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.

44 thoughts on “2012 Team Final Watch-Along”

  1. Poor Anastasia. All she wanted was for Aliya to give her some comfort or words of encouragement, assuring her that it was going to be alright. But, alas, Aliya had none of it and left poor Anastasia to whimper alone while clinging to whatever warm body would have her. Some say Anastasia brought it upon herself by refusing to do beam at the last minute. But Aliya was a world all around champion and a much more experienced gymnast. She should have wanted…no demanded…her coach put her up as the anchor on beam in the Olympic team finals. So, boo to Aliya.

    1. Mustafina is a bitch, has always been a bitch, has given MANY ugly cunty anti-American interviews, and I have no idea why Spencer fucking eats her out daily. Seriously. Normally he has better sense.

      1. A couple ridiculously angry anti Aliya posts here, lol.

        Spencer is entirely right that the “omg Russian diva’s” narrative went way overboard and was ridiculous. Aliya had a long career and rarely showcased any behaviour that was actually worthy of such a narrative. Maybe she did say some anti American things, I honestly Don’t know. I do know, however, that she was known to say complimentary things about them which was probably her being somewhat diplomatic but so what? I also never recall her making comments questioning medals like some of her team mates. Whether you like it or Not, she had been quite professional in what she says publically through the years.

  2. What did Aliya do differently in the TF that her score was .4 lower than in AA or EF? Never got to actually see the routine so I’ve always wondered

  3. Was Diana Bulimar the last next big thing in Romania? Actually, I’d give that title to her teammate, Larisa Iordache. I don’t ever remember Bulimar being more highly-regarded than her. They have had some great gymnasts since 2012, but I think Iordache was the last Romanian to have a long, successful career.

  4. NBC commentary is flatout disgusting and racist. Those are TEENAGERS, but they seem to think that it’s perfectly okay to insult the other athletes from different countries and make up fakeass storylines, and make up these stereotypes (Russian diva, Chinese underage). Atrocious and they should be seriously reprimanded.

    1. Chinese underage is not a stereotype. It’s factual that this happened. Dong Fangxiao was caught, Yang Yun self-admitted she was underage. He Kexin had a 1994 birthdate in 2007 before the Chinese government covered that up and issued a new DOB to make her eligible for Beijing. You can’t make something up that already exists.

      1. Your comment only reinforces that there is a bias and a stereotype though. Of the three, Dong Fangxiao was the only one found guilty. Asserting the other two as you are here is perpetuating conspiracy theories rather than formal investigations.

      2. If your position is that Yang Yun can’t be proven underage, you need to let Marinescu off the hook too.

      3. It is absolutely a stereotype because the commentators literally only bring it up with regard to China, when other countries have done it too.

        And it honestly doesn’t matter how much you think He Kexin was underage – she was cleared by FIG. You might personally believe that they’re wrong, but it’s still the final word.

      4. @Anonymous You not only don’t mind lying (patent flat out untruth about commentators never discussing underage athletes on other teams), you aren’t fond of logic either. Yang Yun ADMITTED to being underage. What part of a confession by the offender don’t you GET? The FIG is notorious for being bribed/paid off/threatened into illegal and felonious decisions (NELLIE KIM’S FUCKING REINSTATEMENT, you imbecile?!???!) and your ‘conspiracy theory’ recycled cliche bullshit is truly appalling.

      5. FIG only cares when there’s a significant, irrefutable paper trail which is why China (2000) and North Korea got busted and China (2008) and Romania didn’t. People like to say it’s bias but the truth is that FIG is content to ignore all manner of BS until their noses are rubbed in it.

      6. Stay mad! China 2008 was the better team and they have the gold(s) they deserved.

        There’s just as much evidence that Nellie Kim was interfering with the judging on behalf of Liukin in Beijing, which is a lot worse than arguably falsifying ages.

      7. Wow, even for a troll you’re imbecilic. China cheated for the Beijing gold and the FIG found it expedient to cover it up. It’s not rocket science, sweetiepie! The Chinese team was approximately on the same level as the US team, FYI, if not slightly weaker. You have ZERO proof of your allegation about Kim and Liukin, and you’re so full of shit you slosh!

