Category Archives: Stuff and Nonsense

Things Are Happening – January 27, 2021

A. Aunt Flo

You know that thing where you’re watching the YouTube stream of junior Classic and think, “I wish this were expensive and worse.”

Well, USAG is here for you, signing a five-year deal with FLO to broadcast its non-NBC events in the US—and all the events internationally. Moving major gymnastics events from free YouTube streams to a service that charges $150/year, just so FLO can lob a buffering potato at your computer screen and then blame it on your internet speed, all while filing copyright claims over someone’s unrelated 15-year-old video of Shantessa Pama’s beam warmup, is going over super great. We’re so very happy. Access achieved!

The first elite event on the FLO slate will be Winter Cup, where the big sessions are already scheduled for NBC Networks but broadcast of the junior competitions and senior men’s event finals was previously undetermined. Presumably that will go to FLO, and per USAG they’ll be showing podium training as well. National team selection camps are also currently on the FLO schedule. It’s good content! But our collective history with FLO, the historical quality of its broadcasts, its expense, and the McKayla Maroney incident—to name a few—precludes any excitement there.

B. No One Saw It Coming

Turns out, trying to hold a college gymnastics season amidst COVID isn’t going fully awesome!

Continue reading Things Are Happening – January 27, 2021

Keeping Up with the Cool GIFs – Week 3

This week...

Everything went very great

Michigan’s floor might be made of soup

And then their season got postponed

Oklahoma staged a beam walk-out

While trying to qualify to Four on the Floor

So the rankings were like

And there was no saving it

The Pac-12 teams greeted the sixth member of their lineups

Chae Campbell’s hand was ghosts

So Jack Black had to do Miss Val Eyes

And Pauline Tratz went, “Earthlings celebrate bars like……”

Overall, vault was a buttface

The mat was lava

And everyone definitely understood what their coach was on about

But at least Elizabeth Culton communed with the feline world

Rylie Mundell taught Intro to Applied Tkatchevs

And Michelle Obama knows who Nia Dennis is

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