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218: Rio Olympic Event Finals Day 2

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IN THE NEWS

On Day Two of the Rio Olympic Event Finals: Beam, Rings and Men’s Vault hosts SpencerUncle Tim and Jessica chat about:

  • We hit ONE MILLION DOWNLOADS YESTERDAY!!! THANK YOU!
  • Full recap of each event final details, scores, and moments we loved from:
    • Balance Beam Final:
      • Sanne Wevers, the 24 year-old DJ Spindarella’d her way the title, Olympic Champion. Smart gymnastics and past teams who stood united against an abusive head coach, created a beautiful system where smart, elegant gymnastics has flourish. 
      • Laurie Hernandez had a higher E score with only a little misstep on her dismount but couldn’t match Sanne’s innovation and big Dutch D. 
      • Simone Biles now eclipses Shannon Miller’s record with yet another Olympic medal on beam.  
      • Grabbing the beam to prevent a fall is a .5 deduction. 
      • Catalina Ponor wore the greatest leotard of all time. 
      • Yes, you can wear a short sleeved leotard and have teammates as coaches on the floor for finals. 
    • Men’sVault Final:
      • Was this the ugliest form we’ve ever seen in an Olympic final or just an example of the problems with the vault code?
      • Ri Se Gwan, Denis Abliazin, Kenzo Shirai medaled , we explain the tie breaking procedure for vault.
      • Marian Dragulescu lost the tie breaker but thankfully wasn’t deducted for doing gymnastics, “practicing” on the podium. 
      • Igor Radivilov will have the handspring triple front named after him and we now hope that no one ever tries that vault again. 
    • Rings:
      • Jessica and Spencer basically fell asleep because it’s the most boring even in the history of gymnastics but Uncle Tim does a good job of trying to make us appreciate it.
  • Our favorite and least favorite not-gymnastics moments:
    • Sanne Wever’s D score notebook
    • Chris Books screams for Simone and Laurie. 
    • Everyone needs to calm down about the US women’s team’s non-gymnastics behavior. It’s sexism.
    • Why is Steve Penny still at the Olympics, sitting with families and chumming it up with athletes when USA Gymnastics accused of this and senators are asking for answers!

RELATED LINKS

  • Full Olympic gymnastics results here 
  • How to watch live on BBC, CBC or NBC (details here)
  • Height, Ages and Repeat U.S. Olympic Gymnasts
  • NBC live streaming coverage is for the FANS! So much better than so-called “primetime” evening coverage. Online NBC also has a daily online gymnastics recap show called the Daily DismountWe are obsessed with how much more enthusiastic, passionate and positive they are than the evening broadcast team. Jim Watson, Courtney Kupets and Jonathan Horton #Jhortney  4eva!

CONTEST: A winner every other podcast in August!

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Today’s Winner: Sara Neushwander who writes “Courtney McCool so she can sit on me & my dreams everyday at practice.” 

Today’s Winner Can Chose From These Prizes: The Bronze Movie Watch Party Kits (gym bag with goodies and the movie), “The End of the Perfect 10” book or a U.S. Olympic Trials T-shirt.

GRAND PRIZE*: A Bronze Movie gym bag or Hope’s backpack filed with wardrobe (leotards, team warmups and Hope’s high heeled sneakers) along with  props used in the film, plus a one-of-a-kind Aliya Mustafina, handmade cross-stitch by Spanny Tampson.
How:  If you are a Club Gym Nerd member, tweet, Instagram, voicemail or Tumblr tag us and use the hashtag #BronzeContest to tell us which retired gymnast you would want to coach you, The Bronze style, to Olympic glory and why?
Grand Prize Deadline
: August 21st at midnight.
*Open to Club Gym Nerd members only

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19 COMMENTS

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lizzy
6 years ago

Congrats on one million! Thanks for all you do for gymnastics!

Desiree
Desiree
6 years ago

Would you guys consider having Beah from the Couch Gymnast back on to discuss what she thinks
will happen with Romanian gymnastics going forward? Given that Catalina Ponor didn’t medal and the state of R the omanian economy where do they go from here? Thank you, love your show.

Jennifer Lambs
Jennifer Lambs
6 years ago

Thanks for pointing out Steve Penny. I was thinking the same thing last week. It seems he doesn’t have a care in the world. It appears that USA Gymnastics is sweeping the “issues” under the rug. So sad to see.