      8. It is not stereotype or bias. Dong Fangxiao’s cheating was discovered in Beijing and she was finally disqualified in 2010, just two years prior to the 2012 Olympics. He Kexin shows up in Beijing with a different birthdate than she had the year before (which was reported in Chinese news) and many gymnastics fans, including myself were skeptical considering we all understood her as being ineligible for Beijing. She was also in London competing, so it is completely understandable that the age falsifying was brought up as it was relevant to the scenario. Soviet Union and Romania changing ages was wrong has been addressed before. However, that was under communist regime who made lots of questionable decisions in order to win medals. You were supposed to be an amateur pre 1992 and yet we all know that the Soviet athletes were technically professional athletes (room and board taken care of, parents paid the salary, athletes given stipends, etc). The Soviet hockey players were always brought into question in the 70s and 80s, especially when they would dominate NHL All Stars teams (who were actual professionals). Additionally, I do question the ages of Chinese gymnasts because they outright cheated several times but got caught just once. I also question North Korean gymnasts’ ages and they were caught multiple times. The difference is that North Korea hasn’t really been in medal contention for several quads now. If you think that Dong Fangxiao was the only underage gymnast for China then you are very naive.

      9. But what this all goes to show is that as long as you don’t submit conflicting sets of paperwork TO THE FIG, the FIG DGAF.

  5. Yeahhhhhh. Gabby’s sister encouraged her to keep with the gymnastics for Gabby’s sake. It had nothing to do with “Douglas Family Gold” dreams and relying on her little sister’s success

    1. Gabby’s family seemed like the worst, especially her mom… she’s your daughter, not some kind of natural resource you discovered and now get to exploit.

      1. Yes. Greedy bitch beyond belief. That ‘family’ may help explain some of Douglas’ atrocious behavior, in fact.

      1. You’re really stupid enough you don’t know what Douglas said to Raisman when Raisman started to discuss Nassar’s abuse of her and other girls? ROTFLMFAO!!!!

      2. Gabby made a comment on Twitter, which she later apologized for, that implied that women need to dress modestly/present themselves modestly in order to deter predators. I assumed it was the product of a conservative religious upbringing. She got PLENTY of backlash for it.

        I found Gabby to be kind of un-charismatic as a public figure but the amount of crap she got for “not smiling” or “not being friends with her teammates” or whatever was just ridiculously out of proportion. And I’m sure a lot of her inability to fit in was due to her mother’s influence on her life and the pressure put on her to be a breadwinner for her family from a very young age.

      3. Wow what a MORON you are. I said nothing about ‘abuse.’ Way to project, bitch!

      4. @Anonymous IMBECILE Yeah, Douglas got plenty of backlash for a comment in which she did not ‘imply’ BUT STATED, YOU FUCKING MORON, that women are supposed to be ‘modest’ in order not to encourage men to rape them. It is not ‘conservative religious upbringing,’ it is fascist black misogynist BULLSHIT, and your attempt to defend the little cunt is laughable. She apologized ONLY TO SAVE HER FUCKING BRAND!!!!!!!

      5. Nice try but I know a lot about abuse which you did infact imply idiot. You brought it up. What kind of psychopath makes random accounts. Go get some help

    2. Wow you’re uneducated. Everyone processes abuse differently. Denial is common. Please don’t speak on the situation every again.

      1. Wow, you’re a cretinous cunt. Enabling the abuse AND the abuser is not ‘processing,’ it is participating in and furthering the abuse. It is light-years beyond denial. Please don’t speak on any situation on earth ever again!

      2. Youre pathetic LMAO. You made an account dedicated to me you must love me. Thank you for proving that I’m right. I wish they weren’t people like you in the world. You’re obviously just racist.

  6. I’m getting salty for Jordyn all over again. You mention her bars construction, but beam was just as bad. How much more success would she have seen in 2012 with better composition on both those events?Geddert clearly failed her, why didn’t Martha step in and fix it? What good are team coordinators if they don’t fill in the failings of the personal coaches?

