What Even Was This Season?

So…it went…better than it might have? All things considered, this COVID season has been effectively muddled through. Well, at least, it happened. And we’re now just two days away from it having finished happening.

No one will pretend it was ideal. We had Michigan State stopping its season, Stanford training under a bridge on a lily pad made of smoke, Auburn and Temple withdrawing from the postseason, and a number of teams not able to start at all. But it’s a win insofar as…no one died yet despite most team’s best efforts in mask usage, and it looks like a champion will be crowned?

Before that happens, some reflections on how things ended up playing out this season. (This was supposed to be a team final preview, and I still say Florida is the favorite if Thomas is able to do all four, with Oklahoma very close, and Michigan a legitimate, believable spoiler, but that’s about the extent of it. We don’t really know anything until after the semifinals, anyway. End of preview.)

My primary reflection on the COVID season: the quality of gymnastics wasn’t worse. This year was supposed to be worse, with abbreviated preseasons and various COVID delays and protocols and health measures and distancing, but you would not have known that based on the routines we saw, which were on par with a normal season. There’s probably a lesson to be learned there about over-training and over-scheduling and the importance of breaks, but when has gymnastics ever been interested in learning that lesson?

Continue reading What Even Was This Season?