Episode 104 Transcript

JESSICA: This week: Gabby leaves Chow’s, again; USA Championships; and a cry for help![EXPRESS YOURSELF INTRO MUSIC]

ALLISON TAYLOR: Hey, gymnasts. Elite Sportz Band is cutting edge compression back warmer that can protect your most valued asset: your back. I’m Allison Taylor on behalf of Elite Sportz Band. Visit EliteSportzBand.com. We’ve got your back.

JESSICA: This is episode 104 for July 23, 2014. I’m Jessica, from Masters-Gymnastics.

UNCLE TIM: I’m Uncle Tim, from Uncle Tim Talks Men’s Gym.

ELIZABETH: And I’m Elizabeth Grimsley. You can find me on Twitter @AllFlippedOut.

JESSICA: This is the best gymnastics podcast ever in the history of summers! Because it’s summertime right now, and it’s making me happy. Bringing you all the news from around the gymternet! So, first you guys, we have a very serious cry for help. I got a message from a listener who was like, “I would, you know, I’d donate or whatever it costs to get these done faster.” But you know, it’s really expensive to hire like a full time, someone who does this, like, professionally. It’s like, a dollar a minute. So, yeah, our show’s pretty long and that would cost a lot a lot of money. So what I, what our cry for help is, and especially for the deaf population that enjoys this show but has to wait a long time for the transcripts, I would love to ask any of you out there who have a passion for typing and a passion for gymnastics and for Gymcastic; if you would like to volunteer to be on our transcription team and have your name mentioned at the end of the show. Or you can pick a pen name, a pseudonym to use at the end of the show, we would love, love, love to have you on our transcription team, and we would love to be able to serve this population more and get these done faster for them. So, e-mail me at Gymcastic@gmail.com if you want to be on the transcription team, and I’ll hook you up with our transcription team captain, and it’s incredibly fun. Another was to contribute to the gymternet.

Let’s discuss USA Championships. Scott Bregman was on last week to tell us about how you guys can watch this. Lots of people watched and tweeted us their favorite moments. And we have Elizabeth Grimsley here this week, we’re so excited. She was at the USA Championships, also known as the Everything-But-Artistic-Gymnastics Championships–rhythmic, trampoline, acro, mini tramp. Mini tramp? Double mini, that’s what it’s called. All those sports there in one place. Power tumbling. So, I want to ask you first, Elizabeth, what do you think, I mean the format of this meet is kind of cool, because everything’s put together. And I think, like, there were no breaks. It was one sport, then another sport. What did you think of the format? The commentary, the overall? How did the meet work? What did you think of it?

ELIZABETH: I mean, personally I really liked it. I think it was cool to see all of the lesser known disciplines all in one place. I know a lot of the athletes enjoyed watching the other events that they didn’t really get to see that often. I mean, one of the problems was that the JO competition was at the same time. So the people that came to watch would only come for the discipline they interested in, and then they would leave. So, had a little bit of a spectator problem with the stands not being filled. But overall I think it was a well-run meet and a great idea to have all three together. During the night sessions they had the senior elites, so you had trampoline and rhythmic kind of switching back and forth for the first two rotations. And then for the third rotation it was only acro, and got all the acro competitors out of the way, because there’s only, like, seven pairs and groups competing. There weren’t very many senior elites for that. And then the final two rotations were trampoline and rhythmic alternating again. Double mini and tumbling were held at the convention center, which kind of sucked for those athletes, because they didn’t get to be in the big arena in front of everyone. But there just wasn’t enough space to fit all that equipment in there. So the for future…

JESSICA: Unacceptable.

ELIZABETH: Yeah. So for the future they’re looking for a place that will fit all of the equipment in there.

JESSICA: Ooh! That’s good to hear. Wait, what happened with Elise Ray? Did anybody know who she was, or were they just, you know, “Arthur Davis! Woo!” And then Elise Ray everyone’s like, “What sport is she from?”

ELIZABETH: Yeah, there were huge cheers for Arthur Davis, and the rhythmic girl, and the trampoline national team member, and everything. And then they were like, “2000 Bronze Medalist at the Olympics, Elise Ray!” And I mean, there was polite applause, but I don’t think the people really know who they were [LAUGHTER], who she was, so I kind of felt bad for her. [LAUGHTER]

UNCLE TIM: I was going to say. I was listening to at home, and Elise Ray totally carried that broadcast. Peter Dodd. I don’t even know how to put it. Like, how, in high school I had this chemistry teacher, and my lab mate lit his sweater on fire with a Bunsen burner, and [LAUGHTER] our chem teacher was like, “Oh, Andy, your sweater’s on fire.” And just completely calm, just like… [LAUGHTER] And that was Peter Dodd. If this stadium were on fire, he’d get over the loudspeaker and say, “[MONOTONE] Guys, I think we need to evacuate.” Just very monotone. And Elise was just like, on it, fiery, she had all the NCAA experience, and then there’s Peter, just very, very calm. [LAUGHS]

JESSICA: I was like, “Wow. She’s really good at this.” And, oh! And then when they showed Arthur Davis, who for everybody at home who doesn’t know him, like, oh my God. He’s like a bazillion time world champ, and he does, like, tons of choreography. You should totally follow him on Instagram–you get little snidbits of his choreography. I love it. I’m just like, “Can we please move him to artistic, directly to the ranch, and get some performance quality out of everyone?” Like, he draws you in. His choreography is so good. But anyway, he’s a giant! I had no idea! I always thought he just looked that big, like seven feet tall and built like a Greek god, because he was next this diminutive woman, but he’s like, oh my. How tall do you think he is? Was he, did he dwarf everyone in that place?

ELIZABETH: He was definitely over six feet. And more than the average six feet height. He’s very, very tall. And not, like, the lanky tall either. He’s big.

JESSICA: Yeah. I mean, I don’t know if you saw a close up. He literally was ripping through his shirt. [UNCLE TIM LAUGHS] Which I appreciated very much. Okay, so, on to the important things. Let’s talk about results. There were some first timers, there were some repeats, who were the surprises this year?

ELIZABETH: Well, I mean, to me, even though Jeff Gluckstein, for the senior trampoline men, won last year, I said, “He’s always a sleeper.” You hear about Steven Gluckstein, you hear about Logan Dooley, you, I mean, recently we’ve been hearing about Neil Gulati, but Jeff has just been consistent, flying under the radar. He does his thing, he does his routines, he gets down, and he wins. So I mean, he’s just been solid. And then Charlotte Drury won her first senior trampoline title [JESSICA CHEERS], yes.

JESSICA: So excited for her!

ELIZABETH: [LAUGHS] And she pretty much was in a league of her own. A lot of the other girls didn’t really have the difficulty to stay up with her. Shaylee Dunavin, who’s also her synchro partner, was in second. And they were kind of really the two who pushed themselves out in front of the rest. They also, the both won the synchro title as well. Dakota Earnest, she messed up a little bit, so she finished third, but she’s also one of those big names that people hear about all the time. For rhythmic, Rebecca Sereda won last year and she won again this year. She tied with Jazzy Kerber, who got silver last year.

JESSICA: [GASPS] A tie in rhythmic?

ELIZABETH: The first tie ever. They were actually tied after the third event as well, so they kept the tie. They both got 16.7s in the final event to finish it off.

