You Asked, The Gymternet Answered

Catherine Lyons floor

Catherine Lyons

It’s time for the 193rd 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.

What’s the difference between the developmental team camp and the developmental invite camp?

The developmental team camp is for gymnasts who are on the developmental ‘team’ which includes gymnasts who are more established and ready to compete at the Hopes and junior elite level, like Lilly Lippeatt and Ui Soma this summer. The invite camp is more for younger gymnasts directly from TOPs who might not be old enough for elite yet but want to start thinking about it, or those who are a little older who are looking to try hopes or elite but are brand new to the system. This summer, some invite camp attendees included Alicia Wendland, who is only nine years old and hasn’t yet started qualifying for elite but probably will in 2018 or 2019, and then also Sydney Morris, who is a bit older at 13, but was new to Hopes this year.

Why did Andreea Munteanu of Romania retire?

She felt kind of “pushed out” when Catalina Ponor returned because of what the national team staff said about her performance at worlds in 2014 (even though she had a 15.2 on beam in the team final), and got very frustrated because she felt her efforts were not really appreciated. With all of this going on she and a few others lost their passion and started doing other more teenager things instead of going to the gym, which was a real shame…Andreea was the European beam champion one minute with the potential to get a medal at the Olympics, and the next minute she was done with the sport.

Why did UCLA keep Madison Preston in the anchor position at NCAA Championships after her mishaps at previous meets? Why did they take Gracie Kramer out of the vault lineup?

A few mishaps don’t completely take someone out of the picture as the anchor. The anchor spot isn’t just used for “the best” or for the gymnast who will bring in the highest score. Often it’s used for a gymnast who is one of the leaders for the team, and other times it’s used for a gymnast who might benefit from the score boost that comes from being at the end of the rotation. If she was doing well and sticking, it made sense to put her in that spot as one of the best, but if she was struggling, it also made sense to put her there to boost her confidence and her score.

Does Courtney Kupets have enough experience to take over the head coach position at Georgia?

Yup! She has never coached at the college level, but she’s a very experienced coach and has tons of support in her assistant coaching staff as well as from her volunteer coach, aka former head coach Suzanne Yoculan, whom I’m sure will be super involved with trying to bring the team back up to speed. Most important is her love and passion for the sport, which at the college level when many gymnasts (especially former elites) are discouraged and ready to retire is exactly what gymnasts need to keep going.

Do you have a least favorite routine on each event?

Not really. I do find many beam and floor routines boring because they can feel endless if nothing interesting is going on, but that’s usually because there are four events going on at once so I’ve kind of trained myself to tune out the ‘boring’ parts so I can watch other events simultaneously, and then I tune back in to beam and floor for the bigger tumbling moments in slower routines. But then when I have to watch a more “boring” beam or floor when there’s nothing else going on and it gets to a part that’s just the moving around and not the skill elements, I get antsy because I’m like “WHY IS NOTHING HAPPENING.” But that’s most routines for me, to be honest, since very few gymnasts have really engaging beam work or floor performances.

What would happen if a senior gymnast on scholarship was injured and eligible for a fifth year but the school had already committed all of the scholarship spots for the next year during the NLI early signing period?

I think if it’s a fifth-year situation they end up getting an “extra” spot for that person basically. I’ve never heard of a situation where it was like “oh you qualify for a fifth year but we don’t have enough scholarship spots.” I’m not totally sure how that works though, and can’t find any rules about it…but I’d imagine that there has to be some sort of exception to the 16-scholarship-spots-only rule if pretty much everyone who has used a fifth year has been able to seamlessly stay on the team without the team having to take away someone else’s scholarship.

What do you think about the hype Rebecca Bross got in 2009-2010? Do you think it contributed to an unnecessary amount of added pressure? Could she really have contended for an all-around spot among the top all-arounders in 2012?

I think the “WOGA threepeat” stuff was definitely a ton of pressure and I’m sure the last thing she wanted any time she did anything was people coming in and being like “YOU’RE GONNA BE THE NEXT OLYMPIC CHAMPION, RIGHT?!” Like, that sucks for her and I know she was really frustrated with the sport after worlds in 2010, so it’s definitely possible that the added pressure from the media and fans led to her frustration, especially when she would make mistakes at meets and miss out on higher rankings. I don’t think she was at a strength that would’ve allowed her to challenge for the Olympic podium, not with how girls like Gabby Douglas and Viktoria Komova ended up looking…but she could’ve definitely made a great addition to the team and filled some holes on bars and beam. But either way, it’s a shame she just had the perfect storm of injuries and drama and everything that held her back.

