You know that thing where it’s been a couple days since you posted, and you don’t know what to write about because there’s a pandemic, but then something falls right into your face?
My beloved number babies at 538 posted a piece today on how the Olympic timeline has been unkind to Simone because of GYMNAST AGE. This piece generally would have benefited from taking an era-specific look at the age of successful Olympic gymnasts rather than an overall view because the trend of the last couple decades has been one of increasing age of medal-winning gymnasts, which provides compelling counter-evidence to the conventional wisdom of “age + gymnastics = bad” on which this argument is based.
The average age of the WAG medalists at the 2016 Olympics was 20 (up two years compared to 2004 when the average medalist age was 18), and Simone was the second youngest of the bunch in Rio. That she would stick around for another Olympics, at which she’d then be one of the elder stateswomen, isn’t an odd or remarkable development.
On the issue of Simone’s timeline, it’s hardly a strange or uncommon revelation that turning senior the year after the Olympics makes for a rough schedule. Yes. Rebecca Bross on line 3. It hasn’t really mattered in Simone’s case because she’s Simone, has done an accomplishment or two in her time, and isn’t really in need of “what if” thinking the way an athlete like Bross might be. But she nonetheless had the least charitable of birth years.
Any contention, however, that Simone’s career accomplishments might actually have changed given a different birth year is more controversial. Specifically, this article contains the offhand assertion that Simone likely would have won the 2012 Olympic all-around title.
As of…since the last time we did this?…the oligarchs at the IOC decided to bless the populace with new dates for the 2021 Olympics. The games of the first Waiting Makes It Even Better (?) Olympiad will begin almost exactly a year after the 2020 Olympics were supposed to start, with the Opening Ceremony slated for July 23, 2021.
OK, start the clock at 478 days. Ooof, that’s a lot of old meet recaps. I am going to rip 1978 Bulgarian Nationals TO SHREDSSSSSSS by the end of this.
Aside from the deep anxiety caused by the fact that IOC said it would take three more weeks to decide but then busted out new dates early even though YOU AREN’T FOLLOWING YOUR OWN ARBITRARY RULES, this is lovely news. The most relaxed I’ve felt in weeks. We have something to put on a schedule again. The lack of being able to make schedules of future events has been ROUGH.
Just kidding, no they’re not, obviously. But here’s the latest on the Nothing.
The IOC confirmed (in true IOC fashion, with the actual news coming in the fourth paragraph after we talk about how great all the administrators are for six hours) that the Tokyo Olympics would not be held in 2020, but “will” be held by the summer of 2021. Let’s hope so. I can’t take much more of this, and it’s somehow still March.
Supposedly, we’ll be receiving the finalized dates for the Nu-lympics in about three weeks. If I were the IOC, I’d select dates as pessimistically as possible because we don’t know anything now and still won’t know anything in three weeks—but experience has shown that I’m definitely not the IOC. Even with an extra year, I’m sure we’d still end up engaging in the biennial tradition of athletes arriving at the Olympic Village housing and posting pictures like, “So, the toilet is on the ceiling and the bed is mice. How. Why.”
So, lots has developed today, and I’m here to work through it. Or at least…list it. Most important is the realization that I care more about having gymnastics to watch than I do about the public health. I’m not saying that’s good or right, but still…
Item #1: Stuttgart World Cup is canceled
Stuttgart was scheduled for March 21-22 and was to be the 2nd of the 4 all-around world cups in that qualification series.
The FIG does have a note in the rules that if only 3 events in the series are held instead of 4, then everything goes on as planned with those 3 meets counting. But it’s realllly tough to imagine Birmingham and Tokyo going ahead at this point. So then we get into the weeds of what happens with those Olympic qualification spots if the all-around series doesn’t…exist.
Surprisingly, there’s actually a provision in the qualification procedures should something exactly like this happen and the all-around world cups get canceled.