You Asked, The Gymternet Answered


Rebeca Andrade

It’s time for the 226th 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.

Do you know why Rebeca Andrade never performed her 1½ double tuck at the Olympics?

She was still recovering from injuries in the months going into Rio, and I don’t think she got the training time she needed to focus on upgrades. After getting injured in 2015, she was out for almost a year and didn’t get floor back until about six weeks before the Games, so I think her priorities were just getting as much back as possible but in a safe way. Whatever they did with her was amazing; her qualifications performance was out-of-this-world and I wish she had competed that way in finals because I think she easily could’ve medaled…but I think they paced her SO well out of her injury recovery, with not bringing floor back until they absolutely had to, and then testing her all-around at that one Dutch meet a month before the Olympics started…it would’ve been nice to see her get that skill out there and named but that wasn’t the priority with so much else on the line.

What is the purpose of an exhibition routine in NCAA? Can a team do as many as they want?

It’s a way to give alternates for each lineup a way to get out there and perform in front of a crowd and in front of judges (who score the routines, also giving the coaches a look at how they could do in competition). In regular season, they can pretty much do as many as they want…teams try to keep it at one per rotation, but sometimes at home meets, teams will push for more, and I’ve sometimes seen three exhibition routines at times, though that’s rare because that would mean teams have nine healthy gymnasts on an event which almost NEVER happens. I saw this on floor once from a lower-ranked program and was like what black magic is this?! NINE GYMNASTS READY AND ABLE TO COMPETE FLOOR?!

Why didn’t some of UCLA’s freshmen compete this year?

They have a stacked roster with tons of walk-ons. They competed the gymnasts who were going to add the most to each team/lineup, and at some regular season meets, they tested gymnasts who were postseason alternates for each event. All of the freshmen who didn’t compete this season were walk-ons, so they likely just didn’t have the routines to make lineups.

Was Kelly Simm’s floor music at the American Cup the same music that Myia Hambrick used at LSU in 2016? How often does an elite gymnast get inspiration from NCAA? What exactly is the song?

Yeah, it’s the same…I believe it’s a Parov Stelar mix, and many gymnasts have used this before going back many years (at all levels of the sport…there’s an adult gymnastics routine using this mix from 2014 on YouTube). It’s possible she saw Myia’s routine and said “I want that” but that’s usually an unlikely path for elite gymnasts choosing floor music. Most have choreographers and coaches who take control of the music selection, and while there’s some aspect of choice in it for gymnasts, it’s rare for them to say “I want to do this person’s music” because most are trying to do something original/unique. You’ll often see gymnasts in J.O. and NCAA (and in smaller international elite programs) hear what the top gymnasts are doing at the Olympics and be like “I want THAT!” which is why literally everyone and their mother did Laurie Hernandez’s routine last year in NCAA. It’s possible Kelly or her choreographers saw Myia’s routine and was like “I want THAT!” but not super likely.

How is Norah Flatley doing in level 10?

She did great! She only competed all-around once, and not at states, so she couldn’t qualify to regionals or nationals, but she looked fab on what she did compete…like 9.5 or better for most of her routines, and I think her lowest score was a 9.3 on vault. Her highs this season were a 9.8 on vault, 9.75 on bars, 9.6 on beam, and 9.675 on floor, which is really strong for J.O. scores.

Do you know why Emma Malabuyo isn’t on the national team and didn’t go to the verification camps?

She didn’t go to the two verification camps early in the year because her priority wasn’t to earn an American Cup or Pac Rims spot and the only point of those camps was to verify (either for a spot at one of those meets or to earn a nationals score), but she went to the national team camp last month in Tennessee. She’s on the national team, but listed as a junior still because she hasn’t yet earned a senior spot (gymnasts are only being bumped up to senior if they’ve verified and earned a senior team spot, which is why Maile O’Keefe was bumped up but other girls from last year’s junior team like Gabby Perea and Kara Eaker haven’t yet gotten that bump).

Is a back spin like Li Li did on beam an element on floor? What is it valued?

A double back spin is a rated element on floor, at a B…a single MIGHT be an A but I can’t find it in the code so maybe not. I’ve seen a couple of floor routines recently with back spins, including one really nice double from Taïs Boura, an espoir-level gymnast in France. Chances are, she’s doing it more for the aesthetics of her routine than for the difficulty value, because most gymnasts counting eight elements are counting skills higher than B elements, so the same is absolutely true for anyone doing a single back spin, whether it’s worth nothing or an A.

