157: The 2015 Secret Classic

Laurie Hernandez blue leo 2015 bar dismount

2015 junior Secret Classic Champion, Laurie “Baby Shakira” Hernandez. Photo © Christy Linder


In the News

This week on the podcast, a full recap of the Secret U.S. Classic from glorious Chicago suburbs.  Uncle Tim, Lauren, and Jessica chat about the best upgrades, moments, skills and routines, including:

  • Scoring: don’t get too excited, there was a stick bonus in place.
  • Text book bars that made our hearts sing:  Madison Kocian, Brenna Dowell and Laurie “Baby Shakira” Hernandez.
  • Injuries that took some out and others down:  Norah Flatly, Marissa Okaely and Kyla Ross.
  • Which 2000 Babies (also known as juniors who will turn 16 in the Olympic year) will be a major threat for the 2016 Olympic team. Yes, this means we talked all about Ragan “Fievel” Smith.
  • Ashton Locklear and the Mystery of the Zero Scores solved!
  • Bailie Key’s premier meet as a senior gymnast! Finally!
  • Brenna Dowell had a rough day with a terrifying beam fall, but we loved her toe-on tkatchev caught in mixed grip to Ezhova! Will this help or hurt her chances of making the World team?
  • Let’s play a game called “What did Skinner’s floor music sound like to you?”
  • Simone Bile’s new floor routine (spoiler alert, we loved it!); will Laurie Hernandez and Simone start a new trend in elite floor?
  • What’s next for Emily Gaskins and Steve Nunno. Maybe he was too calm and that’s what hurt her performance.
  • Gabby Douglas, her competitive excellence, Russian-style podium training, future upgrades and clarifying gymnastics facts for those you didn’t know that she meant American Olympic history when she said,”No one has ever done it before.”
  • Aly Raisman looked gutted after her mistiming on floor led to a fall, but we saw big improvements from her.
  • Our favorite moments: Abby Paulson’s aerial layout series on beam; Trinity Thomas being adopted by Lauren; Maggie Nichols owning the podium; Polina Shchennikova’s bars; Simone and her team flying on a private jet; Kaitlin deGuzman’s toe point; Deanne Soza, Deanne Soza and DEANNE SOZA!
  • Uncle Tim rages out over Felicia Hano’s vault injury.


Our weekly roundup of the latest news stories from around the gymternet include:

  • Marta’s retirement announcement and our speculation about her replacement.
  • Shawn Johnson got engaged to NFL player Andrew East on a baseball field, but we tell you how we could have proposed to her in a much more gymnastics-appropriate way.
  • The Canadian pop star who is named after Nelli Kim
  • USA Gymnastics President, Steve Penny, awkwardly interviewing Simone Biles.
  • We got a letter from a listener who told us all about training with Steve Penny and Peggy Liddick during the Shannon Miller era at Dynamo in Oklahoma!

Related Links

The Gymternet’s best moments from podium training, complete with Gifs!

Two women have repeated as the Olympic all-around champion in back to back Olympic Games, Larisa Latynina of Soviet Union in 1956 and 1960, and Vera Caslavaka of Czechoslovakia in 64 and 68. No American all-around gold medalist (we’ve only had four ever!), has ever made a second Olympic team; only one has even officlally tried, Nastia Liukin, by competing at the Olympic Trials. It’s pretty common to make another Olympic team. Four Olympic all-around gold medalists have made a second Olympic team after winning all-around good: Larisa Latynina, Věra Čáslavská, Ludmilla Tourischeva, and Nadia Comăneci.

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Related Photos

Simone Biles press conference  with Steve Penny 2015

texas dreams splatter paint soviet leotards

Texas Dreams wore a leo that was clearly an ode to the 1990’s Unified Team / Soviet splatter paint leotards.


