2005 World All-Around Final — Gymnastics + Math = F-

The theme of this summer’s recapping project will be the first year of the quad. This being, you know, the first year of the quad.

Up first, the ever-controversial 2005 all-around final, the meet that taught us several important lessons regarding how basic counting of numbers works and how Tsarina Liukina just generally doesn’t have room for your shit.

Let’s meet the stars of the year 2005!

Nastia Liukin!

Some Kristal Uzelac frontal lobe!…?

I want to say…Cleo?

Oh, did I say this was 2005? Sorry, I meant 1841, apparently. Australian John Tesh christens the competition by informing us that “every girl dreams of being a princess” but tonight only “one wish will be granted.”

Oh. Oh good. We’re still doing that.

At least it’s not just a US thing…?

We’ll begin the meet on floor.


You guys, I know Chellsie is solid on Dress Transformation Sparkles, and I’m sure she’ll score well on Dreaming Only of Husbands, but I’m kind of worried about how competitive she’ll be on Bird Friendship.

It’s like, “Honey, stop doing those sit-ups and go to cotillion,” am I right? I mean, the whole point of this is to marry rich and wear tiaras…priorities, lady!

The winner of the meet will receive one easy-bake oven, a box of pink rose petals to distract her, and a sturdy husband so she won’t have to worry her pretty little lady-mind about anything ever again.

This, you see, is “the biggest night of a young girl’s life.”


Item #1) The Australian pronunciation of Russo.

The end.


Uh…no. We’re not doing c’ships.

Liz Chetkovitch introduces us to the major competitors. “We have Nastia Liukin, who’s just the most exquisite gymnast. I love her with her with the strength of diamonds. BAE 5EVER. I would die for her. Will you go to prom with me? Oh, and also there’s Chellsie Memmel.”


It cracks me up that, throughout the meet, their talking point about Nastia is “elegant-lovely-artistry-perfect-epitome-of-gymnastics-hrmamanamanama,” and for Chellsie it’s “fierce competitor.”


They might as well say she’s “sturdy” and “a hard worker.”

Also, if you’re working hard to create a dichotomy between “elegant/artistry” and Chellsie Memmel, I have a really unfortunate message for you from the future.

As for the other competitors, “Isabelle Severino’s very interesting.”

Cut to Alicia

But really, enough of this racket, because no one can hold a candle to OMG MONETTE RUSSO.


God, fangirls. Keep your shit together and just go make a YouTube tribute or something.  He literally shouted, “There she is in the background!”

Liz: “Well, the thing about gymnastics is…”

So, how about vaulting huh?

Allana Slater, could you slowly walk toward the table like a hospice nurse to introduce a Kelly Clarkson montage about vault?


Russo starts the meet off with a Podkopayeva (round-off 1/2 on, pike 1/2), a 9.7 start value. Nellie Kim goes, “UGH, why wasn’t that a Yurchenko? Starting next year, I pledge to make that worth three tenths less than the Y1.5 so that no one will ever have an incentive to do it.”


Speaking of people who vault Yurchenkos like proper gymnasts, here is a microscopic infant crane named Nastia Liukin.

She casually jumps into the sea on her Yurchenko 1.5 and scores an Internationallook.912 to put her in Platinum place.

Meanwhile, Zamo is dressed for success.

Or, well, not success. What is the word…?

Motorcycle apocalypse. That’s it.

Submitted for posterity: Emilie Le Pennec’s hop full to Def. I’m kind of sad that the French finally realized that Defs are not worth the risk after like 15 years.

Joining her on bars is fellow co-founder of Team Just-The-Greatest, Anna Pavlova.


And then she sweeps her legs on her Pak because of course she did. Pavlova things.

In fab-save news, congratulations to Ariella Kaeslin for landing her Arabian inside the earth’s core and then saving it solely through the power of butt rockets. Good thing she had those installed. Might want to recalibrate though.

Though her save is no match for the wonder produced by Xena Warrior Oshima…

…whose uneven bars improv class should be mandatory attendance.

The moment she realized that her toe-circle got her facing the wrong direction is basically worthy of the gold medal.

Hey, I know what we need!

A featurette on video cameras!


Why was 2005 actually 1984?

