2019 NCAA Schedule

We’re less than two months away from the start of the NCAA season. I know! It’s time to start preparing. Item #1, the schedule.

You can find the full, every-meet-ever schedule at the link below (or all season long in the menu at the top of the page).


We still have a few straggling teams yet to release their schedules, and the SEC really needs to get a move on with those meet times, but otherwise it’s pretty complete. (Of course, there will be changes as we go since a solid quarter of college programs still don’t understand how times zones work. But America is definitely going to be fine.)

Below, I’ve compiled a little schedule-at-a-glance, limited to just the two or three very biggest or special meets of each week (two Super Six teams from last year, major podium meets, classic or famous rivals…that kind of thing). Some weeks are a little heartier than others.

MEET WEEK 1 – December 31-January 6
Friday, January 4
TBA – Cal @ LSU
9:00 ET/6:00 PT – Nebraska @ UCLA
MEET WEEK 2 – January 7-13
Friday, January 11
8:00 ET/5:00 PT – Georgia @ Oklahoma
8:30 ET/5:30 PT – Michigan, Denver, Bowling Green @ Alabama
Saturday, January 12
9:00 ET/6:00 PT – UCLA, Cal, Michigan State, UC Davis (@ Anaheim, CA)
MEET WEEK 3 – January 14-20
Friday, January 18
TBA – Alabama @ Georgia
TBA – Florida @ LSU
MEET WEEK 4 – January 21-27
Monday, January 21
9:00 ET/6:00 PT – Stanford @ Cal
Friday, January 25
TBA – LSU @ Alabama
Saturday, January 26
8:30 ET/5:30 PT – Metroplex Challenge (Oklahoma, Denver, Arkansas, Missouri)
MEET WEEK 5 – January 28-February 3
Friday, February 1
8:00 ET/5:00 PT – Florida @ Oklahoma
Sunday, February 3
4:00 ET/1:00 PT – Nebraska @ Michigan
MEET WEEK 6 – February 4-10
Saturday, February 9
3:00 ET/12:00 PT – Cal @ Utah
Sunday, February 10
4:00 ET/1:00 PT – Oklahoma @ Denver
MEET WEEK 7 – February 11- 17
Friday, February 15
7:30 ET/4:30 PT – GymQuarters Invitational (LSU, Utah, Stanford, Missouri)
8:00 ET/5:00 PT – Perfect 10 Challenge (Oklahoma, Washington, Arizona State, George Washington)
TBA – Florida @ Alabama
MEET WEEK 8 – February 18-24
Friday, February 22
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Georgia @ Florida
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Big Five (Nebraska, Iowa, Penn State, Maryland, Michigan State)
Saturday, February 23
3:30 ET/12:30 PT – UCLA @ Utah
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Big Five (Michigan, Illinois, Minnesota, Ohio State, Rutgers)
MEET WEEK 9 – February 25-March 3
Friday, March 1
TBA – Georgia @ LSU
TBA – Auburn @ Alabama
Saturday, March 2
4:00 ET/1:00 PT – Michigan @ Utah
Sunday, March 3
1:00 ET/10:00 PT – UCLA @ Oklahoma
MEET WEEK 10 – March 4-10
Friday, March 8
8:00 ET/5:00 PT – Elevate the Stage (Georgia, Arkansas, Minnesota, Michigan State)
Saturday, March 9
12:00 ET/9:00 PT – Oklahoma @ Michigan
TBA – Elevate the Stage (Alabama v. Auburn)
MEET WEEK 11 – March 11-17
Friday, March 15
8:00 ET/5:00 PT – Alabama @ Oklahoma
Saturday, March 16
:00 ET/1:00 PT – Utah @ Georgia
MEET WEEK 12 – March 18-24
Friday, March 22
TBA – DIII Team Final
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – MIC Championship (Shreveport, LA)
8:00 ET/5:00 PT – Mountain Rim Championship (Provo, UT)
Saturday, March 23
12:00 ET/9:00 PT – Big Ten Championship Session 1 (University Park, PA)
12:00 ET/9:00 PT – ECAC Championship (Ithaca, NY)
TBA – DIII Event Finals
2:00 ET/11:00 PT – Big 12 Championship (Norman, OK)
2:00 ET/11:00 PT – EAGL Championship (Durham, NH)
TBA – SEC Championship Session 1 (New Orleans, LA)
3:00 ET/12:00 PT – Pac-12 Championship Session 1 (West Valley City, UT)
3:00 ET/12:00 PT – MAC Championship (Dekalb, IL)
5:00 ET/2:00 PT – Big Ten Championship Session 2 (University Park, PA)
TBA – SEC Championship Session 2 (New Orleans, LA)
9:00 ET/6:00 PT – Mountain Pacific Champshiopnship (Seattle, WA)
TBA – Pac-12 Championship Session 2 (West Valley City, UT)
MEET WEEK 13 – March 25-31
MEET WEEK 14 – April 1-7
Thursday, April 4
TBA – Georgia Regional Play-in
3:00 ET/12:00 PT – Michigan Regional Play-in
TBA – LSU Regional Play-in
TBA – Oregon State Regional Play-in
Friday, April 5
TBA – Georgia Regional Semifinal #1
2:00 ET/11:00 PT – Michigan Regional Semifinal #1
TBA – LSU Regional Semifinal #1
TBA – Oregon State Regional Semifinal #1
TBA – Georgia Regional Semifinal #2
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Michigan Regional Semifinal #2
TBA – LSU Regional Semifinal #2
TBA – Oregon State Regional Semifinal #2
Saturday, April 6
TBA – Georgia Regional Final
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Michigan Regional Final
TBA – LSU Regional Final
TBA – Oregon State Regional Final
MEET WEEK 15 – April 8-14
Friday, April 12
TBA – USAG Championship Semifinal 1
TBA – USAG Championship Semifinal 2
Saturday, April 13
TBA – USAG Championship Team Final
Sunday, April 14
TBA – USAG Championship Event Finals
MEET WEEK 16 – April 15-21
Friday, April 19
TBA – National Semifinal #1
TBA – National Semifinal #2
Saturday, April 20
TBA – National Championship

