Let’s save UAA, okay?
Serie A. The Italians returned to competition at Serie A over the weekend, where 2019 world bronze medalists Giorgia Villa, Asia D’Amato, and Alice D’Amato looked barely touched by the pandemic, leading Brixia to win 15 points ahead of the second-place squad. Giorgia was killer on bars and beam, while Alice had the top score on vault and the second-best bars score, and Asia had the third-best vault score, and 2006-born queens Angela Andreoli and Giorgia Leone were also fabulous, as Angela had the second-best beam score and the top total on floor, while Giorgia debuted a DTY that was second-best in the comp. Elisa Iorio and Desiree Carofiglio are both out with injuries at the moment, but Martina Maggio had a pretty strong day, as did Lara Mori, who’s still hoping to snag an Olympic spot via the world cups.
The men also competed, with Tokyo qualifier Ludovico Edalli having the best showing overall (he was at his best on floor with a 14.2 and on p-bars with a 14.9). Also noteworthy were Nicolo Mozzato with a 14.65 on floor and a 14.7 on vault, Ares Federici with a 14.9 on floor, Salvatore Maresca with a 14.5 on rings, Matteo Levantesi with a 14.45 on p-bars, and Umberto Zurlini with a 14.4 on floor.
Ukraine Youth Championships. Ukraine’s youth-level national championships happened last week, with Daniela Batrona taking the junior title while Anna Lashchevska won in the 2007-born espoir group. Both posted scores of 54+, as did second-place junior Daria Liska, which means they’ll all get solid 51s at their next international meets. #UkraineThings
So friendship, much solidarity. The complete roster was released for the FIG’s Friendship and Solidarity Competition, which will take place in Tokyo on November 8. It’s a mix of A, B, and C-team gymnasts for the four countries invited (in addition to host Japan, we’ll also see Russia, China, and the United States in action), but right now we can expect some MAG superstars in the lineup – including Kohei Uchimura, Nikita Nagornyy, and Artur Dalaloyan – while Angelina Melnikova and Asuka Teramoto lead the women’s field.
In the News
And that’s on gaslighting. When your star athlete leaves your club immediately after winning an Olympic medal and then four years later sheds light on the abuse she suffered at your hands, the best response is to…continue to gaslight her by telling the press that actually, her time here was super great. Oh, wait, that’s the opposite of what you should do? Cool, but that didn’t deter South Durham from going forward, essentially saying that every thought and feeling Amy Tinkler has expressed about her experiences aren’t valid. They event went as far as pulling in teenage former teammates of Amy’s to essentially call her a liar, which is just about the worst possible look.
Another one bites the dust. In the wake of the British abuse claims over the past few months, British Gymnastics’ Jane Allen MBE has announced her retirement from her role as Chief Executive, and yes, that says retirement, not resignation. She says that while the last few months were difficult, she has nothing but pride for the growth and success of the British team over the past decade, because you know, medals > mental health.
Turkey’s so far away. Spain is the latest country to withdraw participation from this year’s European Championships, which will take place in Turkey this December, but will not act as a qualifier for the Olympic Games. So far, Great Britain, Germany, and the Netherlands have also opted out due to COVID-19 concerns, but several high-profile programs – including Russia, Italy, and France – have all expressed interest in attending. I honestly don’t care who else pulls out as long as Marta Pihan-Kulesza wins floor, tbh. 2020, you owe us!
Welcome back, W&M. After facing the chopping block earlier this year, William & Mary has reinstated three women’s sports, including gymnastics, in order to avoid a Title IX lawsuit. Cutting these sports left W&M dangerously close to Title IX noncompliance, so California-based firm Bailey & Glasser, LLP announced its intention to sue W&M for “depriving women athletes and potential athletes of equal opportunities, financial aid, and treatment.” None of the men’s sports that were cut, including men’s gymnastics, were reinstated. When all else fails, SUE!
Time to save UAA. Meanwhile, the women over at the University of Alaska Anchorage are still fighting for the chance to save their program, and they’re currently fundraising to make it happen. The team will be saved if they meet their fundraising mark, so any donation brings them one step closer to continuing to exist. You can follow along with the team’s fundraising efforts on Twitter, and obviously everyone has it tough right now, but if gymnastics is helping you escape from this garbage world and you want to help now or pledge a future donation, now is the time to help out.
