Tokyo 2021?

Well, that’s that then.

IOC member Dick Pound (see, it’s funny because dick means penis) spilled the beans as he usually does, this time revealing that the IOC has decided to postpone the Tokyo Olympics. Neither the IOC nor Tokyo have actually said anything official about that, but this has seemed inevitable and obvious for multiple days now, so we’re all jumping on this opportunity finally to treat it like it’s real instead of dancing around the idea.

Just yesterday, the IOC announced a four-week window in which to make a decision, but that now seems to have been more about determining the logistics of a postponement (which are many, and complicated) rather than actually deciding whether to postpone.

Even before this latest news, the Canadian and Australian committees announced that they wouldn’t send athletes to a 2020 Olympics, even if it were held, and you can be sure none of us would accept the concept of an Olympics without Ellie Black. That was the nail in the coffin.

BUT WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN????

We don’t really know. The likely outcome at this point seems to be a one-year postponement to the summer of 2021, but even that hasn’t been confirmed. It could be a shorter postponement (unlikely). It could be a longer postponement (shut your stupid mouth). The IOC did say yesterday that cancellation was not an option, which we hope is true, but they’ve also previously said that postponement was not an option, and it’s the IOC, so…

If we do work under the assumption that a Tokyo Olympics goes ahead in the summer of 2021 (and I’m not mentally secure enough to entertain other more drastic options right now), there are several gymnastics implications to work through.

The most challenging of which, I think, is what to do about the athletes who will turn senior in 2021. Are they now eligible to compete, because the event is happening in 2021? Or is this still the 2020 Olympics (just happening a little late) and therefore must be held with the 2020 Olympics rules, which would deem those athletes too young to compete?

This is quite a significant issue to resolve because athletes like Konnor McClain, Skye Blakely, and Viktoria Listunova would be legitimate contenders to be named to teams, and win Olympic medals, if deemed eligible.

I don’t think there’s a clear-cut or obvious answer to this one. My initial instinct is always toward giving more athletes these opportunities, which is why I would lean toward allowing the 2021 seniors to compete at the Olympics, but there are major complications to that.

The biggest issue there is one of inconsistency. In pretty much every other respect, this event needs to be treated as the 2020 Olympics with the 2020 Olympic rules maintained—particularly when it comes to which code of points to use. The FIG is supposed to unveil the official 2021-2024 code of points this year, but I would strongly oppose the idea of using a new 2021 code at the Olympics, even if those Olympics are held in 2021. The Olympics is the culmination of a quadrennium and should use the rules that were in place for the entirety of that quad.

You have to use the 2017-2020 code (now 2017-2021) at this Olympics and push the next code of points to be in effect from 2022-2024. This has happened before, as the 2001-2004 code was also used in 2005 before open-ended scoring came into effect in 2006, and I don’t think is a very controversial take.

Of course you have to use the 2017-2020 code, but if you’re treating this like the 2020 Olympics in terms of the rules, do you also have to treat it like the 2020 Olympics in terms of who is age eligible?

(The more I think about that question, the more I think the answer is yes.)

Another issue that arises would be what to do about the currently scheduled 2021 World Championships in Copenhagen. If the Olympics are moved to the summer of 2021, then a world championships would take place just a few months after the Olympics. Now, I think we’re all on board with the following reaction: “And? What’s the problem there? That sounds great.”

So, ideally, those worlds wouldn’t get moved or scrapped as part of any schedule readjustment. Certainly, many of the Olympic athletes wouldn’t turn around and go straight to compete at worlds a few months later, but that could make a 2021 worlds an exciting opportunity for the non-Simones to win some medals, which is pretty much what happens in Cold Gymnastics.

And then there’s the problem of the disrupted qualification system. Obviously, it would be crazy-unfair to restart that system in any way, so anyone who is already qualified to the Olympics should remain qualified, and anyone who has already earned points toward qualification should retain those points.