-One noteworthy schedule change this year is the timing of the Big Five meets, which will now be in February instead of their typical position the week before the Big Ten Championships. Continue reading 2019 NCAA Schedule


Things Are Happening – November 6, 2018

A. USAG, please pack your knives and go

Can’t a fandom just have one measly second after worlds to decompress?

Apparently not. On Monday, the USOC’s new CEO Sarah Hirshland sent an open letter to the gymnastics community in which she announced that she has been in this position for 11 seconds and is already so sick of USAG’s big bag of bullshit that she might have to spontaneously turn inside out and live the rest of her life as an exposed spleen, so she can only imagine what the rest of us have been dealing with.

And by that, I mean she’s beginning the extremely rare process of removing USA Gymnastics as the national governing body for gymnastics in the US.


To clarify, this announcement is just the opening step and doesn’t mean that USA Gymnastics has been decertified just yet. The USOC will now assemble a three-person panel to conduct a hearing, after which the panel will report to the USOC board, and the board will vote on the ultimate course of action.

Still, this entire process is governed by the USOC, so the CEO would not have initiated it blindly and would not have initiated it without a specific outcome in mind. The USOC intends to decertify USA Gymnastics.

This is a massive move, one I honestly did not think would come because it’s just so drastic and will have so many repercussions for the sport especially on a local, non-elite level—repercussions that we haven’t even begun to work through yet.

But it’s nonetheless absolutely necessary.

At its heart, the fundamental failure of USAG post-Nassar was an unwillingness or inability—from the corporate leadership all the way down through the veteran coaches—to look at itself and say, “We did a bad job. The thing we have spent our entire careers dedicated to? It was bad. We did it the wrong way. It was exploitative and demeaning and vicious, and our legacy will be as the bad guys. This is all of our faults, all of our responsibility, and we need to change.”

Or, in the words of Kristen DeCosta, “Gymnastics is fucked.”

Unable to countenance such a drastic ego-blow and such bare self-examination, USAG instead folded in on itself and its foundation of arrogance. The only aim was to avoid the admittance of wrongdoing, to protect the legal and financial standing of the organization and its reputation (as if that’s something anyone cares about), and as a result it turned to viewing survivors as adversaries who want to DESTROY ITS GREATNESS and viewing status in its little cabal of “trust” as the ultimate qualification, no matter how much sexual abuse you’ve helped cover up or defend.

Rather than admitting the failure of USAG and accepting the necessity of improving athlete treatment and changing a culture of unprofessional backdoor deals and cronyism, American gymnastics wanted only one thing—for the fury and public attention to die down so that everyone could go back to doing exactly what they’ve always done, with no one paying attention.

That attitude wasn’t going to change—spoiler alert: Ron Galimore still works there and unvetted trash people keep getting hired—so there was only one recourse remaining, to burn it down.

Here’s what USAG never understood: The increased attention? The explosions in leadership? The crumbling of old pillars? That was a gift. It was a golden opportunity to change the policies and conventions and people that weren’t working, that were out of date, that could get better. But USAG was never able to view it as a gift, only as an obstacle, a burden, a storm to be weathered rather than one bringing spring and rebirth metaphors or whatever literary slop you prefer.

In part, USA Gymnastics was never able to view this as a gift because it was never able to get itself together to do…anything. USAG’s most compelling and everlasting foundational identity is, and has always been, incompetence. Especially in the last couple years, with all of these piecemeal staffing changes, USAG has become an ant farm of differing agendas, keeping-your-job panic, and miscommunication, one that could barely organize who’s bringing plates for the birthday party let alone the hiring of a qualified leader or, say, a sport-wide culture shift.

When trying to make sense of the failures of USAG, I always have to remember that at its core, maybe USAG is just a bunch of not-so-smart people who failed upward and all hate each other and their lives and physically cannot do anything useful. Continue reading Things Are Happening – November 6, 2018

Just the Good Stuff: Event Finals Day 2

What you need to know, in quick, easily digestible bullet points.


