Around the Gymternet: Keep spendin’ most our lives livin’ in a gangsta’s paradise


“It was easier to give birth than to restore inbars.” –Aliya Mustafina. Not quite sure what to do with this information, but okay.

Pan Ams

Surprise me. Sorry, no. In a shock to exactly no one, the U.S. ladies cleaned up at this weekend’s Pan American Championships held in Lima, taking the team title by over five points.

Individually, Grace “I can has worldz?” McCallum was the star of this show, taking the all-around and bars titles, and bronze on vault and beam. Jade Carey took vault and floor gold, Trinity Thomas won all-around and bars silver, and Kara Eaker won beam and took floor bronze.

Brazil came in second as a team, and Flavia Saraiva did very well, earning silver in the all-around and on beam and floor.

One more thing: Simona Castro’s living in a gansta’s paradise, apparently.

What about the boys? I didn’t forget. The U.S. took team gold and all-around bronze, plus pommels gold, amidst what I’m told was the final countdown. Cuba took all-around gold plus the parallel bars title. 

I want more. Fine. Here are Lauren’s quick hits.

Other things

New allegations against Nassar, MSU. Former Michigan State University field hockey player Erika Davis said in a lawsuit filed on Monday that Larry Nassar drugged and raped her and filmed it in 1992.

Davis said she told her coach Martha Ludwig about the incident, and that Ludwig obtained the tape and approached then-athletic director George Perles, who is now an MSU trustee. The lawsuit says that Perles forced Ludwig to return the tape, resign, and sign a non-disclosure agreement.

On Tuesday, MSU said they “are taking the allegations very seriously.” Perles’ son has denied the allegations, and Perles has hired a lawyer.

Ropes & Gray faces skepticism. Ropes & Gray, the law firm hired by the U.S. Olympic Committee to conduct an independent investigation of the USOC and USA Gymnastics, released an open letter calling for survivors to come forward with their stories.

The firm said they’ve spoken to over 60 officials and have reviewed over a million documents. Many survivors and their attorneys, however, don’t trust the investigation.

Investigation: USAG ignored complaint. An IndyStar investigation has discovered that T&T Gymnast Kristie Lowell filed a complaint in 2017 to SafeSport accusing her former coach George Drew of conducting an unwanted breast examination on her.

Less than two months later, IndyStar says, he appeared on the committee to decide whether she would make the T&T worlds team.

MLR spoke up. Mary Lou Retton appeared on Access Live on Thursday to promote her participation in Dancing with the Stars. When asked about the state of the sport of gymnastics, Retton, who said she was on the USAG board of directors for eight years, said “we were lied to,” and that she hadn’t spoken out until then because of “the legality of being on the board.”

Psst: Retton was elected to the USAG board in December 2008, and was no longer a member as of December 2016. She read a statement on behalf of USAG in February 2017, and appeared along with other USAG officials in March 2017 to meet with Senator Feinstein about sexual abuse legislation.

  • The speaker of the Michigan House said that USAG and Twistars made false claims in recent court filings.
  • India may not have a spot at worlds, as India’s sports ministry has refused to clear the team due to the suspension of the gymnastics federation.
  • Sae Miyakawa will miss worlds due to the abuse allegations against her coach.

Required reading

  • But mommy, why? (Rachael Denhollander, Facebook)
  • What we can learn about self-care from Olympian and advocate Aly Raisman (Self)
  • The moral catastrophe at Michigan State (The Atlantic)
  • It’s been two years since Rachael Denhollander took her “shot in the dark” (Deadspin)
  • The USOC and USAG need to be dissolved and reconstituted (Verdict)

Star status

Comebacks. Maria Paseka will return to competition in February, Larisa Iordache is recovering from surgery, and Elena Eremina is fully training.

Upgrades. Since all the cool kids are doing it, Sunisa Lee is training a Moors, plus a bhs bhs ftlo. Also, check out Olivia Dunne’s onodi to illusion.

Injuries. Haley de Jong got injured in Lima and had to withdraw from Pan Ams, Donothan Bailey announced that he’s ending his season due to injury, and Celine van Gerner will miss worlds to give that Achilles a face lift.

Staying social

Nastia dreamed big. Like you, Lady Liukin once trained a quad twist, a full twisting laid out Jaeger, a double double off bars, and other pleb skills.

A very good boy, 13/10. When it comes to dognastics, you gotta start ‘em early. Speaking of puppers.

Don’t despair. Even our queen is over it sometimes.

