The Balance Beam Situation

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama

2012 Team Final Watch-Along

I’m about to start watching NBCSN’s rebroadcast of the 2012 Olympic team final while probably having some thoughts about it. Because that’s what we do now. Also, that’s exactly what I did before too.

Ah, the 2012 team final. The event that made us ask, “Are we still doing…fierce? Is that still happening?”

7:00pm ET. Let’s do this.

The stars of tonight’s program include talking about Jordyn Wieber’s tears, pretending John Geddert was never born, Anastasia Grishina’s Shakespearean tragedy, AND MORE.

I like how they have Mike Tirico introducing the man he replaced, like LOLOLOLOLOL BYE COSTAS.

“As if it was written, Jordyn Wieber…” I mean, you have to write down your start order.

The Americans are STURDDDYYYY. Does Tim know that sturdy is code for “bad form”?

Breaking news Jordyn smiled. OMGGGGG

“We’ve spent a lot of time focusing on the parents.” Yes, you have. Cool and great.

Rita Wieber is rocking a Stevie Nicks level of bangles and charms. To ward off Geddert?

Rita not being allowed to see Jordyn during the competition. YES GOOD THIS IS FINE NO PROBLEMS HERE.

We are digging in to this Jordyn Will Be The TF Star narrative.

And so it begins, with the United States of Amanar. No other nations in this competition bye.

Elfi’s like “she needs to stick” and Tim’s like “girl what year are you?”

HER MOOD HAS COMPLETELY CHANGED. Elfi, soothsaying people’s moods based on no information, as per usual.

Oh, yes, the triangles. We are so glad those are still alive.

Gabby’s “suck on that, turd monsters” smirk after her vault is a real mood.

Maroney anchors for the US. This vault will be unmemorable and non-iconic.

She’s going to be Olympic vault champion “without any question.” THANKS BUDDY TIM.

Still the best vault ever.

Her block man.

McKayla slapping her fists together instead of clapping. Same.

Unpopular opinion: Cheryl Hamilton’s reaction to that vault is not appropriate for a judge. Keep the fans in the stands.

So anyway, the US won the team final end of competition bye. How long do we think it will be before we start acknowledging there’s a China?

“2020NE” is a stretch.


Aliya has killed six people, so I’m thinking nah…


Only NBC can turn a perfectly nice DTY into a DIVA VILLAIN MOMENT.

Wait, Al is mad that this open ended code…doesn’t reward difficulty? What are you saying about.

Apparently it is news that Komova is 4’11”. So weird.


Oh Bee Farm. In the early part of the bell curve that was her 2.5 quality.

And that was how Maria Paseka died.

This landing was a big part of why we never forgave her for being on this team while Nabieva was not.

It still says green, you guys. It still says green. What do we do. It’s almost like these colored shapes are nothing. Just spitballing here.

China lives!

He Kexin, chilling still being perfect. We miss you. But this dead hang and those elbows were not it.

Larisa Iordache has been selected to be shown because watching her on bars is not a hate crime. Or at least, not a super bad one. That Jaeger though.

An E score in the 7s???? We will never see such a thing for a hit routine!

Commercial was so good on bars you guys. SO GOOD. LOVE THIS ROUTINE.

“HAVE YOU SEEN ANY DIVA MOMENTS YET???” Fuck off Al. Even Alexandrov is like, guys chill.

You guys she connected a Pak into a Shap 1/2 it will never be done again.

“If it’s called You.” I barely ever know, Tim. Barely ever know.

Al never really understood that “a cautious number” means nothing.

It’s kind of weird now to see people do Tkatchev variations with no intent to connect them to low. Like, was that a try?

Komova’s best ever Fabrichnova.

In 2012 we were still in the “but is the US actually going to win?” mode even though the distance ahead of Russia was already rather significant. 2008 and 2010 (when the US wasn’t actually favored by we were led to believe it) were still too recent.

All these “inspiring quotes about the postponement” in this commercial really need to end with “WHY WOULD I HAVE A DUMBBELL ADRIA” – Simone Biles.

Tim, we’re going to show Diana Bulimar on beam even though this was the worst routine of the three, thoughts?

Guys, was Diana Bulimar the final true “next big thing” for Romania?

Ponor “retired…that didn’t work out” LOL. Girl this switch ring. What are you up to?

The lesson of Ponor is that balance beam is 90% working like you have the ability to shoot knives out of your butt and kill motorists with them.

Also, the Romanian choo choo.

“This is one of two more moments left for Jordyn Wieber.” Can confirm she didn’t die though.

Rita Wieber shouting USA with some series “KILL HER BABY STRANGLE THE OTHER GIRLS” energy, and I’m all about it.

