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.

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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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Related Links

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

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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)

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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.

contest

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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Related Photos

MaryLou Tampax

Related Videos

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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151: Danell Leyva

Danell Leyva pulls his towel over his head at the 2014 P&G Championships

Danell Leyva and his towel. © Christy Linder

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This Week's Interview

The artist, Danell Leyva joins us this week. Known for his flair on every event, he also stands out as a staunch nonconformist. Revealing photos of Danell were tweeted during the London Olympics. He was nonplused and casually took home bronze in the all-around. He was passionately opposed to the gay discrimination laws passed earlier this year in Indiana and supported his teammate, Josh Dixon in calling for an immediate change of venue for the national championships in Indianapolis. We talked on the day the FIG released the new qualification rules for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. We discuss (please note that all time stamps in parentheses are “ish”) :

  • Danell’s transformation from passive peacemaker to playground scrapper.
  • Celebrities who smoked cigars in the arena during the Olympics.
  • The financial importance of a national team spot (34:00).
  • Which vaults hurt and which vaults make his body feel good.
  • How he has stayed surgery and medication free all these years (26:00)
  • Tim Daggett (16:00)
  • Cuban defectors at the Pan Am Games (19:00)
  • Gay marriage and moving the P&G Championships out of Indiana (21:00)
  • The Cuban-Soviet system parents, Yin and Maria implement at his gym, Universal (31:00).
  • Conspiracy theories and growing up Cuban (42:00)
  • Photo scandal and why it wasn’t a big deal (48:00)
  • What he thinks of Oleg Vernaiev, Epke Wonderland and Paul Hamm as a coach (1:00:00).
  • The back injury that almost took him out of the Nanning event finals (1:04:00)
  • What made him instantly get over his infamous face smashing high bar routine that took an all-around world championship away from him in 2011 (1:10:00).
  • His childhood as the kid a) who couldn’t jump and b) was always walking directly in front of someone mid-flip (1:17:00)
  • Why Yeessooo had to become a catchphrase before Yin’s reputation was ruined forever (1:22:00).
  • Why his mom, Maria, said he’d be fat or in jail if it wasn’t for gymnastics.
  • His brief history as a pacific turned playground street fighter (1:33:00).
  • The real reason for the brief downfall of his gymnastics after the 2012 Olympics and his relationship status (1:37:00).
  • The new FIG Rules allowing four member teams plus two individual event specialists from qualifying countries.
  • How the new rules will change his strategy going into World Cup competition.

contest

What: Do your favorite Shannon Miller pose or choreography.

How: Post it on Twitter or Instagram, tag us and use  any of these Steve Nunno quote hashtags: #ItsMillerTime or #InterGalacticChampion or #MillerTimeContest

Deadline: Monday, June 1st

Winner: Gets a copy of Shannon’s book!

shannon miller red leotard 1992 Olympics straddle L sit balance beam

Shannon Miller © Dave Black

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150: Luke Carson

luke carson looking sexy interview

Northern Irish stud and a man, literally filled with titanium, Luke Carson.

 

 

 

 


This Week's Interview

Northern Ireland’s Luke Carson has become a symbol of strength and perseverance around the world. A veteran of six World Championships, he was poised to send Ireland to their second-ever Olympics before an injury forced him to water down his routines. He came back from two potentially career-ending injuries to compete again.  Emma Bailey and Luke discussed:

  • You thought his leg was bad, wait until you hear about his birth defect and the awful procedure he must endure every six months! (See example video on the playlist below to fulfill your creepy curiosity)
  • The status of his injury almost one-year after the Commonwealth Games
  • The problems with metal rods and hot tubs
  • Coaching his pommel horse prodigy, Rhys Mcclenaghan and team at Rathgael Gymnastics Club
  • How he proposed to his girlfriend
  • How social media can fuel healthy competition between gymnasts
  • The both frightening and gratifying truth about funding and sponsor relationships
  • The future of gymnastics in Ireland

contest

What: Do your favorite Shannon Miller pose or choreography.

How: Post it on Twitter or Instagram, tag us and use  any of these Steve Nunno quote hashtags: #ItsMillerTime or #InterGalacticChampion or #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

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Or watch this week’s playlist on YouTube here.

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149: New Rules for Tokyo Olympics in 2020

feature_EP149

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contest

What: Do your favorite Shannon Miller pose or choreography.

