Around the Gymternet: It was the best of times


“Gym gods: Well, y’all wanted Nabs back on teams so much, but we don’t do favors for free.” -Our candles worked, y’all; problem is we forgot everything comes back in threes.

It was the worst of times

The FIT Challenge happened. The Dutch seniors did very well at the Flanders International Team Challenge, taking the all-around title (Naomi Visser with a 54.533) and the team title, and Romania’s juniors won the team competition plus gold and silver in the all-around. Don’t call it a comeback. Results.

Brazilian nationals happened. Thaís Fidélis won the women’s all-around title at the Brazilian Championships, followed by Flávia Saraiva, who also won beam, and Jade Barbosa. But the big news from Brazil is Rebeca Andrade tearing her ACL during the all-around. So it goes. She’s having surgery this week and is obviously done for the season.

French nationals happened. Mélanie de Jesus dos Santos dominated here, winning the all-around, beam, and floor. She had a scary fall during the bars final, but turns out she’s OK. Lorette Charpy took second in the all-around, bars, beam, and floor. Marine Boyer is injured and wasn’t present. So it goes. Results.

Mexico held trials. Mexico named their Pan American Games team after nationals and a selection comp (results here). Alexa Moreno hit her head, pulled out of the final selection, and didn’t make the team. So it goes. Frida Esparza, who is deferring UCLA until 2020, is also injured. So it goes.

Lineups. Here’s your junior worlds team master list. In senior worlds news, Mai Murakami didn’t make Japan’s team because of their bonkers selection rules. Meanwhile, the gymternet rejoiced when Tatiana Nabieva made Russia’s Universiade team, and Spencer put together some of her greatest hits for us.

One more thing. The women of North Korea aren’t going to Asian Championships.

Wut else happened

Parkettes coach banned. Parkettes coach John Holman has been banned from having contact with minors while SafeSport investigates a misconduct claim. Jennifer Sey, who wrote about Holman in her tell-all memoir Chalked Up, said “Not surprising.”

Peyton said #MeToo. Peyton Ernst came forward as a survivor of Larry Nassar on Tuesday, saying “I didn’t want to talk about it because it was hard, but I know if I kept it in, I wouldn’t be able to move on.”

MSU news. Michigan State University wants to settle with those survivors who filed in the second wave of lawsuits for much less than they did with the first wave. Meanwhile, the trial of former MSU dean and Nassar’s former boss William Strampel continues, with a doctor testifying that Strampel neglected to enforce the restrictions placed on Nassar after his Title IX investigation.

Required reading

  • The Gymnast’s Position (Longreads)
  • An open letter to the sister survivors (The Gymternet)
  • Larry Nassar’s sentencing gave Judge Rosemarie Aquilina a national audience. And it changed her life (Lansing State Journal)
  • Simone Biles reminds us how deep every gymnast’s bag of tricks is (Deadspin)

Star status

Injuries. See above. Also, Li Qi is injured, and both she and Du Siyu are off the national team. So it goes.

Recoveries. There’s a silver lining, folks: Dominick Cunningham is on the up-and-up.

Gym switch. In “Whaaaaaaaat???” news, Jordan Chiles is at World Champions Centre now.

NCAA corner

Bailie retired. Bailie Key has medically retired from gymnastics, she announced this week. She recently had back surgery and competed in only one meet in her two-year NCAA career (so it goes). Best of luck to Bailie in her future endeavors.

UCLA news. UCLA has a new volunteer assistant coach. Speaking of UCLA (aren’t we always?), Laney Madsen is heading there.

Ragan 2019? One of our little birds saw “OU 2019” in Ragan Smith’s Instagram bio, and another noticed LSU in Alyona Shchennikova’s. As if we wouldn’t notice.

Clara headed to Nebraska. Clara Colombo will become the first Italian gymnast to compete in NCAA, at the University of Nebraska. Bravo!

ASU hire. Arya Stark aka Kristina Baskett is their new assistant coach as well as, I’m told, the new Lord Commander of the Kingsguard.