Ideally, the system would just start up again in 2021 exactly when it stopped in 2020, with the remaining apparatus world cups, all-around world cups, and continental championships held then—the 2021 versions of those events replacing the 2020 versions that were never held in the qualification calendar.

Continental championships that aren’t typically held yearly or in the same format each year would have to adjust, but that seems a manageable adjustment.

The one issue there may be the fairness of using Melbourne 2020 and American Cup 2020 points since—even though those events went ahead—they were affected by the virus for some athletes (i.e. the Chinese athletes not being able to attend Melbourne). So it’s not ideal, but I still think you have to count those events because they did happen.

The athletes. Oh yes them. There would be some interesting athlete dynamics when it comes to who can better adjust for a 2021 Olympics. I find it very interesting that we heard from a number of the US MAG athletes in favor of postponing (along with many athletes in other sports) but heard little from the US WAG athletes about wanting to postpone.

The schedules of the US WAG athletes are so specifically planned with regard to starting NCAA and rely on the Olympics happening in a specific year, and do I think that was a major contributor to the women’s relative reticence in supporting postponement. Or, they just know their ankles will be fully dust given another whole year of elite-intensity training. That too.

I will be fascinated to watch what someone like Riley McCusker decides to do. She was already in a bad spot, out of a gym, and sounding pretty Ready For Florida about her situation, even before the virus. Training in Arizona is no longer a couple-month solution. It’s more than a year. Will she decide to keep going for the Olympics?

MyKayla Skinner is also in a difficult position because she was intending to take one year off from Utah, try for the Olympics, and then return to Utah for the 2021 season. You’re theoretically supposed to finish your four years of eligibility in a five-year span, though we do see plenty of exceptions (Peng’s sixth year). Still, it means that pushing the Olympics back to 2021 isn’t as simple as just “well, then I’ll train for the Olympics for another year” in Skinner’s case. There are other moving parts and priorities.

Meanwhile, Morgan Hurd was already planning to defer college and compete elite in 2021…almost like she knew something we didn’t. I’m not saying Morgan is an oracle, I’m just saying…look at the evidence around you.

On the flip side, a postponement is wonderful news for athletes like Asuka Teramoto, whose torn Achilles was going to keep her out of her home Olympics, or for Laurie Hernandez or Aliya Mustafina, who have been given the gift of more time to get into Olympic-level form.

I’m sure I’ll have more thoughts as we go, but that’s the initial blurt.

74 thoughts on “Tokyo 2021?”

  1. the first things i thought about when i saw this news was: 1. who will they allow to be age eligible if it’s postponed a whole year, and 2. how will this affect the current qualification process? moving the olympics is also about pacing so athletes who were on track to be paced in time for summer 2020 will make for a really interesting year next year if this happens.

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    1. i think holding the qualification meets for the spots that are still open will be very difficult. You essentially have the same problem with world cup meets that you had with the Olympics: too many people from different countries traveling and being around each other.
      I really don’t see 3 world cups happening until next summer. So FIG needs to decide what to do with those spots not jet “secured” by one country or athlete.
      Honestly at this point I’m in favor of scrapping that qualifications process entirely. No one understood it anyway, and that made it NOT FUN to follow as a fan. Give each of the qualified teams 2 additional spots and be done.
      I’m just heartbroken for the athletes who have planned, worked, trained, dreamt of this for years.

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  2. I would be in favor of postponing the Olympics until summer 2021 and resuming the remaining qualifiers, starting with Baku, at the same time next year. That keeps points and qualifiers all in tact and allows for the current qualifying process to take place as is.

    As for newly-turned seniors, I say they should be eligible. They already cannot qualify for an individual spot through the apparatus world cups since there are only 2 events remaining, so their qualifying options are already limited.

    This is exceptionally difficult on athletes like Skinner and McCusker who saw this summer as an end goal and will have a major decision whether to press onward for an extra year or to go back to/start at college.

    This delay is probably the only way Laurie Hernandez has any chance. With a full year extra, she could actually end up being a contender if she wants to go for it full-time.

