Things Are Happening – May 21, 2021

A. Classic Podium Training

Someone showed up to Classic podium training and did a lil ol’ Yurchenko double pike.

So, this is like…too good. It’s not supposed to be this good. She did a second one after this and fully ran backward out of it.

Simone didn’t have to show up looking the most prepared of anyone at Classic podium training, but she kind of did.

Now, to the most important question: What’s it going to be valued? Timmy the Dags said on twitter that is has been given a 6.6 for this meet. And keep in mind that this would be a provisional US rating and can change once the women’s technical committee gets hold of it at the Olympics (like when the beam dismount got an I nationals but then an H at worlds).

A 6.6 is little low for me, though not quite as disastrous as it might have been (and again, we’ll see what the WTC does). I had it at 6.8 based on precedent. In the men’s code, the Yurchenko double pike is a 5.6 vault, so we can compare that to vaults that exist in both codes like the handspring double front, which is 5.2 in the men’s code and 6.4 in the women’s code. So keeping the same 0.4 progression that the codes lovvveeee, that would have put the Yurchenko double pike at 6.8. Which is where I came up with the number.

Comparing the men’s and women’s codes in this case does have its limits, however, because the Yurchenko layout 2.5 is a 5.2 in the men’s code compared to the Yurchenko double pike at 5.6. Using that logic, the women’s Yurchenko double pike would be only 6.2, which would be comically low compared to the recent 6.4-valued inventions like the Biles I.

(Meanwhile, if the double pike is 6.6, does that mean the tuck version would be 6.2? Because that’s also comically low in comparison to other vaults. Though they are redoing all the vault values for 2022, so they have a chance to address the prospective difficulty discrepancies. Ha ha ha, I do like to kid.)

A few notes on some of the other people who were there and did some things.

Chellsie Memmel – The Memmeling is happening. She participated in all four warmup rotations but showed actual full routines on two—a Yurchenko full on vault, as well as her beam with the same content as in the mock meet from her last video. She looked understandably tentative, but beam and vault should bring competitive scores. Memmel is not competing bars here, though she actually showed more content than I expected in podium training, including her double front dismount. On floor, she didn’t do any tumbling but did give us a very important dance through.

File this under “me”: Twitter very much enjoyed Grace’s loving gasp reaction in the background of this GIF, meanwhile I thought she was yawning.

Memmel mentioned to the media that she’s potentially trying to add more for nationals, which would have to happen by petition if she’s only trying for a qualifying score on two events here.

Morgan Hurd – We could see the evidence of a slower return after her elbow surgery for Hurd. It doesn’t look like she’s going to compete bars tomorrow—she showed a hot second of Maloney to Stalder Shap to piked Tkatchev today, but was struggling with it and didn’t show a full routine. I also believe we saw only a Yurchenko full on vault, though the content was there on beam so I would anticipate that as her most competitive score tomorrow.

Jordan Chiles – Because Simone had just done a Yurchenko double pike, it didn’t get much attention that Chiles attempted an Amanar immediately after. She did a couple of them and…didn’t really fall? But both landings were close to falls, so we’ll have to see if that vault ends up manifesting this summer. The DTYs she showed were easy peasy.

Laurie Hernandez – I’m interested to see what (if?) happens with bars and trying to get an AA score for Laurie because she only showed separate parts of a bars routine sprinkled here and there, and I didn’t see a dismount. Though, Laurie did compete bars at the March camp for a score, so there has been a routine at some point recently.

Grace McCallum – In some respects we saw full difficulty from Grace returning from injury—she was working double double tucks on floor—but in other cases not, as I only saw fulls from her in the vault warmup.

Skye Blakely – Looks like Blakely is trying to step back up to the DTY, which she showed in podium training, though with a short landing.

Riley McCusker – She’s using “Satisfied” from Hamilton as her music, once again reinforcing that if your floor music isn’t from a musical, I’m not going to be able to identify it. Also there was one time on beam where I thought I was watching Riley and it turned out to be Jade. I know. The tentative, early word was that Jade wouldn’t do VT/FX here, but she showed up on all four in PT, so we shall see.

GAGE – Once again like American Classic, the GAGE athletes had some rouuugggh times in podium training featuring some vault falls. We’ll see if they can step it up in competition again this time.

Absences – No sign of Faith Torrez or Lyden Saltness.

