I’m inclined to agree at this juncture. HOWEVER, when you think about it, she really is a perfect fit when it comes to the team because she is reliable and can bring good scores across all apparatuses on a higher level of execution than Grace (based on her performances last quad). If she somehow comes back full difficulty with her same reliability it would be hard to leave her off.
I blame USAG more for their lack of assertiveness, though I think their hands were tied with Jade due to all the Nassar fallout and they didn’t want ONE MORE THING for people to be up in arms about so they made the criteria for the specialist spot specific only to her. For Jade, I can see why she’d go the individual route, because initially it looked like there wouldn’t be a place for her in a team scenario at the beginning of the quad. Now, with it being one year out, her chances of being on the team would be very high, but she couldn’t know that in 2017 and went for the specialist spot in hopes of placing the future in her hands. If they continue with the specialist spots in the future, I hope USAG makes it clear that individuals may not secure their own spots and will only secure nominative AA spots.
Sam CONTINUES to break everyone’s heart. He seems like an absolute sweetheart and has everything required to be AA champion and it never comes together. I wish I could stop being a fan, but I can’t. Sigh. Here’s to hoping he does better in EF!