Episode 105 Transcript

SPANNY: But then you could say Aunt Flo came at about, ’96. [JESSICA and UNCLE TIM LAUGH] But, you’d argue that maybe, I can think of two members of the Mag 7 who probably hadn’t gone through it yet? The rest almost undoubtedly had. And that team did okay.

JESSICA: They weren’t bad.

SPANNY: They had a smidge of success. It’s a hurdle, I mean, but it’s certainly not the finish line.


JESSICA: This week: Who will win the Secret Classic in Chicago, US Qualifier for the men, Kim Zmeskel’s Beyond the Routine, and Nadia and Shannon Miller team up to promote adult gymnastics.

ALLISON TAYLOR: Hey gymnasts, Elite Sportz Band is a cutting edge compression back warmer that can help 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 105 for July 30, 2014. I’m Jessica, from Master’s Gymnastics.

SPANNY: Spanny Tampson, from Spanny’s Big Fake Smile.

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

LAUREN: And I’m Lauren from The Couch Gymnast and TheGymter.net.

JESSICA: This is the best gymnastics podcast ever bringing you all the news from around the gymternet. I’m so happy you guys are here this week. Let’s talk about the important, important book club that we have going on first. Then a little news, and then we’re going to talk about Classics with Spanny and Lauren and Uncle Tim! Ee! [LAUGHTER]

UNCLE TIM: In the book club news we have Louis Smith. We will be all reading Louis’ book. And, you know, the premise is you read the book, you submit questions about the book, and then we ask Louis the questions, and you get all your questions answered. You can buy the book via our Amazon link or on the website at gymcastic.com. In this week’s show notes, you can send your questions to us at gymcast@gmail.com or leave a voice mail on Skype, at username GymcasticPodcast. Or by dialing 415-800-3191. Make sure that you submit your questions by the first week in August, and we’ll ask Louis when he’s on the show in August. So, I expect at least 25 questions from all of our listeners.

JESSICA: Yes, a minimum. Just as many questions as we had response for transcribers. I asked for transcribers last week, oh my God you guys, we got so many people volunteering that we’ve literally had to turn people away! [YAY! SOUND EFFECT] So if you guys haven’t heard from me, it’s because we already have, like, 12 people. Already. Like, in the first couple hours of when Wednesday of the last show.

SPANNY: It was way more than 12, it was like 25…

JESSICA: It’s so many!

SPANNY: It was a lot of people.

JESSICA: It was so awesome! So, our team captain, Katy, she has all the people she can handle and manage right now. And already we have three new transcripts done since last week. So you guys are freaking awesome, and I will put you guys who’ve e-mailed in, if you haven’t heard back, I’ll put you on the reserve list. You can our alternates in case someone drops out, we’ll get back to you, and thank you so much, you guys are freaking amazing for volunteering, and thank you for all your e-mails, and yeah, okay. So, speaking of Louis Smith, going back, non sequitur, to Commonwealth Games, they’re having, Louis Smith competed pommel horse, he took second to Max Whitlock. And word on the street is that, and probably the E-score would tell you this, but I don’t have it right in front of me, Max won with the difficulty. He had a little bit of problem, but Louis Smith definitely had the cleanest routine, but he doesn’t have the highest difficulty. But right now they’re one-two going into finals. And it’s interesting how they’re doing this. Did you guys know they’re…it’s not like Olympic format at all. It’s like, team finals are over two days. So the woman did bars and vault today, and the men did three events. And tomorrow they’re doing another…by the time this comes out this is all going to be over, but isn’t that awesome? Wouldn’t you rather have team finals spread out, as a gymnast? You only have to do two events instead of four in one day.

LAUREN: You know what to prepare. If you really screw something up one day, you know what you need to work on for the next day. It’s not like you have to think about from routine to routine. You have a whole day to be like, “Oh yeah, let me really work on this so I can make up for what I lost yesterday.” Which could really benefit Canada.

JESSICA: Mm hmm.

LAUREN: Because they kind of had crappy day. So I think they’re probably going to come back pretty strong on beam and floor.

JESSICA: Right, because, oh my God, they sent Victoria Moors home. Well, who knows, they sent her home, she wasn’t ready. The release said, in French, [SPANNY LAUGHS] that she, she basically, they had a preparation camp there, and she wasn’t really, they talked to her, and she wasn’t really prepared, so then the put Victoria Woo?


