Things Are Happening – July 30, 2020

Today, I return to the land of the gymming…and almost wrote the year in the post title as 2015. So that’s where we are.

A. Gymnast Alliance Netherlands

The gymnast alliance is growing ever stronger, with the biggest news yesterday coming from the Dutch federation, which announced the surprisingly intense move of shutting down the women’s elite program while an investigation is launched.

So, what does this mean?

The elite gymnasts will still be able to train independently at their clubs, but national team activities—which means both camps and competitions—will be stopped indefinitely, and coaches Gerben Wiersma and Vincent Wevers are currently suspended from coaching as the federation investigates further action.

This is by far the most seriously we’ve seen any federation take accusations of coaching abuse. We don’t know what actually will come of it, but it’s quite the step. At the very least, it’s a signal to the athletes that their safety is being treated as the priority. Imagine if USAG had decided to shutter its entire WAG elite program to investigate after we found out about That Guy (or after the Dateline where Bela said he hit gymnasts in Romania, or after the Maggie Haney decision, or after, or after, or after). It never would have happened. The “what about the opportunities for the athletes” would have been too strong. (Well, actually the “what about my $$$$” would have been too strong, but it would have been presented as “what about the opportunities for the athletes.”)

And that concern over opportunities for the athletes certainly exists in this case as well. One hopes this doesn’t jeopardize the maybe-Olympics or maybe-Euros for the top Dutch women since it shouldn’t be their hopes that have to foot the bill for the mistakes of others. In the longer run, providing competition opportunities for the athletes shouldn’t have to be mutually exclusive with taking abuse seriously and investigating or reprimanding responsible coaches. Doing both should be possible, even if it means the Dutch Olympic Committee stepping in and doing the bare minimum to maintain major opportunities while the gymnastics federation is investigated.

In the short run, you’re not missing competition opportunities anyway, because there are none. Speaking of which…

B. Canceled Meets

In the latest development, November’s Cottbus World Cup has been canceled because of the everything. Back lifetimes ago, this was the first meet on the calendar I looked at and thought, “well maybe Cottbus will happen, because of November and Germany…” but alas no. The event director called it “not logistically or economically viable.”

Meanwhile, the rescheduled European Championships in Baku are still slated to take place a few weeks later. OK.

C. Gymnast Alliance Australia

The Australian Human Rights Commission will be reviewing how awful everyone was to the Australian gymnasts and in time publishing a report with recommendations for changes. Hopefully one of the recommendations will be: don’t just automatically pick a head coach from America because USAG coaching is not a role model.

In some ways, this kind of review sounds like what USAG did with the Daniels report, but hopefully there will be some more independence coming from a human rights commission. Though it remains to be seen how much access they’ll get and whether Gym Australia will commit to implementing the recommendations for changes or will just be like, “Thank you for your input goodbye.”

You can also hear from Alex Eade in the video below.

Meanwhile in Britain, gymnasts say the South Durham Gymnastics Club made everyone write burn book entries about Amy Tinkler after she decided to leave, and then when we found out about it, South Durham was like,

D. GymCastic

In this week’s episode, we discuss the cancellation of Svetlana Khorkina over being a heinous real-life sea monster, #GymnastAlliance in Belgium, and reflections on the Heavy Medals podcast.

440: Chinese Gymnastics Team Trainer Annemarie Alf DPT, CSCS GymCastic: The Gymnastics Podcast

WATCH HERE Club Gym Nerd members can watch the podcast being recorded (pre-edits with all the flubs and hiccups) and see video of the routines we discuss. GYMTERNET NEWS The college COVID wars are raging. We discuss whether it’s possible to have an equitable college gym season with such varying preparations. Gymnast Alliance: The latest in Amy Tinkler’s saga, as well as what’s been happening in Australia Simone posted some triple pikes and Yurchenko double pikes for national gymnastics day MEET NEWS At Japanese Masters, Shuko Uchimura (Kohei’s mom) competed again at 53 and we were treated to the most important men’s floor routine of the age  Everyone is injured on the eve of Chinese WAG nationals and we’re not OK INTERVIEW This week, Jessica speaks with Annemarie Alf, an American  Doctor of Physical Therapy and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist who has spent the last three quads working with the Chinese women’s gymnastics team. We talk about strength training, why there are so few Achilles tears there, nutrition, medical treatments, what we can learn from the Chinese Olympic system, and her thoughts on SafeSport. Plus her descriptions of working with Cheng Fei, Yao Jinnan, Deng LinLin, ChenChen, Chen Yile. MINI COMMISSION Jyl has commissioned us to have a conversation about the trauma of leaving the sport. “How can we better prepare these young athletes for the ‘after-life?’ Offering quality training while still enabling them to be actual functioning people after the mats are gone?” JOIN CLUB GYM NERD Join Club Gym Nerd for access to Behind the Scenes episodes. Buy our awesome clothing and gifts here. We have masks too! RELATED EPISODES 439: The Curious Case of the Extra Urine Best of GymCastic: The FluffCast (Commissioned) Best of GymCastic: Vanessa Atler Interview 432: #GymnastAlliance
  1. 440: Chinese Gymnastics Team Trainer Annemarie Alf DPT, CSCS
  2. 439: The Curious Case of the Extra Urine
  3. 258: The Fluff Cast (Commissioned)
  4. Best of GymCastic: Vanessa Atler Interview
  5. 438: Agree to Disagree

