A. The Vera
Gymnastics legend, hair icon, and silent-protest hero Vera Caslavska died this week from pancreatic cancer. Taking victory in the all-around in both 1964 and 1968, she is the last female gymnast to have won two consecutive Olympic crowns, and her 1968 Olympics remains the stuff of legend, perhaps even more legendary than her competition beehive. Or at least a close second.
Forced into hiding following the Soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia and fearing arrest for her outspoken anti-Soviet views, she trained for the 1968 Olympics in a secluded forest clearing, and various reports have her using a fallen log as a balance beam, a meadow as the floor exercise, branches as the bars, and a friendly grizzly bear as the vaulting horse (although I may have made one of those up).
Most famous, however, was her silent rejection of the Soviet anthem on the medal stand.
A gem forever.
B. Aimee Boorman is abandoning us
In other hair-icon news, and as a painful reminder that people in gymnastics are, like, human beings with, like, lives to live or whatever, Aimee Boorman and her family are moving to Florida. That means Aimee is leaving Megachurch of Simone and taking a job at EVO Athletics.
Or, as the gymternet put it, AHHHHHHHHWHHHHYYYYYYYTTTTEAAARRRRSSSSSSSNOOOOOOOOOOOOITSOVERRRRRRRRRRRRANDBYITIMEANMYLIFE
You’ll be OK in time, gymternet. Just remember that it’s not your fault, and just because Aimee is moving to Florida, it doesn’t mean she loves you or your brother any less.
And if Simone does decide to continue, she’s perfectly capable of going to Florida to train with Aimee (though it wouldn’t necessarily be great for business), or at least carrying a cardboard cutout of Aimee with her on the competition floor, as we will require her to do.
Also, it’s clearly still an Olympic year, even though the Olympics are over, because the story got the total dramatic People magazine treatment.
C. But…wait, what?
In “well that’s ridiculous” news this week, you might need to adjust your fantasy gymnastics plans for next season. Because of injury, you say.
Oh, no no. It seems that Morgan Porter from Missouri has been arrested for felony credit fraud.
A casual felony credit fraud. Because of Tuesday.
Maybe she just tripped and fell onto someone else’s credit card.
D. More NCAA Roster Notes
In the latest batch of comings and goings, Abbie Epperson has transferred from Maryland to Nebraska. Following Macey Roberts’ transfer to Utah, this leaves Maryland with exactly zero gymnasts for the 2017 season. At last year’s Big 10ish Championship, Maryland had seven scores of 9.8 or higher. Four of them are now gone now, including all scores of 9.850 or higher. This increases the expectations on Canadian elite and 2014 world team member Kirsten Peterman, who will be starting this year.
Nichelle Christopherson, she of the “I’m going to UCLA, oops I’m going to Florida, oops I’m going nowhere, oops I’m going to Michigan” verbal commitment journey, has now transferred to that Harvard of the southwest, Arizona State. Michigan’s roster for 2017 is the usual amount of one-person-big again, but it’s a highly concentrated roster. They have the critical routines.
The potential Arizona State renaissance will also enjoy the benefit of Taylor Allex receiving a 5th year. She competed in 2013 for Utah, sat out 2014 (actually did JO again), and then competed for ASU in 2015 and 2016, so she’ll get her fourth competition year in the upcoming season.
Stephanie Stowe, who would have been in her fourth year of eligibility in the upcoming season, is also absent from Washington’s roster. She was a critical member of the beam lineup last season and a much-used option on vault.
E. The dire tattoo situation
Is there a tattoo intervention show?
And is it called Tattootervention?
Part of the media training for the men’s gymnastics team should be to think of the idea you want for your Olympics tattoo, then make it 17 times smaller, and then throw it into the fireplace and never think about it ever again.