Artistic Brilliance – Vanessa Atler


By Anna Rose Johnson

I frequently watch old competitions; I find it very refreshing and enjoyable. Earlier this month I was watching the 1998 U.S. Championships, and I was struck by one routine in particular: the floor exercise of Vanessa Atler.

To put it briefly, it was amazing.

In this one routine, Vanessa Atler did what many gymnasts strive to accomplish over an entire career. In my opinion, this is one of the most perfect examples of what I believe the FIG has been striving toward these past few years—a never-ending, action-packed, musical, artistic, powerful floor routine that combines every element with effortless grace.

This is gymnastics. This is what it’s supposed to look like. This is what I believe the FIG wants.

Please see for yourself, and share this post! Also, feel free to leave your thoughts on this gorgeous routine in the comments below!

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  1. Jax says:

    That is not artistry not to mention Miller did a ten million times better version of the music. The idea that you chose Atler’s version and used the word brilliant is kind of sad.

  2. Valerie says:

    Always love her! I was there for this competition, and I remember watching it in person.

  3. Admin says:

    Jax – it was one routine picked out of several routines from many gymnasts that could have been picked out.

  4. Wendy says:

    I’m sorry Jax I too love Shannon Miller but she never once did a triple twist or a double layout punch front to stag leap. I have to agree Atler’s routine is the best floor exercise ever.

  5. Lali says:

    Sorry but I cannot agree this was artistic. It had no flow or rhythm and the Choreography was just plain bad. Atler was stiff. I just cannot agree this was anything artistic.

  6. GAGA says:

    It’s a great routine. But the FIG and most gym fans want pointed toes on dbl pikes and they want feet together on twists. At least one stuck tumble run wouldn’t hurt either.

    THOSE are artistic desires. I’m struggling to understand the other points you brought up.

    Isn’t any routine with a triple twist /dbl layout etc action packed and powerful?
    Musical? I have never seen a WAG floor routine at comp without music. Some have a good choice of music, some don’t, this I believe is a decent choice however gymnastics is NOT about music.
    Overall the routine does have a great flow and I like the arrangement/combination of skills but I disagree that this routine is setting some kind of precedent or standard (though I will say it stands out somewhat due to the dbl layout combo).

    By the way “Admin” Anna said ” I was struck by one routine in particular”. Now that is hardly saying it was one of several that could’ve been picked.

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