DVORA MEYERS has another good article on Deadspin, explaining to the general public the issue of body type in women’s Artistic Gymnastics. Shawn and Nastia are used as examples.
… “In America, we’ll score the stocky, athletic builds normally,” 1996 Olympic gold medalist Dominique Dawes said, in response to Johnson’s comments. “Internationally, there still remains a stigma to that type of body type.”
Given Johnson’s success, it’s hard to make the case that she has suffered much under-scoring internationally—she won nearly every senior meet she entered in 2007 and 2008—and many similarly built gymnasts have also fared well in competition, including Mary Lou Retton and 1991 World Champion Kim Zmeskal. …
Do you need the “international look” (rail thin) to be competitive in London?
In 2012 there’s less stigma than ever before. It’s far more advantageous to be built like Shawn than Nastia in an open-ended Code. Ask the Chinese coaches.
Highest difficulty score will usually beat highest execution score. Regardless of body type. Good leg and foot form has never been less rewarded than in this cycle.
related – response on Rewriting Russian Gymnastics – ‘The Artistry Fallacy’