Around the Gymternet: Can you ever just be, like, whelmed

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“Well they said I could land anywhere, so I chose my face.” -Simone had a bad landing on floor. Lucky for her, when you’re the Queen you can change the narrative however you like.

Comp news

Doha happened. Jade Carey won both the vault (with a Cheng) and floor titles, putting her in a great place qualifications-wise. Maria Paseka’s Amanar looks amazing and she took second.

Li Qi won beam, followed by Nina Derwael and Marine Boyer, who is now in first in qualifications. Nina Derwael won bars with her always-incredible routine, ahead of Fan Yilin.

For the boys, Tin Srbic of Croatia took the high bar title, Zou Jingyuan won parallel bars, Yang Hak-seon won vault, Lan Xingyu took the rings title, Alexander Shatilov won floor, and Lee Chih-Kai won pommels.

Meanwhile, the FIG’s Twitter account had yet another Asia mix-up, so it has been zero days since their last racism. Check out our live hits on our Twitter, and go here for current qualifications standings.

Birmingham happened. Aliya Mustafina hit everything but beam to win the all-round, and she also did some improv in her beam routine. Riley McCusker got silver despite falling twice. Almost everyone fell on beam, but not Brazil’s Thais Fidelis, who had a fantastic day to take third. Live blog.

For the boys, Nikita Nagornyy and Sun Wei predictably took first and second, respectively.

Superstars of Gymnastics happened, for some reason. My feelings (Yes, I have them): 1. How/why is this a thing. We don’t have a Superstars of Major League Baseball Gala. 2. Danusia’s having a BLAST, good for her.

Anyway, this place has everything: A Stick It reboot, moves that seemed both dangerous and unnecessary, flossing yes even after all this time, Romania’s brand new flag, a heartfelt goodbye from Danny Purvis, and more. Spencer’s Take can’t come soon enough.

Lineups. Turns out, Musty will go to Euros because nothing makes sense.

We hope you had your rosters in pencil, because Claudia Fragapane is going to Euros instead of Kelly Simm, who competed on a fractured foot at British Champs; Jamie Lewis will go to Euros for Brinn Bevan; and Carolyn Pedro will go to Tokyo World Cup for Brazil instead of Thais Fidelis.

Conference Champs

All went in accordance with prophecy. Oklahoma won the Big 12 with a 197.575, and Brenna Dowell was awarded gymnast of the year. LSU won the SEC title over Florida and Georgia with a 197.850, thanks in part to Sarah Finnegan’s 10 on floor. Oh, and everyone has feelings about their leotard.

UCLA took the PAC-12 title with a season-high 198.40. In another episode of, “Turns out doing the right thing isn’t all that hard,” Katelyn Ohashi changed her floor routine to remove the Michael Jackson bits, and got another 10. So did Kyla Ross, on floor and bars. Utah came in second with a 198.025. Speaking of Utah, Mykayla Skinner finally got her 10, but it was on floor.

Some news

AAF taking new steps. The non-profit Athlete Assistance Fund announced on Tuesday that it’s partnering with the New York Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children to help educate the gym community and prevent abuse.

Alicia Sacramone Quinn is working as an athlete rep for the org along with Sam Peszek. While some are skeptical about the non-profit’s connection with USA Gymnastics, a rep says the two are not affiliated.

More Engler drama. Former interim Michigan State University president John Engler has been spotted courtside at the school’s basketball games, but the Attorney General says he’s been dodging her interview requests by saying he won’t be in the state.

Engler’s lawyer says this isn’t true, but that the AG is biased against Engler and now he will refuse to meet until the AG recuses herself.

Star status

Simone. Simone Biles talked to a few Brit papers last week, telling them that she’s always in pain and that she plans on retiring after Tokyo. Samesies.

Injuries. Vanessa Ferrari plans to get tendon surgery when she gets home from Doha. Also, Chris Remkes tore his ACL and meniscus.

Upgrades. Morgiboo is training a Moors.

Comebacks. Oleg is training rings, and Kristal (Uzelac) Bodenschatz talked about her comeback.

Last words

I have to turn my computer off for the first time in like three months or it will literally croak.

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30 thoughts on “Around the Gymternet: Can you ever just be, like, whelmed

        • True. I’ve never actually seen it. But we have things like that and the dunk contests. But for both a home run derby and a dunk contest, you’re seeing an aspect of the competition at its best. For gym, it’s watered down and with added costumes and antics. I just don’t see the point—why isn’t gymnastics enough?

          What’s the equivalent of a home run derby in gym? How many times they can do a certain skill in a row? Who can get the most height on a vault? It’s certainly not “do a skill and we’ll rate it on…fun?”

          Then again, the gymnasts and the crowd seemed to enjoy it, so who the hell am I.


        • @jtprice Meh, a home run derby is definitely watered down (as are any of the various “skills contests” done in basketball, hockey, etc). They are getting batting practice pitches at like 50 mph thrown by pitching/infield coaches, since the point is that they’re *supposed* to hit home runs.

          So I would argue that yes, other sports have these kind of silly things, too, and yes, most people I know think they’re pretty dumb and just want to get back to the regular season. I think the true gymnastics equivalent, like you asked, would be things like handstand contests, flexibility contests, and so on… skills competitions like you’d do in a camp. I think hardcore gym fans would like that a little more, although I’m guessing casual fans (and kids, who are a big percentage of the gymnastics audience…) might prefer the silly stuff?


  1. It looks like Cal and Oregon State ended up tied for 15th in the final NQS/RQS. Does anyone know what the tiebreaker is? It seems like Spencer is assuming that Oregon State ended up 16th with his tweets. So switching Cal and Auburn would technically only be a two-spot move and not a three-spot move…unless I’m missing something.


  2. lauren, you putting up the doha results?

    it will be interesting to see if usag will continue to send jade to more cup or not after the 3 she did. even if she is in first place and get all the points from rebecca andrade, there’s always possibility of paseka winning the last 3 or 4. then it would come to a tie breaker. not what jade wants… but maybe that’s what usag wants? lol.


    • I’m wondering if the US would allow her to go to another one if she self-funded. I know they said they’d pay for three, so they may not want to pay for another, but what if she wants to pay her own way? I remember reading that the FIG said countries weren’t supposed to prevent athletes from going to world cups, but that “rule” if it even is one seems kind of hard to enforce.


  3. Sad to hear Simone’s body isn’t doing well. I thought she might go for a third Olympics since she is still so dominant.


  4. Brinn is still going to Euros, unless anything changes. He pulled out of the world cup as a precaution so as not to aggravate a small niggle after the British.


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