How: Post it on Twitter or Instagram, tag us and use  any of these Steve Nunno quote hashtags: #ItsMillerTime or #InterGalacticChampion or #MillerTimeContest

Deadline: Monday, June 1st

Winner: Gets a copy of Shannon’s book!

shannon miller red leotard 1992 Olympics straddle L sit balance beam

Shannon Miller © Dave Black

 

In the News

The FIG announced changes to the qualification rules for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Teams can only send four all-arounders, for a three-up three-count finals format. Qualifying teams can still also send two individual event specialists who qualify through several results from World Championships, World Cups and Continental Championships. For example, the US could still send six gymnasts to compete, four for the team medal, plus two event specialists. Uncle Tim, Spencer, and Jessica chat about the new rules and more:

  • New Olympic qualification rules:
    • Our gut feelings about the rule: from horror to elation and mistrust.
    • How will the new rules effect non-dominant teams and individual World medalists?
    • A list of questions that need to be answered about implementation before we can decide if this is good or bad.
    • Do we trust the FIG to implement the qualification system fairly?
    • Individuals and countries who stand to be damaged the most by the new rules.
    • What past Olympics have looked like for athletes like, Hollie Vise, Alicia Sacramone, Anna Li or Elizabeth Price if these rules had been in place.
  • Rhonda Faehn left University of Florida to be Senior Vice President of Women’s Program
    • Is Rhonda Faehn the House of Cards of gymnastics?
    • We discuss the reasons she was chosen specifically for the position.
    • Conspiracy theories about why a head college coach would leave…they never, ever leave.
    • We also think that
  • The Varna World Cup
    • How soon is too soon to start fixing the equipment after a routine?
    • Does the FIG need to have an intervention on behalf of Ri Se Gwang’s ankles?
    • Pinheiro Rodrigues won rings with an Olympic cross.
    • We got to see a Church from Dufournet.
  • Sao Paolo World Cup
    • Brazil rolled out the soccer style enthusiasm for new senior, Flavia Saraiva.
    • Approve or Disapprove: Shang Chunsong’s new back to back tumbling passes on beam.
    • Should elites use music on balance beam?
    • Enrique “Porn ‘Stach” Gonzalez Sepulveda’s side roll!
  • Gymternet News:
    • Brazilian Federation investigates racist video by Arthur Nory.
    • Nastia almost made it to the finale of Dancing With The Stars.
    • Shawn Johnson posts a cryptic message about tumbling again.
    • The ugliest leotard we’ve ever seen: The Bavarian-tard.
    • NCAA Nationals: new proposal for a four team final.

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Which Gymnast Does Your State Love the Most? Find out here.

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Which Gymnast Does Your State Love the Most?

Gymnastics fans, pack your bags for New Hampshire. That’s where your people are! (Of all places!)

If you miss the Perfect 10, head for South Dakota!

We analyzed Google trend data to discover where the most dedicated gymnastics fans live. As it turns out, Kyla Ross’s biggest fans aren’t in her home state of California. They’re in her birthplace of Hawaii.

And it appears that Marta does a lot of Googling for Aliya Mustafina in Texas.

Where do you find your fellow gym nerds? Just check the maps.

 

The states with the most gymnastics fans per capita.

 

The states with the most Perfect 10 fans per capita.

 

The states with the most Nastia Liukin fans per capita.

 

The states with the most Alexandra Raisman fans per capita.

 

The states with the most Gabby Douglas fans per capita.

 

The states with the most Jordyn Wieber fans per capita.

 

The states with the most Kyla Ross fans per capita.

 

The states with the most McKayla Maroney fans per capita.

 

The states with the most Aliya Mustafina fans per capita.

 

The states with the most Simone Biles fans per capita.

 

The states with the most Sam Mikulak fans per capita.

 

The states with the most Kohei Uchimura fans per capita.

 

148: Shannon Miller

Shannon  Miller interview It's Not About Perfect book red leotard 1992 ring leap smiling

Shannon Miller in 1991 at her first World Championships. © Mike Proebsting

 

 

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This Week's Interview

The GymCastic Book Club had the most gym nerd-tastic celebration of all time this week when Shannon Miller, thé Shannon Miller, joined us to talk about her new memoire, “It’s Not About Perfect: Competing for My Country and Fighting for My Life.”  She has more combined Olympic and World medals than any American gymnast male or female. She won the World Championship all-around two times in a row. She had multiple eponymous skills in the Code of Points. She was diagnosed with one of the deadliest forms of cancer and it ran away from her like a Level 5 who hears, “It’s time for conditioning!”  Her male coach, Steve Nunno, acted like the love child of Bela Karolyi and Donald Trump, yet he complimented her perfectly.  She did two back extension rolls in a row on beam just because the crowd loved it! She did her full difficutly on the post-Olympic tours because she wanted to give the fans what they paid for.  She is so bad ass, that when a reporter said Olga, Nadia, Mary Lou…why isn’t it just Shannon? She replied, “Who says it’s not?” SHE IS SHANNON FREAKING MILLER, the greatest American gymnast of all time. Shannon answered your book club questions and we discussed:

