The Balance Beam Situation

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama

Things Are Happening – October 4th, 2021

A. Worlds

I put together a worlds headquarters here with all the info we have so far. It’s not a lot, mostly just the schedule and the 40% of rosters that have been announced, but I’ll add more when it exists. If it exists. We may need to remind the FIG that there’s a world championship in less than two weeks.

In team news, the German women’s program announced that only Pauline Schäfer will be attending worlds despite five gymnasts being in the mix for what the DTB reported would be four spots at worlds as recently as last Wednesday. It’s part of an unsatisfying trend for this weird old post-Olympics world championship where countries are sending only a single veteran who just went to the Olympics while declining their remaining spots. Those already-registered spots could have been used as a first major competition for the next tier of athletes, those who will presumably be asked to play a role in team qualification this quad. I mean, you can’t just ask Seitz to do everything forever, Germany.

B. Competitions

Speaking of sending only one athlete, Brazil’s lone WAG representative for worlds, Rebeca Andrade, unsurprisingly dominated the competition at nationals over the weekend.

She won the all-around by more than five points and then chilled on the couch for event finals to let some other people get some medals. Lorrane Oliveira took 2nd in the all-around and Christal Bezerra took 3rd, definitely not people you would want at worlds or anything. In comeback news, Jade Barbosa competed a couple routines and won EF silvers on bars and beam, while Daniele Hypolito also made her triumphant return to competition, 22 years after her first world championships.

C. Retirements and Opposite

Giulia Steingruber announced her retirement this week. In a senior elite career spanning 11 years, Steingruber competed at 6 world championships and 3 Olympics, winning an Olympic bronze in Rio. Most recently, she captured her 4th European vault title this April in Basel, 8 years after her first Euro gold. In Tokyo, Steingruber came just .050 shy of making another Olympic vault final.

Meanwhile, the Oksana Who Cried Retirement may have just broken her own land-speed record for un-retiring. Chusovitina announced this week that she will return to training to prepare for the 2022 Asian Games after previously emotionally retiring following her qualification vaults at the Olympics. You knew she would. I love how before the Olympics she was all, “You idiots, how dare you say I retire all the time, I’ve never ever tried to retire ever before, but this time it’s super for real,” and exactly one second later she’s like,

D. US Women’s Selection

Addison Fatta has withdrawn from the US worlds selection camp citing stress fractures. This brings the expected roster down to 9 athletes: Alipio, Blakely, DiCello, Drayton, Frazier, Greaves, McClain, Siegfeldt, and Wong. But we shall see.

Selection competition starts on Friday with the all-around, followed by each athlete doing two events on Saturday. We don’t have exact times yet. FLO sent an email advertising their coverage of the event, so, er, that. I’ll live blog it.

E. NCAA News

In a surprising move, Doctor Coach Rene Lyst has been hired by DIII Brockport as its new head coach. This will be her first college coaching position since she was fired by Arizona State in 2016 after 1.5 seasons, when she was put on HR-related administrative leave halfway through her second season. Sadly, it appears that drcoachlyst dot com is no longer a working website. A real shame for us all.

%d bloggers like this: