283: Catalina Ponor Says Goodbye

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SIMONE-TERNET NEWS

  • Simone casually has all her skills back because Simone.
  • Do we think the Aly/Gabby/Simone twitter victim-shame debacle compelled Gabby to come forward with her story? And does it change how we view her comments?
  • Simone will be 23 in 2020. Gasp. What journalists are STILL getting wrong about age and women’s gymnastics!

MEET NEWS

  • IT’S THE MEXICAN OPEN GALA EVERYONE!!!!!!!
    • Ponor gives her farewell gala performances on beam and floor and they’re AH-MAZING
    • If this truly is the end for Ponor, what is her legacy in gymnastics?
    • But also:
    • Jessica details how to make Yesenia Ferrera into a world floor champ. (Hint: it’s conditioning)
  • Elite Gym Massilia
    • The Russian juniors and their rudis will soon rule us all
    • Axelle Klinckaert’s insane/amazing must-watch floor routine, starring sound effects
  • Cottbus World Cup
    • Miyachi, Bretschneider, calculated risk, and the triumph of Marvin “NO LONGER HOT MESS” Kimble on high bar
    • China has another one on PBars, and his name is Tan Di.
    • Chuso wins her 11th Cottbus vault title because obviously
    • Wang Cenyu is gorgeous on beam, but why such a short routine?
    • The future of Russian floor is Lilia Akhaimova‘s huge, strong tumbling and Maria Kharenkova‘s rebirth!

GYMTERNET NEWS

  • Larry Nassar pleaded guilty to seven counts of sexual assault and his statement was just as despicable as his everything else about him.
  • Up next: MSU.
  • British Gymnastics suspends men’s technical director Eddie van Hoof
  • Laura Jurca is leaving Romania for Germany
  • The FIG finally comes to its senses about naming skills after women!
  • Fabian Hambiceps stuck a high bar dismount for the last time
  • Chiaki Hatakeda is doing a QUAD on floor. A QUAD YOU GUYS!
  • Plus, we answer your feedback about college fantasy gymnastics, gymnerd dating services, and positive changes at TOPS camp!

LOVEPOP

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TUMBL TRAK

We have a winner in our $200 Tumbl Trak gift certificate giveaway!

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  • Join Club Gym Nerd here.
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282: GymCastic Book Club – Fierce, by Aly Raisman

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IN THE NEWS

FIERCE (13:13)

Aly Raisman’s book, Fierce: How Competing for Myself Changed Everything, was released last week. We talk through all of our feelings about it as a gymternet family.

  • Why this is the best gymnastics book ever written for this age group
  • USA Gymnastics does not come off well. At all. It’s awesome.
  • The post-Olympic tour is a hellscape
  • Aly’s experience with Larry Nassar is quite telling about exactly how this went on for so long and the very understandable reasons that victims don’t speak about their experiences
  • We need to talk about this mysterious Fran character
  • Why the section about nutrition is a MUST-READ for all elite and NCAA coaches and gymnastics parents.
  • Seriously. Read it right now. GO!
    • Also check out Episode 230 to learn about the WellnessFX program
  • All the other sweetest, funniest, standing ovation moments we loved

GYMTERNET NEWS (1:26:45)

  • British Gymnastics athletes are taking a stand against the organization!
    • Why a group of athletes, including Max Whitlock, Ellie Downie, Amy Tinkler, is currently declining to sign new contracts with British Gymnastics
    • The athletes have some very familiar concerns about lack of transparency in terms where the money is going and an overall culture of fear and favoritism
    • Why gymnastics needs a union

TUMBL TRAK GIVEAWAY

Send in your story of a funny or embarrassing handstand moment (the more embarrassing the better), and you could win a $200 Tumbl Trak gift certificate!

  • Open to Club Gym Nerd members only
  • Deadline: December 3rd
  • Send your story to gymcastic@gmail.com with the subject line: Tumbl Trak Handstand Story
  • The person with the funniest or most hilariously embarrassing handstand story will be chosen as the winner

NORBERT’S GIVEAWAY

Norbert’s is giving away a four-foot sectional beam!

  • To win, just email us at gymcastic@gmail.com with the subject line “I want the Norbert’s beam” and tell us…that you want the Norbert’s beam
  • Deadline: November 25th
  • While you visit norberts.net to fantasize about that glorious little beam, check out NORBERT’S Gifts For Gymnasts Feature. Order by Dec 1st to receive your item by Dec 24th.
  • For a 10% discount enter code “Gymcastic” at checkout when you visit norberts.net.

SIMPLE CONTACTS

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281.5: Aly Raisman Comes Forward As Nassar Victim

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IN THE NEWS

Aly Raisman appeared on 60 Minutes this week, relating her own story of abuse by Larry Nassar and making known her dissatisfaction with USA Gymnastics’ handling of abuse at the time, as well as now. 

