The Balance Beam Situation

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama

Things Are Happening – May 12, 2020

A. USA is canceled

USAG announced today that the 2020 editions of Classic and Nationals are officially off and that we all just have to reset for the 2021 editions instead. Sigh. Previously, the party line had been that these events were postponed and that USAG would reassess possibilities for holding them in late summer or fall, but that always seemed like a pipe dream. You can’t really set a date (or venue) for nationals if you can’t set a date for athletes to return to their gyms first.

In a statement, USAG said, “Listen up, pee heads, we have literally no reason to try to organize these meets without crowds because then we can’t charge 8 million gold bars per ticket—or, I mean, after consulting with public health experts and in an effort to protect of our community and the wider world, we will not hold nationals this year.”

This follows what is becoming a pretty familiar pattern where the money sports desperately try to bend themselves into pretzels to get going again this summer, while the no-money sports recognize that they do not have the clout or incentive to make that happen and are refocusing on 2021.

Because it’s about the athletes.

B. Everyone else, also canceled

Since last we spoke re: things and happening, further details emerged about the complaints against Maggie Haney, largely revealing that she’s not just mean but also stupid (I mean, the period stuff, come on). The stories in this article are harrowing to say the least, and I would like to see an official response from those coaches who were rolling around Facebook a couple days ago being like, “IT’S JUST COACHING TOUGHEN UP DON’T QUIT JUHFLRFRRRFFRRR.”

Proposal of the day: This should be the biggest complaint you have about a coach

Sydney Freidin would also like you to know that this is far from a one-coach problem.

C. NCAA developments

The fact that nothing exists anymore has not stopped the usual revolving door of NCAA gymnasts, so here’s a rundown of the latest moves.

Mostly, it’s about Nebraska. So far this offseason, we’ve learned that Abby Johnston is transferring to Arkansas, Kaylee Quinn is transferring to Alabama, and that Ady De Jesus has been dismissed from the team for an undisclosed rule violation. Put that together with the departure of the 2020 seniors Taylor Houchin and Sierra Hassel, and we’re looking at a very different Nebraska squad for…the next time there might be a season. They’ll be relying on former junior elite Kinsey Davis and Canadian elite Chloe Lorange to do a lot right away.

Also, Nebraska…you OK?

In other developments, Hunter Dula has taken a medical retirement at Utah, but Utah also announced that Alani Sabado is joining a year early. Look how that worked out. Sabado was 3rd AA at JO nationals last year in the Junior E division and therefore will basically have never competed as a senior before she starts at Utah.

Our first members of LIU’s inaugural team are also coming in, the name of the group so far being former junior elite Cael Bixler. Bixler was a fetus-verbal to Oklahoma way back in the day, but that never materialized and she didn’t end up signing with anyone at all last November. Exactly the kind of gymnast you’re looking for with a new program. It’s basically a support group for people who were passed over by their dream schools.

Canadian L10 Alana Ricketts is also slated to join LIU’s first class, an athlete who looks like she should have competitive possibilities on vault and floor.

D. GymCastic

Last week’s episode in which we discuss The Haney is available now, and this week’s episode—a commission about fixing NCAA judging—will be available…fairly soon-ish.

WATCH HERE Club Gym Nerd members can watch the podcast being recorded and see some of the gymnastics we discuss, plus get access to all of our exclusive interviews and Behind The Scenes episodes.  Please login to your Club Gym Nerd account to listen and/or watch this episode. Not a member? Join here. GYMKATA This week, the episode Jessica and Spencer have been training in the woods for their whole lives: Gymkata. In 1985's action film spectacular, the dear departed Kurt Thomas must travel to the very real and geographically consistent nation of Parmistan to try to survive THE GAME, a totally unnecessary obstacle course where people kill you at the very beginning. We discuss: For a closed central Asian nation, everyone sure is American and can come and go as needed Very 3-dimensional female characters with clear goals and lines (JKKKKKKK) MULLETS Men holding giant birds for no reason Cool technological weapons, like a…little axe? That thing where you find a dead body and hear a BOIYOINGGGGG sound The most accurate depiction of US military presence in Asia ever committed to film A horse just decking some dude An actual character named Thorg How Kurt Thomas is fully, unironically good at action movie The "Village of the Crazies" and how it gets DARK A guy in a white robe with the butt cut out (!) And of course, the iconic town square pommel horse fight: featuring RANDOM GOAT JOIN CLUB GYM NERD Join Club Gym Nerd (or give it as a gift!) for access to Behind the Scenes episodes. Buy our awesome clothing and gifts here. We have a Ukraine Fundraiser design, all proceeds go to the CARE Ukraine Crisis fund. RELATED EPISODES & RESOURCES Donate grips and tape for Ukrainian gymnasts Donate to family of Alabama volunteer assistant coach in Ukraine To follow the effects of the Russian invasion to Ukraine on gymnastics, go to Gymnovosti The Leotard Episode: Part Deux NCAA Championships 2022 Winter Cup Recap Spitfire: The Movie (Commissioned) Nadia: The Movie (Commissioned)
  1. GYMKATA
  2. The Leotard Episode: Part Deux
  3. The Leotard Episode
  4. NCAA Championships: A Victory for Execution (and Curses)
  5. NCAA Preview & Jesolo Mime Recap

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