Leniza
Leniza
6 years ago

Is it completely unreasonable of me to think that gymnasts shouldn\’t do the same routines over and over again? I\’m a four-year fan (though that\’s about to change since I recently discovered your podcast) who can barely distinguish between the various maneuvers, and when *I* can recognize that a gymnast has done the exact same routine the last 4 times, I think we have a problem. I\’m wondering if there has ever been/could be a rule about no repeating routines (or at the very least change the music and choreography on floor), and what are the reason. if any any, that that would be a bad idea.

itsme
itsme
6 years ago
Reply to  Leniza

It’s difficult for gymnasts to create like 4 different routines for one competition. How will they perfect their skills and gain consistency if they do?

Gymnasts change their routines and floor music (for WAG) sometimes every year, and in some cases every quad. The Code of Points change every quad as well, so gymnasts create and perfect their routines under the specific code.

TJ
TJ
6 years ago
Reply to  Leniza

This is why I love international gymnastics. I love watching our US gymnasts, don\’t get me wrong. But after seeing them at the Secret Classic and then the National Championships and the 2 days of trials, I\’m ready to see other routines. I yearn for the \”old\” days when I could watch the Olympics and see the women\’s Russian, Romanian and Ukraine teams. It seemed like we got more comprehensive coverage back then. Now it is just all America all the time, the same routines over and over. Even the international coverage wasn\’t that great IMO. I like the Chinese gymnasts and Mustafina. But it was the same gymnasts that were in the last Olympics. I like to see new gymnasts and different styles.

anonymouse
anonymouse
6 years ago
Reply to  Leniza

Muscle memory and maximizing their skills. Athletes rehearse these routines thousands of times, in whole or in part. They cannot be out there wondering for even a second about what they will do next. Even when they change a routine, their most difficult tumbling passes are going to stay the same, or nearly the same, because they\’ve figured out what they can do that maximizes their chances of hitting along with their chances of getting points. Sometimes they can add an upgrade, but what they usually do is try it out earlier, add it in slowly, see if they can hold onto it on the big stage. They are performing at the edge of their abilities, showing themselves to the maximum advantage. Changing it up would vastly increase the probability of mistakes (deductions) and injury.

As an athletic competition, you don\’t change the layout of the 200 meter track because they are always running the same race. Even if you are thinking of the performance aspect, they shouldn\’t have to change it up in a single competition. You don\’t change Swan Lake every night during its run just for the sake of changing it, even though different steps in the pas de deux might bring out different things for each character.

Katie
Katie
6 years ago
Reply to  Leniza

Gymnasts will often change their choreography/music every year or two and will attempt to upgrade their tumbling/dance/leaps each year but changing the routine meet to meet simply wouldn’t be possible. It takes time to learn choreography, feel comfortable with your music, and learn how to truly perform the choreography.

Sheila
Sheila
6 years ago
Reply to  Leniza

Changing routines that often would be incredibly difficult. First of all, routines are designed to capitalize on a gymnasts strengths to get the highest D score possible (Sanne Wevers beam routine is a perfect example of this.) Furthermore, the conditioning and muscle memory it takes to be consistent requires lots of reps. Trying to train for and remember multiple routines would lead to many more mistakes. Having said that, however, there are gymnasts who do train alternate combinations in case they miss something, usually on beam.

itsme
itsme
6 years ago

It is unreasonable lol. it’s not possible for gymnasts to have like 4 different routines for each apparatus and be able to perfect their skills and gain consistency.

Gymnast do change their routines though. Upgrades, downgrades, creating new skills, and floor music (for WAG) happens every year for some gymnasts, while others keep the same routines for the entire quad. The Code of Points changes every quad, so the gymnasts have to play to the requirements and what what benefits them most.

Once upon a time, gymnasts did have two routines: a compulsory routine for each event and their optional routines. But compulsories have been abolished since after 1996 Olympics.

Anyway, welcome to the gymternet! You may be well on your way to becoming a gym nerd 🙂

EmilyAnn
EmilyAnn
6 years ago

Fellow four year fan who\’s making a conversion. There is no way to do that completely. I remember in 2012 Aly did an easier tumbling pass in the TF because she didn\’t need the harder one, but when you need to work from muscle memory you can\’t be switching the order of elements around. That and unless the gymnast is like Sanne Wevers, I don\’t think they know the code well enough to know exactly what items to put in to keep their difficulty just right. It\’s too much to think about.

Jen
Jen
6 years ago

Please tell me you all saw the Final Five\’s Facebook Live video on the NBC Olympics page this evening! Not ashamed to say that I totally fangirl\’d during it. As a \’90s gymnast, I would have died to have something like that during the Mag 7 era! Also, can you pleeeeeeeease make an interview with Mustafina happen?