JESSICA: That’s interesting. Mm hmm. You know I suspect a conspiracy, ’cause it’s rhythmic. [LAUGHTER]

ELIZABETH: And then of course the world bronze medalist from last week in acro, Kiley Boynton and Ryan Ward took that title as well. So it was a lot of back to back champions. And then on the double mini and tumbling side, that was at the convention center, so not as many people got to watch that. But you have Yulia Stankevich Brown, whose, I mean she’s been around forever, she’s 38 years old, so she’s got a lot experience under her belt. She won her second title in row. And then on tumbling for the men Austin Nacey won. He was a world competitor last year. He won gold in the team competition, I think it was for double mini that they won that. But he won the tumbling title, and that was the first title in eight years, I think, that someone new had won? Since Kalon Ludvigson had won all those past years. But since he’s hurt they needed to have a new champion. So.

JESSICA: It was interesting watching–oh wait! Did everybody hear that? 38 years old is the tumbling women’s champion? Yes, 38. That’s right. Mm hmm. This is the sport for you. You know who should really do this sport, I think, is Alyssa Pritchett. She’s one of the gymnasts that was college gymnasts going for elite right now. She would totally be a national champion if she did this sport. Like, right now. She’d be going to Worlds, she could go to World Cups. Like, I totally want her to switch into this. And you know who else should do it? Is Kat…


JESSICA: From Arkansas.

UNCLE TIM: Oh, Grable.

JESSICA: Grable.

UNCLE TIM: Katherine Grable.

JESSICA: Yes. She should totally do it too, because she would also be winning all the things. So, yeah…


JESSICA: Go ahead.

ELIZABETH: Alyssa Pritchett was actually there coaching her gymnasts at the junior competition, the Junior Olympic competition, because she, she coaches trampoline kids, I think. So I saw her there.

JESSICA: Halfway there. Right now. She should just move over. [ELIZABETH LAUGHS] Yes, okay.

UNCLE TIM: Have either of you tried, tried, have either of your tried double mini?


ELIZABETH: I feel like I would kill myself.

JESSICA: Like, do you mean actually doing flips? Or just like, run and jump and see if you can jump on the next part of the trampoline?

UNCLE TIM: [LAUGHS] I guess that counts. I haven’t even tried that. I feel like–can we agree that they’re kind of the craziest people on earth, in the world of sports?

ELIZABETH: Yes. Yes. How do you even train for that? [UNCLE TIM LAUGHS] I have to, I mean, you can’t go into the pit, because then your timings off and you won’t land on the trampoline again. So, I mean, you just, you just chuck it.

JESSICA: It’s terrifying. They’re, seriously, it’s like a whole different world. That, it’s like, not even, I don’t want to compare it to X-Games, because it’s even scarier than that because, I don’t know why I think it’s scarier than that, but I do. [LAUGHS] Maybe because I’ve flipped, but I haven’t ridden a motorcycle. But I would like to. But you, you run as fast as you can. And then you do that stuff. It’s not like you, you know, control, stay as low to the ground as you can. It’s like, ballistic. That’s the part that’s so crazy. I told you guys about that thing I went to in Vancouver, that World Cup where the double mini guy fell. They had it on the vault runway on the podium, and the guy fell off the podium. [NERVOUS LAUGHTER]

UNCLE TIM: Oh my gosh.

JESSICA: Yeah, it was…

UNCLE TIM: I can see that happening.

JESSICA: It was almost like a Daniel Purvis onto the judges, but no one was there. So he just like, “Plop.” And then he was gone, into darkness. You couldn’t see anything.

ELIZABETH: I think it’s the worst idea to put something like that on a podium, considering the podium adds more bounce, and they’re already getting extreme height in the air. That just sounds like it would end in disaster.

JESSICA: Which it did, exactly. [LAUGHTER] Wise words, Elizabeth.

Okay, so we love our wipeouts and our crashes, and, because you know gymnastics is the best sport for wipeouts and crashes. But trampoline has a really good way to deal with this. How, can you describe for people how trampoline and double mini, kind of the safety precautions that they have, and how it’s different from gymnastics?

ELIZABETH: Yeah, so with trampoline, there’s four spotters. There’s one kind of on each corner. And they have to be there, it’s not like, “Oh, I think I’ll be fine, you don’t have to stand there.” They have to be there. And then one of them, there’s one on the side, and their job is to hold this little four inch mat so that if the gymnast goes off to the side, or looks like he’s about to fly off the trampoline, you just slid the mat in and it stops the bounce so you don’t have a Stick It moment where the coach just, like, flings off [LAUGHTER] onto the concrete.

UNCLE TIM: “Did you hurt your weenis?” [LAUGHTER]

JESSICA: You guys, this is totally my kind of sport, were you don’t, it’s not like you ask the coach to stand there, they have to stand there at all times. Because I would always be the one like, “Can you just stand there? I don’t need a spot, but can you just stand there?” But in this sport it’s required. I mean, ooh! What could be better? I love it!

ELIZABETH: Yeah, so, I mean, at one point one of the kids was way, way off and one of the spotters–I mean, you have to be on. He caught this kid in midair so he wouldn’t go crashing to the ground.

JESSICA: And what happened with the guy…

ELIZABETH: Spenser Reed?

JESSICA: Yes, thank you!


JESSICA: What happened with him? [LAUGHS] Exactly.

ELIZABETH: I mean, it wasn’t even his optional routine when he was doing all of the crazy difficult skills. He was doing his compulsory routine, I think he had just done a like double back or something, and he must have just been way off to the side. And he jumped where the springs were, and his foot went through that area and in between the springs. So once he pulled it out they had to replace it. And I don’t know if it was just a precautionary thing or if he had messed up one of the springs or something.

JESSICA: Seriously, it looked like, from the video, which you guys can see on our website, because we always put the playlists up, you, it looks like he just goes through the bottom of the trampoline. I didn’t realize it was springs until sort of afterwards. I mean, I actually thought his foot went through the bottom. [UNCLE TIM LAUGHS] I was like, “How is that possible?” Oh my God, it’s so funny, like seriously, I’m so glad he’s okay. Like, they have very good safety precautions I feel like in this sport.

ELIZABETH: Yeah, I’m actually surprised that more people don’t get hurt with some of the crashes that you see, but, because if you’re sitting high enough up you can see exactly where they’re about to land and when they’re going to go awry. But it still scares you because, I mean, it’s crazy.

JESSICA: Because they’re like a hundred feet in the air? [LAUGHTER] Oh my God. So speaking of a hundred feet in the air, which routines or which skills totally blew your mind this weekend?

ELIZABETH: I’d say most of the routines that just made my jaw drop were on double mini. Austin White did a triple pike half out onto the first part of the double mini and then a triple pike half or something like that off. It was just insane. I mean, you don’t see that, ever, in artistic gymnastics. It’s just, I mean, crazy. And then Austin Nacey, did basically same thing. He, I mean he, he might have done an arabian something with triples and halfs out, and it’s actually hard to tell what they all do because they twist so fast and they flip so fast. And Austin Nacey stuck his, so I mean, it was just insane. You have to do all those flips, and then you stick it? I mean, it’s crazy.

