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US Men’s Podium Training

Following the 36-hour national nightmare that was WILL WE GET LIVE STREAMS OF PODIUM TRAINING OR NOT, it appears that the answer is, “a little bit.” We get the US. It is not the everything we were promised, but it’s not nothing either.

Live Stream

US men’s podium training is usually extended nothing of an unspeakably boring variety. I did a giant, goodbye. But also…THE OLYMPICS. Everything’s better when OLYMPICS. Plus, we get to see the US men take another stab at those world records for Extended PBars Chalking and Synchronized Backpack Carrying (get it boys!) I really think they can do it this time.

Throughout the session, I’ll be popping in here with general notes, observations, and reflections. We can only hope for a Cheeseburgers On Horse moment. That’s basically why we’re all here. Let’s be honest.

Mikulak has already won the Gator Tanning competition. He has also nixed the American Flag hair, apparently.

Leyva is not vaulting, obviously. Instead opting to prepate his PBar chalk regimen. Good. Get ahead of the action. Can’t be too careful.

US starts on vault. The overriding theme so far is Jake Dalton Adjusting His Shorts While Bouncing.

Vault order looks like Brooks, Naddour, Mikulak, Dalton. Normal.

Brooks half-Pena’d a double front. That’s why he’s only going in qualification. Mazeika from the genius bar shows him about it on his new iPad.

Naddour tsuk double pike, bailed on it to his butt. “My run was a little off.” Lovely start.

Today’s theme is a little MY ANKLES Y’ALL.
They’re talking a lot about how bright and fluorescent the arena is, that it’s weird to see when they’re twisting.

And…that’s enough vaulting! US men’s podium training. Martha would have then going 16 more times.

Danell is looking pensive.

Chris Brooks is auditioning for his own buzzfeed article dedicated to his biceps.

Mikulak is gluing a model train together on his wrists, apparently.

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This is the movie poster for men’s podium training. A lot of this.

Sam Mikulak Extended Junk Adjustment Alert.

Um, excuse me? You BARELY spent ANY time chalking those PBars. You’ll never set the world record at this rate.

They’re not Crazy Legs. They’re Podium Training Legs.

Sam starts on PBars. He didn’t have any major errors this time, so it would have received a 19 at trials.

Mikulak going before Dalton? Or just PT order?

Jake Dalton, using the medium of toe point to remind us why the US missed him so much at worlds last year.

A Fabian Floor Interlude! Oooohhh, for bad reasons. That pass was not cute. I feel like it probably wasn’t supposed to be landing on all fours. Just a guess.

Leyva had a wonk-a-thon on his PBars routine. Diamidov issues. As long as he gets it all out of his system now. He’ll re-chalk (THAT WAS THE PROBLEM) and obsessive-compulsively adjust his tape and honey for 16.5 hours.

Danell looks like he has a case of the grumpies.

If Danell were Gabby Douglas, there would already be calls for him to be removed from the team and replaced with an alternate.

Moving to high bar! This should be interesting!

Looks like the order will be Dalton, Mikulak, Brooks, Leyva. Naddour obviously off both PBars and HBar.

I love the creative ways Chris Brooks chooses to leave the bar in podium training. Good artistry.

Sam Mikulak just invented my new favorite swear, “Fucking Eff.” You don’t have to mine your oath with an “Eff” if you’ve already said “Fucking.” That’s the one you’re mincing.

Jake Dalton being all lovely with a stoop half to layout tkatchev to gienger. If only the difficulty were higher. A little struggle on a tkatchev to mixed grip but otherwise good.

Mikulak hit. No Cassina but good Kolman.

Are they saying Ho-mentum? Is that what the kids are saying these days? Do people still say cool?

Brooks has to muscle up in a couple places but gets through. No one has fallen yet. Curse.

Even Danell hit! What is happening?!?! That stalder rybalko is finished on Jupiter, but his layout tkatchev remains a work of art.

What is Chris Brooks drinking? Chocolate milk? Rio water?

Fun with unflattering screenshots.

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Interesting that none of the “5th-ups” are going in PT, just to get used to their routines in case they have to step in in qualification.

Also, Bela is being interviewed on NBCSN right now for some reason. In case you’re more interested in that than actual gymnastics.

Interesting to see Naddour up before Brooks on floor…? Some of these lineups may not be TF-reflective…?

Miklulak started by sticking a bunch, then bailed out of a pass, back 1.5 to nothing, all other passes were landed quite well.

“We Will Rock You” to accompany Dalton’s floor. They know exactly what they’re doing. A little bouncy on some landings, like the piked double arabian, normal. Solid.

Pommel horse looms.

PBars chalking may have been a bit of a letdown, but synchronized backpack carrying has lived up to all our hopes and dreams.

As expected, Jake Dalton is the lucky winner who doesn’t have to do horse.

All PH routines will be scored on a scale of 0-5 cheeseburgers.

