Around the Gymternet: I am no one to be trifled with


“I fear God, someone accidentally hitting the nukes button, and the gymternet.” -Deadspin’s senior editor gets it.

Comp news

What happened at camp? So much.

Simone yawned and then casually stuck a Cheng half that even she thought was the shit. She strangely put her hands down on her beam dismount, but still won the all-around by over two points. All hail.

Person-shaped wisp of smoke Kara Eaker awed everyone with her gorgeous beam, Morgan Hurd had a pretty solid performance, Grace McCallum fell on bars but still placed third, and Riley “look mom my knees go backwards” McCusker took second with a gorgeous bars set. Ragan Smith showed excellent progress since nationals despite a bars fall. Results and live coverage.

Who’s on the worlds team? The worlds team was named on Friday, including, to no one’s surprise, Biles, Eaker, Hurd, McCallum, McCusker, and Smith. The traveling alternate will be named later.

Tom Forster followed up with a Q&A on Twitter, where we learned that there are requirements for athletes to participate in apparatus world cups. Those requirements were released, and tl;dr, Jade Carey is the only one who meets them. #convenient

What happened at the Youth Olympic Games? Giorgia Villa won the all-around (the absolute nerve), plus the vault title and bars silver. Russia’s Ksenia Klimenko (or was it Melnikova?) took the bars title. Homeboy Brandon Briones won gold on vault. Oh, and Simone still managed to win despite the technicality of not being there. Full coverage.

What happened elsewhere? Silviana Sfiringu is your Romanian national champ, and Kim Bui won the all-around and Germany took team gold at a friendly meet against Italy, Switzerland, and France.

P.S. Fan Yilin will compete at the Cottbus World Cup, and U.S. nationals will be in Kansas City, MO next year.

Other things

USAG named a new CEO. Former U.S. Representative Mary Bono was named USA Gymnastics’ interim CEO and president on Friday.

Things went south, fast. Since this isn’t real life and is actually a dystopian soap opera, it didn’t take long for the gymternet to dig up Bono’s Twitter history, which included a tweet in which Bono covered the Nike logo on her sneakers with a Sharpie, presumably in protest of Nike’s recent ad campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick. Many responded, most notably Simone Biles, who is a Nike athlete and was not happy.

Bono deleted the tweet in question and tweeted “I regret the post.” USAG said they had reviewed Bono’s social media activity before the hiring but that missing the tweet was an “oversight.”

That’s not all. Survivor attorney John Manly also noted that Bono worked for Faegre Baker Daniels, a law firm that has worked for USAG in the past. Manly said that the firm helped USAG “keep Nassar’s abuse secret.” Survivors like Rachael Denhollander and Sarah Klein were not happy.

  • Parents of Australian gymnasts allege that physical and verbal abuse occurred at a Melbourne training center.
  • India’s drama continues, as the governing bodies failed to submit a nominative team roster for worlds by the deadline.
  • FIG President Morinari Watanabe was elected to the International Olympic Committee.

Required reading

  • I’m a sexual assault survivor. And a conservative. The Kavanaugh hearings were excruciating (Rachael Denhollander for Vox)

  • USA Gymnastics must remove interim CEO Mary Bono after its latest misstep in wake of scandal (USA Today)

  • Simone Biles has all the power, and she knows it (Deadspin)
  • MSU makes scores of changes after Nassar scandal (The Detroit News)

  • A day in the life: Sam Mikulak explains hour by hour the steps that lead to his success (Team USA)

Star status

Injuries. Pauline Schäfer has withdrawn from worlds contention with a foot injury, along with Nile Wilson, who hurt his hand. Eleftherios Petrounias of Greece will also miss worlds, and Denisa Golgotă had to withdraw from Romanian nationals after hurting her leg.

Upgrades. Angelina Melnikova showed off her new Cheng, Jade Carey is training a Bhardwaj, and Olivia Dunne is training a Dos Santos II.

Recoveries. Simone Biles’ toe is improving, which is clearly why she didn’t throw the Cheng full. Eythora Thorsdottir is recovering nicely from her hand injury.

Staying social

For the beauty vlogger in your life. Simone has a Caboodles line. She also said that speaking out about her abuse was “empowering” though she thinks the word is “overused.” Wonder why.

For the impressionable child in your life. Laurie’s children’s book She’s Got This was released, and she says she’s training for the 2020 Olympics.

For that important board meeting. Russia’s worlds leos are here.

For your inner country music fan. Nastia Liukin starred in a video.

For the one you’d take a bullet for. Mykayla Skinner risked her life for choreography.

Mark your calendar

The first episode of Believed, the podcast about the survivors of Larry Nassar’s abuse, drops next week.

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12 thoughts on “Around the Gymternet: I am no one to be trifled with

  1. I’m dying that she took 40 years to upgrade from a Lopez to a Cheng but decided to do a Cheng half just ten months after returning to training. I know she’ll be submitting the skill for World’s but do you know when we’ll have a full list of the new skill submissions?


  2. Thank you for linking the Denhollander article! It was an interesting read from an interesting perspective—regardless of what community we belong to, we need to make sure justice is meted out fairly even for our own. It might be uncomfortable or counterproductive to a larger agenda, but it’s the only way we can make our society see sexual assault and rape as serious accusations and crimes that should never be dismissed or overlooked.


  3. Actually the report on Indian situation is not entirely correct. As long as the nominative entries deadline of 27th of September was met, and it was, there is no penalty. (And I would not call CHF 1000 a heavy penalty, considering what the participation would cost anyway. That penalty they would have had to pay, had they missed the initial deadline.) Yes, the deadline for making changes online, 8 October, has also passed, but you can still make changes by e-mail. You can change gymnasts until 24 hours to the start of qualification with no extra cost. Yes, the drama is still there and the organizations have to agree finally whom to send.


  4. Pingback: Around the Gymternet: I am no one to be trifled with | species specific

  5. Not at all surprised about the issues with Bono. The truth of the matter is, USAG will probably have an issue with any CEO. Most CEO’s are trained to be a certain way-profits first. There’s been talk amongst the business community about how atrocious the results have been and how that should change, but as far as the current business curriculum goes nothing has changed.


  6. Conservative/Republican women really need to wake up and see that rape culture is a feature of conservatism, not a bug. People love to bring up Bill Clinton, but that was twenty years ago. I’m 38 and am too young to have ever voted for him. The liberal and/or Democratic side, while still not perfect has made big improvements, the right has doubled down and declared men accused of assault as being the real victims. Kavanaugh, Mary Bono, it all ties together. Not sure what it’s going to take to get white evangelical women to see that you can’t have a Christian dominionist nation without rape culture. They are very bound together. Just look at the Duggars.


  7. I dont understand why USAG doesnt bring all the national team members, their coaches, and any other coaches that have been actively involved in monthly camps for several years but may not have kid on team right now; get them all together and discuss what THEY want. Clearly, the bozos in charge still dont get it. It isnt rocket science. For God’s sake, put Aly in charge for the time being; let her get everyone together and make a decision on the right person for the athletes. But do this all after worlds. And for God’s sake, media folk, dont ask the gymnasts about this bs 2 weeks before Doha. Ru kidding me?!?! SMH.


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