GymCastic 389: Worlds Day 2

The Kara Eaker inquiry heard ’round the world and more thoughts from the second day of women’s qualification at worlds.

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42 thoughts on “GymCastic 389: Worlds Day 2”

  1. Crazy thought… but what if Biles withdrawal from the beam final and give her spot up for Kara 🙂 I mean, yeah she’s guaranteed a medal, but haha I don’t know, what’s another medal for Biles really? she’s already got a million of them haha

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    1. Are you out of your mind? Simone wants to win beam. It’s been her nemesis the last 2 major competitions she’s been in. Rio and Doha both had mistakes and she only got bronze. She’s here for gold in Stuttgart. She’s not giving her hard earned spot to anyone. And she shouldn’t.

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    2. In addition to being unfair to Simone, this also doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. The reason Kara’s beam score was so low wasn’t because she had an uncharacteristically bad routine, it was because she did her normal routine and the judges evaluated her routine according to rules in the code that are often ignored. If she were to compete in event finals, it is very possible that the judges would once again downgrade some or all of her ring skills, and then she would likely not be able to win a medal because of her low D score. The only solution that would ensure she would get a medal for a solid hit routine would be to rework the entire composition of her routine, but that’s not a realistic thing to do in one week.

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  2. It’s not fun to learn things the hard way, but Kara & Jade have both been critiqued incessantly about the skills that cost them event finals today.

    It’s also sad that Kara and Grace only contributed TQ scores on one event each, will only be participating in the TF.

    I feel like Jessica is overselling the Mykayla redemption story. True as it may be, that she’s all positivity, humility and the team cheerleader now — it’s as cringeworthy as her interview with Tom.

    P.S. USA beat China by over 5 points, not the 3 and a half said in the podcast.

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    1. I think that’s as much a lesson for the American scoring judges and coaches as Kara and Jade. Overscoring hurts the gymnasts. That inquiry would have never happened they’d been listening to the fans all this time.

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    2. I agree about Jessica. She is great, but very much on team MyKayla and very unfair with her comments towards Jade. Someone else commented about this recently and now that it’s been pointed out, it’s overwhelmingly obvious.

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    3. I don’t think MyKayla making an extra effort to be a team player and to be encouraging has a downside. She learned from her past mistakes and appears to really be trying to be the best teammate moving forward. We should be applauding people moving in a positive direction instead of continuing to rip people.

      Regarding Kara and Jade, I don’t think you’re being fair to either of them. 2 out of bounds passes cost Jade a team final spot – not any specific skill. And Kara has had international success with her routine as-is. Her routine today was still very good. It was an unusual situation that caused Kara’s score to be lowered. Clearly it was team-final worthy from a live viewing of it. It was only when it was replayed was the score lowered.

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      1. I think it’s a bit much to shower McKayla with praise for acting like a decent human being. She’s the oldest gymnast on the US team and it’s expected of her to set a good example for the younger gymnasts.

        Accepting the alternate position with humility and being a team player is a step in the right direction for her, but people are acting like she’s won the Longines Prize for Elegance.

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      2. Let’s leave MyKayla alone. She spent 3 years in ncaa being criticized by small minded jerks. She worked hard both athletically and academically. She was a great teammate at Utah and the team and fans loved her. She was so often scored lower in comparison to other athletes and she dealt with it. She has matured and done amazingly well with her comeback and the above mentioned jerks need to move on. Try looking at the antics of other gymnasts that just fly under the radar or are instantly forgiven because it’s a stressful sport. Give her a break for a change.

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      3. No one said anything bad about Mykayla here. They were talking about Jessica’s nonstop fawning over how she’s actually a decent person now. It doesn’t make Mykayla look better, quite the opposite, it makes you question why she’s discussing it at all. That’s the point that was made.

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    4. So, let me get this straight….it’s cringeworthy that she’s talking positively about Mykayla supporting her teammates?

      This sounds more like a YOU issue and speaks volumes about YOUR character. I’m positive, from your post, you loved throwing stones when Mykayla wasn’t behaving up to your expectations. Now, she’s behaving as a “gymnast should” and you’re upset about that, too.

      Grow the f*** up! You people are so petty.

