Around the Gymternet: How long will we last this time?

keleti-agnes-olympic-champion-102-years-old

Agnes Keleti

We like to kick off every new year with these weekly gymternet recaps and then completely forget about them after two months once the competition season gets underway. Taking bets on how long we’ll last in 2023!

In the News

Agnes Keleti turns 102! Happy birthday to five-time Olympic champion Agnes Keleti, the star of the Melbourne Games who essentially defined gymnastics for Hungary in the 1950s, who reached the age of 102 on January 9! The oldest living Olympic champion, Keleti is also a Holocaust survivor, and later coached Israel’s national team before returning to Budapest in 2015. The legend celebrated this milestone birthday with a toast from the Hungarian Olympic Committee.

Cambodia gatekeeping golds? According to PhilStar Global, as hosts of this year’s Southeastern Asian Games, Cambodia wants to limit the number of gold medals to just two per athlete. With world champion Carlos Yulo expected to potentially sweep the Games after winning five golds in the 2021 edition, even if he wins all seven individual medals, this rule means he will only be eligible to receive two of them. Cambodia has also opted to not include WAG or rhythmic in 2023, and it has restricted other sports from being included entirely.

Leave Livvy alone. NCAA gymnast and social media star Livvy Dunne has been in the news this week after an army of wannabe Andrew Tates followed LSU to Utah, where they were loud and rude during the meet, and then somehow managed to behave like a real-life anonymous TikTok comment section at the “stage door” (I’m a theater person so help me god I don’t know the sports arena term for this). Dunne very respectfully asked her fans to behave should they attend meets going forward, and their replies are unsurprisingly pretty gross.

This incident naturally sparked a discourse about whether this behavior should be acceptable at competitions (spoiler alert: it shouldn’t!) and whether Dunne “deserves it” because of how she dresses and the content she posts on social media (spoiler alert: she doesn’t!). I personally found their behavior terrifying in addition to being straight-up disrespectful, as did many coaches and athletes – including LSU head coach Jay Clark, who thanked Utah for upping its security to keep everyone safe, and said that in addition to being scary, the fans’ behavior also took away from the gymnastics and his ability to coach during the meet as his priorities shifted to managing the chaos. He also had a lot of bad takes, including comparing these boys’ behavior to the teen girls who screamed for the Beatles, and calling it a “consequence of fame” along with some southern fried “boys will be boys” BS, but I’m glad he at least is pushing for more safety for his athletes?

There are a few articles going around if you want to read more about what happened and how things will move forward, including features in The Advocate, The Independent, and People.

Look at all of these new seniors! As always, we put together a list of every gymnast who has aged into the senior level of elite competition in 2023. This list includes athletes born in 2007 who have competed at the national and/or international elite level over the past few years, with a couple hundred names across more than 70 countries. Over the coming weeks, we’ll provide more in-depth breakdowns of the new seniors you should be paying attention to going forward.

Sadly, one of the top first-year seniors is already out of commission, as Amalia Puflea – the 2022 EYOF beam and floor champion and junior Euros floor champion – was not named to the national team. After struggling with her club coaches last fall, Puflea has been unable to train at a high level for months and is unfortunately no longer capable of competing at the level required to receive funding. Why is it that every year I can’t give up hopes that things will be different for Romania?!

Meet Updates

Houston National Invitational. The first elite meet of the season is coming up this weekend, with the Houston National Invitational taking place from January 13–15 in – where else? – Houston, Texas. This year, the Open Team Cup competition on Friday will serve as a Winter Cup qualifying event for MAG competitors, and we’ll see additional senior MAG elites on the floor on Saturday night. While I don’t believe we’ll be expected to see any WAG elites here, the Level 10 competition will serve as a qualifier for this year’s Nastia Liukin Cup. If you’re in town, don’t miss the Oklahoma men’s team signing autographs on Saturday morning! Following along from home? Live scores will be on MeetScoresOnline.

Looking ahead. Next week, Elite Canada will be held in Saskatoon, and in the final week of January, we’ll see the first opportunity for U.S. gymnasts to attempt to earn elite scores at the Vegas Cup qualifier, while the 2023 Top 12 series will continue for the men and kick off for the women across France. Check out the complete 2023 elite calendar to make sure you don’t miss a meet!

