162: Wrap Up of the 2015 P&G Championships

Paul Ruggeri blue hilton smiles at the 2015 P&G championships gymnastics national championships

Paul Ruggeri finally made the world team and the gymternet rejoiced! © Christy Linder

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In the News
We covered the finals of the senior women’s national gymnastics championship in Episode 161. Today, it’s our full recap of the 2015 Men’s and Jr. Women’s P&G Championships. Uncle Tim, Lindsey Green from Bustle, and Jessica chat about:

  • A listener Rage-o-Meter; we had a junior adoption waitlist that wasn’t funny to everyone. How to respect short, bad ass gymnasts without infantilizing these amazing athletes.
  • Al Trautwig forgot Nastia’s name on NBC but she had the last laugh.
  • The curse of the high bar; was there butter on it, did the curse hit Yin Alvarez in the ankle and cause his cheering injury? We investigate every possiblity!
  • The Laurie Hernandez vs. Jazzy Foberg junior showdown! Finally a championship that was too close to call until the final event!
    • Could Christina Desiderio be the Kyla Ross of the Rio Olympic team?
  • The GymCastic Awards for Artistry and Elegance go to Emily Gaskins, Maile O’Keefe, Trinity Thomas and Deanne Soza. We tell you why.
  • Behind the scenes moments in the arena that you didn’t see on camera.
  • In defense of Aly Raisman’s bars; complain all you want about her knees, she’s going to hit when it counts.
  • The scoring of Nia Dennis and Bailie Key; one was missing a requirement.
  • We love angry make-up gymnastics and Sam Mikulak delivered!
  • Ethical Conflict: Should Steve Butcher be president of the FIG Men’s Technical Committee while simultaneously selecting the US men’s world team?
  • Why was Chris Brooks left off of the world team even though he placed  third all-around and do we agree with the selection procedures of the men’s program.
    • Has their performance level exceeded their preparation protocols?
    • Is it unfair to compare the women’s and mens’ program results and preparation?
    • Paul Ruggeri tell us what he thinks of the selection procedures after being an alternate forever and ever.
  • Pommel Horse Bingo; why the coaches and athletes were talking to the judges during the meet.
  • The Grip Break Rule: Hunter Justus was able to perform his rings routine after breaking his grip. Justice at last!

Related Links
Television, webcast and YouTube coverage

  • Live competition coverage.
    • Television. NBC Sports Network will televise the first two days tape delayed. The schedule is listed below.
      • Aug. 24 – Men – 3 p.m. ET – NBC, live
      • Universal Sports is streaming replays of women’s and men’s prelims can be found here.
    • Webcast. With analysts 2008 Olympic medalists Samantha Peszek and Raj Bhavsar, USA Gymnastics will provided webcast coverage of all four junior competitive sessions, as well as the first night of both the senior women and men’s competition. Former NCAA and Big Ten champion Evan Heiter will join Peszek and Bhavsar as the host. The webcasts will be available worldwide free of charge on PGChamps.com.
  • USA Gymnastics on YouTube. USA Gymnastics will post coverage of the P&G Championships, including nearly every competition routine, after the conclusion of the event, interviews from media day and post-competition, and clips from podium training.
  • If you are having trouble with access outside of the United States, try using a virtual private network (VPN). Our listeners recomend TunnelBear, Hola, ZenMate and GetUsVPN.

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161: Women’s Finals Recap with Aimee Boorman and Christian Gallardo

Simone Biles broke two world records and tied Kim Zmeskal's record for three consecutive national titles. © Christy Linder

Simone Biles broke two world records and tied Kim Zmeskal’s record for three consecutive national titles. © Christy Linder

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This Week's Interview

2015 National Champion, Laurie Hernandez, teammate 2014 National Champion Jazmyn Foberg, Texas Dreams superstar Ragan Smith and new national team member Sydney Johnson-Scharpf joined us for a live video broadcast on Periscope. Periscope only archives broadcasts for 24 hours but our video will be uploaded to YouTube soon. We asked them what they were most proud of this weekend, new skills, nicknames, Sydney’s balance beam crash in warm-ups and what their national team theme song should be for 2015.

