The Balance Beam Situation

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama

Notes on Things and Stuff and Things

A week. We’ve already had a week to recover from the non-stop binge of Yurchenko fulls and 9.950s that is the NCAA season. Just, what, eight months to go until next season? But of course, there will be much elite action to satiate us in the intervening period. For now, a few random thoughts on what has been happening.

  • Elizabeth Price is off to Stanford for the 2014-2015 year. Kristen Smyth should put out a press release saying, “Boom. Nailed it. The end. Your move, Marsden.” Price is the exact definition of what Stanford was missing this season, and I’m giddy for their team next year.  Price? Hong? Vaculik? Shapiro? McNair x 2? Rice? Daum? That’s a killer roster, but with great talent comes great responsibility. No one is settling for 9th place next year for a team with that much potential. If they can’t win with this roster, when can they win?
  • Price’s decision to forgo elite possibilities in favor of NCAA in the middle of an Olympic quad is a rare and exciting choice. We don’t usually see someone who is right in the conversation as one of the top AAers in the world and at the peak of her talents decide to go to NCAA, but that’s just what she has done, which is great for NCAA and great for gymnastics in general. People often talk about shifting the rhetoric of gymnastic dreams away from the Olympics and toward the college scholarship, which is the true and attainable pot of gold at the end of a gymnastics career. That Elizabeth Price has elected to go to Stanford instead of going for Worlds (or beyond) sends a great message that it’s not all about the Olympics. The Olympics are not the be all, end all of everything. There are other worthy aspirations.
  • I had the pleasure of chatting with all-time gems of the world Jessica and Uncle Tim for this week’s episode of Gymcastic, breaking down all the action from the NCAA Championships. If you haven’t listened to the episode yet, then get on that. Where have you been?
  •  On Wednesday, ESPNU will be showing the delayed broadcast of Super Six, which usually contains several important routines that were missed during the live broadcast, so that should be worth checking out. But, to make sure we tune in, the competition will be preceded by “Sarah & Suzanne” an hour-long SEC Storied documentary highlighting the rivalry between Sarah and Suzanne (hence the name). I’m sure I’ll have upwards of six thoughts about it.
  • In other commitment news, in addition to bringing in Natalie Vaculik next year, Georgia has another Canadian, Vivi Babalis entering for 2014-2015. Getting on that Canadian pipeline is a crucial move for Danna and Georgia. Georgia isn’t getting the top US elites like they did during the Suzanne/Jay recruiting era, but if they can become one of the key destinations for Canadians, they’ll be in great shape for years to come. With their strong basics and less burnt-out bodies, Canadian elites are gold in NCAA.
  • Have I missed anything? I’m sure I have.
  • Another year, another NastiaFan101 youtube account taken down, and the Great Gymnastike/NastiaFan101 Gymternet Affair of 2014 has been raging. NastiaFan101 is basically the source for NCAA competition videos on youtube, and we would see so few routines if not for his weekly uploading. I certainly would have nothing to add into any of my posts without those videos. A great thank you for all the work.
  • And of course, we’re a week out of the season, so I’m already absentmindedly and accidentally envisioning lineups for next season. Stop it, I tell myself. There’s so much time still to wait. It doesn’t matter. The cycle continues.
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