Things Are Happening – January 14, 2021

A. Stuttgart World Cup Canceled

Stuttgart, one of the three remaining all-around world cups in the Olympic qualification series, has said a big old NOPE to hosting the event this March. Per the FIG, they’re still hoping to find a different city in Germany to host the event (k…….) so that the process can go ahead as planned. Ish.

According to my frenemy, the 2020ONEST Olympic qualification procedures, the all-around series can go ahead and count if only three events are held instead of the planned four, but that would hinge on the Birmingham event still happening, which is—to put it mildly—a question mark at this point. If Birmingham can’t be held and no replacement hosts are found, then the series would contain just two events, the 2020 American Cup and the 2021 Tokyo World Cup planned for May. The Tokyo World Cup is also the Olympic Test Event, so if that can’t happen, we’re in much deeper water.

If there are just two events, the series wouldn’t count and the theoretical Olympic spots awarded from this series would be reallocated to “the highest ranked eligible NOC based on the team ranking results of Qualifications of the 2019 World Championships.” So, since all the countries are eligible for the spot at this point, the general consensus seems to be this means the top three from qualification at worlds. That would be USA, China, and Russia for the women and Russia, China, Japan for the men.

B. The Laurie Hernandez Comeback

One of the underrated best things in the history of Twitter happened a couple days ago, when Laurie Hernandez wrote this

and, first of all, Laurie Hernandez’s emergence as a delightful public weirdo is one of the few recent joys we have. Also, as she later confirmed, this indicates that she does indeed plan to compete at the inaugural women’s Winter Cup at the end of February. Like compete. As a gymnast.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Winter Cup? In February? Is that one actually happening? I mean I’m sure it shouldn’t, but we’re also chugging along with an NCAA season at this point, so…

Meanwhile, Memmel is currently a maybe for Winter Cup because of the ankle.

C. Nile Wilson Retires

Official Face of Your YouTube Suggestions and occasional Olympic medalist Nile Wilson announced his retirement today. Nile was part of the British team that won silver at the 2015 World Championships, then went on to win bronze on high bar at the 2016 Olympics and win the all-around championship at the Commonwealth Games in early 2018, which ended up being his final appearance in a major competition.

British high bar is like, “Oh. Crap.” But I’m sure you’ll still get to enjoy him challenging the world’s shortest penguin to a handstand competition or whatever happens on that channel.

D. Old News

I haven’t done one of these in a while so there’s the whole issue of Oleg Verniaiev’s suspension to get to. Just that. What we know is…nothing. Still nothing. Oleg Verniaiev’s FIG license has been provisionally suspended pending the results of an investigation, which appears to shed some light on the actual reason he withdrew from Euros, but no one is allowed to talk about what, why, when, or how. That’s the entirety of what we know. But it probably ain’t good.

E. NCAA Week 2 Preview

Full schedule and links.

The first “big deal” meet of the season will come on Sunday at 5 ET/2 PT when Utah travels to Oklahoma to test itself against one of the presumed Big Two in the 2021 NCAA season. Oklahoma’s first-meet performance was about a half point stronger than Utah’s, so a clear margin but not a completely insurmountable one.

Utah currently ranks ahead of Oklahoma on floor after one week, though I’d imagine both teams will say they can do a lot better on floor than they did last time. Oklahoma and Utah are also two of the strongest teams in the country on beam, so Oklahoma’s primary advantage lies on vault and bars. The Sooners will be eager to build up an early meet advantage through more difficulty on vault and through bars handstands. It’s possible that Utah could try to bust out some of its additional Y1.5s to try to keep pace with Oklahoma, but it’s worth noting that last weekend at a podium meet Utah elected to play it safe with the vaults from Stanhope and Rucker, so upgrading to their 1.5s for this weekend would be a lot.

Elsewhere, the first big-time SEC showdown of the season will see Georgia go to Florida on Friday at 7:00 ET (replayed on ESPN2 on Sunday following the Utah/OU meet), where Florida will be the heavy favorite but Georgia will look to tighten things up on nearly every event to get to a more comfortable portion of the 196s.

LSU heads to Arkansas on Friday for an 8:30 ET rematch—because that’s the kind of thing that happens with this year’s schedule—after LSU narrowly escaped by a couple tenths at home against Arkansas last weekend.

The Big Ten also gets started this week, but Rutgers has already been forced to withdraw from its Saturday tri meet against Michigan and Ohio State because of COVIDings.

Friday’s early action includes an Illinois/Nebraska meet that should be interesting, as well as the season debut for Denver, which heads to Iowa State. Also, I’m planning to live blog for seven straight hours tomorrow. So, you know, it’ll get weird.

17 thoughts on “Things Are Happening – January 14, 2021”

  1. Why can’t they just push the Summer Olympics to 2022 and the Winter Olympics to 2024 and then continue within a 4 year cycle, just switch them around?

    That or hold summer Olympics and winter Olympics in 2022 and then summer Olympics again in 2024.

    The Winter Olympics were held in 1992 and then again two years later in 1994 so that both Olympic no longer occurred in the same year. They can make an exception one would think because of a world wide pandemic. This is more so for the athletes that might not be able to make it to 2024.

      1. Oh just that OP suggested that the Winter Olympics be moved to ‘24 and Daddy Liu is probably hoping he can get that kid to ‘22 before her hips shatter into dust.

    1. I think that would be the smartest path, but the IOC already confirmed that it’s this summer or bust for the Olympics going through and the majority of Tokyo residents don’t even want the Olympics to happen. I’m starting to think that we’re going to see the Olympics getting cancelled for the fourth time in history.

      1. They should be cancelled. It would suck but it’s not ethical to hold them at this point, especially with vaccinations going so slow. And they can’t just move the world’s fittest people to the top of the vaccine list.

      2. I agree. It’s awful for the athletes involved, but the way things stand, the Olympics should be cancelled. I would’ve rather liked to see them postponed to 2022 but that option is not on the table. Pound is advocating for the Olympians/hopefuls to be prioritized for the vaccine which is mind-boggling and ridiculous. On top of that, they have no plan on how they’re going to safely move the athletes to the Olympic village, how the quarantine/testing/isolation process would roll out and how it would work regarding training and competing, they don’t have any information on attendance (obviously there’s no way they could do full capacity and probably won’t be in a place to do so for years in the future, but whether they can do limited attendance or completely closed off to the public), and because of the pandemic they would now have to sink even more money to accommodate for protocol and it’s already costed them north of $25 billion.

  2. I mean, sure, trash dreams of athletes around the world, and give big scary COVID a little more power. Half the world is all for it, the rest of us no longer care. After all, why bother doing anything anymore…best to all just wear six masks and stay home and going blind on hand sanitizer…you’ll be “safe”. Even Jessica Mask-Nazi O’B wants Tokyo to happen (only because she’s planning on going, of course) but when even the Ms. Crazy Mask Freak wants it to happen- there will be pissed off people. It’s not like cancelling life has actually saved lives. People are still dying. Might as well live a little.

      1. Haven’t you been paying attention? She can’t practice….she’s in the hospital recovering from pneumonia after complications recovering from Covid that her no mask wearing, Trump supporter, “I have rights as an American” husband brought home to her. She called him an essential worker. Not sure how an alarm company salesman is “essential” but who am I to question the “Third Place World VT Champion”.
        I doubt she will be competing next month at Winter Cup.

      2. I hope she doesn’t suffer lifelong side effects from it but I have to say that’s some poetic justice.

    1. Your comment “It’s not like cancelling life has actually saved lives. People are still dying.” doesn’t really make sense. Just because some (many) people are still dying does not mean that the efforts to stop the spread are not saving lives. It’s not like there’s only two statuses which mean anything: “no deaths” and “some deaths”: I’m pretty sure most people agree that number of deaths is important too..! If a school were on fire, and the fire brigade showed up, do you think it would be right for them to say “well we can’t save all the children; that part of the building has collapsed and anyone there will already be dead – we could easily save the kids in this part and perhaps the ones over there too, but actually there’s no point because some of the children will die anyway, so we won’t bother saving any of the rest”?

      1. I don’t think someone who is that bent out of shape about having to wear a mask and possibly not getting to watch a sporting event possesses either logic or empathy so I don’t think your hypothetical will get through to them.

    2. “dreams of athletes around the world” is so, so, so low on my priority list versus things like fewer people dying from covid. i’d happily crush every athlete’s dream myself one at a time in front of them if it meant saving even a single person.

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