Category Archives: Meet Recap

2001 World Team Final: Obviously Inadequate Hamstrings

The beginning-of-the-quad recap project continues today with a trip back to a far-off land called 2001, the last year in which a team final was held in the season immediately after the Olympics.

If you’re wondering why we don’t do that anymore, allow me to…

Yeah. That. It’s pretty much that.

My favorite part is how she has a balance check after the fall.

That GIF said, having a full-team worlds the year after the Olympics does give us a chance to see some highly unexpected people—who will obviously never be allowed to see the light of day ever again after disgracing their nations with their very existences.

We also get some highly unexpected final team placements (because of reasons like China fundamentally not being able to even…), which is exciting and interesting in its own way. It’s why I wish we had team finals every year. “It would be a catastrophic mess” is a reason for it, not a reason against it.

Embrace the mess. Khorkina clearly has.

The year 2001 also takes us back to the good old days when worlds were on ESPN—starring Bart—and were kind of, sort of, almost treated like a real sport. Or something. What a concept.

Sadly, that also means we’re barely reaching the requisite amount of vaguely inappropriate jabbering commentator stew (except for Bart’s “Postcard from Ghent,” and we’ll get there I promise). Which will never do.

That’s why it’s exceptionally important that Eurosport swooped in with Monica “YOU get an eating disorder, and YOU get an eating disorder” Phelps for the final two rotations. So…we’re more than set.

Such a savage buzzard. So unnecessarily blunt. I know we shouldn’t be encouraging her. I know. But…come on. This actually is one of her better-behaved broadcasts. She doesn’t even call anyone “chunky.” Someone got some notes?

Anyway, we begin on ESPN with Bart telling us that the Russians have been inconsistent so far in the competition.

MY WORD THIS CANNOT BE. The Russians?!?! Inconsistent?!?! Continue reading 2001 World Team Final: Obviously Inadequate Hamstrings

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2005 World All-Around Final — Gymnastics + Math = F-

The theme of this summer’s recapping project will be the first year of the quad. This being, you know, the first year of the quad.

Up first, the ever-controversial 2005 all-around final, the meet that taught us several important lessons regarding how basic counting of numbers works and how Tsarina Liukina just generally doesn’t have room for your shit.

Let’s meet the stars of the year 2005!

Nastia Liukin!

Some Kristal Uzelac frontal lobe!…?

I want to say…Cleo?

Oh, did I say this was 2005? Sorry, I meant 1841, apparently. Australian John Tesh christens the competition by informing us that “every girl dreams of being a princess” but tonight only “one wish will be granted.”

Oh. Oh good. We’re still doing that.

At least it’s not just a US thing…?

We’ll begin the meet on floor.

BOOP.

You guys, I know Chellsie is solid on Dress Transformation Sparkles, and I’m sure she’ll score well on Dreaming Only of Husbands, but I’m kind of worried about how competitive she’ll be on Bird Friendship.

It’s like, “Honey, stop doing those sit-ups and go to cotillion,” am I right? I mean, the whole point of this is to marry rich and wear tiaras…priorities, lady! Continue reading 2005 World All-Around Final — Gymnastics + Math = F-

National Championships Round-up – CAN, AUS, FRA, BEL

All the countries of the world (all of them) have suddenly decided to start national championshiping like it’s going out of style, so here’s a quick rundown of what happened this weekend, what we learned, and what this tells us about possible teams for world championships.

It may seem like worlds are still a long way off, but…well, yes, that’s kind of true. And yet, four months isn’t that long, and most countries won’t get the whole gang together again until then. This is already our last, best chance to prognosticate wildly, and if you think I’m not going to take that chance…

Lauren has compiled all the results for the meets I’m about to talk about so that no one else has to do it.

Canadian Championships

Unsurprisingly, the big winner at the Canadian champs was Ellie Black. She dominated the qualification day, placing first by multiple points, though things got much more real for her in the all-around final after a fall on bars nearly saw her drop behind Rose Woo. That would have been a serious upset. Black’s ultimate margin of victory was just three tenths, but with full difficulty and a hit meet, it would have been a lot, lot more.