Staying social

A note of gratitude. Thank you all for schooling me on virtuous value parts. I’m clearly behind on my podcasting and won’t let you down again.

All the drugs. Drugs will be customary at the junior world champs, giving us so much potential for more after school specials.

Code drama, part III. Spencer went over which skills were given to gymnasts only to be snatched away like that one time my mom wrapped up my favorite toy and gave it to another kid.

Ragan=Riley. Nickelodeon can’t tell the difference between Ragan Smith and Riley McCusker, but I’m honestly just too exasperated to be angry about it. 

Style guide. Luba is finding new leos everywhere, for everyone.

Last words

Making hummus for the first time. Stay tuned.

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17 thoughts on “Around the Gymternet: It was the best of times

  1. Really interesting article by Dvora you posted. Thanks for sharing it. (I love these roundups, I’d miss so much otherwise!)

    My (personal opinion) takeaways from it are (a) feels like the Utah location and strong Mormon culture had a lot to do with the backlash, and (b) people would be even less up in arms about it if she had a prepubescent child look instead of looking like a grown woman.

    That guy that wrote a letter being like “my roommate has your poster on his wall and I’ve looked at it, so I get to comment on your body and choices” and “you don’t understand what effects women’s bodies have on men” is just. What. And the coach telling women to stop doing track training in sports bras because it would distract the men in a different practice! Ugh. And all the rest she says about constantly having to reiterate that gymnastics and skating are sports that require hard work: so much yes, and so frustrating.


    • I wonder if there’s more to that than is yet public, like there’s some kind of internal politics going on that led to the petition being rejected. It’s never not going to be dumb tho.


      • I’m sure that there are internal politics at play, but that just makes it even more infuriating. Selecting a team this far in advance is stupid.


  2. Oooh I hope Ragan does start NCAA this year because
    1) I am greedy OU fan who wants to be able to watch a team with her AND Maggie Nichols.
    2) I fear that if she pushes herself through the 2020 process, we’ll see an announcement like Bailie’s with her name on it in 2 years or so.


  3. Ok but theres’ no way that Japan will actually leave Mai Murakami off the team if she gets healthy, right? She’s like the best female gymnast in their country’s history. I seriously doubt they’re going to let her miss Worlds when an Olympic qualifying spots are on the line. They’ll find some way to loophole her onto the team. Also NOOOOOOOOO REBECA WHYYYYYYY!?!?!?!?


    • Unless something goes very, very wrong between now and Worlds, Japan will qualify fairly easily to the Games – USA, Russia, and China have already secured their spots so they only have to finish in the top 9 of teams not including those three, and they should make team finals without too much trouble even without Mai. The real issue is fixing this now so they aren’t faced with the same situation next year, when it’s a team medal on the line at a home Olympic Games and losing Mai or Asuka to a bureaucratic nightmare like this could very much be the difference between a podium finish and not even placing at all.


      • Don’t forget Hatakeda too. She isn’t a “star” but on a team of only 4 people you need somebody like her. Strong, Dependable and can go up on any event when needed as seen at last year’s worlds when she had to go up on all 4 events and coped with that pressure very well. She’s also easily their best bars worker.


    • Without mai jp chance of trying for podium is nearly nonexistent….they also throw away their chance at an aa and fx medal….


  4. I love these weekly round ups! They are like (and I mean this is in the absolute best way possible) the gymternet version of Gossip Girl (but with facts and data, of course).


  5. Can you imagine how strong a potential Biles/Carey/Chiles vault lineup at World’s would be? The only contender I can think of is USA’s 2012 lineup.


    • dont forget skinner if she can get her (hopefully not one arm anymore) cheng/amanar back… also maybe grace mccallum can mix this up with her amanar?

      then you just two more well balanced AA good in bars and beams, (hurd and mccusker or anyone else similar).

      i don’t know if we have room for eaker again ?


  6. Soooooo glad that Daas is gone from Utah. I really disliked the routines she gave the girls last season. They looked uncomfortable doing them. MMG was the only one with the guts to say enough is enough.


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