Around the Gymternet: Twinsies

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“I just want to restate how dumb it is that there is one meet named ‘USA Gymnastics Championships’ and one named ‘US Gymnastics Championships.’” -Thank you, Courtyard Tapir, for raising awareness.

Simone won

Biles dominated at nationals. Simone Biles won her sixth national all-around title on Sunday as well as every event but bars, becoming the first woman to do a triple double on floor in competition and the first to compete a double double dismount on beam. She had errors on day one, putting her hands down on her triple double, but had an incredible second day for a 118.500 total.

Sunisa Lee surprised for second with eight hit routines and won the bars title with her usual gorgeous, jam-packed set. Grace McCallum rallied for third after errors put her in ninth on day one. 

Morgan Hurd, who reminder did Pan Ams ONE WEEK ago, had a floor mishap on day one but came in fourth with an excellent day two despite “want[ing] to puke” before floor. Riley McCusker was like “same,” doing well on day one but withdrawing halfway through day two due to illness. Leanne Wong (“same”), Jordan Chiles (with a WCC glow up), and Jade Carey rounded out the top seven, and Kara Eaker (“same”) had a couple falls to put her in 10th.

For our NCAAers, McKayla Skinner did her giant full to Fabrichnova on bars, incredibly coming in eighth with a fall, and Trinity Thomas did the Biles and came in ninth with falls; both made the national team (day 1 live blog, day 2 live blog).

For the juniors, Kayla DiCello took the title, with day one leader Konnor McClain in second (day 1 live blog, day 2 live blog). Here’s your junior women’s national team.

Other shit. In other Simone Things, she got angry after her performances on day one, saying she was “pissed off” after her floor errors and that her bar routine was a “piece of shit” which I LOVE swearing Simone, but she was much more cheerful on day two which is obvi even better. She had her name AND the outline of a goat on her training leotard, and responded to the haters. She got a fruit bowl that she possibly doesn’t have the counter space for.

There were pretty leos and there were bonfire leos, the floor was ripped up in accordance with tradition, Peng Peng Lee is the new Macready, we found out we’re pronouncing Eaker wrong, Laurent reacted to a beam error, Nastia had outfits, and we had some commentating mishaps as per usual because #standards.

Sam won his sixth title, too. In dudeland, Sam Mikulak won his sixth national title Saturday with an amazing performance, hitting 12 for 12 and also winning every event but rings and vault. He was followed by Yul Moldauer and Akash Modi (Day 1 live blog, Day 2 live blog). Here’s your senior men’s national team and your worlds selection camp roster.

Colin Van Wicklen withdrew with a concussion but is still in contention for worlds. Matt Wenske hurt his ankle and left the comp, too. Alec Yoder withdrew from day two with an injury and won’t be in the mix for worlds. 

Colt Walker won the junior title in the 17-19 division, and Taylor Burkhart won for 15-16 (live blog). Here’s your junior men’s national team

Other shit. We weren’t sure if this was a bug or a feature for Shane Wiskus, and everyone was impressed with Gage Dyer, who started gymnastics at 13 and can already do this. In other news, Mikulak did pommels in his head, Donnell Whittenburg wore a headband, and Akash Modi likes Taco Bell

Wut else happened

Biles called out USAG. Biles was openly critical of USA Gymnastics after Thursday’s podium training, and got emotional, saying, “It’s hard coming here for an organization and having had them fail us so many times…They couldn’t do one damn job…You literally had one job, and you couldn’t protect us.” 

Li Li Leung responded, saying, “Our athletes should be able to say what they feel,” and that the organization is on a “positive trajectory,” but Rachael Denhollander called BS and Lynn Raisman isn’t impressed either.

People also noticed that USAG vice president of communications Leslie King was there and wondered why she’s still with the org after we found out she wrote this 2015 email.

Li is out as rep. USA Gymnastics athlete rep Anna Li resigned on Wednesday in light of allegations of abuse that have emerged in recent weeks. Both Li and her mother Jiani Wu are under investigation by SafeSport. Li appeared at nationals as a judge; according to Kensley Behel, it’s because the investigation is still ongoing.

Strampel was sentenced. William Strampel—the former Michigan State dean who was Larry Nassar’s boss—was sentenced to one year in prison on Wednesday. Jurors found in June that he neglected to monitor Nassar’s behavior and also sexually harassed students while in office.