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156: Pan Am Games Event Finals and Secret Classic Preview


In the News


This week Uncle Tim and Jessica discuss the Pan American Games Event Finals with 2004 Olympic floor champion and CBC analyst Kyle Shewfelt!

  • Gym Myth Busters: We found out, straight from the men’s FIG Technical Committee President, if Manrique Larduet (CUB) was deducted for excessive celebration after his parallel bars routine in qualifying.
  • We had to know Kyle’s opinion: should the men’s all-around final have gone to Manrique instead of Sam Mikulak (USA)?
  • Why Canada, Cuba and Flavia Lopez Saraiva (BRA) stole the show in Toronto.
  • The Out of Bounds Championship floor final, a first of it’s kind.
  • Kyle and our listeners came up with the solution the Yamilet Peña (DOM) and the Produnova of Death vault situation. Nellie Kim, now hear this!
  • Why Daniele Hypolito (BRA) is a hero and true sportsman (even after being robbed of a bronze in the vault final).
  • Why Rachel Gowey (USA),  Jessica Lopez (VEN) and Amelia Hundley’s (USA) floaty bars made us smile.
  • Ellie Black (CAN) told Kyle Shewfelt why she was able to achieve to her highest potential during the most pressure packed final of the competition: beam.
  • Ana Sofía Gómez Porras (GUA) finally redeemed herself on the floor, but she presented a text book example of why a gymnast should never tumble with hands side by side on beam!
  • How difficult is the full-in off the end of the parallel bars, done by Jossimar Calvo (COL), compared to a double-tuck off of the side; Kyle weighs in.



Our weekly roundup of the latest news stories from around the gymternet include:

  • A preview of the Secret Classic: from college elite Brenna Dowell to 2011 world team gold medalist, Sabrina Vegas; to reigning Olympic champions, Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas; it’s going to be a great meet!
  • Does being named to a Pan Am Team hurt a gymnasts chances of being on a World or Olympic team?
  • Shannon Miller’s coach, Steve Nunno, is back!  It’s has been confirmed to a fan website first; congratulations Full Twist! Emily Gaskins (AKA Baby Podkopayeva) of Intensity Gymnastics in Florida, is being coached by Steve Nunno and Romanian Olympic gold medalist, Lavinia Agache.  We discuss the implications–at length!
  • Plus, rhinestones, not just for facial injuries anymore.

Related Links

  • If you want to hear Kyle Shewfelt’s analysis of the Pan Am Games, download the CBC Sports App for streaming replays, available on Android and Apple.
  • Check out Kyle Shewfelt Gymnastics, it is a marvel; from business plan to layout and function, it needs to be the centerfold of a gymnastics school design and business magazine. They have acrobatics, adult gymnastics classes, rhythmic, tumbling, trampoline, gymnastics cross training, yoga, Gymsanity, Warrior Gymnastics (What is this? We want to do it!) and parkour. If the GymCastic headquarters were in Calgary, we’d live at Kyle’s gym.

kyle shewfelt gymnastics dog Cooper wearing a cape


  • Secret Classic coverage begins on Friday with live podium training here or USA Gymnastics YouTube Channel. The senior competition will be on Universal Sports. If you aren’t in the US and are having trouble with access to Universal Sports, try using a VPN. Our listeners recomend TunnelBear, Hola, ZenMate and GetUsVPN.
2015 us secret classic gymnastics live schedule

2015 #SecretClassic

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Secret Classic: What Does Success Here Mean

2015 us secret classic gymnastics live schedule

2015 #SecretClassic

The Secret U.S. Classic stars on Saturday and with rosters announced and start lists posted, the Gymternet is abuzz with speculation about the meet.

Generally, the Classic is used to fine-tune routines, try out new skills and get one last competition under the gymnasts’ belts before the national championships get under way a few weeks later. It’s also viewed as a less important competition where good results don’t often implicate future success in the sport.

However, that might not be the case. We take a look at past results from the meet. The findings are quite intriguing.