JESSICA: The amount of sticking was so impressive to me. The boys…

ELIZABETH: Yeah, and I have to mention for tumbling, Jerrett Jensen–the first day of prelims, so there’s no video of it–but he did all these, like, I think he did round off back handspring double layout, and then like five whips, and then he did a double twisting double back, and then he just stuck it. And the crowd went wild. That was one of the times when the crowd was like, really into it. I think he even was surprised that he had stuck that pass. [LAUGHTER]

UNCLE TIM: Did he do a huge smile? I was so impressed with how the boys smile. Like, it’s NCAA girls’ smiles at the end of their routines. I was just like, “Wow. You guys are so smiley compared to the men, who are…” At least in NCAA mens are like, “Grrr! Hulk Smash!” [JESSICA LAUGHS]

ELIZABETH: Yeah, I think you could tell that these guys were just here to have fun. I mean, obviously they wanted to win, they wanted to make the national team. But it was way more relaxed than an artistic meet. There were, you could tell that the pressure wasn’t as high. I mean, they were just joking around, they were having fun. People wolf whistled to Drew Collins, and he wolf whistled back, and… [LAUGHTER] I mean, it was, it was just a fun atmosphere.

JESSICA: [LAUGHING] Speaking of whistling, why, what’s with when the people are running down their ridiculously long runway to then hurl themselves into double layout, and then another double layout, and then like a triple back flip, in the tumbling sport, they, there’s just like all this whistling going on in the middle! Like when their hurdling. Like, what, who, who’s whistling? What’s happening?

ELIZABETH: Okay. So this is Alex Renkert. So at first I thought it was the equipment or something, when he was running it was squeaking, but I realized that it’s him when he runs. I think that he, it’s the way he holds his mouth, and when he breathes, because he’s running so fast it just comes out as a whistle? [LAUGHTER]

JESSICA: That is the weirdest thing.

ELIZABETH: But I don’t really know. Maybe it’s a thing that he does to calm him down, or, I don’t even know. [LAUGHS]

JESSICA: People have, which I can totally understand, because as everyone knows I’m a totally scaredy-cat of everything, People have like, the most elaborate preparations before they start their tumbling run. Like I have never seen before. Like, nothing compares to this. Can you describe Kristie Lowell’s preparation before she runs?

ELIZABETH: Yeah, hers is definitely the most unusual that I’ve seen. She does, she puts her foot out like a normal person would do, preparing for vault or double mini, or whatever. And then she scoots back and forth like, three different times. And then she prepares again, and then she goes. And I mean, I guess it works because she’s a world champion in the event, but it’s definitely a little bit strange.

JESSICA: It’s like how the triple jump people do all, do their stuff in regular track and field; combined with a nervous level five; combined with the regular, oh my God, this sport is insane, like, pumping yourself up look on her face.[JESSICA and ELIZABETH LAUGH] I loved it. I loved it. Because I’m like, “Yes. It’s that hard. That’s how you have to get ready, right there. That’s how scary this sport is.” [LAUGHTER] So I always brag about how these sports are so great for adults because you can be, you can have a full time job and do one of these sports. You can kids and do one of these sports. You can be a regular adults and do these sports. They are, and as Charlotte Drury said when she was on the show, “There is life after artistic gymnastics.” And all of these sports represent all of the other great sports that you can compete in. Can you tell us about some of the older competitors that you saw there?

ELIZABETH: Yeah, so Yulia Steinkovich Brown is 38 years old. She’s in Chusovitina territory. She’s been going forever, I think she’s Russian born, but she moved to the US. She got married, like, five-six years ago, and she’s still going. In tumbling world. And it’s not like she’s doing easy skills. She’s doing full in double layouts, she’s doing double pikes and other fulls in, full ins, and I mean, it’s not easy stuff that she’s doing.

JESSICA: And how about the different body shapes and sizes in these sports. I feel like you can have Beyoncé hip and Nicki Minaji legs and do these sports. There isn’t… there weren’t… Like, in gymnastics, I feel like when you get to elite gymnastics, like everyone kind of has the body shape where they have zero hips. They’re just, like, from shoulders to hips is just like the same width. And here there was so much variety.

ELIZABETH: Yeah. In rhythmic especially, the stereotype is stick skinny Russian girl, or Russian born who is able to bend her back into and touch the back of her legs. But there was one girl, Hannah Walter, who was normal sized. I mean, next to a stick skinny girl she would have looked bigger. But I mean, she’s skinnier than me, she’s normal. And she, I mean, she’s obviously good, she’s made it Nationals, she’s an elite rhythmic gymnast. But she used that to her advantage. She did more dynamic skills, she did like, straddle jumps and those, like, butterfly kick things in her routines, rather than all of the flexibility moves. And I think she finished twelfth, so it obviously paid off.

JESSICA: There was another girl too who I was watching, who had, like, totally buff legs. Like, I know they’re, it’s kind of like the acrobatic ballet put together, and ballet totally has this type. But it was just great to see body types outside of what you see at the World Championships and Olympics, and that they’re being successful, and that they’re doing great. And just to see that variety. I thought it was really encouraging. So if you’re someone out there who thinks you don’t have the right body type for gymnastics, watch USA Championships and you will see every kind of type that there is. It was very inspiring, I thought, to watch.

So, very important question as we get deeper into rhythmic gymnastics territory. Rebecca Sereda used “Happy” by Leona Lewis for her ribbon routine; it was very dramatic. So, what do you guys think, because this has lyrics in it. So what do you guys think of using top 40 music, with lyrics, for rhythmic routines?

UNCLE TIM: I don’t know. I feel like rhythmic is the summer Olympic version of figure skating. And so I just expect, like, big, dramatic from like operas. From Carmina Burana or something. And I don’t know. I personally, it just doesn’t really fit my image of rhythmic, and so it seems a little weird for me.

ELIZABETH: I liked Rebecca’s routine. I mean, some of the other ones… Like, someone used some Jennifer Lopez song, I don’t remember what it was. But that just didn’t fit. But with something like this, it was nice. It seemed to go with her routine, it was her ribbon routine. I think it fit well. At first I didn’t realize that that was the song she was using, because they started to play the music before she was ready, so they had to start it over. And I was like, “Oh, that’s embarrassing, they used that pop music for her ribbon routine.” [LAUGHTER] And then they played it again and she started going, and I was like, “Oh, that’s her actual music!” But, I mean, I heard it like four different times while I was there, so it grew on me.

JESSICA: So, I’m totally torn about this. On one hand, I’m like, “No! Tradition! Should never change it!” But on the other hand, I think it can work. Because there were definitely moments in this where she was dancing to the lyrics, not the music, and it was really beautiful, and it went so well, and it was really powerful. And other times, I feel like it could be a disaster. Like, it could go so badly. So I just feel like, as long as Arthur Davis is in charge, it would be fine. So, and I know this is rhythmic. But he should choreograph everything, I’ve already decided. So there’s that.

Now, let’s talk about fashion. Oh! So we talked a little bit about the acro last week, with the fashion and how the US also rocks some pink, and the men wear their–they’re not tights, they’re not like the men’s tights, they’re like pants–boot cut pants, they don’t have the stirrups. Let’s be clear. So, Catherine Gonzales in rhythmic, she wore a kind of like leo skirt, like… I don’t know what these are called. You know, like a leotard with a skirt. Like a skate.

ELIZABETH: Yeah, a lot of the rhythmic girls have it. I think Jazzy Kerber, one of hers was like a sheer skirt on it, so you could see through. It was weird. But I kind of liked it. I don’t know.


ELIZABETH: It was intriguing.

JESSICA: And this, this skirt on Catherine Gonzalez, her skirt was something I’d never seen. Normally they’re very flat and they don’t have any, like, lift in them. They’re not, like, ballet-tutu at all, but this one, it was totally different. I don’t know… I don’t have the right kind of vocabulary.

ELIZABETH: It kind of reminded me of a grass skirt.

