Category Archives: Stuff and Nonsense

Things Are Happening – January 14, 2021

A. Stuttgart World Cup Canceled

Stuttgart, one of the three remaining all-around world cups in the Olympic qualification series, has said a big old NOPE to hosting the event this March. Per the FIG, they’re still hoping to find a different city in Germany to host the event (k…….) so that the process can go ahead as planned. Ish.

According to my frenemy, the 2020ONEST Olympic qualification procedures, the all-around series can go ahead and count if only three events are held instead of the planned four, but that would hinge on the Birmingham event still happening, which is—to put it mildly—a question mark at this point. If Birmingham can’t be held and no replacement hosts are found, then the series would contain just two events, the 2020 American Cup and the 2021 Tokyo World Cup planned for May. The Tokyo World Cup is also the Olympic Test Event, so if that can’t happen, we’re in much deeper water.

If there are just two events, the series wouldn’t count and the theoretical Olympic spots awarded from this series would be reallocated to “the highest ranked eligible NOC based on the team ranking results of Qualifications of the 2019 World Championships.” So, since all the countries are eligible for the spot at this point, the general consensus seems to be this means the top three from qualification at worlds. That would be USA, China, and Russia for the women and Russia, China, Japan for the men.

Continue reading Things Are Happening – January 14, 2021

Top Scores of Week 1

Typically, this is an account of the routines that received a 10 from at least one judge, but as there were just three of those in week one (ahh, a light week), I’ll take us through everything that received a 10 or a 9.950 from at least one judge. And by me, I mean Gymnastea on YouTube.

The 10s

Kiya Johnson – Floor – LSU

The 9.975s

Trinity Thomas – Vault – Florida

Haleigh Bryant – Floor – LSU

Continue reading Top Scores of Week 1

Things Are Happening – December 7, 2020

A. European Championships

The We’re Still Doing This? Championships are still doing this. Yesterday, the big news came that Larisa Iordache has indeed been added to Romania’s team for the European Championships following her performance at the national championships, a showing that clearly reinforced that she’s the best one. Just in life.

Iordache replaces Daniela Trica from the nominative team. I mayyy have previously described it as “obvious” that Romania would bump Maria Holbura to make room for Iordache, and……stand by it? It’s not a huge deal for the actual team prospects—if we’re being honest, Romania should just count Iordache, Sfiringu, and Stanciulescu on every event and could fill out the team with a Ponor leotard and Claudia Presacan’s candle cup—but that’s sort of why I favored keeping Trica. Not only did she earn the spot over Holbura at nationals, but she could use this somewhat low-stakes but still significant opportunity more, especially since Trica is more likely to hang around and be needed next quad when Romania will try to pull itself out of the ditch. At the same time, I understand the desire to keep Holbura at competition readiness given that she’s going to the Olympics.

The men’s competition gets started this week with the juniors kicking things off early on Wednesday. The whole competition for both men and women will be streamed, qualification on SmartScoring’s site and finals as a real broadcast.

Continue reading Things Are Happening – December 7, 2020

Elite to NCAA 2021

I’m rounding out the freshman previews today with a full accounting of the elites—current and former—who will be joining NCAA programs in the coming maybe-season. First, links to those I’ve already dealt with in the individual team freshmen previews, then on to the rest.

Oklahoma – Audrey Davis (USA)
UCLA – Frida Esparza (MEXICO), Chae Campbell (USA)
LSU – Elena Arenas (USA), Olivia Dunne (USA)
Utah – Jaylene Gilstrap (USA), Lucy Stanhope (GREAT BRITAIN)
Florida – Ellie Lazzari (USA), Gabrielle Gallentine (USA)
Cal – Gabby Perea (USA)
Georgia – Victoria Nguyen (USA)
Denver – Isabel Mabanta (USA)
Alabama – Shania Adams (USA), Cameron Machado (USA)


Ira Alexeeva – RUSSIA
Isabela Onyshko – CANADA
Sandra Jessen – CZECH REPUBLIC

United Nations: Palo Alto Campus has the opportunity to change its team’s trajectory more than any other new class this season, standing among the most accomplished groups any team is welcoming. With these freshmen, and Kyla Bryant representing the United States delegation, those lineups can become formidable. Imagine the possibilities for not being abjectly petrified by Stanford’s bars rotation with a lineup that adds Alexeeva, Onyshko, and Tan—not to mention Amanda Zeng, the lone “just an American” in the club who is quite good on bars as well.

Irina Alexeeva, a Texas-based WOGA gymnast, competed as a junior elite in the United States in 2016 but was ineligible to represent the US internationally and opted instead to compete for Russia. She made Russia’s 2018 World Championships team, advancing to the all-around final and placing 13th, while also earning a silver medal in the team final where she contributed the team’s highest score and least stressful routine on beam.

Isabela Onyshko’s meteoric rise as a Canadian elite culminated in her reaching the 2016 Olympics, where she became the first Canadian to advance to an Olympic beam final after scoring 14.533 in qualification. Injuries subsequently derailed some of her all-around hopes in the next quadrennium, but Onyshko did win an all-around silver medal at the 2018 Canadian Championships and an all-around bronze medal at 2020 Elite Canada, shortly before the shutdown.

Tan Sze En, who trains at Legacy Elite, competed at her first World Championships representing Singapore in 2019, scoring a 48.098 in qualification that—by a margin of just .032 over Ireland’s Megan Ryan—was enough to earn her the final spot available there for the Tokyo Olympics.