Screen Shot 2015-07-22 at 12.49.16 AM

Saturday, July 25 at 7:30 p.m. ET
Senior Start List
Live scoring
Live video on Universal Sports or SecretClassic.com

This year the senior roster at the Classic features a plethora of future and past stars in the sport. From back-to-back all-around World Champion Simone Biles to individual Olympic Champions Gabrielle Douglas and Aly Raisman, the meet is packed with talent.

Like these champions, past participation at the Classic, competing at the meet in at least some capacity — whether it be in the all around or on just one event — is a good step in making that year’s World or Olympic team.

This has been the trend dating back to 2010. However, competing at the Classic and doing well at the Classic are two different things. In Olympic years, those that made the team had to be on their game, even at the meet. If a gymnast chose to compete less than four events, she had better knock those events out of the park (see chart).

In years with World Championships, the story is different. The obvious front-runners still performed well at the meet, such as Simone Biles and Kyla Ross. However, those members of the teams on the bubble, only show average results in the all around. Of course, not every World Championship has a team competition that relies heavily on all-arounders. Individual World Championship years have only four member teams, compared to seven in team years. But, similar to the Olympic year, if a gymnast is a specialist, she better make up for not showing all four.

Looking ahead to this year’s installment of the competition, there’s a good chance those fans making the trip to Hoffman Estates, Ill., will be getting a preview of 2015’s Team USA.

Saturday, July 25 at 2 p.m. ET
Junior Start List
Live scoring

Live video on SecretClassic.com

Much more so than in the senior competition, the juniors use the U.S. Classic as a qualifying event to nationals, as well as a chance to prove and test themselves in a pressure-packed situation.

With the juniors the trends to success are a little trickier to spot. However, one thing’s for certain, since 1998 every age-eligable junior champion has made the Olympic team, except for three. Those who made the team include a prestigious list of Carly Patterson, Nastia Liukin, Shawn Johnson, Kyla Ross, Aly Raisman and Jordyn Wieber.

This has to bode well for 2012 junior champ Simone Biles, as well as 2013 winner Bailie Key, and although she is not eligible until 2020, last year’s first-place finisher Jordan Chiles.

As for the other juniors who made it to the Olympics, it might actually be better to not do so well at the Classic earlier on in your career! In 2008 Douglas tied for 10th in the all around and in 2009 McKayla Maroney was all the way down in a tie for 24th and only finished tied for 10th on her signature event, vault.

2014 WORLD TEAM(U.S. Secret Classic Results – 2014)
Athlete AA Vault Bars FX Beam
Simone Biles 1 1 4 1 1
Kyla Ross 2 3 2 1T
Maggie Michols 3 5 3 7
Madison Desch 12 10
MyKayla Skinner 5 2 10 6 6
Alyssa Baumann 7 9 9 5
Ashton Locklear 2T 4
Madison Kocian 2T 8

2013 WORLD TEAM(U.S. Secret Classic Results – 2013)
Athlete AA Vault Bars FX Beam
Kyla Ross 1 1 12 2
Brenna Dowell 3 6 4 10T
Simone Biles 9 8T 7
McKayla Maroney 1 3

2012 OLYMPIC TEAM(U.S. Secret Classic Results – 2012)
Athlete AA Vault Bars FX Beam
Aly Raisman 1 6T 1 1T
Kyla Ross 2 2 5 5
Elizabeth Price 5 4 11 20
Anna Li 8 9 14 9
Gabrielle Douglas 1 3T 7
Sarah Finnegan 10 2 3T
McKayla Maroney 1 10
Jordyn Wieber 8 1T

2011 WORLD TEAM(U.S. Secret Classic Results – 2011)
Athlete AA Vault Bars FX Beam
Aly Raisman 1 18 1 3
Sabrina Vega 3 12T 2 7
Alicia Sacramone 1 3 1T
Jordyn Wieber 1T 1T
McKayla Maroney 5 6
Gabrielle Douglas 2
Anna Li 7T