  • Everybody lived
  • Not even a single death
  • Not one
  • Well, perhaps the death of form
  • Ri Se Gwang won another world vault title, once again successfully showing all the different shapes in a single position on his first vault, followed by a very successful second showing that was just the one shape, tucked
  • His insane difficulty put him in first, but once again the execution difference between him and the other competitors (or even between his two identically scored vaults) was not large enough to reflect reality
  • The most impressive vault of the competition belonged to Dalaloyan, who performed another excellent double front pike and probably should have won on execution
  • Kenzo took third place, going for execution over difficulty (particularly on his stuck Kas 1.5 second vault), which was enough to get him a medal but not enough to challenge the beasts
  • Dom Cunningham performed very well to place 4th, with his TTY scoring among the best vaults of the day and just outpacing another medal contender in Nagornyy—who struggled to complete his Kas 2/1 and dropped down the standings as a result


  • Ooooof
  • Yeeeeerrrrrr
  • Erglgru
  • So it wasn’t an ideal beam final, featuring just two exceptional routines
  • On the rough side, we had two falls from likely medalists—Kara Eaker fell instantly on her mount, Sacramone-tribute style, and Sanne Wevers missed her side aerial to bhs series, dropping them both out of the medals and instantly canceling the final
  • Oh there’s more: Zhang Jin had a multi-fall showing, and Ellie Black wobbled in the middle of her leap series and appears to have lost some difficulty to put her at just 4.8, I presume as a result of not getting her 0.5 CR for a combination of dance elements.
  • That brings us to Simone, who did not fall but was fighting it the entire routine, breaking several of her connections and wobbling on most of her acro elements. The result was a 7.4 E score and a total of 13.600, so if you only looked at the score, you would assume she fell
  • That result was still good enough for a bronze medal for Simone since, even though Nina Derwael went through mostly cleanly, she too had more wobbles than in her previous routines and had far lower difficulty
  • So, the two exceptional routines belonged to Liu Tingting and Ana Padurariu. You know, just like you expected
  • Padurariu hit a composed routine with no significant issues, which in this final was enough for silver, only behind Tingting, who had more difficulty—much of which is built up from smart mixed series like her excellent aerial, split ring, Korbut—and no major balance checks. Hence, the gold
  • Tingting is your world beam champion


  • For what seemed to be (and was) inevitable final, this one proved to be pretty compelling
  • We knew that Zou and his handstands and toes and crazy 7.0 D would win as long as he had something even in the vicinity of a hit
  • That happened
  • We also knew that Oleg boasted the second-best difficulty of the final, was the best in the world before Zou came along, and would get silver as long as he had something even in the vicinity of a hit
  • That happened
  • Bronze was the free-for-all, and for most of the competition, it looked as though the 15.233 that Sam Mikulak recorded in the first position would hold up
  • And it did, through the strong but slightly messier work of Lin Chaopan and Jossimar Calvo, but not through the routine from Artur Dalaloyan in the final position, which earned him bronze and took Mikulak to 4th
  • I thought Mikulak’s score was going to hold up because he was a little cleaner and a little higher, but it was not to be. Yet.


  • Simone
  • I mean, she went OOB again, but still won by a casual point because Simone
  • The drama, of course, surrounded the remaining positions
  • Morgan Hurd received an execution bump to put her in silver medal position despite having a lower D than some of the other contenders, quite significantly not attempting the difficult turns that got a few of her colleagues into trouble
  • Bronze went to Murakami, who once again struggled on her attempted quad twist by falling out of it wildly, but nonetheless looked characteristically comfortable and controlled in tumbling
  • The heartbreak of the final was a 4th-place result Melnikova, who was phenomenal on her early passes, the best she has ever been, but sort of lost it at the end, presumably not getting her double Y spin and landing short on her double pike
  • There’s nonetheless a very good argument to be made regarding Melnikova, that performance, and a medal
  • As it turns out, the rest of the group was bunched so closely that an OOB for Flavia Saraiva because of her rubber legs was enough to take her off the medal stand
  • But, as we learned in the AA final, any event in which Brooklyn Moors finishes last is automatically rendered invalid, so this floor final is automatically rendered invalid


  • Man bar turned out to be the Epke show, as we mostly expected it to be
  • He performed his 6.8 D score, hit all of his crazy releases, and sailed past the 15 mark to record what would prove to be an unreachable score
  • Because Epke
  • Uchimura did give him a run, ending up just three tenths behind solely as a result of his lower difficulty
  • There is some controversy about the finish because Kohei is considerably cleaner and the E scores were only 0.1 apart
  • OK, I know he’s Kohei and I also know that Epke and his legs don’t always agree on which direction to go, BUT I did not think Kohei’s finishing positions on his pirouetting skills were particularly free from deduction either, so I’m not up in arms about the E difference
  • Sam Mikulak got his bronze! So we can stop talking about his lack of individual medals now
  • Mikulak received the highest E score of the entire final, and he needed it because it was sure a tight one
  • Tin Srbic finished just a third of a tenth behind Mikulak, showing excellent releases but also finding himself short of vertical on his late-routine pirouettes
  • The lesson of this final: don’t pirouette. That’s what destroyed the scores of the Chinese athletes Deng and Xiao who both could have contended for that bronze

Worlds 2018 – Event Finals Day 2

It’s the last day!

It would be wistful, if I weren’t so tired.

Today’s action starts with the leg-explosion that is the man vault.