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      1. Yes, it is cringeworthy. As other people have mentioned, while it’s nice that Mykayla has slightly changed her public behavior, she’s only doing what all of her teammates have been doing this entire time. Fawning over Mykayla for acting like a decent human being in public is embarrassing for her and paints Mykayla in a bad light.

        This isn’t hard to understand. If you’re unable to grasp it, and instead misinterpret this as some kind of unfair attack on Mykayla, then you’re probably the one who needs to grow up.

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    1. Full even replays, the ones they live streamed are there. I have to use the app though, the website just gets stuck on initializing.

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  3. One more thought about the “benefit of a doubt for the gymnaset” thing: it’s totally different than e.g. taking exams at university, if you get a lower score the second time but still get credited the firso one, fine, cause noone gets harmed.
    But in this case, if you don’t reduce Kara’s score although you credited her for things she didn’t do, you harm another gymnasts who would be kicked out of finals/medals because of that. And if there was no risk to get the “real” score but only improve, everyone should inquire in any case in the hope to get few more tenths and the whole thing gets redundant.
    So either be consequent with “what the judges see in the moment of competition is what counts” and no inquiries possible, or be consequent in “if you inquire the judges will reevaluate and recalculate the D” which can go both ways. Anything else is not fair to the other gymnasts in the competition.

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  4. Im sure some coaches are going to get their hand slapped with the ruler over the Kara situation.
    I can assure you, that wouldn’t have happened on Marta’s watch. She qualified, we qualified, lets move on. Just be sharper next time. Being tenth thirsty cost her and the team that individual medal. My only curiosities are if they knew shed qualified before the inquiry was submitted, and if the inquiry was submitted after the meet had “ended”.

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    1. I recently graduated from an American university, and multiple classes I took allowed students to take a make up exam after they had already taken the original exam in certain situations. In every one of those classes, the policy was as stated in this podcast: your recorded score on the test is the higher of the two attempts. It sounds like they don’t have courses like this in the university/department you work at. I think different schools just have different ways of doing things.

      Even so, I don’t think the comparison made in the podcast was a good one. I think a better comparison is what normally happens in college classes in which students are allowed to submit graded exams to be regraded if they think their exams were graded incorrectly. Every single college class I took allowed submissions for regrading, and every single professor said something along these lines: “After every exam, there will be a regrading window in which you can submit your exam to be graded again if you think I made an error. If you submit an exam for a regrade, understand that I reserve the right to regrade the whole exam, not just the part you are questioning. If I regrade the whole exam, I may find deductions that I missed when I originally graded it, and your score may decrease.”

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      1. Mary log off. No one cares about your life. lol Glad your white privilege is in effect! Congrats! We are so proud!

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      2. I care Mary. You were just responding to a completely rude individual who can’t handle a differing opinion. This blog is becoming more socially vulgar with time. I thought it was to encourage different views and opinions shared by fans of the sport. The racial innuendo was totally uncalled for and had it been directed at a different race it would have been called out harshly. To the previous responder keep your comments civil

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      3. Haley.. Aww poor persecuted white woman! All the struggles you face daily, I understand that now it has trickled into a gymnastics message board, the burden is just 2 great 2 bare! I hope you can make it through those rivers of white tears. Me and Mary will pray for you during our bible study!

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      4. Additionally, it seems you are under the mistaken impression that I am the same person who commented about being a Bad Christian. I am not. That is a different person who apparently shares a name with me. Nonetheless, attacking that other woman for her religion is rude and unnecessary.

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      1. Oh, thanks for the info! Still kind of a thing for us though, but it does make sense why she would make a higher priority of it, then.

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      2. Hmm, maybe she is culturally Jewish but religiously, I’m pretty sure Kensley is a Christian considering that the first line of her twitter profile says “trying to show Christ in word, in action, and in deed.”

        Anyway, I don’t know why we need to talk about this. She is knowledgeable about gymnastics, which is good enough for me even if I disagree with her on religion.

