In the News
All shouldn’t be effectively. At the begin of the 12 months, the Belgian sports activities community Sporza released a documentary about Nina Derwael and her teammates as they skilled for Tokyo in 2020, which made it appear to be “all was well” in the world of elite gymnastics (regardless of quite a few athletes coming ahead about psychological and bodily abuse final summer season). Céline Decoster, who labored as a caretaker in the elite coaching corridor dorms, has a unique story to inform, sharing with Het Nieuwsblad the whole lot she overheard in the dorms, and it’s fairly nightmarish. You can learn an English translation here.
3-to-1 odds. Even although just last week, the IOC’s Dick Pound was going off about the Olympics most likely not occurring, now he’s telling the press that the odds are about “3-to-1” that the Games will take place this summer. Dick additionally mentioned final week that he thinks athletes needs to be a precedence for vaccination, however IOC President Thomas Bach says that not solely ought to athletes not be a precedence, but additionally that vaccines aren’t even required for athletes, although he “encourages all participants” to be vaccinated. Glad to see everybody’s not even remotely on the similar web page.
1600+ Brits died at the moment, however have enjoyable. Despite COVID-19 raging in the UK proper now, the British males’s workforce was like, this looks as if the good time for a cute little boys’ journey, and flew to Dubai last week for an Olympic training camp at Fly High Fitness. Though British Gymnastics promised “safety first,” the choice was heavily criticized in the media as being non-essential throughout UK’s nationwide lockdown. “They could have all gone and bubbled up at Lilleshall if they really needed to train together,” mentioned Nicole Pavier, a Team England gymnast-turned-nurse. “While traveling around the world, only one of them has to test positive to spread it.”
Everything adjustments. Russia announced the national teams for 2021 yesterday, and most notably, Daria Spiridonova and Elena Eremina are now not on it, neither is Ksenia Klimenko. According to Valentina Rodionenko, these gymnasts merely aren’t at the nationwide workforce stage anymore, which Eremina addressed on Instagram as being associated to her physique simply not having the ability to deal with the depth of the coaching (although she hopes to proceed competing). Also notable? Aliya Mustafina and Maria Paseka are on the senior reserve workforce. Mustafina hasn’t attended any camps as a gymnast since 2019, however she has no plans to retire and is presently working as a junior workforce coach at Round Lake.
A legend leaves us. Over the weekend, Muriel Davis Grossfeld, a U.S. gymnastics legend, passed away at the age of 80. Grossfeld was one in all the early stars in the sport for the U.S., making her Olympic debut at the age of 16 in 1956, the place she helped the ladies’s workforce to ninth place whereas ending 52nd all-around. She turned the first U.S. lady to compete at three Olympic Games, additionally serving to the workforce to ninth in 1960 and 1964, with her best individual finish 16th in floor qualifications in 1964, and he or she led the U.S. ladies to gold at the Pan American Games in 1963. She additionally received 18 nationwide titles, together with the all-around in 1957 and 1963, and later coached the U.S. Olympic workforce in 1968 and 1972, and was a decide at the 2000 Olympic Games.
Nile Wilson retires. 2016 Olympic bronze medalist, 2015 world championships silver medalist, and five-time Commonwealth Games champion Nile Wilson announced his retirement on Instagram, additionally posting a YouTube video the place he further explains all of his gymnastics-related injuries as the most important issue for his choice. After his profitable Commonwealth Games look in 2018, Nile missed worlds as a result of a finger damage, after which early in 2019, he underwent surgical procedure on his neck, inflicting him to overlook the whole season, although he saved coaching in 2020 whereas additionally opening up about his mental health struggles.
The GOAT has spoken. Simone Biles obtained some press this week, telling the Houston Chronicle that she’s optimistic that the Tokyo Olympics will happen this summer, however in the meantime, she’s simply making an attempt to remain optimistic, coaching six hours a day and spending time together with her boyfriend and household. She confirmed that her first competitors again might be the Tokyo World Cup in May if the whole lot goes to plan, and that she’s nonetheless “playing around” with a Yurchenko double again. The Olympic Channel additionally did a feature on the GOAT, the place her mother commented that she’d like to see Simone proceed to 2024 as a specialist, however Simone was like “my mom doesn’t know how my body feels,” including that when she goes to Paris, she’ll “probably be there to watch.”