  • Her infamous wrists and unique salute. Yes, she talks about her wrists! We died!
  • The time she thought she was over scored.
  • If there’s anything she would do differently in order to prepare herself for a social and romantic life after gymnastics; to avoid her troubled first marriage; and what will she tell her son and daughter about finding love?
  • She competed so much more than elites do today, does she wish she competed less?
  • The strong female role models in her life: her mother and Peggy Liddick.
  • The very first training camps at the Ranch when Bela was National Team Coordinator.
  • Training as an adult and how her coaches helped her stay in the sport as she grew older.
  • Skills she worked on that the world never got to see.
  • Does she plan on running for FIG President?
  • Should we bring back compulsories and the 10? Which team would she compete for if she had done gymnastics in college?
  • When can we expect to see her back in the commentator’s chair.
  • What women should do to screen for ovarian cancer.
  • Most importantly, if Alexi Nemov is as hot in person as he is on TV.

Uncle Tim and Jessica give their recap of the book including:

  • What coaches, parents and gymnasts can learn from this book.
  • As a hardcore gym nerd, what was most satisfying answer to finally read ?
  • What part of the book made us go hmmm.
  • What we wish she had talked about more.
  • The top tips and tricks we learned from Shannon for life, gymnastics and cancer preventing pelvic exams. (1:06:32 time stamp)
  • Shannon Miller’s Tips & Tricks According to Jessica:
    • Always use two pair of grips and switch off every few days. Have two pair ready at all times during meets.
    • Turn your feet in on beam especially if you were born with them that way.
    • Have a signature look!
    • Glue bedazzles to your scrunchie.
    • Use your parents as mediators for compromise between coach and athlete.
    • Coaches, plan time in your schedule for parent meetings, just like warmups and conditioning.
    • Go on vacation, condition a little bit while you relax on vacation.
    • Every gymnastics coach agrees, no gymnast should ever ski!
    • Do at least 20 minutes of cardio every day.
    • Don’t compensate for one injury, you’ll cause another.
    • Having the mindset of a perfectionist comes at a price. You don’t have to pay the price, it’s a choice.
    • Go sightseeing when you travel. Even if it’s only for an hour. Make trips special.
    • If all of your athletes quit at age 15, it’s probably not them, it’s you.
    • Teenagers and women cannot be coached physically or mentally the way children are trained. Adapt coaching to the age of your athlete.
    • If you have knobby knees, land in 4th position and then slide your feet together fast into first position to get that 10!
    • Use bacitracin and zinc oxcide (JUST LIKE I SAID!) to heal rips.
    • What’s good for the media isn’t necessarily good for the gymnast. Don’t fall into the sexist expectation of being expected to smile all the time. Being in the zone like Nastia and Shannon is fine.
    • If you go on tour, do full difficulty! Fans paid hard-earned money to watch you.
    • Rolls on beam are awesome. Always do them to stand out like Shannon!
    • Plan for rest, not just for competition.
    • Gymnasts have to feel comfortable talking to their coaches, gymnastics is too dangerous to for silence.

Guest Links

Steve Nunno Poster

If Steve Nunno quotes were Motivational Posters by Spanny Tampson. “Stop crying! There are people everywhere!” – Steve Nunno, July 25, 1996 as Miller cried about under-performing on floor exercise in the Olympic all-around final.

 

Spanny Tampson made Steve Nunno motivation posters. Keep in mind, this is not a work of fiction, these are actual quotes.

Find out more about Shannon Miller’s exercise videos, fight against cancer, books and foundation here.

contest

What: Do your favorite Shannon Miller pose or choreography.

How: Post it on Twitter or Instagram, tag us and use  any of these Steve Nunno quote hashtags: #ItsMillerTime or #InterGalacticChampion or #MillerTimeContest

Deadline: Monday, June 1st

Winner: Gets a copy of Shannon’s book!

SHannon Miller interview

© Renee Parenteau

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Shannon Miller’s Eponymous Skills: The Miller on beam. The Miller on bars.