Why does Ragan Smith close and open her legs in the middle of her Ricna instead of straddling during the whole skill?

It’s probably just how she learned it when doing drills and it’s a habit that has stuck with her. Everyone learns skills in different ways and some of the girls who use more bizarre techniques will eventually try to get rid of them, but occasionally you see gymnasts who still hold onto them even as they get more advanced.

Is UCLA in contention for a national title in the next couple of years?

Yup, and they’ve been in contention for a national title in the past couple of years. They have the talent, but with injuries and consistency issues, they’ve just never managed to put together a winning season. Every year always seems super promising but then they end up not having the season they were capable of.

What are your favorite moments in each of Morgan Hurd’s events?

Vault…no real favorite moment, I just like when she hits it really well. On bars, I really like her stalder full to full-in dismount because while it’s becoming more common to see gymnasts connecting skills directly into a dismount, it’s still relatively rare and I always love seeing it. On beam, her standing full used to be her scariest skill but now it’s definitely my favorite. And on floor, I love her closing choreo sequence.

What would Sui Lu’s piked Grigoras be worth in the code?

I would rate it a G.

Who is doing a program today that’s the best combination of difficult and clean?

I really think Morgan Hurd fits that bill pretty well…she has lots of difficulty, and when she hits, her skills are for the most part really clean and well done, and Ragan Smith also fits that description pretty well. Others…Liu Tingting when she hits, vault aside, Maile O’Keefe and Emma Malabuyo for sure, Chen Yile, Mai Murakami, Melanie De Jesus Dos Santos, Ellie Downie…among those who have competed this year, these are probably the best.

Was Kyla Ross’ performance at the Olympics in 2012 considered a disappointment?

No? She did exactly what she was expected to do and everyone was thrilled with her performance. Not making any finals wasn’t her fault…she got two-per-country’ed out of beam, and she was never expected to make the bars final with her lower difficulty making it more of a long shot. Her only weakness in London was her difficulty.

How many Russians competed or trained an Amanar?

Ksenia Afanasyeva, Maria Paseka, Aliya Mustafina, Tatiana Nabieva, Viktoria Komova, and Elena Zamolodchikova have all competed it. A few others have trained it, I think with Seda Tutkhalyan the most recent…I can’t think of anyone else in the past year or so but I could be blanking.

Is Rebecca Bross still involved with gymnastics?

Yes, she’s a head coach of the girl’s program at Iarov Elite in Dallas where she has coached since 2013.

Why are there no side dismounts off the beam in elite?

All of the side dismounts that exist are just too easy, I believe…I don’t think there’s any rule about having to dismount off the end, and we used to see side dismounts in the past, but I think with the now-defunct dismount requirement in recent codes, the side dismounts and other similarly easy dismounts kind of disappeared for the most part.

Why didn’t Larisa Iordache’s all-around bronze in 2015 automatically qualify her for the Olympics?

The rule states that only event medalists could automatically qualify. It didn’t include all-around medalists which is bizarre, but I think the reasoning behind the event medalists rule was to have one way specialists could qualify. Since there are other ways for all-arounders to qualify, they just opened up the medalists for event specialists because specialists had no way in. It’s rare that a top all-arounder from worlds (a) wouldn’t be on a fully-qualified team, and (b) would miss qualifying as an individual all-arounder, but Romania’s situation was insane and proved to be an exception to that.

How did Tabea Alt get such a high score in Stuttgart when she had a form break on beam and fell on her dismount?

That competition had high scores in general, as did many competitions this year. Given that Tabea’s difficulty on beam is pretty high, it was easy for her to make up for her mistakes, and since the scores there were a little higher overall compared to a meet like worlds, she ended up getting a ridiculously high score. That same routine at worlds would’ve been about 1.5 points lower, but that can be said about many routines this year.

Could the U.S. team in 2008 have beaten China had they not fallen apart?

They definitely had a shot if they had everyone healthy and were hitting well, but it really was China’s meet to lose and if both teams had their best days, China definitely would’ve taken it.

