The No. 1 Gymnastics Podcast in the Galaxy

142: They Broke Bart Conner

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South Durham Gymnastics Club, home of English all-around champion, Amy Tinkler.


In the News

English Nationals, NCAA Conference Championships and Jesolo are on the menu this week. Uncle Tim, Emma, Spencer, Spanny, Evan, and Jessica chat about:

  • Princess Catherine leading her troops to battle to strike fear into the heart of the balance beam.
  • Senior champ Amy Tinkler, is her pepto-pink gym at South Durham, the key to her success?
  • Claudia Fragapane’s improvement from her American Cup fall-a-thon.
  • Lisa Mason’s triumphant performance, pep talks to the baby gymnasts, Artistry award and practically leaping onto the judges table to dare them to deduct from her floor routine!
  • The British Bars Revolution: Kelly Sim and Becky Downie are doing bars that make you wonder if their routines aren’t actually YouTube edited pranks.
  • Jingoistic floor routine musical advice for the Rio Olympics, from a self-proclaimed Brazilian cultural expert.
  • Louis Smith competed well but raised some eyebrows with his post-meet exit.
  • The reason for Max Whitlock’s spectacular but  limited performance plus, injury updates on our favorite English gymnasts.

NCAA Conference Championships (28:00)

  • Shawn Johnson tweeted that she wants to coach a college team. Where do we think she’d fit in and what are the most important traits of a great coach?
  • Bedazzling Beelzebub sparkle-tards -The leotard debate.
  • New vocabulary word “pusillanimous: showing a lack of courage or determination; timid. as in, wimp.
  • Would Minnesota’s Linday Mable get better scores if she was a member of one of the six schools that have won an NCAA Championship.
  • Regional seeding and our picks for biggest upsets.
  • Coolest vault in college, Alex Marasco –  Yurchenko ½ on or a Yurchenko full-on Cuervo.
  • Most robbed vaulter last weekend, Jaida Lawrence of West Virginia.
  • Rage-o-Meter regarding the Pac 12 Networks decision to zoom in on every inopportune moment of every routine. Dear Director’s of  Television Gymnastics, here are the rules:
    • We do not use stick and ball sports analogies to explain artistic gymnastics.
    • Never, ever, zoom in during a routine, ever. That’s what secondary camera playbacks are for.
    • We do not zoom in between the hip bones and thighs, ever. If that accidentally happens, the director will immediately switch to a different camera.

Jesolo Competition Preview! (1:35:00)

  • How did this meet become the debutant ball of US Gymnastics?
  • Gabby, Aly, Simone, Skaggs, Hernandez, Flatley –  gymnasts we are most excited to see in Italy!

Related Links

WATCH JESOLO LIVE! Watch the defending World Champion, Simone Biles compete against the defending Olympic champion, Gabby Douglas, for the first time since the 1980 Olympic Games!  The Italian Gymnastics Federation will carry a live webstream of the Jesolo competition on its YouTube Channel,

Schedule: March 25, junior team qualification; March 26, senior team qualification; March 28, junior and senior team and all-around finals; and March 29, individual event finals.The defending champion (US) and host country automatically participate in the finals on March 28, and the top eight athletes, with a maximum of two per team, advance to the event finals on March 29.

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9 years ago

Thanks for the show, as always.

I am an “elite snob.” Sorry, I was not convinced. My interest is not in watching former elite gymnasts but in watching elite level skills. More specifically, I like to watch competitions in which difficult skills are properly rewarded. I despise the 10.0 system in which there is no incentive to perform more difficult skills. I also cannot stand watching NCAA event finals, with 20 girls doing the same FTY with seemingly no difference and an arbitrary winner.

Sorry, I just prefer elite coverage. Whenever you have college coverage, it seems to run very long when compared to the elite coverage. As always, I respect your choices to cover what you see fit though!!

9 years ago

I have so many things to say about the Oklahoma coverage. Frustrating. I attended Big XIIs and all the home meets this season and have be attending most of the time since 1998. Context for the crowd at Big XIIs, it was spring break so there were almost no students there, and many of the families with kids who would normally come were also on spring break, whereas at the Florida meet there were MANY students (and families with little gymnasts) and it was highly promoted all over the state. Huge electronic billboards and things like that on major highways, the internet, etc…. For the Big XIIs, I saw almost no advertising and I don’t know if that was a function of the conference controlling it or what, but also was during March Madness which was the big focus here this. They do have a new season ticketing plan this year which reserves seats right in the center behind the beam during the regular season and comes with some interesting perks. They also have special student sections during the regular season and I see lots of other student athletes there and supporting them online.. The rest of the season ticket holders (ie me) can move all around and sometimes I do. Another option would be using a smaller arena — the men, for example, use the Fieldhouse and I think if the women did it would be full, but maybe too small actually. (Keep in mind, way back when when I was in school there, sometimes the men actually competed in Bart Conner’s training gym…….so it is getting better). Yes, I would love it if there were lots more people there and do think they are doing better actually and their newish SID is great and very helpful for fans. Their social media views and engagement is much bigger this year. The administration seems really supportive too. I see the University President (and his wife) and AD at meets almost every single time (men’s and women’s) and at the National Championship banquet, etc…

As to the leotards at BigXIIs, they looked like moving lights in person. It was beautiful. The “whiskers” weren’t apparent to me in person and actually don’t bother me in the photos for what that’s worth. That said, West Virginia’s leos were very nice in person too.

As to the actual gymnastics, was there a bit of overscoring, probably yes and it didn’t seem worse to me than I saw in other meets. I sometimes think that the coverage on the podcast is stricter with Oklahoma than the commentator favorites. I “suspect” that some of those teams in more glamorous places with more glamorous gymnasts have as many of these issues as OU does, but there is less knowledge or interest in OU for whatever reason. That said, I get that I’m your super biased OU fan, but it is frustrating that such a great, positive, beautiful, successful team’s focus here is so often on the less awesome aspects rather than all the beautiful, exception gymnastics they are doing. I wish for more “balance” if you will. I hope that helps with some Oklahoma context and while it is hard to get here, I hope you all someday have the opportunity to visit. I would be delighted to show you around!

Jack Matheson
Jack Matheson
9 years ago

Pac-12’s were awesome!!! So sad to see Tory Wilson go down, but so proud of how her team responded. Also shout out to the Miss Val and UCLA who showed true class in their support for the Utah gymnasts competing after the Wilson injury. Go Utes!

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