After the kids went out to party, national team coaches Christian Gallardo and Aimee Boorman joined us. Christian coached Nia Dennis at Buckeye Gymnastics and now coaches Shilese Jones and Olympic all-around champion Gabrielle Douglas. Aimee Boorman is the lifelong coach of two time world champion, Simone Biles. We discussed:

  • The Gabby Douglas strategy, is she playing it safe and waiting to upgrade until she absolutely needs to? We think that would be smart. But is she top three on any even right now.
  • Christian and Aimee explain, “Brestyan’s Legs” a plyometric leg circuit that gives Aly ligaments of steel. Know we know why she hasn’t blown out her knees one million times!
  • How they handle the NBC cameras and microphones that might catch conversations they don’t want on air.
  • Why Simone and other gymnasts won’t do triple twisting doubles or double double dismount on beam especially when there is no one touch in event finals.
  • Do Gabby and Aly Raisman coming back to the national team change the dynamic of the team at all?
  • Is Christian on Gabby’s television show, Douglas Family Gold.
  • Aimee and Christian told us how they started gymnastics, who they were most impressed with at championships, their favorite leotards and leotard designers,  what rules in the code bother them the most.
  • Thoughts on their athlete’s use of social media, for example, Ask FM.
  • A full explanation about the wolf turn trend and why everyone does them, even though 99% of them are  hideous. They propose a deduction for excessive turn preparation pause.
  • The time Simone tried to kill Aimee by rolling like a bowling ball into her ribs on the podium.
  • What they think about the NCAA recruiting rules, and Marta retiring.
  • The day Christian, who is not Simone’s coach, knew that Simone was special, when Marta read her the riot act and Simone gave her the most honest and innocent
  • Which gymnast would be most likely to score a 10 under this code?
  • If camp was the Hunger Games which coach would win?
  • Their thoughts on how fast gymnastics is progressing and the weight of difficulty versus execution in the code of points.
  • Finally an explanation for the reason for the splatfest in prelims from Aimee’s mom.

Guest Links

Christian Gallardo is on Twitter thanks to our Periscope viewers who met Christian’s heart challenge! You guys made this happen! Make sure to follow him. 

Aimee Boorman is also on Twitter, where you can ask you about her Game of Thrones and Jon Snow theories.

Get video of every routine, photos and results from the 2015 P&G Championships.

In the News

We recapped the senior women’s championships with Jessica, Lauren Hopkins, Cordelia Price, Dvora Meyers, Jennifer Lacopelland Amy Scherer. We discussed:

  • Score analysis and info straight from Karolyi herself. There is a stick bonus in place but it’s added to the difficulty score not the execution score. Execution scores had no bonus  here. Marta said that Brenna Dowell and Ashton Locklear would be invited to the Worlds selection camp because they might be needed as specialists.
  • Scratches from the meet including injuries to Alyona Shchennikova , Amelia Hundley, and Madison Desch.
  • The Kyla Situation : is it a lack of training on hard surfaces, endurance or the fact that her feet hit the mat on bars when she taps, that’s holding her back from her normal performance. She hasn’t missed an elite season in seven years. She’s amazing! She will be fine. Everyone can shut it!
  • Simone Biles the potentially greatest gymnast of all time, broke another world record with a 9.9 execution score on vault in day two. We debate what wild fictional scenario could ever throw her off her game: a sharknado, a bee, or Zack Efron.
  • Bailie Key the silent ninja in her black ring master leotard costume
  • The wolf turn is worth too much and can’t be deducted enough. It’s time for a change, Nellie Kim!
  • Madison Kocian, the 2015 national bars champion, how she should prepare for the future and world’s selection camp in order to contribute on more than one event.
  • Brenna Dowell, adult, and her coaches on what giving her space vs. blowing them off looks like.

