulty in floor tumbling was very high in 1992, and it just grew and grew with each Olympiad. We saw three tumbling passes from Lavinia in Barcelona and five from Sandra Izbasa in Beijing, and then it was back to four for London. (Starting in 2009, the Women’s Technical Committee prohibited more than four tumbling passes in a floor routine.)
It’s interesting to note that it took 32 words to describe Aly Raisman’s floor routine—more than any other on the list! This definitely points out that routines have become more complex over time.
Note: In this list, “RO” is the abbreviation for “round-off” and “ff” is short for “flip-flop.”
2012: Aly Raisman/USA: RO, ff, 1 ½ twist step-out, RO, ff, tucked Arabian double front, punch front layout; RO, ff, piked Arabian double front, sissone; RO, ff, triple twist; RO, ff, double pike, split leap
2008: Sandra Izbasa/ROM: RO, ff, piked full-in; RO, ff, tucked full-in; RO, ff, 2 ½ twist, punch front-full; RO, 1 ½ twist, punch rudi; RO, ff, triple twist
2004: Catalina Ponor/ROM: RO, ff, piked full-in; RO, ff, 2 ½ twist, punch front layout; RO, ff, triple twist; RO, ff, double pike
2000: Elena Zamolodchikova/RUS: RO, ff, tucked double-twisting double back; RO, ff, 1 ½ twist step-out, RO, ff, triple twist; RO, whip, double twist-punch front; RO, ff, tucked full-in
1996: Lilia Podkopayeva/UKR: Front handspring, bounder, barani-out; front handspring, bounder, Rudi; front handspring, bounder, front layout, front-full; RO, ff, tucked full-in
1992: Lavinia Milosovici/ROM: RO, ff, whip, ff, tucked full-in punch front; RO, ff, 1 ½-twist step-out, RO, ff, 1 ½ twist punch barani, stag jump; RO, ff, tucked full-in
Article by: Anna Rose
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