The No. 1 Gymnastics Podcast in the Galaxy

Episode 53: All Around Finals Recap from Antwerp World Championships

Simone Biles, World Champion!
Kyla Ross, Simone “The Smile” Biles and Aliya Mustafina.

Blythe, Bea, Michelle and Emma report in from Antwerp on men’s and women’s all-around finals. We chat about: Vasiliki Millousi‘s decent from tanning on Mount Olympus directly into our dreams at age 29, whether Shang Chunsong‘s glitter eyeshadow effected her performance, Victoria Moors sticking The Moors, the consistency of Kyla “Beam Queen” Ross, Mustafina‘s “gears,” Yao‘s possible coaching deduction on bars, clarify what the controversial drummers were really doing at the meet, discuss the fit of men’s competition shorts, King Kohei, and the totally dominating performance by Simone “The Smile” Biles.

Follow Blythe on Twitter @GymExaminer, Facebook and at Gymnastics Examiner.
Follow Bea on Twitter @TheCouchGymnast and The Couch Gymnast

Watch Here: http://usagymworlds.com/live/
UTRS World Rankings WAG
UTRS World Rankings MAG
FIG Live Scoring here
Tunnel Bear VPN

Related Interviews
Our Simone Biles interview
Our Kyla Ross interview
Our Jake Dalton interview
Our Sam Mikulak interview
Our Victoria Moors interview

28 COMMENTS

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
28 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Chad
Chad
8 years ago

I wish the American women’s leotards had USA on the chest or at least on the upper arm below the shoulder. But I know that that is a pipe dream. There must be lots of sparkles everywhere–no room for USA. I guess I should just be glad it was there at all!

Margaret Tudor
Margaret Tudor
8 years ago
Reply to  Chad

USA is on all the American competition leotards. It’s usually on one of the upper arms or in the right hip area. But it’s in silver sparkle or something so it’s hard to notice right at first. Sometimes it IS on the chest like the 2004 Athens Olympic leos. I guess it depends on the designer. Look carefully at the podium picture with Kyla and Simone. You can clearly see USA in white letters on the right hip bone area.

Lauren H
Lauren H
8 years ago

Can you post the Kohei Duck Tales video you mentioned? I was a huge Duck Tales fan growing up, and I, for the life of me, cannot find this! TIA

Great, great recap! Looking forward to the event finals recap! 🙂

gymnasthole
gymnasthole
8 years ago

Great podcast! I always look forward to these. I’m gonna be sad when worlds ends and you’ll be going back to the 1 episode per week for a while. Bummers!

That leo comment up top is pretty bizarre. The USA qualified 10 times for these world championships. The national anthem has been played twice and the U.S. flag has been raised to the rafters 6 times with another day to go. USA across the chest? Why not paint USA in glitter on their faces like they do in NCAA? Why not have an embroidered bald eagle swooping across the chest, too? These aren’t cheerleaders at Jefferson High, this is world class gymnastics.

As far as Simone not being interesting; She won AA at her first worlds and it wasn’t even her best performance. She qualified for all 4 individual finals at her first worlds. She’s only a few tenths behind the world’s best vaulter in her first year as a senior. She’s the U.S. National Champion at her first nationals. She had a huge skill named after her at her first worlds. Sure, everyone has their favorites, but to suggest that none of that is interesting “compared to other girls” is highly laughable.

Alyssia
Alyssia
8 years ago
Reply to  gymnasthole

Well I said she was the rightful winner, and that her floor doesn’t grab me. Apparently I should’ve also said /I/ find her not interesting. I just noted that because she wasn’t talked about as much as you would normally talk about a World AA champ in this podcast, I felt I wasn’t the only one with this opinion.

Margaret Tudor
Margaret Tudor
8 years ago
Reply to  gymnasthole

Speaking of eagles, I actually wouldn’t mind a small patch designed for the leos based on the official U.S. coat of arms. It could look downright royal lol! Some countries use their national coat of arms on their leos or an emblem such as the Canadian maple leaf or Russia’s crest which you can see on Musty’s left shoulder. The U.S. coat of arms was once worn by American gymnast but that was in the early days ’40’s and early 50’s. It includes the eagle with wings outstretched, and it holds a bundle of 13 arrows representing the original 13 colonies in its left talon an olive branch in it’s right talon. There is also a small mullet with a cluster of 13 stars above it’s head. If done tastefully it can look pretty.

gymnasthole
gymnasthole
8 years ago

Correction: The USA WAG and MAG qualified 18 slots in total for all around and finals, and have won 7 thus far with 8 more medal chances remaining.