JESSICA: Yeah. On the team. The one that has the very interesting dance which I like so much on floor.


JESSICA: So, argh. I’m so sad. It looks like Victoria’s, like, fine. She posted a video of herself practicing her archery today. Because she should [LAUGHTER] of course be in the Hunger Games movies. But I’m totally bummed because I just think, you just have to put her in. But who knows, maybe she’s sick, maybe she’s injured. You know, whatever.

LAUREN: Well, her coach isn’t there. She, Saadi…

JESSICA: Oh, Saadi’s not there?

LAUREN: Yeah, she didn’t travel with the team. So I don’t know if maybe it just she wasn’t doing her best because she didn’t have her coach with her, but, I think that might have something to do with it. But I know, like, Grace Chu on Facebook said something like, “It’s going to probably take a while to get all of the info together.” And it’s, like, they just kind of came out with the press release to kind of, calm people’s fears about whether or not she was injured.

SPANNY: Do you think maybe, like, I, so, Uncle Tim, maybe you can speak more to this. Maybe the format, I wonder if that has anything to do with it? I was reading on Twitter…I’m going to butcher his name, I’m so sorry, Seek Caesar, the Michigan gymnast?

JESSICA: Syque Caesar. Yeah.


SPANNY: Syque Caesar, okay. I’m so sorry. Syque Caesar, awesome. But he wrote, he said, “Pretty tough first day. Had to compete three events in less than thirty minutes–not ideal.”


SPANNY: And I noticed too, I mean, I wasn’t able to watch live the woman’s today. But I noticed the blocks of time were really short amounts of time which would be rough even just to compete only two events, I would think. I mean, I guess that’s how it is normally in team finals, I don’t know what I’m talking about.

LAUREN: Well, I think it’s like also, it’s, they had so few competitors. Like, the first subdivision had two female competitors.


LAUREN: Like, okay let’s do vault really quick, and then do bars, and then we’re done. Like, it went really fast. Some, the ones with actual full teams went a little bit faster, but even then they only had three or four people, so it’s moving way faster than when you have two teams doing vault in a World’s final. Team final.

SPANNY: Right.

LAUREN: And then, you know. So I think that’s probably, it, it could definitely have a lot to do with it.

SPANNY: Interesting, it’s different. I know like, the men are obviously three, pack would be three, whatever, but it does seem a lot, to be a lot of intensity for a short amount of time.


JESSICA: It’s… one of the things that’s crazy is, I mean, with thirty minutes to do three events, that’s not even enough time to warm… What you’d normally get to warm up. We’ll talk about Commonwealth’s more, but in case you guys want to watch, which you definitely should, the way to watch in the US is to, or wherever you are in the world, go to TunnelBear. Download TunnelBear. Turn on TunnelBear. And then go to the BBC website, or whatever website you’re watching it in your country. I recommend BBC because they seem to have really good gymnastics coverage. And then you should be able to watch it from there. So it totally works, TunnelBear absolutely works. Just don’t go to the website and then try to make it work. Go to TunnelBear, downloaded it, turn it on, and then go to the website and you should be able to watch live. So, more on Commonwealths later. Let’s talk about the most exciting meet, the basically Olympic preview, Olympic team preview, World team preview, this is place your bets now. The Secret Classic in Chicago, which we love. Which Lauren’s new site, TheGymter.net has fantastic guide up for this. So you can check it out there. It’s TheGymter.net. And awesome guides, just like she’s done for The Couch Gymnast in the past. And let’s talk first about the bad news, let’s get it out of the way.

So, who’s out right now?

LAUREN: Bailie Key is out. I guess she had a minor arm procedure, according to the Texas Dreams Twitter. And from what I hear she is still planning on going to Nationals, like staying out for Classics was just kind of her way to make sure she doesn’t injure herself further before Nationals. So that’s not really a huge deal, I think, unless she doesn’t make it back. But hopefully she will, and it looks like she’s going to. And then in terms of juniors, Vanasia Bradley, I think like two weeks…


LAUREN: …ago tore her ACL.

JESSICA: So sad, I love her.

LAUREN: Which really sucks, because she’s really great. And then Grace Waguespack, she was okay last year, she was one of the younger juniors. And she, I think people might remember her because I think her floor routine music was like a combo of Game of Thrones and then Jordyn Wieber’s 2012 music. [LAUGHS] So it was like, really bizarre. But I don’t know what happened her to, [LAUGHTER] she’s just not on the list anymore. So.

