Things Are Happening – September 2, 2020

A. Actual Gymnastics Is Coming

You guys. There might be…real gymnastics…kind of soon?

Japan is planning to hold its senior nationals from September 20-22, with most of the big names in attendance and grouped in the same subdivision—competing on September 22 at 3:00pm local time. Asuka Teramoto is on the list for her return from the ill-timed Achilles injury that had seemed to dash her Olympic hopes, and she’ll be rotating with Mai Murakami, whom we all need to see compete full of spite and greatness after the events of 2019 that shall not be named. Also in their group will be team stalwart Hitomi Hatakeda and the return of erstwhile VT/FX star Sae Miyakawa. I’m eager to see what she’s about at this point.

On the men’s side, current Best Gentleman Kazuma Kaya will be there, competing alongside Kohei and Kenzo, who are trying to make their returns to the fold after an ouchie of a 2019. Kohei recently announced that he’ll be focusing exclusively on high bar for the maybe-Olympics as a +1 individual for Japan. So…um…sorry Miyachi the king has spoken?

China is slated to hold its nationals at a similar time in September, but I haven’t seen a schedule breakdown of what’s happening each specific day of competition yet, so if anyone has that…

Let’s just hope there’s some sort of broadcast and then a pirated stream of that broadcast that someone records from inside their septic tank while their aunt coughs up a lung right into the microphone like usual.

With all this possible-gymnastics happening, the FIG felt a little left out, so…the Szombathely Challenge Cup is a go? It’s now scheduled for October 2-4, and we have an actual nominative roster for it, peopled entirely with Europeans. Zsofia Kovacs and Anastasia Bachynska headline the women’s field, and the men’s field…is actually pretty much exactly what you would have expected from this competition under normal circumstances. We’ve got all the European PH specialists (Tommasone, Seligman, Ude, Bertoncelj, etc), plus people like Artem Dolgopyat, Marian Dragulescu, Loris Frasca, Petro Pakhniuk, and Igor Radivilov.

Basically I’m just surprised Oleg isn’t there, otherwise this is the normal group. Judging by history, Oleg has definitely had COVID at least three times already and competed rings mid-test.

Along with the nominative roster for Szombathely came the FIG’s COVID guidelines for competitions, which I think can be summed up by the fact that the word “scope” is spelled SCPOPE.

Anyway, I plan on treating all of these competitions like they’re worlds. Don’t take that away from me. Expect a think piece on whether Tina Zelcic or Christina Zwicker can make the beam final. It will be INCISIVE.

Meanwhile, Gymnastics New Zealand went, “we think y’all crazy and can’t have your goopies infecting our country” and preemptively canceled the rescheduled 2021 Pac Rims.

In US developments, there’s a tentative US women’s calendar for 2021 out, but I’m basically just downing 8 shakers of salt about it. We’ll see. The note of an American/Winter Cup that serves as women’s selection for Gymnix (so, American Cup as a domestic US women’s selection competition…?) is interesting.

B. Golden Girl

The #AndreeaWasRobbbbbed documentary The Golden Girl is now available on Amazon Prime in the US. It’s…so um we need to talk about this.

The film is ostensibly about Raducan’s futile quest to get her Olympic gold medal from 2000 reinstated, though it also spends quite a bit of time on abusive coaching in the Romanian WAG system. You can see why because the abuse content ends up being the more compelling part, rather than Raducan running up against the predictably bloated, self-important IOC bullshit and realizing that Thomas Bach might be the worst.

Basically, if you’ve ever said, “Well it’s not like coaches are going to record video of their abusive coaching,” then Mariana Bitang is here to say, “not so fassssst.” I’m still having ice cold diarrhea about the scene where she finds the hidden candy in the sauna. AND FILMED IT.

As for Raducan’s quest to get her gold back, we’re presented with sort of a disjointed argument. Are we saying that the doctor accidentally gave her the banned substance, but taking away her medal is unfair because she didn’t knowingly cheat and the substance was removed from the banned list the next year? Or are we trying to say that the sample was tampered with because of incongruous pee amounts? Because those are two very different arguments with very different consequences.

I also have A LOT of questions about this psychiatrist and why he’s so mean.

So…it’s weirdly done. But fascinating material nonetheless. Especially the camo Romanian Spice Girls singing a song about Andreea.

Also, Khorkina appears at one point. She allllllmost manages to say something nice about Andreea before making it about herself. SO CLOSE.

Mostly just Khorkina gonna Khorkina.

C. Gymnast Alliance

This week, I’m highlighting a couple accounts from gymnasts at MLT’s House of Pain.

