The Balance Beam Situation

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama

Things Are Happening – July 15, 2020

A. Denmark Says BYEEEEEE

Newsflash: Copenhagen does not want your hideous mouth droplets infecting its city.

Citing monies as the primary reason, Denmark has withdrawn from hosting the 2021 World Championships, still scheduled for the fall of 2021—just a few months after the rescheduled Olympics.

At this point, the FIG still intends to keep on trucking with the event by finding a new host, and we can assume that a couple of the usual suspect cities would still be on that truck…your Bakus and your Dohas, the cities most familiar with throwing random money at hosting fan-free events. They’ve been preparing for this for years. I can’t imagine many other cities would be jumping at the chance of hosting a money pit that might not even happen, though.

But we can hope. I’m still excited by the prospect of a post-Olympic worlds where Teja Belak rolls up to become world champion on vault.

B. 30 for 30: Bela Sucks

The 30 for 30 podcast series about how much Bela sucks—or, I mean, the Karolyi system—is out now. It’s seven episodes, and I’m three episodes in so far. There’s some good stuff in here, especially at the beginning with Emilia Eberle and her teammates talking about being trained by Bela in Romania and calling him Dracula, and some juicy unpacking of all the lies Bela told about himself and his fake dockworker background.

You also…spend a lot of time in episode two hearing from Steve Nunno and Mary Lou and Mike Jacki that I didn’t want to spend, but overall I’m into it.

I tried to dredge up the screenshot of Dracula labeled “Karolyi” from the NBC documentary about Bela and Martha’s love story from 2016, but it was not my finest screenshot work. I wish that were stull available somewhere. We’ve come a long way since 2016 in terms of the content being produced about Bela.

C. Nellie Kim: Nellie Sucks

Nellie Kim opened her maw and said some awfuls again. They’re exactly the kind of awfuls you would expect her to say about Nassar survivors wanting money and attention, just in case you don’t want to take the time to have Nellie inflict herself on your life again, which I totally understand.

But the Nellie-est nugget of all:

While discussing why she would never want to open a gym in the US, she says it’s because of RETALIATION GONE MAD THESE DAYS: “We’ll retaliate against you for calling my daughter stupid and fat and making her stand in a corner ten years ago.”

Nellie Kim, proudly captaining Team Calling Your Daughter Stupid and Fat since 1976.

D. College Gymnastics – Does It Exist?

Stanford cut 11 sports, and in a surprise to all of us, gymnastics was not among them. This time. It’s a miracle.

Meanwhile, the Ivy League announced it has canceled all fall sports for 2020 and will have no sports contested until at least January 1. Gymnastics is a winter sport that wouldn’t begin competition until January anyway, but no word yet on what this means for practicing. (The Ivy gymnastics programs are Yale, Penn, Brown, and Cornell.)

Both of these announcements have a very “this is only the beginning” vibe.

Meanwhile, Mara Titarsolej (NED) and Allison Lapp (FRA) are heading to LIU, and in the never-ending saga of Addy Dejesus, she’s apparently going to Iowa State now?

E. Simone Things

Simone did a DLO to double tuck for you.

So that was nice of her.

F. GymCastic

This week, we discuss #GymnastAlliance and reactions to Athlete A, including the emerging narrative that Maggie Nichols should have been on the 2016 team.

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

It’s possible that a team selected with corrupt intent can also end up being a correct and logical team, but I think that’s too much nuance for people, so it gets boiled down to a misleading narrative about people getting snubbed.

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