US Men’s Olympic Podium Training

You know it’s the Olympics because I’m going to try to do live commentary of a men’s podium training session. Which will largely be composed of three skills and yelling, “GRIP IT BRO SWING IT YEAH BABY THAT’S HOW YOU DO IT.” And I suppose that’s entertainment in itself. What I’m saying is, this post will mostly be transcribing things that Sam Mikulak yells.

In earlier action, Dalaloyan worked all six events—including floor and vault—and didn’t die instantly, so we’re currently investigating if he encountered an inscrutable witch while gathering berries in the woods or, conversely, if he and Nagornyy got Freaky Fridayed during a TikTok calamity because word is that Nagornyy was having a time on floor.

Also having a time, literally every human on vault. We’ll see what it holds for the US.

We didn’t even see the US men engage in Extended PBars Preparation. So can it really be podium training?

Getting started working individual skills. Order thus far was Moldauer, Wiskus, Malone, Mikulak.

Ah, now we’re getting our copious prep as Moldauer has to wipe the Mikulak off the bars.

Moldauer opens with a clean full routine, one hesitation in handstand, a bit short on double front 1/2 out. But looks good. Mikulak is happier about it than I have ever been about anything. At least three Yeah Babys.

Wiskus also through successfully on his full set – a very late diam and an arched handstand, but looked fine. Normal PT things. This got two Yes Sirs and a Wow. And I’m not really sure how to compare those.

Malone attempts his swing under mount and immediately hops off, was never getting to handstand. Unfortunate closeup of his butt crack sweat there. Pulled it together fairly solidly for a full set after that.

“I know you think it helps you, but at what cost?” -Me, on those cupping hickeys.

Mikulak showed a hit routine. Sounded like he hit his legs on the swing through on his front straddle. A couple other small things, but better than a lot of what we saw at nationals/trials. Sadly he got no Yeah Babys OR Yes Sirs. Where is the rest of the team showing up for him?

Nothing too alarming there for the US in the first rotation. One miss from Malone on the mount. Got it on his second try.

Yoder’s all-white USA track suit looks really comfy and a littttlle bit like astronaut pajamas.

The US gymnasts opened with warmups, each did one full routine, then Moldauer did 1 nanosecond more and now they’re chilling.

It’s mostly chilling.

Moving on to high bar now.

Interesting that we’re seeing Wiskus start to warm up first, then Moldauer. Wonder if that’s some score-building strategy or technical warming up necessity.

Wiskus goes through a hit routine, but no Cassina. Kolman looked solid. 1 Gorgeous and 2 Atta Boys. They’re calling Wiskus the “leadoff guy” so it would seem to indicate that’s for real.

Moldauer did what he can do in his routine, for the most part, had a weird grip readjustment after his tkatchev and added a giant it looked like.

Malone opens with hit Cassina and Kolman. A little ragged on his dismount but a solid showing. He doesn’t seem injured.

Mikulak hits a Cassina and a Kolman as well – very nice layout tkatchev – Lots of dismount hopsies, not really trying to stick there.

WHY ARE TIM AND NASTIA HERE? It was so nice and pleasant before…

The normals aren’t watching podium training, so we don’t need the translation team.

BUT DO WE HAVE ENOUGH CLOSEUPS OF THE EYESSSSS

Malone gets back up to do Cassina and Kolman, hits again, lost a little form on Kolman.

They muted the athletes so that Tim and Nastia could be there, so we’re not getting anything now. NBC, I think you misunderstood the assignment.

Mikulak redoes the end of his routine to stick a dismount this time.

US moves to floor in the third rotation.

After some timers, Moldauer starts off the rotation for real – slightttly more hoppy on landing than is his typical, but no real problems there.

Wiskus opens front double pike, which was a little short but he saved it – a couple hops, a low chest moment, nearly sits his 2.5 to front full, has to take a large lunge back to save it. Lunge back on 3/1, not ideal but stayed upright.

Malone up third, looked quite comfortable with his landings, several sticks, a couple other small hops, just a lunge back on the 3/1 that he won’t want in competition. 1 Come On, 1 Atta Boy. We get Mikulak commentary back.

Wasn’t it weird how Tim and Nastia were there for part of one routine and then disappeared? I mean I’m glad they disappeared, but it was sure weird.

Mikulak up 4th – does not attempt his 2.5 to double front, just does a layout out of the 2.5 – double front pike is pretty short – not falling but lots of large landing deductions in what he’s showing today – 3/1 well short with a giant lunge or seven. That showing concerns me.

Wiskus redoes a 3/1 with a step, Moldauer redoes an excellent double Arabian 1/2 out, just to remind himself of sticking. Malone a better 3/1 on his second attempt. Moldauer looking stronger the more passes he does. Malone sticks 3/1 on his third try.

Mikulak does his 2.5 to double front in isolation now, squat to save it. Third try at that pass was quite nice.

Mikulak stayed after class on floor to work more passes, most of which looked OK in isolation.

POMMEL HORSE SHOULD BE FUN.

Yoder’s singlet looks very Great Britain. Especially because I thought that eagle’s head was a lion.

Big idea: If you only do three circles and then hop off every time, no one can say you missed…

Moldauer comes off on his first attempt at a full routine. His verdict is “That muscle memory, kid, muscle memory.” Which is definitely fewer points than a Yes Sir.

