“Lilia Podkopayeva is the best all-around gymnast of all time. Unlike most great all-arounders, Lilia had no weak event. She had difficulty and captivating artistry on all four events. Lilia was also the queen of front tumbling. In this essay I will” – I’m no expert but I’m pretty sure Twitter user @catalinasbars just invented a new major.
The American Cup happened. And it was so very American. Team USA went 1-2 for both the men and women, with Yul Moldauer defending his American Cup title ahead of Sam Mikulak and Ma Yue, and newcomer Leanne Wong taking the women’s title with an incredible performance (ahem, 3.5 twists) that put her ahead of Grace McCallum and Ellie Black. Winners took home a block of sliced, heavily processed cheese. Live hits.
But what about the drama? Right. In NBC news, Nastia’s done with those goddamn polos, we didn’t see as many routines as we’d like, and Tim Daggett forgot that we could hear him throughout the entire Olympic Channel broadcast.
Meanwhile, the FIG’s Twitter account horrifyingly mixed up Leanne Wong with Kara Eaker, leading at least one fan to wonder if they could be brought to Tokyo as one person to get an extra bite of the apple.
Jesolo happened. Sunisa Lee topped the air mattress podium for the seniors, followed by Liu Tingting and Emma Malabuyo, though I’m sure by morning they’ll find themselves on even ground. Meanwhile, everyone’s excited about Konnor McClain doing a real, live layout on beam and taking the junior all-around title with a whopping 56.167.
OU beat UCLA. In perhaps the biggest sporting event of the century, Oklahoma beat UCLA (in front of a record home crowd of over 10,000) 197.775 to 197.575, eking out the win after being tied in the third rotation, and making KJ do this. Maggie Nichols sat out of the all-around, doing bars and beam.
Kyla “Kayla” Ross started out with a “perfect 20” on bars and vault, ending the night with a 39.850, and Katelyn Ohashi of Rolling Stone fame got another 10 on floor. Also, some people took issue with Miss Val’s rules. Live hits.
FIG official doubts survivors. Liubou Charkashyna—the president of the FIG’s athlete’s commission—said in an interview that she does not believe that sex abuse in sports happens in “the amount of specifically the sports cases that have been thrown at us,” and that “this is America, they know how to make money.”
Dvora Meyers says Deadspin has reached out to the FIG for comment.
New fund set up. Michigan State University has set up an interim fund to replace the Healing Assistance Fund, which was frozen in July and is still under investigation for potential fraud.
Meanwhile, MSU’s board is considering opening an independent investigation into how Larry Nassar was able to thrive at the university for so long.
Romania. It’s in trouble. They only have five seniors right now, and Ponor’s screening her calls.
Injuries. Latalia Bevan of Wales had surgery. It went well; in fact, she gave it two thumbs up.
Comebacks. Laurie Hernandez showed off a bhs loso on beam.
“Her dad is topless.” This is the only thread that matters.
Dreams come true. Rhys McClenaghan thinks this talented gymnast deserves a spot on the Olympic team, as do I.
Max, Jr. is here. Max Whitlock had a baby. Congrats, Max! Just don’t tell my husband, whom I’ve convinced that baby-making isn’t possible right now because of climate change.
Want to help out and qualify for super fun rewards for as little as $1/month? Check us out on Patreon!