Why didn’t Viktoria Komova compete at worlds in 2014?

She had surgery only about six months prior to worlds that year due to an ankle injury, and while Valentina Rodionenko thought she still might be able to get ready to compete in Nanning, she re-injured her ankle while training and ended up withdrawing from the selection process.

Why are flight series of three or more skills so rare now compared to the 90s when gymnasts could easily do four acro skills in a row?

Because there’s no series bonus that rewards them. There are definitely many gymnasts who could connect four acro skills on beam, but no one bothers with it because they won’t get any kind of bonus for doing it, so it’s not worth the additional effort and fall risk. At one point Maile O’Keefe was training a side aerial + layout stepout + layout stepout + layout full which would be awesome to see in competition, but I doubt she’d ever bring it to a meet like worlds or something because it just wouldn’t be worth the risk.

Has Catherine Lyons retired?

At this point I believe we can say yes, she has retired. She had a surgery about a year ago and said she was hoping it would be her last and that she really wanted to get back to the gym, but since there were problems with her coach and her gym, I’m guessing she never actually ended up returning and at this point having not competed in going on three years, it’s likely we won’t see her again.

Are there any promising tumblers this quad?

Yeah, there are many younger juniors who look like they could one day bust out huge passes. Jaymes Marshall has so much potential with her tumbling, and I’d also loooove to see what else Jade Carey can do because if her skills that she competes look as good as they do, you KNOW she has some secrets up her sleeves.

What happened to Martha and Bela Karolyi? There are no interviews with her post-retirement. Is she not interested in press?

With everything that came out about the culture of the ranch after Larry Nassar was exposed last year, I’m pretty sure they are keeping a low profile especially with all of the legal issues that they’re carrying at the moment. I have heard from a few coaches that they’re still living at the ranch and coaches will occasionally see them around during camps, but they’re not involved anymore and although I’m sure the press is dying to speak with them, I can see their lawyers making them turn down every request that comes in.

Would there be a penalty in a team final score for a worlds team with fewer than five people? What if gymnasts get injured after qualifications and they can only put up three all-arounders in team finals?

No, if a team ends up missing an athlete or two and has to use only three members, they are not penalized.

What happens when a named skill is taken out of the code of points? Is it no longer worth anything? Can gymnasts still perform it?

It depends…if it’s taken out because it’s banned (like the Korbut flip) or because it’s no longer considered a skill (like the Liukin) then no, gymnasts can’t perform it. I’m sure a gymnast who did a banned skill would receive some sort of penalty, and a gymnast who did the Liukin would only get the acro + dance bonus if it was worth anything, though I’m pretty sure those two skills combined in the current code aren’t worth a connection bonus. If it’s a skill that just kind of disappeared for some strange reason, it can still be performed…like I’m pretty sure the Grigoras on beam doesn’t exist as a skill in the code anymore, at least not that I can see, even though it’s still a skill.

Do you know how ‘gainer’ skills got their name?

Gainer skills actually go beyond gymnastics as they’re also used in diving, parkour, martial arts, and even in wrestling, and the name itself can probably be traced back to early acrobatics, kind of like the barani.

What happened to planches on beam?

As a mount? I think because they generally take up a lot of time when you only have a certain amount of time to pack in all of your required elements, it’s usually the mount that ends up getting kind of ignored. Some planche mounts take up a solid 15 seconds which is almost a fifth of the time you’re allotted on that event. When the objective is to build difficulty and you’re using up 15 seconds on a mount, it’s just a ‘waste’ in terms of what you’re actually trying to do to get a high score. But I personally wish we saw more slow and lovely mounts. I wish the WTC could make a rule that’s like, the mount doesn’t count for the routine length, or like, you get 15 seconds before your routine time starts to do a mount. It would definitely create more opportunity for gymnasts to do planches and more intricate press handstand kinda stuff.

Do you know the name of the music in Ekaterina Vandisheva’s 1993 European Cup floor? Why didn’t she get to the Olympics?

It’s “Le Tonnerre de Dieu” by Georges Gavarentz and was the theme in a popular French film in the 1960s by the same name. Yekaterina dislocated her elbow shortly before the European Cup, had surgery and plates put in, and was able to recover quickly and compete at that meet. But then while she was training bars going into worlds later that year, she fell on a transition and broke the same arm. She sadly was never able to mentally recover and ended up retiring in 1995. A shame…her beam and floor were always so fantastic.