“This is a laptop computer, or ‘notebook.’ Videos of routines or cats or Jordan Jovtchev can now be sent directly here via a series of tubes, or ‘internet pieces.'”

“And when the crack-smoking judges can’t figure out how to work one of these new internet boxes, they can always pick up this conveniently sized landline and call someone else who also doesn’t understand. It’s as easy as that. Back to you…Gemma. Probably.”

You know that thing where bio graphics have a “her father” category?

OK, let’s talk about these hobbies. 1) Girl, you’ve never been swimming before. 2) “SNOW skiing.” Oh, Australia. Skiing. We just say skiing.

Anna “had some problems on uneven bars” Pavlova is moving on to gorgeous. I mean beam.

2005 really was the year of the not-even-close triple full. Everyone is doing it, and none of them are more than 2.34s. STOP IT YOU MONSTERS.

“This jam won’t give me a lifetime of shoulder problems.” – Chellsie Memmel, 2005.

The 2005 routine was Nastia’s loveliest bars composition—mostly because she was still able to do the DLO at this point and didn’t have to chuck around that spider-in-the-dryer double front 1/2-out. I also prefer the pirouette work here compared to the one-arm fest that the open code required her to put in to stay at the top of the world in difficulty.

And now to perform an interpretive-dance PSA about the dangers of dumping toxic chemical waste, it’s Daniele Hypolito.

Up next on bars is Elena Zamolodchi…and she already screwed up her mount and then fell on a Jaeger.

I feel like we need a musical montage dedicated to Monette Russo’s toe-on 1/2 right about now, don’t you? Good, because we’ve certainly got one.

The event-introduction music really is on fire in this broadcast. For beam, we have “all we are is dust in the wind,” and for floor we have “hold me closer, tiny dancer.” I just…I can’t continue.

FLYS????? There are FLYS wreaking havoc with the gymnasts? We’re inside! Pull it together!

Beam allows Nastia to move into first place for the moment as she is gorgeous and pristine all through Poop Squat and The Legend of Ol’ Flappy. Very few deductions to take, particularly on Poop Squat.

Unfortunately for Emilie Le Pennec, she is disqualified for her domestic-violence-themed floor routine.

Newspaper! Newspaper! Frying pan!

Hmm, I wonder why we’re showing Joanna Skowronska right now of all peop…ohhhhhh.



Red alert: Beth Tweddle is standing by a beam. I repeat, Beth Tweddle is standing by a beam. Is she lost? Does she need help?


Monette Russo is using a tissue. Break into regular programming. Monette Russo is using a tissue.

Chellsie Memmel keeps pace with Nastia on beam, working cleanly through The Juicer, The Shake-and-Bake, and The Fly Swat. FIERCE COMPETITOR.

We’re informed that the piked barani will henceforth be named the Memmel.

Nellie Kim’s like

Memmel hits both her piked barani and her standing Arabian. Good thing the open-ended code started promoting more difficulty.

For floor music, Zamo has chosen to use a recording of how Spandex is made, by stretching the carcass of a Spandex dolphin.

Rock on.

Oh YEAH, the Daria Bijak handspring front layout vault. Still the most recent one to do it in NCAA? That’s not particularly surprising because it’s such a weird-ass vault, though hers is a lot less gahhhh than all those U-shaped vaults we saw in Sydney.


I love how every time Russo does a routine, Liz is like, “Probably a 9.1” and then it’s 9.387.


It’s an “amazing turnaround in world gymnastics to see the US 1-2.” A reminder of what a baby US dominance still is. It’s just now making its debut at the junior elite level.

Does being constantly injured make it OK that Memmel had the same floor music for a whole quad?

Nastia needs a 9.514 on floor to win the all-around title. I’m sure this won’t end in controversy.

It’s a 9.512! She’s in second! This is the end! Nothing more to say about it!

Uh oh. No easy-bake oven or box of rose petals for Nastia!

The happy winner!

The happy bronze medalist (and guest)!

The happy silver medalist!

“You guys, if I had gone to a real school, I would know how pissed to be about this.”

Add in a Coldplay “Fix You” montage about Nastia’s defeat?  Nailed it again, you music-selecting champions.

“Your name’s Chelsia right? OK, clap clap whatever. That’s nice dear.”