Did you guys know the US is weak on bars. Becuase the US is weak on bars. Weak.

Now it’s time for Jordyn to white-knuckle her way through this terribly constructed bars routine.

Size queen John Geddert was all about the D but forgot about the E. On what planet was the one tenth of upgrade for that DLO 1/1 worth all the deductions?

It’s about as much D as you can get for a routine with no E elements on the bars, but…

“She’s the only one who did not cry like crazy when the team was announced.” What a monster. You are only allowed to smile or cry. Otherwise BAD JOB.

If Kyla had still been able to do inbars when she had her 2014 confidence and refinement you guys…

It’s JORDYN’S GOLD you guys.

Al is unfamiliar with the idea of siblings that are close. There really is a sense of hating the idea of family in everything Al says…

Tim is most known for “gymnastics 101, fly high and stick the landing” but I feel like his catchphrase should be “and frankly, if she doesn’t get that score, something’s wrong.”

Anyway, Gabby got the score but Russia is only four tenths behind after two events. What happens if they hit the rest of the………

The idea that Wieber wouldn’t have gone on beam in the Olympic team final was ludicrous….at basically any other moment.

“BUT CAN YOU RELY ON A FIRST YEAR SENIOR?!?!?!” they always ask. Yes. You can. Remember Kyla. Also most of them.

Can we just rewrite history and decide that Jenny was the only coach on the floor this night?

You guys, there is a devilish moment in Gabby’s routine. Aly and Gabby are talking to each other, you guys. Almost like teammates.

Why are we doing bad lip reading on this conversation?

So…we’re worried Gabby is going to fall on a layout stepout in this routine rather than a back full? OK.

It was Aly that made Gabby hit her beam routine. Not Gabby. It was Aly talking to her. Narratives are fun aren’t they?

Aly’s iconic “Simon says touch your shoulder” beam choreography

It was never as serious as the handspring sandwich they put in Jordyn’s routine, but the idea that Aly was going to get credit for connecting front pike to loso…

That double Arabian was nearly a nightmare and I have no memory of that at all.

The thing we learned during these Olympics and know much better now is that I want Lynn Raisman on my team in the apocalypse.

Lynn Raisman, Aliya Musafina, Catalina Ponor. That’s my squad. We will get ALL THE TOILET PAPERRRRR.

Aliya just Aliyaing all over the place on beam, back when we had to be kind of surprised by this. When she was still pre-world beam title instead of throwing acid on the acro series requirement.

You guys Komova wasn’t watching Mustafina’s beam. This is important news


Mustafina got hammered, apparently.

Drunk Aliya is my patronus.

I don’t need to see any more commercials for straight-man underwear that are basically snow pants. WHY IS THERE SO MUCH OF IT.

Remember when Komova had a functioning back? Sigh.

Komova dancing all around the podium on her own nightmare Patterson.

SHE BARELY EVEN PRESENTED TO THE JUDGES. I mean also almost shot her kneecap off during a Patterson, but…

Russia will set the mark first on floor. It will be a STRONG CHALLENGE.

The bronze medal doesn’t exist, sincerely America.

Aliya’s double Arabian is more important than your life’s work. Her triple full is…a different artistic movement.

Aliya now having resting Why Did I Have To Be Russian face

Now it’s time for Grishina IT WILL BE FINE.

1.5 through to bucket of stew falling out a third-story window.

Too Russian To Function


If it’s any consolation, it had no bearing on the result. They could have been perfect and still would have been silver.

Could Al stop doing bad lip reading?


So we’re not even going to pretend Afanasyeva?

Afanasyeva, Izbasa and Sui Lu really got hosed by this rebroadcast.

Also Huang Qiushuang, but that’s probably for the best.

The US needs to average better than 13.433 on floor. BUT CAN THEY DO IT.

Oh yeah, that moment in warmups where her knees almost exploded and then she landed on her head. QUALITY TIMES. The amount of knee injuries she would have had if she weren’t Aly Raisman…

The next goal for the US should be an Olympic all-around champion with actual good floor choreography

That’s right I said it.


LOL that split leap 1.5 attempt in this routine. I live.


But wait don’t throw roses yet Aly needs a 10 on floorrrrrrrr

The best part of Aly’s crowning floor routine is Mihai trying to jump afterward and not getting very high

Crying police Al Trautwig.

Everyone let’s remember to wait for the score in a better position for cameras.

Oh, look who waddled out here for the celebration cameras even though he wasn’t one of the floor coaches…

Shawn looks downright MANIACAL


Martha giving everyone a congratulations crab pinch and head slap. The end.

If you’re not dead yet, they’re showing even more.

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