Chad
Chad
8 years ago

gymnasthole, you may think my comment is bizarre, but there have been many discussions about the direction leotard design has gone over the past years. While I am obviously “over the moon” about our success, and while I do really like all of the leotards the women have worn so far at this worlds, there has been a debate about whether the women’s leotards should clearly display which country they’re from. I am of the belief that in the AA, it doesn’t matter as much because they’re competing as individuals, but I do think it wouldn’t hurt to have the country displayed in a more prominent place, even if the leotard itself is not the colors of the country. I also listened to the GymCastic podcast about how they choose colors, and I understand their reasoning.

gymnasthole: “USA across the chest? Why not paint USA in glitter on their faces like they do in NCAA? Why not have an embroidered bald eagle swooping across the chest, too? These aren’t cheerleaders at Jefferson High, this is world class gymnastics.”

I guess you think that the American men’s uniforms look like cheerleaders?

gymnasthole
gymnasthole
8 years ago

Since you asked, yes I do think they look like male cheerleaders sometimes. Secondly, who cares what they wear and where the country name is on the uniform? Does it help them stick landings? Doubt it! People annoy me complaining about the most ridiculous things when they are out there risking life and limb doing near humanly impossible feats. No comments about the great gymnastics, no comment about the medal count, just a comment about needing more jingoism emblazoned across their chest. Patently ridiculous. That’s my opinion and I’m sticking to it.

Chad
Chad
8 years ago
Reply to  gymnasthole

Okay–that’s your opinion. My opinion is that it is a bit extreme. There is a lot of thought put behind what they wear, and my comment does not mean that I don’t care about anything else involved with the sport. Your extreme reaction to my post seems ridiculous to me, but, as you said, it’s your opinion. Also, wouldn’t commenting on the medal count be “jingoistic” as well? Again, your use of that word is also extreme because it simply does not fit my comments about the leotards. I have been commenting on GymCastic material on Facebook and Twitter for a while on various topics, and I am always fully aware that there will be someone who will have an extreme reaction to what I have to say. This is no exception.

gymnasthole
gymnasthole
8 years ago
Reply to  Chad

Okay this is getting fruitless at this point. I respect your opinion, I suppose, but the narrative of the 2012 Olympics was “how dare the USA stand on the podium wearing anything other than red, white and blue.” Do people realize how many other countries has RWB flag colors? Around 25 or so. Must be a bunch of commie loving anti-american hippies trying to destroy the US by not wearing stars and stripes all over their butts like wonder woman. It’s petty.

Same thing when Gabby won gold and made history, all people could talk about was her freaking hair! What about her gymnastics? I didn’t even notice her hair and could give a crap if they all wore a rainbow clown wig, I cared about their gymnastics. The same about the leos. Couldn’t care less, I cared about the meet. Never noticed them until I read people b!tching and moaning about them not being “patriotic” enough. It’s sad and minimizes their accomplishments to sit around and argue over who didn’t wear what across their chest.

Margaret Tudor
Margaret Tudor
8 years ago
Reply to  gymnasthole

It’s no more jingoism than the Canadians with their maple leaf emblazoned across all of their leotards or the lion on the GB leotards. I too think that for Team Championships it wouldn’t hurt to have a country’s colors within the leos design or at least an emblem.

gymnasthole
gymnasthole
8 years ago
Reply to  Margaret Tudor

I think people may be missing my point. It may look cool. It may not. I don’t know. It might look fantastic, or it might look gaudy and cheesy. And frankly, I just don’t care that much. Some of the teams in London wore some of the most butt ugly things I’ve ever had the misfortune to lay my eyes on. But they weren’t being judged on that, they were are being judged on their skill level and execution, not on how patriotic they were.

It’s a matter of taste, I understand, but after decimating the field after a 12 medal haul, complaints about what is and isn’t on a leo just kinda pisses me off. Seen the flag raised a total of 12 times, USA on the Mens chest, USA all over the warm-up suits, USA on the women’s hips, USA flags all over the leaderboard, USA flag on the lower third graphics on the screen next to the athletes name. There was plenty for the USA to be proud of and there was no shortage of USA imagery all over the place, so for the team to be ridiculed about leo design after a successful worlds meet is eye-roll worthy.

Lauren
Lauren
8 years ago

I was extremely disappointed to hear the age issue being discussed on GymCastic as if it is a legitimate concern. Not only are comments such as these borderline racist, they are irrelevant. The fact is that you cannot know how old someone is based only on looking at them. In fact, you can’t know anything about anyone based on what they look like except WHAT THEY LOOK LIKE. I think I am most disappointed to hear people I respect perpetuating the myth that one is able to glean intimate knowledge of one’s subject’s life just by looking at them.