“And now, my sun and stars, my beautiful darling.”

“I love you most of all and will keep your name in the code of points even after your eponymous skill is determined to be two different elements.”

Please enjoy this stuffed koala holding an Australian flag as a token of our most stereotypical gift shop.

Nastia continues being thrilled.

So, if you aren’t up on the controversy of this meet and why it caused so much outrage, here’s how the final official scores looked:

Chellsie Memmel 9.325 9.537 9.425 9.537 37.824
Nastia Liukin 9.137 9.587 9.587 9.512 37.823

So, Memmel wins the world championship title. However, because gymnastics is more concerned with aesthetics than the way numbers work, official scores were unnecessarily cut off at three decimal places, slightly altering the actual scores achieved.

Using full scores without eliminating any decimal places, the totals would have looked like this:

Chellsie Memmel 9.3250 9.5375 9.4250 9.5375 37.8250
Nastia Liukin 9.1375 9.5875 9.5875 9.5125 37.8250

So, in reality, Memmel and Liukin should have tied for the all-around title.

There is also the argument that if you’re going to eliminate a decimal place, then learned-in-elementary-school arithmetic tells you to round the third decimal place up because of 5 or greater. This would yield the following result:

Chellsie Memmel 9.325 9.538 9.425 9.538 37.826
Nastia Liukin 9.138 9.588 9.588 9.513 37.827

That is, however, just as inaccurate as the official finish because you’re still creating scores that didn’t exist and artificially changing the numbers to fit a set amount of decimal places, which is totally unnecessary. There was no need to round or eliminate decimal places at all. The two should have received the same final score.

Sadly, gymnastics has never been to math class.


13 thoughts on “2005 World All-Around Final — Gymnastics + Math = F-”

  1. ohhhh my god this is probably your best meet recap so far. a privilege. please use any and all opportunities to throw shade at nellie kim in every post ever.

  2. Dying a little right now. Also nastia used the same damn floor music with the weird ambiguous ending the whole quad too, so I think they’re even

  3. I’ve never enjoyed this coverage of 2005 before, but I have a “burned to DVD copy” (as was the style at the time) of the WCSN (the deadsies World Cup Sports Network) coverage. Fun fact: coverage went out to everyone all over the planet about, mmm, 10 minutes prior to the meet, which I think was at 2am PT. I called customer service, and a frazzled but kind gentleman informed me that he had gotten calls from all over the world, “including Alaska.” Wowsers.

    Anywho, when capping or discussing 2005, one must must must include Severrino’s bars gaffe. Then, now, and forever, nothing has made me laugh harder.

  4. I’m literally in my grave, how dare you compare our icon to a SPIDER IN THE DRYER – but it’s SO ACCURATE. Also, if Nastia’s is a spider in the dryer, WHAT IS ALY’S double front?! Apple falling from a tree?

  5. It would have been awesome to see Memmel and Liukin tie for the gold medal in 2005, since there was a tie for AA gold twenty years prior (1985) and would have made for a funny coincidence.

  6. I was just chucking along as usual until “spider in the dryer.” Perfection!

  7. Oh my god. Top 3 highlights: 1. Nastia continues being thrilled 2. Slater walking toward the table like a hospice nurse 3. Emelies domestic violence themed floor routine.

  8. I really cherish the special moments where you refer back to another piece of gymnastical whimsy you previously penned. For example, here you refer to several wonderful phrases from GREAT MOMENTS IN BEAM CHOREOGRAPHY. (It’s under Hero’s Work for those of you who have not yet read this particularly hilarious installment)
    I feel like I am part of the saga.
    And I thank you for giving something to do while I am bored at work.
    May Ol’ Flappy live on forever.

  9. Your meet snark posts arey favorite thing ever. I had to stop reading them at work because my laughter was too disruptive. My suggestion for the next one is the 2003 American cup because it has everything.

  10. You are very clever, imaginative, original and funny. I think this AA competition was sort of a preview of 2008 olympics — just substitute Shawn Johnson for Chellsie Memmel. Chellsie had more power but form issues and Nastia had beautiful lines but could have used a little more power. I never knew about the math, but poor Nastia had that happen to her in the Uneven Bars final at 2008 olympics too. She does not like second place, and her father doesn’t either.

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