Episode 18: Bridget Sloan

Screen Shot 2013-01-29 at 10.09.44 PM


This week we talk to 2009 World All-Around Champion and University of Florida freshman, Bridget Sloan. She tells us about the transition to NCAA gymnastics, the athletic trainer who she calls her surrogate father, air pollution at the Beijing Olympics, age falsification and Martha Karolyi commenting on her weight on television.

In that special way, that only the two best satirists in the business can do, Spanny and Uncle Tim review Gymnastike’s groundbreaking documentary series about Mary Lee Tracy’s elite program at Cincinnati Gymnastics. Check out Spanny’s recap here. We talk about our favorite NCAA meets so far, UW’s bad ass Kylie Sharp who is competing despite needing a liver transplant  and OSU’s shocking fashion-related injury that even the writers of Make It Or Break It couldn’t have thought up.

Ellis Mannon of Minnesota. High bar dismount of double front with one and a half twists.

Adrian Evans’ hand slips off of the ring before his dismount.

Watch more video of 2013 Navy Open – PSU, William & Mary, Temple, & Springfield at Navy on gymnastike.org

Landon Funiciello’s vault.

Watch more video of 2013 Navy Open – PSU, William & Mary, Temple, & Springfield at Navy on gymnastike.org

Unexpected Choreo of the Week- Kaylyn Millick from WV. Clean, crisp, and innovative (around the 9:30 mark).

Sarah DeMeo of Alabama vs LSU on beam.

Episode 17: Growing Up In The Soviet Gymnastics System And Training At Round Lake

Lena Degteva in Ukraine

Lena Degteva (left) with her sister Marina in Ukraine around 1981.

This week we interview Canadian and NCAA champion, Lena Degteva. Lena was born in the mid-70’s in Lvov, Ukraine and later immigrated to Canada. The daughter of two gymnastics coaches, she quite literally grew up running around the famed Soviet national gymnastics training center at Lake Krugloye, affectionately known as,”Round Lake.” In 1989, Lena became the Soviet Junior National Champion and an official athlete-in-residence, training alongside greats like Chusovitina and Gutsu at Round Lake.

Lena Degteva is now a professional stylist based in Los Angeles. She is still connected to her gymnastics roots as a choreographer and custom leotard designer. She answers all of our deepest, darkest and most ridiculous Sovietophile gymnerd questions.

Here’s a look at what Round Lake was like around the time Lena was training there (1991).

Katy and Lauren answered our call for positive gymnastics stories. Read the full letters here. They are guaranteed to make you smile and warm your heart.

Beth Tweddle on wedgies and her bum.

Fill a blister or cover a rip with zinc oxide to quickly cure and  moisturizing a rip.

Fill a blister or cover a rip with zinc oxide to quickly cure and moisturizing a rip.

Gymnastics Zone’s discussion on rips and Jess’s Athletic Trainers description of her zinc oxide cure can be read here.

The Couch Gymnast’s full coverage of Australian Youth Olympic Festival.

Uncle Tim’s NCAA Bingo!

NCAA Bingo by Uncle Tim

NCAA Bingo by Uncle Tim

Burlington Gymnastics, in Canada to host Masters Gymnastics World Championships in March for adults.

2013 Australian Youth Olympic Festival – Team – Catherine Lyons (GBR)

Ponor’s double layout beam dismount into the pit.

MyKayla Skinner Double Double Layout

Bridget Sloan of Florida on Floor Jan.18.2013 vs Missouri

Spanny’s pick for “Birds Nest” of the Week

Spanny’s “Nice Try Choreography” of the Week

Bekah’s Get a Grip Gymblog’s Vlog Weekly NCAA Recap

Episode 16: Elizabeth Price


This week we talk to 16-year-old Elizabeth Price of Parkettes. She’s coming off a stellar year, being named alternate to the 2012 Olympic Team, then winning back-to-back all-around titles at the Stuttgart and Glasgow World Cups. Next month, she’ll be joining Kyla Ross, Vanessa Ferrari, Asuka Teramoto, Larissa Iordache and Elisabeth Seitz at the American Cup.

Peszek and asac

2008 Olympic Silver Medalist Samantha Peszek, gives Alicia Sacramone a pep-talk in Beijing.

We are joined by special guest-host, World and Olympic medalist and 2011 NCAA beam champion, Samantha Peszek. She gives us her thoughts on the latest news, including Beth Tweddle on Dancing on Ice, Lloimincia Hall’s new floor routine and weighs in on Spanny’s week-one NCAA recap.

Michaela Chernoch of Southern Utah: Vault rotation at UCLA at 20 second mark.

Cool recap video of Southern Utah at UCLA

Haley Scaman’s Yurchenko 1.5 for Oaklahoma

Nicole Allen from Ball State on floor in 2012

Stars in Danger – Diving


Episode 15: Joan Ryan Author of Little Girls in Pretty Boxes


This week we talk to award winning sports journalist Joan Ryan, author of “Little Girls in Pretty Boxes: The Making and Breaking of Elite Gymnasts and Figure Skaters.” Her book debut in 1995 was a controversial, ground-breaking expose that shook the gymnastics community. Ryan brought national attention to the training methods, eating disorders and lack of checks and balances in elite gymnastics. During that time, she was a guest on every major news outlet in the US. Her research forever changed the way gymnasts were trained and perceived by the public. Although she no longer follows the sport professionally, she sat down with us to discuss what her book meant both then and now.

Also, the 2012 GymCastic Champions are announced and we discuss the interview and book at length!


USA Gymnastics Athlete Welfare Policy. This includes definitions of physical and sexual abuse, screening policies and how to report abuse.

Safe for Athletes founded by athletes who were once abused by their coaches, this organization advocates for athlete welfare — striving to provide every athlete with a safe and positive environment free of sexual abuse, bullying and harassment.

Kathy Johnson, Betty Okino, Kristie Phillips and parents of Julissa Gomez and Christy Henrich on Oprah with Joan Ryan.

Little Girls In Pretty Boxes the movie.

Light or Dark: Putting Little Girls In Their Pretty Boxes

Dvora’s article in Deadspin,”Happy Girl, Sad Girl: Shawn Johnson And Dominique Moceanu Tell The Two Stories People Want From Their Sport”



 Ethan Polson back flip-a-day challenge even with cancer!

Special thank you to D Santos for our outro music.

Episode 14: The GymCastic 2012 Awards & Wish List


Louis Smith has won Strictly Come Dancing.

In our end of the year award show, we talk about our favorites, argue about the worst, address crimes against gymnastics, present our wish list for 2013 and make predictions. We present the case, you pick the winners. Fill out our listener survey below to vote for your champions and tell us how we can make the show ever better!

In our first GymLine segment, we tackle whether or not to “help” a gay gymnast come out. GymLine is a service we provide for everything and anything non-technique related to gymnastics. Just call our hotline  (415) 800-3191 or find us on Skype under username “GymCastic Podcast.” Leave us a short message with your name, city and question.

Olympic Ticket Scandal “You couldn’t get best seats at the Olympics because VIPs took them. More than half the tickets for many of the biggest events at London 2012 were set aside for VIPs or other Olympic “clients”, official figures showed…” Official Ticket Report. 

Chalk Bucket’s new App for Android phones.