JESSICA: Yes! Thank you! The thing that came to mind with me, because it looked like it moved in separate pieces, but also all at once, so it kind of reminded me of, like her music and her skirt reminded me of, oh. I had her name, right before. Uncle Tim, you’re going to have to help me with this. Oh! Josefine Baker, and how she used to perform with the banana skirt. That’s what it reminded me. She had that sort of like jungley music. And I actually really liked it. At first I was like, “This looks weird.” But then it totally added something where normally I feel like the outfits are so over the top that they take away.

UNCLE TIM: I didn’t necessarily like the colors of her outfit, I was more focused on the colors. So the top was this kind of pastel hot pink, and the bottom was this kind of neon sea foam green, and it just reminded me of the snap bracelets. The slap, pardon. Slap bracelets that I had as a child in the late ’80s early ’90s, whenever we had those. I was just kind of like, “Eh. I’m not really a fan of these colors.” But I mean, it’s rhythmic. It always looks like a bax, box of Crayola crayons has thrown up [LAUGHTER] on the girls. So I really don’t know what to say.

ELIZABETH: [JESSICA LAUGHS] I mean, what got me was that the pink underneath her skirt did not match the pink on the top part of her leotard.

JESSICA: It was like an umbra fade of a leotard, but then the skirt, it looked like it was a separate piece. And when you were talking about the kind of watermelon effect, I felt it did have, does have, it did have the watermelon colors.


JESSICA: Like, from the rind to the inside. [ELIZABETH LAUGHS] I had delicious watermelon yesterday.

UNCLE TIM: She just needed some seeds. [LAUGHTER]

ELIZABETH: Well, I mean, with all the rhinestones you can just consider those the seeds.

UNCLE TIM: [LAUGHS] There you go!

JESSICA: So, Uncle Tim, there is a picture that you have been obsessing over on the USA Gymnastics Facebook page. Everyone should go to check out the great–they put up so many pictures. So, describe this for us and tell us why you’re obsessed with it. Because you’re obsessed with acro now. Like out of control.

UNCLE TIM: I am. I’m obsessed with all the acro photos on the USA Gym Facebook page. But this one in particular is of Diana Tatevossian and Donna Tatevossian and Alexandria Alaman. And I don’t know who’s who in this photo, but it doesn’t really matter. The base is basically doing a lunge, and she has her arms stretched over her head, and she’s holding up a girl in a handstand doing a straddle split. That’s kind of normal. But! And I was like, “Oh, whatever, whatever.” And then I look, and there’s another girl on the back of the base’s leg, so the leg stretched behind her. And she is doing a one armed handstand on this girl’s calf. So this girl is holding up two gymnasts. One in her hands and one on her calf. And I’m like, “How can you even so that?” Like, what if you get, like, an itch or something? What are you going to do? I don’t know, what…



ELIZABETH: I think the girl’s other hand is on the shoulder of the base to kind of hold her up.

UNCLE TIM: I refuse to accept that. [LAUGHTER]

JESSICA: What, do you think this sport, acro just looks, like, so painful. Can you imagine having someone’s entire weight on your calf muscle for like, a minute? That would so hurt!

UNCLE TIM: Yeah. I couldn’t do it.

JESSICA: I was noticing when we were watching that little comedy bit, which is hilarious, where John Macready tries to balance one of the girls. [LAUGHTER] Oh my God, you guys have to watch this, because his, he’s so good at this. Like, his face, I was totally laughing. So he’s trying to balance her, like, and then I was noticing in the picture their hands are at angle. So they’re, you’re not holding your wrists flat when you balance someone, you’re holding them at like, a forty-five degree angle. And Elizabeth, you were telling me that the way they practice is this way too.

ELIZABETH: Yeah, they, a lot of the girls had these, I guess they’re made out of wood. It’s like a piece of 2×4 up straight and then there’s a base to make it be able to stand on the ground. And then there’s a square piece of wood that’s tilted at an angle, kind of like the girl’s hand. And they have two of them. So I guess is emulates being held up, and I guess that’s how they practice holding their handstands and their different balance elements.

JESSICA: Well, we’re going to have to get to the bottom of all of this next week when we talk to Kristin Allen and Michael Rodriguez, world champions. So…

UNCLE TIM: You know what we’re going to have to ask them? How many times he got kicked in the man area doing this.

JESSICA: Right? And I want to ask her too, “How do you get used to going to practice and just straddling some dudes face?” Like, over and over and over and over again and getting thrown in the air? [ELIZABETH LAUGHS] Like, you’re all sweaty, and like, if they just, like, we just come to know each other, and just…

ELIZABETH: Especially since there’s such a big age difference between most of the people. Like, Kiley Boynton is 15 and Ryan Ward is 24 or 25. I mean, it must have been awkward at first.

JESSICA: Right, and then I wonder, well, maybe it’s just really not like that. You actually are just like, it just looks like that but you’re actually like, you just, like, duck your hips under and it’s more like a dance. I don’t know. We have to get to the bottom of all of this. So many questions. So many inappropriate questions. We have to ask.

UNCLE TIM: So in MAJOR NCAA news, it was a big surprise for all of us. Alabama head coach Sarah Patterson has retired, and it’s kind of surprising given that she has–I don’t even remember how many wins–and how many seasons, over 30 seasons, and I think over 3,000…


UNCLE TIM: 36, yeah, 36 seasons. I think over 3,000 wins or something. It’s just kind of crazy. She has retired, and it’s largely due to her knees. And her physicians told her, “Hey, you need to stop walking for a little while and get knee replacements.” And David, her husband, will be retiring as well. Which means Dana Duckworth will be taking over. Dana competed for Alabama in the late ’80s, and she was an NCAA beam champ, and she’s been helping the team for quite some time now. And what did you guys think of this transition? Let’s start with you, this time, Elizabeth. Because you’re at Georgia, the longtime rival of Alabama, so tell me what you think.

ELIZABETH: Well, going to the video where Dana Duckworth gave that first interview, she was talking about how their situation is completely different, how they’re keeping basically the same staff as they had last year. And what I’m thinking when I’m watching this is that Georgia kept the same staff, the years after Suzanne Yoculan retired. They still had Jay, they still had Doug, they still had Julie. So nothing changed, and it went downhill. So I’m not really sure where she was getting the whole, “Our situation…” I mean, I’m sure most of the situation is completely different, but in that aspect it seems pretty similar to me. So, I mean, I don’t know if she’ll be able to hold the reins and kind of be a stronger head coach and lead them to more success, as opposed to what Jay Clark did. And he struggled and had to resign. But I mean, I just, I don’t know how that will pan out.

UNCLE TIM: So, The Balance Beam Situation wrote a post about the difference between Suzanne and Sarah, and he basically said that there is a difference between the two. Suzanne was very much the cult of Suzanne and the fact that she–I don’t think he said this, but it’s implied–the fact that she would do almost anything to win in the whole, focus was on winning. Whereas with Sarah, it’s much more kind of a, “Yes, there’s winning.” But there’s more focus on the girls and the fact the girls are ladies and good southern belles kind of thing. And therefore he doesn’t know that Dana will have as many problems, just because the focus wasn’t as much on winning for Alabama. What do you think of that, Elizabeth?

ELIZABETH: I mean, from what I’ve seen from a lot of the girls, they’re very open to the change. And they love Dana, and they love everything that she’s about, and, I mean, she’s been there for forever as well, so they know her coaching style. So, I do think it’s different. I don’t think it’s the same as when Suzanne left. Suzanne kind of left on top, and she was like, “Yeah, I’m going to leave.” And she took pretty much all of her best gymnasts with her because they were graduating. So, I mean agree with that.