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  5. Although the philosophies of inquiries are interesting, I’m more interested in the administrative decision to inquiry when there was (little) gain to be made with a potentially huge downside. Inquiries usually are made 1) to genuinely increase a score to get into a final or earn a medal (not applicable in this case), 2) as a power play to voice dissent at judging decision and shine a spotlight on the disputed decision, or 3) as an emotional response. #2 may have been a legitimate exercise of American concern with the FIG panel, but #3 would be very, very worrisome for the future. Without question, the decision was made quickly and I hope the evaluative mechanisms for the decision were sound. Processes, evaluative factors and procedures exist for a reason (cough, follow your own selection procedures which were very well written) because they manage difficult situations when time is limited and emotional choices feel better in-the-moment than logical ones. They also disperse the power to make such decisions because even if the NTC has the sole decision-making authority for inquiries, that authority is channeled and exercised within specific, non-discretionary, pre-existing parameters. Although I’d love to know who did what, I would love it more if Lili Leung would ask for a deep dive into inquiries and come up with a written, internal game plan for the future.

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    1. It was a dumb decision to ask for the inquiry given Kara’s specifically iffy rings, but it makes sense to want a lesser-known athlete to be as high in the standing as possible for the final. It is somewhere between possible and likely that judges are aware – at least vaguely – of what the qualifications standings were, and if you’re a gymnast who doesn’t have as famous a reputation, it might help a little bit if judges think you qualified very high in the rankings. People see what they expect to see – Simone gets relatively gentle scoring because she has a reputation as a fantastic gymnast, and judges will give her the benefit of the doubt on things when they wouldn’t extend that to an unknown gymnast from a small country. Kara’s not totally unknown, but she also doesn’t have any world medals, so it might help a bit if she went into a final as the top qualifier.

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  6. Don’t you have to make enquirer before the next gymnast goes? Did they know it that nanosecond her score would qualify? And have not had a chance to watch anything yet due to traveling, so that is a real question.

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    1. I think that you have until the next gymnast’s score is released (or 1 whole minute, if it’s the last routine). But yes, it’s got to be a very quick decision to get it to the one specific individual in charge of inquiries for the meet in time, and it has to be done by one of the two credentialed coaches on the floor. It means the decision has to be made by the coaches on the floor at that moment with only seconds of deliberation.

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    2. The rules say that the inquiry has to be submitted before the score for the next gymnast is released, and if they’re the last to go, they have one minute from the moment the score is shown on the scoreboard. Also, the final decision must be made by the end of that rotation for qualifying comps as well as team and AA finals, and for event finals the decision has to be released before the next gymnast can perform.

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    3. Also, yes, they knew that she was definitely qualified when they made the inquiry; the US was the very last group to go up on beam, the only other person after Kara was Simone, Kara had a higher score than the previous two Americans and couldn’t be 2pc’d, and she was sitting far above 8th place. There was no way she could’ve not made the final before the inquiry.

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    4. Someone please correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe the all-around and event final rankings were updated after every single routine and clearly visible to everyone. I believe it was 100% clear to everyone that Eaker was qualified to the beam final in 4th or 5th even before Simone went up.

      Even though Eaker has had some success with this beam routine internationally, the judging climate on beam at this worlds is setting the stage for Tokyo next year. The Chinese and their arguably stronger ring jumps and leaps were also devalued which tells us there is a clear consensus on how these elements will be scored moving forward. It’s unfortunate that Eaker was awarded for her beam routines domestically and even at international FIG events (including last year’s worlds to some extent) because it set up unrealistic expectations for this year’s worlds.

      Unfortunately, even if Eaker’s score wasn’t lowered and she still made the beam final, it does raise a huge red flag about her place on the Olympic team moving forward. The expectation for Eaker being on the Olympic team is that she would deliver a 15.0 beam routine and usable backups on bars and floor. Now that it’s been made clear that Eaker currently doesn’t have the beam composition to get her close to 15.0, then it makes an Olympic team spot (or even one of the individual spots) very questionable.

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      1. Relax Sharon. Tokyo isnt tomorrow. She has time to work on it. Save the pearl clutching for next year.

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  7. QUESTION – So when could the coaches have seen the official scoring sheet or whatever its called, for Karas beam routine to see what the judges were taking off? Can they see it right after the competition? The next day, or that night?? Before Team Final, so they can pay special attention to the errors before finals?

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