What CV would a front handspring connected to a barani receive on beam?

It would get 0.2 if they go by the B+D forward elements direct connection bonus rule, but since the lowest-valued barani is an F, I could see the technical committee approving another tenth on top of that, since a backwards B+F is worth 0.2 and the front handspring to front half is MUCH harder. Sometimes the WTC will approve additional bonus, as they did with Ellie Black on floor. I think when writing the code, they sometimes don’t realize that some gymnasts are truly going to GO FOR IT, and so certain combos that warrant more than what they expected to see will get paid that bonus if the gymnast and her federation petition for it.

Why isn’t OU’s home attendance that high when they have been three-time national champions in recent years?

It’s probably just that it’s not marketed as well as it could be in that area? I think the SEC did a fantastic job with airing its meets on a major network and creating buzz weekly with the Friday Night Heights moniker…the buzz is still relatively new for Florida and LSU, but Georgia and Alabama have a 30-year rivalry that still draws crowds, and Utah is also legendary in that sense with a 40+ year history, which is why they average over 15,000 fans in attendance at every home meet. Oklahoma as they look now are still pretty fresh on the scene, and they’re not getting that same national attention from a major network.

Their attendance has grown over the years, but another thing to note is that Norman is a college town in a pretty otherwise rural area (I drove there from Dallas once for a meet and felt like I was on Mars during the majority of that drive until I finally got to Norman and was like YAS CIVILIZATION). I think most of the other schools are located in similarly-populated cities or large college towns as well, but they’re surrounded more by suburbs than by cows, which helps…there’s a lot more going on in the vicinity of the Athens, Tuscaloosa, Gainesville, Salt Lake City, and Baton Rouge areas than there is in the Norman area. They’re not, like, bustling metropolitan cities or whatever, but driving around the area surrounding Baton Rouge was way less “where am I” surreal than driving around that area in Oklahoma south of Norman.

What was the highest E score at worlds or the Olympics on each apparatus last quad?

Two came at the Olympics…the highest on bars was a 9.266 from Gabby Douglas (who hit this both in qualifications and in team finals), and on floor it was a 9.133 from Simone Biles in the all-around. Simone reached around a 9.7 on vault a couple of times throughout the quad, but the highest E score on that event actually belongs to McKayla Maroney, who tallied a 9.766 in event finals in 2013. And on beam, Larisa Iordache earned a 9.0 E score on beam in team finals, which was the only 9+ E score of the quad on beam at the Olympics or worlds.

Would Maggie Nichols or MyKayla Skinner have realistic chances of making Tokyo 2020 after competing in NCAA?

I don’t know how realistic it would be timing-wise, because both would be competing in NCAA through to April 2020, meaning they’d only have about a month to train at the elite level before making a push for the team when the qualification process begins in May with meets like classics. They could maybe train elite on the side while competing NCAA, which worked well for Brittany Rogers in 2016, though obviously making the Canadian team with her exact skill set was easier than it will be for an all-arounder to make the U.S. team in 2020. I could see it being more likely for MyKayla, who is already pretty close to her elite difficulty and could definitely put up a fight for one of the individual spots…in 2016, one of those individual spots would’ve belonged to her anyway, so if she can bring back her Amanar and Cheng in addition to a high-difficulty floor set, I can see her making a last-minute push for a spot. Maggie is heavily downgraded, though, so it would be super extreme for her to go from her NCAA routines to elite in just a month. I think she’d need to take the 2019-2020 school year off to focus solely on elite, which I don’t think is something she’d do given that this would be her senior year.

I remember a lot of hubbub about WAIS closing its gymnastics program. Was it closed down or did the gymnasts save it?

I believe it’s still running as a partner with Gymnastics Australia now, which is what helped save it. I believe it did end up getting shut down for a while, but GA along with Gymnastics Western Australia were able to get it back up and running, so hopefully all is good with them now…I know lots of gymnasts were devastated by the changes that occured in the immediate aftermath, with many coaches leaving, but now it seems it’s at least running in some sort of capacity.

Can a gymnast lose NCAA eligibility if they monetize their videos on YouTube?