Related Links

Television, webcast and YouTube coverage

  • Live competition coverage.
    • Television. NBC will air the second day of both men’s and women’s senior competition sessions live. In addition, NBC Sports Network will televise the first two days tape delayed. The schedule is listed below.
      • Aug. 24 – Men – 3 p.m. ET – NBC, live
      • Universal Sports is streaming replays of women’s and men’s prelims can be found here.
    • Webcast. With analysts 2008 Olympic medalists Samantha Peszek and Raj Bhavsar, USA Gymnastics will provide live webcast coverage of all four junior competitive sessions, as well as the first night of both the senior women and men’s competition. Former NCAA and Big Ten champion Evan Heiter will join Peszek and Bhavsar as the host. The webcasts will be available worldwide free of charge on PGChamps.com.
      • Aug. 16 – Jr. Men – 7:30 p.m. ET
  • USA Gymnastics on YouTube. USA Gymnastics will post coverage of the P&G Championships, including nearly every competition routine, after the conclusion of the event, interviews from media day and post-competition, and clips from podium training.
  • If you are having trouble with access outside of the United States, try using a virtual private network (VPN). Our listeners recomend TunnelBear, Hola, ZenMate and GetUsVPN.

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Related Photos

GymCastic Periscope broadcast with laurie hernandez pagan smith jazzy foberg sydney johnson scarf

A scrapbook from the recording of episode 161 on Periscope. Photos by Lauren Hopkins, John Cheng and Christy Linder.

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160: PG Championships Women’s Prelims Recap

Simone vault 2015 pg championships pgchamps vault form mid air day one

World Champion, Simone Biles breaks the execution score world record at the 2015 P&G Championships in Indianapolis. © Christy Linder

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In the News

We are in Indianapolis for the 2015 P&G Championships (AKA the US Artistic Gymnastics National Championships). This episode was recorded from a live Periscope broadcast which you can watch below (coming soon). We will be Periscoping again after the women’s finals on Saturday night! Download the Periscope app to watch live on Saturday night! On this podcast with special guest, 2012 Junior National Champion, Lexie Priessman,  Lauren Hopkins, Cordelia Price and Dvora Myers we chat about:

  • It was not as bad as the 2011 Splatfest but 2015 splatfest Gabby Douglas looked unshakable until the last event. Marta is not going to be happy.
  • What the results tell us: everyone under the top 5 are very very very closely matched.
  • Brenna Dowell smacked the haters upside the head with her BRILLIANT performance on every apparatus but especially with her 6.7 difficulty bar routine! WE SCREAMED WITH JOY!
  • Simone had an uncharacteristic and surprising, especially to her, fall on floor but she came back to break the execution score world record on vault with a 9.85 from her stuck Amanar!
  • McKayla Maroney doesn’t have a heart condition, Marta is misinformed.
  • We told you Maggie Nichols was the one to watch and her second place finished confirmed our genius prediction…. along with her magnificent work.
  • Aly Raisman and Kyla Ross had off night but vowed to face Marta together to make it less painful.
  • Nia Dennis may have mad the most successful gym change ever because she placed third on vault and beam and had one of the most exciting, if uncontrolled bar routines of all time! It was like watching Pegan  or Zonderland do high bar.
  • Full details on every junior from the rock steady dependability of Jazzy Foberg, Gabby Perea and Morgan Hurd to the shinning star of Laurie Hernandez, Sydney Johnson-Scharpf and Ragan Smith.

Listener Meet-Up

When: Immediately following Senior Women’s Finals on Saturday, August 15th.

Where: LOCATION CHANGED! 

New Location: McCormick & Schmick’s at the Hilton Indianapolis Hotel & Suites

 120 W Market St, Indianapolis

What: Meet your fellow gym nerds and win some GymCastic podcast swag 

gymcastic the gymnastics podcast listener meet up details

 

 

Related Links

 

2015 pgchamps drinking game

Uncle Tim’s drinking is rated R for Rufolva.

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Periscope videos coming soon!

