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184: Chow Loves Bush

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GYMTERNET NEWS

In the gymternet news, Uncle Tim, Lauren Hopkins, Spanny Tampson and Jessica chat about:

  • The Bronze trailer got even raunchier and we can’t wait for this movie to come out!
  • Mustafina’s bad joke: a photo of her holding a gun to her head
  • Liang Chow posting photo of himself and his gymnasts holding Jeb Bush signs
  • American Cup roster updates and why Jesolo is becoming the greatest meet ever. 
  • Our sadness of the lack of camp news.
  • Lauren’s profile on 26 year-old Armenian-American, Houry Gebeshian who could be the first female gymnast ever in the Olympics for Armenia.
  • (30:00)What kind of themed gymnastics video what Mr Moceanu (Dr. Mike Canales) should do for his 40th birthday with his wife, Dominique Moceanu.
  • What gymnastics spin is greater than the Temple women’s team who turned getting stuck in a blizzard for 30 hours into a team building event.
  • (00:46:00)Feedback from Angela who thought our discussion of transgender athletes was uninformed, to say the least.
  • (01:03:00)NCAA NEWS:
    • Why we love Elizabeth (Ebee) Price
    • An update on Katelyn Ohashi who, after x-rays came back negative, was revealed to have  a fractured sternum after a CT Scan on Wednesday.
    • Is the Michigan men’s dynasty over?
    • Some of the Florida 10’s made us squeal with joy, like Bridget’s beam, other’s were questionable.
    • Why Aja Sims got 700 million Spanny points. 
    • The best comeback skill of 2016: hint, Boguinskaya and Nastia argued about it at length.
    • Why UW is the team we should all be watching.
    • The most heartbreaking meet we’ve ever watched: Auburn vs. Arkansas.

contest

February is the month of love and what do we love? Gymnastics t-shirts! We are having our very first design contest, and your art could be Gymcastic’s newest t-shirt.  Submit your best gymnastics themed art to be made into some sweet swag.

Grand Prize (x2 Winners): Your design featured on our page, your artwork on the bodies of gymnerds everywhere, and a free t shirt with your design!

How to SubmitPost your design on Instagram, Tumblr, or Twitter. Use the hashtag #gymcasticdesigncontest

FAQ and Rules here.

Club Gym Nerd Punk Font smallGymCastic members are automatically entered to win 6 awesomely gym nerdy prizes per year. This month, one lucky member with win the exclusive, sold-out, Cloud & Victory Legends sweater.

Svetlana Khorkhina. Anna Pavlova. Nastia Liukin. Nadia Comaneci. Olga Korbut. Mo Huilan. Daniela Silivas.GYMNASTICS LEGENDS UNISEX SWEATER cloud and victory gymnastics
The Gymnastics Legends Sweatshirt by Cloud&Victory
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14 COMMENTS

  1. Hi! I was just listening to the podcast and you were discussing Aliya Mustafina\’s photo with a gun. I think, as a Russian, I might offer some explanations.
    In Russia, people don\’t normally own guns, unless they\’re in the police or the army. I\’m not so sure about the laws, but wikipedia says that civilians can only own riffles (for hunting) and shotguns, but no handguns. I think, before I moved to Israel, I\’ve only seen a real handgun in a museum. So, when a Russian sees Aliya\’s picture, it just doesn\’t occur that the gun might be real, since people don\’t have access to handguns. I don\’t think that she thought that someone would assume the gun is real. Regarding it being realistic – well, as we don\’t encounter real guns, we have little idea what\’s realistic and what\’s not. I was used to seeing big handguns on TV, so when in one TV show I saw a really small hand gun I had to ask my husband if such tiny guns exist, because I had no idea how real guns look and what kinds of guns there are,
    The game she played is a kind of escape room quest (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Real-life_room_escape), they\’re hugely popular in Russia and usually people take pictures with objects from the game after the \”escape\”.
    Regarding her being inconsiderate of suicide – since handguns aren\’t readily available, it\’s not associated with real suicide that much (I read that in Russia the most frequent means of suicide is pills).
    So, I think, in general, It\’s just a cultural thing – she really didn\’t think that anyone would see the picture as something other than a joke, and Russians reacted accordingly, while people from other countries got outraged,

  2. Why should a russian have to tiptoe around her own personal space just because it is uncomfortable for americans? Fix your own country\’s problems and stop asking the world to make you feel less uncomfortable with an issue that solely rests within America. USA\’s gun problems have nothing to do with Russia so why should she \”know better?\” Lmao, it\’s always big headed americans who can\’t seem to think beyond their own emotional state, and try to force their culture down everyone\’s throat. Unles she was explicitly making a written statement mocking suicide it\’s not her fault or her responsibility that any of her 60,000 followers might have a negative reaction to the image just because they choose to interpret it a certain way. How many people talk about \”kill me now\” with the gun emoticon on the gymternet when something bad happens during a competition, huh? When are all those people gonna get called out because I see that as offensive and it reminds me of someone who wanted to commit suicide, so you must be trying to trigger me! And while we\’re at it, get rid of every IG image of people fake killing themselves because regardless of your humorous intentions it reminds ME of MY personal problems.

