Things Are Happening – October 8, 2020

A. 2020 European Championships

…are still happening? OK?

On the heels of the actual sane announcement (!) that 2020 Euros would no longer serve as the Olympic qualifier for the European continental places—plus Great Britain’s announcement that it would not be attending and Azerbaijan’s withdrawal as replacement host following Paris’s withdrawal as original host—European Gymnastics decided that the only logical move was to…PUSH ON THROUGH.

One might have thought these would serve as accumulated indicators that the event isn’t logistically possible or necessary right now, but the UEG has instead decided to view them as simply sprinkles of flavoring atop the turd muffin of life.

So, Mersin in Turkey (a city we’ve heard of because of that challenge cup there) will step in to become the third host of this event. Third time’s a charm? No wait, there are no charms, all charms are dead. The dates remain the same as previously rescheduled, with the men’s event running from the 9th to 13th of December, and the women’s event from the 17th to the 20th of December.

And, I mean, let’s be honest I can get on board. It is gymnastics after all.

At least the event is no longer trying to be Europe’s Olympic qualifier. All other continents have moved their continental qualifiers to 2021—which will hopefully allow for a more even playing field in terms of preparation time, as well as allowing the new 2021 seniors to compete. But for some reason, Europe was still planning on having 2020 count as the qualifier despite also planning to hold another European Championship in Basel next April. So that was…really weird. Fortunately, they have reversed course on that and will make Basel the qualifier.

Armenia has also announced it will not be traveling to Turkey for the new-new Euros because of the [gestures at human history].

B. Amy Tinkler

Amy Tinkler has been bringing the receipts in recent weeks about how her complaint against Amanda Reddin was mysteriously closed in March and no one told her about it, as well as the problematic email thread from Colin Still about her weight.

She expresses exactly what happened in those instances, as well as with her retirement from gymnastics in general, in this interview, which I highly recommend.

Plus, “Honestly I have no idea what Jane Allen does.”

Hard same.

C. NCAA rosters

Bringing up the rear, UCLA released its much anticipated 2021 roster this past week, listing four freshmen—Chae Campbell, Frida Esparza, Sara Ulias, and Brooklyn Moors. Brooklyn Moors, however, clarified that while she is starting school, she is not intending to compete in the 2021 season because of…obviously? Because of reasonable decision making? Please stay in Canada. Save yourself.

Potential freshman Emma Malabuyo (who is currently still training with Kim Zmeskal at Super Cuts) is also noticeably absent from UCLA’s roster. Her initial signing announcement did say she was intending to join in 2021, so she could be planning to start in January, or she could be among the crop of deferrals from this year’s class who are taking a year to pursue the Olympics, which already includes Jordan Chiles and Ana Padurariu.

Lilia Waller has also popped back up on UCLA’s team.

tired: disappearing from UCLA’s roster after your freshman year
wired: reappearing on UCLA’s roster for your senior year

Speaking of which, Nicki Shapiro is also still voting present, six years after her freshman season, and we’ve never been happier.

In other developments, you can also check out the GoFundMe for saving Alaska’s gymnastics program.

D. GymCastic

Much is happening in the world of GymCastic. First, we’ve launched my child—Gymnastics International—where we break down the most recent competitions in great detail without any of that news or feelings slop. There are two episodes available so far, the first on Japanese and Chinese Nationals, and the second on Szombathely. You can listen to both here.

Szombathely World Cup Gymnastics International

We dissect every single little moment from the Marta Pihan-Kulesza Show, Starring Marta Pihan-Kulesza. Plus, a new skill in MAG, a full report on the level of mask-wearing (it was low), and CSI Code Edition takes on the issue Lopez/Podkopayeva credit. We celebrate when talls win the day and bemoan when falls win the day, celebrate when execution wins the day, and bemoan when sexism wins the day. And then watch Marta Pihan-Kulesza a few more times because duh. PAST EPISODES Gymnastics International Episode 1: Chinese and Japanese Nationals
  1. Szombathely World Cup
  2. Gymnastics International: Chinese and Japanese Nationals

We also have some new episodes of the main show, one a commission on the worst commentary moments in gymnastics broadcast history (HI TRAUTWIG), and the other a news round-up, including the latest on the Gymnast Alliance.

