Thoughts on the Most Dominant Gymnasts of the Decade (2010s)

Data Crunch #5.2

This article features a couple of quick thoughts I had about Data Crunch #5.1 which can be found here.

A) The initial inspiration for this article was trying to build an “all-decade” team and I was searching for the gymnasts who won the most medals on each event. While looking at various results I was often choosing gymnasts for second place who had won no more than two medals on that particular event while Simone Biles had three times as many.

B) Simone Biles and Aliya Mustafina truly dominated the decade. Biles is in first place (obviously) and more than doubled Mustafina’s point total. But Mustafina herself more than doubled the gymnast who finished third (Viktoria Komova).

C) The results of Mustafina and Komova have a sense of melancholy to them. Both gymnasts missed a significant number of major competitions due to injury in their careers. And yet they still were amongst the top scorers. It speaks to the raw athletic talent the Russian duo had. But it is also a testament to the greatness of Simone that she was able to put up such dominating results while pacing herself in a way that was sustainable. For other gymnasts, the only way to “close the gap” against Simone was to take on an unsustainable workload that would bring short term success at the cost of longevity.

D) Russia and the United States dominate the list. Russians and Americans took the top five spots as well as eight of the top ten spots.

E) There were 28 gymnasts who scored at least 4 points, of which 10 of them were Americans.

F) Of those 28 gymnasts, all but seven of them were from China, Russia, or the United States

G) Russia is extremely “top heavy” having three gymnasts in the top-five, but only eight gymnasts who won a medal this decade. For comparison the United States had 15 gymnasts on the list and China had 12.

H) Specialists excelled in the data with Maria Paseka and McKayla Maroney finishing in the top seven.

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