Skilling Eve

As if somehow the show knew that we would be so starved for gymnastics that we would take anything—the season 3 premiere of Killing Eve introduced us to our new assassin handler, who also happens to be a former gymnast.

I mean obvi. It’s the natural career path. How did it take us even three seasons to get here?

Nastia, let’s do this thing, is what I’m saying…

Anyway, we meet our new favorite Dasha via backstory…

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FIG GONNA FIG: The 2021 Olympics Decisions

Sigh and a half.

Today, the FIG decided to put all our speculation to rest and brain fart out its decision regarding how the Olympic qualification and eligibility system will be amended for an Olympics taking place in 2021. Here’s what we now know:

Code of points: The 2017-2020 code of points will remain in force until the end of 2021. This was the only acceptable decision since this code has governed the entire qualification process, and it would be fairly ridiculous to change codes just for the Olympics.

If, then, the 2020 code is retained for the Olympics, it must remain in effect for the rest of 2021 too since you can’t very well suddenly switch to a new code for events for events in the autumn, allowing no adjustment period.

Age Eligibility: Athletes who turn senior in 2021 WILL be eligible to qualify for and compete in the Olympics. This will be the most controversial decision of the bunch, and I do take issue with it, though not for the reasons most do—which seem to have something to do with fairness. I don’t think it is unfair to other athletes, per se, to allow the 2021 seniors to compete in the Olympics because it will be 2021 and they will officially be senior gymnasts. Just like the new 2020 seniors were going to be able to waltz into the Olympics without participating in any of the qualification process in the 2020 Olympics. It’s now exactly the same for the 2021 seniors.

I do, however, view it as logically inconsistent with the code of points decision, which is making an understandable (and correct) exception to the usual way of things by treating these Olympics as the 2020 Olympics and refraining from making the normal rules adjustments for the 2021 year.

My favorite part of this decision is that it cites the technical regulations as justification, but then links to some document about parkour scoring. Good good good.

Apparatus Qualification: The least justifiable decision make by the FIG today concerns the Baku World Cup, which as you might recall had to be halted after qualification because the world is ending.

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Would Simone 2013 Beat Gabby 2012?

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.

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Things Are Happening – April 2, 2020

A. 2021 Olympic dates

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.

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COVID Coping: 2010 All-Around

Today’s journey into the archives of gymnastics goes back just a single decade to the 2010 gymnastics season—the last time you were happy, probably.

On this occasion, we meet the trio in some sort of preposterous sit-down setting with foliage, like they’re doing a Today Show segment on how to host an intervention for your dog.

Elfi’s specialist subject.

Al and Tim begin by discussing Rebecca “Very Same Gym” Bross, who comes from the Very Same Gym. Can you believe it. The VERY SAME GYM.

Very same.

Anyway, the deal with Bross is that she fell on floor at 2009 worlds, end of biography byeeeeeeeee.

Meanwhile: “Men’s gymnastics has Kohei Uchimura. Women’s gymnastics has Aliya Mustafina.”

Al asks Elfi to weigh in on how she DOMINATED that Ann Taylor Loft.

Also whether DIVA Aliya Mustafina is an Evil Diva who is diva. Answer: Much diva. You should probably hate her. She isn’t even a pure American apple pie next door.


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