Things Are Happening – November 12, 2020

A. European Championships…still a go?

Despite a flurry of withdrawals, the nominative rosters have been released for December’s European Championships in Turkey. That’s still, we guess, going to be a thing.

Of note, exactly 8 women’s teams have entered a sufficient number senior athletes to get a team score, meaning all of them would advance to the WAG team final. That’s Ukraine, Romania, Hungary, Turkey, Czech Republic, Latvia, Croatia, and Luxembourg. Yes, Luxembourg has entered 3 seniors. It’s the only thing keeping me going. This seems like a wildly ill-advised and preposterous championship that I am growing more excited about by the minute.

AUSTRIAElisa Hämmerle
AZERBAIJANMarina Nekrasova
Samira Gahramanova
Milana Minakovskaya
BULGARIAYoana YankovaValentina Georgieva
Viktoria Glavtcheva
Viktoria Chakova
Darina Nachina
Tijana Korent
Christina Zwicker
Petra Furac
Tina Zelcic
Nika Kukuljan Frelta
Sara Sulekic
Katerina Strinic
Antea Ercegovic
Emi Matoscevic
CZECH REPUBLICNatalie Brabcova
Aneta Holasova
Domikia Ponilizova
Magdalena Coufalova
Sabina Halova
Nela Kaplanova
Lucie Marikova
Nela Stepandova
Daniela Halova
Klara Peterkova
HUNGARYZoja Szekely
Zsofia Kovacs
Hanna Szujo
Noemi Makra
Dorina Böczögo
Greta Mayer
Kira Balazs
Emma Horvath
Anna Szmirnov
Nora Peresztegi
LATVIAElina Vihrova
Anna Locmele
Zane Petrova
Arina Olenava
Anastasija Ananjeva
Marija Prostasenko
LITHUANIAAgata Vostruchovaite
LUXEMBOURGChiara Castellucci
Celeste Mordenti
Lola Schleich
MALTATara Vella Clark
ROMANIAAntonia Duta
Maria Holbura
Silviana Sfiringu
Ioana Stanciulescu
Daniela Trica
Ana Barbosu
Maria Ceplinschi
Andreea Preda
Iulia Trestianu
Luiza Popa
SLOVENIALucija Hribar
Sara King
Zala Trtnik
Ziva Konic
Tia Pavlin Zakovsek
Neza Erpic
Nina Davidovic
SLOVAKIABarbora Mokosova
TURKEYNazli Savranbasi
Dilara Yurtdas
Cemre Kendirci
Goksu Uctas Sanli
Bilge Tarhan
Derin Tanriyasukur
Beyza Ozen
Sevgi Kayisoglu
Bengisu Yildiz
Kardelen Paryaz
UKRAINEDiana Varinska
Anastasia Bachynska
Angelina Radivilova
Yana Fedorova
Valeria Osipova
Viktoria Ivanenko
Daniela Batrona
Yulia Kasianenko
Daria Lyska

The juniors will have an all-around but no team competition this year, and since there are only 20 athletes eligible for the AA final (after 2-per-country), those countries sending full teams will just have an intrasquad in qualification to see who gets Wiebered, and those with two or fewer will be automatically in.

On the senior men’s side, there are 11 senior teams with at least three athletes: Turkey, Ukraine, Israel, Hungary, Romania, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Croatia, and Lithuania. Though, some of these teams like Lithuania and Croatia are only maybes in terms of being able to cobble together three routines on each event. I hope Croatia tries again. My sole dream on the men’s side is for Croatia to default into the team final and have everyone vault handspring timers like at 2018 worlds. There’s definitely something wrong with me!

B. Gymnast alliance

Today, we learned that Riley McCusker is suing Maggie Haney for all of the…all of it—bullying, body shaming, unhealthy diet, period prevention, and strenuous training on injuries including 2019’s exercise-induced rhabdomyolysis.