Wiskus survives his set. Another interesting order, that he would go up after Moldauer, perhaps because they want Moldauer to start them off with a hit here.

Malone also through his routine smoothly. Some angle and form. Tim would be sure to tell us that’s because of his power bottom body type.

Mikulak through with a hit – gets a little tasmanian devil on his dismount pirouette and had a couple moments, but a hit. “TWO COOKIES.” That routine was worth two cookies.

Yoder falls early on his attempt. When he’s on the horse, what he’s doing is lovely, but he falls a second time on his set.

They’re going up to do bits and pieces now, Mikulak with a better dismount than on his full routine. Moldauer does a couple angry halfs.

Yoder nearly gets through a routine on his second try, but doesn’t get his dismount. I fear those sweats were not sufficiently relaxing.

On to rings. I’ll tell you if anyone explodes.

After first touches, Mikulak says the rings feel loose, so they’re adjusting the tension now.

“Come on now bring in the juice let’s go” are the instructions for Wiskus. Good one.

“Let’s get in there, show them off” meanwhile are the instructions for Moldauer. Sam has moaned three times during this one. That’s got to be worth more than 2 Atta Boys.

“Strong guy let’s go, let’s dyuuu it” for Malone. More references to juice. I think juice is good. But it’s not a moan. A couple moments for him, a hesitation into straddle sit and a hop on dismount.

Sadly, Sam just gets a “Let’s go Sam” because there’s no one to give him his juice instructions. The rings are swinging to Hokkaido on him and he eventually turns to Raggedy Andy on a handstand. He resumes and is continuing to struggle on handstands and hops off.

Malone getting a lot of face and nipple closeups.

Mikulak gets up to do another second half attempt and gets through what he missed on his second attempt last time. Still no real dismount at the end though.

Gets up a third time and sticks his dismount. He’s till not thattt happy with the rings apparatus. This was another tension attempt, which he said he liked better.

On to vault. We’ll see how this goes for the US. Although the US athletes shouldn’t be attempting vaults that aren’t easy for them.

Wisku’s first timer is just a handspring off the springboard and over the table, probably for the best.

Moldauer sits his first real attempt at a Kas 1.5.

I believe vault is the only event Mikulak is not slated to anchor. He lands welll short on his Kas 1.5 as well and slightly dies onto the mat.

Malone goes after Mikulak here, doesn’t bother trying to do his actual vault yet. Probably smart given what he just saw. Wiskus also hasn’t attempted to land his for real yet.

Moldauer back to 1/2 turn timers.

Mikulak sticks his next attempt. So that was better.

And then Malone fell and crawled off the mat on all fours.

Wiskus sits his down.

YIKES.

Moldauer landed one, but it was a struggle.

Another good one for Mikulak. My how the turntables….

Malone pulls one out, a little deep, Frankenstein arms about it.

Another miss from Wiskus.

Moldauer with a hit.

What an adventurous little rotation. Wiskus runs a marathon out of his next attempt.

AND OUR COVERAGE IS ABRUPTLY DONE.

So.

Well.

If you wanted a podium training, that sure was one. It started OK, but there were some concerns, particularly in the second half. Mikulak struggled on a couple events, namely floor and rings. Vault was a terror for everyone (and every team). High bar might have been the best one. But basically overall it was podium training.

12 thoughts on “US Men’s Olympic Podium Training”

  1. Sam is so precious. Sometimes annoying but still precious.
    Also, this is comedy gold.
    And someone clearly cursed the vault. Petition to rename the event Death Table, DT for short.

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    1. Malone seems like a closeted power bottom doesn’t he. Then channels his inner homophobia and resentment of himself into The Cult of Trump activities. He is from Georgia, so it totally makes sense!

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      1. @sidesomilover I mean, your pearl-clutching is mildly amusing, but Malone brings it all on himself (and then some) with his dRUMPfanzee antics.

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  2. I think podium training, for as rough as it was at times, was actually less terrifying than podium trainings often are. Large portions of every routine from each of the men looked really good. With some time left to train and acclimate to the time change and equipment, I think the US men are primed for a solid showing.

    I think any of the 4 could make the AA and it will all come down to who is the most consistent at qualification. Brody and Sam clearly have the highest AA potential, but they can’t have a bad day and still expect to place ahead of Shane and Yul. They probably have a 1 fall buffer, but any more than that will jeopardize their AA chances.

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  3. I was skeptical of cupping until I tried it and now I’m a hardcore believer. Cupping hickeys = worth it for the muscle release!

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  4. It wasn’t a bad podium training at all. I’m just glad to see that no one’s been injured. Sam looked clumsy, which was a little worrisome, PH was the typical disaster and VT was rough, but none of that was unexpected. I think it’s expected we’ll be counting a fall on PH, if not two by the poor team choice here, but it was theirs to make. The only memorable thing Alec did here was slap Yul’s ass as he walked by. o.o

    In the end, Brody and Sam have slight chances at a HB medal and that’s that. Considering how risky Russia and China have been with their team decisions, there is a very small chance that either may unexpectedly screw themselves off the podium for USA to come in, if they all hit. I wouldn’t be surprised if Japan shocks the world with a gold finish.

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