It depends on how it’s monetized. If they have an uber-popular account that exists based on who they are in the world of sports, then yes, they can lose their eligibility this way. An NCAA rower became popular as a beauty blogger and she had her scholarship threatened, but I think she was able to prove that her popularity had nothing to do with her athletic career and no one even really knew she did that. That’s the fine line, I think. If your monetized vlogs are like, here’s my life, blah blah blah, nothing to do with sports, then it could be okay, but honestly it’s just not worth the risk. It’s better to just wait until your NCAA career is over before you start trying to earn any money based on your popularity/ability to bring in endorsements.

By watching videos on USAG’s YouTube am I indirectly giving money to USAG? If so, should I watch D score videos on other channels?

Yes you are, technically, but what they bring in on YouTube is a teeny tiny percentage of what they bring in overall so I wouldn’t worry about it too much. Just pretend that any pennies you’ve handed over by viewing videos are part of what they’re giving to the athletes as part of their national team stipends.

Has anyone ever figured out what kind of voodoo happened with Aly Raisman’s Amanar in both 2012 and 2016? They went from being iffy to the best vaults of her life.

I think part of it was mental, and the other part was just figuring out what she had to do in the touch warm-up to figure out how to get the vault to the best of her ability in the competition. I didn’t hear her talk about it much in 2012, but I know in 2016 she was saying that she realized her first Amanar was always her best, so rather than vaulting an Amanar in the touch and then doing a second one in the competition, she would just do a double as a warm-up, so her first and only Amanar on that podium would be the one that counted. I’d say that’s partly physical, but mostly mental…Aly’s known for her steel Brestyan knees but I think she should be even more known for the mental gymnastics she was able to do in order to get to EXACTLY where she needed to be EXACTLY when it counted. She was always great for the team, but based on the consistency issues she had in individual competition leading up to 2012 and 2016, you’d think her Olympics wouldn’t have been quite as strong, and YET. She’s a magician.

With the number of beam 10s being thrown this season in NCAA, do you think it’s time to fix the code?

I get why not having a perfect 10 code would hurt the sport for the fans and for the morale that comes with the fans and teams “rooting for perfection,” so if they don’t want to change to an open-ended system, then they need to figure out how to maximize deductions or make it harder for gymnasts to start from a 10. The fact that a brilliant routine can get a 9.95 while an okay routine with multiple mistakes can get a 9.9 in the same meet is the dumbest thing on the planet and makes me want to scream. I try not to follow scores when watching meets because I know it’ll only make me want to set things on fire.

Why don’t MAG gymnasts compete more Tkachev entry variations?

It’s a code thing for them…there’s no value in changing it up, so they just do the straight up Tkachevs. I wish they would open the code a bit there to allow for more entry variations as well as for more connections from skill to skill…it would be so insane to see what a MAG gymnast could come up with if they had more room to play. High bar is simultaneously my favorite MAG event because it’s so exciting to watch in finals with the top guys doing the high-flying skills, but in prelims it’s torture seeing basically the same routine one after another with almost zero variation.

What was your favorite NCAA floor routine this season?

Hmmmm…is it sad that it’s June and I’ve already forgotten most of what I saw in NCAA? My brain is like BYEEEE. It’s probably cliché, and I didn’t like it at first, but Katelyn Ohashi’s was always SO well done and so much fun to watch, mostly because she brought that joy to it, it’s definitely the one I looked forward to the most meet after meet. That was the first one that popped into my head, which is telling. Oh, and Sabrina Vega’s!!! I loved hers. Sabrina was my number one, and Katelyn was my number two.

Do you think the current status of USAG will affect the current gymnasts deciding whether or not to go pro?

I doubt it. There’s very little correlation between those two things. The monthly stipend the few on the national team end up getting is a tiny percentage of the years and years of elite costs to that point, so even if USA Gymnastics does end up being like “sorry, we can’t pay the stipend anymore!” it still won’t be something that causes girls to go pro. When you weigh the value of going pro to maybe get a little extra money compared to getting a full college education paid for, 99% of gymnasts will choose college. You also have to consider that most gymnasts who decide to go pro without any major achievements in the sport (like a world all-around title) won’t really make much anyway…like, a few thousand dollars a year from the occasional low-key monetary opportunity compared to a few hundred thousand for college? It’s a no-brainer.

Do you know why Brooklyn Moors didn’t go to the Commonwealth Games?

She was planning on competing at Pac Rims instead, but then a nagging shoulder injury got in the way and they thought it was best for her to skip it.

If a country qualifies to Tokyo in 2018, are the athletes who compete for that country in 2019 also barred from certain ways of qualifying an individual spot? Or since they’re not part of a qualifying team, does the rule still apply?