In addition, I was not thrilled to hear GymCastic imply that communists are liars and cheaters.

ty
ty
8 years ago
Reply to  Lauren

I love the podcast. I think bringing the age thing up was a little crass. But I also think you are being to sensitive. Suggesting that they are borderline racist is also pretty tacky( because it’s without merrit). They were being bitchy, but not racist. Also those formerly fascist countries seemed to formerly have an issue with getting the ages of their gymnasts right. So that comment was on the mark. China which has a history(2000 is pretty recent actually) of not going by the fig rules and because their government is still run by fascists, will probably always be under suspicions because of their past actions. All of this is however never the actual talented gymnasts of China’s fault. I like you agree that they unfairly receive a lot of negative critism because of their generally diminutive size.

Lauren
Lauren
8 years ago
Reply to  ty

Just so you’re aware, fascism and communism are not the same thing. In case you missed it, they’re actually ideological opposites. Hence, you know, World War II, communists being shot or put in extermination camps by fascists, etc.

I did not hear anyone on the podcast questioning Simone Biles’ age, despite the fact that she looks far younger than 16. Nor did anyone imply that Anna Rodionova is really underage. Why is that? It’s certainly not because they don’t it. To be clear, I don’t think anyone was being deliberately racist – but it’s odd that an Asian gymnast was singled out for this kind of scrutiny.

ty
ty
8 years ago
Reply to  Lauren

I know they are different things… that was the point. Those countries had communist systems, but we’re ran by fascists(meaning they were a wee bit more into cheating and lying than a regular communist country). Also you say that you don’t understand why an Asian is being singled out. She is not being singled out because she is Asian. She is being singled out because she is on team China which is known to have cheated before. Like I said, going forward people will always be suspicious of team China. They have given people a reason to be suspicious because they have cheated many times. Again none of this is Chunsong’s fault, it seems like the gymnasts always suffer because the poor judgment the team China officials have displayed before.

Lauren
Lauren
8 years ago
Reply to  ty

Okay, I really wasn’t going to do this, but I can’t let it slide. Fascism and communism are NOTHING ALIKE. They are, in fact, total opposites. Fascist Germany attacked the Soviet Union in 1941 in large part because communism is fascism’s ideological opposite and to Hitler and fascist Germany, the Soviet Union was the epitome of evil. Fascism =/= communism but worse. Also, totalitarianism =/= fascism.

A central tenet of fascism is the belief that there is a very small natural ruling class which is destined from birth to preside over the masses due to its inherent superiority. This is directly in opposition to the communist belief that all people are born exactly equal and that rule should be shared equally between everyone rather than limited to a select few. Have communist countries done a good job of adhering to this? No. But that does not make them fascist.

If you still do not understand the difference, I suggest you tell a Red Army World War II vet that fascism and communism are the same thing. Assuming you survive the experience, you will remember the difference for the rest of your life.

Margaret Tudor
Margaret Tudor
8 years ago
Reply to  Lauren

Simon Biles is short but she is physically more mature than the Chinese gymnasts and she looks 16 in the face. In fact I would say she looks even older.

ty
ty
8 years ago
Reply to  Margaret Tudor

Lauren you are really dense if you are suggesting that “communist” Romania was not under fascist rule. In the dictionary next to the word fascist there should be a picture of Nicolae Ceau?escu. China as well is known for it similar political leadership. So it is entirely correct to label them fascist. Besides all this, isn’t it so interesting how international gymnastics is so intertwined with politics and always seems to bring out these kind of discussions which aren’t really relevant to the actual performances. Also I don’t think anyone has ever typed the word fascist as much as I have lately. So in conclusion, fascist fascist fascist fascist fascist fascist…

lilah
lilah
8 years ago
Reply to  Lauren

I agree that there are elements of racism in the discussion about gymnasts’ ages but let’s also remember that China has a history of age cheating in recent years that America and Russia do not.

Margaret Tudor
Margaret Tudor
8 years ago
Reply to  Lauren

There are liars and cheaters everywhere. U.S. athletes have been caught using steroids. But North Korean, Chinese, Romanian, and Russian federations have been found to have lied about gymnast’s age. That is a fact. China wasn’t stripped of the 2000 Olympic team gymnastic bronze medal due to racism. It was due to the fact that one of their gymnasts Dong Fangxiao was found to have been underaged at those Olympics. Her teammate Yang Yun was under deep suspicion because she said ON TELEVISION that she was 14 in Sydney. She later backtracked and claimed that she had misspoken. She was allowed to keep her bars medal but was still given a warning by the FIG. And of course in Beijing there were more suspicions raised due to the very young looking He Kexin and Deng Lin Lin. Kexin in particular had been widely reported as 13 the year before in the provinces but China convinced the FIG their gymnasts were not underage at the Beijing Olympics. ‘As if it’s a legitimate concern’? It IS a legitimate concern because lying about gymnasts ages does not make a fair field of play for countries that respect the age rule.

ty
ty
8 years ago

Fight fight fight!