NCAA Corner

WGYM rankings. The national champions from Oklahoma did not disappoint in their season debut, coming within less than a tenth from breaking a 198 in neutral territory at the Super 16 competition in Las Vegas! They and many other teams looked ready for nationals, but it’s a long season, and we’re excited to see who rises and falls along the way.

1. Oklahoma 197.925
2. Florida 197.750
3. California 197.475
4. Michigan 197.400
5. Auburn 197.350
6. UCLA 197.275
– Utah 197.275
8. Alabama 196.975
9. Denver 196.925
10. LSU 196.775
– Ohio State 196.775

MGYM rankings. Only a handful of teams competed in week one, with most of the bigger programs yet to come, but Penn State ahead of Michigan was a fun little surprise to kick off the season!

1. Penn State 402.900
2. Michigan 400.600
3. Army 378.300
4. Greenville 373.100
5. Simpson 341.350

Elite moments. Several members of the gold medal-winning 2022 worlds team went back to school this weekend, including Jordan Chiles helping lead UCLA to its top season-opening score in 18 years with a second-place all-around finish behind 2020 Olympic champion Suni Lee, who posted a 39.75 to take the title in her sophomore debut performance for Auburn (and said she’ll likely make her elite return at the U.S. Classic this summer). 2022 world vault champ Jade Carey also had a strong start to her season to help Oregon State to third place in a quad meet, as did Leanne Wong, who finished first on bars for Florida, which won a quad meet of its own.

About 40 elite gymnasts from 10 countries joined NCAA programs as freshmen for the 2023 season, and we tried to catch what we could from most of them. Particularly impressive was 2021 world medalist Kayla DiCello competing all four events very well in her Florida debut. She’s currently ranked 9th in the nation, the second-best among freshmen behind former U.S. junior elite Selena Harris (ranked 7th), who was stunning in her first time out for UCLA. Oklahoma saw brilliant work from Ava Siegfeldt and Faith Torrez, LIU had an incredible debut from Syd Morris on three events, I loved what we saw from Trista Goodman on bars for Southern Utah, and Pittsburgh showed some great promise from former Polish junior Euros competitor Natalia Pawlak on bars as well as from former Canadian junior standout Lucia Jakab on beam.

Love it or LOVE IT?! BYU senior Rebekah Bean Ripley debuted a “Barbie Girl” routine at the Super 16 meet over the weekend. I’m sure you have lots of thoughts, but whether you love it or hate it, her set is so fun and campy, something BYU has become known for over the years thanks to Shannon Evans with her shark attack and Super Mario performances, both of which are simply ridiculous, and yet – I’m a fan.

But we do hate this. Sadly overshadowing the debut of the first HBCU gymnastics team in history this week was former student-athlete Leeiah Davis coming forward with allegations of bullying and hazing in her first few months at Fisk University. Davis, who has since left the program, reported her experiences to the administration, but her issues were not addressed. It’s an incredibly sad way for the team to get its start, and we hope Davis can find a gymnastics home with another program this season.

Staying Social

Chio retires from elite. 16-year-old Kailin Chio, once a top U.S. junior who won the national title on vault and the Junior Pan Ams title on floor in 2021, announced her retirement from elite this week, taking a step back due to injuries that have limited her over the past year, causing to miss the entirety of her first senior season. Chio, who trains at Gymcats under Cassie Rice and is set to compete at LSU beginning in the 2024-25 season, will compete Level 10 for the remainder of her club career. “I am very excited to continue doing at I love, just at a different pace,” she said on Instagram.

Wevers moves to Oslo. Lieke Wevers, a two-time Olympian for the Netherlands, announced that she has moved to Norway, where she is now working as a coach at Oslo Turn, Norway’s top gym that has produced some of the country’s best WAG elites including 2022 national champion Julie Madsø and last year’s Euros and World Championships standout Maria Tronrud. Wevers said that she wants to pass on the expertise she’s gained in her own career and “hopes to take Norwegian gymnastics to the next level.” But don’t worry – this isn’t a retirement announcement! Wevers added that while in Oslo, she will also continue to follow her own training program with the hopes of returning to elite competition for her country.

New bars for Becky. We’ll leave you with this routine from world medalist Becky Downie, who is greeting 2023 with a brand-new and stunning uneven bars set after returning from an injury that kept her out of international competition last year.

Article by Lauren Hopkins

16 thoughts on “Around the Gymternet: How long will we last this time?