    Regarding new US seniors/2021 seniors, they could be a huge factor in the team selection. Just thinking of a gymnast like McClain or DiCello with an extra full year is very exciting and interesting!

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  3. I don’t think the 2021 new seniors should be eligible. Since these are the 2020 Olympics in 2021, all the same rules should apply. Those girls will get another shot for 2024 and should not be eligible to take spots from girls who already have to turn their lives upside down in order to compete in 2021. Imagine if you were Riley and you decided to continue elite to get to Tokyo in 2021 but didn’t make the team because a girl who wasn’t supposed to be eligible took your spot. I understand that you want the best girls on the team but these current seniors have already had to sacrifice and change so much to fight this virus, potentially taking away their spots on the team just seems too cruel.

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    1. Totally agree. I think it should be thought of as the 2020 Okympics, just delayed. I think it would be unfair both to the now existing seniors and to the 2021 seniors. The “old” seniors who qualified their teams maybe not getting to compete and the new seniors not having the chance to help their countries qualify a team to the olympics. The new seniors still get their chance in 2024.

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    2. People change in a year though, just because someone was ready in 2020 doesn’t mean they won’t fall apart in 2021. Look at Madison Kocian, she competed great in Rio and was totally ready. However, a year later she was having shoulder problems, went from a weekly all arounder to just a few events here and there, I doubt she could’ve made the Olympics has they taken place in 2017, leaving room for stronger girls.
      That’s why I’m in favor of allowing the ones turning senior in 2021 to compete. Imagine their feelings too, what would you say to them? Oh… you can compete along side the others, but you just can’t compete at the Olympics, that’s horrifying, girls will be paced for 2024 in comparison to girls being paced for 2021. The level of gymnastics will be all over the place, and the ones getting the assignments will be the ones training for 2021.

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      1. The 2021 seniors will get their Olympics though – they get it in 2024, just like it’s always been planned. It’s unfair for them to get to be age-eligible for two Olympics in four years when the 2017 seniors went five years at the senior level before they had a chance.

        I feel pretty strongly that it’s the 2020 Olympics and should be restricted to the people who were eligible for the 2020 Olympics. It’s just being held in 2021 because of unforeseen circumstances.

        Either way, I think the postponement makes things harder for McCallum, Hurd, and Lee (who I would guess were the most prepared for this season and also probably the closest to their absolute physical peaks in terms of their routine composition). I think it’s an advantage for pretty much everyone else.

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    3. but… a girl wouldn’t “take her spot”. It’s not “Riley’s spot”, or anyone else’s. These spots haven’t been awarded yet.
      Even if you keep out the 2021 eligible athletes, the team would be different than a 2020 team.
      Some athletes may not have it in themselves to continue another year. Others may find the year gives them time to recover from an injury or get just that little bit better. A 2021 team would not be the 2020 team anyway. That what makes this so hard for everyone.

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  4. I’m surprised to see Spencer, of all people, saying ‘more opportunities for athletes’ when the inclusion of new seniors would mean FEWER opportunities for athletes whose Olympics this was supposed to BE!!! New seniors ABSOLUTELY SHOULD NOT BE ELIGIBLE, for all the reasons evinced above and because the ‘old’ seniors will do well even to last another year (and I doubt most will.) They have 2024, I really want to see Simone break every remaining record–pure selfishness on my part–so am hoping desperately she will continue until next summer, assuming the IOC doesn’t do something of its usual imbecility (2022, etc) but I doubt McCusker, Skinner, and a bunch of others (not even confident about Hurd or McCallum or really anyone except Lee/diCello etc. And the CoP MUST NOT BE CHANGED for this Olympics.

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  5. So many questions and unknowns at this point. I suspect that there will be some athletes who were pointing toward this summer who may just be done and head to NCAA (Riley, maybe Jordan Chiles) because a spot on a 4 person team was a longshot at best. Others like Laurie might see this as giving them much needed time to prepare, or recover from injuries.

    Of course they would use the 2017-2020 code, everyone has been training this code for 4 years, to change it would be completely unfair.

