“i love how we just accept the fact that chick fil a is closed on sundays.” -Simone was hungry, I guess. Around the Gymternet: Bringing you the news that matters since 2017.
The Greatest Hits of 2018
Lots happened in 2018. Let’s take a moment to reflect, shall we?
10. Gymnasts shared their #fails
One fateful day in May, Italy’s Sydney Saturnino decided to share her gym fail, and we haven’t gone back since: Hundreds of other gymnasts shared their most hilarious falls as part of the #GymnasticsFailChallenge. In a sport that could use all the positivity it can get, it’s always nice when we can laugh at ourselves, and, of course, at other people.
9. Jade Carey went her own way
Team USA’s “Jade who?” rising star of 2017 decided this year that she doesn’t want to go to your trash Olympic trials, because she doesn’t have to. In a bit of a shocker, Carey made the move to qualify as an individual to the 2020 Olympics through the apparatus world cups, bypassing team selection altogether and, horrifyingly, making us all do math.
8. Van Gerner channelled her inner feline
Celine van Gerner stunned with this Cats-themed floor routine at the Euros floor final, competing in full makeup and later taking a long nap on your keyboard while you’re trying to work from home. Some loved it, some hated it, but the FIG definitely hated it, stating during worlds that makeup must be “modest,” since the year is 1958. In any case, like me with my local ice cream parlor’s sample policy, van Gerner will go down in history as the badass who changed the rules.
7. Musty returned
What would we do without her? After taking a “break” to have a baby after Rio, Aliya Mustafina made her much awaited return in April at the Russian Championships and casually made the worlds team. She contributed bars, beam, and floor scores to help her team to a silver, and took fifth in the bars final, all while carrying little Alisa in a papoose. Not too shabby.
6. Italy’s juniors made waves
Italy’s juniors aren’t messing around: They showed up at Euros and took seven medals, including the team and all-around titles. Giorgia Villa later beat Viktoria Komova’s record for Youth Olympic Games medals, coming home with three golds and a silver, including the all-around title, and usurping old men as the new and improved Italian mob.
5. Rhys took Commonwealths gold
Ireland’s pride and joy Rhys McClenaghan took his country’s first Commonwealth Games gold medal with a near-perfect pommels routine. He followed that up by winning Ireland’s first European Championships gold along with all our stone-cold hearts. Anyone else just wanna make him a sandwich?
4. Nina Derwael won Belgium’s first worlds gold
Nina Derwael took her country’s first-ever world gold medal with this mind-boggling routine, following up on her Euros gold and 20 hit routines this year. She continued her trend with another gold at Cottbus, perhaps her first step toward Tokyo.
3. Peng Peng Lee went out with a bang
Peng Peng Lee’s final routine in the final meet of her career had to be perfect, and she didn’t disappoint. Lee hit the 10 heard around the world, clinching victory for UCLA at the Super Six over challengers Oklahoma and star all-arounder Maggie Nichols, who finally got her title.
2. Simone broke records
Simone Biles returned to competition at the 2018 U.S. Classic with some new tricks up her sleeve. She casually broke the record for most world all-around titles after winning her fourth, had a new vault named for her, and won a medal in every event. She later passed a kidney stone that competed at the 2018 Kidney Stone Olympics, winning golds in mineral concentration and crystallization.
1. Rachael Denhollander led an army
Rachael Denhollander, the first woman to publicly accuse Larry Nassar of abuse, spoke last at Larry Nassar’s Ingham County sentencing. Her bravery, poise, and general badassery continue to inspire us, along with the over 300 women who have followed her by coming forward. We salute you, we support you, and we’ll continue in 2019 to fight for the changes that need to be made to make our sport safe.
Wut else you should know
- Honorable mention: Kenzo Shirai did Mai Murakami’s floor routine, prompting this incredible Venn Diagram. This local hero put the two routines side by side.
- SafeSport CEO Shellie Pfohl is stepping down.
- The 2019 Russian national team was announced, Aliya will compete AA at Russians, and Elena Eremina will also be there.
- Op-ed: This was a year of reckoning for Olympic sports (The OC Register)
I have a new planner, with brand new multi-colored pens, and I’m ready to tell you all about it. Oh, and if you have other favorite moments from 2018, disagree with me below.
Want to help out and qualify for super fun rewards for as little as $1/month? Check us out on Patreon!