The litany of injuries is really quite the read. Wrist in April 2017, hamstring in summer 2017, fractured pelvis in fall 2017, foot fractures in January 2018, shoulder in early 2019, rhabdo in summer 2019…all of which she says were exacerbated by being made to train on them by Haney and Victoria Levine.

Coaches can’t do anything these days amiright?!?!?! I mean, you force an athlete to train with a life-threatening illness while making her life miserable for years and years and suddenly YOU’RE the bad guy?!?!?! How about a simple, “thank you for my rhabdo” is that too much to ask?

C. College news

The list of signings for the 2022 college season is quickly filling up—with one of the fun surprises being the announcement that Latvian elite Elina Vihrova (and future European team champion the way things are going at this point…) will be going to Penn State. We also got confirmation of Sunisa Lee’s commitment to Auburn, Grace McCallum and Kara Eaker to Utah, and Aleah Finnegan to LSU, among many others.

In other developments, Jade Carey confirmed that she will not be competing in the upcoming NCAA season and is planning to start gymnastics at Oregon State in 2022. She is currently listed on the roster because she has started academically while continuing to train for the Olympics. The article also included this from Brian Carey about Olympic qualification.

Here’s what’s really happening. No one can catch Jade on either vault or floor. On floor, Jade is at 90 points, and no one else can get there. On vault, Jade is at 90 points, and Yu Linmin is also capable of getting to 90 points, but even if she did, Yu would lose the tiebreak to Jade. (YLM would have to win Doha with an impossible score to pass Jade.) Jade is going to win both the vault and floor apparatus qualification series. The tiebreak to see which spot she gets is the better average points over all events attended, which she has on vault. So, we do already know that she’s getting the spot for vault, not floor. Go ahead and put that in pen.

D. GymCastic

Our latest episodes concern Russian Nationals, where Tatiana Nabieva won the national vault title and there’s nothing else nearly as important as that, except for this image.

Also Italian Nationals, where Giorgia Villa and Asia D’Amato tied for the AA title.

And the Friendship and Solidarity competition, won by Team Solidarity in non-dramatic fashion, and that result is very very important.

So there’s a flurry of talking to listen to.

Chinese Champs plus Project K Decoding Romanian Secret Police Files on The Karolyis with Dr. Simona Petracovschi GymCastic: The Gymnastics Podcast

HEADLINES British Gymnastics Olympic Trials: Updates on the Downies' personal tragedy and the British trials bars controversy. Georgia-Mae Fenton and Ondine Achampong won the two days of trials, throwing everything into chaos What do they even do with Olympic team selection now? In Australia news, the Human Rights Commission report is out, and Peggy Liddick wrote that horrible letter. Update –  Liddick has been removed from judging at AUS Championships. Former US men's team coordinator Kevin Mazeika has been put on the USAG restricted list and cannot coach minors without adult supervision. PROJECT K: The Romanian Secret Police Files on the Karolyis Interview with Professor Simona Petracovschi, PhD, faculty of Physical Education and Sport West University of Timisoara, Romania, to discuss the relationship between the Securitate and the athletes in communist Romania. What was the Securitate and what was their relationship to the athletes vs average Romanian citizens in Communist Romania? Can reports from the Securitate files be trusted? The level of extreme privilege Marta and Bela Karolyi had even compared to the average coach. Her thought on the conclusions the Athlete A documentary draws about the arrival of the Karolyis in the US. The allegations of physical abuse dating back to the first year of Bela Karolyi coaching gymnastics. Child Protective Services in communist Romania. How was Olympic and World Champion, Maria Olaru treated after she published her book detailing abuse under the Romania gymnastics system in the late 80's through 2000. And the accidental live television admission about abuse made by the Minister of Sport to Maria. The current state of Romanian gymnastics and the importance of these documents for the sports culture worldwide. CHINESE NATIONALS The rise of the veterans – Lu Yufei and Zhang Jin top the AA, and three of the four event champions are 20+ Beam-to-beam-to-beam comparison of Li Shijia, Ou Yushan, and Guan Chenchen, that mostly ends up being Jessica sound effects Why Ou Yushan needs to be on the Olympic team anyway, and why weren't all the event champions added to the Olympic selection squad? Updates on all of our beloveds GYMTERNET NEWS Canada won't send athletes to Pan Ams, and Manrique says he's not going to the Olympics. JOIN CLUB GYM NERD Join Club Gym Nerd or buy a gift membership for access to Behind the Scenes episodes. Behind The Scenes: More Project K (for Karolyi) Details Behind The Scenes: Project K Behind The Scenes: LIVE after NCAA Finals Behind The Scenes: Aimee Boorman to the Netherlands Behind The Scenes: Beam Smash Regionals Buy our awesome clothing and gifts here. We have masks too! RELATED EPISODES Unitard Revolution Director Jessica Bendinger on Stick It Michigan Wins! Soviet Gymnastics: Not the Specter of Evil (Commissioned)
  1. Chinese Champs plus Project K Decoding Romanian Secret Police Files on The Karolyis with Dr. Simona Petracovschi
  2. Jessica Bendinger Interview
  3. Unitard Revolution
  4. NCAA Championships Recap and Jaime Santos Esq explains the NCAA case before the Supreme Court
  5. Soviet Gymnastics: Not the Specter of Evil (Commissioned)