444: Friendship and Solidarity GymCastic: The Gymnastics Podcast

GYMTERNET NEWS The US will compete in Japan on November 8. We discuss the meet format and team selections British Gymnastics head Jane Allen is conveniently retiring and gave one of the worst interviews ever about it. Not that we have any opinions or anything. Why do parents accept abusive coaching practices? More countries are withdrawing from Euros. When is a continental championship not a continental championship? We celebrate National Coming Out Day and Danell Leyva DEFYING GRAVITY We watched the first three episodes of the gymnastics documentary series Defying Gravity (we’ll have our thoughts on the rest of the series next week) and present our highlights and lowlights. Jessica explains why she thinks it represents a paradigm shift and Spencer rolls his eyes during the extensive fact check portion. PLUS All the gymternet headlines, along with your feedback about Phoebe Mills erasure, the disprespect of Larisa Petrik, and…manual expressing. 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 443: Gymnastics’ Greatest Stars (Commissioned) 442: A European Saga Gymnastics International Episode 2: Szombathely World Cup 441: Gymnastics Commentary Hall of Shame (Commissioned) Gymnastics International Episode 1: Chinese and Japanese Nationals 440: Chinese Gymnastics Team Trainer: Annemarie Alf DPT, CSCS
  1. 444: Friendship and Solidarity
  2. 443 Gymnastics’ Greatest Stars
  3. 442: A European Saga
  4. Gymnastics International Szombathely World Cup
  5. 441: Gymnastics Commentary Hall of Shame (Commissioned)

19 thoughts on “Things Are Happening – October 8, 2020”

    1. That’s what you took away from this?!

      You read about an olympic gymnast who MEDALED and is calling out INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR and being body shamed…. and think, “Hey, this is a great chance to shit on her form too!”

      Okay Karoyli..

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Not the CAPS LOCK???? Let me rephrase my comment. “Oh no, they were mean to her. Waaaaaaaaaaaaah.” Feel better?


      2. They called her fat. Oh no. She should go do NCAA, attend UCLA, slam down into the splits a few times during her floor routine and spread joy.


    2. @Anonymous dRUMPfazoid MAGAtroll: Bitch, you are lower than sewer scum. You are a dripping end-stage syphilitic c*nt with the mental capacity of an amoeba, and you need to run along and lick some more doorknobs for Covida Caligula.


      1. oh, is Spencer not moderating comments here? It’s time for an IP-based block for some of those anonymous commenters.
        c’mon Spencer, let’s go.


      1. I won’t listen to anything with that Jessica still involved. Good luck Spencer but you don’t have me as a viewer.


  1. I’m so curious about the women on UCLA’s roster who haven’t competed. They must be amazingly dedicated to continue to make the roster (and thus presumably train with the team). I wonder if that is what sets them apart from the women who maybe are on roster for only their freshman season and then never seen as part of the team again.

    I’m thinking of Mercedez Sanchez and Sarah Taubman specifically. Have there been any others in recent years?


    1. There are significant benefits to being on a varsity roster at a school like UCLA even if you never compete: priority registration for classes, academic support, travel opportunities, networking benefits, access to nicer housing/dining than the general student population, etc. I imagine each of them weighs these benefits against the drawbacks and reaches her own conclusion.

      There’s also social considerations for athletes like Sanchez who are clearly incredibly close friends with their teammates. Being an NCAA athlete is an all-consuming experience and if you quit your team, you realistically aren’t going to have a ton of opportunities to hang out with your former teammates because they’ll be much busier than you.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The team and university also benefit from those student athletes that provide a huge boost to the team GPA average. Team GPA average is one indicator that is also reported out on nationally. Having the highest team GPA is often a goal of teams that might not factor in the top tier rankings for gymnastics results. Texas Woman’s University finished first last year and was one of their team goals at the start of the season.
        For example, Allison Taylor was on the UCLA roster but DID compete, however, it was most exhibition sets and her competition routines were almost always dropped as the lowest score. One of the reasons why she was kept on athletic scholarship is that she always had a strong GPA and often received Pac 10 and Scholastic American Honors for academics.


      2. Yeah I’m guessing the athletes who aren’t lineup material and also don’t boost the GPA are gently encouraged to move on.

        I still think the Allison Taylor thing was as much about establishing a recruiting pipeline at WOGA as anything else. UCLA wasn’t getting WOGA elites back then, and Allison definitely marketed herself online as the WOGA social chair even if she didn’t compete much as an elite.


      3. Pretty sure that Val stated that Taylor’s contributions were beyond athletic achievement and that she was won of the top students on the team. She was also a high motivator for the team, which members of the gymnternet often called her head cheerleader as a joke.

        Not sure about the WOGA pipeline with Taylor. She was not the first WOGA gymnast to attend UCLA. Lindsey Vanden Eykel attended but was forced to retire medically after her sophomore year. LVE was one of the original Wogettes in the same group as Patterson, Vise, Megan Dowlen, Kaitlin White, Nikki Childs, Stephanie Gentry, and Nina Kim. Taylor was a part of that group, IIRC, but a bit younger.

        No NCAA team really had a strangle hold on WOGA at the time. Dowlen and Childs ended up at UGA, White at Bama, Gentry at Stanford, Vise chose Oklahoma, and Nina Kim at Utah. Patterson had planned to attend LSU (I think) before she ended up going pro.


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