It’s time for the 170th edition of You Asked, The Gymternet Answered! We apologize if we haven’t gotten to your question yet, but we try to answer in the order in which they were received (unless they are super relevant and need to be answered in a timely manner). Something you want to know? Ask us anonymously by going through the contact form at the bottom of the page.
Would Elizabeth Price get 10s if she went to a different school?
MOST LIKELY. So unfair that she has a super high level of difficulty on vault and bars, and often has a better/higher quality to her gymnastics, and yet doesn’t get 10s every five seconds like others in the SEC/elsewhere in the PAC do. Sometimes I see other vaults and bars sets that get 10s and I’m like “well that wasn’t LITERALLY a 10 but whatever, it was pretty close” and then I see Ebee getting 9.9s for routines that are vastly better than the 10s and I just want to set myself on fire.
In 2010, Aly Raisman used to leap out of her double arabian. Adding the punch front gave her an extra tenth, but she usually has a small hop, which is a 0.1 deduction…and when she goes out of bounds or has a leg separation, that’s also another tenth. Why would she replace the leap?
The leap was probably getting deductions of its own. Every single skill is likely going to get some kind of deduction unless you’re literally perfect which almost no one is, so if you’re getting deducted for whatever on one skill, you might as well up the value and get deducted on a higher-valued skill or connection.
Why did you name your website thegymter.net instead of thegymternet.com?
When I went to sign up for a domain name, thegymternet.com was taken. I almost considered changing the name of my site, but couldn’t think of anything else I wanted, so I went to thegymternet.com and decided if they had anything up and running, I’d change mine…but the site was blank so I was going to then try thegymternet.net but I hated how that looked (WE GET IT, NET!) so I was like hmmm thegymter.net would be a fun way to work around this nonsense. At one point the owner of thegymternet.com started commenting on forums and telling people I “stole his site” or something and that he “owned” everything I posted? I was like bro you have a blank site with nothing on it, you didn’t invent the phrase “the gymternet,” and all of my content was written/produced by me, so why on earth would you think you “own” it? Hahaha. But I actually love my domain and think it’s creative and interesting. And I can always tell when random emails I get are BS salespeople trying to butter me up by being like “Your site, The Gymter, is awesome!! It’s my first stop for information.” I’m like you’ve obviously never been to it, byeeee!
On floor, if an arabian is considered a forward element, is an arabian with an extra half twist at the end considered forward or backward?
All arabian skills for women are considered forward skills, so that includes the double arabian half-out. For men, all arabian skills are considered backward skills, including any arabians with twists.
I just noticed Becky Downie was on the Commonwealth Games team in 2006. I thought the Games were FIG sanctioned and therefore you’d have to be a senior to compete? How was Becky able to compete at 14?
There may have been different rules then for that particular meet? Now gymnasts definitely have to turn 16 in the year the Games are held in order to participate but maybe back in 2006 there wasn’t any such rule…I’m not sure and there’s nothing about age rules for that meet that I can find but obviously if she was there and they didn’t falsify her age, it was clearly allowed. Many multisport events like this aren’t sanctioned by the FIG so my guess is that while Commonwealth Games are now currently an FIG-sanctioned meet, they probably weren’t in 2006, so there was nothing that limited juniors from competing.
What is the highest score a gymnast can get on bars at the moment?
If a gymnast got a 10 for execution, her total score would depend on her difficulty. The highest bars difficulty right now is a 6.3 I believe, so a 16.3 would be the highest total score if the gymnast with the 6.3 difficulty got a 10 in execution.
How do gymnasts qualify for J.O. nationals? Do athletes from all levels attend?
J.O. nationals are for level 10 gymnasts only and they have to go through a qualification process that includes both states and regionals. Anyone can compete at state championships, but from there a number of gymnasts in each age division then move onto regional championships. There are eight regionals across the country, and I believe the top seven gymnasts from each regional qualifies to nationals. That makes for a total of about 56 gymnasts in each of the 12 age groups (give or take one or two depending on ties and injuries), meaning nearly 700 gymnasts will qualify to national championships in level 10. Gymnasts in level 9 have something similar to nationals, but instead of it being one big national meet, it’s two national-level meets with easterns and westerns, but levels lower than this don’t really have anything like that. Level 10 is the only J.O. level with a ‘true’ national championships.
When did the J.O. program switch from classes to levels?
The U.S. Gymnastics Federation made the switch in 1988.
Has anyone accidentally done a van Leeuwen or Chow half off the high bar and crashed?
