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.

32 thoughts on “The Path to Tokyo”

  1. I’m sure this is bring discussed elsewhere, but the asynchronous Canadian meet is really interesting to me. I would have assumed a virtual competition would still be real time (as in, turn your video on, you have 10 minutes to start your routine). If there is a 2-3 day submission window presumably all submissions will be hit routines and the competition will be based on what athletes are capable of, not what they actually do under pressure. Which is cool! Really cool! But also really different than, you know, the Olympics.

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    1. That’s what I thought at first too, but according to Lauren from thegymterdotnet Gym Canada sent an actual gymnastics judges to the gyms that timed routines, falls, caught OOB, and made sure those kinds of things didn’t happen. Gym Can also has a bunch of stuff on their website, and have been pretty transparent about it (what a shocker for a gymnastics federation).

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      1. Gymnastics Canada has been doing the virtual competitions for Elite Canada and they are definitely not all hit routines. There was even a score of zero given out.

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      2. Oh that’s a really interesting approach! They’ll still have the known-equipment advantage, but overall it makes a lot of sense. Thank you for the details!

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  2. So there was just an American Classic and then there’s going to be a U.S. Classic too? What’s the difference? Are there always two like this with almost the same name? I just remember the Secret Classic — which one was that?

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    1. Secret Classic was US Classic back when USAG had sponsors.

      American Classic is just the last qualification for US Classic. They’re trying to make it a bigger deal than it is. It is often not attended by any of the “big names” as they already have their qualifying scores.

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      1. Technically, American Classic is on the same level qualification-wise as the US (Formerly Secret) Classic, not a qualification to it. National Qualifiers –> Classics meet (American or US) –> Championships. It was just always so much lower key (plus was at the Ranch) and was usually held in conjunction with the last National Qualifier meet of the season.

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      2. Before the Karolyis took over everything, American Classic and US Classic were on relatively equal footing…US Classic always had higher stakes because it was the last chance to qualify to nationals, but otherwise they were basically two iterations of the same competition.

        Over the years, American Classic got more low-key while US Classic got more glitzy.

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    2. The secret classic was the us classic. There’s always been two. The American classic never used to be televised and was held at the ranch. It was a very small, not well attended meet of little consequence.

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  3. “Brazil plans to go ahead with hosting the Pan American Championships” I think you mean “Brazil plans to go ahead with hosting the Rebeca Andrade qualification event”

    As for Doha…3/4 women’s spots are already locked up and I believe 3/6 men’s spots are too. Are they really going to hold an event just for Ferrari and Petronias to try to qualify? I mean I would love that but I’d understand if they just cancel it

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    1. Now now, Pan Ams isn’t just for Rebecca Andrade. I’ve Brazil also wants to qualify a rhythmic gymnast through Pan Ams.

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      1. Actually, US rhythmic group still needs to qualify too. Probably the only US athletes who will go, unless they manage to get in prior to (I believe if Ukraine wins the euros spot the US is next in line)

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  4. Apparently one of the qualities the British selection committee is looking for is: ability to medal at the 2024 Olympics. Seems like a direct slap in the face to Becky Downie who’s 29 years old. She appears to have one of the more competitive bars routines in the world though, will be interesting to see what happens there.

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    1. Plus their using Gymnova equipment instead of spieth which is similar to the equipment being used in Tokyo

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      1. That *really* makes me wonder if ASSHOLES at Brit Gym (that would be ALL OF THEM, rather like USAG) are deliberately trying to screw Becky Downie after the Downies’ abuse complaints. What other reason is there for such deliberate stupidity and amateurishness?

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    2. It also makes NO sense. If they were picking a team for 2023 worlds and wanted to use ability to medal in 2024 as a criteria, sure. But 2024 is three years away. At least 2/3rds of the current British NT is likely to be injured or move to NCAA or retire for personal reasons by then. Makes it even more obvious of a strategy to justify leaving Greater Downie off the team (though honestly I still think it more likely that she could medal at 32 in Paris than Kinsella or Morgan, who are good team gymnasts but have no individual potential.)

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      1. The Morgan stans just kill me. She’s got no wow event, would never make an event final, and would never finish higher than 10AA–and that placement’s assuming she got lucky and others fell. Fine for a STRONG team with several individual STARS, I suppose, but for GB? LOL!

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    3. I laughed (not in the good way) at the two-day window for appeals. I’d recommend every gymnast to pre-emptively prepare their appeal, as two days is nothing like enough time to put a case together and organise a companion witness for the hearing.

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      1. Yep. I normally loathe your comments, with excellent cause, but for once you’re correct. LOL!

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  5. Apparently before the Karolyi’s both Classics were big deals and the only way to qualify to National Championships. But that was so long ago, hardly anyone remembers. In recent years all national team members qualified at camp so no one of substance really showed at the first Classic. Second one, they showed more to have a competition and try out their stuff before Nationals. That and it would be a real embarrassment to USAG to have two meets where no top seniors show.

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  6. Is Chellsie going to ACTUALLY compete at Classics to qualify for nationals? Or is there one more camp she can qualify at to get the qualifying score to go to nationals? OR it aint happenin this year?

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    1. If you actually thought Chellsie Memmel was going to qualify to Nationals this year…… I gots a bridge to sell ya. Great view of Brooklyn.

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      1. I mean if competes vault and beam at classics and scores over 27 total she will. Which does not appear to be outside the realm of possibility based upon what we’ve seen and heard of her training.

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      2. I mean I thought she could get a qualifying score on at least two events to compete at nationals, yeah I didnt think it was that far fetched. Did I think she was going to do her ‘amanar’ or her laid out dos Santos, etc lmao no! Or the insane things her strange fans with they’re trumped-up D score predictions… NO! I didn’t purchase any cringe Chell yeah tank tops. But I thought she had a shot of at least qualifying for nationals. Yeah.

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      3. If you actually think anything about you is cute, funny, or snarky, BITCH, I got news for ya. You’re an inept trollcunt who can’t even manage an insult that’s not an exhausted, impotent cliche. You have no fucking idea what Memmel may or may not be capable of, loser!

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    2. I think her comeback has been amazing and inspiring but she’s just not going to be ready. I don’t think she will be able to compete. She says she’s doing the comeback for her, so I really can’t see her trying to compete if she’s not ready and can’t be happy with her results.

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  7. On flo (urg) they have Classics (May 20-22), US Championships (June 1-6) and USA Championships (June 22-27).

    Is USA Championships actually Olympic Trials or am I dumb and its something else entirely?

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    1. “2021 U.S. Gymnastics Championships” in Ft. Worth is for men’s/women’s Artistic.

      “2021 USA Gymnastics Championships” in St. Louis is for Rhythmic, T&T, and Acro (and is apparently being held simultaneously with Olympic Trials for Artistic.

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