2010 WORLD TEAM(U.S. Secret Classic Results – 2010)
AA Vault Bars FX Beam
Mattie Larson 1 8T 2 12
Mackenzie Caquatto 3 2 8 20
Aly Raisman 5 10 5 5
Alicia Sacramone 1 1
Rebecca Bross 1 6
Bridget Sloan 4 2
Chelsea Davis 5T 8

2009 WORLD TEAM(U.S. Secret Classic Results – 2009)
AA Vault Bars FX Beam
Ivana Hong 2 12 5 1
Kayla Williams 5 1 1
Rebecca Bross 10T

2008 OLYMPIC TEAM(U.S. Secret Classic Results – 2007 & 2008)
AA Vault Bars FX Beam
Corrie Lothrop * 2 1T 2
Jana Bieger * 1
Chellsie Memmel 5

About the Author: Elizabeth Grimsley was a Conrad Fink Scholar at the University of Georgia where she focused on multimedia sports journalism. She has written for The Red and Black, Inside Publications, and completed the prestigious Communications Internship at USA Gymnastics. She’s also kind of a Storify ninja if you ask us.

When Does the World Care about Gymnastics?

If you’re reading this list, you’re probably a diehard gymnastics fan.

You’ve watched the Nadia movie at least 25 times (in the last year). You throw popcorn at your screen whenever someone calls the skill an “Onodi” on beam. Because Mostepanova. And, when you’re playing board games, drunk, you practice your Bela Karolyi impression.

For you, gymnastics is a way of life. For everyone else around you, well… their interest in gymnastics comes and goes, especially during a non-Olympics year.

So, when does the world care about gymnastics? Let’s take a look at when people conduct searches for the world’s gymnasts.

1. The world cares when you win the World Championships.

Global Search Volume - Kohei Uchimura

Shows search volume for both Kohei Uchimura and 内村航平

In October, 2014, Kohei Uchimura won yet another all-around title in Nanning. As you can see, the world cared a lot about him then, even more than they cared about Simone Biles.

2. They care when you win the American Cup.


In March, 2015, Simone Biles won the American Cup, which resulted in an uptick in the number of searches for Simone. (Granted, when she won the World Championships, the world cared a lot more.)

3. They care when you win the P&G Championships.


When Sam won the P&G Championships last August, people couldn’t get enough of his gymnastics… or his face… or his biceps – whatever people were searching for.

4. They care a little bit when you win the European Championships.


People cared a teeny tiny bit when Oleg won Euros in April, 2015.

They should care more. I mean, Mikulak wins a national title, and he gets 15,000+ searches. Verniaiev wins a continental title and gets 1,900 searches.

5. They care even more when you don’t attend the European Championships.

At the beginning of April, 2015, Fabian announced that he would not be competing at the European Championships, resulting in many searches for Hambiceps.

(Fabian gets 18,980 searches for attending, and Oleg gets 1,900 searches for winning. Le sigh.)

6. Unfortunately, they care the most when some jerk hacks your phone and posts illegal photos of you on the internet.

Poor girl. You have to admit that she handled it well.

Stay tuned to see what happens to Aly Raisman’s search volume after ESPN’s Body issue.

155: University and Pan Am Games

Manrique Larduet excessive celebration toronto 2015 pbars

Manrique Larduet (CUB) urges the crowd to show their appreciation for his parallel bars routine at the Pan American Games. © Grace Chiu


In the News

This week Mary-Anne “Mez Monckton from the Australian national team, Uncle Tim and Jessica chat about:

