You Asked, The Gymternet Answered

Netherlands Gym Worlds

Ana Porgras

It’s time for the 207th 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.

Had Ana Porgras decided not to retire and ended up competing in London, what would the Romanian lineup have been? Would that make it the most nail-biting team final after the 2000s with three teams vying for gold?

I think she would’ve made the team over Diana Chelaru and would’ve competed on bars and beam in the team final, replacing Diana Bulimar on beam. She could’ve added at least half a point on both events over the girls she’d be replacing if she hit her routines, which would’ve given them a stronger chance at beating Russia, though they really weren’t ever going to get over that bars deficit no matter who they brought. I think Romania was a stronger team overall compared to the Russians, but they lost every edge they had on bars. I don’t think it would’ve been a nail-biter of a team final, though they would’ve closed the gap slightly with Ana.

Do you know how the team breakdowns work at Texas Dreams? How is it decided which level 10s work with the elites and which are coached by other coaches?

It’s probably similar to other teams with multiple coaching teams at the higher J.O. levels…sometimes it’s broken up randomly, other times the head coaches take the strongest groups while their other teams take on the rest. I don’t know specifically how Texas Dreams does it, but I’d guess since the elites are all in the group with Kim and Chris, then the top level 10s probably go into that group as well. At WOGA and some other gyms with a big volume of elites and level 10s, some elites and level 10s will be with one coaching group and others will be with another one, but based on what I’ve seen at TD, it looks like they have more of a hierarchy, and all of the elites are with the same coaching group, so it’d make sense to put the stronger level 10s with them.

Could you tell me Mai Murakami’s story from her amazing junior years to her world gold on floor? Why didn’t she make the London team?

Sure! Mai had a good start to her junior career, but mostly was known for the random training videos we’d see of her training epic skills and just being generally adorable. Her junior career showed that she was on the right path to becoming a top senior, though, but her senior debut came in the Olympic year and she just wasn’t as strong as her teammates at that point, placing 11th all-around at nationals.

Since the way Japan selects teams is based on results at specific meets, if you don’t have a strong nationals or NHK Trophy to get an automatic spot by placing in the top three all-around, you have to then show you’re a top contender for a specialist spot, which Mai just wasn’t able to do at that point, so when she didn’t get an automatic spot at the NHK Trophy, that was kind of it for her. There was definitely a hope that she’d be added to the team, but she at that point was just really untested internationally and hadn’t shown domestically that she was a top performer. Despite her big skills on floor, she wasn’t someone they thought was the best fit for a team situation.

When she came back in the new quad, it was like she had morphed into a new gymnast and she quickly took on a leadership role in addition to improving her gymnastics. She was a no-brainer to make the worlds team in 2013 and was one of the country’s best for the rest of the quad. Even when Japan started adding depth in 2015 and Mai slipped a little in the standings, not qualifying an automatic spot for worlds and then missing out when it came time to add the specialists as well, she came into worlds in 2015 as the second alternate who ended up having the best individual performance in addition to helping the team to fifth in the final.

After that it was pretty clear Mai was a goddess who should make every team ever. She was a lock for the Rio team after not being considered in 2012, performed super well at the Games, and then this season she has just been unstoppable. She was good as a junior and in 2012, but some gymnasts really find themselves and reach their true potential and peak when they’re a bit older, and Mai was just one of those gymnasts. For her to have the most successful year of her career at 21 is so impressive and I hope she’s able to keep up such a high level going forward. To think that she was once inconsistent on floor and then this season hit 100% of her 12 routines with the second-highest difficulty in the world? Legend.

Well it looks like bars will be the nemesis for the U.S. this quad (just kidding, but it does appear to be the weakest). Are there any juniors other than Gabby Perea on the horizon who could challenge for a medal at worlds or the Olympics?

Hmm, in terms of those who can challenge as individuals, based on what we saw last year I think Gabby is it, but you never know who will put something together going forward that could make her super competitive. Like Sunisa Lee. What she’s doing right now is super difficult and while it needs a little improvement in terms of HOW she’s hitting, she was only 14 last year and has years to work on it. The U.S. actually had a ton of junior bars talent last summer, so even if most weren’t close to a worlds-level routine in the way Gabby was, they still had a lot to work with in terms of potential. There were quite a few kids who at 13-14 last summer had low D scores but great basics and the ability to do really well once they take on upgrades, so we’ll see who ends up getting there in the next few years!