Basically, Khorkina said exactly what you’d think she would say, that gymnasts speaking out about abusive coaching are only looking for fame and attention (what is that they say about pots and kettles?), and also that it’s the fault of democracy.

Or an international cabal of anti-Khorkina capitalist operatives who meet bimonthly in the Marianas Trench to conspire to deny her gold medals.

And finally…

E. The Only Things Keeping Me Going

The queen’s little note for Valentina from the Olympic Channel

Chellsie’s DTY

Riley’s double front 1/2 out

59 thoughts on “Things Are Happening – July 30, 2020”

  1. The shoulder flexibility and the “f-u” glance at the camera (how I’m choosing to interpret it anyway, I truly can’t see her expression all that well and AM projecting) it’s everything. ❤

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  2. I’m unusually optimistic the spotlight abuse is getting might lead some type of practical reforms. It’s heartbreaking, but necessary. Of course I mean in other countries, not the US.

    Apparently the consensus here is hopeless and to just accept USAG. I can’t wait for the post-Tokyo Simone book, interviews, and endless shaming of USAG at that point. Because, you know, unless it comes from a celebrity, no one cares.

    More positive things — athletes are looking amazing. I really, really hope these gymnasts stay healthy, because next year is looking incredible for gymnastics based on the current trajectory of skills we’re seeing.

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  3. Khorkina thinks gymnasts are just making up abuse allegations for attention… probably because Khorkina is one of the extremely rare horrible people who *would* make up abuse allegations in order to get attention if she wasn’t able to get attention by winning or almost winning.
    Not surprising.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Actually, not only Vincent Wevers and Gerben Wiersma are suspended, all national coaches are. Six in total. Arguably the six best coaches in the country are suspended.

    This included coaches who have never been accused of anything or have actually received several positive messages from their (retired) gymnasts. They’re really taking extreme actions. Even the athletes who have complained about abuse in the past are saying they believe the coaching has changed and are not sure this is the right thing to do.

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    1. If you’re going to take extreme measures though, now is a good time to do so. It’s going to be awhile before there’s any major competitions – it’s not ideal, but shouldn’t be that disruptive for the national gymnasts to work out on their own under the supervision of other coaches, particularly since there’s probably other coaching staff at their home gyms.

      I’m curious about what the end result will be for the coach who has acknowledged that his past behavior was abusive and (supposedly) changed his coaching approach. I’m not even sure what I think the right response to that is. On one hand, abuse shouldn’t be tolerated. On the other hand, a coach that has recognized their own abusive behaviors and then stopped doing them seems like one of the least likely to abuse gymnasts in the future.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. There are no right answers. Inaction isn’t possible at this point but burning everything to the ground will possibly remove existing positive forces in the sport. You can argue that collateral damage is the necessary price of change just as well as you can argue that we need to support positive forces in the sport who have been there for decades.