MAN VAULT: Cunningham, Shek, Nagornyy, Ri, Davtyan, Souza, Shirai, Dalaloyan

WOMAN BEAM: Biles, Black, Zhang, Derwael, Padurariu, Eaker, Wevers, Liu

MAN BAR (PARALLEL TYPE): Mikulak, Lin, Calvo, Belyavskiy, Verniaiev, Zou, Dauser, Dalaloyan

WOMAN FLOOR: De Jesus Dos Santos, Saraiva, Moors, Murakami, Melnikova, Biles, Hurd, Akhaimova

MAN BAR (HIGH TYPE): Tang, Zonderland, Mikulak, Xiao, Srbic, Deng, Uchimura, Dalaloyan

Continue reading Worlds 2018 – Event Finals Day 2

Just the Good Stuff: Event Finals Day 1

What you need to know, in quick, easily digestible bullet points.

Men’s floor

  • Kenzo didn’t win!?!
  • Kenzo had superior difficulty, but he was outpaced by AA gold medalist Dalaloyan by the slightest margin because of execution
  • The winner might actually have been Nagornyy, who was perfect through nearly the entirety of his exceptionally difficult routine, but he botched his last pass for probably .600 in landing deductions—1st to 5th
  • Moldauer was fantabulous in the first position, recording the highest execution score of the final, but simply didn’t have the difficulty to challenge the medalists and finished 4th
  • Sam Mikulak ended up with the lowest difficulty score in the final but hit mostly cleanly for 7th
  • CARLOS YULO, our new favorite Filipino hummingbird, took bronze, the first medal ever for the Philippines.

Women’s vault

  • Simone’s Cheng was not her best possible Cheng, once again not getting the SIMONE block we expect, but it mattered exactly 0%
  • Even with the short landing, her Cheng was the second-best vault of the final, behind only her Amanar
  • So yeah, Simone won vault
  • Alexa Moreno took bronze! Her Rudi and Tsuk 2/1 showed the second-best execution of the final, enough for Mexico’s first ever WAG medal
  • Remember all that drama about her being body-shamed on twitter during the Olympics?
  • Make them eat your medal with a side of psssssh
  • Shallon Olsen took silver, the only other vaulter to show a 6.0 D
  • …Her DTY was nice
  • Chuso attempted to upgrade to the rudi, which was successful, but her landings were not secure enough to get her into the medals—4th place for Chuso
  • Yeo Seojeong factored as a legitimate medal contender coming in, but she landed her DTY short and didn’t have the E to move any higher than 5th
  • Ellie Black was among the cleaner participants, though her handspring full landing was shorter than she would have liked with a hop back, but with the lowest D of the final, she placed 7th
  • Pyon Rye Yong did the Splatmanar. We’re not super surprised

Men’s pommel horse

  • Ties! Ties! Ties for everyone!
  • At least in event finals, we use a sensible tie-breaking method, the execution score
  • This gave the gold medal to Xiao Ruoteng over Max Whitlock
  • So actually never mind, this tie-breaking procedure is a stupid butt
  • It should be based on who’s Whitlockiest
  • Hooray for Lee Chih-Kai!
  • It’s a bronze medal for everyone’s favorite flare monster, who does pommel horse properly because of nothing-but-flares (and I refuse to write “flair”—just because the people who invented the skill were illiterate doesn’t mean we should be).
  • Sam Mikulak produced the lone hit routine that did not earn a medal, placing a heartbreaking 4th despite a clean effort
  • Mikulak did not get awarded the full difficulty he received in any of the other segments of the competition, though even if he did it doesn’t look like it would have changed anything because the medalists still had more difficulty than his peak routine
  • Falls from Tommasone, Nagornyy and Cupping Addiction took all three of them out of contention, while Belyavskiy stayed on the horse for a whirling FML, which garnered a score equivalent to a fall

Women’s uneven bars

  • Nina things
  • It seemed clear that if Nina hit bars, she would win gold, and that’s exactly what happened, with both the highest D score and highest E score of the competition
  • Basically, the last year and a half has been building to Nina being crowned the best bars worker in the world
  • With a silver medal, Simone has now completed the gym slam, with a worlds medal on every event
  • These two medals today bring her worlds total up to 18 (2nd all-time) and her worlds/Olympic total up to 23 (3rd all-time)
  • Also significant was Elisabeth Seitz getting her medal on bars—finally a bronze after appearing in eleventy-hundred of these finals dating back to the dawn of time
  • Meanwhile, an inconceivable miscarriage of justice placed Aliya Mustafina in 5th, and I for one would like a full investigation
  • Morgan Hurd didn’t quite have the dismount today to get into the medals, placing 6th, but on the bars themselves it was her crispest routine of the entire competition
  • Exactly the same goes for Luo Huan, but she was able to take 4th
  • Jonna Adlerteg fell, and that’s all that happened in this final
  • No one else competed
  • I don’t know what you’re talking about
  • Everything is cupcakes and rainbows
  • No grief comas at all

Men’s rings

  • And, like, rings was a thing
  • Bebop and Rocksteady took first and second place, as expected, Petrounias with just a little more difficulty and smoothness than Zanetti to edge his rival for gold
  • My new theory is that Petrounias’ alleged shoulder injury is just a clever ruse
  • Bronze went to Marco Lodadio for his 6.3 routine, and everyone else hit pretty well except Igor whose neck tattoo yelled, “FEED ME” in the middle of a handstand, distracting him for his dismount

Worlds 2018 – Event Finals Day 1

Aren’t you proud of how I used a dude header image even though both men and women are competing today? Me too.

We have the first five of our finals today, beginning with man floor.