  • Pan Am Games Team Finals and All-Around Competitions:
    • Do we like Elfi Schlegel better on on ESPN or NBC?
    • We answer the most important question of the meet: Where’s Marta?
    • Cuba, Cuba and more Cuba! Manrique Larduet (CUB) and Marcia Videaux Jimenez (CUB) thrilled us.
    • Yamilet Peña (DOM) and the Execution score vaulting problem; should Yamilet Peña have gotten credit for her Produnova/buttahara/chalk skid mark landing?
    • If Manrique was deducted for excessive celebration, was it justified?
    • Was Daniele Hypolito (BRA), aka “Hypolito The Great” and “No Gripz Hypolitz,” unfairly deducted for a fall on her beam dismount?
    • Yes, darling of the Games, Flavia Saraiva (BRA)  touched the beam for a 1.0 deduction but Jessica doesn’t care.
    • Winning with a fall: the Sam Mikulak (USA) vs Manrique all-around showdown.
    • Did the US team make the right decision by not letting Donnell Wittenberg (USA) repeat his Cassina after slamming his head against the ground and possibly suffering a concussion in all-around finals?
    • Jorge “The Hair” Vega (GUA) and his ode to Japanese gymnastics.
    • Ellie Black (CAN) informed the world that she is the shield maiden of the North!
    • We love that Maddie Desch (USA) went for all her difficulty, including a laid-out full on beam.
    • Who would we put up in a team final on beam? Amelia Hundley (USA) and Ana Lago (MEX).

    University Games in Gwangju, South Korea:

    • Mary-Anne “Mez” Monckton (AUS) on her experience competing at the Uni Games after nine months out for ankle reconstruction.
    • Mez talks about her coping mechanisms for handling disappointment.
    • A MERS outbreak may have kept some teams at home, but the bars almost falling on judges, plastic sheets on the beds, and unpredictable schedule kept the competitors living the phrase, “be prepared for anything.”
    • The Russian training system in action: how Maria Paseka hit her routines by laying around a lot.
    • With a score of 92 (higher than Kohei’s (JPN) in the last two Worlds), is Oleg Vernaiev (UKR) now THE legitimate threat to Kohei?


Our weekly roundup of the latest news stories from around the gymternet include:

  • Steve Nunno is coaching, maybe, we hear….
  • Nia Dennis has left her longtime gym, Buckeye, for Legacy Elite Gymnastics in Chicago.
  • Keira Brown has officially transferred to Penn State.
  • Kyla has a new skill on bars; a Bhardwaj (Pak full) watch the video by Deanne Hong Productions.
  • We read your feedback about Aly Raisman’s statement on eating disorders in The Body issue of ESPN magazine.


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Best Routines of 2015 So Far

Lieke Wevers baku 2015 beam reaction

Lieke Wevers (NED) celebrates her balance beam win in Baku.

By Elizabeth Grimsley

The elite season is just starting to heat up with the Pan American Games kicking off this Saturday, July 11-15 in Toronto and a stream of U.S. events, from the U.S. Classic to P&G Championships, right around the corner. But just because the biggest chunk of American competitions is still to come doesn’t mean the rest of the world has been sitting still.

To catch you up on what’s been going on for the first half of the year, we’ve got the 10 best men’s and women’s routines of 2015 so far (in no particular order). From fan favorites to astronomical scores, these are some routines you don’t want to miss.


Farah Ann Abdul Hadi (MAS)- South East Asian Games

It might not be the most difficult routine in the world, but man, is it making waves. Abdul Hadi, a Muslim gymnast from Malaysia got a lot of attention after her gold medal floor performance because of her choice to wear the standard leotard rather than something more conservative. But she handled the attention like a true champion, thanking her supporters and taking the criticism as gracefully as her choreography on floor.

Seda Tutkhalyan (RUS)- European Games

You’ve heard of Mustafina and Komova. But what about Tutkhalyan? This little firecracker not only hit a solid beam routine in Baku, she did it with difficulty. Just look at that laid-out full!

Simone Biles (USA)- American Cup

You can’t have a bests list without the best gymnast in the world on it. And Biles is by far the best, especially in this floor routine from the American Cup where she scored over a point higher than all her other competitors. Just sit back and be amazed at the height she gets and energy she adds to the routine.