Basically, things are looking quite positive for Italy even with the injuries to Carofiglio and Iorio, with Villa, the D’Amatos, and Maggio excelling right now. Maggio upgraded bars and won beam, while the D’Amatos are picking thing up on floor, and Villa remains Villa.

No one who competed at Russian Nationals is going to be in the running for the Olympic team (with the possible exception of Iliankova), but Melnikova did look in stellar form at Friendship and Solidarity, the highlight of an overall rusty competition.

24 thoughts on “Things Are Happening – November 12, 2020”

      1. If Romania doesn’t win a team medal, then they need to cancel gymnastics in Romania permanently. LMAO.
        I would say Hungary and Ukraine are favorites for gold with Romania for bronze due to UB but if the new seniors live up to the challenge they could win. Hungary might be the team to beat if they don’t have a BB rotation like they did at Worlds. Czech Republic and Turkey will be in the hunt for a medal too, but it will come down to consistency..
        Croatia will likely be 5th/6th but could challenge for up to 4th based on their line up. Latvia 7th and Luxembourg in 8th.
        It will be very Commonwealth Gamesish. Clear top 3 (AUS/CAN/ENG=HUN/ROU/UKR). Clear next tier (SCO/WAL= CZE/TUR) and the rest of the heap (CRO/LAT/LUX)


    1. She missed the Romanian verification competition so that’s why she’s not on the rooster. Guess she’ll be added later on or since this is not a qualifying event for Tokyo she’ll maybe sit this one out.


  1. There were definitely murmurs of Haney’s behaviors before Mccusker went there …and they still went…kinda like people still go to Gedderts when John is banned but his “wife takes over ownership”…. same mindset.

    Haney is an idiot for getting called out on her behavior, and still continuing to act like she did…it’s her own fault and her hubris should cost her her career in coaching …but stupid parents, like the Mccuskers several years ago , don’t think it will happen to their kid even if they’ve been warned. Haney’s gym is no longer USAG but she still has a loyal cult following of gymnasts and their families signing their daughter’s up to be abused.


  2. Help me out, So Mccuskers parents, knew Riley had Rhabdo since June, (however you spell it) and yet still let her compete at Pan Ams at the end of July? How on earth was she cleared and allowed to go? In the lawsuit – On or about June 2019, Plaintiff Riley McCusker was diagnosed with exercise-induced rhabdomyolysis. Despite this condition and Plaintiff’s complaints of pain to them, Defendant’s Haney and Levine both directed and forced her to continue strenuous training. The training exacerbated the rhabdomyolysis and caused Plaintiff to suffer and endure great pain, and risked plaintiff suffering grave injury and harm to her person.’

