Tuesday, August 7, 2012

An Ode to Vault Faces

Every gymnast makes a face when he runs down the runway.

Every last one of them, and for whatever reason, NBC likes to show us their faces... mid-sprint... during slow-motion replays. It cracks me up every time, and I thought that I would share the laughs.

Jake Dalton's sprinting face is pretty standard.

Philipp Boy goes through quite the range of emotions. First, a bit of man pain. Then, giddiness akin to that of a chap after a successful first date. Finally, the look of "I'm going to dominate this vault."

Also, in the second shot, he looks a little like Austin Tucker from Make It or Break It. (I know, how dare I speak such blasphemous words?!)

I live for Wai Hung Shek's hair blowing in the wind.

Chenglong Zhang looks like he is trying to suck all the air out of the arena.
That, or he's terrified of the vault.

Why so serious, Enrique Tomás González Sepúlveda?

 Okay, it's not a sprinting face, but this shot was so good; I had to share it.

 Koji Yamamuro looks like he is praying to the gym gods on this one.

At the end of the day, I think that Flavius Koczi wins this competition. This one made me spit out my beer.

Dear Reader,

Let this be a lesson to you.
You better practice your running face in the mirror.
You don't want to be caught looking like one of these lads 
while jogging around your neighborhood.


Uncle Tim


  1. Ah, these were inevitable too...very few can keep a straight face the whole way...like Uchimura(?), Horton(?), the only one that can keep a true one the whole way off the top of my head is Jade Barbosa but she's not a guy <_<

  2. Uncle Tim, please help: what is your opinion of the Yibing/Zanetti Rings Controversy? I'm not a MAG aficionado by any means, but the Chinese faction seems pretty cut up about this one - and seeing as I love me some controversy, I thought I'd ask an expert.

  3. I would have commented on your new post but you seem to have closed the comments. I apologize for jumping to conclusions in my previous comment. I’ve come across blanket dislike for Chinese athletes on the internet many times and it is sometimes difficult for me to discern fair critics from biased ones. I have a soft spot for Zou Kai and that certainly does not help, since you are obviously not fond of him as a gymnast (and you are perfectly entitled to that opinion).
    Rings are a difficult discipline when it comes to discerning errors, at least for the casual viewer. To the untrained eye, Zanetti made a very obvious error, whereas Chen did not. The judging could very well be correct, but since the specific deductions are not released for the public, conspiracy theories take root. The Olympics so far has had several questionable calls (e.g. in fencing and cycling) so the audience is also a bit paranoid.
    In figure skating, the judging system awards base points and a grade of execution (a bonus or deduction) for each element completed. This information is released by the judges after the. Although there may still be complaints of underscoring or overscoring, at least it is possible to see where the deductions or bonuses took place. I am hoping gymnastics could adopt a similar system so that viewers do not keep wondering how the judges come up with E-scores. Zanetti had a wonderful performance but I’m still not sure it was 0.1 points better than Chen’s.

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