If Stefania Stanila had made beam finals in 2014, would her routine have been deserving of beating Aliya Mustafina? Would this same set have pushed Romania to bronze in the team competition?

It’s possible re: beating Aliya. She just would’ve had to hit, and the same can be said of about a dozen other gymnasts who either missed out in qualifications or made mistakes in the final. And in the team competition, yes, had Stefania not fallen, Romania would’ve beaten Russia. That was otherwise an incredible meet for them given that they had such a rough time in qualifications and came in as a very young team with lots of underdogs, but they ended up finishing half a point behind Russia, so without Stefania taking that full point hit for her fall, they weren’t able to take advantage of Russia’s mistakes on beam and floor.

What does the physical abilities test at national team camps entail?

The physical abilities tests involve a rope climb, press handstands, leg lifts, handstands, and flexibility tests. It’s a way to judge the conditioning of the gymnasts rather than skills, because while skills and routines are what the sport is all about, without the foundational fitness required in the sport, those skills and routines aren’t going to be done to their best ability. They can use these physical abilities to gauge what athletes need to do in conditioning in order to improve on their routines.

If a gymnast sticks a landing and the feet are perfect but they whirl their arms to maintain balance do they incur a deduction? What about if they whirl their arms a bunch of times — do they incur a bunch of deductions?

Yes, this is a deduction…I don’t think they’d get a deduction for each arm whirl but they’d just probably up the severity of the deduction if it’s a small bobble compared to a big one. One slight arm wave to maintain control is probably a tenth, but if someone is like basically about to take off into the sky with her propeller arms, what it tells the judges is that she has little to no control over her landing, despite what her legs are doing. A big wild attempt to save a skill like this could result in three or possibly even five tenths off. But generally if someone sticks a skill, while they might still have a slight balance check with their core, if they were so out of control that they have to be wildly waving about, their feet eventually probably would move as well.

Would the Europeans be at a disadvantage in 2018 for world championships in Doha due to the European Championships being in August instead of in the spring? Can a gymnast have a peak in August and another one two months later? Would many top European gymnasts skip Euros to concentrate on worlds?

Not really…there have been many close competitions like this before and generally gymnasts will just focus on the most important competition as the one to peak for, using the lead-up competitions as a way of getting to that peak and knowing what to fix for the upcoming ones. It’s probably more of an advantage to have Euros closer to worlds than further back in the year because it gives them the ability to just do a slow and steady climb to their peak rather than peaking twice in the year. I also don’t think most gymnasts try to peak for Euros when they’re in the spring…they’re usually in a good place gymnastically, but they’re not like, at full 100% peak, which is why many gymnasts you see at Euros tend to look better at worlds. I think the only ones who try to peak more at Euros are the ones who really wouldn’t be in contention for a final or medal at the world level, but the top gymnasts at Euros always tend to hold back a little either difficulty-wise or in terms of being 100% prepared. I think Euros being in August this year kind of makes it the same situation as it is for the Americans who try to be 80-90% at nationals before getting to 100% at worlds. Or gymnasts will reach their top form at Euros and hold onto it for worlds. They definitely wouldn’t have to peak twice.

I am determined to make 2018 a year of gymnastics! I’ve already booked tickets to the world cup in Birmingham and to Euros in Glasgow. I’d really like to go to Jesolo, too…do you know from past experience when the event is announced and how easily available tickets are? Very keen to book time off work and book flights.

The event has been announced already, and will be held April 14-15 this year. They still have the ticket information up from 2017 on the website, but I’d say keep an eye out there for when the 2018 tickets go on sale! 

What has been the highest E score since the new code appeared in 2006?

Simone Biles’ 9.9 for her Amanar on day two of Olympic Trials in 2016…and for non-vault, I would have to guess it’s Nastia Liukin’s 9.8 on beam at Pac Rims in 2008.

Who are your top five most underrated gymnasts?

Oh man. Five?! I have about 500. Jk. But I love underrated gymnasts. They’re my favorite. Off the top of my head…Brenna Dowell always, Maria Kharenkova, Tisha Volleman, Rune Hermans, Ana Perez, Leah Griesser, Marina Nekrasova, Tan Ing Yueh and Ang Tracie (both of whom I prefer to Farah Ann Abdul Hadi but they’re not model gorgeous and therefore aren’t famous even though they’re just as good), and all of the Norwegians.

