My Opinion: Alicia Sacramone’s Low to Beam Pose Must Go
Don’t get me wrong, I hate it when a gymnast literally just sits down on the beam and gets up. It’s as if they are saying “Low to beam work? CHECK!” I also love beautiful, elegant low to beam work. It doesn’t mater if it’s real skills, or just pieces of choreography.
Then, you may ask, why do I hate Alicia Sacramone’s low to beam work? Well first, Look at the legs. If you are going to put your body into this position, you should make sure that those legs are in a perfect 180º split. Alicia is nowhere near that. Second, it doesn’t show back flexibility. her back is practically straight. Finally, it looks like it is hurting her chin and kneck. Her entire body weight, besides what is on her hands, is resting on her bent kneck and chin. It just looks awkward to me. I honestly would rather see her sit down on the beam and stand up.
I don’t think that a pose like this has to be ugly and awkward looking. For example, look
at this similar photo of Oksana Knizhnik of the Ukraine in 1996. In my opinion, this is a gorgeous pose. Knizhnik has the lines and flexibility to pull it off. She rests her body weight on her chest instead of her chin, which looks more natural and less painful. Just look at that split!
Hollie Vise is another gymnast who could pull off a similar pose, at least in her early years. In NCAA, it looked like a bit of a struggle, but when she was an elite it could rival Knizhniks, and she wasn’t holding her leg in place. She is on her chin, but it looks like she is also resting her weight on her neck and shoulders.
Alicia’s pose simply looks out of place in her routine. She is a power gymnast, no doubt about it. She has some flexibility, but adding in a move that only works for the most flexible of gymnasts won’t help her get better scores.