Nope! Because they weren’t part of the qualifying team, it’s fine. Basically the rule exists so that the same athlete can’t be used to qualify for multiple spots, so someone who helps the team qualify and then also qualifies an individual spot is unfair because one athlete shouldn’t be allowed to technically qualify two spots. But if the team qualified in 2018, the girls who compete at worlds in 2019 who weren’t on that team didn’t have anything to do with the team qualifying a team spot, and so they’re free to qualify individual spots.

Do you think Brooklyn Moors could upgrade her beam dismount?

Yup! I think she could definitely do a double full off. Hopefully we see it eventually!

Do you think the new postseason format for nationals will affect who wins since the competition will be quicker and nobody will have a bye to refocus?

The byes actually hurt the teams more than help them, to be honest. I think the overwhelming feeling for most teams is that it sucks to build up momentum for two rotations, and then have to go sit and hang out for nearly a half hour. They can try to stay pumped up during the bye, and some do like the ability to refocus, but most end up losing a bit of that momentum and then come back out for the next rotation at a lower level of hype.

Also, it’s ridiculous that teams compete either in dual, tri, or quad meets all season long, and then get to postseason and suddenly they’re in a situation with a total of six teams and dealing with two byes. No other sport has a different competition format from regular season to postseason, and gymnasts/coaches basically have to use one strategy all season long and then suddenly switch for postseason, which is just ludicrous. Teams will now be able to train for postseason all season long, and they’ll be able to carry momentum from start to finish. It’s a 9 billion percent better situation for pretty much every team competing.

Does anyone know what was happening with Bailie Key this season? Why is Peyton Ernst only competing beam?

I just don’t think she was ready, which was evident in her first time out. I don’t think she was injured, not badly enough to not be able to train anyway, but I think mentally and physically, after literally years out of the sport, it was hard for her to get back in that mindset. Hopefully being with the team this season and getting back into the swing of things was helpful for her mentally…and hopefully we’ll see her back next season.

As for Peyton, she had shoulder surgery and was out for a considerable amount of time. I think vault, bars, and floor all put pressure on her shoulder and make her unable to do much more than what she’s doing on beam. Hopefully as she continues to recover she’ll be able to make appearances elsewhere.

Is there anything about Alexa Moreno’s status?

Yup! She’s back at pretty much full difficulty, including her top vaults as well as a new double double on floor. She just placed third at nationals in Mexico last week, also finishing first on vault and third on beam, and should lead a rather young team at worlds this year.

In both Chinese and Japanese, names are said with the surname first. Do you know why in U.S. broadcasts we see Chinese names that way but then we say Japanese names the western way?

There are a ton of countries that will formally put the surname first, like Hungary and many Eastern European countries for example, but in broadcasting/news in general, they’re all westernized to put the surname last, except for China and the Koreas. I’m pretty sure this is dictated by the AP Stylebook (I’ve definitely looked up the Korean guidelines in there before), but I don’t know the AP’s reasoning behind keeping things one way for some countries and then westernizing for others.

It probably has something to do with how those countries prefer to be recognized internationally…with the Koreas, for example, both North and South Korea have names that are split up into three separate ‘words’ when transliterated, but in North Korea the government standard when transliterating is to write the names as three separate words, like Hong Un Jong, whereas in South Korea the standard for transliterating is to write them as two words, with the surname followed by the given name hyphenated with the letter after the hyphen written in lowercase, like Lee Eun-ju.

You listed the youngest seniors before, but who are the youngest U.S. juniors to have won the national title?

I only have the junior titles dating back to 1990, so in the past 28 years, the youngest U.S. junior to win the all-around title was Jennie Thompson, who had turned 12 a month prior to her win. Others who won at age 12 include Lanna Apisukh in 1992 and Dominique Moceanu in 1994, with both just about a month away from turning 13, and more recently, Kyla Ross was the second-youngest gymnast to win the title with her performance in 2009, and Jordyn Wieber was also 12 with her win in 2008. On the other side of things, the oldest junior national all-around champion was Natasha Kelley, who was 15 years and 5 months when she won in 2005, and the average age for junior national champions is 14.141. Here’s a full list of the past 28 champions from youngest to oldest.