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159: 2015 Championships Preview Show

maggie nichols 2015 gymnastics championships 2015 Indianapolis

“Swaggie Maggie” Nichols is about to lay the smack down in Indianapolis at the 2015 P&G Championships. © Christy Linder

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In the News

This week Evan Heiter and Jessica preview the 2015 P&G Championships, and Spencer from The Balance Beam Situation recaps Gymnastike’s “Beyond The Routine” show about Gabby Douglas and Nia Dennis at Buckeye Gymnastics.

  • The Maggie Nichols factor – Don’t doubt the power of the swag! How her injury at last year’s Pan Am Championships will make her this year’s newest World Team member.
  • How to watch Team Sam Peszek and Evan Heiter rock the commentary game with Raj Bhavsar all week long in Indianapolis.
  • Why Norah Flatley will be missing this competition.
  • Which “2000 Babies” (AKA juniors who will be age eligible for the Rio Olympics next year), have the best chance making a case for their spot on the Rio team: Rachel Baumann, Desiderio, Foberg, Frazier, Gaskins, Laurie “Baby Shakira” Hernandez, Johnson-Scharpf, Paulson, Quinn, Ragan “Feivel” Smith, or Olivia Trautman.
  • We each pick the routines that must be seen lest the Gym God’s rain down fire upon your soul!
  • Upgrades and Placement: Will Gabby upgrade here or wait for Worlds? Is Kyla keeping her Bhardwaj or downgrading bars because of her fall at Classics? Will Simone throw her Cheng vault in Indy?
  • Which specialists need to absolutely slaughter their event in order to make the team for Worlds?
  • Which men are most likely to break into the old boys club and steal the coveted specialist spot for Scotland.
  • How MyKayla Skinner and her choreographer got themselves into the Glasgow news for an epic leotard-related cultural gaffe.
  • Why every time Sydney Johnson-Scharpf does a routine or Brenna Dowell approaches bars, Vegas-style lights should ignite around the apparatus and everyone should fall to their knees in worship!
  • The draw for the World Championships is out so we had to debate the US team merits starting vs. finishing on beam.
  • Finally, Spencer recaps Gymnastike’s “Beyond The Routine: Buckeye”
    • He rides the “implied shade express” as Gabby talks about her legitimate comeback and why new coach, Kittia Carpenter is a supportive person (as opposed to…)
    • Like a gymnastics version of CSI, we dissect the clues that led to Nia Dennis’s departure from her longtime gym, Buckeye for Legacy Elite.
    • Discuss what coach Fernando Villa and Gabby would look like if they watched Dance Mom’s together.
    • We appreciate all of the moments when Mr. Positivity, Christian Gallardo, is on camera.

Related Links

p&g gymnastics championships broadcast tv schedule

Results for P&G Championships are at pgchamps.com. All sessions will be streamed live on pgchamps.com/live.

If you are having trouble with access to Universal Sports outside of the US, try using a VPN. Our listeners recomend TunnelBear, Hola, ZenMate and GetUsVPN.

TV Broadcasts (all times Eastern):

  • Aug. 13 Women’s gymnastics – 7:30-9:30 p.m. – Universal Sports – LIVE
  • Aug. 14 Women’s gymnastics – 12-2 a.m. – NBCSN – taped
  • Aug. 14 Men’s gymnastics – 8-10 p.m. – Universal Sports – LIVE
  • Aug. 15 Men’s gymnastics – 1-3 a.m. – NBCSN – taped
  • Aug. 15 Women gymnastics – 8-10 p.m. – NBC Sports – LIVE
  • Aug. 16 Men’s gymnastics – 3-4:30 p.m. – NBC Sports – LIVE

GymCastic Listener Meet-Up

gymcastic listener meet-up in indianapolis at the P&G gymnastics championships

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Watch the full episodes on Nia and Gabby on Gymnastike Gold

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158: Ariana Berlin’s Full Out Movie

ariana berlin floor dance ucla gymnastics

Full Out, the movie is based on the life of b-girl Ariana Berlin. Photo courtesy of UCLA.

