The Wolf Turns of Nationals, 2017 Edition

Another year, another batch of wolf turns to find hilarious.

Mastering screwing up a wolf turn is a strange, particular art. The ways the wolf turn can go wrong are unceasingly numerous and intricate, each layer of fiascos more complex than the last. Much like an onion. Because you’re already crying.

And so we begin this year’s countdown of the best wolf turns nationals had to offer.

#10: The “Just a Li’l Bit of Barf”

A triple wolf turn is enough to make even the most experienced sailors hurl off starboard.

Better out than in.

#9: The Texas Dreams “Stand and Deliver”

There’s no need to bow afterward, ma’am.

If I squat at the end, it’s like I was squatting the whole time.

Inching up into in a wall sit and scooting around is for credit!

How many turns was that? Two? Four? When should I stop and stand up…AHH TOO LATE THERE’S NO TIME.

#8: The “Tripping Helps Sometimes”

You: “I can do a double wolf turn.”
Your foot: “Too bad you’re not in charge no more…”
You: “Come on baby, just a little farther.”

It’s not a fall if you were already mostly on the ground, right?

#7: The “Who Left a Beam Here?”

I’m awesome, I’m awesome, I’m awesome, ow crap.

Really inconsiderate placement of beam there, right in front of her foot. Stay in your own lane, buddy.

#6: The “That Was a Double, Take It Up with My Lawyers”

Just sell it. Keep going. Swing the foot around somewhere. Plausible deniability. Double. Triple. 2.4. Who says otherwise?

Also smart to choreograph in a “stop, drop, and roll” fire drill afterward because who knows where that flopped-around right leg is going to take you. It could sweep someone’s eye out.


Where she stops, only the wind can say.

#4: The “I May Have Missed Some of the Rules…”

You throw your leg around for a second, and then just do wiggle spinning, right?

That’s not the game?

What’s the game?

Am I it?

#3: The “She didn’t fall? Inconceivable!”

Cling. You cling for dear life. Climb back up whatever the cost.

And then finish in the wolf position. Because SKILL COMPLETED AS PLANNED, NEXT.

#2: The “Should I just…I’ll…never mind…whatever…forget I said anything”

The wolf turn to easy-graceful-sideways-position straddle is good.

The “grandma can’t get up the way she used to” is better.

But it’s those “Oh don’t worry about it, Jana Bieger, I’ll just keep going, happens all the time” gestures after clawing herself back up onto the beam that really earn the #2 position.

Connection bonus, as far as I’m concerned.

#1: The “Wolfkino”

Could it be any other way?


Standing up after the first turn, rather than subduing the wolf like her calculations told her it would, ended up only making the wolf grow stronger and stronger and AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

Jordan was found several days later, in a forest clearing, with two small puncture wounds on the back of her neck and no memory of what had happened or who Rhonda Faehn even is.

The case remains unsolved.

11 thoughts on “The Wolf Turns of Nationals, 2017 Edition”

  1. Dealing with the flooding in Houston– this is definitely the funniest thing I’ve seen in a couple of days. Thanks. What’s it going to take for coaches to get these out of routines? They are disasters.

    1. Literally they would have to be devalued in the next code to something “not worth it”. Like of course people are going to use them to get a D or E dance element on beam or floor. Its even showing up in Russia, ie melnikova on beam and floor!!!!

      1. Agreed they would have to be devalued before people would stop doing them. And unfortunately, this post shows (in a hilarious way) why the wolf turn is such a hard element to do well and why it is rated as highly as it is. So unless the FIG decides that it wants to devalue it just for the sake of discouraging it, not going to happen. From an actual difficulty rating, it’s probably correct. Although personally, I feel like an Okino would be easier and more attractive than a triple wolf turn and same for a regular double turn vs the double wolf turn so I’m a little surprised we see the wolf option chosen so often over the upright version.

      2. The best solution would be to deduct the crap out of wolf turns. Obviously with the the exception of Chiles and maybe Locklear, the ones we saw here probably do, but just in general. The only acceptable wolf turns I’ve ever seen have come from Lauren Mitchell and Simone Biles.

      3. @Zyxcba The problem is that even if they started taking large deductions on poorly executed wolf turns, we wouldn’t know since E scores don’t indicate which skills the deductions were taken from. Taking a large deduction for a wolf turn with poor form would only drop a gymnast’s E score several tenths (say maybe around 3 tenths or so) lower than what it would’ve been without the poor wolf turn, and it’s unlikely that we’d be able to look at the E score compared to that of gymnasts who didn’t do a bad wolf turn and say “Oh, she must’ve lost a lot for that wolf turn.” In a routine that’s a minute and a half long, it’s hard to say exactly where a few tenths in deductions came from.

  2. I was just thinking the nice thing about watching a competition like Universiade is that even though the level of gymnastics was much lower and there was ick like Larisa’s layout full, we didn’t have to deal with another onslaught of wolf turns and terrible side leaps. The US is still well ahead of the field in awful, code-friendly dance elements. Unfortunately I think it will take the entire world looking like a mini-US nationals for the FIG to do anything about it, but we can always hope.

    All hail the Wolfkino though. That one can stay.

  3. My internet was extremely slow today and it took like 12 minutes for the gifs to load. So i read your descriptions and tried to imagine what those wolf turns would look like.
    But then the gifs appeared!! They were even more hilariously absurd than i could have imagined! This was another excellent post haha. It kind of made me appreciate wolf turns (as the comedy gold that they are).

  4. Kudos to Riley since her wolfturns are slmost watchable (supposing she finishes it correctly). Others are just horrible. It highlights bad feet (talking about you, Alyona).

  5. Looking at these, how many of these wolf turns got D credit as intended? Any D score CSI experts out there?

    I’d say the ones that *deserved* full credit were:

    Locklear came close with her triple, though I’d say that wasn’t a low enough squat throughout the whole turn.
    Smith obvs got credited because 15.3 or whatever, but Idk if I’d even give her a single, her squat was so high.

    Looking at turns like Shennikova’s, does she get the skill at all if she falls without putting her foot down? Is she at risk for not fulfilling the turn credit in the CR?

    If you don’t finish your wolf turn in wolf position, do you get D credit for it?

    My point being, if this wasn’t domestic scoring, would the risk really be worth the potential reward when hit?

  6. The wolf turns on FX all being choreographed into roll out somehow make it look even worse. My husband asked me if everyone was covering falls or if they were supposed to be on the FX and he couldn’t tell because the turns were so out of control! ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ It’s funny but also awful.

  7. I was hoping to heck that you’d include Jordan’s on this list. Was not disappointed to see it #1. It really is an example of something being so bad it actually becomes good. I think this should be added to the Code. The “Chiles”. A 4 and 1/4 spin on beam starting in wolf position, ending in standing.

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