Jennie Thompson, 12 years 1 month (1993)
Kyla Ross, 12 years 9.6 months (2009)
Dominique Moceanu, 12 years 10.8 months (1994)*
Jordyn Wieber, 12 years 10.8 months (2008)*
Lanna Apisukh, 12 years 11.1 months (1992)
Hilary Grivich, 13 years 1.5 months (1990)
Kristal Uzelac, 13 years 2 months (1999)
Mina Kim, 13 years 7 months (1995)
Nastia Liukin, 13 years 7.6 months (2003)
Kyla Ross, 13 years 9.5 months (2010)
Kristal Uzelac, 14 years 1 month (2000)
Rebecca Bross, 14 years 1.1 months (2007)
Anne Woynerowski, 14 years 3.1 months (1991)
Vanessa Atler, 14 years 3.6 months (1996)
Maile O’Keefe, 14 years 3.9 months (2016)
Katelyn Ohashi, 14 years 4.2 months (2011)
Bailie Key, 14 years 5 months (2013)
Carly Patterson, 14 years 6.1 months (2002)
Jazmyn Foberg, 14 years 6.6 months (2014)
Shawn Johnson, 14 years 6.9 months (2006)
Nastia Liukin, 14 years 7.1 months (2004)
Marline Stephens, 15 years 0.4 months (1997)
Kristal Uzelac, 15 years 1.4 months (2001)
Morgan White, 15 years 1.8 months (1998)
Laurie Hernandez, 15 years 2.1 months (2015)
Lexie Priessman, 15 years 4.4 months (2012)
Maile O’Keefe, 15 years 5.7 months (2017)
Natasha Kelley, 15 years 7.3 months (2005)

*Fun to note is that while Dominique and Jordyn are technically tied at 12 years and 10.8 months, when you break it down in terms of days, Dominique was one day younger than Jordyn for her win!

Why doesn’t the U.S. combine juniors and seniors to compete against each other at national competitions?

It’s likely to separate them the way they’d be separated internationally, which makes it easy to keep things clear in terms of ranking them, looking at them in terms of naming national teams and international squads for various meets, and so on. Logistically it’s just easier. Some countries do combine the levels and it doesn’t make a huge difference, but like, they’re going to be separated by level internationally so they might as well just follow that as closely as possible domestically.

In NCAA, why do gymnasts stand on the low bar to transition to the high bar? Does this affect their score?

They’re not required to make a low-to-high transition. Some will do a low-to-high transition to count as their release (a Maloney or van Leeuwen or something counts as a release the same way a same-bar release counts as one), but most who start their routine on the high bar and perform a Tkachev or Jaeger as their release will get their required high-to-low transition out of the way, and then just jump to the high bar since it doesn’t affect their score. I personally think at the bare minimum they should be required to do a toe shoot or something at that level, but hey.

Can girls not from the top NCAA teams still compete at nationals as individuals if they are at the top of a specific event?

There’s no ‘individual’ competition like that at NCAAs, only the two team competitions with the team preliminary competition serving as the individual final. Anyone on a full team at nationals who wants to win an individual title in the all-around or on an event has to perform that event as part of the team’s competition. In D3, gymnasts qualify to nationals on events based on their regionals finish, so conceivably someone could qualify to the bars final from regionals and then not compete bars in the team event, but for the main NCAA Championships, this isn’t how things work.

What happened with Verona van de Leur after her retirement?

She went down an unusual kind of path, sadly, I think in the need to make money. It can be hard to transition from being a professional athlete (or actor or musician or dancer or anyone in a performance kind of job) into having to live in the ‘real world,’ and I think she struggled with what to do post-gymnastics in addition to having a kind of problematic home life, so after her retirement in 2008, she began doing kind of shady stuff to make money.  In 2011, she was convicted of blackmailing after trying to extort money from an adulterous couple she had been following around, and she went to prison for about three months, and she also had child pornography on her computer and an illegal weapon in her car. After getting out of prison she began doing webcam ‘performances’ as well as pornographic films, and after a five-second glimpse at her twitter, it seems she incorporates her gymnastics leos and routine poses in her ‘art’ which is kind of upsetting given everything that’s happening with sexual abuse in sports right now. No judgment for what she wants to do with her life, but there are enough pervs out there linking gymnastics to sex, so it’s a bummer to see a former gymnast pushing that out there even more (and making money off of it).

How is a gymnast able to compete for one country but participate in another country’s nationals? I’m thinking about Danusia Francis specifically…I thought she was repping Jamaica, but she lives and trains in Great Britain?