JESSICA: [SIGHS] Oh, okay. So, from your research, and thinking about looking ahead for the future, for Worlds or the Olympics and what we’ve seen in the past, which juniors are you most looking forward to seeing?

LAUREN: Like, a lot of the really young ones who aren’t even Rio-eligible, if we’re looking towards the future. Adeline Kenlin has, like, one of the best beams, or the better beams of the juniors. She did it at the US Challenge last year, and she just has a lot of really big skills, and she’s pretty clean with everything she does. And I think she just added a double layout off bars. She’s like, 12, or like, just turned 12 or something.


LAUREN: So she won the Challenge last year, and now this is her first year as a, like, a real live junior international elite. So, there’s also an 11 year old coming this year named Olivia Dunne, and I actually just interviewed her today. I’m kind of really excited about her just because she doesn’t really have huge difficulty, but you can, like, see the potential in her. She’s from a little gym in New Jersey, like literally right over the river from me. And she has so much presentation on floor, her beam and bars are really great. So I think I’m just really excited about her because you may not get it this year, but I think she’s one who may come back in the future and just be huge. Bailie Ferrer, she, I think, just turned 14. I remember actually talking about her when we talked about the Nastia Liukin Cup, because she had, like, an amazing floor routine at the Nastia Liukin Cup. And I know I brought it up when I was on Gymcastic when we talked about that. So her floor’s awesome. She also got her amanar at 12.


LAUREN: She…yeah. She’s a…I don’t know if she’s going to compete it this year, because she’s, I think she’s been doing the double. But there’s a video of her on YouTube. I’ll link it to you so you can post it, but it’s her landing her amanar, I think on a resi. When she’s 12. And it’s a really good one. So I’m, I just kind of love her. She actually is Rio-eligible, I think. And then my BFF Morgan Hurd, who I think…

JESSICA: Morgan!

LAUREN: I talked about on the Nastia Liukin Cup Twitter. She’s tiny, she’s amazing. Not a lot of difficulty, but she’s just really fun to watch because she has glasses and… [LAUGHS]

JESSICA: And when she jumps, just from the low bar to the high bar it looks like she’s jumping the Grand Canyon.

LAUREN: [LAUGHS] She’s maybe three feet tall. She’s a tiny, tiny child. I love her. And then Gabby Perrera, who went the, the Classics last year, didn’t make it to the Nationals. She trains at Legacy Elite. Her beam, I think like recently she got like, a 15.2 on it. And she’s 12.


LAUREN: Yeah. So she’s, those are like the girls of the future, I think just in terms of potential. Like, Morgan Hurd doesn’t have the difficulty, but she’s super, super clean. Her basics are great. So all of those girls, I think, are huge for the future. And then yeah, like the usual suspects. Like the MG Elite girls are looking good this year, although Laurie’s not competing. But Ariana and Jazmyn both looking really good. Norah Flatley, Nia Dennis, and then all the Chow’s girls, aside from Norah. So yeah, those are my favorites.

JESSICA: Excellent. So how about the seniors? Who do you think is going to win each event, and then the all-around? And if anyone else has thoughts on this, please let me know. I want to hear.

LAUREN: I’m in. The all-around I think is Biles, just because she has, she won the last camp and I think she has just been looking really good, from what I’ve heard. Unless she, I don’t know. Her Classics tend to be not as good as her Nationals end up being, so I could see something like a Kyla or Brenna or, like, even Madison Kocian I think came in second at the Ranch last month, so I could see someone taking it from her. But I think if she’s competing at like, her highest ability she could win by probably a sizable amount. Vault I’m going to say Biles, just because she’s the only one with two vaults who’s really competing them both, like, super clean, super consistent. And then Skinner will probably come in second. Unless Skinner has like, a triple or something, which she’s going to unveil. But yeah, I think it’s going to be Biles. Bars, I’m going to say Ross just because she’s the cleanest. I would really like to see Hults or Kocian win, but I think it’s going to be Ross. Beam. Beam’s tricky, because I think there are a few that I would want to win. But I think I’m going to go with maybe Alyssa Baumann. Just because that’s kind of who I’m hoping will win.

JESSICA: Mm hmm.

LAUREN: I don’t know if she will. I think she has one of the nicest presentations on beam, and she as a little more difficulty than Kyla, so that’s who I’m going to go with. But it could be Simone. So, you never know. Floor, I’m going to go with Skinner just because she’s my favorite person in the world, and I could see Biles winning. I could also see Lexie Priessman just showing up and being like, “Oh yeah?” And then just doing the best floor routine you’ve ever seen and just winning. [INAUDIBLE]

JESSICA: Right! How do you guys think she’s going to do, now she has a new gym, and it’s only been like, a month or so that she’s been at the new gym. Like, what are you thinking?

LAUREN: I think…


LAUREN: Go ahead.

SPANNY: She’s going to like, tear the place down. She seems so excited, like, “Oh you’re watching? Here we go.” And she’s will just smite everyone. She will light that place on fire. [LAUGHTER] In a good way.


SPANNY: A fantastic way.

LAUREN: Well, based on her floor routine last year, too, which was amazing. Like, I feel like the tumbling that she showed in May at the Ranch–like, that was when she was still with MLT, and she still had a little ways to go, but she looked really good. So I don’t know. I think, like, a gym change to could have like, rejuvenated her, sort of, and put that fire into her to show, to show people, like, what she’s made of. And she’s not just, I don’t know, done. I think people consider her done a lot, and then she comes back, and she’s always like… Like, Classics in 2012? I was like, she’s not looking good. And then she won the National Title for the juniors. So I think we could probably be surprised by her. But my hope is Skinner because she’s awesome.

JESSICA: Well, Skinner’s cleaned up her form a lot.


JESSICA: Which is so interesting, that Gymnastike is doing the Mykayla Skinner story and how her coach is like, “Well, Marta told her from the very beginning she better start pointing her toes and straightening her legs. And she’s been so hard on her, but she wasn’t willing to work on it. And it’s just now dawning on her.” Marta’s like, “YES! Oh my God, the form!” Like, seriously.

LAUREN: And the whole like, news right now, is like, “Oh my God, her floor’s 6.5.” Like, her floor always should have been 6.5, but she never got credited for like, 90% of her leaps. So it’s like, I think she got docked, like, her difficulty would get docked a lot based on leaps. And I think if she’s hitting them, like if she’s finally cleaning that part of her floor up, then I think she’ll start getting that. And from what I’ve heard she’s looking a lot, lot better on like, the little things.

JESSICA: Yeah, and like, in the video they’re saying she has a 6.8 and that’s supposed to be the highest in the world right now. We’ll see. But it’s, I totally agree with you. It’s like, but yeah, but when your execution score’s, like, in the 7s, then yeah. That happens.

SPANNY: I’m really excited to watch that, the series of hers.


SPANNY: I think of all the, like, I’m the most intrigued by it? Even the preview, I was excited. Because I did open gym at Desert Devils, like, once or twice, when I went, was down as ASU. And it was the most like, terrifying experience of my life. And… [LAUGHTER]



SPANNY: Because, well, it was just really, it was, now, I think they know to separate, like “Okay, we’re going to have the kids in one open gym and we’re going to have the adults later on.” And this was just like, this was a free-for-all. And from what I…they had…and this is just maybe like, it was just the layout of the gym was really bizarre. Where like, a tumbling strip would be like, just arbitrarily placed in the middle of everything, or, and there would just be kids sprinting full…


SPANNY: Full force from A to B. You’d just be close to death and even the strap bar was in a weird spot. It was just… it was indicative of Skinner’s gymnastics. [LAUGHTER] It was just chaos. It was pure chaos. And it was fun, I had a good time. But I was terrified for my life. [INAUDIBLE] [LAUGHTER}

JESSICA: That’s what they say in that video, that she has no fear. Which is how she’s able to just do this stuff.

SPANNY: Now I know why. [LAUGHTER] She can do a double double over like, seven kids sprinting. [LAUGHTER] Here you go. A+.

JESSICA: Oh my God.

UNCLE TIM: So what do you guys think’s going to happen with Brenna Dowell? So she’s accepted to Oklahoma, you know, she’s kind of on the bubble. She didn’t really have the Worlds she wanted to. What do you think is going to happen with her in 2014?