    1. thats true besides gabby coming into her own in 2012 and becoming more consistent, she also reconstructed basically all of her routines. i remember reading a great article, probably from lauren, about how gabby was night and day from 2011 (real talk 2011 nationals was a disaster for her). but how much of that was attributed to Chow? Its too bad because Jorydns routines definitely regressed in 2012. Even her bars looked much more labored in 2012.

    2. Both of those routines were just… not ideal. I cringe watching her 2012 bars. I couldn’t tell if she was no longer able to perform the set, or if the construction was really just that bad.

      1. Her bars composition was actually very clever in terms of maximizing the difficulty and connection value. Her first 6 skills were all in combinations that awarded connection value. Unfortunately the composition didn’t suit her well. The Weiler kips never looked comfortable and she always struggled on her clear hip full. She even looked labored on her toe-on full into Tkatchev.

        The full twisting double layout is also one of the worst composition choices you can make as it only adds 0.1 over the double layout and is much more difficult. (Not sure why the full twisting double layout isn’t an F.)

        Beam was another story altogether. There were so many non-connections that got awarded at US meets that the expectations were set that she’d get the same D-scores internationally. Very similar to what we saw with Kara Eaker.

    3. There is virtually no question Wieber would have made AA finals had she had decent bar/beam routine construction. She was definitely capable of scores as high as (perhaps higher than) the three medalists in London. Geddert was as bad as Al and Armine with Eaker’s godawful jumps and leaps.

      1. Jordyn’s success came in spite of her coach, not because of him. She was definitely overrated coming into 2012 but that’s also bc she was over trained to injury and that routine construction was appalling.

        Same goes for the Karolyis and their whole reign of terror. The semi-centralized camp system was a good idea- the rest was just a corrupt leadership consolidating their own power at the expense of the gymnasts’ physical and mental health.

  7. Screw NBC’s rebroadcasts. The practices of ignoring routines, crafting bullshit “narratives” and choosing terrible music are beyond bad. I am personally embarrassed and the whole product is completely unprofessional. I was a simple four year fan at the time and knew it was pathetic. As an hardcore for the last two quads, it is much worse to endure. This watch along was only bearable because of your wonderful wit Spencer. Thank you so much! Alone I would have been cringing at the entire affair with the exception of McKayla’s vault. It remains, in my opinion, the finest athletic performance in the history of the modern Olympics. My heart pounds in joy and then breaks for her every time.

    Geddert is a certified nightmare. Martha allowed his extremely abusive behavior and poor judgement to an unbelievable extent. I wonder if she gave him extra control over Jordyn’s gymnastics to reward his very personal involvement in USAG’s cover up regarding He Who Shall Rot in Prision. Honestly, the silver lining is how the whole situation revealed Jordyn’s amazing strength of character and brilliant resilience.

    I hope Jenny is as wonderful a coach as she appears. She certainly did not ruin Kyla, who remains one of the most remarkable young women I have had the honor of watching grow up.

    I actually find it sad that Aliya was forced to be the emotional support fo the whole Russian team. Seeing photos of her daughter today it appears she has a lovely maternal instinct, but for the other Russian ladies to have to rely on her so heavily at an young age is striking. As with all things, it further illustrates what we know about elite gymnastics in Russia. All those women deserve better.

    God knows what other horrors these women endured, particularly within more closed countries. We are fortunate to see their moments of triumph.

  8. Aly Raisman art-directing everyone’s reaction in London and Rio cracks me up every time.

    1. Her art direction is my least favorite part of the gym broadcast. And I absolutely adore her, but I just can’t stand the “stand here guys! No, over there!” “Look at the camera!” “So we’re going to go up on podium and say the team name!”. I guess it’s what a captain might do, but it’s so contrived. Makes everything, including raw emotion look inauthentic.

      1. I admire a lot of what Aly has done as an activist for reform at USAG, but her “team leader” thing has never resonated with me. I don’t find her charming or whatever.

        Not like that matters at all – if her teammates are cool with it that’s what’s important.

  9. Any moment Aly is not actually doing gymnastics is to be celebrated. Girl was fugly when actually doing gym.

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