We discuss:

  • How awesome Aly Raisman is
  • How awesome Aly Raisman is
  • And how awesome Aly Raisman is
  • The need for education and communication among children, adults, coaches, and administrators about what is acceptable behavior and what is not
  • Why many of the victims didn’t know they were abused until years later
  • What a stupid question “Isn’t the timing just a book sales ploy?” is

Plus,

And finally,

  • Jessica O’Beirne presents the O’BEIRNE MANIFESTO FOR CHANGE. Six areas in which USA Gymnastics must improve immediately, otherwise nothing will ever get better and they will never gain back the trust of the members.
    1. Transparency: Daniels Report compliance list link on the USAG homepage.
    2. Gymnast Union: Athletes and parents need to start a union to eliminate the conflicts of interest inherently built into any National Governing Body system and to end the fear of retaliation.
    3. Consequences: Debbie Van Horn, Paul Parilla and the rest of the board need to go, immediately.
    4. Comprehensive Training: Every employee from president, Kerry Perry to the receptionist and all board members of USAG need in-person, day-long abuse prevention training on an annual basis. UPDATE: USAG staff has completed training with USAG SafeSport Director, Toby Stark. Kerry Perry doesn’t not start until December. We expect she will complete the training as well. 
    5. Limit Alcohol: One drink when coaching duties are over with a meal, per day. Period.
    6. No Gray Areas: All national team staff, parents, athletes and coaches need to be educated and empowered to enforce SafeSport rules. And to call eachother out for violations.

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281: Myths, Legends, and Unexpected Moments PART 2 (Commissioned)

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This week’s episode is commissioned by Club Gym Nerd member Beth, who commissioned a sequel to our first show all about the biggest myths, legends, and unexpected moments in gymnastics history because there were just too many to pack into a single episode the first time around. Thank you for letting us do this, Beth!

  • But first, Jessica’s greatest dream has FINALLY come true in this week’s Club Gym Nerd episode dedication!!!! EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE x100000000.

MYTHS AND LEGENDS

  • Myth Un-Busted??? The latest, secret information about Soviet pregnancy doping
  • Is there really a real-life skill called the Miller? Or did NBC lie to us? (BOTH!)
  • Did Verona van de Leur really leave gymnastics to become a porn star?
    • Bonus: More gymnastics nudity “scandals” than you ever wanted to know about!
  • Did Title IX really kill men’s college gymnastics?
  • Is there really such a thing as the international look? Or did NBC lie to us?
  • Did Armine Barutyan really do a double layout beam dismount?
  • Is the American Cup really the SCAMerican Cup?
  • Will she really “never get those scores internationally”?
  • Did a Soviet gymnast’s tampon really fall out during her floor routine?
  • Did Cristina Bontas’s saliva really make Yang Bo fall in the 1992 beam final?

UNEXPECTED MOMENTS

  • When the pommel breaks off in your hand
  • When Bela was so obsessed with pissing off Ellen Berger that he almost costs Mary Lou her gold medal
    • Bonus: Which barnyard animal did Bela compare Ellen Berger to in 1988?
  • The many (many) (many) fractures of the 1992 Olympic team
  • Dominique Moceanu gets emancipated from her parents, and her dad hires a hit man to kill her coach
  • Gymnastics in the bath?
  • The magical changing age of Hong Su Jong

TUMBL TRAK GIVEAWAY

Whether a gymnast from birth or starting at age 50, a handstand is something most gymnastics enthusiasts have at least tried. Send in your story of a funny or embarrassing handstand moment (the more embarrassing the better), and you could win a $200 Tumbl Trak gift certificate!

  • Open to Club Gym Nerd members only
  • Deadline: December 3rd
  • Send your story to gymcastic@gmail.com with the subject line: Tumbl Trak Handstand Story
  • The person with the funniest or most hilariously embarrassing handstand story will be chosen as the winner

HELLO FRESH

  • This episode is brought to you by Hello Fresh! Visit hellofresh.com and use promo code “Gymcastic30” to save $30 off your first week of deliveries.

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Manifesto For Change

In episode 281.5 Jessica presented the  O’BEIRNE MANIFESTO FOR CHANGE. Six areas in which USA Gymnastics must improve immediately, otherwise nothing will ever get better and they will never gain back the trust of the members. We’ll cross off things that have been accomplished.

  1. Transparency: Daniels Report compliance list link on the USAG homepage.
  2. Gymnast Union: Athletes and parents need to start a union to eliminate the conflicts of interest inherently built into any National Governing Body system and to end the fear of retaliation.
  3. Consequences: Debbie Van Horn, Paul Parilla and the rest of the board need to go, immediately.
  4. Comprehensive Training: Every employee from president, Kerry Perry to the receptionist and all board members of USAG need in-person, day-long abuse prevention training on an annual basis. 
  5. Limit Alcohol: One drink when coaching duties are over with a meal, per day. Period.
  6. No Gray Areas: All national team staff, parents, athletes and coaches need to be educated and empowered to enforce SafeSport rules. And to call eachother out for violations.

