If you were around on Saturday, you might have watched NBC's broadcast of the AT&T American Cup and watched USA's Sam Mikulak and Elizabeth Price dominate their way to first place. This was an international meet featuring some of the best male and female gymnasts in the world! The women's side featured Elizabeth Price and Brenna Dowell (USA), Vanessa Ferrari and Carlotta Ferlito (Italy), Giulia Steingruber (Switzerland), Roxana Popa (Spain), Sophie Scheder (Germany), and Victoria Moors (Canada). Competing for the men were Sam Mikulak and John Orozco (USA), Daniel Purvis and Sam Oldham (Great Britain), Shogo Nonomura (Japan), Fabian Hambuechen (Germany), Andrey Likhovitskiy (Belarus), Fabian Gonzalez (Spain), and Sergio Sasaki (Brazil).
Both Elizabeth (or "Ebee" as she is affectionately known) and Sam won over the second place competitors (Brenna Dowell for the women and Shogo Nonomura for the men) by entire two points! Winning the American cup is a great victory for both of these gymnasts, as they have both experienced disappointment and setbacks in their careers. Ebee Price was "always the bridesmaid and never the bride" as she was repeatedly was named just an alternate to world and olympic teams. Despite battling through injuries, she has come back stronger and more solid than ever. Sam was well on his way to a world all-around title just last year, but a grave and uncharacteristic mistake on high bar cost him the gold.
Sarah's favorite American Cup routines
Now it's no secret that I LOVE forward entry vaults (and find them to be incredibly undervalued in terms of difficulty), and Giulia performs this incredibly difficult vault with ease. Not since the great Alicia Sacramone have I seen someone perform this vault so well!
I have been a huge fan of Brenna Dowell since I first saw her burst onto the elite scene. She has made so many improvements in technique and upgraded her difficulty in just the past year! I loved seeing her hit a clean, dynamic bar set and the release combination at 0:14 reminds me of the great Beth Tweddle, one of the best uneven bar gymnasts EVER! I think we will continue to see great things from Brenna Dowell.
Ebee was one of the most solid performers on beam at the American Cup. She starts this routine right off with an incredibly difficult standing full. Her acrobatic series is solid and stretched, her side aerial looks effortless, her dismount was stuck. The only criticisms I have about this routine is that I wish she would show just a pinch more amplitude in her leaps and jumps, but otherwise, I love everything about this routine. Solid, dynamic, powerful!
My absolute favorite performance of the day was Victoria Moors on floor. Her first tumbling pass features a double twisting double back in a laid out position, a skill that is NAMED after her! Tori's choreography is beautiful and she shows great artistry in this performance (something that is becoming increasingly rare in elite gymnastics). Great tumbling, great choreography, great dance. I would love to see her win a world title on floor, she is THAT good!
Missed the meet? No problem! USAG has all of the routines on their youtube page, and the NBC broadcast is archived here.
Peace, love, and gymnastics,
Spectrum Gymnastics Academy
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About the Author
Coach Sarah is a former Rhode Island College gymnast, NCGA National qualifier, All-American, current gymnastics coach and judge, and contributor for the gymnastics news source, The Gymternet. Find out what's going on at Spectrum and learn more about the incredible sport of gymnastics!