We love development. We additionally obtained a bit of Morgan Hurd replace, who told the Olympic Channel that 2020 was “unexpected,” and whereas she feels detached about the 12 months, which clearly didn’t go the method she had hoped, she felt like she had the “opportunity to grow as a person and learn a lot of different things.” Morgan mentioned she’s setting a whole lot of short-term objectives for herself going into 2021. She’s nonetheless engaged on getting abilities and endurance again, and plans on competing at the Winter Cup in February.
Live with no regrets. If you’re on the lookout for one thing to maintain your ears busy, Jamaica’s Tokyo Olympic qualifier Danusia Francis gave an amazing interview to the Empowerment & Courage podcast, the place she speaks about the affect that being a university gymnast at UCLA had on her, how she discovered her method again to the fitness center after quitting in 2016, and what it was prefer to battle again to qualify for the Olympic Games after lacking out twice earlier than. You also can hear on Spotify and on Apple Podcasts.
MyKayla will get the all-clear. After testing optimistic for COVID-19 after which going to the hospital for a pneumonia prognosis, MyKayla Skinner shared her experiences with COVID in addition to an replace about her situation on YouTube, telling followers that whereas she’s nonetheless struggling to breathe, she’s now cleared to return to gymnastics. She’ll solely have a few month to prepare for the Winter Cup in February, which clearly isn’t ideally suited, and mentioned that “the top four” at that meet are assured to make the nationwide workforce.
Baby #2! Shawn Johnson and husband Andrew East introduced that a second Baby East is on the way in 2021! Shawn gave start to daughter Drew in 2019, and he or she’s mainly already the same size as Shawn, which makes me so completely satisfied. Congratulations to the East fam!
Laurie Hernandez is admittedly, actually again. The Winter Cup information is slowly trickling in, and we realized this week that Laurie Hernandez has marked the event as her return to competition for the first time in nearly five years, since she final took to the ground as a beam silver medalist in Rio. She advised Twitter that if she will get 3,000 retweets, she’ll scream “FOR THE HONOR OF GRAYSKULL!” into the camera, and I feel I’m wanting ahead to that greater than any precise gymnastics.
Beach Blast Invitational. Some U.S. elite males competed at the “Galveston Island Winter Beach Blast Invitational” this weekend, which is actually the title of a Toddlers & Tiaras pageant I’m fairly certain, and mainly nobody wore masks or adopted any social distancing guidelines, as a result of why would they? Yul Moldauer won the all-around with an 85.900, adopted by Allan Bower with an 83.200 for silver and Akash Modi with an 82.550 for bronze, and different standouts included Taylor Burkhart on excessive bar, Isaiah Drake on vault, Donnell Whittenburg on rings, and the lights completely giving up in the middle of Grant Breckenridge’s rings. Even they knew this meet was a foul thought and tried to close it down.
Biles Invitational. There have been a number of U.S. invitationals to this point this season, together with a pair appearing as qualifiers for the Nastia Liukin Cup, however this weekend will mark the first nationwide elite qualifier at the Biles International Invitational in Spring, Texas. The junior optionally available qualifier and the obligatory competitors might be held Thursday, January 21, whereas the optionally available qualifier for seniors and Hopes gymnasts will happen on Friday. Notable gyms anticipated to ship gymnasts embrace WOGA, Twin City Twisters, Buckeye, Metroplex, and Texas Dreams.
Canada’s gone digital. In gentle of COVID-19, and since Canada is freaking large, Gymnastics Canada has determined to go digital for Elite Canada in February. Rick at Gymnastics Coaching has all all of the details on how this will work, with video submissions allowed between Feb 3-9, whereas judging will happen between Feb 12-14, nevertheless it’s essential to notice that many high gymnasts in Canada aren’t capable of prepare as a result of lockdown restrictions in some provinces, which might restrict attendance even in a digital surroundings.
Cancellations and adjustments. We’ve made a number of updates to our 2021 calendar over the previous week. Most notably, the Stuttgart World Cup has been canceled, and although the German federation remains to be hoping to host in one other metropolis, with the present lockdown, that’s not wanting tremendous probably (although Germany did announce its Bundesliga schedule, with two WAG meets to be held in the spring). Jesolo can be canceled, in accordance with USAG’s elite calendar, however we’ve added the Russian Championships (Mar 8-14) and the Russian Cup (Jun 6-13), and we’ve additionally famous the change to the Top 12 league schedule, which has cut down from multiple duels held over several months to just one large team meet in March.