More coaching shifts. The University of Washington announced today that Elise Ray-Statz is resigning from her position as head coach after nine years at the program so she can move closer to family as she and her husband raise their young children. Assistant coach Ralph Rosso will step up as interim head coach for the 2021 season. If you also find it impossible to track the comings and goings of college coaches, Greg Marsden is still updating his handy, dandy chart.
ACL drama. Earlier this week, a source close to the Hungarian federation leaked the news that Boglarka Devai, who last month returned to competition after a two-year break to take gold on vault at the Szombathely Challenge Cup, is injured yet again, this time with an ACL tear that will require surgery.
An upset Boglarka told the federation that this information was released without her knowledge, confirming that she does have an injury, but is still undergoing tests, adding that she is looking into taking legal action regarding this violation of her privacy. Two sources, however, have said that the federation has a history of hiding injuries in order to continue directing government funding into the program, and that this is probably where the federation’s outrage actually lies, not in the fact that a young woman’s medal information was shared on social media.
No Euros for Aline. Also dealing with a knee injury is Aline Friess, one of France’s biggest up-and-comers after finishing 11th all-around at world championships last year. According to the federation, the worst has been ruled out, but she’ll still need surgery and will miss out on contending for the Euros team later this year. A blessing in disguise?
Deanne devastation. It is with a heavy heart that I have to type these words, but Deanne Soza has sadly announced her retirement from gymnastics after just a few weeks into her freshman year at the University of Utah. One of the most technically gifted gymnasts of her generation, I was dying to see Deanne kill it in NCAA, but she’s also had a tough ride since starting her elite journey at just ten years old, and I’m happy she’s doing what’s best for her physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Bye, Barloggio. Swiss gymnast Caterina Barloggio has also announced her retirement this week after a decade-long elite career that included four world championships appearances, and a number of national and international medals. She was also instrumental in helping Switzerland qualify for the Olympic test event in 2016, where she contributed scores on bars and floor to her country’s sixth-place finish (two points ahead of the Romanians, and two points back from an Olympic team berth), and later in 2016, she helped her team finish fourth at Euros, held at home in Bern.
One more gone. After more than three years of shuffling between the Romanian and Hungarian programs, training with zero ability to actually compete, Olivia Cimpian has officially ended her career at the age of 19. The once brilliantly promising gymnast got caught up in the geopolitics of the sport shortly after making her senior debut for Romania in 2017, and unfortunately her career was never able to recover, though we wish her the best as she embarks on her next chapter as a med student.
Emma 2021. After months of speculation, College Gym News has confirmed via SID Liza David the news that Emma Malabuyo will defer her plans to compete at UCLA until next year. REJOICE! Obviously this means Emma’s still hoping for a shot at Tokyo, and she’s one who may benefit from the COVID-19 break, as she’s had an extra year to come back from the injury she suffered in 2019.
#Ad #Spon. Simone Biles has a new training partner, and it’s none other than Queer Eye‘s Jonathan Van Ness! Simone and JVN paired up (in matching leotards!) for an Uber Eats ad where he teaches her some fab new choreo and does a glorious split on beam. I’m going to forget how problematic Uber is for a few minutes and just let myself enjoy something in life for once, dammit.
Romanian updates. Here’s an awesome look at what the Romanians are up to, including 13-year-old Sabrina Voinea casually throwing a double double beam dismount into the pit, as well as an Amanar onto a mat in the pit. Silviana Sfiringu also has an Amanar, Larisa Iordache is doing tumbling basics and choreography, and Tokyo qualifier Maria Holbura is working a tuck full on beam and a double layout on floor.
It wasn’t a Deltchev. Is everybody’s least favorite human on the planet going after gym nerds for votes? Completely unrelated to gymnastics, the guy who used to host The Apprentice tweeted “It was a TUCK!” leaving me giggling alone in my bedroom for hours. If nothing else, he’s at least prepared to debate Nastia.
On The Gymternet
You Asked. I’m trying to crank out one You Asked, The Gymternet Answered post every day, so let’s see how long my will to live lasts this time. Enjoy it while you can! Here’s one from Tuesday where we tackle the Nabieva trend on bars, and one from Wednesday where I continue to debate the 2012 British Olympic team selection eight years later.
Junior Introductions. This week, I taught you all about Angela Andreoli, a fantastic Italian junior who fits right in with her older Brixia teammates thanks to her incredible talent on beam and floor.
Article by Lauren Hopkins