MAN FLOOR: Moldauer, Shirai, Dolgopyat, Onder, Mikulak, Kaya, Nagornyy, Yulo, Dalaloyan

WOMAN VAULT: Pyon, Black, Biles, Moreno, Yeo, Liu, Olsen, Chusovitina

MAN HORSE: Kurbanov, Tommasone, Belyavskiy, Xiao, Mikulak, Lee, Nagornyy, Whitlock

WOMAN BAR: Downie, Hurd, Luo, Seitz, Derwael, Adlerteg, Biles, Mustafina

MAN RING: Petrounias, Radivilov, Tovmasyan, Davtyan, Simonov, Nagornyy, Lodadio, Zanetti

Opening fluff about how Simone has never won bars gold. Like a loser.

Mistake on the NBC graphic, Morgan Hurd is not in the vault final you guys.

Men’s floor

Moldauer – FX – front 2.5, small hop – double arabian 1/2 out, stuck, awesome – front 2/1 to front 1/1, stuck – flares – 2.5 to 1/2, stuck again – 2/1, nailed – 3/1, stuck. Well, that was pretty much exactly as well as he can do. Stickity stickity stick.

14.566. He’ll just have to wait and hope the D boys don’t pass him.

Kenzo – FX – triple double, casuall hop back – front tuck full to front 3/1 – continuing to nailed it, small hops – quad, step back – 3.5 to full, lean to hold it – 3/1, small hop. Good one. Got his difficulty and only small hops.

14.866 for Kenzo into first. But not uncatchable by any means. The Russians can get that score if they go clean.

Dolgopyat – FX – double tuck 1.5, small hop forward, front 1/1 to front 2.5, hop – double double tuck, nice control – 2.5 to front 2/1, pretty close to around – a little short on side pass with a hop, little hops on a lot – 3/1, lunge back. No major issues, but not too many sticks, so we’ll see where the E goes.

14.566 for him, but behind Moldauer on E.

Onder – FX – front double pike 1/2 out, short with a lunge – front full to double front 1/2 out, awesome pass but short and another step forward to save it (Tim says he went OOb but did he?) – showing a little more control as we go but those short landings and the OOB will get him – finishes with full in, short, lunge forward. That will not be up will the other scores.


Mikulak – FX – good first pass 2.5 to double front, hop – sticks the front full out of his second pass – air flares – back 1.5 to front full layout, stuck – 2/1, stuck – 3/1, suppppper short with a bound forward, which will take away the score.


Kaya – FX – double front 1/2 out, short with a bound – double fornt pike, hop – front 2/1 to front full, small hop – russians – 2/1, stuck, lovely – 2.5 to 1/2, stuck – 3/1, little hop. Got better int he second 1/2, but too many early landing errors.


Nagornyy – FX – triple back, excellent, small hop – front 2/1 to double front, stuck – double double, stuck – 2.5 to front full to 1/2, small adjustment – full in side pass, a little short with a hop – 3/1, suppppper short as well, two large lunges forward.

Wow. 14.500. No medal. That was amazing until the dismount.

Yulo – FX – double front pike 1/2 out, slide back – potentially under-rotated on his second pass, landed in between the twists but more than 3/4 around I would say, with a step – 3.5 to half, great – front full to front 2/1, stuck, great – 3/1, stuck….until not, step. This was excellent, but that under-rotated pass will be interesting

14.600. Into second place. That will be a medal for him! They gave him the second pass. It was close.

Dalaloyan – FX – front full to front 2.5, solid – front layout to front double pike, stuck – doubel double, small hop – 2.5 to front 2/1 – back 1.5 to front 1.5 – winning hearts with his stag – 3/1, a little short, small hop forward. Nice.

14.900. Into first!

Oh Tim, stop trying to predict…

1. Dalaloyan – 14.900
2. Kenzo – 14.866
3. Yulo – 14.600
4. Moldauer – 14.566
5. Dolgopyat – 14.566
6. Nagornyy – 14.500
7. Mikulak – 14.233
8. Kaya – 14.100
9. Onder – 13.833

Honestly, the best routine of the day was “Nagornyy minus the dismount”

A medal for Yulo!

To women’s vault!

Simone’s not doing the Biles, which she wasn’t planning to do, even before the AA final situation.

Very interested to see Pyon and what she throws out there.

Pyon – VT 1 – Splatmanar – very short, I don’t think I’ve seen her hit this vault, but she does go for it. 13.066

Pyon – VT 2 – rudi – gets it around, pretty short this time, forward chest with step forward – we’ve seen her do this one better – “not so pretty in the air” – 14.166

13.616 average

Black – VT 1 – front handspring 1/1 – oh deeep landing this time, too short to pull out her stick with a hop back. 14.000

Black – VT 2 – Tsuk 1.5, pretty good, small hop forward, just a little bit of knees. 14.233

14.166 average

Extended Laurent cam

Biles – VT 1 – Cheng, a little short this time, a lunge forward, even has to pike it down a little bit, very uncharacteristic for her. Still a casual 15.266. That’s high for me. A little expectation scoring versus reality scoring.

Biles – VT 2 – Fab-manar – huge, medium step forward, that’s a Rio Amanar for her. 15.466

15.366 average. That will be gold.