The Rankings. Florida held onto the high rating after the second week of competitors, with simply over a tenth lead forward of Oklahoma, whereas the Big Ten got here to play as Michigan and Minnesota began out the season with assertion meets to land in the high 5.
1. Florida 197.375
2. Oklahoma 197.238
3. Michigan 197.225
4. Minnesota 197.025
5. LSU 196.913
6. Utah 196.725
7. Denver 196.600
8. Arkansas 196.488
9. Iowa 196.450
10. Alabama 196.313
A complete of 37 groups have competed to this point this season. Big showdowns this weekend included Florida taking down Georgia by over some extent at residence, Oklahoma getting a win towards Utah, LSU getting a second win over Arkansas, and Ona Loper placing up the second-best AA rating of the season to this point with a 39.625 when Minnesota took down Iowa. Most surprising was Oregon State debuting with a loss at residence with only a 191.950 after an utter meltdown on bars.
UCLA again this week. Whether UCLA might compete this season given the COVID-19 scenario in Los Angeles has been up in the air, however the Bruins now finally have a schedule full with eight common season meets (together with 4 at residence), and can debut this weekend, internet hosting Arizona State. The Los Angeles Times ran a feature about what the workforce has been via over the previous 12 months, and what they suppose this new season will seem like.
Emma Spence’s NCAA plans. Canadian elite and Youth Olympic Games medalist Emma Spence shared her plans to attend Nebraska late in 2020, and not too long ago spoke to her hometown Cambridge Times about her decision, together with why she selected Nebraska and the way she will be able to’t wait to really get to see the campus in individual – which she hasn’t been capable of do but as a result of the pandemic.
Florida is woke. Though it wasn’t coated in the broadcast, we have been so proud to see coach Owen Field celebrating some of the Florida gymnasts’ decisions to kneel during the national anthem earlier than this previous weekend’s meet. Who must you stan, you ask? Nya Reed, Alex Magee, Savannah Schoenherr, Chloi Clark, and Ellie Lazzari, who explained her decision on Instagram.
The cutest tribute. A Twitter person with a eager eye (and reminiscence?! I don’t even bear in mind what day it’s proper now, not to mention choreography from a decade in the past) observed that current Arkansas switch Abby Johnston’s ending pose choreo mirrored that of head coach Jordyn Wieber’s own Olympic routine in what’s probably the most endearing tribute ever. Just gonna cry a teeny tiny bit.
Casimir Schmidt’s triple pike half. I dwell for the Dutch males doing the whole lot they probably can to get injured, however ugh, they do it so effectively. Casimir not solely lands a triple front pike half-out (off of a trampoline), however he additionally does it fantastically, and ends it with a stick.
Minami Kazuki’s Rudi-in back-out, entrance double double, and entrance double double half-out. I needed to watch this like one billion occasions and I nonetheless don’t suppose I actually even know what’s occurring, however anyway, here’s Kazuki doing a front 1.5-in, back tuck out, which is like, T&T stage nonsense. His first flip is mainly laid-out, and in the event you scroll to the subsequent video, he does it piked, however once more, additionally absolutely laid-out in the first flip. Magic. Other clips on this little video dump? A whip half to entrance double double, and a whip half to entrance double double half-out. No. Big. Deal.
Angelina Melnikova’s English. Okay, so it’s not a gymnastics ability, however I’m simply so impressed with how far Angelina has come in her English-speaking journey?! She sounds so pure and assured answering questions from followers on her Instagram tales. As somebody who has been talking German for 10 years, I nonetheless get bodily sick at the prospect of getting to say wie geht’s to a different human, so that is expertise.
Jordan Chiles’ Dos Santos Rudi-out. Yeah, you learn that proper. Jordan posted this throwback of her coaching an arabian double front with one and a half twists in the second flip on Instagram this weekend to show as soon as and for all that she is definitely Wonder Woman. Considering how easy she made a Dos Santos half-out look, is it actually so shocking that she will be able to pull off an entire further twist into the pit?
Article by Lauren Hopkins