I remember Aly Raisman talking about her vault run, something about not running faster and harder, but about running strong but not too aggressive. Any idea what she meant?

I’m not sure, I’d have to see it in context. I do think that a lot of people assume gymnasts need to reach their top possible speed for vault, but in reality they just need to run in a way that builds power, which doesn’t necessarily mean going as fast as possible so that could be what she meant but again it’s hard to know without seeing her exact words and what else she said around them.

Do you think the current format of top-seeded gymnasts traveling together during competition rotations leads to fairer scoring? It feels like judges may neglect to score those outside the top six correctly. Do you think Shang Chunsong would’ve won bronze if she was in the top-seeded group in Rio?

Yeah, that first group definitely has a major advantage when it comes to how they’re scored. Occasionally you do see someone in a lower group end up doing well and medaling, but it’s rare because I think there’s this stigma that anyone not in that first rotation group isn’t someone who can contend for a medal and that definitely subconsciously affects how the judges score routines. I get that Olympic order is the ‘reward’ for those who place in the top six but I do think the seeding into the all-around final should be random so that there’s not one group that gets special treatment.

Since the code changes, who has had the highest bars score of all time?

Well, the most recent code changes just happened this year, so we don’t have much data to look at since it started up in January. The highest bars score in the current code is Anastasia Iliankova’s 15.275. I didn’t keep track of scores last quad, but I would guess Aliya Mustafina and Madison Kocian’s 15.933s at the Olympics were the highest because I can’t remember anyone ever getting higher, and the same goes with London 2012…unless a score came in at like a Russian Cup or something that was higher, I’m pretty sure the Olympic scores that year were the highest I can remember from major international meets that quad. For the 2008 quad, both He Kexin and Nastia Liukin surpassed a 17, but in that quad the gymnasts could count two additional skills for a total of ten compared to a total of eight in more recent quads, so technically they had the highest scores since the end of the ten and unless the code changes again to increase scores, they’ll hold the record of only scores over 17.

It confuses me when gymnasts don’t hit 180 on leaps and people say they aren’t as flexible. Every elite can do a full split, so is Aly Raisman really less flexible than someone hitting 180 or an oversplit?

Generally the more muscular someone is, the less flexible they are, so even though Aly can easily do a full split on the floor, when it comes to reaching a full 180 degree split while performing a leap or jump, it’s much harder for gymnasts who are more muscular. Sometimes gymnasts like this actually end up relying on their strength to reach a split position in the air rather than their flexibility and I think that’s what Aly does to compensate.

If Romania had made team finals in 2015, in team finals, say Larisa Iordache did all-around, Laura Jurca did every event but beam, and if Anamaria Ocolisan did every event but bars, do you think they could have challenged for silver or bronze?

It’s possible…I don’t know if Laura or Anamaria’s scores would’ve been high enough but they could’ve gotten close.

California and possibly other states prohibit state funds from being used to travel to the eight states that have passed discriminatory ‘bathroom bills’ and explicitly mentions the University of California as an affected entity, which means that UCLA and Cal aren’t permitted to use school funds to travel to Texas, which is scheduled to host nationals in upcoming years. After pulling the basketball tournament out of North Carolina, do you think the NCAA would change the location of regionals/nationals for gymnastics? If not, what would this mean for teams that won’t receive funding to travel?

It could affect UCLA going to nationals but I’m sure they could work something out if the NCAA didn’t end up changing the location of various regional/national competitions. If it is an issue for UCLA I’m sure the NCAA would make something happen to ensure that a top team wouldn’t miss out on nationals.

Have a question? Ask below! Remember that the form directly below this line is for questions; to comment, keep scrolling to the bottom of the page. We do not answer questions about team predictions nor questions that say “what do you think of [insert gymnast here].”

