Things Are Happening – November 8, 2019

A. The Internet Is for Skills

First of ly, Simone coughed and the whole world stopped, as is only fitting.

In a festive celebration of Gymnastics Should Be Fun Season, she took to Twitter to say, “This is a double layout off beam, Armine**”

Simone simultaneously demonstrated her savvy internet-tress skills in knowing that you have to put the word “fun” and that emoji in there, otherwise you would have 780 people rolling in like, “THAT’S NOT COMPETITION READY.” Cool. Good analysis.

Also, Scott stole my joke about it, so why do I even do this?

**For the newbies, Armine claims she did a DLO off beam when she was competing, and everyone is like…

And you have a secret girlfriend in Canada too, right?


I guess the Nabieva 1/2 is a thing now.

Bart is doing Cassina to Kovacs to Kolman on High Bart.

Sam hurt his armies on PBars.

B. Cottbus Withdrawals

The withdrawals are rolling in for this month’s Olympic qualifier in Cottbus.

Most significant is the disappearance of Vanessa Ferrari from the latest roster update, of particular importance because Ferrari is currently tied with Lara Mori for 2nd place in the floor standings. Mori remains on the roster for this meet, so the path is now quite clear for her to move into sole possession of first place on floor with neither Carey nor Ferrari attending the meet. She’d just need to make the EF to do so.

In other developments, most of the Israeli team has decided to bounce on this meet, which is not particularly significant for Dolgopyat and Shatilov because they already clinched Olympic spots, but the withdrawal of Medvedev is a bigger deal because he is not yet qualified to the Olympics and currently sits in 4th place in the vault standings.

Much of the Korean team has withdrawn, but since the Korean men qualified a whole team and the women already have Yeo Seojeong and Lee Yunseo qualified…they’re basically set for the Olympics? Shin Jeahwan (currently 6th on vault) is still attending since he wouldn’t make the main Korean team and therefore needs to get in as an individual.

Other withdrawals include Rose Woo and Anastasia Alistratava, but on the addition side, the US men have now noted which events they will be competing (in the last update they were blank), with Stephan Urquelle Nedoroscik doing PH only, but Van Wicklen and Whittenburg both signed up for the other five pieces. OK?

Van Wicklen is currently working a Tsuk double pike with the presumed intent of giving himself two 5.6s.

C. Else

So, like, Shawn Johnson made a person or something? It’s a helpful reminder that I am very out of step with the larger gymternet because I could not possibly be less interested in any of this goop.

Me: But what if it’s a boy and she names it Blinch?


D. College Training

If you’re hankering for your college gym fix…

Oklahoma did a little “we’re good at bars, beyotches” special, Kyla has added a straddle jump 3/4 (D skill) to her beam routine, Denver is vaulting (including Mia Sundstrom working a 1.5), and Missouri is showing off the bars routine from one of this year’s anticipated freshmen, Helen Hu.

E. GymCastic

As we wait for current meets to get exciting again, we’ve entered a short commission season. This week’s entire episode is a tribute to the life and career of Oksana Chusovitina.

33 thoughts on “Things Are Happening – November 8, 2019”

  1. Okay this is random, but does anyone else actually enjoy Tim and Nastia’s commentary? I think they’re always getting bashed on this website, and I actually think they’re pretty fun to listen to.

    1. Yeah I think you might be nearly alone on this one lol Tim is annoying and Nastia is bland

    2. I enjoy them! Sometimes Tim says Dorky things, but I enjoy his passion for the sport! But yes its on trend to always complain about them ad nauseam !

    3. I could do better commentary than they do, while still meeting NBC’s casual-viewer-friendly-hype standards. (I would also be better at interviewing gymnasts than Gymcastic girl.) But I’m not a famous gymnast so I cannot give any details about what it’s like to compete at these kind of meets.

      If you narrow it down to ex-gymnasts, rather than including anyone who has ever had media training or written commentary for anything, Tim and Nastia are not AS horrible, but I still wouldn’t have tapped either of them for the job.

      1. Whilst I agree that there are some things in Jessica’s interviewing which could be improved (the same could be said about practically anyone doing any job, but it’s a question of degree) – first, don’t call an adult “girl”, especially in a derogatory or condescending context, and second, she has always seemed very open to constructive feedback, so if there are particular things you think she could improve, you could tell her rather than moan anonymously..?

      2. I like Tim when it is a live meet because he is more focused and sticks more to the gymnastics. He is also not as dramatic because he doesn’t know what is going to happen next. When it’s delayed broadcast, he has already seen the gymnastics and knows what is going to happen so he is extra dramatic.

      3. You are quite correct that I should not have referred to her as a girl – she is an adult.

        “second, she has always seemed very open to constructive feedback, so if there are particular things you think she could improve, you could tell her rather than moan anonymously..?”

        Oh I have. And she’s not.

        While I have pretty strong opinions about Jessica, I didn’t mean to make this about her – there’s plenty of criticism of her online already and she wasn’t even involved in these topics at all.