And recalling how USAG thought she was a good fit for developmental coordinator. Solid vetting. Bang-up job there.


41 thoughts on “Things Are Happening – September 2, 2020”


    I’m fine with the decision to strip Raducan’s gold. Yes, it sucks, and it’s not her fault, but that was the rule and it needs to be enforced. If she were, say, a male wrestler, I don’t think you’d see the same outpouring of sympathy. There shouldn’t be a “you’re an adorable, likeable sprite” exception to the doping rules.

    Should Sudafed be a banned substance? I don’t know! Can one improve their gymnastics through doping? Probably not! But what no one talks about is that Andreea DID have an unfair advantage over any gymnast who had the same cold and didn’t medicate out of respect for the doping rules. Sudafed is magical. TBH, I’d be fucked if I got a cold and couldn’t take Sudafed. One of many reasons I could never cut it as an Olympic athlete.

    And yes I know another Romanian took the same dose and didn’t exceed the threshold because she weighed more. Which sucks, but…your issue should be with the rule, not its enforcement. Because rules need to be enforced in an even-handed manner.

    1. I have to agree with this. Sporting rules must be adhered to exactly as written, otherwise you open the door for future on-the-spot judgments and exceptions.

      If the rule sucks, which this one did, then it should be changed, which it was. That doesn’t mean you can retroactively go back and reassign medals because that would lead to anarchy.

      1. “If the rule sucks, which this one did, then it should be changed, which it was.”
        Note that right now, the decision isn’t to allow pseudoephedrine – it’s on the in-competition banned list again, because all stimulants are banned. A lot of people don’t seem to realise that yes, pseudoephedrine was allowed for a bit…but then it got re-added to the banned list and it is still banned now. The only difference is right now, the threshold for an offence is much higher, and I believe under the current threshold Raducan would not have had a failed test.

        Like someone already said, though, it’s the team doctor’s job to know the rules and scrutinise any product they buy. It really genuinely is horrible when the doctor provides a banned substance, but you can’t have a loophole for that as that would be ridiculously exploitable.

    2. Agree as well. It sucks, but those were the rules at the time and it was the responsibility of the Romanian medical staff to know what medications were banned and what weren’t.

    3. Well, actually, Amanar had the same cold and also medicated but because she weighed more than Raducan, she didn’t test positive.

      I’m pretty anti-doping but the IOC’s rules about Sudafed are effed up.

      1. The astounding stupidity of the ‘well a rule is a rule’ comments here, given the transparent inequity and unfairness of penalizing Raducan but not Amanar for taking the same medication for the same cold, really makes one wonder if those commenters are Trump supporters 🙂

      2. The astounding stupidity of your response to the reasonable discussion going on makes you far worse than any supporter of any political personality…

      3. @Anonymous: The combination of your truly amazing illogic and epic assholery make you nearly as bad as dRUMPf, little troll–and in fact it’s obvious you’re a dRUMPfanzee of long standing.

      4. I have no idea what being a Trump supporter would have to do with this particular situation. I assume you’re conflating the blind adherence to rules with people who oppose immigration and believe refugees should “wait their turn”? That is pretty insulting to migrants. No one’s human rights are being abused because they don’t get a gold medal at the Olympics, even if it is (arguably) unfair. Those are absurdly different situations. There’s certainly times in real life in which a policy is blatantly unfair or unjust and should be retroactively altered. Sporting events are largely not part of this, since participation is OPTIONAL and VOLUNTARY.

        It really, really sucks for Raducan, but I don’t see anything in the situation that merits her receiving an exception to a published rule that everyone knew about and everyone else obeyed. In a sporting event, you can’t post a rule and then change it retroactively. It’s not fair to the gymnasts who refrained from taking Sudafed in the first place. And how on earth is Amanar’s situation relevant? People actually are affected by drugs to different extents based on their body size, so it makes perfect sense that one larger gymnast could take a dose of substance without it giving them an unfair advantage, while a smaller one couldn’t.

        It also sucks that Raducan did nothing wrong herself and yet gets punished for others’ mistakes, but if you don’t punish her (aka the country’s federation) by taking the medal, then you’re providing a HUGE incentive for countries to dope their gymnasts without their knowledge or consent.

    4. Not so much with the “a rule is a rule” logic here. The rule has more holes than Swiss cheese, it is proven Raducan did nothing wrong herself, ao she deserves her medal back.

    5. In theory, I don’t have a problem with that. At the time, the IOC was pretty much using Andreea as an example – if she doesn’t get away with it, no one is safe.