UNCLE TIM: And what do you think, Jessica? I know you probably have many opinions. [LAUGHTER] But let’s say, if you were a freshman committed to Alabama, would this change your mind about going there?

JESSICA: I think unless I was a student who was going to Alabama specifically because they had a major that I could not get at a gymnastics scholarship and get that major in the same place, if that were the case, then it probably would change my mind. Or if I’d gone on my visit and I’d loved the program except that I couldn’t stand Duckworth, then that might change my mind. [LAUGHTER] But I really think, you know, it’s supposed to be about education so it shouldn’t matter, but the head coach is the program. I mean, the head coach sets the tone. It’s so important. And this, this is they’re losing two coaches. Basically, you know, two head coaches they’re losing, the technical coach and the head cheese. So it’s, I don’t know, it’s even a bigger deal than I think of, exactly like Elizabeth said, then what happened at Georgia. Because there basically only one person was leaving and they were keeping the technical coach. This is like, all new. Oh, so maybe Dana is like the technical coach, I don’t know actually. That might be not that much of a change. But…

ELIZABETH: She does a lot of beam and choreography stuff. I mean, I don’t know what else she does, but I know those were her main focuses.

JESSICA: Yeah. But I have to say, like, for me, if I just loved, loved, loved that head coach, and that was the reason I wanted to go there, then I might stay because I might feel that they were going to, that their legacy was going to be strong and it would be the same kind of place. But I don’t know. I don’t think it would be…

UNCLE TIM: Where would you go?

JESSICA: Where would I go?


JESSICA: Instead of Alabama?


JESSICA: I mean, I guess if that was the kind of, I mean guess Georgia or Florida, I think, are kind of the programs that are like that. I feel like LSU is totally different. I feel like LSU is more like the California of the South. I don’t know why I think that, but I think politically and otherwise it’s totally different from the rest of the South. I don’t have any basis for that other than all the HBO shows I watch. So… [LAUGHTER]

UNCLE TIM: What do you think, Elizabeth, as someone who’s lived in the South? [LAUGHTER]

ELIZABETH: Oh, well, I mean, I’d say Georgia and Alabama are more similar, but Florida is a lot different. If you were signed on to go to Alabama, I don’t know if you would pick either of those. But I mean, it brings up the whole Simone Biles situation, where she’s choosing between Alabama and UCLA. I’m curious to see if this coaching change affects her decision.

JESSICA: And what do you think about the whole Georgia, what they talked about in this whole Suzanne and…and…and… you know the SEC…


JESSICA: Sarah, yeah. You know, the SEC show when, where they cut out all the juicy stuff because they kept threatening to sue each other. So, when they talked about how it was the Southern Belles versus the Bad Girls, I was like, “What?! Who thinks that?” That’s like, I have never heard, I was like [LAUGHTER], somebody just make that up? Is that like something Suzanne just made up just to have a marketing pitch against Alabama? I was like, “Southern belles? People still say that?” I clearly am completely ignorant about this entire SEC situation. [ELIZABETH LAUGHS] So, is that a real thing, do people really talk about that?

ELIZABETH: No. I mean, I could see Georgia as the, like, the hard core team or whatever. But Alabama, in my opinion, are not the southern belles. I would not, that would not come to mind when thinking about Alabama.

JESSICA: Is there a school that has the southern belles?


JESSICA: Right? I was like…

ELIZABETH: I don’t think of gymnasts as being southern belles. I think of southern belles as being prim and proper and not hard core anything. And to be a gymnast you have to be tough, and I don’t associate those two things together.

JESSICA: Right? I think of that bratty chick in the movie, that’s like the longest movie ever about the South and the Civil War. [SIGHS] It’s so… there’s like rape scene. And it made me laugh, which is terrible, [ELIZABETH LAUGHS] but apparently people didn’t think it was a rape scene, but it totally is, because she likes it in the end. Gone with the Wind. [ELIZABETH LAUGHS] That’s it. Gone with the Wind. That’s how they define it, in like… that’s what all the review say. That’s what I think of southern belles. Like, a brat. A total brat. And I…

UNCLE TIM: See, I think of pearls. Which gymnastics team would be more likely to show up in a pearl necklace? And I would say it’s Alabama still. I think that Sarah Patterson crafted the image of them as southern ladies, and I would say they’d be the most likely to show up in a pearl necklace.

JESSICA: Well, we’re going to have to compare the photos of what they, both teams wore when they went to the White House. And decide. [LAUGHTER]

UNCLE TIM: I, so, I think, going back to this whole, “Would you leave to go, I don’t know, to go to another program,” and I think, I don’t know, I’d give it a shot. You know, one of Sarah Patterson’s favorite stories about Dana Duckworth is the fact that she failed her first round of tests in every class at Alabama her freshman year. [LAUGHTER]

ELIZABETH: How did that even happen?

UNCLE TIM: [LAUGHS] I don’t know. But, by the end of the semester she had all As. [LAUGHTER] So I don’t know, I feel like Dana might’ve had a party girl in her or something at the beginning of her freshman year, and she, she knew what college experience was like or something, I don’t know. But I feel like there’s a little something there to her. And I feel like there are a lot of similarities between Dana and Sarah, because if you listen to the interview with Dana, it’s very deliberate. Very, every word is very well chosen. And to use the French expression, she’s looking for the mot jus, and she, that’s very Sarah, if you’ve ever been in a press conference with her. She doesn’t just kind of say whatever’s on her mind and talk about random things and her female cycle helping her choreograph better, nothing like that. [LAUGHTER] It’s much more…

JESSICA: LACK of a cycle. The LACK of it.

UNCLE TIM: The lack of… whatever. [LAUGHTER] And yeah, I think she, you know, she’s very much in that same line, and just in general I’ve enjoyed watching the Alabama girls kind of comment on it. And one of the interesting comments on Twitter was, “Like the man who hired her, Sarah Patterson ain’t never been nothing but a winner.” We’ll just ignore all those double negatives. [LAUGHTER] And, but “Sarah Patterson ain’t never been nothing but a winner. And she did it in heels.” And I don’t know why I like that, it’s just kind of like, yeah. Yeah, she accomplished as much as the men in her athletic department, and she was a woman, and take that world. Because she came up in the South where things are a little different back then, I’m assuming, in the ’70s.

JESSICA: Yes. I would say her accomplishments are much more noteworthy than any white man in the South really, because, or anywhere, because for her in the ’70s to build a program to what it is, it’s not even comparable to what a man would have to go through. Like, it’s, like, it’s a hundred times harder and more incredible that she built what she did. But I have to remind you, if you wanted to stay at that school and you wanted to try it out, the SEC has that two rule where you can’t transfer. And if you do transfer without the head coach letting you out of your transfer, then you have to sit out for two years. Does that change your mind?

UNCLE TIM: Hmm. I don’t know. I don’t think so. I mean, if I’m going to Alabama I’m probably going there for reasons. It might be the culture, it’s probably, it might be the tradition. You know. I don’t think that Sarah had the same, like, “We’re going to win at all costs” attitude that Susan Yoculan. Yes, she has the tradition of winning, but I think it was a very different culture. You know. If I was in Simone Biles’ case, situation, I’d be asking myself, “Would I want a former ballet dancer as my coach?” Because that brings a whole different level to your coaching and what it means for your body, and yeah. I don’t know if I, as a human being, could handle that.