Moreno – VT 1 – rudi – pretty nice, chest up better than Pyon – hop back and to the side – only pikes down toward the end – 14.600

Moreno – VT 2 – Tsuk 2/1 – also pretty good, off to the side and steps out of the area, will get some deduction for lack of distance as well, but should score well and be in 2nd. 14.416

14.508 average. Nice! That will take some quality to beat.

Yeo – VT 1 – rudi – pretty excellent, best rudi of the bunch so far – she did take a lunge to the side and out of the area though – great layout position. 14.533

“She’s got it in her genes, and I don’t mean blue jeans.” NO. TIM. NO.

Yeo – VT 2 – ooooh, comes in really short on her DTY with a large lunge forward. 13.933

14.233 average. I really thought she would medal here. Opening for Chuso now.

Liu – VT 1 – Tsuk 2/1 “and that was funky!” sure was – the landing was pretty well controlled, if a little awkward stagger, usual leg form and outside the area. Lots to take in body position E. 14.100.

Liu – VT 2 – goes for a rudi as well – kind of a big stumble back with multiple lunges back – quite a bit of legs again. 14.200

14.150. Into 4th.

Olsen – VT 1- raggedy ann Cheng but she did get it around – lower, major legs, a short landing with a hop forward. Impressed she got it around because she did not get much block. I said Simone didn’t get much block (for Simone standards), but Olsen got less. 14.600

Olsen – VT 2 – DTY, strong, good height and direction, small hop back, one of the better vaults of the day. 14.433

14.516 and into 2nd.

*whispers* I thought Moreno was better

So will it be Moreno or Chuso for the final medal?

Chuso – VT 1 – oooo, she went for the rudi but that was well short with a lunge forward. Pretty good layout position, usual feet. 14.400

Chuso – VT 2 – she’s now going to have to pull something out for her second vault – Tsuk 1.5 – a little short, not bad, but short with a lunge back.

Sadly, that should not get in for a medal.

And it doesn’t. 14.300 average and 4th place.

Medal for Moreno!

Biles – 15.366
Olsen – 14.516
Moreno – 14.508
Chuso – 14.300
Yeo – 14.233
Liu – 14.150
Black – 14.116
Pyon – 13.616

Medal ceremony for men’s floor and another gold medal for Valentina. I mean Artur.

We’re going to need to talk about the shoulder women presenting these medals

This medal stand is HUGE and makes them look like little bugs who have to run a marathon to get into position.

Simone has now passed Caslavska for 3rd place on the all-time world/Olympic medal list


Kurbanov – PH – cupping addiction – try to make me go to rehab I said cup cup cup – really nice line in a near-Berki kind of way – super one pommel work, and then falls just before dismount. 13.400

Tommasone – PH – scissor up to precise handstands – really nice russians behind the pommels, great speed – had some good flares going and then bangs his leg on the pommel and has to come off. It was going so well. Gets back up and then immediately comes off again. 11.500

Belyavsky – PH – really struggles on a scissor up to handstand, hand down onto the horse, keeps it going but major error – super difficulty – but not his cleanest work even after the mistake, gets really dumpy in his swing at the end and then doesn’t do his full dismount

They’re going to take 7800 years to figure out this score.

11.833 for Belyavskiy. Just a 4.8 D. They’re like, “You did nothing bye.”

Xiao – PH – great flare work in travel – super speed – no hesitations at all – he’s like, this spiky pommel horse boths me not

15.166. That’s gigantic.

Mikulak – PH – no trouble on scissors or the handstand that got to him in TF – building strong speed – good legs together throughout – big hit.

14.333. Into 2nd. He’ll have to hold on through Nagornyy and Lee, as we assume Whitlock will go ahead. 5.8 D for Mikulak. He got 6.0 in qualification.

Lee – PH – everyone’s favorite because he spreads his legs like a proper pommel boy – grat toe point maintained throughout – spectacular

14.966 for Lee! But he’s behind Xiao.

Nagornyy – PH – I was too busy scolding Tim for saying that Whitlock was battling cleanup, which does not mean going last, but Nagornyy has fallen – he also struggled to het his dismount pirouettes around.


Whitlock time.

Whitlock – PH – did have a leg break on one pommel here, but little else significant to take, other than the little hip piking he always has throughout – “Mac Whitlock” – getting better as he goes in his rhythm – super strong dismount – one of his good ones –


A tie!

It goes to Xiao on execution, a more sensible tiebreak, but also…Max.

“I would have given it to Sam.” We know Tim. “I mean Max.” Oh. But did you actually?

OK it’s bars time.

Nastia is doing a Laurent commercial.

Downie – UB – arch on first hand – stalder full to piked tkatchev, good – toe tkatchev 1/2 to yezhova, awesome – stalder shap to attempt at hindorff and completely loses her legs, couldn’t do the clear hip for the hindorff in time and hops off. Reumes with toe shap to gienger – FTDT, stuck.

I am ended.

The Becky Ellie cry hug.


Hurd – UB – inbar Shap to stalder full to tkatchev, nice – Ricna to Pak, lovely – good hs on 1/2 turn on low – stalder shoot – inbar 1/2 – inbar full to FTDT, oh it was so excellent until the dismount was short with a lunge. Before the dismount, it was the best bars routine she had done here


Luo – UB – toe shap to pak, fab – toe Shap 1/2, only a small leg break – nice verticals on E pirouettes to a super far piked jaeger – DLO, short with a hop forward – good vertical positions, some more leg breaks than usual, and didn’t stick like she did when she got a 14.4 int he AA.

