Okay, so last time I made a Top 10 list of my favourite floor routines ever (I kinda forgot the fantastic routine Dominique Dawes did in 1992 and 1993, but luckily RJL commented on that!). I promised that my next post would be a list of the worst floor routines ever, so here goes….
After a lot of deliberating, I decided to narrow it down to just three routines. Unfortunately, there seems to be a theme (a lot of Romanian routines from the late 1970s!).
Honourable Mention: Emilia Eberle (ROM), 1977 USA vs. Romania
I was debating whether or not I should include this floor routine. It’s definitely not my cup of tea, but it is bizarrely whimsical and the choreography matches the music quite well (though the only video I can find has been dubbed!). I don’t think I can watch the slow-mo part from 0:47-0:52 with a straight face.
3. Nadia Comaneci (ROM), 1978 World Championships
Too bad this floor routine comes courtesy of the perfect Nadia Comaneci. She deserves better than this! Was Marta Karolyi behind this floor choreography?
2. Kerri Strug (USA), 1996 American Cup
Something about this routine just rubs me the wrong way, and it ain’t the tumbling. The little move at 1:12 really has no place on an international stage, but the best part of the whole video is when the divine Svetlana Boginskaya stands up at 1:18 and does her best imitation!
1. Gabi Gheorghiu (ROM), 1978 Romanian National Championships
This routine was choreographed by none other than Marta Karolyi, and it’s got to be the worst monstrosity I’ve ever seen. What were they thinking?! I have no idea what’s going on at 1:08.
But hey, at least these routines have choreography! There have been some routines in the past few years that hardly have any due to all the tumbling and leap requirements. Jade Barbosa (BRA), Park Eun Kyung (KOR) and even current World Floor Champion Beth Tweddle (GBR) come to mind. Even if a gymnast isn’t a natural dancer, she should be able to put together a cool and unusual routine like Mari Kosuge (JPN) managed in 1991 and Gina Gogean (ROM) demonstrated in 1992. Often the powerful gymnasts are the ones who lack dance skills, and that’s why I’m so excited that the complete package that is Russian Viktoria Komova has burst on to the scene. Now that the Code of Points requires fewer skills be packed into each routine, I hope that will give the choreographers a chance to shine as they did twenty years ago.