All posts by balancebeamsituation

Things Are Happening – June 16, 2017

A. NCAA coaches

Several more pieces of the puzzle have fallen into place in the past week, most significantly that Nadalie Walsh from Utah State has been chosen out of the claw machine to take the Illinois job.

Utah State made its biggest splash this past season, spending most of the year ranked in the rarefied and unexpected 22-25 range until a disappointing regionals dropped the team to 32nd. In Walsh’s four years, Utah State’s final placements were 32, 30, 30, and 36—compared to 54, 47, 47, 54 in the four years immediately before she arrived. It’s an accomplishment that clearly didn’t go unnoticed.

At Pittsburgh, the new head coach will be Samantha Snider. You’ll remember her as Samantha Cortez from some of those inaugural Arkansas teams, when they were like, “We’re good already suckassss” and knocked UCLA out at regionals in 2006—or more recently as the one who talks to them before beam and shows really nice Dana-Duckworth-beam-coaching-chin. [Yes, I did write Stephanie originally. No, I don’t know why.]

In a little Penn State/Eastern Michigan trade, Josh Nilson—who took over as Penn State’s interim co-head after Jeff Thompson was thrown out the moon door—will now be taking the role of Eastern Michigan head coach, after Sarah Shi…Brown (I’m getting better!) left Eastern Michigan to take the Penn State job. SWAPSIES!

And before Penn State, John Nilson was Nadalie Walsh’s assistant at Utah State. It’s just a mangled little web, isn’t it?

So by the transitive property of gymnastics coaching, that means that Utah State now has to hire…Rachelle Thompson? That can’t be right…

Team Outgoing coach Reason Incoming coach
Penn State Jeff Thompson Everything Sarah Brown
Michigan State Kathie Klages Larry Nassar
NC State Mark Stevenson Retired Kim Landrus
Georgia Danna Durante Fired Courtney Kupets
EMU Sarah Brown To Penn State Josh Nilson
Illinois Kim Landrus To NC State Nadalie Walsh
Pittsburgh Debbie Yohman Retired Stephanie Snider
Ohio State Carey Fagan Promoted Meredith Paulicivic
Alaska Paul Stoklos Retired
Utah State Nadalie Walsh To Illinois

We’re still waiting on Michigan State to notice that they have a head coach vacancy.

B. Training! START IMMEDIATELY!

In the latest addenda to the Aliya-Baby timeline, we’ve learned that Aliya has named her baby Alisa.

And if you originally read that as “Aliya has named her baby Aliya,” you’re not alone. OH HOW I WISH. Aliya 2. We’ll always have that second I thought that was your name. Continue reading Things Are Happening – June 16, 2017

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Aliya’s Baby 2036

Breaking news. We have just learned that, earlier this week, Aliya Mustafina gave birth to a daughter.

Well, according to Valentina this happened. So that probably means Valentina cut open the innards of a bat, added some powdered broken dreams, and the arrangement of the goop foretold the birth of an Olympic champion.

Meanwhile, Aliya ate a mango and sneezed and was like, “She said my uterus did what?”

It’s currently unclear whether the baby will be winning Olympic gold in the all-around or just the uneven bars, but the latest training videos indicate that baby Svetlana Mostepanova Omelianchik Zaitseva’s dismount work is coming along quite nicely.

UPDATE (10:21pm Moscow Time): Russian media is now reporting that Mustafina managed to connect the birth out of an Onodi for two tenths, though Nellie Kim still has to rule as to whether that truly fulfills the acro series requirement.

It’s a tough one because, if the baby displays rebounding action, does Aliya get credit by proxy? Or does only the baby get the composition requirement?

Here is Aliya training the Onodi + birth series as long ago as 2014.

UPDATE (12:17am Moscow Time): Valentina just appeared in a cloud of smoke behind a lectern to announce that she has stolen the baby, pointing to a contract signed by Aliya in 2009 while singing a lullaby to a rabbit in a meadow in which Aliya promised all children in perpetuity to Valentina should she make Aliya “the most confident and glorious of all queens.”

Continue reading Aliya’s Baby 2036

Claudia Fragapane on Beam: A GIF Tribute

It’s going to kill us. That’s just a given at this point.

A new study suggests that Claudia Fragapane beam-panic-induced coronary embolisms are currently the third-most common reason for hospitalization among Britons under 30.

But like most unhealthy acts, it’s so worth it.

She’s not exactly afraid of some risk, this little chickadee. If it gets more than five tenths, Frags has already married it. She’ll curl herself into a ball like a little armadillo, pop into the air, and just see where she lands. Same country: optional. No one misses on beam quite like our Frags.

Girl’s not just going to wobble. She’s not going to pitifully bend and lean and hop off like it’s some Russian podium training session. No no. If Frags is going to fall, she’s going to fall.

Commitment. A good, proper, money’s-worth beam fall. That’s how you do it.

But flailing to the ground in a swirl of limbs can only get you so far in this world. (Meaning: nowhere except my heart.) Frags is more than that.

You see, with hilarious falls also come ridiculous—equally hilarious—saves. And in that world, Frags is a true master. She has bestowed upon us so many expressive works over the years. A new Picasso. Millions of viewers from all around the world have glimpsed her installations and said, “Just…how even?” Continue reading Claudia Fragapane on Beam: A GIF Tribute