    I don’t think 2021 seniors should be eligible.They have all been pointing toward 2024, keep them on that path. But a couple thoughts – it was already unfair that 2020 seniors didn’t have the chance to quality at last year’s worlds. What about the reality that likely some of those who currently qualified via the AA might not stick around for another year? Would you open up those spots to new seniors? Maybe via continental championships since there won’t be a worlds between now and the Olympics if they are held next summer.

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  6. I really hope FIG can pull together a 2020 world championships in October/November assuming this pandemic is cleared out by then. That would be a great gesture for all of those athletes still working towards the Olympics and would keep gymnastics going.

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    1. “18 months” is something we keep hearing because experts do not believe we will have an effective treatment and vaccine until then. Until then, any spectator events will be risky. If we’re lucky, it’ll be adversely affected by hot weather so it’ll simmer down in summer months, but Worlds is right around the beginning of the flu season. We just don’t know yet.

      The primary reason so many countries are locking down isn’t for lack of treatment or vaccines, it’s because they’d be overwhelmed by all the sick people and do not have the staff or supplies to deal with it.

      I mean, maybe by then we’ve adjusted to the new normal of another virus with similar flu fatality rates and we’re fine with the rampant death that would ensue in sporting events. Coronavirus fatality rates are getting closer to influenza rates with more and more data.

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      1. hey, some of the information you use on Coronavirus is not correct.
        corona does not subside with warmer weather, like the regular flu does.
        Contagion rates and fatalitly rates from Corona are way higher that from regular flu.
        just wanted to make sure that so we’re not spreading incorrect information, even on a gym blog.

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      2. Re-read what they wrote. They said “if we’re lucky” and fatality rates are “getting closer to influenza rates with more and more data.” Both are true statements. It started out as supposedly 4%, then 3, then 2, now around 1%. Reading comprehension is a thing.

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      3. I live in the southern hemisphere where we’re just coming out of a brutal summer and into a very warm autumn/fall and the heat is not a factor in reducing COVID 19. It surprises me to see people living in the northern hemisphere “forget” half the world is not currently in winter/early spring like them and nope, we’re not immune from COVID 19 because the weather is warm.

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  7. I will be surprised if Olympics held in 2021 are not fully open to new Senior gymnasts etc.

    A “delayed” Olympics may not exactly be the same as a “canceled” Olympics…but the post-war Olympics didn’t have rules stating that only those athletes who were eligible for the canceled Olympics should be eligible for the first post-war Olympics.

    Time moves on….especially if there is a full 12 month delay.

    [There has been other weird Olympic timing in the past, such as when consecutive Winter Olympics were held only 2 years apart in 1992 an 1994…lots of ‘career’ Winter Olympic records were set back then, and there may be some future ‘career’ records that benefit from the 2021/2024 Summer Olympics being held only 3 years apart and not 4.]

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    1. The postwar ones weren’t postponements of previous Olympics though. The wartime Olympics were flat-out canceled.

      If they canceled the 2020 Olympics, I wouldn’t be advocating for 2024 to be open to only the 2020-eligible.

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  8. (DISCLAIMER: Of course, what is most important now is the health of the world through this pandemic; these comments are not meant to suggest that the effects on NCAA gymnastics/teams are particularly significant in view of world events.)

    From an NCAA gymnastics standpoint, it will be interesting to see which Olympic hopefuls defer starting school. One of the NCAA gymnastics programs that could be most affected by a 12 month Olympics delay would be UCLA.

    UCLA’s 2020 starting lineups were 50% filled by seniors (e.g. Kyla Ross, Madison Kocian, Felicia Hano, Gracie Kramer, Grace Glenn, etc). Rumor has it that the NCAA will only be granting Spring sport athletes another year, not Winter sport athletes such as gymnasts.