    What gets me about this whole non-issue (as every non American sees it) is that everyone knows Aliya to be a person that would never offend willingly and so to treat an image which is at best, naughty, like she\’s openly mocking suicide or enforcing gun violence is misleading. Don\’t be an imbecile, that\’s what American politicians are for.

  3. Turn on your TV and channel hop through countless grizzly and explicitly violent crime dramas with guns and shooting glorified as some kind of entertainment. Or hear the news of yet another mass shooting, with dozens killed. (I wonder where Chow and Bush stand on America\’s liberal gun laws?)

    Then rush to condemn a young Russian girl because she posts (what she intends as) a \’jokey\’ picture of herself (at the end of a role play game) with a gun, toy or otherwise.

    It is a classic case of cross-cultural misunderstanding and it is wrong to rush to condemn. There is clearly no harm intended, and the picture only holds any offence in one rather narrow interpretation, in a context that is unfamiliar to much of the world\’s population. So please bear with Aliya – it is a fairly harmless, silly little picture that she took privately, Remember it is America\’s gun laws that are at fault for making this image seem upsetting.

    People are honestly too quick to judge Russia and Russians in general – you need to stop and think.

  4. I think your transgender discussion brings up an important point in women’s gymnastics. Your discussion of Donnell Wittenburg vs Simone Biles or Aly Raisman on balance beam made me think I don’t really see a difference in how they would perform on beam. The essence of their gymnastics (like the men) is power. What a Donnell Wittenburg could not replicate however is a gymnast like Aliya Mustafina, or a Svetlana Boginskaya.

    What has made Women’s Gymnastics stand out as the single sport where the women’s version is more popular / interesting than the men’s is artistry. I was reminded of this as I watched a replay of the 2015 all-around competition. Literally 80% of beam routines televised resulted in a fall. Of those remaining who managed to stay on the beam, they all had major breaks and balance checks. This is world of difference from competitions even 10 years ago when a single break resulted in a loss of medal hopes. The eventual winner Simone Biles bounded out of her vault landing. Nearly fell off the balance beam, landed out of bounds on the floor exercise and still won the competition. There is so little joy for me in watching women’s gymnastics when the only prerequisite is power. If we lose the artistry in women’s gymnastics it will become as boring as men’s gymnastics.

  5. I never thought I would say this, but I think I\’m gonna be done with this show for a while. The last three episodes have made me cringe. If you don\’t know about something, don\’t speak about it. Race and trans issues are not for everybody to speak about. But if you\’re gonna speak about them, take your time to educate yourselves first, or better yet, invite someone who actually knows what they\’re talking about. But if you can\’t or won\’t do that, at least when you get educational feedback from listeners, don\’t just read it -or parts of it- only so you can defend yourselves, and then keep ranting in the same wrong direction as you had done in the previous episode… give it the time it deserves, learn from it, accept your mistakes, and move on. Because otherwise, trust and believe… I won\’t be the last fan you\’re losing.

    • Yes (to the above post!). I usually love this podcast, but just like the listener above, I almost didn’t want to listen this week because of the way trans issues were addressed last week, and this week was just as bad.

      I am queer, I work in sexual health outreach, and I’m about to complete a Master’s looking at how bodies and pleasure are conceptualized within sex-positive services.

      Jessica, you made it clear immediately in your discussion last week that you don’t know the basics about trans issues – you don’t understand the vocabulary or how to use correct pronouns. That’s ok, although a tiny amount of research would have resolved that issue for you, but we all make mistakes. The problem for me is that despite starting from a place of complete ignorance you did not ask questions or look for someone with expertise, and as a result your commentary was well intentioned but hurtful. Doing this two weeks in a row is troubling.

      I can’t outline all the information I think is needed to approach this topic respectfully, but I would urge you to do some further reading. You talked about gender with some understanding of fluidity but presented a two-sex system as if it is firmly routed in science. There are not in fact two sexes, many people are born with a combination of hormones, genitalia, and chromosomes that don’t fit neatly into either a male or female sex, as they are commonly delineated in North America. Our sporting system is based on what is in essence a fallacy – that everyone’s sex is either male or female and that this based on clear science. As more people come to realize that this is not true, there is a need to re-evaluate the grounds for ‘fair play’.

      Elite athletes succeed in their sports at least in part because they maximize their congenital advantages. Within cis-women there are enormous biological differences, in muscle mass, height, flexibility, body frame, hormone levels, etc. Micheal Phelps has a large wingspan, long torso, and produces less lactic acid (by about half), but people don’t assume that means it is unfair for him to compete with others who don’t have those advantages. If you look at the physiology of Shawn Johnson vs. Nastia Liukin you find substantial differences, but they were both able to excel in the sport.

      My point is this conversation is complex – our sporting system is built on an array of cultural assumptions that don’t have a foundation in science. This is an opportunity to unpack that, and hopefully in the process learn and open up space for greater understanding, respect, and equity for trans and intersex people.

      Although over the past two weeks I was hurt and upset by the way this issue was dealt with I appreciate the podcast and all the work that goes into it. My level of disappointment is a testament to the high quality I have come to expect!

