Breaking news. We learned today that the new head coach of the Georgia gymnastics team will be……..Suzantney Kupoculan!
The press conference began with Southern McGlasses going, “blah blah blah tradition of excellence blah blah,” with Kupets lurking in the corner like
Captain McGlasses then announced that the new head coach of Georgia’s gymnastics team will be none other than the portion of face sitting next to him, the gymternet’s sun and stars, Courtney Kupets-Carter. He then added, “there’s definitely not anything more to the story than this. Wink wink. The owl flies at midnight.”
Back in 2007, our beloved Suzanne Yoculan—or Suzie Yocks, as no one calls her but me—woke up one morning and said, “I can’t believe you think I like attention!” and invited cameras into the gym to profile her team’s preparation for the 2008 season in AFI’s #1 all-time best film ever, Under the Lights: Georgia Gymnastics. Directed by Suzanne’s hair, produced by Suzanne’s heels, it costars Suzanne Yoculan and Suzanne Yoculan.
The team opens proceedings by gathering around a giant G so that Katie Heenan can ominously threaten us that we’re about to go Under. The. Lights.
Is this like a waterboarding?
“Hey Katie, could you do another take, but this time make it 64% less Guantanamoy?”
Next, we meet Suzanne and some other nameless rabble who are here to tell us how awesome they are. They’re pretty awesome.
Suzanne’s like, “Pretty awesome???”
She gives us her best recruiting spiel about Georgia’s pedigree of champion awesomeness while surrounded by all her most comforting and supportive trophies, including what appears to be a glass foot because of the reasons.
For…Best Performance by Heels on a Competition Floor?
On to day 2 of the 2004 Olympic Trials competition. And by competition, I mean blathering for two hours while people warm up, with four routines thrown in as a treat. Also a treat, the live team announcement and ceremonial awarding of the emotional trauma and resentment.
-The TJ MAXX TOUR OF CHAMPIONS is coming to your home town!!!!!!!!! What if you called that number right now and tried to get tickets? “I just want to see Carly Patterson!”
-The “TJ Maxx tour of champions” is also what I call the grocery store on a Sunday morning.
-“You will marvel as these gymnasts deliver gymnastics.” TWIST.
-Oh, your senses will be kick-started all right. Particularly your senses of shame and regret.
-Interpretive ode to the red-light district?
-And now, let’s begin.
-Ooooh, a flashback episode! “Previously, on the manipulative nightmare that is the Olympic Trials broadcast history, everyone’s life was garbage…”
-It’s really important to start with an “it’ll end in tears” montage. Just to set the tone of the proceedings. Ladies, learn from this. Blubbering is the only goal.
-Elise Ray is crying. Shannon Miller is crying. Alyssa Beckerman is crying. Beth Rybacki is crying. Obviously. Beth Rybacki is a Native American origin story of how the Great Lakes came to be. Which one’s happy? Which one’s sad? It doesn’t matter. TEARS!
-Al is doing a pretty good job reminiscing about how traumatic that 2000 team announcement debacle was (raw, disorganized, abrupt, and unnecessary public and painful), but it’s hard to tell whether that’s supposed to be a good thing or a bad thing. Given the forthcoming 2004 announcement, I’m thinking it’s supposed to be a good thing. “Imagine your worst nightmare. I can’t wait to watch all of it.”
-Yes, Bela decided to step down after 2000. Everyone else was going, “Please continue, Bela! It went so well! We love and need you!” That’s what happened.
-Turn back the clock to when Martha was also appearing as Sister Margaretta/Understudy Maria in Bucharest’s longest-running production of The Sound of Music.
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.