Juniors – Friday, 6:40pm ET (FLO)
Seniors Session 1 – Saturday, 1:00pm ET (Peacock)
Seniors Session 2 – Saturday, 7:00pm ET (NBCSN)

I’ll be live blogging both senior sessions on Saturday, and for GymCastic members, we’re having live video reaction sessions after each one.

B. Oceania Qualifiers

In a secret ocean lab that cannot be penetrated by video technology, the continental championships for Oceania were held today. For the women, Emily Whitehead of Australia took first place to earn herself a spot at the Olympics alongside Georgia Godwin (who qualified at worlds in 2019). Whitehead finished just a smidge ahead of Georgia-Rose Brown for the Olympic spot and in second place overall—Godwin is in first by a large margin.

For the men, New Zealand’s Misha Koudinov earned himself an Olympic spot, finishing a half point ahead of Mitchell Morgans, who won the all-around among Australians, ahead of Jesse Moore in second and our beloved prince Heath Thorpe in the bronze position. I expect to see at least one high bar crazy from Koudinov at the Olympics. Otherwise what’s the point.

C. Japanese Olympic Team

I never rounded up last weekend’s NHK Cup and the naming of Japan’s women’s team for the Olympics. So, let’s do that. At the end of the NHK Cup, Murakami Mai, Hatakeda Hitomi, and Hiraiwa Yuna finished in the top three positions, earning automatic spots on Japan’s Olympic team. Sugihara Aiko, the 4th-place finisher, was subsequently named as the fourth member of the team.

Left out was Teramoto Asuka, who finished 5th and made a valiant effort to come back from injury to try for a spot but came up just short. Given the selection criteria and the automatic spots awarded, the chosen team makes the most sense, although going by peak scores across the two days of All-Japans plus the NHK Cup, the highest-scoring team would have been Murakami, Hatakeda, Sugihara, and Teramoto. So, there existed a solid argument for that combination as well had Hiraiwa not earned herself an automatic spot.

The men’s selection is conducted differently, with only the first two Olympians decided after the NHK Cup—those spots going to Hashimoto Daiki and Kaya Kazuma—and the other spots (as well as the non-nominative +1 spot) to be decided later on.

D. Canadian Championships

The first day of judging at the virtual Canadian Championships came on Tuesday, with Ellie Black taking first place, new senior Ava Stewart using her superior bars difficulty to place second, and Brooklyn Moors returning to all-around competition to sit third. The second day of judging will be Sunday.

The primary hierarchy-smashing development this year has been the emergence of Stewart as the #2 all-arounder, right behind Black at pretty much every competition this year, coupled with previously presumed team member Ana Padurariu still being out of competition. Rose Woo has also enjoyed some nice results earlier this year to keep herself in the mix. Woo did just two events here, but recorded the #2 beam score behind Black.

Shallon Olsen competed and recorded the top score on vault but did not have high numbers on the other events and sits all the way down in 16th overall.

After the second day, I’ll do some team number crunching.

E. GymCastic

Olympic Trials Preview: The Case for Every Athlete GymCastic: The Gymnastics Podcast

OLYMPIC TRIALS PREVIEW The Favorites Simone Biles and the biggest question we have about her heading into trials Sunisa Lee and Jordan Chiles Who gets the second automatic team spot? What does each need to do to confirm her presumed spot on the team? Jade Carey She "has every intention" of taking her individual spot. So, good. Right? The Contenders From Wong to McCusker to McCallum to DiCello to Skinner and more, we make the Olympic team case for (and against—Spencer's part) every single athlete heading into Olympic Trials We grapple with questions like, can Leanne Wong hit consistently enough to get herself on the team? Would you feel comfortable putting Riley McCusker on the same team as Sunisa Lee? Can Grace McCallum return to her peak level in time? Men's Preview Kensley brings the TWIST with her picks for the two most likely men to get automatic spots on the Olympic team Is there any denying the top 3 favorites? What does Shane Wiskus have to do to get himself on the team? Is this finally the time that Allan Bower breaks his alternate streak? Won't somebody please think of Akash Modi???? Favorites for the +1 spot, including Stephen Nedoroscik, Alec Yoder, Eddie Penev, and Alex Diab, and why that race is the one we're most excited to watch MEET UP AT TRIALS:  Where: https://www.360-stl.com/ top of the Hilton . When: Saturday 26th (opens at 4pm) head over after MAG night two. Jessica will be there by 6-ish she hopes. JOIN CLUB GYM NERD Join Club Gym Nerd or buy a gift membership for access to Behind the Scenes episodes. Behind The Scenes: Post-Championships Debrief Behind The Scenes: Day Two US Women's Championships 2021 Behind The Scenes: Day One US Women's Championships 2021 Behind The Scenes: Gymnastics Time Warp Behind The Scenes: Sr. Session Two US Classic 2021 Behind The Scenes: Sr. Session One US Classic 2021 Buy our awesome clothing and gifts here. We have masks too! And Pride gear! RELATED EPISODES 2021 US Nationals Recap, Starring Petition Drama Gymnastics International: It's Not Nabs! Don't Sign National Team Agreement Until You Listen Simone Biles' Yurchenko Double Pike Has Landed and US Classic Review THE FLIGHT SERIES: Shilese Jones  
  1. Olympic Trials Preview: The Case for Every Athlete
  2. Gymnastics International: It's Not Nabs!
  3. 2021 US Nationals Recap, Starring Petition Drama
  4. Day Two Women's Gymnastics Championships 2021
  5. Day One Women's Gymnastics Championships 2021