Changes We Know Of So Far:

  • Sexual Abuse complaints now go straight to USOC’s SafeSport
  • A suspension was made public via journalism, not USAG, for the first time ever (that we know of) : John Geddert
  • Women’s artistic team required to bring parent/guardian with them to meets if parent/guardian cannot attend, USAG will provide a SafeSport certified chaperone.

 

280: Comeback Season!

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GYMTERNET NEWS

  • Check out the behind the scenes video from a unicorn of gymnastics, concurrent elite and college gymnast, New Zealand/Boise State’s Courtney McGregor.
  • It’s comeback season!
  • NCAA news
    • Bailie Key is back and beaming for Alabama
    • Madison Kocian had successful labrum surgery
    • Sabrina Schwab has medically retired
    • Maggie Nichols and Kyla Ross are still pulling out new tricks because of badassdom
  • Mixed gender gymnastics
    • Is mixed-gender team competition the future of gymnastics? We discuss the merits of the mixed team format at the Swiss Cup.
    • Kenzo is the greatest uneven bars worker of our day
    • The #manbeamwar is in full swing!
  • Trigger warning section
    • Larry Nassar’s trial will not be moved. Plus, his child porn charges cannot be used in the assault trial. Is this horrible or normal law things?
    • Tatiana Gutsu went on a Russian TV show, spoke about her rape in detail, and was treated horribly. She is the bravest ever.

FEEDBACK

  • What really happened with the redo vaults in 2000
  • The truth about Raducan and Amanar’s positive tests in 2000, and what we’re going to do about it!
  • Other gymnasts who could potentially “Ray” (perform three eponymous skills in the same routine)
  • Thoughts for making floor exercise less sexist
  • More ideas for how to fix worlds
  • Why we’re wrong for wanting to move worlds out of Doha

RX BAR

This week’s show is brought to you by RxBar. For 25% off your first order, visit rxbar.com/gymcastic and enter promo code gymcastic at checkout.

NORBERT’S

Norbert’s has Gifts For Gymnasts! Holiday prices include shipping within the 48 contiguous states.

Don’t be fooled by other manufacturers’ lesser quality “home use” lines of equipment. These are the same exact products found in gymnastics schools across the country and are made to last for years.

Order by December 1st to ensure delivery by December 24th. Visit Norberts.net and click on the Gift Season is Here picture to find the perfect gift.

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279: A Diva Is Magical: The Svetlana Khorkina Episode (Commissioned)

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This week’s episode was commissioned by Club Gym Nerd member Bella, who asked for an episode about all things Svetlana Khorkina: the good, the bad, and the ugly. 

  • Part 1: Getting philosophical with the question, who is Svetlana Khorkina?
    • The height. The hair. The diva. The queen. The drama. The “villain.”
  • Part 2: The good
    • The champion – 7-time Olympic medalist; 20-time world medalist; 47 medals across Euros, worlds, and Olympics
    • The innovator – 7 eponymous skills, at least one on each event. We pick favorites.
    • The artist – all-time favorite Khorkina floor routines.
      • Carmen from the 1996 Olympics
      • The 2004 choreographed kiss
      • THIS very special, very bonkers ghost/snowman exhibition routine.
    • A diva is magical
    • All-time best Khorkina moments
      • The scream heard ’round the world during the 2000 all-around final
      • The 1996 Olympic gala dismount
      • Giving the vault final spot to Zamolodchikova
      • That time Zamo did the worst bars routine of all time and Khorkina died of hilarity
  • Part 3: Chatting with Luba
    • Luba from Gymnovosti gives us the inside scoop on Khorkina’s new book “The Magic of Winning” and the cultural and social context in which the legend that is Khorkina is situated.
    • She has translated all the details and best quotes from “The Magic of Winning” on her site.
  • Part 4: The bad and the ugly
    • The 2000 Olympic Team Final meltdown
    • The definitely real, vast international gymnastics conspiracy against Svetlana Khorkina
    • Why Khorkina is basically if tumblr were a person
    • Her not-great reaction to the AA silver in 2004
    • Khorkina wisdom
      • On how success feels: “I didn’t feel anything, apart from maybe when I was on the top podium and they were underneath.”
      • On modesty: “I changed people’s attitudes. It’s very good to be sexy. My career made it clear that tall girls can do incredible things. I opened the way. Now I’m famous all over the world.”
      • On dealing with disappointment: ”I will leave what happened on the vault far behind me, like the North Pole.”
      • On ewww: ”Age isn’t important to me. ‘You know they say a man sometimes prefers older women because they can satisfy him more. It’s the same in gymnastics.”
      • On losing graciously: “I’ve seen a much tougher opposition than her. Let’s see how long she can remain on top. Can she keep going and compete in two more Olympics like myself?”
  • Part 5: Is Svetlana Khorkina the greatest gymnast of all time?

FURTHER CRAZY-QUOTE READING

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