Eythora Thorsdottir (NED)- Ljubljana Challenge Cup

While Biles grabs the crowd’s attention through high-flying skills, Thorsdottir does it through dance and execution. From the dance that flows casually from one movement to the next to her near stuck landings on her tumbling passes, this individual is one to keep an eye out for in the future.

Giulia Steingruber (SUI)- European Games

Steingruber came home from Baku with a nice little collection of medals. One of those came on vault for her combo of a nearly stuck handspring Rudi and a simple but clean Yurchenko full.

Lieke Wevers (NED)- European Games

The first time you see Wevers on beam the word “elegant” comes to mind. Moving from one effortlessly performed skill to the next, this Dutch gymnast showed she can hang with the seasoned veterans by taking hold the gold. It’s things like a simple back handspring to posé in the middle of the routine that make her a joy to watch.

Aly Raisman (USA)- City of Jesolo Trophy

She’s back, ladies and gentlemen! Unlike other comebacks in the past, Raisman is serious about making the team that travels to Rio next summer. It’s still early in her return, but if this floor routine is any indication, Raisman is a force to be reckoned with.

Oksana Chusovitina (UZB)- Cottbus World Cup

What are you doing when you’re 40 years old? It probably won’t be winning World Cup medals with vaults that are still quite competitive on the international scene. And the thing that’s even more impressive? Her form seems to be getting better with age!


Jake Dalton (USA)- Doha World Cup

Dalton is known for his highflying skills and toe point that will make any person swoon. And while he is always fitting with the big guns in the finals, he never comes away on top — until Doha. Dalton’s score edged out other perennial floor final mainstays like Brazil’s Diego Hypolito by just half a tenth.

Epke Zonderland (NED)- Ljubljana Challenge Cup

Every time Zonderland hits a high bar routine, it’s worthy of making a list of best routines. Yeah, his form might be less than desirable, but what he lacks in execution — and he is working on it — he makes up for in difficulty.

Kenzo Shirai (JPN)- Cottbus World Cup

If you pull up floor exercise results from all the major competitions around the world, most of the top scores on the event sit around the low 15s with maybe a high 15 thrown in for the bigger competitions. But Shirai blew all those scores out of the water with his 16.450 in Germany. We all know he can twist, but with this routine, Shirai threw in a casual triple twisting double tuck to keep us on our toes.

Oleg Vernaiev (UKR)- European Games

Vernaiev is usually known for his work on parallel bars (don’t worry, we’re getting there!), but he truly excelled in qualifications at the European Games on vault. He started with a casual, perfectly-stuck Dragulescu, and followed it up with another well-landed vault.

Oleg Vernaiev (UKR)- Cottbus World Cup

We told you it was coming! Vernaiev’s signature event didn’t disappoint with this near-perfect performance at the Cottbus World Cup. He not only surpassed a 9.0 in execution — a virtually unheard of thing in the sport in this day and age — but also had a whopping 7.1 difficulty value as well for a 16.250 total.

Louis Smith (GBR)- European Championships

If you had any doubts Louis Smith’s comeback was for real, look no further than this pommel horse routine. We all know he’s good on the event — he was the Olympic silver medalist — so just sit back and enjoy this one.

Oleg Stepko (AZE)- European Games

Another parallel bars final, another Oleg. But this time it’s Azerbaijan’s Oleg Stepko; and the routine wasn’t just exciting to watch, it came with meaning too. Azerbaijan is an up-and-coming gymnastics nation due to a large number of nationality changes over the past months. Stepko’s gold gave the country the recognition it needs on an international stage.

Manrique Larduet (CUB)- Anadia World Cup

Cuban gymnasts have mostly been held out of major international competitions in the past, but boy are we happy that tradition is starting to crack. Larduet made a name for himself, winning the vault and floor gold medals in Anadia. One word for him: power.