JESSICA: An interesting perspective. Which brings us to the next segment. We got tons of letters, and we’re going to answer a lot of them. And we got the weirdest voice mail we have ever, ever got. You guys, I could not stop laughing when I listened to this. Oh my God. So, one thing I wanted to let you guys know about our letters, we really read everything. And seriously, there are some letters that I keep thinking about, and I haven’t responded to yet, or none of us has had time to get back to yet. But like, there’s this guy, I’m talking to you, the guy who’s the lawyer in Texas. Who wrote us, who did the backflip in court. I, [LAUGHS] we think about you all the time, and we talk to you, and we talk about you when we’re chatting. “What do we say, what do we ask him for? How can we use him? Oh my God.” So we’re thinking about you. We’re thinking about you all the time. And everyone who writes us. We’re just, you know. It’s not like we have a giant staff here. So, you know, we’re going our best. And thank you, and we will get back to, you will hear from us. I promise you eventually. So anyway, before we get to the gymternet news and your letters, we got to pay some bills. So to remind you guys how you can help us pay our bills here at Gymcastic, you can donate, yes, just like five dollars a month. One dollar a month. A thousand dollars a month. Whatever you’d like to give is okay with us. Which someone asked me to make it bigger and more prominent, and so I will be doing that. Thank you, to the person that asked me to do that. I felt like, “I should make it really small, because you know…” But now it’s going to be gigantic and I’m going to put it right at the top. So the donate button, you can do that. You can review us on iTunes or Stitcher, so just log in there and say, “I love this show, I couldn’t live without it,” or give it five stars, or pass it on to your friends, and all that stuff. And of course you can shop through our Amazon link. And you can shop for whatever. You can buy a refrigerator or one sock in there, and a little portion of what you spend comes back to the show without any cost to your product. So, or you can buy the Louis Smith book. Because we’re doing our book club. You could buy the book there and send in your questions for Louis Smith, because he will be here in August. Have you bought your book yet? Elizabeth, are you in the club? Have you read the book?

ELIZABETH: I got the book for Christmas.

JESSICA: Awesome! Okay.

ELIZABETH: But I have not had a chance to read it yet. [LAUGHS]

JESSICA: Now’s the time. Now is the perfect time.


JESSICA: In the gymternet news. The major, major, major news, of course, is that Gabby has left Chow’s once again. She went back for about three or four months. Went to camp, looked great, Marta was raving about her, we saw the video from USA Gymnastics. But as we were reported last week on the show, we had been hearing that she wasn’t at practice for a while and that she had moved on, and unfortunately, that is the case. So Chow said that she was there for a trial period, and then they were going to reassess, and then she had to make a decision to train there or go somewhere else. And she… well, he doesn’t say she. He says, “As I talked to her, I respect her opinion on her decision.” Gabby didn’t give any details, but she said, “I am committed to Rio, I’m not going to let anything get in the way of that.” There’s a lot rumors going around about what’s happening and what went on with this decision. So my question for you guys is: Number one, how do you think this, what do you think this means for Gabby’s success this year? Do you think we will see her at Championships or at Worlds this year?

UNCLE TIM: I’m going to say no. I don’t think we’ll see her at Championships this year. It’s how… I mean, it’s what? Roughly ten days away from the US Secret Classic, a couple more weeks after that is the P&G Championships. I’m guessing that when you’re switching your gyms this close, it’s not going to pan out for you this year. That’s just my guess though. You know, whether we’ll see her next year, that’s a different question. But I’m going to say no. What about you, Elizabeth.

ELIZABETH: Yeah, I’m going to have to agree, and on the off chance that we do see her, I think she would pull a Nastia and just compete one event, watered down routines. But I, I don’t see it happening this year.

JESSICA: I don’t know, I’m thinking one event is, one or two is probably the most likely, I figure that’s probably what she’s most working on anyway. In my heart of hearts, because you know I like to tell people what to do, I would like for Nastia, Chellsie Memmel, and Dominque Moceanu to invite Gabby, Gabby alone, nobody else–not her agent, not her lawyers, not her mom, not her sister, not her best friend, not any of her coaches. I would just like Nastia to invite all of them to her apartment in Manhattan. And with the glorious views that she always Instagrams, which I enjoy looking at. And I would like them to just chat, I would like them to have a moment to ask Gabby, “So what’s going on? How are you feeling? Nothing leaves this room.” And I want them to just share how they became champions and what went wrong, and what went right. Because I think there is a very clear distinction in their lives about what led to their success and what led to their downfall in certain areas. I think they have a lot of wisdom to give on this. And I think they could really help her, and I think they know the right people that could help her. And I just feel like, and they also should hire an arbitrator if that doesn’t work. Because you know there’s people who just, this is what they do for a living. They get paid to go when two parties can’t agree on something, they go in and hear both sides and help them come to an agreement. Like, I’m sure USA Gymnastics has one on staff. Like, get an arbitrator and just go in there and solve this with Chow. Because Chow is your dream coach. Like, somehow you have to make it happen. Whatever the problem is, someone can solve this for you. Like, just get someone in there who can make it happen. Because, it’s Chow! You love him, you want to be there! There’s got to be a way! There’s always a way.

UNCLE TIM: [SIGHS] Yeah. I mean, none of us really know what’s going on. Like you said, there are many rumors. I just wonder what’s going on on the business level of Chow’s Gymnastics. We know that he was great for Gabby, helped him, helped, pardon, her get to the Olympics and everything. But we also know that earlier this year there was a noncompete issue. He makes his coaches sign a noncompete contract at their gym, and he actually took it to court, and you know, maybe it’s just the Des Moines Register, get, you know, making local news and everything. But you know, it’s kind of the first time I feel like we really heard about gymnastics coaches and their noncompete clauses in their contracts. And so, yeah, I don’t know what’s going on in terms of business at Chow’s.

ELIZABETH: I don’t see her making any sort of worthwhile comeback without Chow. I just, I can’t picture it happening. I just don’t see her really having the drive or the ability to make that comeback without him, but I mean, prove me wrong. That would be great. [QUIET LAUGHTER]

UNCLE TIM: Plot twist: She goes back to Excalibur. [LAUGHTER] Could you imagine, like…?

JESSICA: Oh my God, no. She buys Excalibur. Changes out all the staff. [LAUGHTER] Yes. That would be awesome.

UNCLE TIM: How, I mean, what other gym would she go to? What do you guys think?

JESSICA: I would like her to go to Kelli Hill at this point. Someone who’s just, like, totally neutral.

UNCLE TIM: Is she even still coaching, Kelli?

JESSICA: Yeah. She was in the–didn’t you see her in the background of the videos? You were watching Mihai too much!

UNCLE TIM: [LAUGHS] I just felt like she kind of checked out, though, of coaching elite gymnasts. I don’t know. I feel like she’s not at the peak anymore of her career and is just kind of enjoying life and coasting until retirement. But I don’t know! I’ve never talked to Kelli. I don’t know.

JESSICA: I don’t understand how you could handle, just the schedule in gymnastics of being an elite coach for that many years. I mean, the burnout. I mean, your athlete gets up at six am and then works out, and then has a break, and then goes back and works out you know in the afternoon, the evening, and that’s your schedule too. And all the travel, ugh, God. But then again, it’s not a nine to five, so it might be more life affirming. But I don’t know. I could not do that schedule. Ugh. You know I need my sleep.

UNCLE TIM: Who do you think would be able coach her on bars, right? Because if she’s making a comeback it’s definitely going to be very bars focused, and Chow’s probably one of the best elite bars coaches. I mean, yes, there are probably some problems. People don’t like his technique at all times, but yeah. He’s one of the best. Kelli Hill is also one of the best bar coaches in the US of all time. I would say, and you know, Valeri, can’t, I don’t think, really take her on anymore because of his position on the junior national team. So who do you think would be a good coach? I mean, it’s hard. What about you, Elizabeth. What do you think?