  1. Hello, I’m a fan of Chinese & Japanese gymnastics, & I wonder why there was so lack of their competitions on your 2022 calendar. For examples, All-Japan Student/Senior/Junior/Interhigh Championships are nowhere to be found, while they are on previous years lists, the All-Japan Team Championships is on but no result is uploaded even though a month has passed, the 2 Chinese aged group Championships are also missing. Yeah I know the outcomes already as I watch the games or read on their websites, but as a fan I always hope those activities & achievements to be widespread as much as possible.

    Like

    • First of all – there are 3 competitions from Japan and 2 from China on my 2022 calendar, which is similar to / more than the majority of other countries I cover. I am missing results from a couple from each country right now, because I was either busy at the time that they happened or did not have access to results, but they are on my to-do list along with a number of other competitions that I was not able to prioritize last year. Please note that in 2022, there were 215 meets on my calendar, which is roughly one meet for me to cover every other day. There simply is not the time to get them all done on time, and so I prioritize the most important competitions for each country – like nationals or world selection meets – and then work on other less important competitions when I am able to.

      Secondly – It is much more difficult for me to translate results from languages that I do not speak and alphabets that I do not know than it is for me to post results that are in the latin/cyrillic alphabets. I need to work with translators to make sure everything is accurate for China, Japan, South Korea, and other countries where the language is unfamiliar to me.

      Thankfully, someone did translate Japan’s Team Championships for me, and I covered the meet live as it happened on Twitter, but I haven’t had a chance to post the complete results yet because it’s a lot of work. I took a vacation during the holiday season, and I work two day jobs that I get paid for. I do not get paid to post on this website and can’t always prioritize this website when I am very busy in my actual work.

      I am also planning on posting the Japan Junior Championships, and I have plans to get the Student results translated and posted as well, but I do not cover the Senior or Interhigh Championships because they are not a level of gymnastics that I report on. I only report on elite-level gymnastics, which is why I do not cover NCAA gymnastics or Level 10 gymnastics in the U.S., or other similarly lower-level competitions elsewhere in the world.

      The only competition I’m missing for China that was on my calendar is the Youth Championships from July, because I do not have the complete results from this meet. I covered a selection meet and national championships for China because these were more “important” meets which is why they were prioritized, but frankly, lower-level youth meets are not competitions I can cover because if I covered every youth-level non-elite competition in the world, I would be covering 500+ competitions per year. At this rate, I am currently covering 200+ competitions across 100 countries every year, and I would rather have this great variety of coverage that looks at every program’s elite/national team than focus on one specific country’s lower-level athletes.

      In addition to these meets for Japan and China that I do not have results for yet, I am missing results for 20+ additional meets from other countries that I also did not have time to prioritize in 2022. They’re coming as well – I’ve been slowly making my way through the backlog for the past couple of days when I’ve had the time. If you feel a need to demand that I post results for competitions that you PERSONALLY would like to see, feel free to click on the PayPal link and pay me for the work. You may have noticed that I’ve only been able to post 3 times so far in 2023, which is because I have been so busy with my actual jobs and am so exhausted by the end of the day that I do not want to sit in front of a computer screen for another 3+ hours typing up results. It’s a lot of work and not currently my priority. But if you’d like to pay me for my work just as I am paid for the other work that I do, I will move them up my list of priorities. Otherwise, I will get to them on my schedule when I am able to.

      Like

      • Hey Lauren, it’s me who gives you the translated results. I understand your lack of time & really appreciate your work. There’s a few things I want to say about what you wrote above:
        1/ In 🇯🇵 & 🇨🇳 athletes compete mostly in domestic tournaments, some athletes are given chances to compete in World Cup, Asian Champ, Asian Games, invitational…but not more than 3 & usually 1 or 2. Last year the national men’s team at WCH was absent from any other international competitions. So I think 🇯🇵 & 🇨🇳 domestic meets should be given more presence so that the fans of Hashimoto, Zhang Boheng, Ou Yushan…, especially those who can’t read Kanji can acknowledge their idols’ works as much as Western gymnasts. For examples, Brody Malone got his results upload from US Champ, World Trial & then 2 World Cup, Pan-Am Champ then World Champ while Hashimoto only got All-Japan Cham, NHK & World Champ. At the live chat of World Champ so few know about the domestic results of 🇯🇵 & 🇨🇳 gymnasts compared to western gymnasts even though they are also loved dearly (Hashimoto is No.1 if u exclude all Yulo’s noisy fans haha🤭🤭).