I’m not sure I know what this is asking? Gymnasts don’t compete these skills off the high bar so I don’t know why anyone would ‘accidentally’ do one from the high bar, since these skills inherently have to be done from a low to a high bar. If you’re asking if anyone has crashed a van Leeuwen or Chow from the low bar, then yes, it happens somewhat often. When gymnasts don’t get enough momentum or get too much momentum off the low bar, their hands will sometimes miss the high bar if they can’t correct for the mistake during the flight.
Could you do a FAQ section? You answer a lot of questions multiple times!
Believe me, I’ve tried. PEOPLE DON’T READ IT. We literally have every single Q&A saved at this link, and if you google pretty much any question you have with “The Gymternet” in quotes at the end (e.g. fouettes floor beam “the gymternet”) I guarantee you can find what you’re looking for. And yet people don’t know how to google or read back. I actually delete probably 25% of the questions I get because they’re repeats from the past few months, but I actually don’t remember a lot of what I answer or some are phrased differently enough that they require a similar but not exact answer. It’s annoying and frustrating, but I know if I spent weeks putting together a FAQ, it wouldn’t help because people would still be too lazy to do the work to find their answer.
When will NCAA gym programs release their 2017-2018 schedules?
They usually start popping up around September or October, but they’re not really finalized until it gets close to January. I usually start putting my master schedule together in October but there are always a million changes between then and when the season starts.
Do you think Cheng vaults are going to become more popular since they give gymnasts a higher advantage over those performing a DTY?
Not necessarily…they always have had a higher difficulty value than a DTY, and since 2013, have had a higher difficulty value than an Amanar as well. But most continue training Yurchenko family vaults instead of the Yurchenko half-on family because OG Yurchenkos are easier since they’re done backwards…front layouts off vault can be super difficult, and they usually end up looking really messy on most gymnasts. Many gymnasts with beautiful Yurchenkos go to learn half-ons and it’s like…not cute.
Where did the leos from podium training at Gymnix come from?
There were like 50 countries and club gyms in the various elite sessions at Gymnix so you’ll have to be more specific…going to assume you mean the U.S. and I actually have no idea, I don’t remember seeing them before that. They could’ve been part of the Olympic kit and were just never used in Rio. That happens sometimes.
Why is a double arabian on floor called a double arabian? Shouldn’t a double arabian have a half twist in each flip?
It’s technically called an arabian double front, but most people just refer to it as a double arabian because it’s quicker to type and say.
Why does having a veteran/team leader matter if they’re bringing in lower scores than the younger gymnasts?
I can’t think of any situation where this has been the case? They’re not going to bring a veteran for the sole purpose of having a veteran on the team, unless her scores are lower but she’s far more consistent than a younger gymnast who may have a 6.5 D score on beam and hit it once out of every ten routines or something. I can’t think of any team in recent years that opted for a low-scoring team leader over a high-scoring and consistent younger gymnast.
Does the new code of points and the new rules for 2020 favor all-arounders or specialists? How many people are on the women’s team including specialists and alternates?
The new rules favor all-arounders. There are four women on each team, each country can qualify up to two additional specialists, and the alternates would depend on what each federation decides. Most go with anywhere from one to three.
At Koper and Osijek, Thais Fidelis of Brazil had a 5.9 D score on beam, but it should’ve been a 6.1. Why is it lower?
She likely was not awarded for various connections. Most gymnasts have a start value they reach for, but it’s rare that they’re credited with every single connection in every single routine, so a gymnast with a 6.1 D score potential might only get a 5.7 one day, a 6.0 the next, and a 5.9 the day after that. It all depends on how strong her connections are in each given routine, and whether the judges feel they should credit her with certain connections.
Is there such a thing as an inbar layout Tkachev?
No. The only layout Tkachev that has been competed so far in WAG has been the Nabieva, which is a toe-on layout Tkachev.
In qualifications at Tokyo, how many can compete for the all-around? Three on the team and two individuals?
No. All four on the team can compete all-around. For the individuals, if they’ve qualified an all-around spot, they also compete all-around. But finals are still two-per-country, so it doesn’t matter if a gymnast is on the team or an individual — only two will advance to finals.
Does North Korea hold national championships?
I’m not sure what kind of domestic meets they have since results are never publicized, at least not that I’ve seen. Even if they don’t have a big nationals in an arena with spectators and everything, they likely have internal competitions at their training center which would help them determine teams for major competitions.
Are the NCAA and elite floors the same size?
Yes they are.
If a gymnast doesn’t land a dismount on her feet, how much will it affect her D score considering that the D level dismount requirement is gone?
