You Asked, The Gymternet Answered


It’s time for the 289th edition of You Asked, The Gymternet Answered!

We apologize if we haven’t gotten to your question yet, but we try to answer in the order in which they were received (unless they are super relevant and need to be answered in a timely manner).

Something you want to know? Ask us anonymously by going through the contact form at the bottom of the page.


Please note that I am offline for the month of June, and am posting a backlog of questions and answers in the meantime. If you submit a question, it will not be answered until at least July!

Thank you, and stay safe!


Why did McKayla Maroney leave GymMax? How do the reputations of the GymMax coaches compare to AOGC?

She left because she (or her parents) felt she was being held back unnecessarily in terms of her skill level, especially on vault. There was also the fact that they felt Kyla Ross was getting a lot of attention and thought it might be better for McKayla to be in a gym where the was the sole focus as an elite, so they ended up making the move. The GymMax reputation was MUCH better than AOGC’s, even back at this time, but I’m sure they were like, eh, it’ll be worth it if we can get McKayla to the Olympics, of whatever. This was at a time where strict gyms and yelling and emotional abuse were all normal parts of the sport, so GymMax was really rare for NOT being known as one of those gyms, but I think people really just considered this was being part of the sport and some even saw it as necessary to succeed. It’s a shame it ended up being a terrible situation for her and even though the AOGC reputation wasn’t stellar, I don’t think she expected to be abused emotionally on a regular basis.

I can see Mihai Brestyan and John Geddert in the background on the floor with the other girls when Aly Raisman finished her floor routine in 2012. Knowing the rule about a female coach being on the floor, that means Jenny Zhang was there two, but how did they manage to get three coaches on the floor when the rule is just two at a time?

So, normally when an athlete was up, if the head coach and the personal coach were both guys, the head coach would swap out and leave the floor so the personal coach could go in. It was likely Mihai and Jenny on the floor for Aly’s routine, but since that was the last routine of the meet and it was officially over, John as the head coach was probably allowed back onto the floor even though Mihai was still out there because he wouldn’t be out on the floor coaching, he’d just be out there for the final scores.

Can you calculate the D scores for these routines?

  • VT: Mustafina, DTY
  • UB: Inbar half + piked Jaeger, inbar full + Ricna + Pak + van Leeuwen, toe full + Mustafina
  • BB: Double spin, split leap + sissone + side somi, front aerial + front aerial + Onodi + split ring, side aerial + back handspring + layout stepout + back tuck, switch leap + switch half, standing arabian, double tuck
  • FX: Double layout, Mustafina + double turn, whip + whip + double arabian + stag leap, Gomez, switch ring + tour jeté full, full-twisting double tuck, Semenova + double L turn, triple full

Aren’t these basically just Aliya Mustafina’s routines with a few upgrades? Hahaha. The ‘Mustafina’ vault is a 5.6, the DTY is a 5.4, the bars set is a 6.4, the beam is a 6.2 I believe (though I’m shaky on beam pray for those connections being right), and the floor is 6.3. 

Just a note for beam, but a few of the connections come with a lot of risk and no reward…like the front aerial to Onodi no longer has any value because the current code only rewards rebounding connections, and also, a side aerial to back handspring has no CV, but if you upgrade that to a side aerial to layout stepout, you’d immediately bump up.

In Paul Hunt’s comedy beam routine, he drops under the beam and does a split hold on the bottom of it. Is this a real skill, or could it be? Has anyone ever competed a routine designed to be comedic?

I think SOMEONE did it at some point in a show or something somewhat recently? Maybe Danusia Francis? A split under the beam is fantastic, but it’s not in the elite code of points at the moment. The only routines I’ve seen being competed to be comedic are in galas and “professional competitions” where no code of point is used and the athletes are basically just told to do whatever they want, but in elite gymnastics you don’t really see a whole lot of comedic routines. Well…not INTENTIONALLY comedic. 🙂

I saw someone say that most Giengers gymnasts do after a shaposh get more deductions than the skill is worth but what exactly are the deductions? Would Deltchevs get the same deductions?

I think the key deduction in doing a Gienger straight out of a shaposh is that you don’t get the height needed to do a really nice big Gienger, so there are generally going to be lack of amplitude deductions. Most flight elements would get similar deductions because it’s harder to get good height out of a transition, so a gymnast who normally pops several feet over the bar in a Tkachev might get half of that height when doing one out of a shaposh skill, so yes, any skill that is very low out of a shaposh would get deducted for a skill like that…unless you’re one of the power swingers who can still get great height despite the lack of momentum because you know how to make the bars work for you!

What score do you need at the elite qualifier to become a junior elite?

Junior elites need to first get compulsory scores of 35.000, and then they need a 50.500 at the optional level to qualify to elite and be allowed to compete at the American or U.S. Classic.