    To help fill in those significant lineup holes left by the departed Seniors, UCLA was counting on a stellar incoming Freshman class including many athletes who may now defer another 12 months due to the delay of the Olympics: Canada’s Brooklyn Moors and Anna Padurariu, Mexico’s Frida Esparza, USA’s Jordan Chiles and perhaps Emma Malabuyo, etc. If they all defer to train for Olympic trials etc…then the impact to UCLA’s 2021 season would be significant.

    (Again, what is really important of course is that the World wins the war against this pandemic ASAP.)

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    1. Someone asked Frida on Instagram if she would still go to UCLA on schedule if the Olympics moved to 2021 and it looks like she’s planning on starting on time.

      I think Jordan and Emma’s decisions will depend on whether they decide 2021 seniors are eligible for Tokyo. Given they were the only two seniors (aside from Riley/Olivia, for obvious reasons) who didn’t get an international assignment this year, Jordan and Emma’s chances get that little bit more distant if you throw gymnasts like Konnor McClain in the mix.

      Since both Brooklyn and Ana are closer to locks for Canadian team spots I could see them holding out.

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    2. NCAA is going to be a hot mess in general next year. Most of the athletes are going to miss a ton of training time, and I imagine the 20 hour limit will make the job of getting back in competition form much tougher. Not to mention that most NCAA schools are public institutions, and since the various restrictions on movement are being handled on a state level, you’re going to see a lot of unevenness when it comes to how and when training resumes.

      And now I’m going to veer more off topic and I don’t care. This is just another tiny example of why I wish the people of this country would just GET THEIR SHIT TOGETHER and stay home. The more we half-ass social distancing, the longer this is going to go on.

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      1. Well fucking said! ⬆️
        (All of it, especially the last part of wishing the people of this country would just GET THEIR SHIT TOGETHER!)

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  9. Olympics and World Championships do not happen the same year. It makes no sense that you would have 2 world championship competitions in the same year. So if they cancel 2021 Worlds, then new seniors should be allowed to participate in Tokyo – it’s as simple as that.

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    1. They absolutely can happen in the same year. Figure skating has Olympics and Worlds in the same year. Gymnsdtics can have that work just once. It’s a unique situation.

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      1. “If” sounds a whole lot like they aren’t making factual statements, they’re expressing an opinion and supposition based on 20+ years of gymnastics history.

        It’s like someone saying you have to at least be 16 the year of the Olympics and someone else saying that’s untrue because it used to be 14. Absurd.

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      2. No. It’s as if someone said “it makes no sense that you would allow a 14 year old to compete at the Olympics and someone else saying “that used to be the rule” which is absolutely a correct and appropriate response.

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    2. You’re right, they dont do that anymore and it usually wouldnt make sense. But if the Olympics is held in spring or summer with current CoP and World Championships with 2021-2024 CoP, then it would.

      I agree that if Copenhagen is cancelled, new seniors should be eligible for Tokyo, I dont believe they should if both take place. Also, the official rules say dates of birth not ages.

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  10. I’m not in favor of allowing new seniors in 2021. The way I see it, we would not be taking anything away from these girls by deeming them ineligible – they were ineligible before, and they will still be.

    As a huge NCAA fan I am so, so gutted for the gymnasts who were planning on going to college after these Olympics and the fact that probably greater than zero of them will have those dreams dashed in one way or another, whether because of bureaucracy or injuries or whatever else. This really sucks 😦

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    1. Adjusting the age requirement rule to exclude athletes seems particularly nasty considering the 2021 World Championships would almost certainly be canceled if Tokyo takes place in 2021.

      Sorry, but taking away new seniors World Championship opportunity and also changing the age rule to keep them out of Tokyo is just wrong.

      It’s a competition, after all.

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      1. Why would the 2021 Worlds “almost certainly be canceled”? The Olympics is not just gymnastics. Other sports hold Worlds in the year of the Olympics, and FIG has held Worlds in the same year as the Olympics twice before, so it is not unprecedented.

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  11. Oh Spencer, you misunderstand. It’s not just funny because “dick” means “penis”, it’s funny because “dick” means “penis” AND because “pound” means “have sex with”!

    (Seriously though, other than Dick Trickle that is perhaps the most unfortunate name in sports)

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    1. It’s funny though because it’s not really ‘unfortunate’ – the guy could totally go by Richard Pound or Rick Pound without even changing his name. Dick Pound is a CHOICE.

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  12. Here’s my question. With gyms closed (RIGHTFULLY) and no real safe training available except for the home gym conditioning that the rest of us are stuck with, do ANY training schedules count for anything anymore?

    FWIW I’m with the 2021 = 2020 for age eligibility here, but just thinking that some athlete’s conditions are gonna be like, who the hell knows territory. I’m not sure the ankles turning into dust is going to be the main problem since the opportunities for landings are probably limited.

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  13. FIG…maybe now you can raise the number of athletes on the team since you were planning to do that anyways in 2021. Just don’t worry about the individual athletes and total number and just do it…

    Okay?!?

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  14. In my opinion, the new seniors should be allowed to compete. Otherwise the age restriction loses meaning. The restriction should not be used for any other purpose other than protecting gymnasts from pushing too hard at a young age. They should not be used for ‘fairness’ reasons that everyone keeps mentioning, that it would be ‘unfair’ to current seniors. There is no fairness here. It’s not a third grader’s competition. It’s the Olympics.

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    1. It’s tricky. I don’t like the age restriction at all. I want Olympic gold to mean you were the best gymnast in the world on the day, not the best gymnast in the world on the day who happened to meet various demographic criteria. IIRC Tasha Shwikert was the epitome of this ridiculousness: she was born in November and thus age-eligible for Sydney only because her twin died in utero. She “should” have been born in January.

      But, given that age limits are a thing, and are arbitrary in the way that they are, I don’t think it’s abundantly clear whether treating Games held in summer 2021 as the 2020 Games vs the 2021 Games is inherently more fair. I assume they will let all of the 2019 Worlds qualifications stand – everything from Brazil to Petrounius – so there is going to be some awkward time-capsule elements no matter what. One more doesn’t seem unreasonable.

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      1. I disagree with this assertion that age restrictions are bad. Necessarily, anything that must have a cut-off is going to be arbitrary when you’re looking at the people who barely made it or barely missed. For example, look at USA senior elite qualification rules. A woman must have an AA score of 51.00 to qualify for elite. Is an athlete with a 51.00 AA a noticeably better athlete than an athlete with a 50.90 AA? Of course not, but we have to have some arbitrary cut-off, otherwise the rules have no meaning.

        Regardless of the arbitrary nature of distinguishing people on the border, I am glad there is an age limit. There is already plenty of emphasis in gymnastics upon pushing women to do more than their bodies are safely capable of doing. It is even worse when we transfer this pressure to children whose bodies are still far from fully developed. If there were no age limit for senior competition, then we would undoubtedly have coaches pushing 12 year-olds to chuck double doubles even though they are not physically ready yet because this is an Olympic year and now is the time to go all out. No athlete should be pushed beyond her capabilities, but this practice is even more worrisome for children who are still growing and have smaller bones and less ability to absorb the impact of extremely difficult skills. I appreciate age limits in that they discourage coaches from pushing primary school children to do skills that adult women struggle to compete.

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  15. My predictions:

    they will allow also the new sr. almost certain they will keep the current COP. worlds 2021 will be canceled as there’s really no point and just too much to have two worlds competitions in one year.

    Since NCAA are also canceled, i am guessing that people like riley and skinner will stick around for another year unless their priority is graduate college in 2024 (unlikely that most would be so inflexible). It sucks for those that don’t have the stamina to able to go for another year but most should be able to make it through another year with a little more water down training for the rest of this year siince they don’t have to peak for the olympics.

    Cup qualifiers will likely retain their points with the last 2 cups being postponed toward the end of this year or early next year.

    Hopefully simone will now show more new skill?