She’ll no longer get the half point for not having a D level dismount, but she also won’t receive any value for the dismount she attempts, so if she’s going for a D dismount and then doesn’t get credit for it, she’ll lose the value of her dismount — 0.4 for a D skill — from her total D score, which is a pretty big hit if she’s expecting a 5.8 or something and then only gets a 5.4.
Terin Humphrey stood on the low bar and jumped to the high bar in 2004. When did the rule come in that states you can’t make this transition without a penalty?
I believe it came in during the following quad, coinciding with the new open-ended code of points. I don’t have access to most of the earlier codes, but I think when the FIG started adding difficulty values to skills and changing routine requirements, they recognized how this transition shouldn’t really be worth anything and so made it a rule that it wouldn’t be allowed in elite competition. The first time I ever stepped foot in a gym at age four, I saw a girl climb on the low bar and jump to the high bar, so I did it right after her. Literally the first thing I ever did in gymnastics. At four. So yeah, that 800% shouldn’t be an elite skill, hahaha. I’d hope also someone was like “this completely ruins the flow of a bars routine, the whole point of which is supposed to be rhythm and fluidity!”
Has MyKayla Skinner said anything to suggest she’s making a run for worlds?
It was up in the air, and she considered it, but has decided she doesn’t want to do elite this year. She is pre-qualified to nationals based on being an Olympic alternate, so she could still change her mind, but I’ve heard from several people the reasons she doesn’t want to return and it makes sense, even though I personally would be like THIS IS MY YEAR, GIMME SOME MEDALS if I were her.
What do you think it would take for the U.S. men’s team to contend with China and Japan?
Probably just something like actually hitting in finals? Hahaha. They proved this summer, and have proven in other qualifications that they have what it takes to be a top team internationally. Even if they’re lacking on some events or don’t have as insanely difficult routines, they still have enough that helps them take advantage of mistakes from teams like Japan or China. But then Japan and China pull it out in finals, which is when the mistakes happen for the U.S. guys, which takes them completely out of the running for the podium. So yeah, consistency above all for the men is key.
Which foreign gymnasts from the last quad do you think might have made the U.S. team?
Honestly, probably only Aliya Mustafina…I would’ve had her on the U.S. team over Gabby Douglas if she was a U.S. option. I’d also say Larisa Iordache circa mid-quad, but in the post-injury state she was in during the summer of 2016, she would’ve been around the bottom two or three at U.S. trials.
Did Giulia Steingruber retire?
No, she traveled for a little while, then had surgery for an old nagging injury. I think she’s hoping to be back for worlds, but I could see her pushing it back to next year. We’ll see!
How does Ludmila Ezhova spell her name? I’ve seen it spelled multiple ways.
When you transliterate a name from another alphabet, there are multiple ways to go about it. Like, when I get results in cyrillic, I transliterate them to the latin alphabet and sometimes what I do might be a little different from how they’re ‘officially’ transliterated in their FIG profile or whatever, so you could see Seda Tutkhalyan from me and Seda Tutkhalian from someone else, for example. In cyrillic, Ezhova’s name is Людмила Ежова. Her first name is officially transliterated as Ludmila, I believe, but based on how it’s spelled in cyrillic, it also wouldn’t be wrong if we saw it as Lyudmila because the letter ‘Ю’ in cyrillic is pronounced ‘yu’ though it’s often transliterated to just ‘u’ which sounds more like ‘oo.’ Same goes for her last name…Ezhova is ‘official’ but the letter ‘Е’ in cyrillic is pronounced ‘ye’ so it wouldn’t be wrong to see it transliterated as Yezhova. Like I said, I do my own transliteration for results, and most of the names that appear in Russian results will never appear anywhere in English because many of the gymnasts only compete domestically…but if a gymnast does eventually end up an international competitor and her name is registered a certain way with the FIG or something, I’ll go by their transliteration since that’s usually coming from the athlete/federation. But that’s why you might see multiple variations of Russian names in the latin alphabet, especially when you see vowels like Я, Е, Ы, Ё, Й, and Ю. These are usually the letters I’m always debating over when I transliterate but for the most part they can go multiple ways and you wouldn’t necessarily be wrong.
What is the correct pronuncation of Tkachev? I’ve heard you say tuh-kotch-ev on Gymcastic, but nobody says tuh-chaikovsky, so do you have a basis for saying it that way?