ELIZABETH: I mean, my first thought is someone at WOGA. I mean, they all have good bars, it wasn’t all just Valeri, could take her in. Or Nia Dennis’ gym. I mean, I, I just don’t know. There aren’t very many that, number one, could help her bars and number two, could handle a world class athlete like that. I think that’s one of the big problems as well.

JESSICA: I kind of feel like, for her bars, other great Chinese bar workers who made history recently would be to go to Legacy Elite. I mean, if you can coach an adult athlete back to that level, especially on bars, I mean Anna and Gabby were the main competition for each other on bars for that team. So I think they would be awesome coaches for her on bars.

UNCLE TIM: Yeah, and she’d be in Chicago or close. I mean, close to an airport, a major airport. Which would be convenient for endorsements and stuff. Because being in Iowa is probably not the easiest place to get flights if you have to go fly to Portland or wherever for Nike stuff. It’s probably a lot easier to fly out of Chicago.

JESSICA: [SIGHS] Well, Gabby, just call us and tell us what’s happening. Chow, just keep us in the loop. Let us know. [LAUGHTER] [SUBJECT CHANGE MUSIC]

JESSICA: Time for mail call! First up, from Twitter. GtotheNtotheG asks: Do you think pro gymnasts delay retirement to milk endorsements, or are they just keeping their options open?”

ELIZABETH: [SIGHS] This is tough one. I think some of them do delay their retirement to kind of keep that option out there. Like, “Oh, I might be coming back.” I mean, obviously the idea of a comeback is something that gets people talking, as we see with Gabby. I mean, I don’t know if Anna Li is pro, but with someone like her, I think she really is. Because she isn’t officially retired. I think she is someone who is keeping their options open. I could see her coming back at any time if she really wanted to. But I think it just depends on the person.

UNCLE TIM: I think that it does depend on the person, I agree. And so I don’t want to say that there are gymnasts who just kind of are milking the options. I think they really do consider coming back. Because it’s a sport that you grew up, and it’s a huge part of your identity if you started doing it when you were four until you’re 18, 19, 20. And once you walk away, you’re kind of like, “Who am I?” And it’s hard to really just walk away officially. That said, I’m just going to go ahead and say it. I did feel like Shawn Johnson’s comeback was very orchestrated, and it felt like a giant marketing campaign. I’m not going to say that it was, but to me as an outside observer, it just kind of felt like everything was very timed. And it was like, this happened, it was calculated, and then this happened this many months later her book came out, and then she announced her retirement. And I don’t remember the order anymore of events, but it did feel like everything was very precise. It was like, marketing automation in real life. It was weird.

JESSICA: I think this… [SIGHS] On the one hand, I think no one should ever announce their retirement because you should milk it as long as you can, because there are not the same kind of opportunities for gymnasts as there are in other sports. So good for you, just keep working out, look good in a leotard, so that you can keep selling whatever it is that you’re selling. It is your identity, and it’s heartbreaking to admit that you’re done with something. So to ever assume that someone is keeping, is not announcing their retirement because they’re milking an endorsement, it’s, you don’t know how they’re feeling inside. It’s just, it’s so hard. I mean, some people will never ever say they’re retired because you don’t want to ever actually admit that. You want to think, “Well, I could get back in shape, I could, you know.” But on the other hand, I agree about Shawn Johnson’s. I don’t know what the intent was, but that definitely felt like that to me. Like, announcing the day of Nationals that she is retired when it was obvious that she was already retired. I don’t think that it was an insincere comeback. I mean, she came, she looked amazing. She went Pan Am Championships, she looked great. But I, I think that was like, ugh. I didn’t like how that was handled. On the other hand, I can understand it, because you have to milk the media when the media is there, and the media is interested. And Championships is when they’re there and interested. So, as far as I think her agent I think was brilliant for doing it that way. As a fan, I’m kind of like, “Mm.” So. Yeah.

ELIZABETH: And even on the lowest level, it’s weird to say you’re retired from something when you’re 20 years old.


ELIZABETH: I mean, when I retired from gymnastics when I was 18… I mean, you think of 65 year old men being retired from their jobs, not retiring from a sport when you’re 20 years old.

JESSICA: Totally. So, now it’s time for the part of the show where we talk about “What mistake did Jessica make last week?” So our first correction comes from our friend Emma Bailey in England, and she reminded me that the British gymnastics team was not in, wherever I said they were, but they were actually in Barcelona. Thank you, Emma. I will remember that. Correction number one. Correction number two, ooh, this good you guys. There was like a major Twitter debate going about how this today. Everyone wanted to know what was going on about this. So last week talked about what the age limit was for men, and we looked up the rules, and we saw that rules said 18, but we had heard that the rules had changed after London, but why was Kenzo allowed to compete when he was 17, and there was a lot of confusion, but w said the rules said 18. So, a fabulous listener wrote in with this explanation. Nico wrote on our website in the comments section. He said, “I wanted to correct you guys on the men’s age limits. Senior male gymnasts have to be 18, which is a change since London. Last year, however, they allowed a temporary transition period for 17 year olds. So guys like Kenzo Shirai, Mr. Quad, were able to compete at Antwerp Worlds. But they have to 18 now on the calendar year.” So, you could be 18 after World Championships, but it Kenzo was 17 through the rest of the year, he wouldn’t have been able to compete. So my question, for you guys is, first of all, Nico, thank you so so so so much for writing in with this explanation. And my question for you guys is, was, you know, it’s not all the time that we see the FIG be like, “Oh, we’re changing the rules, so we’ll allow a whole year to get used to these rules.” Especially when it comes to the age limit thing, which is, you know, everyone has freaking different age. So, do you think that they made this exception with Mr. Quad in mind? Or it just was a nice thing to do?

UNCLE TIM: [LAUGHS] I think that it’s just that it’s kind of a nice thing to do. You know, you need to give people a one year grace period when you change the rules. I feel. Although, I mean, when you get a new code you don’t really get a grace period, but I think they just were being nice. Although, I don’t know. How do you feel about this discrepancy? Now for the women, I mean, it used to be even: the women had to be 16 and the men had to be 16. Now it’s 16 and 18. What do you guys think of that? Is it sexist?

JESSICA: Yeah, it should be the opposite.

ELIZABETH: I mean, wasn’t there something with 2007 Worlds where they knew for the next year you had to be 16 for the Olympics, but you could be 15 to compete at the 2007 Worlds?

UNCLE TIM: Yes. Yes.

JESSICA: So there’s a precedent.

ELIZABETH: So I mean, it’s kind of similar.

JESSICA: I would just like to point out that there’s a precedent for this happening in the past, and a precedent for conspiracy. So anything possible. But yes, of course I think it’s sexist. Because I think that, and I have no foundation for this, but I think the reason for changing these rules is so that here is no abuse of children. And whatever form that abuse takes. And that children shouldn’t be professional athletes. And so I think that women are more targeted, which I have no proof for, and I think that probably men are probably even more targeted, boys are more targeted or are victims of this, but they talk about it less. And I’m probably sexist just for saying that, “No, it’s girls.” So, I don’t know. I kind of think that it should be the same for both of them, and that it should be 18 for girls too. [GASPS] What do you think of that? 18 for girls too?

