The Balance Beam Situation

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama

Things Are Happening – July 6, 2020

A. Abuse News

You know, a stellar note to get started on.

British gymnasts—including Catherine Lyons and Lisa Mason in this report, and anonymous athletes in this report—are speaking out about specific abuses they experienced from their coaches and the culture of fear throughout British gymnastics.

Now…where have I heard that before? Oh right, it’s everywhere, all the time because the coaching culture in all of gymnastics, regardless of country, is rotten from the inside. Whenever we talk about abusive coaching there seems to be this need to clarify, “Now, of course, most coaches are wonderful and this doesn’t reflect blah blah blah blah,” but…clearly that’s not true. How many times do we have to hear these stories? Catherine’s horrific experience should be some shocking tale, but it’s not because it’s all part of a pattern.

Imagine how good Catherine Lyons could have been if she hadn’t been treated like garbage. I think about that eight times a week.

Meanwhile, in further gross news, Thierry Pellerin—Canadian pommel horse specialist who is a mainstay of the world cup circuit—has been arrested for sexual offenses against minors.

I searched back through the times I’ve mentioned Pellerin on the site hoping to find some time when I was all critical and annoyed by him so that I could be like, “I have good judgement of things!” but alas no. Just comments about how much I like him and his toe point. So score another one for me.

Shawn Johnson also talked about how she was prescribed Adderal by That Guy so that she could lose weight and AHHHHHHHHlksdjlakjashd. End of analysis.

B. Everyone’s Coming Out

OK, now that we’re done with that, we get to do the good part. The fun one. The happy one. Basically, everyone’s LGBT, and it’s excellent. So get on it.

We had Ella Douglas at MSU, and then Florida made a video about Savannah Schoenherr, and UCLA made a video about Kalyany Steele coming out as bi.

Remember 30 seconds ago when there were no out women currently in gymnastics? This is better. Last year at NCAA nationals we spent a dinner trying to count lesbians (Lesbian Counting, the game sweeping the nation), and it didn’t go great.

C. NCAA Developments

LIU announced its full coaching staff, with Randy Lane joined by Cale Robinson and Hallie Mossett as assistant coaches and Lauren Marinez as volunteer assistant. LIU also announced its signing of former Dutch elite Mara Titarsolej.

So that’s that.

In other news of UCLA’s colonization of college gymnastics, Felicia Hano will join the Wieber administration at Arkansas as a volunteer assistant. UCLA also got some good news with the announcement that Ana Padurariu is going to try the Canadian Special—elite and NCAA at the same time—and is not planning to defer the 2021 NCAA season. If there is one.

D. Elite Developments

The Doha World Cup—the final apparatus world cup still to be conducted for the purposes of Olympic qualification—has been rescheduled (this is the third rescheduling of that event, if you’re keeping track), now slated for March 10-13, 2021. That will be the week before the Stuttgart all-around world cup, which is the weekend of March 20.

E. GymCastic

If you need a little detour to a time when gymnastics was a sport that happened, last week we went back to 2003 for a recap of the first time the US women won a world team title.

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)
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