How does the Grand Prix work? There’s the Sokol Grand Prix in Brno but when are the other Grand Prix events? Is there a Grand Prix final?

Ha, there’s really no Grand Prix in gymnastics! That just happens to be what this one annual event in Brno is called, but it’s just a local event, not part of a wider group of them. If anything, the FIG world cups are the gymnastics version of the skating Grand Prix since there are a set number held annually with an overall winner at the end. Actually, I think the current world cup series used to be called the Grand Prix series? I remember Glasgow being called the Grand Prix at some point, and possibly Stuttgart as well?

Why did they do away with gymnasts doing two vaults in team finals at the Olympics? Would it be punitive if it were brought back?

I guess they just decided it wasn’t really necessary and kind of unfair since you can’t get two shots at any other event, so why give people two shots on vault? I don’t think it would necessarily be punitive to bring it back, and if anything it’d be an advantage to gymnasts who would need a second attempt…that’s how it worked, right? You vault twice with the better score taken? That’s how I remember it but it’s been a really long time since I watched a competition where this was a thing so I don’t know. I guess it would be punitive if I’m thinking of it the wrong way and in actuality they had two vaults that were averaged…because if someone with a perfect vault goes up and kills it but then on the second attempt has the worst fall ever, it would suck haha. But in general I just think it’s pointless to do two unless the two vaults are different. I get why they keep the two vaults situation in J.O. but yeah, I’m not a fan.

Do you know why Tisha Volleman was out of the Olympic team? Her DTY was exactly what they needed!

She actually didn’t start competing the DTY until just before Rio, and it wasn’t really consistent enough by the time they picked the team. She was just a little too late with getting it, and had she started competing it even a few months earlier so she could get it consistent, she would’ve been a lock for Rio, but she debuted it in July I believe, literally at trials, which made them anxious that she wouldn’t have it consistent for Rio and Vera van Pol got the vault spot over her because she had a 1½ that was clean and consistently outscoring Tisha’s brand-new double.

What’s the minimum age for male gymnasts to compete at worlds and the Olympics? I always thought they had to turn 18 by the end of the year but Kenzo Shirai was born in 1996 and competed at worlds in 2013.

Men actually have the same age requirement as women for senior elite, and can begin competing at the senior level when they’re 16, but they have until they’re 18 to stop competing at the junior level, so they basically have two years of overlap during which they could compete either. Because men’s bodies mature at a different rate, it means men peak a bit older than the women, so most aren’t physically ready to compete at the senior level until they’re 18 or older, and a majority of men will continue to compete as juniors until they’re 18 because they wouldn’t be competitive at the senior level at a younger age. Some men do decide to try it a bit early, with 16 being super rare, but occasionally you do see 17-year-olds at the international level as seniors, like Kenzo at worlds. But Kenzo was more than competitive at that age on his key events, so it made sense for him to go into the senior division earlier than most do.

If a gymnast competes both the tsuk double and the Amanar, and underrotates the Amanar in a competition such that it is downgraded to a DTY, what would happen since both the DTT and DTY have the same post-flight phase? Would the DTY score be a zero and the gymnast be disqualified?

She would incur a 2 point neutral deduction, which would effectively put her in last place, unless another gymnast had a really bad day and fell twice on weaker vaults or something.

If a gymnast obviously went out of bounds on floor but a flag wasn’t raised, would the judges still take the deduction?

No, they would only take it if the flag is raised. It can be hard to see if a gymnast goes out-of-bounds from where the judges sit, so they could think someone goes out, but the line judge generally has a much better view and is the one to make that call.

Is there an age limit or ideal age most gymnasts start as freshmen in NCAA programs? I thought Norah Flatley was going to UF starting in 2018 but I didn’t see her on the signing lists that other girls like Sydney Johnson-Scharpf were on. If she isn’t starting until 2019, will she be too old to start college?

No. Plenty of collegiate gymnasts start college older because they often defer so they can continue at the elite level. Bridget Sloan is a good example, as she deferred Florida so she could attempt to make the London team. She was 20 when she entered college in 2012. And a friend of mine who competed as an Olympic swimmer for Austria in 2004 and 2008 began competing for my school’s D1 team as a freshman when he was 26. Norah Flatley will enter college in the 2018-2019 season. She’ll be 18 when she enters as a freshman, which is the average age for college freshmen.

Is there a reason more women don’t take advantage of other options besides the traditional leo or push for shorts to be allowed instead of just for religious reasons? There would be fewer awkward moments and deductions for them (like Jordyn Wieber picking a wedgie). I would think built-in short-shorts or capri-length legs would work for comfort, convenience, avoiding awkwardness and underwear deductions, and even modesty.

I think it’s just standard to wear a ‘regular’ leo and so no one really questions it? I know these kind of competition leos are preferable for judges because shorts can sometimes break up the line and make it harder to judge things like hip angle, so even though anyone could conceivably get away with shorts or capris, I think there would be a push against them because the leg/hip stuff is so important and covering up these areas just makes judging harder.

Were the old vault tables less springy or was their size harder to get a good block off of? It seems like vaulters these days get a lot more height than they used to.

I think it was the shape and size that made a good block harder, in addition to the aerodynamics of the apparatus. The current table is basically built for propelling gymnasts up and out, whereas the old horse had zero factored into the design that would create an aerodynamic that supports what the athletes are doing. And because it wasn’t wide enough, hand placement could be really hard, especially for twisting vaults like kaz/tsuk style vaults, and backwards vaults were not only difficult, but also super dangerous. The redesign was definitely one of the most important things to happen in the sport in its history.

Are there any gymnasts who were coached by their husbands (or future husbands) besides Annia Hatch?

Dominique Moceanu was coached by her husband during her comeback IIRC. Megan Marsden back in the day was coached by Greg Marsden before they were married. Off the top of my head, these are the only ones I can think of…though I’m sure there have been more, especially outside of the U.S. There are several husband and wife pairs now who are training together, so even if they’re not exactly coaching each other, it’s cool to see them also training and competing side by side!

What if you are from a federation that won’t qualify a full team to Tokyo (specifically from the Caribbean) and your gymnast isn’t age-eligible until 2020?

You’d have the world apparatus cups as an option, and the continental championships that year, but that’s really it. I hope they open up a few all-around qualification spots at junior worlds in 2019, or combine the all-around standings from junior and senior worlds. Otherwise it’s really unfair to gymnasts from any country that won’t qualify a full team…my biggest worry is Camille Rasmussen of Denmark, who has a legitimate chance at being Denmark’s first Olympian in a million years, but doesn’t turn senior until 2020 and basically has zero shot at qualifying outside of crossing her fingers and hoping for the best at Euros. I know there is that one tripartite spot for gymnasts from countries that don’t generally have a lot of representation at the Games, so something like that could go to a Caribbean gymnast depending on how big their Olympic presence was in 2016? But yeah, it’s gonna be really hard for first-year seniors not on teams to get spots. They really need to open up 2019 worlds to girls born in 2004.

Out of the U.S. juniors that will be seniors this year, who should we look out for to be successful this quad?

The girls who were consistently killing it last year — Gabby Perea, Emma Malabuyo, and Maile O’Keefe — are all high on my list, as are Kara Eaker and Adeline Kenlin. They all seem to have the best potential going forward, though of course, anything can happen. Other girls can come up out of nowhere and suddenly be amazing at the elite level, and any of these top girls can end up not working out for whatever reason, especially with more than two years to go before the next Games.

Do all gymnasts have the chance to ‘go pro’ or go to NCAA? Is there some kind of qualification you have to get to be offered going pro?

Yes, any gymnast can go pro if she wants, there’s no qualification process. They’d just have to get an agent or otherwise find a way to get some kind of endorsement deal. Usually only the top girls who are going to make it huge in the sport end up signing because otherwise, what you’ll get as a professional athlete is valued nowhere near the value of a college education (both financially and like, spiritually and in terms of personal growth lol), so a random level 10 can sign an endorsement deal if she wants but she probably won’t make more than she would working at McDonalds. I know in 2008, Darling Hill was struggling to afford her training and related expenses, so she signed with a small paid sponsor, Team Gattaca, forfeiting her eligibility. She was hoping to continue competing elite beyond 2008, but then suffered multiple injuries and was forced to retire, so she basically felt the need to give up a free college education for a small amount of money just to get through the 2008 season which is one of the more heartbreaking things I can think of happening in the sport.

When gymnasts choose a piece of music for their floor routines, do they need permission from the musician? Is there any legal process involved?

No, they don’t need to get permission to use music to compete, though broadcasters could get in trouble for airing a routine that uses a song they don’t have permission to air. For NCAA, I know commentators who are told to talk over floor routines so they are airing as little music as possible, and I’m assuming NBC works it out somehow so that they don’t get in trouble, but yeah, the biggest issue is generally with broadcasting the music.

I’ve never heard of anyone getting in trouble legally for using certain music in a performance, though I remember during Rio, some rabbi wanted to sue Sae Miyakawa for using a song he composed or something? Because he intended it to be a religious piece and he said she was too ‘immodest’ to use it. I doubt anything came out of it, though. I don’t think he even composed it/wrote it? I think he just performed that specific version of it that she used for her routine.

Are there artistry deductions on vault, bars, or beam?

Not on vault or bars, but yes, there are similar artistry deductions that exist on beam that you’ll also see on floor. On beam, it’s mostly about poor rhythm and a lack of fluidity between movements, and they can also deduct for a lack of personality and style, so while they’re obviously not going to get in on you for not having great choreography or expression through choreography the way they do on floor, they do get picky about these things, and they’ll also deduct for composition-related aspects, like not using the whole beam, not moving sideways on the beam, poor low beam choreo, and things like that.

Why don’t gymnasts do double doubles in the piked position?

It’s super hard to twist in the piked position just physically, not even in terms of it being difficult. The shape of a body in a pike is not meant to twist through the air. Generally when you see a piked full-in, the gymnast either twists just prior to piking, or they’ll do the first flip super open, practically in a layout position, before piking for the second flip. Pretty much all double doubles are done in a way where it’s one twist per flip, but for a double pike with two twists, they’d pretty much have to put both twists in the first flip. In trampoline/tumbling this would basically be a double-in pike-out, but we’ve only seen it maybe once or twice before in artistic gymnastics because the physics of it are pretty much impossible. 

Has anyone ever done a release skill on the low bar? Is it even possible?

Release moves require momentum from the swing into them in order to get enough of a release from the bar for the skill to work out, so most release elements wouldn’t work on the low bar because there’s not enough room to do a full rotation around the bar unless you’re in a toe-on, stalder, clear hip, or inbar position. Gymnasts will sometimes practice Tkachev variations out of these entries on the low bar, and they’re absolutely physically possible from the entries I described, but I don’t think the code would allow for a same-bar release from the low bar so they’d have to work that out first.

I heard rumors about the FIG changing the two-per-country rule to a one-per-country rule. Do you think that will happen? What’s your opinion?

I haven’t heard anything about this and doubt it would happen but you never know with the FIG. They’re always about ‘change’ even though while I love changes to sports, their changes almost always end up being for the worse, lol. But with everyone already flipping out over two-per-country, I would hope they wouldn’t be so tone deaf as to instate a one-per-country rule.

What do you make of the generalization of American gymnasts being only about ‘power’ and the lamentation over what ‘real’ artistic gymnastics should be?

It’s a dumb generalization that one commentator probably made a decade ago and yet people have hung onto it as if it’s gospel. Power and artistry aren’t mutually exclusive…artistry has nothing to do with power and vice versa. A gymnast can be weak as hell and have a routine that’s about as interesting as paint drying, and Simone Biles can knock out some of the most difficult tumbling ever done in a women’s floor routine while presenting a routine that fits every single artistry specification in the code of points.

Yes, there have been many routines in the U.S. that have focused on the technical aspects over artistry, and in general American gymnasts tend to be more powerful than gymnasts from other countries because they, uh, I don’t know…actually condition? But I can name more powerful and artistic routines from Americans in the past few years than I can name weak but artistic routines from other countries. Any great floor worker is going to have a balance of powerful tumbling and great artistry, and many top gymnasts, American or not, are reaching that balance because they want to score well and win medals. I don’t get this whole superiority complex from countries that don’t condition but think they look pretty on floor, especially considering a majority of that is coming from Valentina Rodionenko who hasn’t exactly been churning out artistic gymnasts. Like, congrats, you don’t have artistry and you can’t tumble, and you’re wondering where all of the gold medals are?! It blows my mind.

Why isn’t acro in the Olympics?

The only gymnastics disciplines represented in the Olympics are artistic, rhythmic, and trampoline. For the first nearly 100 years, only artistic gymnastics was represented, but rhythmic joined in 1984 and trampoline didn’t join until 2000. The sport of gymnastics only has a set number of spots at each Olympic Games, so adding disciplines means taking away spots from the other disciplines, and I think acro (like rhythmic) also comes under fire for being more about entertainment than athletics. Acro does have a spot at the World Games, though, as do tumbling and aerobics. The World Games are basically the hipster version of the Olympics, with sports or disciplines of sports that aren’t recognized as Olympic sports.

How frequently do level 10 gymnasts compete? Do they train all year for just a few meets?

They compete pretty much from January through May, nearly on a weekly basis for some of them, similar to what an NCAA schedule would be. Invitationals are held every week all over the country, so different clubs choose different invitationals that they want to attend, and gymnasts who are healthy generally want to compete at least twice a month at these meets leading up to states in March, regionals in April, and nationals in May.

Are there any probable locations for 2018 U.S. Championships? When will they announce the location?

This was finally just announced, and the location is Boston! That’s what I had been hearing, and my friend who works in the area said it was a poorly-kept secret throughout the city, but there were still some loose ends that had to be tied up surrounding the logistics of the meet. Generally we know at least a year in advance where competitions will be held, but I guess in addition to the logistics, there was also the added challenge of when and how to announce, given that the majority of the media surrounding gymnastics is dominated by the Larry Nassar fallout.

In team finals at worlds next year, four gymnasts per country will compete, all of them will perform in all four apparatuses, and all four scores for each apparatus will be counted for the total, right?

Wrong. In team finals at worlds in 2018 and 2019, five gymnasts compete on the team with three going up on each event and all three scores counting for each event, the same as the Olympic team finals in 2012 and 2016.

Do you ever daydream about a world where gymnastics is the most popular sport in the world, gymnasts are the highest-paid athletes, and every country has a strong gymnastics program?

Every single night.

What is the first skill in this Instagram video?

It’s a Def, which is a Gienger with a full twist. A super difficult bars skill that pretty much no one competes. I think Elisabeth Seitz was the last one to do it back in 2012.

Has someone ever done an Amanar in NCAA?

Nope! It would be so cool to see someone like MyKayla Skinner go for it even if it’s just once.

If a gymnast puts her hands down and then falls off the beam, is it two separate deductions or just one for a fall?

It’s just the single deduction for the fall.

Who is the vaulter behind Claudia Fragapane in this video? Is she doing a Produnova? 

It’s Dominiqua Belanyi of Iceland, and no, she’s doing a simple front handspring front tuck. A Produnova is a front handspring double front tuck.

I thought Morgan Hurd committed to Cal? When did she switch?

Morgan has always been verbally committed to Florida. Gabby Perea is committed to Cal.

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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36 thoughts on “You Asked, The Gymternet Answered

  1. Although I agree that Rodionenko is crazy and has done a terrible job with getting their gymnasts artistic routines, I think they might just be changing that. I actually really liked Melnikovas and Ereminas routines and thought that they were artistic for the most part. While I know I can’t look at two specific routines and then generalize it for the whole country, it’s still a lot better to have 2 or 3 in the first year of the quad instead of the 2 or 3 artistic routines they produced out of the entire Rio quad.


  2. Interesting, I have thoughts on two do the questions.

    Leos – but doesn’t hip angle and such matter in rhythmic, yet they’re allowed to wear full length outfits or outfits with skirts?

    Release skill on low bar – if it was allowed, do you think the same release would be more difficult or the same since it would presumably be harder because you’d have to worry about hitting the floor?


      • You’d have to basically stay in the straddle when you catch and then kip out of it, so it’d def be harder. I think most who train Tkachevs on the low bar just let themselves fall into a pit or onto a mat after they grasp the bar so they don’t have that problem!


  3. Honestly, the 2012 Romanian team would have been the most sentimental team EVER if Ana was on it. Would Ana have done AA finals with Izbasa and Iordache there? Side note, I think Raluca Haidu should have made the 2012 team over Chelaru. Her bars were miles better than Diana’s.


    • I think Izbasa would not have trained for AA in that case (although she eventually came up so close to a medal!). The 2012 Romanian team were so unique as a veteran team because the lineup were like condensing the top talents of Romania for four periods – Ponor from 01-04 periods, Izbasa from 05-08 period, Chelaru from 09-12 period, while Larisa was mostly a 13-16 period gymnast considering her age.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Why is Brenna Dowell underrated? Fans always gives her a chance even when she always fall short most of the time. Fans are atually more forgiving of her despite of her meltdowns compared to gymnasts like Skinner. She seems more like overrated for me.


    • I think because she fell short often as an elite, she was underrated because people assumed it meant she wasn’t a good gymnast. If she was ever able to put together a fully hit meet in elite, and if she had her amanar back, she would’ve been a legit contender in 2016, so it’s a shame that didn’t work out…but I feel like no one saw that in her because of all of her mistakes and issues. Like no one considered her a legit contender at all, but like IF ONLY she just had it together, she would’ve been exactly what the team needed with an Amanar and huge potential bars score, but obviously she never had it all come together at once.


  5. Is the Def worth doing? It’s a G move but gymnasts who competed it always had a leg separation potentially worth .3 which brings it down to the value of a regular Geinger.


  6. Great job, as always. I never miss it! Thank you very much 🙂

    «Are there any gymnasts who were coached by their husbands (or future husbands) besides Annia Hatch?»
    Valentin Mogilny, former soviet gymnast, was coached by his wife Olga Bicherova after Seoul Olympics, I think.


    • Lots of teams didn’t compete the first week of the season, Oklahoma being one, but Florida has competed both weekends. They’re competing tomorrow, so their first meet is the second weekend of the season like many other teams, it’s just on Monday. For all intents and purposes, it’s the same as Missouri, who also didn’t compete last week and competed once this weekend, just a different day of the week.


  7. Ayana Lee from Jamaica and who did NCAA at Rutgers had some kind of a release move on the low bar at the 2013 World Championships. I think she was credited the CR for it. Anyone know exactly what it was?

    At 0:13


      • Suuuper late, and I’m not quite 100% sure, but this is what I remember: in 1992 during the AA, gymnasts did two vaults but only the higher one counted. I remember it this way because Shannon Miller got, I think, a 9.95 and they said something like “so that’s in the bank, or she could go again and get a 10.” I don’t know about team competition or event finals. Then in 1996, I definitely remember that in team finals, only the higher one counted, but for individual AA and event final, the scores were averaged.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. The piked double-double is relatively common in MAG but yeah it’s competed as a double-in and then the pike out, same as a piked full-in. US Junior Alexis Brion apparently competed this in 1995, there’s a 5-second clip of it on youtube and it LOOKS piked but it’s hard to really tell if it’s a pike or a tuck from the angle. I feel like a Soviet girl also competed a piked double-double that way once or twice, I want to say Groshkova? I know that she competed the tucked double-double using the double-in technique (this was the old-school technique for a full-in too, Lisa Mason has talked about doing it that way), and I feel like I’ve seen footage of her doing the pike, but no idea at what competition so it could be wishful thinking …


  9. Do you agree with Ellie black getting a higher score than Morgan Hurd on beam in the all around finals. Why did Morgan and Jesus do Santos score so low?


  10. Honestly, I think the whole “Americans aren’t artistic” stems from two things: poor music edits (frequently with cutesy Geza Pozar choreography) and the athletes being more muscular or stockier in appearance than the Soviets of yore. The second factor is just prejudice and Americans were unfairly penalized for it in the 80s because they didn’t look like ballerinas. i love ballet but ballet is not the exclusive holder of artistry. the main problem with floor routines today is that the code requirements don’t leave much room for dance choreography anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Pingback: Around the Gymternet: When they go low, we swag high | The Gymternet

  12. In regards to getting permission to use music and getting in ‘trouble’–at the 2000 Olympics, Allana Slater from Australia used a song that was featured in the ads for an Australian airline (the song was called ‘I Still Call Australia Home’ or something like that). But that airline was NOT the official airline sponsor of the Sydney Olympics. So the sponsor complained about it and wanted her to change music. She didn’t, because there are obviously no grounds for a request like that!

    Liked by 1 person

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