The Balance Beam Situation

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama

Things Are Happening – June 18, 2020

A. Simone’s triple double: beam edition

With the opening salvo of “gymnastics is back” season (?)—at least for a couple months before “oh wait never mind no it’s not” season—Simone posted a video of herself doing a triple double beam dismount into a pit.

On the scale of realism, this is certainly in the “just crashing into the pit because gymnastics is supposed to be fun” category (Morgan Hurd countered with a similar double double of her own), but it’s also Simone, so who knows.

Because the double double was given just an H, Simone ditched it immediately after getting it named for herself at worlds because the potential for deductions essentially makes it not worth the single tenth gained over the full-in, a very comfortable skill for her. But if she flexed and went up to a triple double (which at this point would presumably be I-value—what we thought the double double would be), I’m saying I wouldn’t be mad about it.

“I will use this extra year to invent ONE HUNDRED new Bileseses.”

Meanwhile, we need a better system for awarding values of provisional skills. You shouldn’t have to wait until worlds to discover the official value of the thing you’re planning to do. You know we have the internet now, right?

B. Another one down

Seattle Pacific announced this week that the gymnastics program would be terminated immediately. Which, per my analysis, sucks and is also bad.

A DII team, SPU finished the 2020 “season” ranked 62nd nationally and made waves with the floor performance of senior Darian Burns, who scored as high as 9.925 for this excellence.

So while we thought that the advent of LIU’s program would get us back to 82 teams, it’s really going to be getting us back to 81. For now.

Speaking of LIU, your weekly update on who is joining the team for next season features Australia’s Talia Folino and Britain’s Izzy Hilliard (training video), the latest two to join the party. You’ll be more familiar with Folino, a member of Australia’s worlds team in 2017 and 2019, whose most impressive event is floor but has the elite-level skill set to be a critical four-event contributor. Folino would be a get for most programs, let alone a new one.

In other news, Kenadi Brown is transferring from Alaska to New Hampshire, Gracie Kramer will continue the UCLA-to-USU pipeline in becoming a volunteer assistant at Utah State, and the contact period has now begun for those athletes who would join NCAA programs for the 2022-2023 competitive season. LOL. Like any of us will still be alive in 2023.

C. Garbage fire updates

While USAG and the USOPC ooze their way through USAG’s bankruptcy proceedings largely unnoticed because it’s way too complicated and I, for one, definitely don’t understand a word of it, a judge did rule this week that the lawyers for the survivors can depose some USOPC officials—but have to choose only two in addition to the CFO.

I’d imagine Scott Blackmun will be one of the two lucky winners.

The survivors have also demanded that the justice department release the findings of its investigation into how badly the FBI swamp-farted its own investigation of That Guy. So basically we have to investigate the investigation of the investigation into Nassar. Everything’s going great. IT ALL WORKS FINE.

D. John Orozco

Our interview with John Orozco, in which be basically confirms everything you’ve ever suspected about the US men’s program but didn’t have any actual information to back up, is now available for all listeners.

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