      The problem is, since then, there have been so many preposterous excuses for positive drug tests that athletes have used to try to explain and in some cases get away with them that Andreea’s punishment really isn’t fair. Athletes have claimed to have kissed others who ingested drugs, absorbed twins before birth, gotten it from hair growth formula and more. In early 2004, about 8 men’s tennis players got away with positive drug tests by claiming they took something from a tour trainer that was tainted. (And apparently, this claim was not proven.)
      Yes – less than four years after Andreea’s situation, athletes got away with positive tests by using the same explanation she did, based on less evidence but with greater success.

  2. If we actually see a Teramoto Murakami Hatakeda Miyakawa team at some point I’m going to scream. Such an amazing team.

  3. There is no hate like KAHRISTYUN lurrrrrve (for those of you who don’t already know, MLT is a devout theofascist.) Always knew that b*tchc*nt was pure poison from the first time she ever recruited me. Fortunately, I heard stories (even then) which confirmed my intuition and said no.

    1. That guy has nothing to do with psychotherapy.
      I’m a licenced romanian psychotherapist. By those clips alone he could/should lose his right to practice.

  4. I wish Yang Yun stayed on beam in 2000 Sydney AA and won Gold and then Raducan won silver and then they both got stripped of their medals at different times because that would truly be the epic-est clusterfuck ever. And Liu Xuan would be confused a lot probably.

  5. So, are these Japanese nationals coming up acting as the sole qualifier for 2021 olympics ? 😛

    1. Knowing Japan, this is setting up the 2024 team for which no substitutions will be allowed for any reason.

  6. Does MLT still make her athletes do bible study? I assume so, but people don’t talk about it as much as they used to so I wondered…

  7. MLT is vile. I was actually really disgusted with her during the beyond the routine episode. She Actively endangered the life of whoever was sitting in her car filming by scrolling through her phone while driving searching for some stupid faithsong.I was actually screaming at the screen to tell the reporter to get her ass out of that nutcases car. You could see she was playing favorites between Amelia and Lexy and it was so vile to see her manipulation tactics. And wtf is it with the bible study? Seriously. ALYSSA was Jewish, making her take part in bible study is just another form of control.
    Gah. Disgusting bitch. I really hope she gets what she deserves.

      1. She does look thick… and healthy and fit, and she was great for Florida, which suggests that maybe you don’t need to be one specific shape to have a good gymnastics career.

        More happy weights for everyone.


    1. I’m pretty sure it’s just the same troll who always trolls in this comments section and not MLT. Really nothing to see here, calm down.

      That said, MLT is making equally awful comments on her Facebook page, so she still totally sucks. Just not for that particular reason.

      1. Bible quotes that imply she is the wronged one with people coming forward about her and that she will forgive them. It’s out there on Twitter. I just don’t know how to do screenshots in this Twitter section.

    2. This is why people like you are scary for you to think that was ACTUALLY THE REAL MLT… Like you are insane! hahah. Scary fake news!

  9. BTW,
    If the response from Jessica after the airing of “Agree to Disgree”
    is where she’s gonna leave it…
    I’ll be leaving Gymcastic…
    I sure hope that it is NOT!

    1. I couldn’t chew more than the first 25 minutes of that episode.
      More than my words, withdrawing ALL my financial suport from Gymcastic is a more fair reaction.
      I’m sorry that this also means not supporting Spencer (always liked him) and Kensley (it was tough, but I eventually warmed up to her), but I cannot have my money go towards that!

      1. Do you feel powerful? Ooh withdrawing what amount of money? That tiny Lil spare change you gave Karen? How bout you take that money and buy one of those corny Chell Yeah tank tops instead from the weirdo Chellsie Memmel fan club that has infected the gymternet as of late.

      2. @Giggles I don’t feel it’s about having power or being a Karen. It’s about using the tools I have to give feedback.
        It’s like buying a toothpaste: I used it for a few years and quite enjoyed it. Now I begin to find things wrong with the formula. I simply won’t buy it anymore. Nothing more to it :).

      3. Also, what does Chellsie and her t-shirts have to do with my willingness to pay Gymcastic :))))?

      4. I’m in the same boat. I’ve been trying for years to find a way to support BBS without also supporting Gymcastic. Even emailed Spencer about it. Heard nothing so I assume BBS is OK financially.

  10. To the MLT imposter…
    Why would any intelligent adult individual ever DO such a thing…
    Why would you want to ever do that?…trick someone like that? It’s just mean..So, OK you fooled me, Happy now? It’s just Sad.

    Most people that are intelligent enough to know, understand and want to
    discuss/debate/uplift the nuances of the undisputed world’s best sport, don’t think they are going to be sabotaged on the BBS site!

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