        2/ All-Japan Senior is as much elite as All-Japan Student because one is for those studying in universities & one is for those graduated. I think you may have mistaken for All-Japan Masters which is for retired gymnasts? Also, Interhigh is as much elite as All-Japan Junior, & the former is even above the latter in terms of qualifications for high school students to compete at All-Japan Champ. But honestly, getting the kids’ names into abc is notoriously difficult & you’ll end up with 80% of inaccuracy.😭😭

        3/ I’m creating my own database about Japanese gymnasts (mostly MAG, but I’m starting on WAG also) as well as results from competitions in 🇯🇵 (also a little bit in 🇨🇳), so I can help you to translate the results from many tournaments. If it’s possible I can help you to type the code (not IT code, but perhaps Wiki-like code🫣🫣) & you can just copy/paste & got it in your page. I love watching 🇯🇵 & 🇨🇳 gymnasts & want to spread their results to more fans like Таня too.

        Like

        • My top priority is international meets, so if an athlete competes more internationally, they will of course have more of a presence on this website. I don’t prioritize a lot of smaller, “less important” meets from every other country, not just Japan and China. Eventually the results will go up for all countries, but again, due to the time it takes for me to focus on international meets and national championship meets first, the “less important” meets take longer for me to put up (again, for every country). My priorities are – major international competitions (worlds, continental championships, world cups, etc), major national competitions (national championships and world selection meets), smaller international competitions, and then smaller national competitions.

          It also takes me about 10 minutes to copy over and post results for a U.S. meet. For meets where I am transliterating results, it takes me 3+ hours. During All-Japan Championships I was awake overnight each day of that competition to watch it live online and then to post results. It took at least 20 hours of my time that week JUST for that one competition. That’s on top of my 60+ hour week at work. But because All-Japan Championships are a priority, I made sure to watch the competition and get those results up right away. I also woke up at 3-4 am to make sure EYOF and Euros were covered in a similarly timely manner, and then had to go straight from working on these meets to working at my actual job until 6 pm, meaning a 15-16 hour workday. If I did this for every single competition, I would literally never be able to sleep, which is again why I prioritize the “more important” competitions.

          Obviously the U.S. competitions are much easier for me to follow because they happen in my time zone, I don’t have to translate results, and there are usually only 20-30 competitors max at each one, compared to 200+ at some Japanese meets. But even then, I don’t give any special priority to U.S. meets which is why I only prioritize the national championship meets and worlds qualifiers, just as I do for every other program. Spain, for example, has a Spanish League with several meets a year, but I never cover these meets live, and I only started retroactively adding results for these meets late last month despite them being held earlier in the year.

          I am one person doing all of this coverage for 100+ countries and 200+ meets, and I unfortunately don’t have all the time in the world to do it, which is why I prioritize the way I do and can’t make any one country “special” in that they get prioritized over everyone else. Obviously help would be great and having results already translated would cut down the time it takes me to get them live.

          Like

        • @Lauren I’m happy to type the code so that you can transfer it to your blog, so that for All-Japan Student & Senior it might take you about 20 minutes to copy & paste as you said😅😅. And honestly you can treat them like the Spanish Leagues you mentioned: just results no recap. Those who care can search for videos online.

          For the junior section it’s insane with all the names. To give you an idea there’s a boy whose Instagram has “kura” in both username & description, & it’s also one of the variants of his Kanji first name, but later he tells me that his name is Nosuke😰😰. So despite how much I want those competitions to be posted, I don’t think it should be with such risks of having too many flaws😭😭.

          It’s admirable that you are doing all the work alone, but you can always ask for helps & contributions. I, for example, can take charge of the results from 🇨🇳 & 🇯🇵, which would reduce your typing time from 3+ hours to 10 minutes?🫠🫠

          Like

        • Thank you! I’d love the help.

          Chinese names are becoming somewhat easy for me, but I have to keep a list of all of the Japanese names because you’re right, it’s impossible to figure out everyone. I always think I get it right and then it ends up being really wrong! I actually keep a list of all of the names here so I can just do a quick search when I’m transliterating them myself:

          https://docs.google.com/document/d/1M7w1I_O_1ihhf3k-n5zakWNkIpc7MFWkKO7V6n7CE1Y/edit?usp=sharing

          It helps a lot and I’ve had a Japanese speaker go through and double check most of these at one point but I’m sure many still aren’t fully accurate. Still helpful!