Sheila
Sheila
6 years ago

Okay…I have to get something off my chest about Gabby, as I have been so angry at people giving her all the crap since forever, but even more so since trials. For sure there is a sexist element to all of this criticism (and racist, too). But there are some other things that people also need to consider, some real and reasonable reasons why she may behave the way she does. People are individuals and react to things differently. I get what people are seeing when they say Gabby isn\’t as supportive as the other team members, or doesn\’t seem to be as much of a team player. The out of context glimpses we get from broadcasts certainly could be twisted to assume those things. BUT…not everyone is comfortable being the cheerleader, extrovert, joiner. We saw some of that from Gabby in London as well. She stood away from the team at times then, too. And while the focus is primarily on the team\’s achievements, for the team to achieve, each individual has to go out and do her job ALONE! No one gets a partner to hold them up on beam or give them a push during a giant on bars. So if Gabby needs a little separation from the team to focus to be her best individually, SO WHAT!!! And good for her for knowing that and acting accordingly. And as for her behavior in the stands, a person does not have to be jumping up and down to be supportive of others. As Jane tells Elizabeth in Pride and Prejudice, \”You do not make allowance enough for difference of situation and temperament.\”

I also think it is incredibly important to note that Gabby has had a very different experience in gymnastics than the other four girls on the team. Simone, Aly, Laurie, and Madison have all been with one coach since they were very young, which allows for greater consistency and stability, and have benefitted from a system that now allows most gymnasts to live with their families and not have to go searching for an elite gym. For reasons that we are not totally privy too, I\’m sure, Gabby has not had that advantage. And on top of that, while Simone and Aly have been professionals for quite some time, neither of them are in the position of supporting their entire family, which Gabby has basically been doing for four years, SiNCE SHE WAS 16!!!!!! That is an incredible amount of responsibility to put on someone so young, and then when you add the pressure of being an elite athlete in one of the most competitive sports on earth, it is more than understandable that she might have a different focus than the other members of the team. That does not make her any less of a team member.

And as for all of the people who have criticized her for not having her hand over her heart (and even suggesting that it was some kind of political protest), they are being patently ridiculous. The accepted behavior is to stand at attention, which is demonstrated by athletes and fans at thousands of sporting events from five-year olds\’ t-ball games to the Super Bowl every freaking day in this country! IDIOTS!

Okay, rant over. Thanks for the absolutely awesome coverage all the time!

Erin
6 years ago
Reply to  Sheila

Agreed! I am an introvert myself and extremely uncomfortable having to fake enthusiasm just to make other people feel more comfortable around me. I also am told I have a natural “resting bitch face” (or that I look like a sad teen runaway), even when I’m feeling perfectly cheerful and happy. I feel so bad when people attack other people for “looking” a certain way. My heart breaks for her!

Desiree
Desiree
6 years ago
Reply to  Sheila

If you saw the Final Five on their Facebook live chat yesterday. You saw Simone and Laurie with ultra teen giggles and energy, Aly relaxed and outgoing yet extroverted and both Gabby and Madison were friendly but much less verbose. You see that Madison and Gabby are just different kinds of people than Laurie, Simone and Aly. There’s no negative or positive in them; just different.

TJ
TJ
6 years ago
Reply to  Sheila

I just listened to the Rio Olympic Event Finals Day 2 podcast today that talked about the Gabby controversy and want to comment because if the podcast is taking the position that men are given more allowances for perceived bad behavior than women are because they are men, I disagree with that.

But first of all Sheila, I understand why you would be angry about what Gabby has had to endure. At the last Olympics, when I heard about the criticisms of her hair after she won the Gold medal, I felt miffed because 1) I thought her hair looked fine and 2) people were trying to diminish her enormous accomplish with something so hurtful as appearance. I don’t think she came off in this Olympic cycle as the same sweet young but mature person she was in 2012. But in my mind there is no valid reason to bash her for anything. I think it’s fine if people don’t find her as appealing as other gymnasts (due to a number of things including the coaching situation) but there is no reason to publically criticize her.

I don’t however entirely agree with the podcast that “no one would be talking about this stuff if it were men’s gymnastics. I think the reason there isn’t [i]perceived[/i] strong reaction in the “gymternet” or “gymcastic” environment to male gymnast’s behavior opposed to the women is because men’s gymnastics is not as popular as women’s.

I’m speaking for myself because I like men’s gymnastics more than women’s and I hardly ever get passionate about any of the gossip or performances or issues on the women’s side. But I do get passionate about the men. I feel that not very many people seem to really care about men’s gymnastics so as a fan, it’s hard to get any momentum going about a topic that impacts the men.

I think if more people liked men’s gymnastics, it would get the same amount of scrutiny and gossip that the women’s side does. Maybe Hambüchen should get more negative attention for his podium behavior. But honestly, does anyone care?