This fits in nicely with the above question so let’s have at it. Tchaikovsky and Tkachev are spelled and therefore pronounced differently in cyrillic. Tchaikovsky is Чайко́вский, and that first letter Ч is pronounced “ch.” Tkachev is Ткачёв, and the combination of the first two letters Тк is “tk” in English, with both of those letters pronounced back to back which comes out sounding like ‘tuh.’ Even though they look similar both beginning with the letter T in English, they’re not the same letters/sounds in Russian, which is why Tchaikovsky is chy-kov-sky and Tkachev is tuh-kotch-ev. Actually, if you wanna get super real, Tkachev would be more like tuh-katch-ov, but the whole ё versus е thing in Russian often gets shady when things get transliterated, so ‘ev’ instead of ‘ov’ is kind of popularly accepted at this point. As another example of ё versus е, Elena Eremina’s last name is actually Yeryomina if you transliterate it exactly, but Eremina is an acceptable transliteration.
Why do gymnasts do a layout dismount at the end of beam in warmups when they do full dismounts on bars and floor? Are they more dangerous?
It depends what part of warmups you’re seeing…I’ve seen plenty of flyaway dismounts off bars in warmups, and also floor dance-throughs where a gymnast might do a layout for every pass. For beam, they might run through their skills multiple times to break it down into more manageable sections…so if they do a bunch of acro skills on beam, they might just do a layout off, but then most likely they’ll get back on later and just do the dismount. The same goes with bars…I always see gymnasts do the bulk of their routines, flyaway off, and then get back on to just do maybe a single skill and then the full dismount. I think it’s more rare on any event to see a gymnast do a full competitive routine from start to finish without any modifications or breaks.
If the best female vaulters don’t do flipping vaults because of how risky they are, why do we see so many in MAG?
First, just to clarify, you mean double salto vaults. All vaults you see at the elite level have a salto in them. Second, it’s because men tend to have more upper body strength and are more powerful in general, which is why they’re always slightly ahead of the women in terms of maximum skill level. A handspring double front is about as difficult as it gets for women in terms of what they can physically do, but many men can do that vault with ease because they’re a bit more powerful, which is why they’ve moved on to handspring double front pikes and double fronts with twists.
Do you think Ashleigh Gnat or Alex McMurtry could’ve done well as elites?
Maybe. It’s hard to say. Someone can be the best level 10 or NCAA competitor ever but crash and burn as an elite. I’ve seen it happen before. It’s almost impossible to judge how well a level 10 or NCAA gymnast would be able to transition to elite because while some L10/NCAA gymnasts have excellent technique, combining that with big skills and elite requirements is what trips them up. It’s not as simple as keeping the clean skills they already have and just adding more in volume. The reason they’re able to so perfectly execute routines at that level is because those routines have about half of what an elite routine requires. Even some former elites who drop down their skill level significantly to be an NCAA star struggle coming back to elite, so judging whether Gnat or McMurtry or someone would be a good elite based on what they did in NCAA is impossible. Like, could either of them even physically make it through an elite routine without dying, endurance-wise? That’s often a huge problem, and when endurance runs down, that’s when skills you can do perfectly on their own end up looking labored and messy. Vault, yeah, either one of them could probably bust out a couple of great vaults in elite and get scored well, but that brings up a good example of a top NCAA gymnast who tried elite — Vanessa Zamarippa. She was one of the best NCAA gymnasts of her generation, perfect scores all the time, beautiful to watch, and she casually had a Cheng, which boosted her elite scores considerably. But the remainder of her events, as good as they were in NCAA, just didn’t work out in elite and she was kind of a one-season-wonder. With her, Martha Karolyi basically told Miss Val she had a good foundation, but couldn’t seriously make international teams without lots of work, and so that was that for her. Maybe with a couple more years of training at the elite level she could’ve made something work out, but it’s DEFINITELY not an easy transition to make.
When elites travel to nationals or classics, they’re often accompanied by multiple coaches. Who is paying for all of the expenses for the gymnasts and their coaches?
The gymnast is generally responsible for covering the cost of her coaches’ travel and accommodations as well as the coaching time…so that’s one benefit of being a gymnast at a club with a ton of girls at your level, because it helps pay the coach’s expenses. Many gyms have booster club kind of programs that raise money to help for some of these costs, and then obviously coaches with super talented girls aren’t going to be like “Oh, your parents can’t pay for our whole entourage to go to nationals? Sucks for you!” There will almost always be ways to help kids out, and then obviously the coach benefits from having a kid at the elite level, so they’re most likely gonna figure things out some way or another. But yeah, being a gym parent is hella expensive, and at the elite level, it’s basically like putting a kid through college.
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Article by Lauren Hopkins