By Anna Rose Johnson
Join me for a walk down memory lane as I remember my favorite floor routines from the 2010 World Championships in Rotterdam; 8 performances that remain timeless and beautiful seven years later.
This is one of my favorite routines ever in terms of sheer flexibility and musicality. In this performance to Dmitri Shostakovich’s The Second Waltz, Ana Porgras (ROU) managed to capture the essence of ballet and the effect of a waltz with even the slightest of movements. (Her tumbling was elegant and poised, as well!)
Anna Dementyeva played a major role in Russia’s resurgence to the top of gymnastics two quadrenniums ago. Many will remember her as the 2011 European all-around champion, but I will always think of this routine when I see her name. The creative choreography, upbeat music, and daring tumbling made this performance one of my all-time favorites.
Aliya Mustafina (RUS) was crowned the queen of gymnastics at 2010 Worlds, when she took home medals (including two gold) in five different finals. Her floor routine at those Worlds was, quite simply, a masterpiece. Performed to the haunting melody of Hijo de la Luna, this playful yet powerful routine ushered in the modern Russian style, a harmonic blend of ballet integrated with difficulty and drama.
China’s Jiang Yuyuan was an indisputable star at the 2008 Olympics, where this routine charmed the home crowd and enabled her to finish fourth in the floor final. After skipping 2009 Worlds, Jiang returned to major competition at 2010 Worlds, where she revitalized her Beijing floor routine and returned to this fun, feisty exercise that showcased her versatility as a gymnast.
For many, the most beloved routine Sandra Izbasa (ROU) ever competed was her gold medal-winning Beijing floor exercise, but this routine had plenty of merit, too. Set to a hybrid of perennial favorites Kalinka and Hava Nagila, Sandra’s exquisite performance was a lovely combination of strength and grace.
This routine meant everything to gymnastics in Australia. Lauren Mitchell’s historic gold medal in the floor final marked the first World gold for a female Australian gymnast, and it was also the pinnacle of a storied career. One of the pioneers of the wolf turn on floor, Lauren was a master of mesmerizing choreography and her prowess for power was definitely a plus.
Quite possibly the best moment of Rebecca Bross’ career was when she posted an unbelievable 15.233 on floor exercise to clinch the 2010 World all-around bronze. This routine is legendary to me, for Rebecca was injured in Rotterdam and not at peak performance level, and she had fallen off beam earlier in the final. Somehow, this talented American was able to produce the greatest floor routine of her life to rally for a medal. Precise, polished, and full of heart, Rebecca’s creative interpretation of Dark Eyes will always be a favorite of mine.
Romania’s Diana Chelaru enjoyed a successful career that included a team bronze at the 2012 Olympics, but she was definitely at the top of her game in 2010. Her silver medal-winning floor routine in Rotterdam was both breathtaking and refreshing with its glorious power, peppy dance, and unprecedented connection to the music. Bravo, Diana!
Anna Rose Johnson writes about women’s artistic and rhythmic gymnastics. She loves Whippets, brownies, and full-twisting double layouts. Her writing portfolio can be viewed at: https://annarosejohnson.contently.com