    Is Rileys mom one of those toxic gym moms? Or? Whats the story? Or did MH have all that power to convince DR’s, USAG, Mccuskers etc that Riley was healthy enough to compete at Pan Ams, and Us Classics, etc? Rileys mom went to Pan Ams, you can see her reacting to Riley falling off bars…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. In answer to all your questions: Yes. MH is an epic psycho bitch (a cheezy, ninth-rate Lady Macbeth in a Jersey summer stock production) AND McCusker’s mother is exactly one of those toxic gym moms who was always sure her little darling was about to beat Simone Biles and the entire rest of the US elites–if her daughter just kept training on and making those injuries worse. Haney is now the convenient fall guy for Mommie Dearest and they might even get lotsa $$$$ out of it. Win-win. *vomit*


      1. I agree with the above comments on Haney and Jessica Mccusker… Haney was a maniac coach but mccusker was ready to be dazzled… in her early JO career , she was that CGM at every meet . She was at Sabrina Vega’s gym for a while but that wasn’t good enough and Haney fit the bill for the Olympian The mom wanted her to be.

        I don’t think Riley was an unwilling participant, she had stars in her eyes too and the news on other abuse by coaches was out there , including Haney, but that’s where they went … probably because Haney had gotten Hernandez to the Olympics in a relatively short time frame and it was fairly close to their home. It seems disingenuous to say it’s all Haneys fault when the family knew of the injuries and illness and could’ve put a stop to it as well …they were all toxic in the relationship.. Haney , the mom and Riley … and a lawsuit is how it ends .


      2. @Anon–Haney and Mommie Dearest, yes. Riley McCusker is clearly vaultingly ambitious and it’s rather nauseating, but it’s ABSURD to blame her for any of this. Gymnasts are not responsible for their psychotic coaches, particularly not in the abattoir that USA Gymnastics let flourish for four or five decades. So no, you’re completely wrong about Riley McCusker.


      1. @Anon Wow, you’re racist as well as imbecilic! As if Biles has a history of arrogant, entitled behavior? You’re a joke.


      2. So you’re apparently blind and deaf as well as stupid. I don’t dislike Biles because she’s black. I dislike her because she’s arrogant, smug, and immature. If you think you’re looking at a black gymnast with real class, grace, and intelligence, you’re probably looking at Ebee and mistaking her for Biles.

        Bye, moron!


      3. @Anon Pathetic try at a save, you pitiful racist BITCH. Biles is none of the things you PROJECT onto her with your Goebbels BIG LIES; it is of course you who are arrogant, smug, immature, and cretinously ignorant into the bargain. If you think you know anything about class, grace, or intelligence, you’re an even more imbecilic MAGAtroll than your posts indicate.

        Keep your head right up your cloaca where it belongs, dunce!


  3. @Anon Pathetic try at a save, you pitiful racist BITCH. Biles is none of the things you PROJECT onto her with your Goebbels BIG LIES; it is of course you who are arrogant, smug, immature, and cretinously ignorant into the bargain. If you think you know anything about class, grace, or intelligence, you’re an even more imbecilic MAGAtroll than your posts indicate.

    Keep your head right up your cloaca where it belongs, dunce!


  4. I was not “blaming” Riley for Haneys behavior but I still say the mother was well aware of how it operated there , and still brought her to be coached by Haney… kinda like her cult of whack jobs that are going to her “non USAG gym “ and see no problem now … at some point , you hold a parent responsible for making a poor choice … and this is it.

    Not saying this makes Haney any less culpable but this whole dynamic, and if you want to add in USAG’s pathetic response to disciplining Haney , lead to this toxic disaster in NJ . Haney should be banned for life because evidently the parents still seeking her out are too stupid to see her for what she is … I don’t know what the next step is if they don’t… report the parents to CPS?


    1. @Anony Well of course it’s Mommie Dearest’s fault, aside from aspiring Martha KarolyiCUNT Maggie Haney. As I said earlier, Mommie D was sure her little darling Riley could beat EVERYBODY, especially if she had ‘the right coach’ 🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮
      The combination of stage mothers and bitches like Haney is fatal. Period.


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