      4. Ele do you have a background in journalism or something? If you haven’t been tested you have no idea how you’d actually do. Generally people with your attitude are humbled at best, humiliated at worst when they actually try to do the thing.

      5. @Anonymous: yes, I do have a background in journalism! I now do interviews for academic research.

        I don’t agree with you that you need to have a professional background in something in order to criticize. It is true that it gives you some perspective on the effort behind a job, but I have never felt that people needed to hold a qualification in order to criticize my work, especially when I was doing media work that was for public consumption.

      6. I think the gymternet should have people send in videos of gymnastics competitions with their own commentary dubbed in vía YouTube. That would make for an interesting, humbling or pleasantly surprising experience. I don’t know how it would work logistically, just thinking it’d be cool.

    4. I’ve literally sent feedback to NBC Sports Pressbox pretty much annually for the past two or three years about how awful a broadcaster he is.

      He makes incorrect statements on nearly every event he hosts.

      I think the last example I gave them was about how he said Sam got into the Worlds AA finals due to winning a tiebreak for his superior “execution” — that’s not how he won the tiebreak.

      1. I would like to say that I do much prefer Bart and Kathy (obviously they are the best), but I was just saying that I don’t necessarily think Tim and Nastia deserve all the negativity that they receive.

  2. I’m sure you already know there’s video evidence of Ponor doing a DLO dismount so I’ll skip to the second thing. Vasiliki Millousi had her baby too!

  3. i much prefer Ollie and Lisa’s commentary on the Olympic Channel. I have never done gymnastics but I love watching the sport. I learned quite a few things listening to their commentary vs Tim and Nastia. I think that Ollie and Lisa struck a good balance of here is the information the casual fan needs and here is some of the info that gymnerds want to know. i really hope nbc will listen and next year give us Ollie and Lisa or Bart and Kathy. They all love the sport and can keep it both casual for the occasional fan but allow someone to pick up knowledge watching the program.

    1. Hella unpopular opinion but I think Ollie and Lisa were too soft, at times to the point of being misleading. I appreciate his ethos re: positivity and I agree with it to a certain degree, but gymnastics is a sport that’s scored based on mistakes, and too often they go unmentioned or are minimized for the sake of niceness. It’s not helpful for the casual audience hoping to better understand why routines are scored the way they are.

      That being said, I’m not into the hardcore negativity. Tim and Nastia can sometimes slip into that and ol’ Trautwig was terrrrrible in that regard. For the most part, though, I think their commentary reflects reality, especially when it comes to judging the gymnast in the larger context of the meet.

      To me, Kathy hits the sweet spot of constructive criticism and I wish she would do the commentary for everything tbh.

      1. I agree. Ollie’s one-liners are fun, but I think his aggressive positivity can be a detriment. The “unintentional dismount” thing was cute and funny the first time, but as his standard term, it comes across as infantilizing, as if the gymnasts can’t handle that they fell. And it definitely doesn’t aid the mission to make the outside world take gymnastics seriously as a sport.

  4. Shawn’s small person has indeed arrived (all the way back on October 29, too), and her name is Drew Hazel. It appears that Nastia is godmother.

  5. Shawn Johnson and that Ortega commercial. All I can think about is her taco popping.

    1. I wish she was at a bigger-name school because I’m worried she’ll get Lexi Ramler-ed into 9.85 purgatory without a top-6 leotard on.

  6. All I can say is that the Gymternet should not be too harsh less the gym gods bring us back Al and Elfie … Tim and Nastia are far better than those days.

    I agree with the others. If you don’t like Jessica’s interviewing, send her constructive criticism. She always comes off as welcoming to comments and bettering herself.

    1. As someone who has actually asked Jessica to consider changing her approach to certain things, I promise you that she is not open to constructive criticism or really any feedback that is not one hundred percent positive.

      Again, not trying to go after her here but I wrote this above, and you’re coming up with the same “stop complaining, just ask her!” stuff so – I have, and it doesn’t work.

      1. You have already displayed a conceited attitude so I’d hazard a guess that your feedback wasn’t constructive

      2. I mean, i could tell you what i said and how she responded, but it seems like you’re hell-bent on defending Jessica no matter what. First it’s assumed that I haven’t brought said constructive criticism to her before and then when I say I have, it’s assumed that I was a huge dick about it. You weren’t involved so you have no way of knowing, but you’re so confident that i am wrong that it doesn’t matter to you.

      3. @Ele – don’t worry about these hypocritical people on anon saying you are conceited. I don’t think you were, and Jessica has displayed not dealing well with criticism before, even with just like pointing out she was factually wrong about stuff, she always acts like she still had a point – like when she said China has a history of pulling people out of finals, and it was pointed out China had literally never done that before, she still mumbled about it happening in MAG when it also didn’t happen in Chinese MAG. I believe in you when you say you had constructive criticism and it wasn’t heard.

  7. Random Comment – Just watched the 2016 AA final, and after Alys floor she was crying from joy,,, BUT NOT ONE TEAR came down? My 2 year old does this when they fake cry with no tears? Thoughts? Was it an inner cry, with an outer cry face?

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