Kirsten
Kirsten
8 years ago

Here are a few of my general thoughts after Worlds:

1. Kyla Ross is becoming the modern-day equivalent of Shannon Miller, as far as consistency, calmness, and elegance, especially on beam.

2. I hope Simone Biles can learn to control her first and last tumbling passes better. This will make her floor routine even better than it already is. And the choreography is rather forgettable too, so hopefully she improves that later in the quad too. But, she had a GREAT Worlds and did an AMAZING job!!!

3. It’s interesting that of the US MAG who qualified for finals, Sam Mikulak is the only one who didn’t get a medal. He was SO CLOSE in the AA though. After pbars, I really thought he was going to medal, but alas, it wasn’t to be. I’m glad he went clean in HB finals after what happened in the AA.

4. Did Simone, Kyla, and McKayla plan to wear the same leos for Day 1 of EF, or did it happen by chance?

5. I’m thrilled that Victoria Moors landed her double double layout! The form could have been a bit better, but she STUCK IT! I wish she had made floor finals, but at least she got the skill named after her.

gymnasthole
gymnasthole
8 years ago
Reply to  Kirsten

I have to agree with all 5 of your points. I agree Simone needs to control her passes or add another skill at the end ala Aly Raisman (as physically insane as that sounds) I also agree Simone needs a better choreographer. She performs what she was given just fine, but she can only work in the confines of what she is given.

Kyla has risen by leaps and bounds with her artistry and projection. She is performing H2T (as Tyra would say). I believe on the previous gymcastic podcast it was mentioned that artistry is what team USA will be focusing a lot on for this next quad and treat it as a 5th rotation.

And good for Moors! It’s a fitting name for that skill if you think about it lol.

Margaret Tudor
Margaret Tudor
8 years ago

After looking at her carefully I think that Shang is the age they say that she is. She looks older in the face. She’s just not going to develop much and is perhaps a little too thin. She’ll probably fill out more once she leaves gymnastics. Gymnasts often do.

Cordelia Price
Cordelia Price
8 years ago

What did I do when Victoria Moors stuck her double double layout. I was taping the routine and right after she got it, you can see the video get real shaky. That’s me celebrating and then I remember I’m taping this so I went back to focusing on videotaping. Here’ my video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ArCu0a-bYec

gymfan
gymfan
8 years ago

A few comments about the Chinese age debate that I think should be pointed out:

1. The Chinese training system requires EXTREME weight control, which delays puberty. These are quotes from an AP interview with Fan Ye:
“I began to control my weight from a very young age, and I did not menstruate until I was 20, the year I entered Peking University. “Our bodies matured very late because we were training so hard and often those in their adolescence had no female features at all. Many aged 18 or 19 still looked like small kids. But we did not take any drugs (to delay maturing). Until I entered the national team, I was not allowed to have meat and rice. Fish was fine, though. Once I was on the team, I began to eat protein powder. I remember we could only drink by the mouthful, and we were all clear about how much weight we could gain from a mouthful of water, like 100 grams. We would weigh ourselves everyday.”
See the interview here: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-07-26/business/sns-rt-oly-chn-fan-adv1-pixl6e8igcar-20120726_1_fan-ye-gymnast-soviet-style-sports-system

And while the Western press can certainly be biased, the Chinese media seems to say similar things. Weight seems to come up alot.

Here is an except from a translation someone posted on a youtube video of a Chinese news clips: “The younger ones are just in their leotards. The older ones might be wearing clothes or sweats to lose weight since they might be going through puberty. So they are wearing these so they can sweat more and lose weight.” Here is the whole video, with translation in the comments: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JpfWI_28TfA

Another youtube video: “Everyday, the gymnasts [including Yao Jinnan and Huang Huidan] have to take their weight and put them on a chart. Gymnastics have a lot to do with the body shape and weight. The lighter you are, the easier it is to do skills.”
http://www.thecouchgymnast.com/cheng-fei-ill-continue-and-persevere/

An article about Cheng Fei:”My diet consists mainly of fruit and water. I’ll have lunch at the dining hall after morning training, and my dinner is just some fruit and water.” http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/olympics/2008-02/14/content_6455284.htm

About Sui Lu: “The women’s team has always been under tight weight control, and this has been on her mind. Sui Lu: Adding weight was always a problem for me, it’s not just now. [laughs] But it worsened a little. But maybe my coaches are not as strict on me. Before competing, I will probably be a little slimmer. Reporter: Sui Lu has a way to lose weight. No matter if it’s running or eating less, she will see results. From starting training to now, she has already lost 3 to 3.5 kilos [6.6 – 7.7 pounds].”
http://www.thecouchgymnast.com/sui-lu-prepares-for-chinese-national-games/

*** Post forbidden. Contains links. Request number d7ab56a501631207f08cc8babba506d1. Antispam service cleantalk.org. ***

Other episodes

Join the club!

28
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x