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!”