          Like

    • Obs there is more to the story that we can glean from a tweet, but how disappointing that yet another extremely talented Romanian jumior gymnast slips through the cracks. I can’t see them ever reaching the top countries again.

      Like

      • Yeah, there’s clearly a lot going on that we don’t know about or understand fully. I remember back shortly after Euros when she was apparently threatening to jump out the window at her gym because she hated the situation she was in so much, so it sounded like there were maybe some mental health issues related to the struggles she was having because that is obviously NOT a normal response to stress, but it sounds like there’s stuff with her family life, guardianships, and that she isn’t even in high school anymore? Just a big old mess and as I was saying in my other response, it’s absolutely wild to me that the national program doesn’t sound like it’s doing anything to help her out of it and is instead canceling her funding, which will certainly make things even worse. Their history of simply not acting in the best interest of their gymnasts is beyond my comprehension.

        Like

    • I feel like with Romania it can be so hard because once you fall out of the graces of the national program, you are kind of just…done? I think the bigger issue sounds like something with custody and her parents and not being able to get into a new gym? I’m not going to pretend that I understand it, but it sounds like there’s a lot of background drama that goes beyond simply not being happy at one gym and needing to move to a new one, so I think if she CAN get into a better situation and is able to get back to a higher level of training and make it back to nationals, she will definitely be able to receive funding again…it’s just wild to me that the national program wouldn’t want what’s best for their top junior athlete and wouldn’t make it a priority to fix the situation immediately! Can you imagine if Simone had been struggling at her gym and USAG was just like “aww that’s too bad, you’re off the national team btw :)” Like…truly wild.

      Like

      • The federation accepted the move but her father who was the legal guardian at the time didnt accept the move and they needed his approval, meanwhile the mother can sign her move, that was just before christmas, she has complained about treatment of her coach Sandu and also complained about food, and training conditions (no heating for a week) they even went to the ministry of sport and in the parliament, they all agreed the move but the father didnt as he was friends with coach Sandu which its not even a coach anymore since the scandal, so they all
        Lost, amalia, sandu, deva, federation, gymnastics, there was no winner at the end, in last interview the mother said that she signed for her to move to Dinamo, we dont know anything since which was around christmas, she dosent want to quit school nor training, she has been training privately more conditioning, gym running but no gymnastics, so shes not completly out of form. Its misunderstanding that federation didnt want her to move, they did but her father didnt! There are other speculation (according to her father) that she was influenced by camelia voinea to
        Move to Dinamo and theres a bit of jealousy there since amalia was doing better than sabrina, and since then sabrina becomes the main one, this its what her father said that he believes amalia got skrewed, to my opinion she seems old enough to make her own decisions and she will come back, everyone wants her back, in this scenario i think was parents fault more than federation or parent/father who should have accepeted from begining her move, it is complicated but its easy to blaim federation since they should guard the wellbeing in general but they are not alone on this planet..hope
        Makes sense, been watching the drama which was and is v public, so more to come hopefully with good news this year!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thanks for this in-depth explanation! I hope she is able to come back eventually and be able to compete again. I understand there’s a lot going on, but my issue with the federation is that they completely took away her funding…which I think would make it harder for her (or anyone) to come back? But yes, lots of moving pieces here and it’s not only the federation’s issue.

          Like

  2. I understand, from a personal contact in Romania, it’s actually Dinamo who doesn’t necessarily want to take Amalia because of the drama that seems to constantly surround her and her parents. Specifically the mother who was allegedly very antagonistic toward gina Gogean.
    I also heard that the dad is good friends with Lucien Sandu(yes. that one) and won’t allow her to train elsewhere with another coach. Technically the mom should be able to give permission, but the father’s disapproval is somehow keeping her from moving to the Bucharest sports center.

    Like

    • As of today Amalia is in the gym, everyone agreed in the end, including the father, shes will train at Dinamo, allegedly Mariana Bitang solved the puzzle in the end, this was and is a soap
      Opera but a bad one!

      Like

  3. Pingback: Around the Gymternet: Reporting on skincare routines is responsible journalism | The Gymternet

  4. Pingback: Across the Gymternet: Reporting on skincare routines is accountable journalism – livenewssports.com

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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