Category: Great Moments in Gymnastics

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Live, Laugh, Nabieva

In honor of Tatiana Nabieva returning to the Russian national team and being announced as part of the Universiade squad, let’s spend a vital moment or two appreciating our first and (to date) only fully sarcastic gymnastics career. The woman who invented doing elite gymnastics as a prank, Tatiana Nabieva.

Noted primarily for her two most famous inventions, 1) the layout Tkatchev on bars

and 2) fierce investment in floor choreography

Nabieva is actually so much more.

She is a dance icon.

A fighter.

A slapstick comedian.

And a master of endurance.

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The Only Gymnast That Mattered: The Svetlana Khorkina Story

Thank your lucky stars because the Olympic Channel has brought us the sustenance we’ve always needed but have never been able to express—a vital documentary profile of earth’s only true citizen, Svetlana Augustus Khorkina.

And you can bet your ass I’m breaking down the extended version, not that 9-minute one. If anyone has ever warranted an extended director’s cut that’s more than twice as long as the original, it’s The Svets.

First question: What sort of rider demands do you think she had for this shoot? Because 100% she doesn’t show up for less than four Faberge eggs and a shoebox containing the foot of her greatest rival. Bare minimum.

I would gladly turn to a life of arson to find out what happened behind the scenes here.

We begin with pea-in-her-pod Alexei Nemov, who spends the entirety of this thing volunteering nonspecific comments about her (his) greatness, while looking kind of constipated with confusion about why this documentary isn’t about how hot and insufferable he was in the 90s.

Yep, that’s the one right there.

Yada, yada, yada, Khorkina invented gymnastics, no one has ever been as important as her, blah blah blah.

Meanwhile, French Lady informs us that a diva is magical, you can’t catch her. (Uh DOY! We know.)

OK so French Lady’s research for this interview consisted entirely watching NBC fluff pieces. Same.

Emilie Le Pennec tells us about “a certain attitude” Khorkina has. Yes. A certain attitude. One might, for instance, term that attitude “ostentatiously delusional and egomaniacal.” A “rococo Medusa” if you will.

Also, the Olympic Channel is really into shots of Khorkina’s hair from the 2000 gala, and correct.

Khorkina invented Justin Timberlake in this moment, and the court will hear no further arguments.

“You’re not some rag!…They can’t just get rid of you!” announces the sister for no reason, acknowledging the great international conspiracy against Svetlana Khorkina, where a secret cabal of powerful capitalists meets at the bottom of the ocean to try to destroy her greatness by convincing the population of earth that she is, in fact, a rag.

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Drug Murder at Le Club Gymnastics

Thanks to those twin ambassadors of nonsense YouTube and Twitter (by your powers combined), nothing in gymnastics is ever truly forgotten. Even this little gem.

The incident in question occurred on February 21, 1980 on of those musty old grandfather shows called Quincy, M.E.—about a boiled old set of sheets in his 60s who runs around solving crimes back when people had to pretend to be like, “Oh you’re so wise and melty-looking, I’m glad you’re here to save the day” instead of “Oh, that was a creepy thing to say, please leave.”

In this particular edition, Old Quincy tackled the rough and tumble world of gymnastics meth in an episode entitled “The Winning Edge.”

It’s sooooo [insert nonspecific Olympic sports title here] that I can barely continue. I’m just surprised it wasn’t called “Lost Balance” or “Flying High.”

In fact, “The Winning Edge” is almost a little too “this episode was originally written about figure skating but that was more expensive to shoot so we changed it” for my liking.

We begin proceedings at this strip mall gym, which has truly nailed the “Obviously a Furniture Store” aesthetic with striking and commendable accuracy. Those location scouts did the work. It’s so accurate it might as well be called Gym Flips Gold America Twisters.

But no. They had a much better name in mind.

That’s right. LE CLUB GYMNASTICS. It’s called LE CLUB GYMNASTICS.

I am overcome by reputable. Sounds v legit.

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GIFCap: Superstars of Gymnastics

For years upon years, famed sports promoter Laugh Track From A Failed CBS Sitcom has been looking for a way to create a new kind of gymnastics competition. Like regular gymnastics, but cool. And you know what screams cool? A little skit. It’s why athletes always make the best SNL hosts, and why their line readings in commercials are always so natural.

Thus, an opioid crisis called Superstars of Gymnastics was born, attempting to answer the age-old question, “What if we had a 6th grade talent show, but where everyone was like, ripped?”

Same, Nush.

Held in two sessions of raucous fun across an entire Saturday…is the opening line of my nightmares.

The first session of Gymnastics for People Who Think April Fool’s Day Is a Holiday began with what can only be described as “if the concept of sexual harassment in the workplace had a speaking voice,” which introduced Simone Biles, whom I hope made one hundred billion dollars for showing her face.

Clearly, Miss Diana Biles took one look at this preposterous display and went

So she just slapped her normal floor routine onto the plate and you’re gonna eat it and like it because she’s not playing your games, like some clown person who clowns around.

In the wise words of Simone’s facial expressions in this GIF, “What the mother of hell is this shit?”

Anyway, Simone fell attempting a double double (BUT WHAT IF SHE DOESN’T WIN THE COMPETITION), which gave her the opportunity to steal the show with this gem.

We did not deserve a line that good.

A start list? Sweetie, you’re not a real meet…

So anyway, HamBiceps came out of retirement to do something called “going golden buzzer.”