      I often worry that the commotion made by gymnastics fans sometimes drowns out the gymnasts voices themselves. We have to listen to current and past gymnasts first and not allow our own passion and interpretation of events to shape the narrative. We need to support these gymnasts and the best way to do that is to make sure their voices are elevated above all the rest.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m I the only one skeptical of Chelsie’s comeback? It feels very self-promoting, social media thirsting! And the moronic gymnastics COVID brain fans being over the top about it. I would be less skeptical if she released all this stuff, much deeper into her ‘comeback’ instead of posting every single solitary thing she does, to get the gymnastics fan attention. Oh look a TIMER, – GYM FAN- OMGGGGGG!!!! People acting like her dty was amanar worthy. Like, stop! Crying in tears over it? Yes, go to the Reddit page. 100 Chelsie posts. Figuring out how she will make the team. The second this chick has any type of slight injury she is done. Its a thirst trap. She would wait to post all this stuff way down the line. But each week 15-minute videos of all the ego rubbing stuff, as if Chuso doesn’t exist. It’s annoying as fuck. For real. Maybe I’m biased because I never was that big of a fan of her gymnasts or her dance, or her anything. Omg Im so scared, I haven’t done this for years, wink wink, does it. OMG TOKYO. I hope I eat my words, and when she actually competes ( and her body holds up until the actual competition, this is just a grab for eyes) instead of giving these 2008 quad fans their gym porn, I will roll my eyes again and again!

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    1. It’s a shame that she’s in her ’30s and this is her only skill. She is so desperate for attention and self-worth. Also her dad isn’t hot anymore. But hey, artistry doesn’t matter so she’ll do well.

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      1. Uh her skill is coaching gymnastics as part of her family business and this media blitz promotes her gym… it’s a legitimate business move at the least. No one accuses Simone of doing endorsements to get likes and attention.

        Liked by 2 people

      1. Seriously! What is wrong with you both? Most gymnasts have social media now, and none of them are doing it to save the world. Most of them actually seem far more into branding and etc. than Memmel. I’m not even a Memmel fan, but you all are harsh.

        What is sad about a woman coming back to a sport she loves? Who cares if she makes it or not? She seems to be enjoying the process? Why the hate?

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    2. Sveta, are you there? Is it me you’re looking for?

      Chellsie is actually one of the nicest, hard-working gymnasts that we have produced in the US.

      Leave Britney, I mean Chellsie, alone!

      Your cynicism and disrespect reeks.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Who cares if she is nice. Lets see if she actually makes it to a competition, crushing the dreams of the dork gymnastics fan brigade who cries at every skill she does. Thirsty!

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      1. Chellsie is still wack, this comeback isn’t real. Only for views, promotion etc. Which is fine. But the annoying gym fans who legit said her DTY was amazing and could do an amanar and are putting her on the 2021 team are a joke. And Shamrock you are a joke as well. I saw you victim shame online. You are wack as well!

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  6. What I get from Chellsie training vids is – JOY. She looks like she is training for her love of the sport, and sharing her videos is giving joy to gym-starved fans. I, for one, am super grateful! One thing I love about her, is that Chellsie hasn’t seemed too set on a destination, she is enjoying her journey. And I’m here for it. (There is nothing to judge. I guess some of us are looking for gymanstics to fill our need to watch the sport. Others look for something to judge and criticize.) (Sorry for sounding so NCAA-cliche here with the JOY bit. But it is SO TRUE)

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Not joy! She has an agenda she is still mad about Beijing experience, she is still mad she farted and fell off beam in classics in 2011 and didn’t even qualify to nationals. It ain’t just innocent joy. She has an agenda which is fine. The gym starved fans however are a joke, like you, who sounds like you swallowed a whole NCAA gymnastics team full of spirit and no critical thinking what so ever!

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      1. Bitch has three world championships, a handful of world silver medals, and an Olympic medal. She’s also a judge and coach. I think she’s fine with it all… She’s also had every opportunity to complain and has yet to do so.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Chellsie’s delusional fans on Reddit are annoying but I think her comeback is nice. Re: social media attention seeking, at least Chellsie has a legitimate reason – promoting her gym – versus whatever Mykayla Skinner is up to on YouTube.

    Sure it’s ludicrous to think that Chellsie is going to throw an Amanar based on a shitty DTY or suddenly be in contention for the Tokyo team, but honestly it would be great just to see her compete beam at Classics (and a far more realistic goal). I thought Uzelac’s comeback was cool too – sure it wasn’t “successful” in that she didn’t qualify but she made a good run for an older gymnast and it felt like a good example of doing something for yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Remember, there is an extra non-team spot out there that I hope USA gymnastics would be wise enough to use on a specialist. This is the spot that lots of people said that Kara Eaker would best fill. I don’t think Chellsie would be able to make the 4-person team, but if she can pull off an Amanar and a strong beam routine with all her Arabians and baranis, then she could be in the mix for that 6th spot.