ELIZABETH: I think some people have been pushing for that for a while. I mean, most people you hear talk about the age limit want it to be lowered, but there’s the other side of the spectrum as well.

UNCLE TIM: Right. I mean, it’s hard because I’m looking at it through an Americanized, my American eyes, where I’m like, if you can drive a car at 16, and be that responsible, and hold somebody’s, I mean, hold your own life in your hands and other people’s lives in your hands while you’re behind the wheel, part of me feels like you should be able to compete in the Olympics. I don’t know. But we also don’t allow you to vote until you’re 18. So we don’t really let you hold the nation’s future in your hands until you’re 18. So, I don’t know. I feel like 16, I feel like 16 is a good age. And I feel like it still prevents a lot from happening. That said, I feel like you know, I don’t know that raising the age to 18 will suddenly just make sexual abuse or anything disappear, because if you’re training for the Olympics, you start training when you are ten, and you start viewing your coach, not in all cases, but in some cases, right, you can start viewing your coach as a kind of God figure when you’re very young. And so that’s not just going to suddenly going to stop if you raise the age to 18.

JESSICA: True. Because you still have to start training as a little pup. Hm. Tell us what you guys think, listeners. Do you think, what if we raised the age limit, the women’s age to 18 as well? Would that ruin the sport or would it make it awesome because everyone would just stay around for another ten years, of course. [LAUGHTER]

ELIZABETH: I think it’s hard as well, because a lot of the time you don’t see men who are younger competing at the Olympics. I mean, I don’t know the actual average ages, but they’re definitely older, versus the women, and you have to, and you have to be a little bit older, have a little more muscle mass. So, I think just for demograph and the different male and female’s slightly different as well.

JESSICA: The other thing we talked about last week was if Sydney, the Sydney all around finals were done all over again, right now, in 2014, with all of the Olympians in the finals at their current ages. Raducan, Khorkina, Elisa Ray. Then who would win? And I refused to acknowledge that certain people who I said would win weren’t actually even in the all-around finals. But a couple people pointed out to us, they were like, “Hello! Chusovitina would have won.” But was Chusovitina in the finals?

UNCLE TIM: I don’t think so. I think she qualified like in 37th I want to say? So I don’t think she qualified for finals.

JESSICA: Yeah, I don’t think she, would have made it in those. Then someone else wrote in and said, “Duh! Lisa Mason totally would have won.” But I don’t think Lisa Mason made it to all around finals either. Is there anyone else we’re missing? That we have completely overlooked who is still doing gymnastics today? Besides Chusovitina and Lisa Mason who were at those, at those games?

UNCLE TIM: [LAUGHS] I’m looking up Lisa Mason. Where she qualified. Oh, Lisa Mason qualified in 22nd.

JESSICA: Hm! There you go!


JESSICA: So Lisa Mason, probably be our current champ. I say we should hold those ceremonies for fun. [LAUGHTER] Okay, now we have the weirdest ever voice mail, that I could not stop laughing about. Let me play it up for you guys right now. “[COMPUTER VOICE] Hi Gymcastic. I want to know, why is a sheep jump called “sheep jump?” And also, for the longest time, I really thought Princess Catherine of Europa name was really “Princess Catherine.” That is all.” [LAUGHTER] And those are the kinds of voice mails that we get here at Gymcastic. Maybe the Korean news agency was listening to the show and created the voice mail message for us. Maybe it’s animated when they play it back on the news station. So you guys, anybody know, [LAUGHTER] anybody know why a sheep a jump is called a sheep jump?

ELIZABETH: Because it hurts yours BAAAAck. [LAUGHTER] That’s what they always told us. [LAUGHTER]

JESSICA: I love that! I mean, because sheep don’t bend like that. I have no idea. And it’s called something different in, what was Princess Catherine calling it? She called it a… We will to have to research this answer and get back to you. Perhaps our listeners will supply an answer. Maybe we can collect all the names that it’s called and decide on the right one for each skill.

UNCLE TIM: I just think that it’s kind of interesting though, that the sheep jump is kind of the reverse of the wolf jump, right? So the wolf jump you’re jumping, you’re bending forward, the sheep jump you’re jump…bending backwards. So there is some kind of logic to it. I just don’t necessarily know why those two animals.

JESSICA: That was a…

ELIZABETH: And then there’s stag jump too. That’s an animal.

JESSICA: That was a very PhD answer. [LAUGTHER] Wolf and sheep. And then we have, like, I, we used to call the wolf jump a fish jump.

UNCLE TIM: Hmm. A fish jump?

JESSICA: A fish jump. Mm. Because it’s ugly?

UNCLE TIM: Did you call the roll where you rolled backwards and kind of arched down and splashed down a fish flop?


UNCLE TIM: Huh. I know that in cheerleading the name’s much more logical. It’s the C-Jump in cheerleading. Which, just looks like a “C.” It’s much more logical. I don’t know.

JESSICA: It totally is. Maybe it’s a kind of connection ballet, where things are named after French deities, I don’t know. I’m making that up. Gymternet, please tell us why this is named this, because clearly we do not have an answer.

ALLISON TAYLOR: This episode is brought to you by Elite Sportz Band. EliteSportzBand.com. We’ve got your back.

JESSICAL Visit EliteSportzBand.com, that’s “Sportz” with a “Z,” and save five dollars on your next purchase with the code “gymcast.”

UNCLE TIM: So, dear listeners, you can always contact us. We love reading your feedback! If you want us to review, discuss, watch something, or if we can solve some important gymnastics crisis for you, call or e-mail us. We’re here for you, we’ll do our best. Obviously we can’t answer all your questions, like, “Why is it called a sheep jump?” We don’t know. But, somebody, we have a very good network of dedicated gym nerds who always know the questions to all of our questions. So they will answer us. Anyways, so you can contact us at Gymcastic@gmail.com, you can leave us a voice mail by calling us at 415-800-3191, or to call us free from anywhere in the world, like, you know, let’s say Korea, or let’s say you’re, I don’t know, sitting on a bus waiting to go on a date with Kenzo Shirai, [JESSICA LAUGHS] you can call us using Skype. Our username is GymcasticPodcast. You can also follow us on Twitter. We are very chatty, and we post pretty much all the news going on all the time in gymnastics. So follow us @Gymcastic on Twitter.

JESSICA: That is going to do it for us this week. Thank you all for joining us, and Elizabeth, thank you so much for joining us. We’ve enjoyed all your contributions to the gymternet and we love your voice. So please come back again sometime.

ELIZABETH: Thank you, I loved being here.

JESSICA: Yay! Remember to check our YouTube playlist, and of course we have transcripts up that you can check out on our website. Until next week, I’m Jessica from Masters-Gymnastics.

UNCLE TIM: I’m Uncle Tim, from Uncle Tim Talks Men’s Gym.

ELIZABETH: And I’m Elizabeth Grimsley. Find me on Twitter @AllFlippedOut.

JESSICA: Thanks for listening, see you guys next week!


JESSICA: Kenzo Shirai were able to compete…God damn it! [SIGHS] You’re fired. Why is Skype always open on this damn computer!


JESSICA: Oh my God, oh my God, you don’t even have your updates done. Now I have to do the updates.

JESSICA’s HUSBAND: No, no, no! Don’t do the updates.

JESSICA: Aw, Jesus Christ.

JESSICA’s HUSBAND: It works for me!

JESSICA: I’m signing out of freaking… all right. Let me just write that down on my little time stamp. [LAUGHTER] Dealing a Coop for ruining my podcast.

UNCLE TIM: Only the highest broadcasting standards on Gymcastic.