  • Sara Teresti—the former gymnast who alleges that she was molested by Nassar—says in a new book that he also raped her.
  • A judge decided not to dismiss a felony charge against former MSU gymnastics coach Kathy Klages.
  • Rachael Denhollander’s book (coming to an Amazon near you September 10th) has a trailer, which I didn’t know was a thing, but OK.

Required Reading

  • Opinion: Competitiveness is what takes U.S. gymnast Simone Biles from good to GOAT (USA Today)
  • Opinion: Simone Biles isn’t just best gymnast of her time, she’s an athlete for the ages (USA Today)

  • Simone Biles 2.0: Somehow, someway, there’s nowhere to go but up (The Guardian)
  • Simone Biles is right to ask why adults in Olympic movement didn’t do their job (USA Today)
  • No quick fixes at USA Gymnastics, but small signs of progress (USA Today)
  • If the healing process were a marathon, USA Gymnastics is at the first mile marker (ESPNW)
  • Kristie Phillips—the champion gymnast who never made it to the Olympics (Olympic Channel)

Star status

Retirements. Celine van Gerner sadly announced her retirement on Friday; someone throw her a Cats-themed party, STAT.

Juliette Bossu also announced her retirement on Saturday, citing knee pain. Good luck in your future endeavors, ladies!

Comebacks. Kristal Bodenschatz wishes she could be at nationals instead of injured, which SO DO WE KRISTAL #oldbroadsunite!

Non-juries. Heath Thorpe decided not to try for worlds this year, but he’s fine, we’re all fine, everyone’s fine.

NCAA corner

Promotions. Lou Ball and Tom Haley have both been promoted to associate head coach at Oklahoma.

Retirements. Boise State head coach Neil Resnick announced his retirement on Friday.

Sad news. George Washington 2017 alumna Alex de Moura passed away on a trip to Mexico on Monday. Our deepest condolences go out to Alex’s loved ones.

Staying social

Welcome back, McKayla! McKayla Maroney is back on Twitter! Now go send her some ❤ 

Throwback. Remember that time Trinity’s split went all the way to the ceiling? We do.

From the desk of MH. Morgan Hurd shared her book list with us for National Book Lovers’ Day.

But how. This fail has the gymternet scratching their heads. And laughing, too. 

Last words

Greetings from Germany. It’s 5am and I’m typing quietly so as not to wake my sleeping husband #gympriorities

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25 thoughts on “Around the Gymternet: Twinsies

  1. Thank you for pointing out how Eaker is pronounced. Tim and the other male commentator were, in fact, saying “Acre” but in my head it had always been “ee-ker” so I thought Tim and the other one might be wrong (I mean, Tim says “Chung” instead of “Cheng”). So hard to adjust now!


  2. After watching a fencer (I used to fence) kneel at the medals ceremony at the Pan Am games, I am impressed and proud of the US Womens Gymnastics teams. They have a more personal grievance than any other athletes. The USOC and USWGF abused them. They fought back like the strong, smart women they are. But they never took it to the competition. They have always honored the ceremonies the fans love and stay late for. Whatever their political beliefs and opinions about America, they do not use the competition to display them. I am sure if Aly Raisman wanted to go for a third Olympics, she could have. But she decided to remain an advocate for athlete safety. Simone properly voiced her opinion to a reporter. I contrast that to the woman on the soccer team, who is only 8 years older than Simone, cursing, drinking, showing off and voicing her dislike of the president and her disdain for the governing organization over her salary. The gymnasts have the worst acts to protest and they do. But they do it with the class and dignity that demands the serious attention it deserves; I didn’t put this very well, but if you see it the same way, perhaps you could point it out more eloquently. I am so proud of all of our gymnasts. I am sure many of them could fine citizenship in another country and thereby make international teams, and be competitive. Americans might claim the top ten spots! Just kidding. But I think they shoud be recognized for being sane in an otherwise hyperpartisan insane world


    • Tbh, I don’t really see a problem with anyone kneeling. No one gets hurt or injured in the act. Athletes can be directly affected by the issues that they express and I think it creates better communication with fans to know what’s going on. We follow athletes’ lives on Instagram and kneeling is silent way to follow them through their head during competition.

