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203: Olympic Trials Preview and Dvora Meyers on Her New Book “The End of the Perfect 10”

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THIS WEEK’S INTERVIEW

One of our original hosts, Dvora Meyers has just published The End of the Perfect 10: The Making and Breaking of Gymnastics’ Top Score – from Nadia to Now. The book is the latest must-have in the gym nerd library. It examines the evolution of elite women’s gymnastics over the last few decades and answers questions that gymnastics fans have been asking since the last perfect score was handed out over 20 years ago. She reveals why successful female gymnasts are older and more athletic than they have ever been before, how the United States became a gymnastics powerhouse, and what the future of gymnastics will hold. Lauren and Jessica chat with Dvora about (4:45): 

  • MythBusters in the book: Who were Nadia’s actual first gymnastics coaches, when the open-ended scoring system came about, East Germany set precedent for the current American training system.
  • Gymternet vs television coverage – past and current Insulting coverage that creates gymnastics like a sideshow
  • How the Ranch has changed over the years
  • Texas Dreams taking athlete education to a whole new level. 
  • Is the marketability of the 10.0 real or is it just nostalgia. 
  • The gymternet versus dumbed-down Olympic television coverage. 
  • Are we better off now with the open-ended scoring system?

Olympic Trials Preview

  • (38:16) Which athletes qualified to Trials, list here
  • An ode to Alyssa Baumann’s gorgeousness and why we are so sad that she is injured. 
  • Which gymnasts should just be stoked to be at Trials and soak up the experience versus women who are actually in the mix. 
  • Wildcards: Amelia Hundley, Maggie Nichols and Ragan Smith
  • Will we see a team where both bars of the top bar gymnasts, Ashton and Kocian are on the same team?
  • Will the business side of gymnastics come into who is chosen to do the all-around in Rio? 
  • Will Gabby do her Amanar and upgrade bars at Trials?
  • Can Swaggie Maggie make the team without her Amanar, and the rise of Laurie Hernandez?
  • Lauren’s Team: Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, Laurie Hernandez, Gabby Douglas, Madison Kocian
    • Alternates: Ragan Smith, Ashton Locklear and MyKayla Skinner
  • Jessica’s Team: Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas, Laurie Hernandez, Aly Raisman, Madison Kocian, Ashton Locklear maximizing bars potential score (that’s right, six people because both need to go!). 
    • Alternates: Amelia Hundley, Maggie Nichols, MyKayla Skinner

GYMTERNET NEWS

  • (1:21:13) Chusovitina made her Produnova and the judge at the end couldn’t keep her ish together! 
  • Romanian Nationals: Pre-meet Larissa got a concussion but still won, although she may have hurt herself on her bar landing. Ponor had a fever and was in the hospital with some kind of food poisoning/flu! UGH!

RELATED LINKS

Fake, Jingoistic, And Stupid: Gymnastics Coverage Is The Worst Part Of NBC’s Olympics by Dvora Meyers

The Tumbler Tumblr – How hard-core gymnastics fans are revolutionizing the way the sport is covered by Elspeth Reeve

Irked By Broadcast Coverage, Gymnastics Sites Aim To Raise The Bar – All Things Considered on NPR

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  • Join Club Gym Nerd here.
  • Buy one of our awesome shirts here.
  • Get Dvora’s book in our Amazon store here.

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Patrick
Patrick
5 years ago

Do you think it\’s possible that they sit KOCIAN in qualifications and let all 4 AA girls do the AA in qualifications? It sounds crazy, but then it\’s left up to the girls and the judges to decide who deserves to be in the all-around final. Yes, that means Kocian competes for the first time when she anchors the TF, but you guys made the point that she can do that bar routine in her sleep.

Craig Cochrane
Craig Cochrane
5 years ago
Reply to  Patrick

Wouldn’t that prevent Madison from making the bar final? If so, I don’t think Marta would do that.

Patrick
Patrick
5 years ago
Reply to  Craig Cochrane

Oh, you’re completely right. Scratch that.

Craig Cochrane
Craig Cochrane
5 years ago

One intangible working in Laurie\’s favor — Marta may want to give a very young gymnast Olympic experience, just to build leadership for coming years. Especially since Laurie clearly has a motivator/leader personality. The other all-around locks (Gabby, Aly, Simone) are veterans.

JR Jaquay
5 years ago

I think its going to come down to who is hitting the best routines at camp and podium training. I think it’s definitely possible that Laurie is sat out of qualifications to let the 3 veterans duke it out, but then they have Laurie do more events in qualifications

Jen
Jen
5 years ago

Enjoyed this very much! Spend a nice evening sitting outside with my pups listening to it. I have to say I was a little upset by the comment that Aly isn’t artistic….really?! Because there is more to art than being flexible. She can’t help the build of her body and I enjoy watching her on floor more than many other so-called more artistic gymnasts. That girl loves to dance and perform. She’s amazing 🙂

Nick
Nick
5 years ago

I hope that if Aly maintains her 2nd AA position, she gets to do UB in prelims!

Ari
Ari
5 years ago

It\’s interesting to think about AA in qualifications and I feel like the obvious choice to leave out in the bars rotation situation is Aly. Granted Simone is definitely doing all 4 events for quals and Kocian is up to qualify to the UB final, both Laurie and Gabby have the potential to qualify to the UB finals as well. Gabby is usually consitant on bars and has a strong chance if she hits and Laurie is scoring 15.1, its obvious that they both have a shot of making the final with Kocian, unlike Aly.

Parse
Parse
5 years ago

We\’re between Day 1 & Day 2 of trials, and I\’ve started to think the \”expected\” team of Biles, Raisman, Hernandez, Douglas, Kocian may be more legitimately debatable than initially anticipated. Skinner in particular seems to have put together an outstanding performance. (Dear NBC: If only we\’d seen it.) Nevertheless, I still think expected athletes will be the ones that go.

At the Olympics, I basically expect Raisman to lose her AA spot to Kocian\’s UB in prelims & Douglas (probably) to get 2-per\’d out of AA finals. And that just hurts my heart. It\’s a shame the rules don\’t allow all the athletes to complete in prelims, even if the team had to pick 4 in advance to apply toward team qualification.

With the new team format in 2020, will all 4 team members compete AA in prelims? Will this team composition problem be eliminated with the smaller team?

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