Isabela Onyshko did not have an ideal championship, one that will probably be remembered for that E-score in the 2s on bars in qualification more than anything else (because if you think I’m going to stop talking about that…). Onyshko did “recover” on bars in the AA final for a one-fall 12.734, which was enough to get her a 4th-place finish, but she would have been expected to run second to Black here, all things being normal. Still, Onyshko did perform well enough on beam to take that title and hasn’t given away her status as Canada’s #2 senior AAer just because of this meet.

Shallon Olsen won the vault title because of course she did. She finished only 6th in the AA since…she’s an event specialist and isn’t here to make friends. And by make friends, I mean do bars or beam.

Olsen did not bring back the Amanar at this meet (going DTY along with the 1/2 on tucked 1.5), but if she does get the 2.5 back during the summer, she’ll be a favorite for worlds selection because, well, anyone with a vaulting program more difficult than DTY/Lopez will have at least a vague look at a medal this year. Even though her form can get funky, she’d be among Canada’s most likely finals contenders. Continue reading National Championships Round-up – CAN, AUS, FRA, BEL

European Championship – Event Finals Day 2

And thus, the European Championship comes to an end for another year. We’ve grown so much over the past five days. Last week at this time, we were all just little Olegs, tiny egg children gazing up at the world from our too-big pajamas with wide-eyed wonderment, and now we’re full-grown Berkis, all too aware of the unjust cruelty of a cold, cold world.

Just imagine…when we began, we didn’t even know that Kyla Roos had switched her nationality to Toorkey, a giant rabbit child was coming to eat our families, or that “I’m going to record an electronic version of ‘Que Sera Sera,’ and it will be a D+,” is a sentence a human person would say. So young. So naive.

But, before we part, we have several more lessons of the adult world to learn from the remaining five event finals. So, grab your face mask, your wooden stake, your onions, and your emergency contact information, because we start with men’s “vault.”

Men’s Body Chuck

First, by way of a social PSA, we really need to discuss the epidemic that is Artur Dalaloyan.

Young people these days are bombarded with constant images of his perfect TTY and his glorious twisting form, where he sticks landings and ascends directly into the sky to join Mount Olympus as a stream of rainbow-colored sour candies rains out of all his orifices. And yes, his vaulting is gorgeous, but it’s just one type of vaulting, and it’s not realistic for most people. To set him up as though he reflects a common level of vaulting for others to strive to achieve can lead to so many unrealistic expectations and body image problems among preteens and other vaulters.

Dalaloyan opened the Body Chuck final like a vicious tease, tricking us poor hopeful wretches who don’t know any better into believing that the days of watching experimental surgeries from the 1760s masquerading as a gymnastics event were finally behind us. Continue reading European Championship – Event Finals Day 2

European Championship – Event Finals Day 1

The first lesson learned from today’s opening batch of event finals is not to wake up in the middle of the night to watch gymnastics and then try to go back to sleep, because if you do, you will have a dream where Julia Roberts cuts out your tongue.

Don’t worry about it.

But worry about it a little bit.

Anyway, the event finals began as they always do: with you in a groggy haze through the majority of the men’s tumbling and one Japanese handstand final.

Men’s Tumbling and One Japanese Handstand
The most important thing about this final is not to even pretend you understand the execution scores. Today’s scores were brought to you by charitable donations from the John D. and Catherine T. Blind-ass Crackwhore Foundation, Donald and Darlene Alcoholism, the Corporation for Public Da Fuq, and meth heads like you.

Fortunately, a five-year-old’s birthday party named Marian Dragulescu was able to transcend this drug-addled world order by downing his everlasting-youth potion, throwing his walker away, not tumbling like dehydration brought to life, and being Romanian. This allowed him to win his ∞ international floor title and MOMMY I GO VROOM VROOM LIKE AIRPLANE all the way up to the top of the podium.

Other medal contenders were not so lucky. Rayderley Zapata went all “my short landings do not define the beauty of my spirit” across the entirety of the arena, while Dom Cunningham hit a rather composed and precise routine compared to most, and the judges were like, “Thank you for your time, Mona [hiccup].”

Instead, taking silver was Dmitri Lankin, heretofore best known for his head being the shape of an exact cube, like a cartoon cat that got its face stuck in a tin of anchovies.