LAUREN: I actually talked to her about that at American Cup, I think, and she said she’s definitely going to pull kind of what Mackenzie Caquatto did in 2010, where she’s going to defer the first semester for sure and try to make the World team. And then she, I think she’s going to try to take it from there. Like, if she makes the World team and it looks like she has a future she’ll kind of hold off and defer Oklahoma. But if she doesn’t make the World team I think she’s just going to have a moment where she thinks about her future and if she’s going to stay elite or go to Oklahoma. So I think this summer is going to really kind of tell us what her future’s going to be. But yeah, I think, I don’t know, I think it’s smart that you don’t say like, “I’m definitely going to the Olympics,” and then you put off college for two years when you have no idea. So I like that she’s kind of taking it one step at a time and not really releasing a snap decision to either go to college right now or to wait to 2016.

JESSICA: I think she needs to get pissed or it’s not going to happen for her. She needs to do some angry gymnastics. She’s broken up with against her will, and so she needs to have some, like, serious angry makeup with the floor gymnastics.

LAUREN: Yeah. She has a double layout now, which I’m really excited about.

UNCLE TIM: I think that her strategy’s a smart one. That’s what I was going to suggest and I didn’t know that was her strategy! [UNCLE TIM and LAUREN LAUGH] We’re on the same wavelength, Brenna Dowell.

JESSICA: Are there any skills or upgrades that you think people will be testing out at Classics?

LAUREN: I don’t even know. I know Gowey, Rachel Gowey, has like a bunch of stuff. Like, she did the amanar at camp, and it was kind of like, people on Tumblr were calling it a “chowmanar” because it has, like, some similar [JESSICA and LAUREN LAUGH] block and early to get the two and half twist around. But I mean, Gabby got better really quickly, and I think maybe like, Gowey with some time could figure it out. So that’s definite. I know she has like, some beam and floor stuff she’s working on too.

JESSICA: Wait, is the chowmanar when you do, like, a quarter turn onto to the…

LAUREN: Oh, yeah. [LAUGHS]

JESSICA: Okay. We’re good. That is the secret.

LAUREN: And the kind of thing when you’re landing, your knees being bent at all different angles and your…


LAUREN: Yeah. You’re twisting into the ground. But Shawn Johnson, like, is like “Mahh,” amanar landing where her leg is in half.


JESSICA: But isn’t that like, the raismanamar?

LAUREN: That is the raismanamar as well. [LAUGHTER]

SPANNY: That’s the “Everybody but…”

LAUREN: Pretty much everybody but Maroney-amar.


LAUREN: But Chow has like, I guess…

SPANNY: A secret.

LAUREN: …a special skill for teaching them a poor block.

SPANNY: I think Classics, I think, like that’s the Classic. And speaking of the raismanamar, I remember just seeing her kind of throw one, and it was like a one and a quarter fall to the ground terrifying moment.

LAUREN: That was at Classics like, three years ago, right?

SPANNY: Yeah, yeah.

LAUREN: Or no, four years ago, four years ago. I remember that.

SPANNY: Four years ago. And it was terrifying. But I feel like I remember that Classics was always the meet where you see those upgrades that are usually downgrades by Nationals.


SPANNY: I remember Maroney doing a bunch of stuff that I don’t…we either never saw again or… because it’s like, if you’ve already qualified for Championships you might as well go all out and throw this stuff to see if you can make it. And like you don’t end up making it. [INAUDIBLE] …so much fun.

LAUREN: Oh, and one really cool kind of, it’s not really an upgrade, but it’s a new floor routine. Felicia Hano, who did…she was a junior last year, she’s a senior now. She has a new floor routine and its Miss Val choreography.



SPANNY: Why, why did Miss Val do elite choreography? Is she going to UCLA? Or is she…

LAUREN: Yeah, she goes to Gym Max.


LAUREN: So she’s like, nearby. She’s like, well, why not? So I’m excited for that, probably more than like, any upgrades.

JESSICA: So if you guys were going to pick from this, just going into Classics right now, if you were going to pick your Rio team from age-eligible, and you could pick, like, two juniors and two seniors, is it five? How many do we get? We still get five, right?


JESSICA: Or are we back to six? All right. So…


UNCLE TIM: We’re down to two, Jess. [LAUGHTER]

LAUREN: Something happened.

JESSICA: Oh, something horrible happening with it, I don’t know! [LAUGHS] Who would you take? Like, for sure they are going to be on the Rio team?