But it’s a 14.500 this time to go ahead of Hurd.

Seitz – UB – toe Shap to Ricna, great – piked jaeger, excellent – piked stalder Shap to Pak, just a touch close but works out – Shap 1/2 – full to FTDT, hop to the side. Nice. A couple handstands.

14.600 for Seitz. They’re all building by a little bit.

Derwael – UB – Nabs, great – Derawl to Yezhova to stalder Shap to Bhardwaj – toe Shap 1/2, great – toe full to FTDT, stuck. Perfect. Your winner.


“Shot through a blender for a second”


Adlerteg – UB – piked hindorff to Pak, some legs – Shap to bhardwaj, hit, some feet – Shap to clear hip 1/1 to tkatchev, and can’t cast out of it, has to rest against the bar – DLO, stuck.


If you’re keeping track, Simone needs to score 14.600 to guarantee a medal here.

Biles – UB – Weiler 1/2 to Shap to tkatchev, good speed – toe full late to piked tkatchev to pak, solid – Shap 1/2, hit – some cast handstands – double double, small hop forward. Not her strongest (some handstands, a late piro, didn’t stick) but should get up there.

14.700. So it will be a bars medal for Simone.

Mustafina – UB – stalder full to Shap to Pak to toe Shap 1/2, grat – stalder 1/2 to piked jaeger, strong – toe full to FTDT, stuck. Perfection. She doesn’t have the D to medal right now, but it was excellent.

14.433. Second best E to Nina. Probably should have been the best E. Had a good argument for bronze there.

Derwael – 15.200
Biles – 14.700
Seitz – 14.600
Luo – 14.500
Mustafina – 14.433
Hurd – 14.433
Downie – 13.333
Adlerteg – 13.166

A medal for Seitz!

And now…the event everyone wants to end with…..rings?

Petrounias – SR – has a dead shoulder and is still doing this somehow – you know how you do a planche lower to maltese with a dead shoulder? this is pretty much identical to when he’s healthy – super holds – double double, stuck. OK FINAL OVER.


Radivilov – SR – crushes deer skull between his pecs for 0.2 CV – iron cross directly connected to being diagnosed with only-bicep-ism, where he’ll have to live the rest of his life as a bicep – falls into a swamp on a handstand and then lands short on dismount with major lunge forward. Too many errors.


Tovmasyan – SR – rises up to plance – down to transformation into steel girder – drinks pint of blood of newt – a pretty large arch on a handstand, DLO 1/1, hop forward


Davtyan – SR – immediate uprise to planche, and then continues rising into sky – chest hair sprouts its own chest hair on maltese to make sure the judges credit DV – DLO 1/1, stuck – very good.


Simonov – SR – creative use of neck beard – head pops off like grape between his shoulders while just hanging there (Shayla-ing?), huge deduction – accidentally drives a hole into the center of the earth in a The Core situation – DLO 1/1 with large lunge


Nagornyy – SR – opens with a difficult triple-vein, three extra veins appear in his forehead that he never had before, well-executed, clean, no ruptures – oooooo left tricep eats the ring whole in the middle of the routine because it was so hungry – doubel double dismount, stuck. Excellent.

14.733. In third on the tiebreak now with Zanetti still to go. I think he should have been ahead of Tovmasyan.

Lodadio – SR – smooth rise up to planche – great cross – makes diamond under armpit – left arm jumps off his body to get its own tattoo in the middle of the routine, but gallops back up before the end – double double with hop –

14.900. Huge. Medal.

Zanetti – SR – pops out of fabrege egg to mount the rings – unfair because he has to hold his arms naturally in a cross position because he can’t put them down – a shark comes out of his trapexius during maltese, SUPER difficult – eats a femur, washes it down with a jar of nails – DLO 1/1 dismount is gorgeous and stuck. Definite silver at least.


Petrounias – 15.366
Zanetti – 15.100
Lodadio – 14.900
Tovmasyan – 14.766
Nagornyy – 14.733
Davtyan – 14.733
Simonov – 14.266
Radivilov – 14.133

Day 1 medalists
MAN FLOOR: Dalaloyan, Shirai, Yulo
WOMAN VAULT: Biles, Olsen, Moreno
MAN HORSE: Xiao, Whitlock, Lee
WOMAN BAR: Derwael, Biles, Seitz
MAN RINGS: Petrounias, Zanetti, Lodadio

Just the Good Stuff: Women’s All-Around Final

What you need to know, in quick, easily digestible bullet points.