24 thoughts on “Things Are Happening – May 21, 2021”

  1. I love Grace Jordan Riley and Morgan so so much I hope they all go to Tokyo (team Simone, Jordan, Grace and Morgan) and individuals Jade and Riley. Ofc this is a dream but let’s imagine!

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    1. Replace Jordan with Suni and I’d say this is pretty realistic!

      Can you imagine the NBC fluff pieces if both Jade and Riley go to Tokyo? 🙂

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      1. From what we’ve seen so far, I’d say Jordan is more realistic than Morgan. There is still time to heal and get to full strength, but she has a lot of catching up to do.

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      2. yes, I think if Suni manages to do floor she is in a much better position than Morgan, it’s just that I’m team Morgan all the way:) (I was the first Anonymus)

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  2. I can’t WAIT for tomorrow. Haven’t been this excited about gymnastics in a long time 🙂

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  3. That yurchenko double pike would get a huge deduction for height…too much height! I actually wouldn’t be surprised if she does it a few times in competition for giggles, getting it named after her, and then doesn’t bother doing at Tokyo, same with her BB dismount as an FU to FIG, their poor difficulty decisions and stupid policy on warmups.

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    1. Yes. Love FIG’s UTTERLY hypocritical lip-service and disingenuous bad faith mouthings about how wonderful Biles is, as they take every opportunity to screw her over whenever they can.

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    2. She’d have to compete the Yurchenko double pike at the Olympics or world championships to get it named after her. You don’t get skills named after you if you only perform them at a domestic competition. You have to successfully perform them at a major international competition.

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      1. It’s any FIG comp; but Simone is unlikely to do anything other than Tokyo unless she decides to return for Paris.

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      2. Simone has said recently she is not entirely decided about participating the Worlds later this year. She’s also said that her coaches are Parisian and are dogging her to do Paris Olympics as a specialist. 😀 I’d be real happy if we got a few more years of her doing any gymnastics.

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    3. To get it named, she’d have to compete it at a world cup, world champ, or olympics. Olympics is the only option Simone plans to attend. She will grace the world with the Biles II in Tokyo, its just a question of which day of competition.

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      1. Wrong as always. She won’t bother with it more than once, given FIG’s latest slap in the face.

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  4. what’s the news on Padurariu‘s injury? It would be a shame if she missed the Olympics at this point.

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    1. Sadly, she’s almost certainly out of the Olympics. She had complicated surgery involving reattaching two major foot ligaments (horrible) and has had an extremely difficult time coming back from it. Painful, arduous, slow rehab. I believe she’s not even competing at the virtual championships. Very depressing; she had the potential to be their highest scorer on bars and beam.

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      1. that ‘s very bad news, basically the team (barring injury) was paduraiu, moors, black and olsen and it would have been such a great team. So sorry for her

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    1. I looked for it and found nothing. Her Achilles problem may be such that she skipped PT and will only do one or two events in the competition. That damn hand injury with McCallum, and Lee’s Achilles. UGH.

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    2. she posted photos (posing with the other girls) with a caption like ‘pt is done’ or something like that, but I didn’t see footage of her at all. On her photos her achilles was really heavily taped and had a lot of ice on it, so maybe she pulled out of podium training?

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      1. There are reports of Suni doing podium training on bars and beam for sure. Not vault. I’m not sure about floor because that’s when Simone was on vault so there was a little bit of other focus.

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  5. Hopefully Simone is careful and paces herself with the crazy new vault. After watching the video quite a few times, you can see the pressure the landing puts on her lower back legs.

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