If you want to add a routine to the list, please comment below!

About the Author: Elizabeth Grimsley was a Conrad Fink Scholar at the University of Georgia where she focused on multimedia sports journalism. She has written for The Red and Black, Inside Publications, and completed the prestigious Communications Internship at USA Gymnastics. She’s also kind of a Storify ninja if you ask us.

154: Aly in The Body Issue

Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman body issue

Olympic gold medalist, Aly Raisman in the 2015 ESPN magazine’s Body issue. Click on the image for her video and interview with ESPN.


In the News

In the news this week, Uncle Tim and Jessica chat about:

  • Aly Raisman’s take on the lack of eating disorders in gymnastics and learning to have muscle pride in ESPN’s Body Issue
  • Raducan asked the Olympic Committee to give her gold back, they said no.
  • International Gymnastics Federation President, Bruno Grandi’s interview on the 2020 Olympic qualification changes:
    • Grandi says gymnastics has a business problem; but is really just a marketing problem?
    • We agree with Grandi most of the time, but when he leans on nostalgia for evidence, we tear his arguments to shreds!
    • Grandi argues that Romania has been hurt by the lack of elegance in the code. He must mean this 1978 routine from Romanian, Emilia Eberle. Famous for the hump the floor choreography.
  • Menstrual Cups for gymnastics. If you have used them for gymnastics, tell us about your experience.
  • How not to flirt with girls at gymnastics
  • Gym Myth Busters:
    • Is difficulty really the strongest predictor of all-around rankings?
    • Do height or weight matter in elite gymnastics?
    • Shawn Johnson promotes self love on The Secret Life of The American Teenager.

Related Links

  • Full Out Movie has an air date! August 9th 4pm after the NFL pre-season game on LA/San Diego television.
  • 2000 Olympic Trials: Special Victims Unit from The Balance Beam Situation
  • Do Height and Weight Matter in Women’s Elite Gymnastics? Uncle Tim has the answer.
  • E-Scores vs. D-Scores: Which is the strongest predictor of all-around rank? Find out here.
  • Sexy Data: Which event is the strongest predictor of all-around rankings?
  • Lauren Mitchell wishes to stress that she has yet to make a decision on her gymnastics future
  • Gymnast Kiera Brown dismissed from the team due to violation of team rules

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Related Photos

us gymnastics team pan am games 205

Gymnastics competition begins on July 11 with the men’s team finals, which also serve as the all-around and individual event final qualification. The women take the floor on July 12 for team finals.

  • Pan American Games scheduling and listings here.

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Check out these meet summary videos from A R Federova.

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153: Inaugural European Games

Giulia Steingruber, lisa top, seda smiling on the vault podium in baku

Seda Tutkhalyan (RUS), Giulia Steingruber (SUI), Lisa Top (NED) on the vault podium at the inaugural European Games in Baku.


In the News

In the news, Mary-Anne “Mez” Monckton, Emma and Jessica chat about:

  • The unusual format of 3 up 2 count over two days for team, and men and women on the floor at once.
  • One per country rule for finals – spoiler alert, we hated it!
  • The level of difficulty might have been lower than usual (12.8 for bronze on bars) but the performances were gorgeous! We choose our favorite routines and skills
  • The return of Komova! Rejoice!
  • Showdown of the Olegs, plus the big payout for medals given to Oleg Stepko by Azerbeijan. He made bank!
  • The Russian Dream Team: Seda, Aliya and Komova
  • Giulia Steingruber, is she the new Sacramone of vault and floor?
  • Concussions in context: Brinn Bevin high bar fall and why concussions are always serious.
  • Fabian Hambüchen’s dinasour roars and new floor skill.
  • Miguel Rayderley Zapata from Spain won floor just like Jessica told you guys he would! If you don’t love him,  you are not paying attention!

