The World Championships are over for another year. Sigh. Now we have to return to normal sleep schedules of more than 2.5 hours per night. Like losers. On the plus side, this means it’s officially time to start thinking about the NCAA season again. I’ll be starting up the freshman profiles again in the coming weeks. We’ve got some good ones. But first, a few final thoughts about Worlds, including multiple mentions of Cheng Fei. Because I need to.
1) My theory that the best things about gymnastics competitions never have anything to do with actual gymnastics continues to hold up.
2) You should never stop watching this video. Ever. The bee was my third-favorite gymnast at these championships. Such poise. Such grace. It knows how to hit a cue.
3) This year is the most I’ve ever watched of a World Championships. So many sessions. And I was bleary-eyed for all of them. Scott Bregman and USA Gymnastics are nailing this whole coverage thing. Live coverage of Russia’s qualification session? Sure. Because heaven.
4) Simone Biles has 9 Worlds medals. 9. She basically just has to make the team next year to set the US record. Technically, I would say she’s tied for the record already. As much as I adore Alicia Sacramone, she wasn’t even in the same country as the team competing when she got her 10th, so it doesn’t count.
5) Only one member of the 2010 US team ended up making the Olympic team (Aly Raisman), and to be honest, I wouldn’t be all that shocked if it happened again for the 2014 team.
6) Competitive women’s AA final! Until things started to take shape a few weeks before Worlds, I don’t think many people thought it would be this competitive, but combine a slightly shaky Biles with a hitting Iordache and we had a real competition. An interesting one. For four whole rotations. We haven’t had a legitimate, international, multi-year rivalry in a long time, and I would love if Biles and Iordache got that going for the next few. With a Mustafina thrown in for luck.
7) Hopefully this competitiveness will put to rest the silly idea that Simone running the table in the AA this quad and winning all the competitions through the Olympics is inevitable. It’s not inevitable. There are challenges both in the US and outside the US.
8) Kyla Ross. Keeping it simple. Don’t fall, win medal. Repeat.
9) The Chinese women are hard to watch on floor right now. Dance of the Splintering Stick Figures. We need some Cheng Fei action out there. Stat.
10) Speaking of Cheng Fei, is the ragged Cheng the new hip thing on vault? At least it’s a different entry. I expect to see a number of Sosnitskaya Chengs at Worlds next year. It’ll be a thing.
11) Huang Huidan should have won bars.
12) But that’s really the only individual gold medal result I’m feeling worked-up about, which is pretty good. I think you can argue that Hong Un Jong was just another member of the broke-ass Cheng club and that she wasn’t adequately penalized for her landing on that vault, but the difficulty deficit was always going to be hard for Biles to make up, even with superior execution.
13) Also Beckie Downie didn’t medal on bars, so the final is invalid.
14) If you don’t fulfill all five composition requirements in your routine, as you try to land your dismount, the mat should automatically retract revealing a shark tank below.
15) These acro series on beam. I love originality and creativity and people not doing the easy, expected thing as much as the next person, but you have to be smart about it. I was very disappointed that Mustafina wasn’t able to muster some kind of acro series in EFs, especially because she has so many routine options to choose from and is usually good at routine improvisation.
16) That said, Mustafina still got the bronze on beam. HA! Only Aliya could miss a CR and still win a medal. Many are up in arms about this. I’m not.
17) Mustafina’s reaction to her floor bronze was priceless. Such shock and joy. Oh sorry, I meant COLD COMMIE DIVA. I forgot my narrative for a second. How silly of me. Many are up in arms about this one as well, and I’m still not, even if this is the weakest floor routine she has ever had. She still carries the hell out of it. Do I have a Zamarripa-esque blind spot where Mustafina is concerned? Maybe. I also don’t care.
18) For those of us who focus on women’s gymnastics, the joke is that we can’t stand watching pommel horse, but I enjoy it (at least from people not in the “happy to get a 12.000 category,” but that’s true of every event). I find it visually soothing, like watching a screen saver, especially from people who make it look easy like Berki.
19) Speaking of Berki, let’s hear it for the talls! While our Dear Wonderful Shatilov didn’t make floor finals (mostly because he is currently sporting unauthorized facial hair), Berki and Moznik both got medals. I think those two might legitimately come up to my chin, which is an accomplishment. We’d actually look like part of the same species.
20) So yes for pommel horse, but less yes for rings. That’s my 6th place men’s event. Although the “sup y’all” chin lift still makes me laugh every single time, so that’s something. In breaking news, parallel bars has moved to the top spot on my men’s event rankings. There is little more satisfying in the world than a perfect handstand on pbars.
21) Ryohei Kato looks exactly like a porcelain doll. I imagine that immediately after a competition ends, he goes all Toy Story and flops to the ground before being put back up on an old lady’s shelf.
22) Who is in charge of selecting the between-rotations music at Worlds? I really hope there’s a committee about it and they take it super seriously. With graphs and flow charts.
23) The World Championships of Hilarious Pronunciations finished on a high. During the men’s hbar medal ceremony, the PA guy introduced the gold medalist “Epic Zonderland.” Fitting.