The Balance Beam Situation

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama

Things Are Happening (Pre-Olympic Edition) — August 2, 2016

A. Qualification Schedules

Olympic qualification is sort of like the NCAA regionals of our time, so as I do annually for regionals, I have put together rotation-by-rotation schedules for the various subdivisions throughout the day. NBC will have apparatus-specific live streams, and we know the kind of trouble that can cause. We’ll need to be prepared with which feeds to focus on at which times. I’m worried for the non-NCAA fans. I fear they are wholly unprepared for handling the rigors of 6-screen gymnastics.



B. Hong Un TTY

At every international competition dating back to the 2008 Olympics, Hong has submitted the TTY for valuation to get everyone excited before proceeding not to compete it. She seems to be a step closer this time around, though, as we actually have video evidence of an attempt.

Well, we have video evidence of her executing a pairs figure skating throw masquerading as a TTY, at least. We’ll see how this translates when she doesn’t have a coach hurling her into the air. But still…

C. Russia, Keeping It Interesting

You might see “four days before the Olympics,” but Russia sees a “four days before the Olympics”-pportunity.

The latest news from the Russian camp is that Nikita #2, Nikita Ignatyev, has been subbed out for Ivan Stretovich.

When asked for an explanation of the decision, Valentina Rodionenko said, “Dance, monkeys! Dance! [clapclapclap].” Stretovich was on the worlds team last year, doing PH, PB, and HB in qualification and PH in the team final. So basically, he’s here to do the non-Abliazin events.

For the women, we’re still waiting to hear about Paseka’s status. She’s either fine or dead. We might find out soon. Or not.

D. Rachel Slocum to Florida

In fascinating NCAA news, Florida now has some scholarship flexibility post-Ernst and pre-Baumann and has used that flexibility to complete the transfer of Eastern Michigan standout and rising junior Rachel Slocum. Someone’s moving on up in the world. Slocum finished with a 9.875 RQS on vault last year for her handspring front pike 1/2, along with a 9.855 on floor.

There has been a ton of upheaval in the EMU program this summer after last season’s success. It seems everyone wants a piece. The coaches departed for Arizona State, and now the team’s top vault and floor gymnast is off to Florida. Can Eastern Michigan keep it up next season, or have their bones been picked clean by other schools?

Slocum will be in contention for both the vault and floor lineups at Florida since there are only three sure returners on those events, Baker, Boren, and McMurtry (and McMurtry’s floor is always going to be a sometimes thing). The rest of the spots are open to be won, and having a strong 10.0 vault helps her case, especially if EBES (Elite Bone Explosion Syndrome) afflicts some of the other team members. Floor will be harder with Boyce coming back, and then Hundley, and Gowey, and Chant, but she’ll be in the mix.

E. Pro Laurie

Florida is all over the news today as it seems that an unheralded shrinking violet named Laurie Hernandez, slated to enter for the 2019 season, has decided to surprise no one and “allegedly” go pro because of course she is. I never like it when people go pro because NCAAAAAAAAAAAA, but she was made for it. She’s one of the few where you’re like, “yeah…duh…you should.”

The Laurie Hernandez page on Sheryl Shade’s site was later removed. Because THAT WASN’T THE PLAN. Still.

BUT WHAT WILL FLORIDA DO NOW? They’re just left with a 2019 roster that will include Foberg, Johnson-Scharpf, Baumann, Bradley, Key, Hundley, Gowey, Chant, Dagen, and Boren. I mean, it’s basically trash.

F. Olympic Rosters

In roster land, Lee Eun-Ju has replaced the injured Lee Go-Im for South Korea, and Nicolas Cordoba of Argentina replaced Gustavo Simoes of Protugal, but everything else is going to plan. For now. Except Russia things.


But like…TOMORROW.

That is all.


%d bloggers like this: