Around the Gymternet: I shall call him Mini-Me

USA Gymnastics: April 28 - Team/All-Around Finals &emdash;

“**wakanda.” -Kennedy Baker has an opinion on what to call the island nation created solely to take the top NCAA seniors to worlds.

Comp News

What happened at Pac Rims? Grace McCallum and Sam Mikulak won the all-around titles. Morgan Hurd scared the shit out of everyone on beam and took second, and skipped event finals. USA won both team titles.

OK. What really happened? Asher Hong continues to be lil’, very lil’. Brooklyn Moors is being rested for precautionary reasons, and Victoria-Kayen Woo was there instead. Jordan Bowers accidentally did a toe-on 1.5. More coverage.

What about All-Japan? Shh. We’re getting there. Mai Murakami won her third All-Japan title in a row, with baby Kakeru Tanigawa taking the men’s title. King Kohei “failed in the qualifying horse’s horse’s horse” and came in third. #TranslationWin

Psst: The 2019 American Cup, Nastia Liukin Cup, and Elite Team Cup will be held in Greensboro, North Carolina next March.

What’s happening

Move over, Louis: Rachael Denhollander was honored at the Time 100 gala, and she was joined by Aly Raisman. Someone obliged us by photoshopping crowns on their poised, beauteous heads.

Aly spoke: Raisman said on the red carpet that last week’s Dateline episode omitted a portion of her interview in which she said that she reported her abuse to Rhonda Faehn, the vice president of USA Gymnastics, and that at least 40 more gymnasts were abused after that time.

Jordyn, too: Jordyn Wieber spoke on ESPN, telling them that accountability lies with Michigan State University, the U.S. Olympic Committee, and USAG, which “failed us.”

  • Forty-two Brazilian gymnasts have come forward saying they were abused by former coach Fernando de Carvalho Lopes.
  • Gymnastics Australia released a National Child Safety Commitment Statement and appointed a Child Safety Coordinator.
  • Simone Biles told International Gymnast to take down a retweet of a Daily Mail article that said she’s coming back after her abuse: “I am not to be labeled by Larry Nassars [sic] abuse…My sights were set for Tokyo straight after Rio,” she said. IG’s tweet has since been removed.
  • The Indianapolis Star reporters continue to get recognized for their coverage of the Nassar scandal.

The state of Michigan

The mediation: MSU representatives met with accusers’ attorneys on Wednesday and Thursday with the goal of reaching a settlement. MSU Interim President John Engler says they have agreed to a “mediation process” that will continue on May 14 and 15.

More allegations: The Michigan Attorney General has brought more allegations against William Strampel—MSU’s former dean of osteopathic medicine and Larry Nassar’s former boss—in response to two more women coming forward and saying he sexually harassed them.

Engler says the school is taking a closer look at how it evaluates employees, and that disorganization at MSU allowed predators to go undetected. Meanwhile, the process of firing Strampel could take a while since he has tenure.

  • John Geddert has a locker at Yankee Stadium, and survivor Morgan McCaul is not happy.
  • Survivor Amanda Thomashow, the former MSU student who reported Nassar in 2014, is considering running for a spot on MSU’s board of trustees.
  • Ingham County Circuit Judge Rosemarie Aquilina gave her first interview since sentencing Nassar, saying “I support the girls.”

Required reading

  • Michigan State is a cesspool of abuse and indifference appears bottomless (USA Today). Louder for the folks in the back.
  • True Michigan State fans should want the school to accept responsibility for its horrific failures (USA Today). 
  • How Larry Nassar’s accusers made sports safer for everyone (WBUR).
  • Martha and Bela Karolyi still haven’t been interviewed by the FBI (ThinkProgress). Government, inaction.

NCAA corner

Bruins: Listen to Coach Chris Waller’s locker room speech that inspired Team UCLA before they won championships. Now take that inspiration and go do some laundry.

In hilarious news, JaNay Honest challenged other UCLA athletes to some gym trivia, and Athenian Goddess of Wisdom Miss Val tried to replicate the worm with her friends.

Sooners: Brenna Dowell said “janky” on air, and yes, I had to look it up. Olivia Trautman has declared. 

Gators: Alex McMurtry threw a TTY into the pit. Noticeably missing from all of these pit videos is what happens after. 

Required reading: NCAA gymnastics’ scoring system is bonkers, yo.

Star status

Injuries: Croatia’s Ana Derek suffered a concussion and a broken cheekbone on vault. Here are some kittens to help you cope.

Comebacks: Donnell Whittenburg is back on the high bar after having shoulder surgery in November.

Upgrades: Oksana Chusovitina is training a front handspring double full on vault, and Tatiana Nabieva is also planning some upgrades.

Hawaiian shirts: Viktoria Komova said she’ll likely retire after the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

Staying social

Your mama: Aly Raisman wants colleges to do more to stop “putting reputations above safety” and support sexual assault survivors. She also appeared in an Aerie ad with Mama Raisman.

Speaking of mamas: Jordyn Wieber took hers to the White House Correspondents Dinner.

Good for her: Aliya Mustafina confirmed on Instagram that she divorced bobsledder Alexei Zaitsev last month, saying “My ex-husband turned out to be not my kind of person” and that she’s done talking about it. Let’s review our divorce party etiquette, shall we?

All I see is abs: Jade Barbosa and Flavia Saraiva are best friends who deserve their own sitcom.

Gotta love them new scores: Kanye took things a tad too far on Twitter, depending on who you ask.

Duct tape: England’s Dominick Cunningham had an accident with his Commonwealth bronze medal.

Lovely day for a Guinness: Becky Downie holds the world record for the most number of beam aerials in under a minute, with 17.

Because you asked

Could there be a pro gymnastics league? Why should we have three-per-country and 36 in the all-around? What about Victoria Nguyen? What’s her deal? Calm down, we have answers.

Last words

Who’s got two thumbs and is still recovering from last weekend’s nationals? This gal.

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13 thoughts on “Around the Gymternet: I shall call him Mini-Me

  1. Am I the only one who would love it if they switched the team event to a mixed format instead of doing separate genders? I feel like it would also help boost the popularity of men’s/women’s gymnastics is a federation is strong in one but not the other.


  2. I can’t believe divorce parties are actually a thing! If I got divorced and my partner did something that shitty and petty, I would wonder what I ever did to make that person think so little of our relationship to actually throw a party over it. What a horrible and trashy thing to do!


      • They were popular in the early to mid 90’s. Most of the people that I know of that had them (both genders) went thru long, messy court battles and did it as a way to blow off steam.


    • It says what happened. She said that he just wasn’t “her kind of person”. That is not uncommon in young marriages. I’m also sure that their athletic careers were very hard on their relationship; Aliya has to train all the time, and Alexei (her ex-husband) is a bobsledder, which requires him to travel almost all the time. So he’s gone almost the whole year, and when he is in Russia, gymnastics season has already kicked into full swing. So their schedules as elite athletes in different sports lined up in a way that made their marriage very hard to work, as well as the idea that they may very well just have not been the right people for each other as Aliya said in her post.

      Liked by 1 person

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