Contest Winners

Runner Up: Petition and Parade Granted

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Our Winner, who is getting a copy of Shannon’s new book, Raymond White!

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Results, video, photos and news from the first European Games here.

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Gymnast tattoos are becoming more commonplace. Here is Steingruber’s ink

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Episode 38: Svetlana Boginskaya

svetlana boginskaya interview

Svetlana Boginskaya


In June, 2013 the Belarusian Swan graced us with her presence. Svetlana Boginskaya (Boguinskaia) is a 14-time Olympic and World medalist and is as elegant as she is fierce. This is a woman who is not afraid to speak her mind! Bogi gives us the scoop on: Alexander Alexandrov and why he left Russia, what happened at Round Lake when the USSR collapsed, the real story behind her snub of Kim Zmeskal at the 1991 World Championships, the politics behind Natalia Kalinina being left off of the Barcelona Olympic team, what makes her gymnastics camp different, why she thinks she isn’t artistic, dating as a teen gymnast in Moscow, her Bolshoi choreography, her favorite routines, coaching Oksana Chusovitina in 2013, and why raising kids is harder than doing a sixth Olympics or trying to understand Bela Karolyi‘s english. Check out the videos below for the background.

Guest Links

Follow her on Instagram under the username “Svetlanaboguinskaia”, check out the schedule for her camp here or email her for choreography at info@ogccamp.com. If you are ever in the Houston area, make sure to visit her resturant, Mazzei’s Gourmet Pizzeria in Katy, Texas.

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Related VideosThe missing member of the ’92 Unified Team: Natalia Kalinina

Boginskaya – 1988 Olympics AA – Floor Exercise

Boginskaya’s famous 1989 Floor Routine, here she scored a perfect 10.

Her 1991 World Championship winning beam routine.

Her 1985 International Junior Competition floor routine from Tokyo

Bogi’s International Gymnastics Hall of Fame 2005 Induction Speech

Svetlana appeared din the B-52’s video, “Revolution Earth,” with Vitaly Scherbo

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152: Four Nations Cup Italy, Russia, Romania and Colombia

Seda Tutkhalyan russia green leotard

Four Nations Cup all-around champion, Seda Tutkhalyan (RUS)


In the News

In the news, Jessica, Emma and Bea chat about:

  • The rules for pre-floor routine walk out choreography; our dos and don’ts.
  • Laura Jurica (ROM) has made progress on bars.
  • If there were gymnastics-satyr made of Mustafin’s arms and Shawn Johnson’s power, it would be little Russian power house, Seda Tutkhalyan.
  • The throwback Pozar-esque folk dance floor from new senior Anastasia Dimitrieva (RUS).
  • The triple full from Zarzu (ROM) that looked as easy as a playground cartwheel.
  • An update on training for comeback masters, Catalina Ponor and Dragulescu.
  • Brazilian babies, Rebeca Andrade and Flavia Saraiva put the world on notice at the Flanders International.
  • Nastia got engaged and announced the founding of The Shine Agency, but questions about what Shine will actually do still remain.
  • Douglas Family Gold will air on Oprah’s Oxygen channel later this year, and Emma has many concerns!
  • A listeners discovers that Paul Ruggeri predicted the future of Olympic qualifying on this very show in 2012.
  • Since Bea is Romanian, we got a little pronunciation tutorial–even Nadia would be impressed with.


What: Do your favorite Shannon Miller pose or choreography.

How: Post it on Twitter or Instagram, tag us and use hashtag #MillerTimeContest

Deadline: Monday, June 15th

Winner: Gets a copy of Shannon’s book!

shannon miller red leotard 1992 Olympics straddle L sit balance beam

Shannon Miller © Dave Black


Related Links

The Couch Gymnast coverage of Four Nations Cup.

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MaryLou Tampax

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See the Must Watch Routines from the Four Nations Cup over on The Couch Gymnast.

Watch this week’s playlist on YouTube here.

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