      Also consider that the 2021 worlds will happen only a few months after the Olympic. If enough people quit after Tokyo, then that leaves the worlds wide open and it’s not another year-long commitment.

      Finally, please do consider that Chellsie is training because she truly loves doing gymnastics. There is no crime training at a high level and documenting it. I enjoy watching any kind of gymnastics and I think her videos are fun and exciting to watch. And yes, she does have a business along with her father. I think it’s both smart and healthy to be showing the positive environment in that gym where there is encouragement and everyone is being nurtured and treated with respect.

      We need to see and celebrate the positive side of gymnastics.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Hmmm have you ever googled Chellsies DTY. 2006 2005. The bent arms, the early twist. Yeah an amanar now way past her prime? stop.

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      2. She can’t pull off an Amanar. She has never even had a competent DTY and the two vaults are miles apart from one another (hence why no one besides Simone and Jade has one right now). That is a truly ludicrous thing to propose.

        (Also anyone with an ounce of sense knows Kara isn’t in the conversation for a specialist spot until she shows up again with a 6,6+ beam routine that doesn’t get her tapped by FIG as the literal poster girl for not completing elements correctly. I like the Reddit board but if that – or Twitter – is where you get your info, remember that you’re hearing from people who are very excited fans but realllllly not very knowledgeable about gymnastics).

        I think there’s plenty of reason for Chellsie to come back, both internal and external, that doesn’t involve her making an international team. It would be fun if she did! It’s not impossible! But right now there is absolutely no logical way to think it is likely. Sure, she is training and improving… but so is every other US elite. It would be nice if people could enjoy said comeback without making crazy claims about it. Chellsie is about as likely to get a competition safe Amanar as Riley is.

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      1. Just like everyone else does. There are tons of successful businesses that revolve around people selling used clothes that have been around since before she was born. These businesses have moved online and to apps along with most other businesses.

        If you hate people reselling clothes online, I suggest you check out YouTube, ThredUP Up, Poshmark, etc. You’ll be enraged.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I loved Aliya’s day in the life. I reckon it was her way of making sure she has to keep training! I get the feeling she wasn’t sure but now she’s made this video she’s kind of forced herself into the corner of having to keep going. I think she really wants to try for Tokoyo but it’s just HARD! She needs to put more into it than she ever has before and it’s difficult to find the motivation. Even if she can just make the team and help the Russian’s win a team medal it would be special. I would suggest she just does bars and beam, and maybe vault for the team as she manages that quite easily.

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  9. Not sure why people are snotty about Chellsie’s comeback. She’s not doing any harm and I love to watch it. I do think she’ll probably get injured and bars are going to be very hard but it’s all good fun.

    Khorkina and many of the Russian ex gymnasts / coaches are just idiots. They don’t understand the detail of what’s happened. Khorkina says gymnasts should just quit if they don’t like it! Why the heck should they? And it’s not about a coach kindly advising a gymnasts they need to get in better shape and giving them advice on nutrition and exercise like she seems to think, it’s how that message is relayed! She’s an idiot. It’s telling none of the current /recent Russian team (Including Aliya and Vika) follow her on Insta. They all know what a toxic idiot she is. I left her a comment on her insta telling her how idiotic she is lol.

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    1. Not sure why people are being snotty about Chellsies comeback? Um ask Laurie Hernandez?~! Look at the stark contrast between both comebacks. lol. Hmmmm wonder what it could have been… One still was reeling from the effects of abuse, and everyone and their mother said it was fake, for endorsements. Chellsie releases weekly videos, and everyone is OMG OMG OMG SO AMAZING… Hmmm

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      1. NotaChelsieFan/NotaChellsieFan errrr, MaggieHaney (How many different names do you use to post here/agree with yourself/argue with others?) You seem to have some sort of mental health issue that you are struggling with. I suggest you seek help as it clear that you need therapy or some sort of medication.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. I think it’s just because there’s a lot of highly silly fans who are hyping up Chellsie as a contender for the Tokyo team. It’s a little bit annoying to hear people make up fantasy routines for a chronically injured, older gymnast and act as though they are completely plausible. Not sure why it gets SUCH a rise out of people though.