Many countries that have gymnasts who train there but compete elsewhere will allow those gymnasts to still compete at nationals, though their results obviously wouldn’t count toward any future team selection or anything (unless they end up blowing everyone else out of the water, in which case that federation would probably be like yoooo come back to us please). They’re actually not even ranked at nationals, so if someone scores high enough to place third, her result would be skipped over and the next highest-ranking gymnast actually representing Great Britain would get the bronze. At British Championships this year, there were several others who train in GB but compete elsewhere in addition to Danusia…Chiara Bunce (Slovakia), Yoana Yankova (Bulgaria), Jessica Castles (Sweden), Emmeline Anghileri (Ireland), and Nicole Coman (Romania).

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Article by Lauren Hopkins

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37 thoughts on “You Asked, The Gymternet Answered

  1. Just to clarify on the 2020 qualification question. If Jade Carey in on the 2018 US world’s team she won’t be able to qualify for an individual spot in 2019? That seems……..odd. You aren’t automatically on the Olympic team two years before. Or am I getting confused about nominative and not nominative spots here?


    • Correct. If she was a reason the team qualified in 2018 they couldn’t also use her to qualify an individual spot. But she could still be sent to the Games as a member of the team or in one of the individual spots, which are non-nominative.


      • What about a world’s alternate? Can they be used to qualify? In a 2016 scenario, who do you think the team would have used to qualify the two spots? They would have in theory been able to use Aly, Gabby or Maggie? In the US in particular, will the girls who qualify the spots basically be doing it for someone else? It’s hard for me to believe the US would send top all arounders to qualify spots and risk burnout or injury, but seems unfair they’ll send B girls to qualify the spots only to lose them.


        • Yes, a worlds alternate could qualify an individual spot. As long as they didn’t compete on the team that qualified the team spot, they’re fine.


        • I think people are freaking out about this way too much. There will only be five people for the U.S. who won’t be eligible to qualify an individual spot. That’s not a big deal at all? There are at least 10 A-team gymnasts in the U.S. at any given time. They can send five A-team gymnasts to worlds to qualify, and then two other A-team gymnasts to qualify individual spots.


        • But the individual spots are non-nominative, aside from the individual apparatus medal spots. Almost everyone will have to earn a spot either on the team or as an individual by means of the country’s selection process. Only a small handful of people will go on the individual medal route, which is kind of a crapshoot. Smaller programs will hope the individual medals will be a way in, like the Croatian MAG who hope to qualify a couple of individual specialists, but for most, given the tiny number of nominative apparatus medal spots, the only legit strategy is trying to make your team or have your country assign you to one of the non-nominative individual spots, assuming they qualified them.


        • I could totally see this being an issue for Sanne Wevers. I can see where they’re coming from not letting Simone snap up 2 non-nominative spots for other US gymnasts, but I see the logic way less for a gymnast who has to be the one to take that spot or he/she loses it.


        • Yeah I think nations outside the US will have to sacrifice world opportunities to go to the olympics. Denis Ablyazin said that he’s skipping worlds for both this year and the next year so that he could make it to the olympics. Question: If a country qualifies through the 2018 worlds, will a gymnast that competed at worlds in 2019 but not 2018 still be eligible for an Indiviudal spot?


  2. +1 to the low to high transition question. I’ve said this before, but it looks like they fell off the bar and are getting back up. I think they should at least do that 90s transition where they shoot their legs through and push off the low bar with their thighs.


  3. Iordache got 9.000 E during 2014 worlds team finals on beam which was better than Laurie’s at the 2016 olympics. Im also assuming Munteanu’s 8.900 E from the same meet is up there


  4. Verona van de Leur was robbed of her sponsor money by her parents. They are not in touch anymore. She said she felt they treated her as a product, not as a daughter.
    She has also reported to have been abused by a former coach. She thought about a comeback in gymnastics around 2014/2015, but never wanted to represent the Netherlands again because of the history she had with the Dutch Gymnastics federation and how she felt she was (mis)treated.

    She has stated that in her current path, she feels more free and happier than before. (

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for this! I had never heard her full side of the story. I know Frank was known for terrible coaching conditions so always assumed he had abused her in some way.


    • I heard more than one time that the Dutch federation is terrible. Full of nepotism, disorganized, arrogant and full of machos alphas that “own the whole thing” , favoring their own gymnasts of their clubs or daughters and so on . Dont surprise me at all that they blamed the victim in a situation like this.