Article by Lauren Hopkins

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52 thoughts on “You Asked, The Gymternet Answered

  1. USAs lack of change is getting ridiculous. I don’t think anyone is an angel but there’s gymnasts from the 90s (Moceanu being the most outspoken) who has rather explicitly said or implied that the Karolyis allowed and facilitated a culture of abuse, yet they become the national coordinators a couple years later. Nassar becomes team doctor under them and now of course there’s a media circus around him. Then Valeri becomes the new national coordinator while Atler, Ohashi and a few of his other past gymnasts have said that he rather encouraged or forced eating disorders on them. And some of the former gymnasts; Nastia (of course), Laurie, Mary Lou, and most recently Gabby have either disregarded or shamed victims of this system. I absolutely hate the fact that they continually promise change but have no tangible means of doing anything. (And no, hiring a new CEO doesn’t count; at least not yet)

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      • Not sure about Retton but Laurie just never said anything, e.g. also not supporting her team mates. “She’s only 17” is VERY tiring because that’s certainly old enough to at least rally behind your team mates. But in regard to that, Kocian hasn’t officially supported her team mates either. That’s what you get when raising gymnasts in a bubble.

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        • You don’t know what the girls are saying off of Twitter, though. Not everyone lives their lives on social media. I forgot what happened, it was either early this year or the end of last year, but it was a ‘situation’ that had multiple teammates publicly saying “blah blah blah” on social media…and everyone was like “WHY DIDN’T GABBY SAY ANYTHING?!?!?!?!” and whoever this situation involved was like “ummm Gabby texted me lol calm down.” I wish I could remember what it was but like…just because someone doesn’t publicly voice support for whatever reason doesn’t mean they’re not actively supporting their teammates. I highly doubt MLR as someone who pushed to stop that bill in CA is texting the girls like “I support you!” but it’s possible Laurie just isn’t allowed to say anything publicly and she’s not ballsy enough to be like “fuck that, I’m saying whatever I want publicly to support my teammates.” But for real, you know MAYBE five percent of any given situation based on what you see on social media so please stop judging the lives of these girls based on what you don’t see them tweeting.

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        • Getting your point Lauren. But in these times and specifically with the situation of Nassar etc. it is VERY important to speak up in public. And I do not mean about own experiences etc. Simply rallying behind a team mate in public! They can sign contracts, earn lots of money with ads and stuff but then are not allowed to speak up? C’mon. (Specifically refering to Laurie here.)

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        • Yes it is but you don’t know the kind of legal implications some people are under and as someone who’s still new to being under contract and having all of these other obstacles, it’s absolutely hard for Laurie to have the guts to speak out against the organization. And by legal implications I don’t just mean with her contracts and endorsements, I also mean with the Nassar situation itself. I know of at least two national team gymnasts who haven’t been open about it or publicly supportive because of some nondisclosure agreement issues and also because of the ongoing lawsuits and investigations. That’s why I was shocked to see Aly so vocal about it this summer, because I assumed she was under a similar nondisclosure, but then hearing her come out with her own story I was like okay if she WAS legally restricted from speaking out it’s pretty clear that she’s saying a hearty fuck you to that and will just deal with the consequences (and she’s also a super confident and strong grown ass woman who has been around the block and has a good team supporting her, whereas Laurie is still a child and her agent isn’t exactly the greatest because she absolutely values money over anything else). But this whole situation with girls not saying things publicly is also an issue people are having with the OU WAG team traveling to meet the president this week, with people like “THEY CLEARLY ALL SUPPORT TRUMP IF THEY DIDN’T REFUSE TO GO!” Like…no. They literally can’t refuse to go lmao. And they can’t do anything rebellious while there, and they can’t publicly say “I’m being forced to go on this trip by my school even though I hate the president and everything he stands for!!!” I’ve personally heard from two girls who were disgusted to be anywhere near him, but they said they met the president for literally one second, and the rest of the trip was spent enjoying DC and it was more about the honor of being asked to visit the White House because of what they achieved than about meeting Trump. So again, social media isn’t reality, you don’t know even half of the story, and you literally can’t judge people for what they don’t say online because you don’t know what they ARE saying elsewhere.

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        • I agree with Lauren. Also, how many “normal” people show support to people they’re close to on social media in hard times? Obviously things are a bit different when you’re a public figure, but my first instinct would be to call them directly, text them…I am so sick of the notion that the only people who are “supportive” are the ones who post on social media. Especially considering how much negative bullshit is floating around the Internet, that’s the last place I would feel safe to check for words of encouragement. I think everyone needs to worry a little less about combing through every like, retweet, and mention the gymnasts have made.

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        • While this is a very important subject, and it’s great that so many woman are going public about it please understand that NO ONE OWES anyone a public reply. NO ONE OWES a story. This can be a tough subject for people for multiple reasons and no one should ever feel forced to speak about it publicly whether they be the victim or a friend of the victim. Also keep in mind “rally behind your team mates” might mean having private chats with them, and supporting them as a friends and not in a twitter post. This is one of those subjects where yes it’s important to have voices speak up, BUT it’s even more important that those voices feel comfortable speaking up, and no one should ever feel bad for not feeling comfortable.

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        • I also think it’s important to remember that we don’t know who all the victims are. Please keep that in mind before we pillory one of his victims for not being supportive enough.

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  2. “She felt kind of ‘pushed out’ when Catalina Ponor returned because of what the national team staff said about her performance at worlds in 2015 (even though she had a 15.2 on beam in the team final)”

    … Romania was not in the team final in 2015.

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    • Like literally all you had to do was think “oh 15.2 on beam in the team final…that must be 2014 because a quick look at the results shows that was her score there.” MIND-BLOWING AMIRITE??? There’s seriously nothing more obnoxious than someone who nitpicks on a typo acting like I don’t know what I’m talking about when it’s pretty frigging obvious that it was JUST A TYPO.

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      • Lauren you’re out of line. That’s an obnoxious response. No one attacked you, it was just a comment that someone left probably because they were confused. If you don’t like it, don’t respond. But I’ve also felt attacked by you on your website for questions I asked that you mocked. If you continue to bully your readers they’ll leave you.

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        • It was two responses, the second because I hit send too soon on the first. Sorry I’m a person who works 400 million hours a week on this site for the most ungrateful people who only comment to pick at the most inconsequential little things. Whenever someone has commented and said “I think you have a typo here” I respond with “thank you! I’ll fix it!” Whenever someone has commented with an “uhhhhh” response to what is clearly a typo, I either don’t respond or if I’m in a horrendous mood already because I’m a fucking human being who deals with a lot outside of this website I’ll respond bitchily. If you don’t want a rude response, don’t comment in a tone that is clearly rude. There are so many other ways to say “I think you mean 2014” without being like “UHHHH THEY WEREN’T IN THE TEAM FINAL IN 2015.”

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        • You feeling attacked by me for questions that I apparently “mocked” is you reading something into what I’m saying, just like me feeling attacked by an obnoxious phrasing of what could’ve been a simple “you have a typo” comment is reading into what that person was saying. Just fyi. I phrase things sarcastically sometimes and don’t always think about tone, and I inadvertently make people feel like I’m mocking them even though that’s not my intention. Maybe this person is also trying to be sarcastic and I’m not seeing it but after staying up until 4 in the morning to get up all results, a recap, and this Q&A and then waking up to that comment? I do a crap ton of hard work for literally nothing, and on top of it have to deal with (what I see as) snarky comments. “I think you have a typo.” It’s that simple. A condescending “…Romania didn’t compete in the 2015 team final” comment is fucking annoying to wake up to after I spent literally hours on this.

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        • Lauren wasn’t out of line at all. The original comment was out of line. It was obnoxious. If the argument is that people are commenting or asking questions because they aren’t as informed as Lauren is, then I would argue that people should have some humility. You couldn’t tell that “2015” was a typo but you think you’re positioned to try to correct someone in a condescending way? No. That’s wrong. And Lauren is almost always super patient and polite from what I’ve seen despite dealing with stuff like getting asked the same questions a million times by people who are too lazy to just Google search their question with “the Gymternet” to see if it’s already been answered or trying to moderate uninformed opinions shared by people who will admit their knowledge is limited but still act like they know everything. You don’t get to have it both ways. Personally, I wouldn’t deal with it tbh but she’s gracious enough to do it and people wanna give her a hard time for being human lol she doesnt have to do this and we should be grateful that she does. I certainly am. If you have a problem, don’t visit the site anymore, but threatening her like she’s not the one doing US a favor is ridiculous. Give her a break.