Sandra Jessen, a Parkettes gymnast, spent some time competing for the Czech Republic in 2019—recalling the career trajectory of another Stanford gymnast, Nicole Pechanec. Much like no one was able to stop telling you that Nicole Pechanec competed elite as Nicole Pechancova, I’m sure we’ll hear about how Sandra Jessen is Sandra Jessenova to the FIG. Like Tan, Jessen competed at her first World Championships in 2019, competing vault, beam, and floor for the Czech team that finished 23rd.

Continue reading Elite to NCAA 2021

Things Are Happening – December 1, 2020

A. That Maggie Haney NYT Article

Ugh. Must we?

So, the New York Times published an article yesterday seeking to answer the question that no one was asking: “What’s Maggie Haney thinking?”

It’s a fairly ludicrous piece, one that goes too far to the side of uncritically presenting the views of this cult of gymnastics without contextualizing how bonkers what they’re saying is.

But it is obviously bonkers. That dad saying, “If I wanted her to come home happy and smiling every day, I’d send her to clown school” is a line I’ll never forget.

The real highlight comes right at the beginning, when Maggie completely unironically says the words, “I think my mistakes were that I cared too much.”

And my biggest weakness is that I’m a perfectionist. And my biggest challenge is how beautiful I am.

The self-awareness is just dripping off of this one.

Continue reading Things Are Happening – December 1, 2020

Things Are Happening – November 12, 2020

A. European Championships…still a go?

Despite a flurry of withdrawals, the nominative rosters have been released for December’s European Championships in Turkey. That’s still, we guess, going to be a thing.

Of note, exactly 8 women’s teams have entered a sufficient number senior athletes to get a team score, meaning all of them would advance to the WAG team final. That’s Ukraine, Romania, Hungary, Turkey, Czech Republic, Latvia, Croatia, and Luxembourg. Yes, Luxembourg has entered 3 seniors. It’s the only thing keeping me going. This seems like a wildly ill-advised and preposterous championship that I am growing more excited about by the minute.

AUSTRIAElisa Hämmerle
AZERBAIJANMarina Nekrasova
Samira Gahramanova
Milana Minakovskaya
BULGARIAYoana YankovaValentina Georgieva
Viktoria Glavtcheva
Viktoria Chakova
Darina Nachina
Tijana Korent
Christina Zwicker
Petra Furac
Tina Zelcic
Nika Kukuljan Frelta
Sara Sulekic
Katerina Strinic
Antea Ercegovic
Emi Matoscevic
CZECH REPUBLICNatalie Brabcova
Aneta Holasova
Domikia Ponilizova
Magdalena Coufalova
Sabina Halova
Nela Kaplanova
Lucie Marikova
Nela Stepandova
Daniela Halova
Klara Peterkova
HUNGARYZoja Szekely
Zsofia Kovacs
Hanna Szujo
Noemi Makra
Dorina Böczögo
Greta Mayer
Kira Balazs
Emma Horvath
Anna Szmirnov
Nora Peresztegi
LATVIAElina Vihrova
Anna Locmele
Zane Petrova
Arina Olenava
Anastasija Ananjeva
Marija Prostasenko
LITHUANIAAgata Vostruchovaite
LUXEMBOURGChiara Castellucci
Celeste Mordenti
Lola Schleich
MALTATara Vella Clark
ROMANIAAntonia Duta
Maria Holbura
Silviana Sfiringu
Ioana Stanciulescu
Daniela Trica
Ana Barbosu
Maria Ceplinschi
Andreea Preda
Iulia Trestianu
Luiza Popa
SLOVENIALucija Hribar
Sara King
Zala Trtnik
Ziva Konic
Tia Pavlin Zakovsek
Neza Erpic
Nina Davidovic
SLOVAKIABarbora Mokosova
TURKEYNazli Savranbasi
Dilara Yurtdas
Cemre Kendirci
Goksu Uctas Sanli
Bilge Tarhan
Derin Tanriyasukur
Beyza Ozen
Sevgi Kayisoglu
Bengisu Yildiz
Kardelen Paryaz
UKRAINEDiana Varinska
Anastasia Bachynska
Angelina Radivilova
Yana Fedorova
Valeria Osipova
Viktoria Ivanenko
Daniela Batrona
Yulia Kasianenko
Daria Lyska

The juniors will have an all-around but no team competition this year, and since there are only 20 athletes eligible for the AA final (after 2-per-country), those countries sending full teams will just have an intrasquad in qualification to see who gets Wiebered, and those with two or fewer will be automatically in.

On the senior men’s side, there are 11 senior teams with at least three athletes: Turkey, Ukraine, Israel, Hungary, Romania, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Croatia, and Lithuania. Though, some of these teams like Lithuania and Croatia are only maybes in terms of being able to cobble together three routines on each event. I hope Croatia tries again. My sole dream on the men’s side is for Croatia to default into the team final and have everyone vault handspring timers like at 2018 worlds. There’s definitely something wrong with me!

B. Gymnast alliance

Today, we learned that Riley McCusker is suing Maggie Haney for all of the…all of it—bullying, body shaming, unhealthy diet, period prevention, and strenuous training on injuries including 2019’s exercise-induced rhabdomyolysis.

Continue reading Things Are Happening – November 12, 2020