A. NCAA training
LSU unveiled its vault secret weapon, Sarah Edwards, who only had a full last time we saw any videos of her gymnastics.
Last week, we got into a discussion of Georgia’s current lineups (because Georgia, we’re not mad at you, we’re worried about you), and Emily has us covered with the latest.
Alabama showing bits and pieces:
If you read the Washington preview, I noted the importance of Evanni Roberson to the team this year. Here she is with a front 2/1.
Flo has a bunch of videos from the Michigan v. EMU exhibition. The top score was 9.925 for Brianna Brown on bars.
Alma Kuc adding in a piked Jaeger:
And Cal’s vault lineup:
Auburn’s preview highlights:
B. Preseason showcases
Because you’re desperate for a hit of sweet, sweet NCAA gymnastics—even if it doesn’t count—a few teams will be holding preseason exhibition/intrasquad events this weekend-ish that you can WATCH. On your COMPUTERS. Because THE FUTURE.
On Saturday, Georgia will be holding a first look at 4:00 ET on SEC+, which will partially overlap with UCLA’s Meet the Bruins event, scheduled for 2:00 PT on the Pac-12 Network—as long as everything hasn’t burned down by then. UCLA’s choice of guest judges for the event is [stereotypical Italian chef kissing fingers].
Then, on Monday, LSU will be holding its annual Gymnastics 101, also on SEC+ at 6:30 CT.
Be sure to take notes so we can compare.
C. Khorkina is still a cuckoo clock
You may have heard that Russia is “banned” from the Winter Olympics. Except not really because the non-caught athletes will still most likely be able to compete, and to do so as “Olympic Athletes from Russia” which is..the same. Am I the only one who didn’t really get the whole “WOW HUGE BRAVE STEP FROM IOC RUSSIA BANNED” talk?
Anyway, Khorkina still had thoughts about it because INSULT TO RUSSIA and NO FLAG. Of course she did. Very Khorkina thoughts.
Thoughts that include:
How are we going to live from now on?
To break the great nation of Russia?! No, they won’t be able to.
This country – RUSSIA in all capital letters – has the army, nuclear power, and great people!
WON’T SOMEBODY PLEASE THINK OF THE NUCLEAR POWER?!?!
There are weird people there who think they’re better than everyone else.
We’ve won over everyone a long time ago.
Let’s get back to Earth
Won’t you, though?
These ladies and gents lost their sense of smell.
They’re just the service personnel. They shouldn’t be seen at all.
Fans don’t come to watch the officials who place their butts into big chairs.
Or do they…
Thanks as always to Luba for letting us into this cuckoo clock.
D. 60 years
As we begin to lock the monster in unbreakable chains, increased attention shifts to MSU and USAG and…what’s that USAG? You have not a great look you want to share?
E. Toyota International
This weekend, your competition to follow is the Toyota International, which typically features a pretty solid slate of international competitors in addition to the top Japanese gymnasts (except for Kohei, who thought he might return for this competition but isn’t ready yet).
The international contingent is expected to include both Weverseseses, Eremina, Black, Boyer, DJDS, and Bossu. Also of note, Australia is getting Kiara Munteanu back into competition here, which is an important step in shoring up what has been a very depleted national team slate in recent meets.
This week, we check in on the latest updates from Simone and break down the recent competitions, with very special attention paid to all the most shirtless and Ponoriest moments from the Mexican Open gala. #noregrets
G. Beam routine of the week
This week’s beam routine belongs to another member of the golden age of Chinese beam, though one less heralded than our beloved Yang Bo. That would be Chen Cuiting—inventor of the Chen flic, the Korbut swingdown but with tucking and then stretching of hips in the flight phase. Yet another skill that was removed from the code for unexplained reasons (though the piked version, the Rueda, remains).
Earlier in the 80s, Hope Spivey performed a sort of a tucked Korbut thing, but Chen’s has a tuck, followed by a clear stretch, before reaching the beam. It’s so high that it gets wonk-a-doo here, and I barely even care. It’s not the prettiest skill, but it’s so weird and cool.
Let’s also talk about the height on that layout stepout, the position on that double tuck dismount, and how every movement looks like it’s being done while encased in a ball of very thin molasses.