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        • Thank you!! I really try to keep myself in check and not snap at every little thing, and if I did let everything get to me I’d be snapping constantly hahaha. I feel like the few times I do get excessively annoyed or frustrated, it’s because I’m at the end of my rope and am just over it. I love putting these together and running this site in general and I don’t expect or want people to be constantly throwing praise at me, though it’s always lovely to get a positive supportive comment, and it’s also nice to get people who want to help make the site even better by pointing out errors. But in recent weeks I’ve had lots of trolls emailing me things through the contact form as well as posting on every article on here telling me to kill myself, telling me that what I’m posting sucks, etc. So maybe being like “uhh Romania didn’t compete in the 2015 team final” wasn’t exactly MEAN but it was condescending and annoying, and so waking up to that after a super late night trying to put this together was the final straw. Like just imagine if you got constant hate from people for no reason. It gets to you!!! And I have pretty thick skin and am great at ignoring most of it, or in one particular case of harassment, reporting it to the FBI and then deleting (they have an open case against someone who has been targeting various people in the gymnastics world including me so that’s one fun part of my life). But occasionally comments will get to me and I will flip out because no one can withstand this and remain perfectly calm 24/7. It’s tough and even though this comment was far from the worst, it just happened to come at a particularly bad time.

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      • I must agree with Sara’s comment. Lauren, this is not an attack but a sincere request. Please have patience with us. We ask because we don’t know and would like to know because you are clearly the expert. We make the comments like the one above more for clarification than an attack on you and your reporting which, I think we can all agree, is first class. Let’s continue to support and be patient with one another. Thank you.

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        • I always have patience with people who don’t know something or who need clarification. But when someone comments in a manner that is snarky rather than simply helpful, if I’m already in a bad mood, these little things add up. I’m always patient with people and the only time I get annoyed with actual questions is when someone asks something for the 9 billionth time in which case I just link to one of my many other answers rather than explaining it again. But I recognize that with so many new fans, lots of similar questions are going to come up. But commenting in that tone and saying “…Romania didn’t compete in the 2015 team final” is obnoxious af when this person could’ve simply been like “I think you have a typo and meant 2014.” If people don’t want to annoy the crap out of me and provoke an annoyed response, don’t be annoying.

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        • Lauren, I love your blog and appreciate your tireless work. I think everyone is human and sometimes we say things in a rather brisk manner, especially when we’re tired. Honestly you did sound a little mean in your response. Maybe this person had no idea that the way they typed sounded critical, we’re not all plugged into the internet all time and sometimes people don’t know how to get their tone across online. My suggestion (that you of course did not for lol), maybe just don’t reply to snarky-sounding comments immediately and come back to it when the initial wave of “uuggghhhh not this shit again” cools down. Especially if you’ve just woken up! Get some coffee first, you deserve to not be pissed off 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

    • Smartass. Also, let’s reflect on all of the promising young gymnasts that Ponor/Romania have pushed out. Stanila, Munteanu, Ocolisan, Jurca, and Cimpian (Among others) all had the potential to be olympic medalists if their federation handled a bad situation the right way. CURSE YOU ROMANIAN FEDERATION!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. If he continues to improve his difficulty, does Yul have a chance to be the next American MAG Olympic AA champ? Why are the MAG in general deteriorating? Is Sam done?

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    • I’d say Yul has an excellent chance to medal in the AA provided he ups his difficulty. But I still think Kohei will come back with a vengeance. No way is he going to lose in his home games. Yul also needs to clean up his high bar where he has some very late turns.

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  4. A quick Google search actually shows that Texas never passed its bathroom bill earlier this year. It passed the Senate, but not the House, and the Texas Speaker of the House spoke out in concern of the economic effects that the bill had in NC when it became law. I’d bet anything that at least part of his concern was the removal of the NCAA tournament.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I believe the highest UB score from the 2009-2012 quad was He Kexin’s EF score at the 2010 Asian Games where she scored a 16.425. Mustafina 2012 OG EF, Tweddle 2012 OG QF and HKX 2010 WC TF all scored 16.133.

    Nearly impossible to keep these records straight though!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Although Rebecca Bross is the main coach for a team at Iarov Elite, I wouldn’t consider her the head coach. The owner also coaches a group of the higher level girls that are on the track to elite in the next year or two.

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    • What is there to say? I know what happened but there’s only two opinions on that topic: Simone was right, Gabby was wrong or Simone was over exaggerating and causing drama, Gabby had a point. And I think Lauren has made it pretty clear where she stands in that little blurb.