UNCLE TIM: Why do I have to go first? [LAUGHTER] I’m going to say, let’s see. Bailie Key will be on my team. I’m not going to put Laurie Hernandez on my team. Well, I’m just thinking she placed second last year at P&G Championships, but I’m not going to put her on my team. I’ll put Mykayla Skinner on my team, I feel like she could be the Aly Raisman of this quad. You know everyone was kind of, very anti-Aly at one point. Even up to the Olympics, but she made the Olympics and did quite well. So Mykayla Skinner’s my Aly Raisman. Let’s see. I’ll put Simone Biles on there. I feel like that’s a good enough start for me. What about you, Lauren?

LAUREN: Okay. I also have Skinner, but I see her like, an ASac where she comes back, like… She was a senior, a first year senior in the earlier quad, but like, wasn’t, didn’t have her shit together, basically. And then she comes back and she does okay–well, ASac didn’t do okay, she did great. But Mykayla does okay during that quad and then in 2016 she’s just going to be the one who’s like, leading everybody else. Like, “Look at me, I’m the best, and I’m leader.” And yeah. I think she’s going to be my Alicia in this quad. I’m also going to go with Ragan, because, I don’t know. I think, like, Marta has a weird, secret plan for her. And I think, like, she’s been training at the camps, or like attending the camps since before, I think like two years before we saw her in an elite competition. And I feel like Marta sees something in her that will make her a successful senior elite. So even though she’s not, like, doing really huge upgrades or anything, I’m going to go with Ragan. I don’t even know. Probably Simone. I kind of really like Norah a lot. I think, like similar to Ragan, like, she has something there. Chow’s just waiting, like he did with Gabby, just waiting to bring it out. And then I’ll just go with Kyla, because she’s just always there, doing stuff. And she’s never not going to be on a team.

SPANNY: She’s like a halo.

UNCLE TIM: She is.

SPANNY: She’s on every single Classics since 2009, up until now. So she’s never going to stop. [LAUGHTER] Just going to keep going. Yeah.

JESSICA: Spanny.

SPANNY: I think, well, I agree, with I think Biles and Bailie are my 2014 locks. Well, I mean… you know what I mean. Biles and Bailie. Nia. I think she’s got…I think she is built… what was I going to say? Built to last. But I mean, like, I see her continuing to upgrade and not being like injury prone. I would love it is Norah made it. Just because the pretties. And I agree, Lauren, I think that Chow’s got secrets there that she’s going unveil and it’s going to be like the night before all-around finals and she’ll have like a million different skills.

LAUREN: Like, she’ll beat Bailie, like the day before.

JESSICA: Mm hmm, mm hmm.

SPANNY: Right, right. And on that note, I’d like to say that Gabby will be there. Because I’m Spanny.


SPANNY: That’s what I want.

LAUREN: Somebody said you deserved 75% of her gold medal. [LAUGHTER] Someone on Tumblr said that.

SPANNY: If we’re giving away, if we’re giving medals out based on, like, who’s wanted it the most, then yeah, I do.

UNCLE TIM: You deserve that gold medal more than anyone. [LAUGHTER]

SPANNY: You can send it to: Gymcastic’s PO Box and I will go get it. [LAUGHTER] ‘Cause that’s how gymnastics works.

LAUREN: Right.

SPANNY: Whoever wants it the most gets it.

LAUREN: Well, ’cause like, this came about because someone said Alicia deserved her 2011 gold more than Anna Li. And Anna Li deserved it more than Alicia. So someone said Alicia deserved it the most because she, like, wanted it the most for herself or something. I’m like, “Um, okay, that’s the answer.” And then, like, Spanny gets 75% of Gabby’s gold. [LAUGHS]

SPANNY: Like, we could argue that every single gymnast on the planet deserves a gold medal, because they do.

LAUREN: Right.

SPANNY: Because they’re working their asses off every minute of every day. Like, you could take your most hated gymnast, and you could be like, “That gymnast deserves, like, a million dollars and a hundred golds,” because they do.


SPANNY: And it’s just not the way it works, so… Shit on that. [LAUGHTER]

UNCLE TIM: What about you, Jessica?

JESSICA: Okay, well…

UNCLE TIM: Who’s on your Rio team?

JESSICA: Norah Flatley and Bailie Key are on the team. Like, psh, done, over. Okay, I think that, is it Alyssa Baumann or Rachel? Which one is a senior?