  5. I think it’s a bit of a mischaracterization to describe Norman as “a college town in an otherwise rural area” – it’s basically a suburb of Oklahoma City, which is a metro area of 1.3 million. There might not be a lot to the south of Norman but there is plenty to the north.


    • Yeah, but compared to the other areas mentioned, they’re like, fully surrounded by cities and suburbs. OKC is obviously a larger metro area but the OKC/Norman area as a whole is surrounded by rural, whereas all of the southern schools are nothing but suburb…the radius surrounding the school is vastly more populous overall compared to the OKC/Norman area (with the exception of Tuscaloosa, which is pretty sparse, but they do have the UGA rivalry angle, which OU doesn’t have with anyone). It’s obviously not all about population, but gymnasts and their parents tend to be from the suburbs, so it would make sense that the larger suburban areas are feeding kids and their families into these meets, and while Norman is a suburb, it’s in the middle of a more rural than suburban area.


  6. Is it selfish for a gymnast already on a college gym team (and likely a significant contributor to the team) to defer a year to try for the Olympics?


    • No! I don’t think it’s selfish to follow your dreams…if it’s even remotely realistic to try, I think most people would understand why you’d want to go for it and would probably support you in doing so.


    • Brenna Dowell did it and Spencer on the Balance Beam Situation mentioned that Shallon Olsen is doing the same thing. I don’t see how it’s selfish. Besides, the collegiate teams that have Olympic level athletes are usually ones that have backup options readily available so that they don’t lose much anyway.


    • I am all in favor of athletes following their dreams while they have the ability and the passion to do so. But the way I see it is this (echoing sentiments first expressed by Spencer at BBS): a team/coach might have an argument re selfishness if a gymnast competes with the team the whole regular season, but skips the postseason (or important meets) for an elite/international opportunity. At that point the team will most likely have to scramble/call in alternates to fill lineup spots in a critical point in the season, and her absence likely creates a strain on her teammates. But a gymnast who takes the full year off, e.g. Brenna Dowell, is in my mind not selfish at all. Brenna was making huge sacrifices and potentially affecting her eligibility timeline, and her team had a whole season to adjust to her absence, make other lineup options, and work around it. That doesn’t sound selfish to me.
      Either way, I don’t think spectators and fans really get to decide what’s selfish on a gymnast’s part. We don’t know what’s going on within the team, and for all we know this may have been planned out. MyKayla Skinner’s coach really made me mad though, essentially saying that she wouldn’t be willing to do her number one most important responsibility, which is to care for and support her athletes to the very last no matter what, if MyKayla made a decision she disagreed with.


    • Some other countries list their last names first, at least on official documents that I’ve seen…Hungary is the only one that says surname first like as the official way of doing things but I’ve seen plenty of documents from Eastern European countries that swap the two.


        • Yeah, Romania will sometimes do it, and I’ve seen it also from like, Slovenia, Slovakia, the Czech Republic does it a ton, pretty much everywhere in that area. I’m sure it’s common to see it done both ways especially since the norm is becoming first then last in all of those countries but when I was in the Czech Republic (so like, outside of gymnastics/sports), people’s names were always written last them first.


      • Even in the UK, we have official lists sometimes with surname first. I mean, nobody would call you “Doe, John” to your face, but when I was in school (in the 90s), the registers were all like that, and so is any list I have ever seen at my workplace.


        • We do too in the US but it’s not just lists in Eastern Europe…many people always refer to themselves officially as last name first. Like that’s how they sign their names and write them on documents. Even when we’re on lists in the US that say “Doe, John” we’d never sign our names like that or have them appear that way on non-list documents. Chuso and most of the girls from Russia and other EE countries give autographs last name first (I recently saw Chuso do it, thus she is the example, but whenever I’ve seen a non-US or Western European girl sign her name it’s always last then first.


  7. Pingback: Around the Gymternet: I can see my breath | The Gymternet

  8. I‘m from central Europe (austria) and I usually also put my last name first. Not when talking to someone, but when I say my name to someone official, almost always when I write my name down, also wenn I pick up the phone, when I don‘t know the caller.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the insight! I thought it was more common outside the U.S./Western Europe but wasn’t sure which countries exactly were doing it. I think the first name, last name standard is generally accepted internationally and most countries just conform to that for international reasons…but then China and the Koreas are like “no, we’re still gonna do things our way!”


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