The List: Amazing Saves

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Gymnastics is about seeking perfection, in terms of the highest difficulty and best execution.  Sometimes, though, it is the unbelievable saves and hard work that goes into pulling off a skill that we remember the most.  Here, The List looks at moments that weren’t perfect, but were perfectly saved!

**Steffi Kraker GDR 1979 World Cup EF Bars ** Back when the bars were much closer together, the gymnasts worked fluidly between the two.  Kraker shows how to use the low bar to your advantage after missing an element on the high bar- she essentially performs a whole extra sequence to her bar routine without breaking momentum!  (And, side note- she won the event!) Watch at 15:11—

Dominique Dawes 1994 World Trials Optionals Beam After her dominate performance at Nationals, there was little question about Dawes making the Worlds team in 1994.  Still, everyone’s heart stopped for a moment after a scary—then brilliant save—on her punch front on beam.  Even Shannon Miller’s coach shared his appreciation for her ability to stay on!


**Shannon Miller USA 1995 US Nationals Optionals Bars ** After a tough competition that began with a fall off the beam in the first rotation, Shannon performed steadily for the remainder of the competition.  Her last event, uneven bars, was a good apparatus for her to conclude on, as she was a former World Champion and Olympic medalist on the event.  All was going well until her swing back to handstand on low bar—then Shannon showed why she is the legend she is by not giving up and creating a cool new look on an old skill!

**Courtney McCool USA 2004 Olympic Trials Preliminaries Floor ** Leading up to the Olympics, Courtney was impressing everyone with her impeccable form and precise technique.  On floor, she had a well-polished routine, complete with strong tumbling.  Watch as she actually over-rotates and bounces out of her triple twist…..yet somehow manages to not step out of bounds!  Sure, she still incurred some landing deductions, but her awareness of the boundaries was certainly impressive!

**Courtney Kupets USA 2004 Olympics AA Beam ** After exacerbating an injury in team finals, Kupets actually sat out of the beam rotation due to a sore hip.  She was well enough to finish on floor and compete in all-around and event finals, though she was clearly affected.  In this beam routine, she goes for the split in her switch full, but she lands awkwardly- and somehow manages to stay on despite completely losing her footing!  She continued to fight through the injury in several other skills, showing tremendous composure.

Nastia Liukin USA 2006 US Nationals Finals Beam Made into a popular gif, and for good reason!  Nastia was just going about her business on her way to her second senior national all-around title when an uncharacteristic wobble on beam led to this amazing save.  She still won the competition, though Papa Valeri was not very pleased initially!  In the end though, this was a pretty amazing moment in Nastia’s storied career.


**Casey Magee USA 2011 Classics AA Beam ** Casey Jo was trying her hand at senior elite gymnastics after having success in the NCAA, and she thought her unique beam routine could be an asset to Team USA.  Watch this routine to enjoy nice low beam skills and connections, as well as turns, and great saves on turns!


There are many more moments of saving a piece of gymnastics, so include your own favorites in the comments!  Looking for inspiration?  Here is a compilation video for your viewing pleasure!


Article by: Kristen Ras

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