The No. 1 Gymnastics Podcast in the Galaxy

223: Tasha Schwikert





Olympic medalist, NCAA Champion, law school graduate (currently waiting for her bar results) and legend of the dance floor, Tasha Schwikert, joins us this week. Tasha (and her baby daughter) joined us to discuss:

  • Gym Mythbusters: did she really learn a back handspring on the side of the bathtub, did she give her NCAA AA trophy to Maloney, and more…
  • Her famous perceived snub of USA Gymnastics president, Steve Penny.
  • Being designated a Vegas Gymnast and a rebel by the New York Times. 
  • Her lifelong relationship with GymCats coach Cassie Rice.
  • The difference between Bela Karolyi and Martha (Marta) Karolyi as national team coordinators. 
  • How she managed not to tear her achillies despite lifelong achillies problems. 
  • The 2000 Olympics:
    • Making the team as the second alternate
    • What she thought of fans perception that it was her fault Jamie Dantzscher and Alyssa Beckerman were snubbed in Sydney.
  • The current abuse investigation and cases against USA Gymnastics:
    • Her experience and opinion of the abuse review system she served under. 
    • Serving on the USAG Ethics, Grievance and Safe Sport Committee where she voted to ban coaches like Don Peters.


Spencer, and Jessica chat about:

  • The allegation update of Dr. Larry Nassar
    • 20 more women have come forward
    • Contradictions between the USAG and Nassar quotes
    • Nassar fired from MSU
    • Update on the Georgia case that seeks to release all of the abuse allegation files USAG has 
    • USOC announced a Safe Sport agency
  • Dipa Karmakar’s coach Bishweshwar Nandi seems like a jerk 
  • Ferrari surgery and future
  • Jessica’s review of the Kellogg’s Tour 


The McCabe Timeline: A Trail of Warnings.


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7 years ago

Hey, guys! So, I\’ve just joined the gymnastics fandom and am quite far from a gymnerd, but this podcast (and articles!) definitely has the potential to get me there. I\’ve been a an admirer of the sport since the 2008 Olympics and have checked in every so often, more close to the Olympics (the worst kind of fan, I know). I live in a country where artistic gymnastics is not a thing, hell, we don\’t even have gymnastics gyms in here, so it\’s a miracle I\’ve come so far. I really love how this site is keeping us up to date with gymnastics all over the world, not just US based events.. I appreciate that you value different styles of gymnastics, competitors with various training backgrounds, yet you manage to turn that objectivity into original and valid opinions. The content I\’ve heard and read so far is great, even if I\’m not entirely familiar with the topic or the gymnast. The \”side notes\” really come in handy and feel inclusive of everybody, so thanks for that. Jessica, Spencer and Uncle Tim, you all bring different things to the table and have great chemistry together. While the show is mostly jovial, you know when to keep things serious. Just a perfect place to deepen the fascination with the sport.

P.S. Jessica, you sound like you just had a spoonful of jam when you read the messages from the sponsors (in the best way possible, of course!).

7 years ago

hey guys just thought you should know that Hayden Pennetierre baby daddy is actually Wladimir Klitschko, Vitalii’s brother.

7 years ago

You guys need to interview Vanessa Atler!

7 years ago

A suggestion:

You guys should let us know a head of time who you are interviewing, that way we can submit questions that you can ask. You guys do an awesome job, I\’m not complaining, but a flash round session of fan questions would be awesome. I can think of so much gossip that someone like Tasha, Alicia, Mckayla could give…

Ker Ri
Ker Ri
7 years ago

Hurray for Tasha Schwikert! I used to do back handsprings on the side of the bath too (aged 7/8). Wearing fluffy socks to make it extra hard. Unsurprisingly I slipped one day and smashed my nose. Lesson learned?

Of course not!

I then decided to only practice my spins on the side of the bath. 3 mths later, unsurprisingly I slipped again and faceplanted the handbasin. Lesson learned?


(although I did trip on the springboard whilst mounting the bars about a year later and bust my nose again. I’m still saving to have it fixed!)

7 years ago

I don\’t think that there was that much of a problem among gymnastics fans about Tasha\’s place on the team above Beckerman – or with her knocking Dantzscher out of the all-around. Sure – I remember there being some fans who would have rather have seen a focused Beckerman on the team over Schwikert – but it seemed to me that even those fans looked at the situation logically, and realized that Schwikert was the less risky choice (with Beckerman\’s various problems). Also – most fans seemed to understand why Dantzscher was not chosen for the all-around. Given Dantzscher\’s competitive history (she did not have a good competitive track record on beam) – most rational people weren\’t pitching a fit about Dantzscher not doing the all-around. I think that most fans were like myself – just happy to see Dantzscher overcome her prior struggles to make the team (given her history – she was a question mark heading into the 2000 season), we didn\’t have huge expectations of her doing the all-around at the Olympics. Dantzscher fell off beam TWICE during the final day of Olympic Trials – suggesting that her \”competitive demons\” weren\’t completely behind her. After Trials, Dantzscher herself said that she knew she wasn\’t going to be one of the \”beam people\” anyway – so I\’m not sure how her strong sense of entitlement that she was to do the all-around materialized between those Trials and the Olympics.

It has been my impression that the strongest anti-Tasha sentiments came from some individuals within the team, and not among gymnastics fandom. I haven\’t listened to the interview – but the above synopsis of the interview suggests that Tasha was questioned about receiving blame from gymnastics fans – but not questioned about the \”blame\” she received (according to \”rumor\”) from her own teammates. In general, I don\’t think the fans were a major problem as far as being anti-Tasha – and I kind-of hate that Tasha may have been given that impression by the Gymcastic interviewers. Yes, many people may have preferred Beckerman\’s gymnastics over Tasha\’s gymnastics at the time – but many of those same people didn\’t \”blame\” Tasha for Beckerman\’s Olympic failure. Tasha definitely seemed to have her supporters – especially after she came into her own in 2001.

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