Category Archives: Meet Recap

2004 Olympic Trials Part 2: Courtney McCool’s Comedy Oil Change

On to day 2 of the 2004 Olympic Trials competition. And by competition, I mean blathering for two hours while people warm up, with four routines thrown in as a treat. Also a treat, the live team announcement and ceremonial awarding of the emotional trauma and resentment.

-The TJ MAXX TOUR OF CHAMPIONS is coming to your home town!!!!!!!!! What if you called that number right now and tried to get tickets? “I just want to see Carly Patterson!”
-The “TJ Maxx tour of champions” is also what I call the grocery store on a Sunday morning.

-“You will marvel as these gymnasts deliver gymnastics.” TWIST.
-Oh, your senses will be kick-started all right. Particularly your senses of shame and regret.

-Interpretive ode to the red-light district?

-And now, let’s begin.
-Ooooh, a flashback episode! “Previously, on the manipulative nightmare that is the Olympic Trials broadcast history, everyone’s life was garbage…”

-It’s really important to start with an “it’ll end in tears” montage. Just to set the tone of the proceedings. Ladies, learn from this. Blubbering is the only goal.

-Elise Ray is crying. Shannon Miller is crying. Alyssa Beckerman is crying. Beth Rybacki is crying. Obviously. Beth Rybacki is a Native American origin story of how the Great Lakes came to be. Which one’s happy? Which one’s sad? It doesn’t matter. TEARS!

-Al is doing a pretty good job reminiscing about how traumatic that 2000 team announcement debacle was (raw, disorganized, abrupt, and unnecessary public and painful), but it’s hard to tell whether that’s supposed to be a good thing or a bad thing. Given the forthcoming 2004 announcement, I’m thinking it’s supposed to be a good thing. “Imagine your worst nightmare. I can’t wait to watch all of it.”

-Yes, Bela decided to step down after 2000. Everyone else was going, “Please continue, Bela! It went so well! We love and need you!” That’s what happened.

-Turn back the clock to when Martha was also appearing as Sister Margaretta/Understudy Maria in Bucharest’s longest-running production of The Sound of Music.

-When I was in elementary school, my haircut of choice was The Martha. #styleicon
Continue reading 2004 Olympic Trials Part 2: Courtney McCool’s Comedy Oil Change

Advertisements

2004 Olympic Trials Part 1: Schwikert Family Gold

Back to the grindstone. My soul-destroying retrospective of US Olympic Trials broadcasts continues with 2004. This was actually a fantastic year for the US Team, and Trials featured few falls and even fewer coaches being made to wear mics, which is a real shame. But still, we always have mercilessly making fun of Trautwig, right? Oh boy do we. He was in rare form this year. Let’s begin.


(Note on that intro: Misty Hyman is still the worst name ever given to a human person. Hi, this is my daughter, Sweaty Vulva.)

Prologue: Kim Jong Martha
-“This is Texas.”

-Yep, that’s it. We’ve got a church, abandoned railroad tracks, some horrible dirt road from the 30s, and Martha eagle-eyeing the hell out of physical abilities testing. Or as Texans call them, the big four.

-This training montage music is called “Essence of North Korean Military.”
-The US gymnastics renaissance is being crafted at a cost. OK? The cost of…stretching in unison? SUCH TERRIBLE LIVES. THE COST IS TOO GREAT. THEY MIGHT MISS PROM.
-I forgot that we were still in the “how dare you put them through this hell” era of Martha camp narrative. Before the US started winning every year and camps became the glorious revelation of a soothsaying genius.

-If you’re going for the “Remember how happy everyone used to be in 1996?” angle, maybe clips of Dominique Moceanu aren’t the strongest choice. Old Dominique “Smiles” Moceanu, that’s what we call her. She had a grand time. Totally loving life. (Have you forgotten the sadness forest so quickly?)

-Misty water-colored meeeemmmmmmories, of the way we were…

-Bela won the team gold medal in 1996. Live and learn.

-“And then that trash heap 2000 team fucked it up for everyone and finished 4th, like losers. You brought shame on a nation, and we hate you. I mean GO TEAM USA. As long as you hit. Otherwise, get out. What was your name again? Lizzie or something?”

-But it’s OK because in 2003 Bela high-fived everyone, spontaneously creating Carly Patterson and saving gymnastics from the worthless failures of 2000. BYE LIZZIE.