      Also, keep in mind, Simone called out USAG and USOC on NBC during competition and every competition these issues with USAG and OC get mentioned. It’s important because these are the issues that will be stuck with her for the rest of her life.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Your implication that it’s a bad thing to kneel for the flag is really misguided. A lot of people have grievances over the treatment of themselves and others and one way for people with a teeny tiny soapbox to do that is by kneeling during the anthem. You seem to be suggesting that there’s some sort of grievance olympics, where the gymnasts win because their grievance is “worse” than, as you say “the woman on the soccer team” (she has a name, btw, it’s Megan Rapinoe). The lack of funding and salaries for the women’s soccer team is a major grievance, and these women’s battle against US Soccer could bring about actual wage gap change for the rest of the country. And honestly? You don’t want Megan Rapinoe to get political against Trump? A lesbian isn’t supposed to “get political” under the reign of a leader who is vehemently anti-LGBT? That’s not politics to her, that’s personal, it’s her LIFE.
      Honestly, I wonder what Simone would even think about you trying to pit her against another female athlete in some kind of competition over dignity and class and politics.

      Liked by 1 person

      • THANK YOU. What a creepy comment, shoehorning her dislike of the USWNT into a gymnastics forum. Creepy and inappropriate. And pitting the grievances of the women gymnasts against the grievances of the USWNT is utterly tacky and unfeminist. It’s not an oppression competition, and pay equity (the USWNT suit against US Soccer) and the *multiple* issues pretty much everyone on the USWNT has against Trump (who, BTW, was openly rooting for them to lose) is just as valid as the problem Simone has with USAG.

        Only people with privilege (or those who think they have privilege) can get smug and sanctimonious about not wanting things to be “political.” The truth is–it’s *all* political.

        Liked by 1 person

        • And you just know they only made that comparison between Biles and Rapinoe because they’re women athletes. No one would ever think to compare Sam Mikulak’s attitude with Clint Dempsey’s. It’s so gross.


  3. Can we stop damning every name we see based on the tiniest patchwork of scraps we find about what happened in 2015? What the FBI was doing from 2015-2016, and what the FBI told USAG employees, and what those employees were told was happening and what they were instructed to do by the FBI is still one giant, messy mystery. For all anyone knows, the FBI told Leslie King they were investigating and not to interfere in case she messed up their investigation. No one knows, and they certainly don’t know based on that email. Wait for more certainty and clear evidence before automatically condemning someone. You’ll want the same for yourself someday.


    • I think we can feel pretty confident that the FBI did no such thing given that if you read the documents in the Senate report, the FBI told Steve Penny that there is no protocol. Leslie King has also put out a lot of the gross and tone deaf statements from USAG and should be gone for that alone.

      Two other people who should be gone are Renee Jameson and Amy White. White aided and abetted Steve Penny destroying evidence at the ranch and I don’t understand how she is employed by USAG. I don’t care if she was ordered by her boss…it’s called using judgement and when your boss tells you to do something illegal, effing say no.

      As for Jameson, regardless of the Nassar situation, she and Kathy Kelly were part of the cover up of sexual abuse for a very long time.

      Li Li Leung seems like an improvement over the last two CEOs but I agree that it is a low bar and that the words are empty and I would like to see action. The three people I named need to be gone.


      • But what was the FBI doing for a whole year? Why did it take that long for Nassar to be arrested, and why did the FBI (reportedly) wait until Olympic Trials to even interview Maggie? There’s so much with the FBI where I still don’t understand what they were doing.


        • What does any of that have to do with cleaning house at USAG?

          I agree that the FBI needs to answer questions but that shouldn’t stop Li Li from firing the people I named. The two have nothing to do with one another.


  4. Wow! seeing how happy mykayla was and her expression was actually worth more than the fabrinova dismount itself!!

    It’s too bad that she didn’t get a connection value for it; She still definitely need to clean up her bars and beam and make it less jerky.

    But overall, i am impressed for just a few months into coming back and it’s almost like she just didn’t take much of a break from elite.


  5. Skinner didn’t do a toe full to Fabrichnova, just a full to Fabrichnova. As someone pointed out, she doesn’t get connection value as a result.


    • yep just a full piroette to fabr. yeah, would be nice to get a connection too ;).

      most gymnasts don’t do this dismount but given it’s 0.2 more than the single twist ver, it might be worth it for twisters and tricksters.


    • Speaking of Germany, is anyone going to Worlds at Stuttgart? I just bought my ticket for the team final and am trying to find tickets for the other finals, especially event finals.


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