Category Archives: Great Moments in Gymnastics

The Wolf Turns of Nationals, 2017 Edition

Another year, another batch of wolf turns to find hilarious.

Mastering screwing up a wolf turn is a strange, particular art. The ways the wolf turn can go wrong are unceasingly numerous and intricate, each layer of fiascos more complex than the last. Much like an onion. Because you’re already crying.

And so we begin this year’s countdown of the best wolf turns nationals had to offer.

#10: The “Just a Li’l Bit of Barf”

A triple wolf turn is enough to make even the most experienced sailors hurl off starboard.

Better out than in.

#9: The Texas Dreams “Stand and Deliver”

There’s no need to bow afterward, ma’am.

If I squat at the end, it’s like I was squatting the whole time.

Inching up into in a wall sit and scooting around is for credit!

How many turns was that? Two? Four? When should I stop and stand up…AHH TOO LATE THERE’S NO TIME. Continue reading The Wolf Turns of Nationals, 2017 Edition


All the Produnovas, Ranked


Herein I have ranked all 33 extant Produnova vaults, with points awarded for originally, virtuosity, artistic interpretation, hilarity, and whether or not you’re dead afterward.

1. Elena Produnova, 1999 Universiade

Obviously. The only good one ever done. She really only loses points for the hop forward and the lack of shaved stripes in her eyebrow that she would develop by 2000, but those are both quite minor deductions.

2. Elena Produnova, 1999 Worlds Event Final

A less heralded showing but one worthy of recognition since Produnova basically invented the Butt-a-Prod with this performance. The Butt-a-Prod is an extremely important vault in its own right, as we’ll see.

Produnova, however, has the gall not even to booty-scrape here because of her extreme lower-body power, so it cannot be credited as a true Butt-a-Prod.

3. Dipa Karmakar, 2016 Rio Test Event Qualification

The perfection of the Butt-a-Prod medium is shown in this vault, expertly maintaining the paradox of somehow both falling and sticking at the same time.

Magic. And by magic, I mean immediate knee replacement surgery.

4. Dipa Karmakar, 2015 Worlds Event Finals

Not quite the same perfection of Butt-a-Prod reached here since both the fall phase and the ripping-femur-out-of-socket phase of the vault are slightly more prolonged. She does still manage to attain the “Did I fall? Did I stick? It’s a SECRETTTTTT,” so it nonetheless ranks quite well.

5. Dipa Karmakar, 2015 Asian Championships

In this instance, Karmakar eschewed the Butt-a-Prod for a traditional Produnova, so I guess we’ll allow it. Barely…

Quite significantly, there is no booty-scrape and she did not break any limbs or open a rip in the spacetime continuum with a projectile patella. Continue reading All the Produnovas, Ranked

American Dancing

Today’s dance lesson comes courtesy of guest instructors Kerri and Kristen, who will provide a few easy steps to get even the most anvil-footed beginners moving like champions.

Step 1: Accept death

Step 2: Literally just give up

Step 3: It’s over

Step 4: Pray

“In the name of the Father, the Cornrow, and the Holy Mrs. Strauss.”

Step 5: Warm up those wrists

The American uses all parts of the wrist.

It is sacred in their culture.

Step 6: Know where your foot is, kind of

Continue reading American Dancing

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

Great Moments in Beam Falls

If there’s one thing we can say about the first half of 2017, it has really put the “HA” back in “harrowing disaster.”

And for that, we owe it a great deal. It has saved us, returning us to our roots and reminding us that to take the mundane and modern view of a beam fall simply as “a mistake” or “a deduction” or “a miserable storm of hate-diarrhea that has ruined everything” is to obscure the original purpose of falling on beam: comedy.

When Toulouse-Shelgunova called us to her side and said, “I’ll just pick up this flyer for free piano lessons and…NO IT’S A TRAP…”

When Flavia Magritte tried to teach Double Dutch to that clan of militant gibbons…

…they joined a pantheon as old as time itself. One that truly understands them.

