Friday’s medium-anticipated all-around competitions began with an opening act from that new up-and-comer on the performance scene, men’s gymnastics. (You’ll make it one day!)
As expected by exactly all living persons and most dead persons, the gold medal went to the 72% of Oleg Verniaiev that decided to show up today. In a stunning twist, Oleg strategically elected to compete without a left arm, a spleen, or the concept of converting food to energy. A gamble, yes, but it paid off as Verniaiev managed to drag himself to victory nonetheless, while also maintaining some stamina reserves for the two World Cup events and half-marathon he’ll be competing in later tonight.
The remaining places also mimicked qualification as Artur Dalaloyan took second place with only one fall (a “Russian hit”), coming fairly close to catching Verniaiev. We’re being told that Saint Oleg allowed this near-breach of his supremacy because Dalaloyan may be the only one on earth who makes Oleg look normal height. If they gain each other’s trust and work together, they might be able to reach the sink one day.
A particularly thrilling development saw the bronze medal go to Great Britain’s newest star, a picture of your old stoner roommate brought to life by a sorcerer.
But now, let’s turn to the main event, the women’s all-around, where the big question on everyone’s mind entering the competition was, now that Russia and Romania have turned into a pile of old lady bone dust, who gets to win medals? Well, we have our answer, so let me be the first to congratulate our new European all-around champion…Eythora Thorsdottir!
Obviously, no. Eythora fell 62 times and finished 12th. Duh. Keep dreaming, monkeys.
Realizing she might actually be in serious contention for a medal, Eythora spent all of last night brainstorming strategies for how best to slash a scimitar through the cigar box full of cobwebs where our hearts used to be. She toyed variously with the ideas of transforming back into a rare orchid or finally taking her place in the fairy realm (tick-tock), ultimately deciding that would be too satisfying and appropriate. Plenty of time for that later. Instead, she elected to leap off bars during a zero-twisting nothing and directly connect it to the Cave of Eternal Screams. Just devastating.
In a way, though, you could say it was an act of mercy. Taking herself so far out of the competition after bars meant that Eythora spared us the horror of having to see her compete beam like a moist towelette with chronic vertigo. Thank you, Eythora. It’s the little victories.
Far less willing to swan dive into a volcano in the middle of the competition were our two blessed fighters dueling for the title, Ellie Downie and Zsofia Kovacs. The fact that neither of them have fallen in this competition has been submitted to NASA for further study. (Tentative mission date: 2021) I don’t think any of us had 0 in the falls pool. Even Ellie was like, “I mean at least three, right? Just being realistic.”
Against all odds, Kovacs submitted what has to be her most successful application for Director of Beige at the Rice Cake Factory to date, hitting four whole, fully-baked routines with really only a “tree frog mating season” bars dismount and a full-twisting rigor mortis on floor that would qualify as major deductions or drama.
It was Ellie Downie, however, who won the gold medal with a much more dramatic and heart-defying performance. That’s our girl.
We knew it was going to be a good day for Ellie pretty early in the meet because, even before bars, she got a chance to stop in at her favorite place, the verge of tears. If Ellie isn’t somewhere between 7.5 and 9 on the About To Cry scale, something’s wrong. Fortunately, she looked like she was barely holding back the Danube pretty much the entire meet. It really came through for her.
Through two pieces, the competition was all, “I just want everyone to tie and have a great time,” and we were like, “Shut up, Christina.”
Because of higher difficulty, Downie was always going to have the advantage on beam and floor, so she promptly decided to hurl that advantage to the floor of a forbidden quarry and hide the key in an ancient Egyptian puzzle box. NONE FOR ME, THANKS. On beam, she barely saved a double turn with a quick “we found love in a hopeless place” hamstring grab (100% against the law…), then came within a few degrees of a Butt-A-Rabian on floor, but she endured all to take the title by a couple tenths.
The meet was still close enough, and Downie opened the door enough with those floor landings, that the title could also have gone to Kovacs. That meant that both had to stand side-by-side in full “But I only have one photo in my hand” pose to wait to see what kind of crying they would be expected to do next. Well, Downie wasn’t really waiting. The Danube overflowed its banks well before her floor routine even ended, though it wasn’t until Tyra revealed her photo that Downie broke into full Glasgow 2015 Ugly Cry. To her credit, Kovacs went over and performed an excellent display of disappointulations as she returned to the house to pack her belongings and go…home…
So, congratulations to both of them, although this lady was super cheated.
She scored 16.233 on Hat.
In other news, DEAR GOD IT’S ALIVE.
Our weird little orphaned rabbit girl is all grown up.
SAVE THE CHILDREN.
Is this a horror movie? Has no one lived in this arena for 30 years? Was a small Victorian girl murdered for her secrets here? Was this complex built on the same land where Bela hid the body?
How could a person compete floor with that ghoul lurking in the background, clutching onto your shadow and darkening your fate.
Clearly afflicted by the curse of the lurking rabbit girl, Tabea Alt decided for some reason to spend the entire morning at the Small Pox Store buying 20 small poxes (get one deathbed free). That meant she was suddenly forced to do the Fenton at the last minute, replaced by teammate Pauline Schaefer. Likely story. Slacker. Martha would have been like, “Silly child. Eat a slice of watermelon, punch yourself in the face, and do an Amanar. GO!”
Alt’s case of scarlet whooping cough consumption opened the door for the bronze medal to be won by, really anyone. Anyone. Anna Myzdrikova almost got it. This close.
Last remaining possible savior of all that is good in the world, Elena Eremina, seemed a likely nominee for that bronze medal through the first two events. That was, until she walked onto the podium for beam, at which point she looked up, saw a Russian flag waving in the crowd, and was like, “Oh yeah. Crap. That.”
Yada, yada, yada…I’m flying, Jack!
The usual. So, because of
actually FALLING on beam an elaborate conspiracy to cheat the Russians out of medals due to jealousy over their beauty, exotic German surgeries, and precious, precious kidney stones, Eremina took fourth place.
Instead, it was a little snap pea named Melanie De Jesus Dos Santos who swept in for an unexpected medal, nailing her DLO 1/1 off bars just as well as she did in qualification but also hitting beam this time. She did have the misfortune of a brief ghost-spirit mix-up in the second half of the meet when Daiane Dos Santos accidentally inhabited her body during floor and said, “The cool kids go out of bounds on all their passes. You don’t want everyone to think you’re a dork, right?” But it ultimately didn’t matter because of the aggressive conspiracy against Russia that all the other countries of earth got together and agreed on, so Dos Santos held onto third.
Actually, coming closest to passing Dos Santos for a much-deserved medal was not Eremina but the English-language arena announcer, whose performance in feebly attempting to get the crowd to produce face and body sounds was a sight to behold. Unfamiliar with exactly how to express the concept of clapping in English, he resorted to entreaties like, “OK, let me see your hands,” (are you the police?) and “Come on Cluj Napoca, we need your hands.”
Like……what are you going to do with them?
Other gems regarding Zsofia Kovacs included, “So, ladies and gentlemen, she has a small gap” and “14.300 was the score, so that’s really crazy.” (Preach.)
Faring much more terribly were the poor, poor other Romanians (Rhoda and Bootsy?), who were here representing Other Romania. They weren’t going to be in contention for medals, but sadly Cimpian took a handful of Iridon pills, washed down with a swig of Bulimar, right before bars and succeeded only in foreshadowed everything.
Meanwhile, Crisan fell on beam and could be seen going from 0 to Ellie Downie at remarkable speed with her coach directly afterward. Although, it’s unclear whether she was crying because of the fall or because of that awkward moment before beam when she was trying to get Mr. Sign Holdy to wait and instead accidentally grabbed him in the butt. Could have been either.
Elsewhere, Martina Maggio chained herself to a barge full of eye makeup, which kept her steady throughout the meet for a special 6th-place result, Nina Derwael successfully got her bars mistake out of her system before the event final and still managed 7th, and the flower-awarding lady had no damn idea what to do with the flowers. It was awesome. She was just like, “A THIRD OF PEOPLE EARNED FLOWERS.”
The rest of you are trash in the eyes of flower lady. Must work harder.