Around the Gymternet: I’m in a glass case of emotion


“My friends: Did you see Simone Biles just—

Me: I know”

-We know, non-gymnerds. We knew before you did, we know more about it than you do, and we knew your text was coming.

Comp news

The Brabant Trophy happened. Sanna Veerman and Bart Deurloo won the Brabant Trophy, a pairs competition where each woman was forced to dance with the smelly boy for PE do-si-do. They were followed by Angelina Melnikova and Ivan Stretovich, and Tisha Vollman and Casimir Schmidt. I’m told there were falls all around.

U.S. Champs are in TX. Next year’s nationals will be held in Fort Worth, TX on June 4–7, 2020.

One more thing. Now that we’ve all calmed down a bit, here are Lauren’s thoughts on the women’s team final at this past worlds.

Wut happened

Maggie Haney case moving slowly. MG Elite coach Maggie Haney, who’s been accused of verbally and emotionally abusing gymnasts, has yet to have a disciplinary hearing even though USAG received the first complaints over three years ago. USA Gymnastics says the delays are because the org is having trouble finding an athlete to sit on a hearing panel. Meanwhile, parents and athletes are frustrated by the lack of progress in the case, and Haney’s attorney blames USAG for the holdup.

Parents of Legacy Elite gymnasts are also angry about delays and a lack of communication from the U.S. Center for SafeSport regarding similar complaints against former USAG athlete rep Anna Li and her mother Jiani Wu.

Russia could be banned from the Olympics. Russia could be banned from the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo due to the ongoing doping controversy, and the head of Russia’s doping agency seems pretty certain it will happen. 

Reform in Romania. In response to Romania’s performance at the recent world championships, the Romanian federation has decided to decentralize the system, with gymnasts now training at their respective clubs instead of with the rest of the national team.

MSU news. Former Michigan State University president Lou Anna Simon will stand trial for allegedly lying to investigators about how much she knew about Larry Nassar’s abuse, a judge decided on Monday.

Star status

Upgrades. Upgrade season is upon us!!! For the U.S. women, Sunisa Lee is trying out some new stuff on beam, Jordan Chiles’ front triple made an appearance, and Konnor McClain also has some new tricks on beam.

This week, we were also treated to Fusuka Maeda’s triple back over the bar, a double-twisting double front from Daniel Mendieta, and Jennifer Gadirova training an Amanar.

Commits. Ana Padurariu is going to UCLA.

Lineups. Donnell Whittenburg is going to Cottbus.

Comebacks. Does this mean Laurie Hernandez will be at the next national team camp? We shall see.

Retirements. Oksana Chusovitina says she’ll retire after these next Olympics. Yeah, and my diet starts tomorrow.

Staying social

Simone threw a ball. Simone Biles did a standing full in jeans and sneakers before throwing the first pitch at Game 2 of the World Series. Then an Astro man signed the ball for her, Simone, the greatest athlete of all time. Right.

She might get her nose pierced. Simone wants to know what she would look like with a nose stud. The answer? Amazing. DO IT SIMONE.

…And Lizzie paid tribute. Sportswriter Dvora Meyers’ angelic canine took a stab at a Simone-based costume, pawtastic 15/10

Chellsie is sick of wolf turns, too. So that’s over. No more wolf turns.

Shawn dug up an old friend. Shawn Johnson decided to see if her 2008 team final leo still fits over her 40-week-old baby bump. Spoiler alert: It does!

Last words

Day one of my sugar cleanse is going very well, thank you. My head is full of sand.

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14 thoughts on “Around the Gymternet: I’m in a glass case of emotion

  1. I hope the Simone the GOAT upgrades to a standing double full next year after winning six gold medals at the Olympics so the FIG can lowball it


    • If it happens, it’ll be like what happened at the 2018 games where they competed without a “country” so to speak. They competed under the Olympic Flag. And yes, it’ll apply to ALL athletes no matter if they’re currently competing. The ban would be for 2020.


    • It could happen, but until the rules are written, I wouldn’t count on anything. As it stands, even under the statements made today, accepting money for participating in a world cup event would keep one from NCAA competition. Also, the change is meant to allow those competing for a college team to use their name and likeness while in college. They have not yet- to my knowledge- opened the can of worms that is professional competition prior to NCAA involvement. I agree that including rules to cover this would be a boon for gymnastics, but it is by no means settled yet.


      • True but i think they will make it to also include gymnastics. Keeping my fingers and toes crossed. I hope to see simone brings ground breaking changes to NCAA gymnastics!


        • While it would be badass to see Simone in NCAA, that option has long passed. For 1. I doubt a 22 year old would want to go compete for NCAA right now/the rules won’t take affect for a couple of years, possibly more. 2. She seems incredibly happy with the life she leads currently & she seems to LOVE living in Texas, where unfortunately there still are no division 1 schools with gymnastics (which is absolutely absurd given the amount of talent that comes from Texas!). 3. Like I stated in another comment, currently the NCAA is only formulating rules around athletes making money while competing for the NCAA, not about those who already turned professional… unless I missed something — which I’d be very happy to be wrong on this!


        • In addition to what has already been said about it being a few years before these rules will even go into effect and the lack of definition about whether you are only allowed to make money on your NIL after beginning your NCAA career or whether your may begin before you start NCAA, there is also the issue of whether the rules will be applied retroactively. For someone like Simone (or Laurie or whatever other gymnast has gone pro that you’d like to mention), they made money at a time at which it was not permissible within the NCAA’s rules to make money if you wanted to maintain NCAA eligibility. One possibility is that the NCAA allows people to make money off of their NIL before they begin their NCAA careers, but that permission only extends to people who started making the money after the new rules were enacted. They could very well say that people who made money before the rules were changed were in violation of the rules that existed at the time they took the action, so they are ineligible. There are so many unknowns at this point.


      • so maybe for someone like skinner or kyla or any that already started college maybe this could be a first step and they could still keep their scholarship and eligibility?


        • There is no way these new rules — which actually the rules haven’t been defined yet — will be in place during the time Skinner (if she goes back — So far she’s only committed to going back to school for actually finishing her degree) & Ross will still be competing NCAA. What the NCAA released is that they are starting a committee to begin formulating rules around the new idea of allowing athletes to make money off of their NIL (name, image, & likeness) WHILE they’re competing. They have a few deadlines in place now, the last of which, to have things finalized & begin implementation, isn’t until 2022 IIRC.


        • That being said, I am soooo excited they are starting down this road! I hope they will allow for those who are in sports where the option to go pro can come before NCAA time (gymnastics & swimming for examples) to make money BEFORE NCAA years. If I understand correctly, the NCAA is currently only discussing new rules around them making money while actually in college competing for the NCAA. Also, currently they’re saying that the 3 divisions can have different rules, which I hope they change since I’d like it to ideally be the same across the board.


        • One last thing…
          Sadly in regards to Kyla, the new California law won’t go into effect until January 2023. 😔


  2. I was kind of surprised as well when I saw Simone having the ball signed and not signing it herself. Anyway, does anyone know wether Skye Kerico and Zoe Heavier moving to fsg han anything to do with the whole Maggie situation? Lastly, the first thing you wrote happens every time my mom sees something about gymnastics on the newspaper and she comes to me screaming: “did you see how cool this is?” And I’m like, duh, that’s not even news anymore.


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