How do gymnasts decide in which corner they start their floor routine? Will it always be the same corner relative to the setup of the arena?

I think most like to shift depending on where the judges are…they like to do the most performative parts of their routine so that they’re facing the judges for it and so the judges see their expression and choreography really well, so they will usually pick the corner that will put them in the best position to do this. I’m picturing Giorgia Villa’s routine as a junior, which I saw live at Gymnix…she always picked the perfect starting corner so that the last bit of her routine with the choreo and expression and final pose were all expertly placed for the maximum judge exposure and it was awesome (I happened to be right behind the judges so I also got that view…mind you, it was facing a different direction from where the crowd was sitting, so it just shows how much more important the judges are than the crowd).

Beam and floor scores are consistently lower than vault and bars scores. What do you think can be done to make them more equal?

I feel like doubling up on vault deductions is probably the only thing that could help there, because it’s such a short exercise, there’s only so much the judges can take away from it, so execution scores are going to naturally be about a point higher than they are on other events. For bars, I don’t think it’s so much about doing something on that event as it is about doing something to get beam and floor more up to speed. Again, there’s more to judge on beam and floor than there is on bars – a full 90 second routine compared to a 25 second routine is quite a difference – but at the same time, I feel like that’s no reason for beam and floor to be so far behind, and part of why they’re behind is difficulty. 

There are more opportunities for a greater number of gymnasts to build high difficulty on bars, but on beam and floor, it’s more difficult for most gymnasts, and I supposed that’s because they want to separate the “best” from the “rest” but there’s got to be a way to even it out. There’s always going to be gymnasts who excel on bars but can’t build high floor scores, and gymnasts who excel on floor but can’t build high bars scores…but it’s crazy that we typically have 10+ bars gymnasts all earning the highest D scores there, and on floor there’s literally one gymnast who can get an exceptionally high D score similar to bars right now, while everyone else is basically almost a full point lower!

How can we watch the team, all-around, and apparatus finals now that the Olympic Channel has removed the videos from their website?

I just look up whatever I want to watch on YouTube, honestly. I know NBC Olympics sometimes has things online, and the Olympic Channel sometimes has things, but YouTube is pretty consistent with having the largest number of meets available.

Do you know what the Justen Millerbernd SafeSport hearing was regarding? All I can find is “allegations of misconduct” and temporary suspension.

It’s still pending resolution, so we’re probably not going to know anything about it until a decision is made, unless whoever accused him goes to the press with their allegations. SafeSport can’t give up any information on allegations until an investigation and/or hearing is complete, generally, and if the investigation doesn’t find any reason to suspend or make them permanently ineligible, then they also can’t disclose the reasons for the allegations. So like, the Anna Li allegations were investigated and she was cleared, so SafeSport can’t say anything about them, but because the person accusing her went to the press, they’re still out there. If no one goes to the press about Justen, and if he doesn’t outright talk about what’s happening, then we really don’t have any way of finding out.

Have a question? Ask below! Remember that the form directly below this line is for questions; to comment, keep scrolling to the bottom of the page. We do not answer questions about team predictions nor questions that ask “what do you think of [insert gymnast here]?”

Article by Lauren Hopkins

8 thoughts on “You Asked, The Gymternet Answered

  1. There was a video going around awhile back of a mid-level gymnast (6, 7, 8ish? I think) doing a split under the beam as part of her choreo in an optional routine. I think Inside Gymnastics shared it. I tried searching all sorts of things but can’t find it. But I remember seeing sometime in the past couple years.


    • Grace McCallum did it as a mount in level 10, and I thought it was such a shame she didn’t keep it as an elite, but apparently it takes a lot of strength to get up on the beam afterwards so maybe with the higher number of skills in an elite routine it just was to hard? Her 2017 jo nationals routine is om youtube.


      • Oh wow, I just looked that up! Super cool, yea, I wish she’d kept it. But she’s not who I’m thinking of. The video I saw it was a lower level gymnast and in the middle of the routine, so there’s another out there somewhere!


  2. Pingback: You Asked, The Gymternet Answered – SportUpdates

  3. For me personally, when I arrived at a gym for competition I would typically imagine my own gym and set myself to start in what I felt was the same corner as my own gym. This was really all in my head, of course. But if I didn’t do that sometimes I would get messed up about what corner to head to next and get lost in the middle of my routine. That happened a couple times in the 10+ years I competed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Doing theater where we had upstage, downstage, stage right, and stage left, I was so tuned into that system, and then I’d do a show “in the round” where we were playing to all four sides of the stage and I was always like WHICH WAY IS WHICH lol. I don’t remember thinking about this when competing floor as a child, though. As an adult I’m like yeah I would be SUPER disoriented all the time.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s