-I love that this intro is basically a superhero origin story for the Martha camps. Martha pops out at the end to go, “And that’s how I became…THE FLASH!”
Continue reading 2004 Olympic Trials Part 1: Schwikert Family Gold

2000 Olympic Trials Part 2: She’s Still Not OK

Anything worth doing is worth doing twice. Especially if it’s horrible. On to day 2 of Little Bela Shop of Horrors. (Don’t you think Bela would actually make a really good Audrey II? Any time he speaks, I already hear “Feed me, Seymour!”) Let’s see who shatters into dust today. Spoiler alert: It’s Shannon. And everybody.

Chapter 1, Minute 0: Paging Dr. Bela
-Remember the first day of competition and how it was a traumatic disaster where everybody had a nervous breakdown into a chalk bucket and then Beckerman just stopped in the middle of her bars routine out of emotional catastrophe? (HOW MANY TIMES ALYSSA?) Child’s play. Brace yourself.

-We haven’t even started yet, and Shannon is already in several pieces on the floor. At least she could have had the common decency to wait until after the intro fluff. Al didn’t even have a chance to butcher any American history this time! (“As Abigail Adams once said, ‘Give me liberty, or give me Bela.'”)

-Oh yes, the WAG blue plate special, an extended closeup of a woman in tears while her coach goes, “You alright?”
-Let me think. Oh right, no. I’m not. That’s why I’m on the ground, weeping.

-Bela’s helping.

-Let’s pretend these closeups of her ex-husband never happened. Move it, creepy.

-“Hey, Shannon, either you can do a vault right now on your glass knee, or you can look after your body and shatter all of your dreams and mine in front of everyone. Your choice. No pressure. Do whatever feels right.”

-Shannon’s knee, you need to cool it. We have an important fluff piece to get to! You’ve seriously cut into our lights-turning-on-in-a-quiet-gym and softly-lit-allusions-to-past-fuck-ups time. You know, gymnastics.
-The title of this piece is Gonna Dress You Up In Beige Drapes (You’re a Disappointment). Note that neither Ray nor Maloney is even mentioned. Their lack of potential drama and disappointment is too disrespectful to the cause. Yet, there was time for a thousand shots of lurking Bela. THE STAR.

-The mascot of 2000 Trials:

Continue reading 2000 Olympic Trials Part 2: She’s Still Not OK

2000 Olympic Trials: Special Victims Unit

I decided to rewatch the 2000 Olympic Trials. I guess because I just haven’t been feeling jaded and flabbergasted enough lately and really needed to work harder to grab that golden ring. It’s a process. You’ve got to get your nose to the grindstone if you want to see results. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single Trautwig.

This meet is insane, and this broadcast is traumatic. I have some horrible thoughts. Come. Join me. Let’s see who can last the longest before jumping straight into a volcano.

Chapter 1: Everything Is Completely Healthy Here

-Look how everyone is smiling in this opening montage! We’re all happy! Great time! Fun! I don’t need any therapy!

-Parkettes hair. Never forget what happened here. Kristen Maloney, look at yourself. Think about your actions.

-“We don’t need Paul Revere to climb to the Old North Church and yell out, ‘The Olympics are coming.'” Stop. Everything about that sentence is historically inaccurate. Please return to the third grade.

-Tim Daggett is a DUCKLING here. Apparently, sitting next to Al for 20 years is the equivalent of being president. WATCH OUT NASTIA. SAVE YOURSELF.

-Bela and Martha hanging over a super cool laptop.

-100% they’re reading Dawson’s Creek fanfic. There’s literally nothing else I can imagine them needing that computer for.

-Tim says the word “mutiny” with such ravenousness. He was totally rooting for pitchforks. So was I.

-“Elfi, a year ago, Jamie Dantzscher was a withered piece of useless garbage. How did she stop being garbage?”
-“Well Al, Bela Karolyi talked to her for 30 seconds, and then she was fixed.” YAY GYMNASTICS NARRATIVE.

-Jamie Dantzscher on bars. “Plays gymnastics on this event.” What does that mean? That’s not a sentiment.
-I would describe the Dantzscher family’s level of fervor for that routine as vaguely Spanish Inquisitiony.

-Next up is Shang Chunsong. I mean Morgan White.
-But first, let’s enjoy a video retrospective of her having a Level 50 nervous breakdown. YAY. It’s like in romantic comedies when they have a musical montage of an unbearable trash couple trying on oversize sunglasses by a pier, except instead of that, it’s a lifetime of emotional trauma. I know we all watch that replay and think, “This is normal. She’s doing fine. I don’t have any questions.”
-And then after Morgan White vaults, and you’re also going, “Oh God, Oh God, Oh God…”
Continue reading 2000 Olympic Trials: Special Victims Unit