There has been [i]some[/i] criticism of men such as the article by Australian writer speaking about the behavior of the US men and the discussions around Louis Smith although it’s not as much and as personal as the women get. I personally find the things Louis Smith has said and done to be much, much more disturbing than anything Gabby Douglass has ever done. Yet, I don’t see petty insults being thrown at him. Even hair comments can be compared between the two. People simply laughed at his hair this Olympics whereas Gabby’s was a Ten Voss hair commercial in comparison in 2012 and she was very seriously and hurtfully criticized.

The podcast itself has downplayed men’s behavior at times. Jessica made it clear she didn’t agree with the Australian article and was thrilled when Mez confirmed her feelings.

I was cringing when there was a slew of giggling in the podcast while quoting Sam Mikulak’s comments about his teammate’s performances which contained the f word and “juicy” in addition to the aforementioned Australian article. I’m a New Yorker so “a dirty word or two” doesn’t faze me in the least. But I don’t want to take my children to a gymnastics meet and hear that. And it’s not just for reasons like I want my kids to be respectful of others or to be able to use one of the other million words in the English language that will more precisely communicate their thoughts. I also don’t want my mother in law to give me her “I always knew you were a tacky cretin” look when my kid screams the f word in front of her while watching a sporting event. If Sam is doing a late night interview, then I’m the first to watch and don’t mind salty language or show boating. But I think he needs to behave himself at a gymnastics event or interview given its audience. I think that if someone on the women’s team acted like that, it would get much more attention. But since its men’s gymnastics, let’s just laugh it off because there’s no time to consider it because Simone Biles is meeting Zac Ephron or Ally Raisman isn’t getting the attention she deserves or Laurie Hernandez is going pro.

I hope I don’t sound like I don’t like the women’s side, because I really do and I think its loads of fun and I love seeing the women succeed and become leaders and role models. But I think that if the men’s side were as popular, the male gymnasts would be being held to the same “standard” of behavior that the women are held to. I don’t think it has anything to do with the way men and women are treated in society in general. I think that in this case, enough people just don’t care about what the men do in order for their behavior to be realistically commented on.

Leniza
Leniza
6 years ago

Thanks so much for all the replies! I thought I understood how difficult gymnastics was, but I didn’t take into account that memorizing so many routines is another difficulty in addition to knowing how to do all the tumbling passes, etc. TJ also makes a great point about the lack of broader international coverage. Growing up, I saw so many more gymnasts on TV during a competition that I didn’t really notice that I was often seeing the same routines from gymnasts. We don’t get that breadth of coverage anymore, and I think that lack of variety is what’s affecting my perception.

TJ
TJ
6 years ago

Thanks Leniza.

Just to share my experience, my time warner cable offers a channel called BEIN which televises the World Cup events so I got to watch all of them this year. It also has TVJAPAN which televises gymnastics. Watching that channel, I have absolutely fallen in love with the Japanese teams (both men’s and women’s.) About the only thing I can understand from the commentators is !!!Seiko!!!” (which means success) but I love the commentators still. as they have enough ‘sound effects’ to understand the action. LOL. I wish our BBC and Russian channels would show gymnastics. Maybe in the future. 🙂

KL
KL
6 years ago

I can’t remember if this was addressed in earlier podcasts but what do you (and anyone else commenting) feel about the Brazilian style of cheering (or booing) in competitions?

During mens floor exercise they were cheering for Sam Mikulak to mess up, It definitely seems to have an affect on him. I could hear them on NBC primetime it was so loud. He even said in an interview it rattled him. He was a gracious about it and a class act though. He said he understood they wanted Brazil to medal.

During an air shooting competition (normally completely silent in the stands) fans were loudly jeering to make a competitor (from Japan or China I believe) mess up. He was able to medal despite it.

A french pole vaulter who won silver was booed so badly during the pole vaulting competition he started crying on the medal stand. The Brazilian who won gold was a great sport, and consoled the frenchmen. He tried to calm down the crowd to no avail. A Ukrainian weight lifter had to physically walk over to the stands and tell Brazilians to stop for the athletes concentration.

Even in balance beam final, Flavia had two fairly big mistakes. There was no way she would’ve gotten on the medal stand even with Simone’s mistake yet the crowd booed the score like it was somehow unfair. Even in beach volleyball last night the announcer had to remind fans to remain respectful. Luckily Walsh and Ross said they couldn’t hear anything, although they still lost and will be in the bronze medal match.

I always love seeing people passionate for a sport but it also saddens me the pure lack of sportsmanship by some fans and attempts to mess up athletes. Especially in sports which require significant concentration such as gymnastics, equestrian, air shooting etc.. I understand booing is a common practice by Brazilian soccer fans but not all sports are like that. I think there’s a difference between being passionate and being disrespectful to other athletes.

The athletes have been incredibly understanding though, I commend those affected by it for their patience, sportsmanship and classiness.

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