JESSICA: Alyssa. Everyone I’ve heard from who’s been to camp has talked about her. So, something’s up. Like, she’s going to be the WOGette of the future. And then Priessman, because I think she has the fire. Like you were saying. Like, she wants it. So she would have all the imaginary medals if that were how it worked. And then Nia Dennis for sure. Like, I think Nia Dennis and Simone Biles–I don’t know how many people I have on my team right now, but I’m going to keep going. [LAUGHTER] Nia and Simone…

UNCLE TIM: It’s a lot of people.

JESSICA: And then Ragan, because she looks–there’s just something about that girl, you’re totally right. Like she, and she looks, she has that little face like she’s ready for, ooh, she’s ready for some cheese. Just like Shawn Johnson. Like, something with her teeth and her little mouth. Like, she looks like a little mouse, like a door, like Fivel kind of? [LAUGHTER]

LAUREN: That’s my favorite!

JESSICA: Like, so cute! So, I think there’s something about that girl. And then being in the gym every day with Bailie Key, like obviously everybody in there’s going to push them up. And I don’t know what I’m up to yet, [LAUGHS] but Kocian, Madison Kocian, is another one

UNCLE TIM: The United States of Jessica gets twelve entries into the Rio Olympics. [LAUGHTER]

LAUREN: Brings seven teams.

JESSICA: That’s right, that’s right. So, there’s that. All right. To conclude: How to watch the Secret Classic. So first of all, you should buy tickets and go because it’s awesome, and it’s like a small meet so you get to see all of your favorite gymnasts and coaches, everybody is there. And it’s going to be SecretClassic.com/live. The schedule’s there and you can watch there. And the hashtag, the ever-important hashtag, you guys, is #secretclassic. And you know that’s a really long hashtag, and that’s annoying, but you know why hashtags matter? Because sponsors pay for these meets, and sponsors really want to see that people are thinking of their product while they are watching these events that they shell out a lot of money for. So, use the hashtag because the more you use the hashtag, the more sponsors will be bringing us these meets free–remember this is free!–and live. So throw them some love, #secretclassic. All right.

SPANNY: Speaking of, sorry, real quick, about free, free broadcasting–per our USAG media maven, Scott Bregman, they’re also going to be, we’re also going to be able to watch juniors’ podium training and HOPES streaming live on the UC…or the USAG YouTube channel.


SPANNY: I feel like I’ve never seen streaming of HOPES before.

JESSICA: Me either.

LAUREN: Like, never.

SPANNY: This is hours and hours and hours and hours. Like, the HOPES meet usually goes on for like, a hundred hours.


SPANNY: And it’s basically an entire weekend of binging. It’s a gymnastics binge, really.


UNCLE TIM: What weekend are we talking about? I don’t think we’ve mentioned that yet.

JESSICA: Oh, it’s this Saturday. Right, isn’t it? [LAUGHS]


UNCLE TIM: This Saturday, August 2nd.

SPANNY: And Friday is the Challenge meet and podium training.

JESSICA: This Saturday. So you all know what you’ll be doing right now, Friday and Saturday. Tell everyone to leave you alone and get off all the computers, and all the screens in the house so that you can use them all to watch this. And we will all be on Twitter discussing at length. [LAUGHTER]

LAUREN: Very sexual.

JESSICA: Speaking of that, let’s talk about the men’s qualifier in Colorado Springs. High, high up in the mountains where it is the worst place to try to compete ever in your entire life. Uncle Tim, can you tell us how everyone fared at that meet?

UNCLE TIM: Well, it wasn’t anything very impressive. It was a giant mess. So, I think maybe we should just talk about the good things and not belabor the bad points too much. So first up, we need to talk about Donnel Wittenburg, who did a huge dragulescu. He did a handspring double front half out on vault, and it really looked like he did a handspring front half out. It like, he had so much height, it was way too easy for him. And I think he could probably do like, a full twisting double front. He’d have to do probably the twist on the second flip, but I think he could do that. What about you, Jess?

JESSICA: He’s my new Dragulescu. Like, he’s my new, he’s going to eat everyone’s lunch. He’s going to eat, like, he’s going to Leyva’s lunch, he’s going to eat Horton’s lunch, he’s going to eat Mr. Bootylicious–what’s his name, he’s married to the trampolinist? With the “L” in his name?

UNCLE TIM: Legendre?

JESSICA: Legendre! Thank you, thank you. This is the portion of the show where we play trivia. [LAUGHS] Legendre. He’s going to–have you seen his tumbling? It’s insane! Like, I don’t know about his stick ability, but my God. Dragulescu wishes he should see Mr. Donnel Wittenburg. Oh yeah! I said it. Uh.