Brooks definitely just gave himself at least three cheeseburgers for his first touch.

Leyva before Brooks on PH as well. EEEEEnteresting.

Leyva is off before he started. NO CHEESEBURGERS. He gives us “that’s never happened to me before” face.


Sam’s off the horse. NO CHEESEBURGERS.

Naddour goes through cleanly to earn his keep. FOUR CHEESEBURGERS.

Mikluak goes again to redeem himself. Still no cheeseburgers, though.

Chris Brooks is being delightfully bro-y and indecipherable right now.

Danell has turned really smiley now that he’s done. Not having to do rings will do that to a person.

Sam Mikulak is making a lot of dude grunts, which means we have arrived at rings.

“Where’s the closest bathroom?” Chris Brooks asks, pulling on his shorts. Oh, podium training.

Now I’m legit worried about his rings routine.

“THAT A BOY I LOVE IT LET’S HAVE IT COME ON SQUEEZE IT GORGEOUS FUCKING SWEET.” Actual quote from the team during Brooks’ rings.

That’s all I have. I’m out.

Sam Mikulak did not get nearly the same enthusiastic calls to grip it and squeeze it like his teammates.

“Attack it. Get in there. Squeeze. There you go. Push it.”

Naddour is last up on rings. Order was Brooks, Mikulak, Dalton, Naddour. Tired dismount there with a lunge forward, but through podium training, the only falls were on horse. A victory!

The US men are done. Kevin Mazeika is standing over by the judges doing your taxes, probably.

To wrap up, performance order was :

VT – Brooks, Naddour, Mikulak, Dalton
PB – Mikulak, Dalton, Brooks, Leyva
HB – Dalton, Mikulak, Brooks, Leyva
FX – Naddour, Brooks, Mikulak, Dalton
PH – Leyva, Brooks, Mikulak, Naddour
SR – Brooks, Mikulak, Dalton, Naddour


12 thoughts on “US Men’s Podium Training”

  1. i am love the crystal clear picture of danell just looking vaguely concerned into the distance. LOVE that this isnt blocked to non cable ppl🙂


  2. i am loving the crystal clear picture of danell just looking vaguely concerned into the distance. LOVE that this isnt blocked to non cable ppl🙂


  3. Not happy with the decision to leave Dalton out of AA in qualifying. I have more faith in him and even Leyva doing better in AA than Brooks, who might get killed due to his lower D scores, Hopefully I’m wrong and Brooks can kick some butt in AA finals (given he qualifies)


    1. Realistically, US will probably qualify 2 to AA final, and would be lucky to get a medal out of Sam. The other 3 won’t medal. Not sure how much it matters if USA dude #2 finishes 5th or 15th.

      Also, gymternet is irrationally down on Chris Brooks. The guy hit 24/24 routines this summer. His consistency is desperately needed by the team.


      1. All fair points. And I think people appreciate Brooks’ consistency, I do, I think the biggest issue is that he’s not the most exciting gymnast and isn’t a total rockstar on any event despite being solid on all of them. I guess the placement of the 2nd guy doesn’t really matter at the end of the day, unless they were to medal, and the only one capable of that (besides Sam) would be Leyva with a sparkly rabbit amazing competition. But alas, Leyva is inconsistent and Brooks is not, so I get it. Just bummed for Jake Dalton.



  4. The moral of this podium training is TEAM USA LOVES CHRIS BROOKS! After Leyva on ph and after Naddour on floor? Okay, so if this is the actual lineup he’s now doing 4 events in TF as well as AA? Watch him go after Mikulak on rings now too….


  5. Mark Williams confirmed yesterday that that is their prelims line-up. Said something about testing it, and thinking it went well, so no reason to change. Team finals, of course, not decided till after prelims, but I think we can infer likely scenarios.

    Danell said somewhere that his back was bad so he wasn’t even doing vault and floor, so AA not even an option. Plus, it’d be pretty hard to justify leaving Brooks out of the AA after he finished second and Leyva didn’t even make the team. They were never gonna let Dalton touch the pommel horse in Rio. I’m surprised they let him stand near it in the group picture USA Gymnastics posted.


  6. My guess is their putting Brooks in ahead of other in Prelims to maybe boost his scores, in the hopes of increasing his AA final chances? I don’t really know why else he’d be in Pommels finals ahead of Leyva, but who knows how training has been going. I’m dreaming of a Prelims (and Finals) where the USA hits ALL routines, with no falls. That would be amazing.


    1. I’d take Sam hitting 6 for 6 in AA finals over doing it in quals or TF because if he hits all events in AA finals that most likely means a medal whereas a team medal is less certain even if everyone on Team USA does hit.

      Also is Dalton’s pommel horse really any worse than Leyva or Brooks? They all were looking rather rough on horse at trials, to be honest I think we’ll be lucky if Brooks/Leyva (whoever goes in TF) can score a 14. I guess Dalton’s 5.0 start value doesn’t help matters though


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