Things Are Happening – August 26, 2016

A. Shambles (aka, Romania)

In one of the most shocking turns of events, Catalina Ponor has decided to defer her traditional post-Olympic retirement—directly connected to immediate un-retirement—until at least next year, announcing that she intends to keep going straight through to her home Euros in 2017.

The pile of dust that used to be Romania’s program will have some telling decisions to make with regard to teams in 2017. There will be tremendous pressure on Romania to win medals at Euros as a way of proving that there’s still life in the program, and the best-scoring team and one most likely to get those precious, precious medals would be a group along the lines of Iordache, Ponor…a recovered Bulimar?…is Laura Jurca still alive? Something like that.

At the same time, would relying on the veterans for their short-term ability to win medals simply be repeating the mistakes of the past? Will the next generation of new 2017 seniors in Ghiciuc, Cimpian, Crisan, and Botnaru fall away like the last one did if they are not brought along with the main team and built up as competitive senior elites rather than “are you a level 10 who’s here suddenly”? Those new seniors won’t have the scoring/medal potential of the veterans, and may show some disappointing performances, but is that worth it for the investment in 2019-2020 potential?

Sadly, the answer for the 2017 teams will most likely be…the four who have legs at the moment of team selection? But I’m still interested to see what Romania’s focus will be next year. Immediate medals? Changing course to focus on the future? (Ideally) a combination of the two?

B. NBC’s Primetime Garbage

NBC is shocked, shocked I tell you, that a growing number of people are consuming content online rather than through traditional TV broadcasts, which showed up in the Olympic ratings. BUT WHO WOULD HAVE SEEN THAT COMING?

It’s almost like the general public doesn’t want to wait through a three-hour tape delay (on the west coast) to watch a bloated, stodgy, insufferably dull four-hour plod through one race and a whole lot of nothing. Especially when we could be seeing these events live, choosing which sports to view at which times, and watching continuous action commented on by reasonable British people, rather than dying through 30-minute interludes of aggressive storylining from a series of old puddings obsessed with commenting on what great smiles the female athletes have.


Just show me a race. And when there’s no race going on, show me some javelin. Or some badminton. Or modern pentathlon. Or sass archery. Or synchronized bicycle painting. Anything other than your infernal jabbering and narrative framing. We don’t need you to tell us what to pay attention to or have an opinion about. We can take care of that on our own. We’re really good at having opinions. It’s like our only thing. You just take care of the sports-showing and try not to get in the way too much. We’ll do the rest.

Holding the gymnastics until 11pm was also an awesome move. Children and old people (your big two, NBC), definitely LOVE staying up until 11pm and do it all the time. It’s their thing.

C. GymCastic

If you didn’t listen to our daily podcasts during the Olympics, you are a tremendous disappointment to everyone and you should go sit in the corner and think about what you’ve done.

Or catch up now.

I also have a sidebar featuring the latest episode for your easiest and most convenient enjoyment. Over there. To the right. Unless you’re on a phone. Then it’s down there. To the bottom.

Houry Gebeshian is on the most recent episode to tell us all the insider details about the Olympic competition and life in the Olympic Village. (The part about the dentist…so interesting.)

D. NCAA rosters

The NCAA teams are starting school and beginning to release their rosters, which means it’s time for the annual “Where did she go?” and “Is she on scholarship now?” sessions.

There haven’t been too many drastic adjustments as yet, though we did hear recently that Maile Kanewa, who had originally intended to take a fifth year this season, has succumbed to multiple seasons of broken everything and decided to retire. Kanewa was a critical VT/FX contributor for Oklahoma for several seasons, but for some reason I don’t think Oklahoma will suddenly be hurting for vaults and floor routines now.

In completely unrelated news, Nichols and Dowell are officially with the Sooners and on the roster for next season. Nicole Turner, the transfer from Oregon State, has also been given an extra year.

Alabama’s roster release featured some developments of its own, including the previously reported departure of Amanda Huang and the not previously reported departure of Avery Rickett. If you recall, Rickett competed one beam routine last year and her foot exploded in the middle of it, so perhaps that season-ending injury was just it for her.

Heather Elswick of Arkansas is indeed back for a fifth year after missing last season with injury, a critical return for a team attempting to withstand an unintended lack of Zaziski in 2017.

Also, could college sports programs please stop changing their URLs every single season? It’s so inconvenient for everyone. Everyone = me.

E. Overlooked at the Olympics

Remember that time Oleg Stepko mated with a sarcastic phoenix Mardi Gras costume and did a full turn to Korbut swingdown on high bar in the men’s AA final and then dismounted with a Nastia?

Because we really need to be talking about that a lot more.

And this.
Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 11.43.08 AM

His tattoo and leo storyboard is like a code that we all have to decipher to find the buried treasure. Parchment, fish, phoenix. A CLUE!

Somehow, he made me forget about the artistic majesty of Hong Un Jong’s floor routine. Whip + whip + layout. 1.5 + wedgie pick.

A major accomplishment.

F. Bottom of the barrel

Yeah, clearly there’s nothing going on right now. It’s just barnacles. The US elites are fully in the midst of their victory-waving and standing-awkwarly-next-to-late-night-host tours, but quite disappointingly, no one has announced that she will have two lines in an upcoming episode of a CW show yet. I mean, what is wrong with you people? So disrespectful to the generations that have come before.

Simone definitely needs to be on Supergirl as a rival to Supergirl. And then Supergirl’s like, “What?” and Simone’s like, “Yeah,” and Calista Flockhart’s like, “Joke about coffee/millennials.” And that’s the whole show.