1. Bye Rachelle
Stiletto #2 has dropped. In the wake of 700 accusations of intense terribleness, Rachelle Thompson is leaving Penn State as everyone finally seems to have realized that the situation was, you know, not OK and that there was no coming back from “toxic environment of abuse.”
Or, sorry, I mean she’s leaving to “devote more time to my family and focus on personal goals.” Yep. Mmmhmm. That’s the reason. She wanted to devote more time to her family, you guys. The timing is a coincidence.
Most of the issues seemed to revolve around Rachelle’s behavior in particular, but it’s clear Penn State/the Thompsons are trying to jettison Rachelle overboard in the hope that Jeff can pick up speed and pilot the ship to safety while everyone forgets about it because some action was taken, which…no. This isn’t the banking industry. TOPICAL.
If Rachelle’s behavior warranted leaving the position, then how does Jeff’s not? It took two to tango. We’re supposed to think he was completely unaware of his wife/associate head coach’s words and behavior? Sure.
And how exactly would this dynamic work going forward? “Hi, team, you forced my wife to resign. This will definitely be a positive coaching environment.”
2. The Elise Ray Era?
Stiletto Sensible work shoe #3 belongs to Joanne Bowers, who is leaving Washington because she was working all the way across the country from her husband and that seems like that would suck. But, what? You’re leaving a coaching job for normal human reasons that don’t involve a shred of scandal? What are we supposed to do with that? You couldn’t have given us a little “toxic environment” or “mysterious administrative leave”? Joanne, I’m so disappointed in you. Pull it together.
At least there is a weird moment in her departure address in which she kinda-sorta announces that Elise Ray will be taking over (which she obviously should/will), but without actually saying it definitively.
“I would also like to thank my terrific staff, including associate head coach Elise Ray, who I believe is well prepared to be a fantastic head coach.”
What are you, a sphinx? Is this a riddle? You mean a fantastic head coach here and now, or just like…in general?
I, for one, welcome our new robot overlords.
Japan (because of course) is working to invent a laser judge, and obviously I’m in heaven. Get cracking. Can’t happen fast enough.
Sure, there will be the old “BUT HOW CAN A LASER JUDGE ARTISTRY???” but there are so many ways in which technology can be used to enhance accuracy, from judging amplitude and distance to, if this technology is developed (which is a long if), body position faults with much more precision and without the bias of a ratty garbage person with a stupid human brain. Let us work together with the lasers toward a brighter future for all humanilaser kind.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Am I afraid that the robot judges will eventually develop the capability to physically punish those displaying weak body position, then revolt against their unjust enslavement and go around waging war on the entire human and animal kingdoms for poor split positions, ultimately rendering extinct all life on earth that dares to challenge the perfect robot order and empire of straight and parallel lines? Or course I am.
That’s why I, repeat once again after me, WELCOME OUR NEW ROBOT OVERLORDS.
4. It would get worse for Romania
The grizzled forest genie that Bela tricked into granting him unlimited wishes in 1976 has finally returned to exact her revenge on Romanian gymnastics, and she has a lot of pent-up anger to get out.
As if destroying the entire senior program and keeping Romania from qualifying to the Olympics weren’t enough, now she has taken Diana Bulimar’s Achilles. Bulimar will be replaced on Romania’s Euros team by six magic beans. It is BLEAK. Euros qualification day will be fascinating because the only thing separating Romania from Tier C of the European teams now is Ponor’s potential for three 14s.
In other Euros roster developments, Maria Paseka is out for Russia, helping GBR’s gold cause by getting Russia’s advantage Amanar out of the mix. Instead of issuing a statement naming Paseka’s replacement on the squad, however, Valentina simply had “I Hate Seda Tutkhalyan” embossed on one of her furs, so we’ll see…
We also got an explanation as to why Tinkles isn’t on the GB team, which has something to do with school. Pssh. Don’t be silly. Gymnasts don’t go to school. Did Nastia ever miss a competition because of her academic responsibilities at Valeri Creek River Definitely A Real School? No. And she just graduated from college with a degree in Not Being Basic Studies. So…
Also, in unfortunate news, we have decided to cancel the men’s competition at Euros following the news that Max Whitlock is ill and will not be attending, with championship organizers announcing, “DEAD. No point to anything. Life is a stupid jerk.”
5. Did the US men really just get a six-minute Nightline segment about how hot they are?
Why, yes. Yes they did. The gay agenda is finally working, you guys! I mean…
6. Kamerin Moore
She made a video explaining to us and herself that she has never not been injured in her entire life and ultimately did the right thing by leaving the Nebraska team before the season began because of a chronic case of Shoulder No Mas.
In other roster developments, India McPeak is off to Bowling Green to finish up after her two years at Michigan. She never made a lineup at Michigan, but she’d at least contend on three events for Bowling Green. Bowling Green looks to be the George Washington of next season, with significant new routines coming in like a 1.5 vault from Jovannah East.
7. Douglas Family Gold
The Natalie Hawkins reality show begins on May 25th, and I know we’ll all have a lot to say about it. I, in particular, will have a lot to say because we’ll be doing a weekly Gymcastic recap dissecting all the important goodies and nonsense from each episode. Our preview/hope-and-fear-themed therapy session will be available soon.
8. American Classic
Is also a thing. A bunch of people got a bunch of qualifying scores, as Ramler and Navarro won the seniors and Hurd won the juniors, ahead of Marshall and Alexeeva, bolstering the fields for nationals to appropriately Olympic-year levels. Secret Classic and Men’s P&Gs are two weeks away. We’re not ready. The men’s roster was released today, which features…all the main people.