  • a;ldkfa;idfhoieHFOiehfd
  • So that didn’t go…quite as planned
  • But much like the women’s team final, if you didn’t watch the meet and simply looked at the podium of Biles, Murakami, and Hurd, you would be like, “…I mean yeah?”
  • You might be slightly surprised that Murakami finished ahead of Hurd, but otherwise…I mean yeah?
  • Oh dear, sweet, naïve, stupid baby, there is so much you don’t understand
  • Let’s start with Simone
  • Simone had…we’ll say…her worst meet since 2013 Classic?
  • It began with the Biles, on which it seemed like she got negative block (by Simone standards), sitting down like she hasn’t done on a vault since the Mesozoic
  • Perhaps the most surprising thing, however, was that the rest meet didn’t turn into “ANGER SIMONE BAM BAM HIT” like we’ve seen so many times before following a mistake
  • The mistake was instead compounded on beam, where she fell on that damn barani
  • THAT DAMN BARANI, you guys
  • That damn barani
  • Backstory if you haven’t been here for the last three years: I fully believe that Simone could do pretty much any acro skill in the CoP, so I’ve never understood why Chest Down Charlie is the one they go with. It always looks like a center-of-gravity disaster waiting to happen
  • You know that thing where it’s the second semester of senior year and you phone in a trash paper in 30 seconds and still get an A for it and you’re like, “Oh, sweetie, no. It wasn’t”? That’s how I imagine Simone feels about today
  • Anyway, the other two events were fine (an OOB but whatever), so Simone won the world title by about 1.7, proving that the current answer to the “How many times could Simone fall…?” question is “almost four.”
  • But should you be able to fall twice and still win the world AA title?
  • ……No?
  • Simone finished 13th in this final on execution score, so the win was almost entirely based on her difficulty
  • Difficulty must be taken into account and rewarded of course, but it shouldn’t be so significant that it completely outweighs hitting routines—just like anyone who falls on vault shouldn’t be able to medal in the vault final because…you didn’t successfully do the thing you’re getting a medal for
  • So when Simone wins gold for a meet like this, it feels like she’s getting a medal for what she’s capable of doing, rather than what she did on the day
  • At the same time, she really is that much better than the rest of the field so that a missed barani doesn’t suddenly render her worse than the other competitors or render the rest of her excellent beam skills irrelevant, and that’s exactly what this code of points rewards
  • So it’s not that Simone doesn’t DESERVE gold among the rest of this field—she does because of her superior ability. Any other competitor in the field ALSO would have fallen if they attempted that vault, and if the goal of a competition is to find the best gymnast and rank her first, you found the best gymnast and ranked her first
  • But, a sport that rewards capability and potential over the actual performance on the day will fall flat as a viewing experience
  • Simone can crash 80 billion times and still win…so does it even matter? Why even have the competition? We already know what’s going to happen before it starts
  • Thankfully for this particular meet’s sake, we had an insanely close fight for the remaining places among Murakami, Hurd, Derwael, Melnikova, and De Jesus Dos Santos that spiced things up and reinvigorated the inevitable
  • Going into the final rotation, this peloton truly could have ended in any order
  • Even after the final rotation, they still could have ended in any order with less than two tenths separating them all. Eight different sets of judges using the same code of points would have had them in eight different orders
  • None fell, but for almost all of them, the ultimate standings came down to the severity of the medium-sized mistakes that they did make
  • For Hurd, it was grabbing the beam on her side aerial—the most significant issue for any of them and enough to undercut the execution advantage she was accumulating on the other pristine events
  • Murakami had smaller mistakes, falling out of a turn on floor and the general amplitude and handstand issues on bars, which allowed her just barely to overcome Hurd’s 0.3 D-score advantage and take the silver, knocking Hurd to bronze
  • De Jesus Dos Santos had the D-score edge among the group, but she was never quite able to get out from under a 13.500 on bars for an arched handstand, which took her down to 6th place
  • Melnikova continued showing us that she is now the princess of consistency and a deserving winner of the Longines Prize for Most Ladylike Cotillion or whatever, but with some real landing problems on floor and a lunge and three hops on vault (which should have added up to 0.6 off just for landing steps), she dropped down to 5th
  • That brings us to Nina Derwael. Nina doesn’t fit into the same tale as the rest of this group. She had no medium-sized mistakes. Derwael performed an intensely clean competition, allowing her to win the E score crown by more than 6 tenths over Murakami
  • It was simply a lack of equivalent difficulty that put Derwael into 4th. Her floor and vault D scores are miles behind the rest of the lead challengers, so while her execution nearly overcame that, it wasn’t quite enough
  • It’s the exact opposite of Simone’s situation today and illustrates the observe side of this tenuous balance between difficulty and execution. You want a CoP to reward both execution and difficulty, but which one more? (*cough* execution *cough*) And how much lack of difficulty should execution be able to overcome?
  • In this CoP, Derwael’s huge bars difficulty is able to make up for lower difficulty on one of those two lower-D events, but not both
  • That’s why I’m not too outraged about Derwael in 4th. She was absolutely rewarded for her execution (I mean, she finished FOURTH…for BELGIUM), but her VT/FX difficulty isn’t really up to the standard for a world AA medalist in the current age. And that should matter some
  • Chen Yile hit a complete four events (even beam) and took 7th, which must be gratifying after the competition she had on beam to this point
  • Flavia Saraiva was being perfect on beam and then fell on a layout stepout to take 8th. *swallow me whole, sweet lava lake*
  • Ellie Black is the one medal contender who didn’t end up neck-and-neck with the others at the end after falling on bars in the second rotation. Or so we’re told. The Ellie Black cam was not in effect in this meet.
  • I feel like the whole mood of today’s competition can be summed up by “Ellie Black fell”
  • Actually, no, it can be summed by “Brooklyn Moors finished last”
  • If Brooklyn Moors is last, I don’t want to be first

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama