The Balance Beam Situation

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama

The Path to Tokyo

81 days to the Olympics, and with NCAA season out of the way, it’s time to start getting mentally prepared for the push to Tokyo. For realsies now. I’m starting this arduous process by planning out the critical benchmarks between now and the Olympics for various team selections and qualification of the remaining spots.

May 4-9 – Chinese Nationals

May 4 – Men’s Team/Qualification
May 5 – Women’s Team/Qualification
May 6 – Men’s All-Around
May 7 – Women’s All-Around
May 8 – Event Finals Day 1
May 9 – Event Finals Day 2

The Chinese national championship acts as the first stage of the Olympic trials process, though teams will not be named at this point. The official teams will be determined after two training camp competitions in June and early July. The national championship, however, is the final major public test and therefore our last chance to establish firm and dramatic opinions about what the team should be.

May 15-16 – NHK Cup

May 15 – Women’s All-Around
May 16 – Men’s All-Around

The NHK Cup serves as the final qualification event for Japanese team selection. At the end of the NHK Cup, the scores from the already completed All-Japan Championships will be added to the NHK Cup scores, with the top 3 athletes in the all-around being named to the Olympic team, and the 4th selected from among the top all-around finishers based on the “ekhsfkhjdfklhjfd” criteria.

May 18-23 – Virtual Canadian Championships

The Canadian Championships will be held virtually this year, with day 1 routines submitted between May 14-16 and judged on May 18, and day 2 routines submitted between May 19-21 and judged on May 23. The announcement of Canada’s women’s Olympic team will come on June 17th.

May 21 – Oceania Olympic Qualification

One Olympic spot is still available for both men and women from the Oceanic region, which will be decided at the Oceanic Championship—held in conjunction with Australian Nationals this year. The Oceanic qualifiers will be decided based on the all-around results of the first day of elite competition on May 21.

May 22 – US Classic

OK, yes there are no actual Olympic implications at Classic and it doesn’t mean anything, but it’s got to be on the schedule…

May 24 – British Teams Named

Per BG’s social media, the announcement will come on the 24th. The official documentation (from March) says it will be the 20th, following the actual naming of the team on the 12th and the “appeals process,” which runs from the 12th to the 14th. Enjoy your appeal being placed immediately into a shredder. The actual final British trials for men are already completed and for women are held on May 7 and May 9. You don’t get to watch them, and I’m sure the teams will be entirely logical and free from controversy.

May 26-27 – African Championships

May 26 – Women’s All-Around
May 27 – Men’s All-Around

Two Olympic spots are still available for both men and women from Africa, which will be decided by the all-around standings from the African Championships.

June 3-6 – US Nationals

June 3 – Men’s Day 1
June 4 – Women’s Day 1
June 5 – Men’s Day 2
June 6 – Women’s Day 2

The US National Championship will (mostly? ish?) decide who advances to the Olympic Trials, after which the US teams will be named.

June 4-6 – Pan American Championships

June 4 – Men’s Olympic Qualification
June 5 – Women’s Olympic Qualification
June 6 – Event Finals

Contrary to the everything, it seems Brazil plans to go ahead with hosting the Pan American Championships, which will award the two remaining Olympic spots for both men and women from the Americas based on the standings from qualification.

June 3-6 – German Championships

The original German Championships—scheduled for May in Leipzig—have been canceled, so the national championship will now be held as part of “DIE FINALS” (bum bum bummmmmm) with a number of other sports across the first weekend of June.

June 5-6 – French Championships

This will be the final French elite competition held before the women’s Olympic team is decided.

June 8-12 – Russian Cup

June 8 – Men’s Qualification
June 9 – Women’s Qualification
June 10 – Men’s and Women’s All-Around
June 11 – Event Finals Day 1
June 12 – Event Finals Day 2

The Russian Cup will serve as the last domestic competition before Valentina decides whose face she hates the least.

TBD – Doha World Cup

The FIG has not yet announced or officially approved dates for the final apparatus Olympic qualifier—scheduled to be held in Doha and already postponed a small army of times. This event is supposed to be the conclusion of the apparatus series that will officially decide the 10 Olympic qualifiers for the apparatuses. So it’s kind of a big deal? That we should know something about? Like whether it’s happening or not?

June 24-27 – US Olympic Trials

June 24 – Men’s Day 1
June 25 – Women’s Day 1
June 26 – Men’s Day 2
June 27 – Women’s Day 2

The US Olympic teams will be named following the conclusion of the Olympic Trials.

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