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      • I’ve read through Lauren’s replies on the thread above, and her opinions are specific to what isn’t being said on social media (and, therefore by logical conclusion, specific to the questions surrounding [mostly] Laurie and Madison). And I think that Lauren’s opinion on that is perfectly fair. We have no idea if those two are under any particular obligation to keep their response out of the public eye. Asking for opinions regarding what IS being said on social media doesn’t mean Emma is requesting a rehash on something Lauren’s already addressed.

        Sure, maybe there are a few betweens to be read in Lauren’s lines above, but I’d also be interested in knowing Lauren’s specific opinion on the situation. Why? Because I thoroughly enjoy reading Lauren’s efforts here, even if I comment exceedingly rarely. But from where I sit, having twice been a victim of sexual violence as a teenager, I have no interest in supporting anyone who remotely thinks what Gabby wrote was in any way acceptable.

        My heart absolutely breaks for Aly, who had to read that misogynistic, antiquated contribution to victim-shaming and rape culture. That response from Gabby is PRECISELY what Aly was bravely speaking out against. That response from Gabby is the same B.S. I still hear, years later, that implies that I was complicit in what happened to me. And I had neither consumed alcohol, nor was wearing something patriarchal, Puritanical apologists would consider “immodest” – and, yet, there’s a reason why Aly felt compelled to make that post in the first place. I’ve had years of therapy and I still have that gut-punch shame reaction when someone implies that a sexual assault victim somehow contributed to their assault. I have the tools and coping strategies to remember otherwise in relatively short order. Aly has had much less time to come to terms with what happened to her and thoughtless, insensitive pedantry is only going to compound the shame. Gabby’s response to Aly was silencing and shaming, and silencing a victim speaking out is never okay. It’s damaging enough when you see anonymous apologists, people you’re never likely to meet or know, but it’s infinitely worse when it’s someone who is supposed to have your back.

        Thank the stars for Simone, coming swiftly and unwavering in her support for Aly. That compassion is going to carry Aly through the lowest points, through a culture that blames the victim under the pretense of “modesty” – which is historically a patriarchal tool to keep women subservient – and foists blame on the shoulders of women and victims. And, thanks to Queen Simone, Aly doesn’t have to engage in a feud and can, instead, focus on her very important message.

        So, Emma, I’m not sure if you’re interested in opinions other than Lauren’s, but there’s mine.

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    • The opinion of Gabby on Aly’s abuse issue is more important than the Simone and Gabby feud. But one thing is for sure, there would not be an easy reunion among the Fierce Five and Final Five LOL

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  7. Uh excuse me but calling Lauren out for being out of Line on her own site is completely out of line. You guys have some nerve. She answers like a bazillion questions when most of them can be googled and then when she is wrong about something and get´s a rude comment about it she has every right to be put off by the rude comment. If you want to nitpick and call her out on BS like that, go to another site and troll there.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I think California refusing to fund collegiate competitions with the bathroom bills (whether or not it’s a current issue) is harmful to the athletes. I’m sure bigger, more gymnastics savvy schools like Stanford or UCLA would be able to pool in money to go without having too much of a problem, but I think that bringing politics into sports is a terrible idea and always has been. I understand that NCAA is not in any way like the olympics, but I remember that the guy that kickstarted the modern Olympic Games said that he did so in order to give a short period of time where the whole world can join together and put aside all their political and social issues while giving people a chance to test their bodies to the limit, and be given prestige and honor. Now, entities completely ignore these principles and try to catalyze their political points by boycotting or encouraging non- participation (1980/1984 olympics) and regardless of who you believe is right or wrong in a given situation, in the end of the day it only emphasizes division rather than close it, and damages the athletes who worked hard for that moment.

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  9. hey lauren!!

    not sure if you know, but your site lately has been running ads that don’t allow you to move your browser or turn the sound off. also, if i’m all the way at the bottom of an article it automatically pops me back up to the top where there’s a video. it happens on all of your articles.

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    • I know, it’s annoying the crap out of me! I’m trying to get it fixed…what works for me is generally clicking the sound off thing and even though the sound doesn’t always turn off, it then lets me scroll back up? It’s really obnoxious.

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        • No it must be a wordpress thing…it only started recently and whenever I go to open any results or gymnast profile it immediately jumps down and I just start screaming because I spend at least like four hours a day needing results or profile info lol. I’m gonna see if wordpress can do something about it.

          Liked by 1 person

  10. Pingback: Around the Gymternet: Brave, Fearless Women | The Gymternet

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