Max, Jr. is coming. Max Whitlock is having a babay. Congrats, Max! Speaking of, he just made Great Britain’s worlds team

Mo lifted heavy stuff. Horrified yet again that you would dare underestimate her, Mohini Badass Bhardwaj competed at the Nike American Open Weightlifting Series.

Because you asked

What is even the deal with junior worlds? You asked, Lauren answered.

Last words

Anyone have a bone to throw me? Because I’m so, so over it.

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24 thoughts on “Around the Gymternet: Keep spendin’ most our lives livin’ in a gangsta’s paradise

  1. It’s great that countries like Bolivia (in 2016) and Peru (in 2017 and 2018) were eager to host the Pan Ams. Compared to the event that happened in 2016, at least this year we had access to a live stream of the event and some of the scores. PAGU doesn’t even have an official website, so it’s impossible to find official results and their PR is not the best, either. Even keeping track of the medalists at the Pan Ams was a nightmare before I decided to organize all the information I could and post past results on Wikipedia.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Not all countries have the budget for a podium. Disparaging an entire country by referring to their professional venue as a “local middle school gymnasium” is incredibly ethnocentric, priviledged, and displays your own ignorance and lack of knowledge about the world at large. You are no comedienne, you are a bully.


    • As a peruvian, I kind of cringed at that description, the sport has only been “brought to light” recently (due to Ariana Orrego competing in the 2016 Olympics, she was the first peruvian in the sport) so is kind of obvious that the existing gyms weren’t as good as they should have, and the new ones may have a “local middle school gymnasium” kind of vibe, but considering all together, is a huge improvement, and I couldn’t be prouder of my country.


      • Totally understand being upset at that put down, but she probably wasn’t intentionally trying to be insulting. It really is tough to write, impart information, and be entertaining all at the same time, particularly when you’re doing it quickly.
        But Peruvian gyms have nothing to be ashamed of! Considering the exploding banana peel staircase of injuries suffered last year at the Fabulous State of the Art Premium Competition Gym presented in Montreal, perhaps World Championship organizers should be consulting Lima on how to set up a competition. 3 cheers for Lima gyms and non-broken gymnasts!


    • I don’t know, I didn’t detect any snide, shady remarks about it, what she stated was true. It was in what seemed like a school gymnasium. She didn’t say or imply anything else. That was the fact. The feeling part you filled in and attached to it. She never said yall are low budget because of it, or less than. Simple, Pan Ams was in a school gymnasium. Cuz eh, it was.


        • I’m 99% sure that Lauren does not write the Around the Gymternet posts. Check out the byline at the top: jtprice. These posts are always a bit snarky and more apt to contain the occasional swear word as well. Regardless of the size of the gym, it seems that it was a great meet with no injuries (as a previous poster pointed out) and that they had an appropriate temperature, unlike at Junior Pan Ams. So kudos to Peru! (And as an aside, there was a recent major international swim meet, might have even been worlds, held outside in the winter in Australia. There was sleet! I’d take a small gym any day over that!)


    • Hey Nb—

      I just wanted to apologize for that. I’m sorry. That portion of the sentence has been deleted.

      You’re totally right—while I didn’t think about the location of the venue when I was writing it and didn’t mean to be disparaging about Peru in ANY way, that’s definitely how it comes across now that I think about it.

      I should have given it more thought before publishing. It was ignorant and ethnocentric, and I really have to give more thought to how I write about countries outside of the U.S. and their gymnastics—not everyone has podiums. I get it.

      Thank you for pointing this out, and please ALWAYS point something out if you have comments on my writing. The gymternet is a community, and while I do enjoy my snark, I want to do my part to keep the community a positive and inclusive one.


      Liked by 1 person

      • Hello Jess,
        Thank you so much for your apology. I would like to apologize as well for calling you a bully. The political and social environment we live in these days has me (as a Hispanic woman) on edge because it’s hard to find safe places, online or otherwise. The gymternet community as a whole is usually safe, so the comment caught me off guard and really infuriated me at the time. However, I used to look forward to this weekly section, and now I will be able to keep looking forward to reading it, so thank you for that.


      • You didn’t need to apologize. It was clearly a joke, and I didn’t detect any malicious intent when I read the original post. You made a humorous observation, and it made me laugh when I read it. I didn’t think it was a negative reflection on Peru at all. I’ve had the same thoughts watching videos from competitions in the U.S, too. I’m sorry you felt the need to change the post. I just think people are FAR too sensitive these days.

        Lighten up people! It’s okay to laugh once in a while!


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