Because sometimes, you just have to droop down and…succumb to the pox once and for all?

“Who wants to bring Nana a barf bag?”

And sometimes you would resume your routine after a fall, but the beam just doesn’t deserve it.

“You know what? No. Not for you today.”

Continue reading Great Moments in Beam Falls

Courtney and Suzanne: Return of the Jedi

Breaking news. We learned today that the new head coach of the Georgia gymnastics team will be……..Suzantney Kupoculan!

The press conference began with Southern McGlasses going, “blah blah blah tradition of excellence blah blah,” with Kupets lurking in the corner like

Captain McGlasses then announced that the new head coach of Georgia’s gymnastics team will be none other than the portion of face sitting next to him, the gymternet’s sun and stars, Courtney Kupets-Carter. He then added, “there’s definitely not anything more to the story than this. Wink wink. The owl flies at midnight.”

Kupets then got up and told us that

which was really all we needed to know. Continue reading Courtney and Suzanne: Return of the Jedi

Adventures with Elfi in the Rain

Oh hey, would you like to watch some NCAA gymnastics fluff that has the soundtrack, production quality, color scheme, and fucking moccasins of a 1970s sex ed video set in a zoo?

That’s correct.

So, Elfi. We’re going to need you to go for a short jog while jamming a book to your forehead like you’re absorbing a series of Egyptian prophesies. Annnnnnnnd…action!


Get the girl an umbrella?

Maybe that’s why she never imagined Russia sending someone that untalented to a world championship. The book LIED to her.

So wait, there were just random pictures of Elfi up around town? Was she an escaped criminal or lost dog? Did Elfi do a murder, you guys?

I mean, we could show her doing some gymnastics, but that’s just so obvious, you know. We don’t have that much time, so I feel like we really need to devote most of it to her laboriously opening a closet. That’s what girls do. Hop in, Elf.


Ugh, easiest skill in the whole routine. Continue reading Adventures with Elfi in the Rain

Under the Lights: Suzanne Yoculan and Guests

Back in 2007, our beloved Suzanne Yoculan—or Suzie Yocks, as no one calls her but me—woke up one morning and said, “I can’t believe you think I like attention!” and invited cameras into the gym to profile her team’s preparation for the 2008 season in AFI’s #1 all-time best film ever, Under the Lights: Georgia Gymnastics. Directed by Suzanne’s hair, produced by Suzanne’s heels, it costars Suzanne Yoculan and Suzanne Yoculan.

Let’s begin.

The team opens proceedings by gathering around a giant G so that Katie Heenan can ominously threaten us that we’re about to go Under. The. Lights.

Is this like a waterboarding?

“Hey Katie, could you do another take, but this time make it 64% less Guantanamoy?”

Next, we meet Suzanne and some other nameless rabble who are here to tell us how awesome they are. They’re pretty awesome.

Suzanne’s like, “Pretty awesome???”

She gives us her best recruiting spiel about Georgia’s pedigree of champion awesomeness while surrounded by all her most comforting and supportive trophies, including what appears to be a glass foot because of the reasons.


For…Best Performance by Heels on a Competition Floor?

Meanwhile, Jay Clark goes, “We’re the best team, we’re always going to win the national championship, and I can’t imagine anything possibly changing that ever.” Me neither. Continue reading Under the Lights: Suzanne Yoculan and Guests

How To Gymnastics Exhibition, Starring Russia

Step 1:

And we’re off…

…our meds, apparently.

Just to clarify, that’s a big-horned lion (animal?) joining the cast of Stomp to provide a trash-can tribute to the marriage of Leonardo da Vinci and smoke inhalation.

Like you do.


A lion, a fish, and an eagle walk into a sexual nightmare…

But it’s not just about half-naked, strobe-light, fauna-percussion seizures dedicated to the legacy of Alexei Nemov (is it my birthday already?), there’s also this happening.


Continue reading How To Gymnastics Exhibition, Starring Russia