Around the Gymternet: A failure of epic proportions


“i can’t believe shawn mendes came to a Morgan Hurd meet n greet omg he’s so lucky.” – Morgan Hurd ran into Shawn Mendes, who tragically didn’t seem to realize he was in the presence of greatness.

Comp news

The Russian Cup finished up. Russian Cup event finals happened, with all-around champ Vladislava Urazova winning floor and taking a bronze and silver, Lilia Akhaimova winning vault and a bronze, Daria Spiridinova winning bars, and Yana Vorona winning beam (women’s results, men’s results).

Maria Paseka, who placed fifth in the vault final, was disappointed in her performance, hilariously saying, “It was a complete failure!” We love you, Maria. Here’s your very tentative Russian worlds team.

Mersin happened. At the Mersin World Challenge Cup over the weekend, Teja Belak won vault, Turkey’s Nazli Savranbaşi won bars, Canada’s Audrey Rousseau took the beam title, and Göksu Üçtaş Şanli of Turkey won floor.

All-Japan happened. Mai Murakami won All-Japan Senior Championships with a 56.665 so Japan’s probably regretting that whole naming a worlds team eight billion years early thing. Kohei Uchimura also made his comeback there for fifth place, with Kazuma Kaya taking the men’s all-around title.

Many other comps happened. Giorgia Villa won the Heerenveen Friendly with a 55.633, Anastasiya Savitskaya is your new Belarussian champ, Spain held trials, Mexico named its worlds team and so did France, Noémi Makra won Hungarian nationals, Egypt dominated at African Games with Farah Hussein taking the all-around title, and Li Shijia won a qualifier for China’s worlds team.

Looking ahead. Here are our predictions for Team Germany.

Wut happened

More details about Li, Wu. At least 15 complaints have been filed with USA Gymnastics against 2012 Olympic alternate Anna Li and her mother Jiani Wu, according to the Orange County Register. This includes a complaint that Li and Wu did not call the police when a gymnast brought a knife to the gym and threatened another gymnast.

The Register also found that USAG officials have known about the allegations since 2017—calling into question Li Li Leung’s claim that the org didn’t know before Li became the USAG athlete rep in June—and that they also received complaints against MG Elite coach Maggie Haney in 2016.

USAG said in a statement, “Athlete safety and well-being are top priorities for USA Gymnastics.”

MSU wants lawsuits thrown out. Michigan State University’s lawyers argued last Monday that the school is not liable for Larry Nassar’s abuse, and that the “second wave” unresolved lawsuits against the university should be dismissed. A lawyer for one of the survivors responded to the news, saying, “By filing this motion, MSU has again let these survivors down.”

USAG is hiring. USAG wants to hire a search firm to find an athlete welfare officer and a chief marketing officer, but it needs approval from bankruptcy court first. Rachael Denhollander responded to the news, tweeting that USAG needed to use a search firm, “Because USAG literally can’t figure out how to hire someone who isn’t being investigated for abuse.”

Simone asked for privacy. Simone Biles released a statement on Twitter on Monday in response to media reports that her brother has been arrested on murder charges. She wrote, “My heart aches for everyone involved…I ask everyone to please respect my family’s privacy as we deal with our pain.”

Nassar filed another appeal. Larry Nassar filed a new appeal of his child pornography sentencing.

Required Reading

  • UCLA’s Katelyn Ohashi & Valorie Kondos Field talk to Jordyn Wieber about changing gymnastics from the inside out (Bustle)
  • It’s not just Larry Nassar: Michigan State University has a problem with rape culture (ThinkProgress)
  • ‘It’s a start’: Can the Aurora Games create a new model for women’s sports? (The Guardian)

NCAA Corner

Sam Durante caused controversy. LSU’s Sam Durante faced backlash on Wednesday when she Snapchatted an image of Korean writing with the caption, “Excuse me sir…we’re in America.” 

LSU’s athletic department said in a statement, “We do not condone any offensive statement made by a member of the Athletics community and will continue to work to educate our student athletes.”

MSU has new staff. MSU has hired two new gymnastics coaches. 

New skills. Margzetta Frazier’s trying out a new pass on floor, and Georgia’s Soraya Hawthorne has a fun new beam skill.

Star status

Comebacks. Giulia Steingruber will be back for next week’s nationals after suffering a leg injury last year. Here’s a shot of her beautiful Rudi. 

Upgrades. MyKayla Skinner has receipts for her triple double, and Konnor McClain’s full is already on high beam AND she showed off a double full on a floor beam.

Retirement plans. Mai Murakami says she’s retiring after the 2020 Olympics.

Drama in Hungary. Lauren talked to former Hungarian national champion Nora Feher, who was recently fired from the national team.

Staying social

  • Will Chellsie Memmel be invited to camp? Tom will tell.
  • Oh look, it’s the sexy rendition of the soul classic Stand By Me that nobody asked for. The 80s were a strange time.
  • Ksenia Kamkova keeps going round, and round, and round…

Because you asked…

Lauren answered, twice.

Last words

I’m sick so you have to be nice to me.

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15 thoughts on “Around the Gymternet: A failure of epic proportions

    • I am surprised there’s not a gun yet. Sad state in the US overall…. it’s not just the availability of guns but also the mentality (or craziness of people) in not being able to deal with issues….


  1. so skinner gonna add the triple double to her routine soon? since it’s a tuck position there would probably be less form deduction in the air compared to the moors? but tricky landing and if not full rotated.

    it will be interesting to see if US can again lead in all 4 events as they’ve done that in 2016 and 2018 TF….


  2. When I started following gymnastics I only loved watching the routines and the gymnasts be happy and do their best. I definitely WASN’T EXPECTING ALL THIS DRAMA


  3. Just doing a double full on floor beam, no biggie. Like wutttt
    Do you think she could actually try this, with the height she gets on her full?
    Also, are they allowed to refuse to put skills like this in the COP because they are like too tumbly for the beam?

    I just love these articles you put out every week, cause I wouldn’t be able to keep up with all this stuff otherwise.
    Thanks Lauren!


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