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      1. The only thing we are hyping is someone who can actually have some creative and stand-out elements on beam (Arabian, Barani, Straddle 1/1, Illusion) because we are bored with the side jumps and the wolf turns and the rings leaps. Yes Chellsie is chronically injured but that’s why she’s been very careful for the last seventeen weeks. She is still only training 3 times a week and has lots of progress to show for it. Personally I am hoping that this comeback regardless of what happens will help cement her legacy as one of the 5 most talented US gymnasts in history, right where she belongs

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Ooh Sally with her mental health medication cliche retort comment! oooh. Wow. So original and clever! I suggest you seek new material. Oooh you sure got me, as a result of such a clever response I have decided to check-in and seek help. Thanks, Sally, you are the wind beneath my wings!.. Idiot! You are probably one of those Chellsie fan girls crying about her videos, and designing her leo’s lmao! gurl bye!

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    1. The rosters of international US elite gymnasts are always such a perfect snapshot of what Middle America is naming their babies in a given 5-year period. You could probably make up an entire elite-qualified team of Madison/Addison variations or different spellings of Michaela from the juniors and seniors of the 12-16 quad.

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      1. In retrospect it’s wild that, Jennie Thompson notwithstanding there was nary a Jennifer or Jessica to be found in the ‘96 or ‘00 cohorts.

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  11. yikes the negativity in these comments. why do y’all feel the need to take time out of your day and just…hate on someone who’s clearly doing something they love? what’s the satisfaction? chellsie’s having fun and she’s doing great so far. i’d love to see her compete but even if she decides not to it’s been fun to watch.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. @MaggieHaney
        Of course the promotion is fine.
        No one said it’s not fine. Except for you.

        You have commented several times already about how negatively you feel about her approach to her brand, her social media, and her comeback. Please, please take your toxicity elsewhere. It’s not cute or funny or anything that any of the rest of us want to deal with.

        Yes, I know, this is where you get all bent out of shape and start harassing me and others for daring to call you out on your coming into a room of adults and acting like a spoiled child.

        Can we just skip all that? And go straight to you finding some other place to vomit your toxicity?

        Would be much appreciated.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. wow, this comment section truly exemplifies the worst side of the gymternet. y’all have got to remember that chellsie just fully commited to a comeback and that she’s doing this purely for fun, and whatever happens happens. either way, it’s not like she and any of the other gymnasts that you spew hate comments are affected by what you say. chill out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The gymternet is truly horrific. It’s a game of “praise everything the popular kids do and crucify everyone else.” People think that you have knock some people down to elevate others. It’s not a zero-sum game people. There don’t have to be winners and losers. You don’t have to knock Chellsie off a cliff for Simone to remain your favorite or vice versa.

      It’s also shocking that people think they know Chellsie’s motives for returning. I’ve read everything from seeking attention to profiting to gym promotion.

      I do not get why there has to be such cruelty and hostility and anger over such simple things as someone posting a video blog about their return to full-time training. There is a very easy way to avoid content that you hate which is to scroll past and not engage. It truly is that easy and you’ll save yourself the pain and agony that this content apparently causes you!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Personally I like a good discussion, and I don’t see this “praise everything the popular kids do” occurring at all, at least here. (If anything, Chellsie seems pretty popular!) I think it’s fair to question the viability of her comeback – as you can see above from the Amanar comment, there’s a lot of people making some pretty crazy claims, and it’s fun to debate.

        It does seem silly and unnecessary to post arbitrarily mean things. But as said below, most of the really mean comments on BBS are from the same one poster who tends to use the same style of writing – it’s not hard to pick them out. You too can just scroll past their “content” without engaging via the hand-wringing about how “horrific” the gymternet is. They’ll probably go away a lot sooner if they can’t get a rise out of people.

        Also if you’re that horrified by the behavior of a troll on a message board, please don’t ever go anywhere else on the internet because I promise you it doesn’t get better.

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    2. It is literally just one person that continues to troll and post negative remarks, but continues to change his/her screen name over and over again. This person has done this for a while, his/her writing style is quite obvious. That is what happens when there is a message board that you don’t have to register for and can change your screen name/ post as anonymous. Not sure if this person is just bring pored during a pandemic or if this person is battling mental health issues. Appears to be the latter to me.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Kind of gross for you to take it to the mental route as if mental health is some cute lil pun to reply to on a message board as a way to diss them. I think you are as much of a troll for your hand-wringing over a troll.

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      1. This is in response to the website troll using my name at 10:49am on August 3. I for one WANT a Chellsie tank.

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      2. Of course, you want a Memmel Tank, you are the epitome of a basic bitch! A minivan mom driving, soccer mom wheeling basic bitch!

        Like

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