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This Week's Interview

Ariana Berlin is happy, goofy, surprising, unique, beautiful and partially made of steel. She made her mark on college gymnastics by bringing her professional hip hop dance background onto the competition floor. Her floor routines were something totally new and sometimes controversial but always entertaining. But the road to NCAA finals almost went through the grave. “Ari” went from a being a promising level 10 gymnast, about to test for elite, to a girl in a coma, told when she woke up that she would never do gymnastics again. Though a car accident almost killed her and her mother, losing gymnastics was heartbreaking. She found solace in dance with the world famous hip hop troupe Culture Shock. A dance performance in front of UCLA head coach, Valorie Kondos-Field led her back to gymnastics. After years away from the sport, with a rod holding her femur together, Ari walked onto the UCLA gymnastics team, earned a scholarship and became one of their most consistent gymnasts of all time. While at UCLA she hit 175 of her 182 career routines (96%) without a fall, never missed a competition in 57 consecutive meets. In the final competition of her career, the former walk-on, placed fourth all-around at the 2009 NCAA Championships. We talk about the movie based on her life called, Full Out, staring Flashdance star, Jennifer Beals. We discuss:

  • GymMyth Busters Full Out edition; we separate fact from fiction and talk about the liberties taken with her story in order to deliver a dramatic message of inspiration.
  • Being star struck and all of the cameos:  Alicia Sacramone, Jordyn Weiber, Victoria Moors, Samantha Peszek and Elfie Schlegel are all in the movie!
  • Ariana’s advice for walk-on (non-scholarship) athletes, how to get onto your dream team and what to do even if finances won’t make it easy.
  • How she became so consistent and her mental game.
  • Dealing with the haters who claimed her ground breaking hip-hop floor choreography was cultural appropriation or racially inappropriate.

 

In the News

In the news this week, Evan Heiter and Jessica chat about:

  • Simone Biles going pro: Is it too soon or the perfect time to turn pro? If  this will affect her preparation for Rio and which  brands we want her to endorse!
  • The first ever all adult gymnastics camp took place in July at Atlantic Gymnastics in New Hampshire. We talked to the camp director Gina Paulhus, gym owner Tony Retrosi and two campers to find out what made this weekend such a sucess.
    • The clinics by the pool that made this camp unique: dealing with fear and mental blocks, physical therapy sessions,  and a class on nutrition for the adult gymnast with tips on balancing snacks and meals between work and family on the way to the gym.
    • Why Tony Retrosi, gym owner and coach, supports adult gymnastics and the adult camp.
    • Campers Ryan and Stefane explain how the camp accommodated:
      • different gymnastics and fitness levels
      • people who didn’t do every event
      • made the schedule reasonable for all levels
      • helped everyone feel welcome by hosting everything from dinners to beach trips
    • The fun awards Gina created to make each camper feel special.
    • Tony’s advice on the best student to coach ratio for adult gymnastics classes.
    • How to identify the right coach for an adult gymnastics class.
    • Afraid to try adult gymnastics? Stefane and Ryan explain how adult gymnastics has helped them find their community and why they recommend it to others.

Related Links

  • Find out how to watch P&G Championships (the US National Gymnastics Championships) and hear Samantha Peszek and Evan Heiter do reprise last year’s commentary fabulousness on the official website pgchamps.com
  • Find out more about Adult Gymnastics Camp Director, competitive adult gymnast and personal trainer, Gina Paulhus here.
  • Tony Retrosi’s website is gymmomentum.com
  • Here is Gina’s article with details on the schedule, costs, demographics, staffing and photos of adult gymnastics camp!

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Related Photos

Adult Gymnastics Camp

Gina Paulhus’s Adult Gymnastics Camp at Atlantic Gymnastics in New Hampshire.

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Watch this week’s playlist on YouTube here.

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157: The 2015 Secret Classic

Laurie Hernandez blue leo 2015 bar dismount

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

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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.

GYMTERNET NEWS

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

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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.

GYMTERNET NEWS

 

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

Seniors
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.

Juniors
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.

Biles-ww

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.

Mikulak-WW

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.

Verniaiev-WW

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.

Hambuechen-WW
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.

Maroney-WW
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

LISTEN HERE

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?

GYMTERNET NEWS

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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