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    1. Why would the 2021 Worlds be canceled?
      The Olympics are not the same as Worlds and are run by two separate bodies. The FIG oversees the gymnastics competition at the Olympics, but they are subject to IOC’s rules and regulations.
      FIG has held Worlds in the year of the Olympics twice before in 1992 and 1996.
      Additionally they have held Worlds twice in one year before in 1994. Individual Worlds were held in Brisbane, AUS and Team Worlds were held in Dortmund, GER. And that WAS planned.

      2021 Worlds are slated to begin October 18, 2021.
      Tokyo Olympics are likely to be held in July/August.
      Plenty of time in between.

      Besides, canceling Worlds would be unfair for the rest of the gymnasts from other countries that did not qualify to Tokyo. They won’t cancel it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I see your points about how the different governing bodies and such doesn’t automatically mean the change will make Worlds will be cancelled. However, I don’t think it’s ridiculous to suggest that there’s a good chance they will be. FIG has set up the Worlds progression specifically around the Olympics, rather conspicuously. It’s not crazy to think moving the Olympics will mess that up.

        Also, as to the point that there were years where there was the Olympics and Worlds or 1994 with two Worlds– the fact that those were planned is kind of the point. That was planned, this is completely out of left field and throws off the structure FIG has developed.

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  16. I actually feel strongly that new seniors should not be allowed to compete. The age eligibility for this event is gymnast born in 2004 and before, regardless of whether it is held in July 2020, December 2020 or July 2021.
    New seniors do not lose anything by not being able to compete (providing worlds goes ahead).
    Current seniors, who are already in an extremely difficult situation do.

    I actually see Worlds 2021 being more like Pan Ams are considered in the US. A great competition and maybe an opportunity in some cases for the ‘B’ team? Imagine if all the countries got to send two full teams to top level international competitions next year.

    My other positive… Jennifer Gadirova with one more year to work on bars……!

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    1. 2021 Worlds do not have a team event.

      I don’t understand you comparing Pan Ams to a USA B team?
      The US has always sent the best team they had available as long as it didn’t interfere with Worlds, which occasionally it did. However, once FIG relegated Worlds to October/November starting this quad that has changed it.

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  17. This article is currently paywalled for me so I can’t double check, but I think it said that the 2021s are highly unlikely to be eligible.

    https://www.wsj.com/amp/articles/tokyo-olympic-hopefuls-remain-in-qualifying-limbo-11585080620

    I personally disagree with that. The original rationale for the age limit was to protect athletes’ bodies. That rationale won’t apply here. And while I hear the argument that it would be unfair to allow more athletes in this time because they can go to 2024, that is on the assumption that the 2024 games go on as normal. With the unrest in the world from the virus and beyond, why assume that they will? Economic downturns, wars, more viruses. A lot can change between now and then. I would sure hate to keep the 2021s out of this games on a technicality, and then have something happen in 2024 as well.

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    1. THANK YOU! Why is everyone so worried about how “unfair” it will be to current seniors? There’s nothing unfair about letting new 16 year olds to compete. Even when they did not help qualify the team. (For the US especially, let’s face it, any US team made up of any gymnast would have been able to qualify).
      What might be considered ‘unfair’ is that this force majeure event just had to have happened this year affecting events taking place in 2020, but that’s life sometimes, and life’s not fair.
      I have been interviewing as a graduate for jobs recently, only to be called up by some employers and told that they will not be hiring anyone after all for this September cohort because of the current crisis and I should try again next year. Should I be upset that new graduates will be competing against me next year? Should they not be allowed to apply? Nonsense.

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      1. That analogy doesn’t work.

        It’s been explained really clearly by many people why they feel that it is unfair to give one cohort of gymnasts an extra Olympics. The issue isn’t that seniors have to compete against ‘surprise’ new seniors, but that the surprise new seniors get to attend double the Olympics as other athletes born in different years. Of course you don’t have to agree that it’s unfair, but that’s the argument to counter.

