The Balance Beam Situation

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama

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.

SENIORSJUNIORS
AUSTRIAElisa Hämmerle
AZERBAIJANMarina Nekrasova
Samira Gahramanova
Milana Minakovskaya
BULGARIAYoana YankovaValentina Georgieva
Viktoria Glavtcheva
Viktoria Chakova
Darina Nachina
CROATIAAna Derek
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
ISRAELLihie Raz
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.

There was a special guest at the women's national team camp this week. How do we feel about this? And what do we hope was said? Morgan Hurd discussed her potentially misdiagnosed knee injury in the run up to the Tokyo Olympics. Bart Deurloo announced his retirement. We pay tribute. NCAA Week 5 Friday featured the most 10s given out in a single day in college gymnastics in 19 years. Spencer is……going to be fine. We discuss which 10s might have been the realest, the problem with going stick-blind, and bring Correct or Corrupt to a possible 10 that wasn't. Plus, feedback on how judges get assigned to meets, how receipts would change everything, the judging of Suni Lee's vault, and when/why handstands became the be-all, end-all of bars Jessica has some awards of the week, an ode to Jordan Chiles, a score protest to honor, and some ideas for future post-routine celebrations SURVEY We want your opinion! Tell us what you think here. EXTRA CLUB CONTENT Club Gym Nerd members can watch the video version of the show, join us for live podcasts once a week, get extended and early releases of interviews, and have early access to live show tickets. Please login to your Club Gym Nerd account to watch this episode. Not a member? Join here. JOIN CLUB GYM NERD Join Club Gym Nerd (or give it as a gift!) for access to weekly Behind the Scenes episodes. 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. Week One of College & Cocktails: The Friday Night NCAA Gymnastics Post-Meet Show is available to sample (even if you aren't a Club Gym Nerd member yet). Watch or listen here. 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 College & Cocktails: UCLA at Utah What Happens in the Air, Stays in the Air NCAA Gymnastics with Vanessa Atler College & Cocktails: Minnesota at Iowa with Evan Heiter Can You Count to 3? College & Cocktails: Arkansas at Auburn College & Cocktails: Dial 1-800-Kazakhstan College Gymnastics Is Back College & Cocktails: Auburn at Florida Project K Episode 2 Project K Episode 1 Sitting in Pits Made of Mattresses Gymnastics History and Code of Points Archive from Uncle Tim MORE WAYS TO LISTEN HERE  
  1. 10-A-PALOOZA
  2. What Happens in the Air, Stays in the Air
  3. NCAA Gymnastics with Vanessa Atler
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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.

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