      • I’m the person who sent an email two episodes ago trying to throw some light about the lack of coaches of color. I wasn’t angry either, like it was said in the podcast. It was exactly like Charlotte said: disappointment because I expected more. But I actually praised Jessica in my email for giving us voice. But unfortunately, like Alice said, my letter was only read so they could defend themselves, only parts of it were read, and let me tell you, the main points that I was trying to make were dismissed. You know this thing of people only listening so they can reply? It was exactly that.
        I understand that you are running this podcast like a business, and so for you feel threatened with some of the feedback you get, and defend yourselves. I also understand that being privileged doesn’t just mean not having to think about it, in some instances it also means being completely unable to think about it… even when it’s before your nose. However, my feedback was not bad feedback, it was just educational, like Alice said. There was no need for you to defend yourselves. But not only it wasn’t thought through, but also, I feel that it was ridiculed.
        Disappointing, yes… but like I said, also understandable. So I continued listening to that episode because I was actually looking forward to the trans discussion: my best friend is trans, my girlfriend is considering to transition; I’m a part of a government funded research grant about transexuality and intersexuality. After I listened to it, I felt tempted to send another email about the trans discussion, also mentioning intersexuality. But in sight of how my previous email was misinterpreted, I decided not to.
        As of right now, I don’t think it’s necessary for me to point out anymore than it has already been pointed out, how terrible that discussion was, nor how it got even worse during this episode despite the very good listener’s feedback that was received. We blame society, but we keep forgetting that we are society. And speak of role models, you guys are also a role model through this podcast. The things that have been said about race, transexuality, and polarized sexes, concern me… at the very least.
        To praise some ramifications of mainstream science, which has done more damage than any other thing for diversities, is a problem. For instance, completely healthy babies born with non-normative genitalia are being subject to extreme and permanently damaging surgeries that are nothing but cosmetic, only because of some mainstream science. Thousands of intersex people around the western countries are walking around with mutilated genitals, only with the purpose of serving society with the very same polarized sex agenda that you demand in this episode. Inform yourselves, please. Because by nature, 1% of the population does not fit this polarization. And the fairness in sports doesn’t justify the consequences of this categorization either, not for intersex people, and not for trans people. Ever heard of Caster Semenya, and all the hurtful and misinformed things that have been said about her? I understand that in sports a line has to be drawn, but it is a very complicated line to draw, that if discussed, it should be done with the most of sensitivity and respect. And in some cases, these can only come from being educated about what you are talking about. So I completely agree with Alice: race, sexuality and gender issues are not for everybody to discuss.
        Last, but not least, let me clarify that I am still not angry. If I’ve learned something in my life is that you cannot reach out to anybody, nor make a positive impact parting from a place of anger or frustration. So please, do not take this feedback as something that you need to defend yourselves from. Just take it as when you guys ask a question to the listeners, and someone responds. I know that your intentions aren’t bad, and mines aren’t either.
        Thank you so much once again.

        • Been following these comments for a few days and I agree with y’all but isn’t everybody being too nice? Lol. Maybe because I’m fairly new to this podcast and I didn’t have any expectations but I am angry and I ain’t apologizing for it! You criticize Aliya for that picture because oh in America we have a gun problem… A friend of mines was beat in the streets because of being black and trans. Wake up! we have many problems in America, not only a gun problem! And you cannot demand sensitivity from a Russian gymnast while you’re being everything but sensitive. That’s a double standard!! I’m glad I hadn’t joined that club gymnerd yet! Ugh!!

          • “But when I said she instead of he I had something in my teeth and that\’s why it came out like that!” Jessica on the next episode. Wait for it. Lol.

  6. I tried to comment on this but apparently it didn’t work… Anyway!

    I have to agree with Uncle Tim in the transgender athlete debate. For Jessica’s reservations about muscle mass, there is such a huge variety between the body shapes of cis-females as it is, that I don’t think it makes any difference. Even among gymnasts, there is a wide spectrum – if you compare Claudia Fragapane to Shang Chunsong, they’re probably about the same height but I think we can safely say that Claudia has more muscle mass than Chunsong, but that it doesn’t necessarily lead to greater gymnastic success. Do you remember a few years ago now, a photographer shot a lot of female athletes from different sports (I think Khorkina was in it, representing WAG) and the difference between the bodies of all those women was incredible. WAG is strongly represented by small, slight gymnasts – Larisa Iordaches and Aliya Mustafinas and Gabby Douglases etc, there isn’t really a tendance towards larger, more muscular gymnasts (think someone with the body type of Amélie Mauresmo or Lucia Rijker), so if muscle mass were really a deciding factor, wouldn’t we have seen this change already?

    In the end, the only thing that will change when transgender athletes are allowed to compete in the discipline of the gender as which they identify is that we will have taken one more step towards eliminating discrimination against trans people.

  7. I tried to post this to the last episode but apparently it didn’t take. I was going to mention the sports gene and namely chapter 4 as Uncle Tim discusses. Basically if you want to know why the IOC is basing the determination on hormone levels read that chapter and story of Maria José Martínez-Patiño. Also I just highly recommend reading the sports gene. It’s fantastic.

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