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  18. You have to think a big part of Hurd’s quick, decisive, “I’m definitely competing elite in 2021” statement was her desire to compete in a Simone-free season, which, oops…

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  19. I don’t think it is unfair to have new seniors compete. If they are peaking at the right time for 2021, why should they not get their chance? They might be injured in 2024 and then never get their chance…
    May the best win, in the end it is a competition!

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  20. I honestly don’t see the “it’s unfair” argument for allowing 2021 seniors to compete. Gymnasts don’t have certain Olympics they have a claim on until they get to say it is one they are competing in. How exactly is it less fair for the gymnasts to have to compete against everyone who is age-eligible than for 2021 seniors to be barred from major international competition for a year when they are eligible? And if we’re going with the argument that the 2017-2020 seniors are having the opportunity for “their” Olympics taken from them, putting the Olympics next year can also take away the opportunity from the 2021 seniors to have “their” post-Olympic Worlds. Instead of having a down year at the beginning of their careers when they can have international success when making it a whole quad might not be possible for them, they’re up against everyone who stuck around for the Olympics.

    Also, if I’m understanding Spencer correctly, I don’t see his point about needing to keep them out if they keep the 2020 COP (which they absolutely should) either. The juniors have been working with that COP this whole quad as much as the seniors.

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    1. Eh I get what Spencer is going for. Basically FIG needs to decide if the Olympics will be a 2020 competition with 2020 rules that’s delayed until 2021, or a 2021 competition with 2021 rules. It makes little sense to mix and match the rules (ie 2020 code is used but 2021 age limits apply, or vice versa).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I guess I just don’t see the rules as falling into those categories. I don’t see allowing the 2021 seniors to compete as a “2021 age limit,” it’s just… the FIG age rules. They don’t subtly adjust the age rules every four years like they do with the COP, 16 in the year of competition is a constant and has been for over 20 years. What WOULD change the rules for 2021 would be to bar eligible athletes.

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      2. For 2020 competitions, the age cutoff is December 31, 2004.

        For 2021 competitions, the age cutoff is December 31, 2005.

        Which year’s cutoff applies? Maybe that’s a better way to think of it.

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      3. 2021’s because it’s in 2021.

        If you take the logic that using the 2020 code makes it a 2020 competition with the 2020 cutoff date, you have to apply that to the whole year unless FIG decides to introduce the new Code for every other competition but use the 2020 one for the Olympics, which would be the worst possible decision they could make.

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    2. “ How exactly is it less fair for the gymnasts to have to compete against everyone who is age-eligible than for 2021 seniors to be barred from major international competition for a year when they are eligible?”

      2021 seniors are theoretically only barred from one major international competition. If they aren’t, they get two chances to go to the Olympics in four years, while the 2017 seniors had zero chances in the same time period. That’s why it’s unfair. It’s been explained over and over.

      You can decide that you think that unfairness is ok in the interest of simplicity or more competition or whatever, but it is there. Olympic opportunities are rare and they are a big deal in this sport, and by changing the eligibility requirements for the 2020 Olympics (and only the 2020 Olympics) bc they’re now held in 2021, you’re giving one group of gymnasts an extra opportunity that no one else gets.

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      1. Put another way, if you got to choose in this situation which cohort of gymnasts you wanted to be in between, say, 2016 and 2023, it is obvious you would choose the 2021 cohort bc the likelihood of you getting to compete at the Olympics during your prime is so much higher bc you get two chances in a shorter period of time in a sport where injuries still make it very difficult for the average gymnast to compete successfully in multiple quads.

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      2. I think what this does is exacerbate the unfairness of the CURRENT rules. I continue to think it’s BS that 15-year-olds can’t compete in the pre-Olympic year, when most of the qualifying takes place. It’s not fair for individuals because their path to qualifying is steep-to-impossible, and it’s unfair to teams that have to try and qualify with a group that’s not reflective of the talent level they’ll have in an Olympic year. For the US it works out because we always get a full team, but for other countries it’s a huge problem. Now, if 2005-born athletes get tossed into the mix, it tightens the noose even further for those born in 2004 who didn’t really get a fair shake at qualifying in the first place.

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