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63: Doctor Larry Nassar

 

the gymnastics doctor, larry nassar

USA Gymnastics Team Physician, Dr. Larry Nassar

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This Week's Interview

Want to know who see’s everything at The Ranch? Who runs the room where Kyla Ross said cameras should follow the team if they really want to see where the action is at camp. Who we would pick if we were going to pick a doctor to take care of our kids while they traveled around the world flipping at speeds that would make an astronaut jealous? It’s USA Gymnastics Team Physician, Larry Nassar, A.T.C.  He’s a professor, a certified athletic trainer, an osteopath and one of the most caring human beings you could ever hope to meet. A blunt, honest, experienced professional who tells it like it is. He can do that because he’s so compassionate. This interview originally aired on December 6, 2013.

We discuss:

  • What Marta calls him about the most. (This will make you happy gymternet)
  • What it was like to be part of the 2000 Olympic “hell”
  • Dealing with parents who will not accept responsibility for their child’s health
  • The one change he would make in order to prevent injuries
  • What injustice the International Olympic Committee commits against gymnasts
  • Why The Ranch is no longer- as the fans formerly called it- “Death Camp”
  • Changing the camp culture to prevent athletes and coaches from hiding injuries
  • Gym Myth Busters injury edition: ACLs, Achilles, & Shawn Johnson’s knee injury

Guest Links

Related Episodes

Kristin Maloney interview
Elise Ray interview
Simone Biles interview
Kyla Ross interview

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147: The 2015 European Championships

Ellie Downie and Becky Downie crying at the 2015 european artistic gymnastics championships

Double Downie tears in Montpelier where Ellie won the first all-around medal for a British gymnast. Copyright Sport to Sport Visuals.

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bookclub

gymnast Bookcover on Shannon Miller It's not about perfect

Who: Shannon Miller will be our Book Club guest in May!
Deadline: Send in questions by May 6th.
How: Order the book here, read it, treasure it forever, then send questions for Shannon to gymcastic@gmail.com or by voicemail at (415) 800-3191/Skype “GymCastic Podcast”

In the News

 

Current Australian national team member and World Cup medalist, Mary-Anne “Mez” Monckton joins Emma to give us all the details on the 2015 European Championships in Montpellier, France:

  • Preliminary Problems:
    • Before the meet even started Kristina Pravdina (AZB) and Anna Pavlova (AZB), along with Alla  Sosnitkaya (RUS) were all out with injuries.
    • Epke fell on high bar and failed to make finals. What world is this?!
  • Women’s All-Around:
    • Historic Firsts: Giulia Steingruber all-around gold was the first ever win for Switzerland, Ellie Downie’s bronze was the first ever medal for Great Britain, Poland’s fifth place all-around for Marta Pihan-Kulesza was the highest ever finish for Poland–from a 27 year-old!
    • Can the Russian women challenge the US now that they have two Amanar’s in the lineup?
  • Men’s All-Around
    • Sam Oldham returned after his awful ankle injury at Commonwealth Games.
    • The Oleg Verniaiev (UKR) vs. Oleg Stepko (AZE, formerly UKR) show down.
    • David Belyavskiy (RUS) and Verniaiev showed the world why sports and peace go hand in hand.
  • Event Finals
    • Rayderley Zapata (ESP) was allowed to repeat his floor routine after a timing error.
    • Maria Paseka (RUS) flew in last minute and won gold where difficulty won over execution.
    • The bars nail biter coming down to two-tenths for Daria Spiridonova (RUS) where perfect form came in third from Sanne Wevers (NED).
    • Champion,  Eleftherios Petrounias (GRC) actually made Emma and Mez want to watch Rings, RINGS!
    • Andreea Munteanu (ROU) won beam, but Vasiliki Millousi (GRE) stole our hearts and broke them again when she fell at the very very end of her routines.
    • Claire Martin (FRA) brought back some well deserved glory to French gymnastics after a long drought.
    • Marijo Moznik (CRO) vs. Sam Oldham (GBR) high bar debate, justified or not?
  • Fragapan’s ridiculous, unbelievable, not pretty but amazing save on beam – video.
  • We reanact Carlotta Ferlito’s tweet as she, once again, blames everyone but herself for not making beam finals.

Related Episodes

Related Photos

Oleg Verniaiev (UKR) David Belyavskiy (RUS) hugging and holding up the Russian and Ukranian flags

World pace through gymnastics: Oleg Verniaiev (UKR) David Belyavskiy (RUS) went one two a respectively at the 2015 European Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Montpellier.

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