Anchovy Cat opened his floor routine with a fantastic triple back, followed by CASE DISMISSED YOU’RE FREE TO GO. That meant he could dance around a maypole on his second pass like a common farm girl and it didn’t count even a little bit. As the announcer told us, “He was so high to begin this competition,” getting his notes on Lankin mixed up with Judge # All of Them.

Last but definitely more important than anyone you’ve ever met, the gymternet’s future ex-husband Alex Shatilov decided not to ruin all hope for the future and chose not to throw away our patient love by (TWIST) hitting a whole routine (the whole thing! All the passes!), ensuring that no one had to hurl any radiators through any plate-glass windows, which is just good for the crime rate.

I don’t want to nestle in his beard like Thumbelina. You want to nestle in his beard like Thumbelina.

Just missing out on the podium was the true hero of these finals, the song choices. The songs were hand-selected for each gymnast after a hearty spin of the Wheel of Stereotypes. That’s how Artem Dolgopyat got “Hava Nagila” because of…name a Jewish thing. Ray Zapata got “Y Viva España” because of authentic Spanish culture, Coline Devillard got the arena announcer saying, “Mime in a beret holding a baguette” over and over again, and Teja Belak got “Happy Birthday” because either it’s her birthday or the event organizers were like, “Eff this, Slovenia doesn’t have a song.”

It’s the only time I’ve wished the US could compete in this meet, because I really needed them to follow a Donnell Whittenburg pommel horse routine with a moody electro-pop version of “Yankee Doodle Dandy.” Continue reading European Championship – Event Finals Day 1

European Championship – Women’s All-Around

Friday’s medium-anticipated all-around competitions began with an opening act from that new up-and-comer on the performance scene, men’s gymnastics. (You’ll make it one day!)

As expected by exactly all living persons and most dead persons, the gold medal went to the 72% of Oleg Verniaiev that decided to show up today. In a stunning twist, Oleg strategically elected to compete without a left arm, a spleen, or the concept of converting food to energy. A gamble, yes, but it paid off as Verniaiev managed to drag himself to victory nonetheless, while also maintaining some stamina reserves for the two World Cup events and half-marathon he’ll be competing in later tonight.

The remaining places also mimicked qualification as Artur Dalaloyan took second place with only one fall (a “Russian hit”), coming fairly close to catching Verniaiev. We’re being told that Saint Oleg allowed this near-breach of his supremacy because Dalaloyan may be the only one on earth who makes Oleg look normal height. If they gain each other’s trust and work together, they might be able to reach the sink one day.

A particularly thrilling development saw the bronze medal go to Great Britain’s newest star, a picture of your old stoner roommate brought to life by a sorcerer.

But now, let’s turn to the main event, the women’s all-around, where the big question on everyone’s mind entering the competition was, now that Russia and Romania have turned into a pile of old lady bone dust, who gets to win medals? Well, we have our answer, so let me be the first to congratulate our new European all-around champion…Eythora Thorsdottir!

Obviously, no. Eythora fell 62 times and finished 12th. Duh. Keep dreaming, monkeys. Continue reading European Championship – Women’s All-Around

European Championship – Women’s Qualification

Today brought the women’s first opportunity to jump up onto the competition podium and compete to see who could be the most European. (That’s what we’re doing here, right?) There were a lot of compelling nominees. Much Europe. Many techno remixes of R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Enough to make you want to grab some acid-wash jeans, an Oksana Baiul, and a glow stick and head to Germany.

Anyway, once we sift through all the front layout beam dismounts that scored “abandoned shoelace on floor of public bathroom,” some significant developments actually rise to the top. So, let’s emotionally work through what you missed. Or what you saw and just can’t.

We’ll start with the big fat controversy because clearly.

-Here’s how it went down. In the final floor routine of the day, home-nation hero, legend, and part-time aspiring dominatrix Catalina Ponor got up and said, “I’m going to belch the alphabet, leave, and you’re still going to put me through to event finals,” and the judges said, “With this ring, I thee wed…”

So, normal. Nothing to report there. Ponor goes up, hikes her leo up into the center of the earth, and performs her usual floor. Fine. She did have one “the doctors say there’s nothing they can do” double pike landing and the twisting form, but whatever. Nothing too major. She’s into 4th place. Continue reading European Championship – Women’s Qualification