JESSICA: I love him. Love him.


JESSICA: He’s just, amplitude city, dude!

UNCLE TIM: Amplitude… wow. You’re turning into Tim Daggett.

JESSICA: [LAUGHS] I know! So cheesy!

UNCLE TIM: Right before my eyes.

JESSICA: Gymnastics 101.

UNCLE TIM: Amplitude City! Yeah! [JESSICA LAUGHS] So, Jessica, a while back you wondered if John Orozco needed glasses because he couldn’t see the vault. Tell us a little bit about how his vault went down at the OTC.

JESSICA: Oh my God, his vault is so much better! Like, he’s actually hitting the board in the right place, for maybe the first time ever, or since we’ve been watching him. I mean, it’s like a whole different Orozco. He’s totally got it down. I don’t know if it’s just like, they worked, went straight back to basics. Like, hurdle and hit the board in the right place, or if he worked on, he got over his fear, because he’s not twisting now, or what happened. But it’s, he’s like a different vaulter. It’s not scary, he goes way up in the air. I mean, they’re not like the best vaults in world, but I mean, they’re so much better.

UNCLE TIM: Yeah, so he went from doing a handspring double twist to a handspring double front. And yeah, it was a lot better. And then also, he, after the meet he posted some videos on Instagram of him doing the same vault, and it just looked five hundred times better, so we’ll see. It just looked like he’s keeping his chest up a little bit longer when he hits the springboard as well, instead of just kind of nose diving straight into the vault and rushing everything. So that’s good to see. Now, Brandon Wynn. We know he is a world medalist on rings. Jessica, you hate rings and you hate pommel horse. [JESSICA LAUGHS] What goes through your mind when you watch rings? And Lauren and Spanny, this question’s coming to you next. [LAUREN and SPANNY MURMUR IN THE BACKGROUND] So be ready.

JESSICA: Well “Beefcake” is the first thing I think, and then I repeat that a couple times in my head when I watch him. And then I look at how very straight he is when he does his crosses and whatnot. And he doesn’t look like he’s cheating. Which I feel like everyone looks like they’re cheating except like the top three people in the world. And then I’m impressed. And then he bends his knees, and then I get upset with him. And I think, “How are we ever going to beat the Chinese with this nonsense?” But I realize that this is, you know, the guys just seem to do things differently. Like, they just, you know, they only throw their super great form out there when it’s ultimately necessary, at Nationals or at Worlds. So I think he’ll be nice and clean. All cleaned up with those silver pants [UNCLE TIM LAUGHS] by the time we get to Worlds.

UNCLE TIM: What about you, Lauren and Spanny? What do you guys think as you watch ring, ring routines in general, not just Brandon Wynn for example. What about you, Lauren?

LAUREN: In general, I don’t know. I just get scared. ‘Cause I’m like, their arms are going to fall off. [UNCLE TIM LAUGHS] This is how bad I am with MAG. It’s like, I just look at their arms and I’m just like, “I don’t know what they’re doing.” I don’t know. I like dismounts, I like when they hold themselves up for a really long time on the rings. [LAUREN and UNCLE TIM LAUGH]

UNCLE TIM: What about you, Spanny?

SPANNY: Rings. Impressive. I, I can kind of try fathom the strength needed. Biceps are fun. [LAUGHTER] Yeah. I always think about, I don’t know. I always think about when I coach, like, preschool gymnastics and little kids just like run full blast and jump on the rings and everything. Uncle Tim, were…I’m trying to ask… Am I making this up that rings… No, just delete this, that’s dumb. Because it’s always been still rings, they’ve always had to be still, right? Like, there was no element…

JESSICA: No, there was swinging!

SPANNY: Were there?

UNCLE TIM: Yes, flying rings back in the day. Yeah.

SPANNY: I feel like that would be so much more fun.

LAUREN: Yeah, that would be really fun.

SPANNY: Not just fun, interesting to watch. [UNCLE TIM LAUGHS] And, also gymnastics-y. Because now, now you watch and it’s all slow and everything’s in high def so you just see these, like, grunting, struggling straining. Like my child when he needs to go. [LAUGHTER] But he’s like straining and you’re trying so hard not to move, but you’re actually shaking a lot, and the ring tower’s vibrating. [LAUGHTER] But…

UNCLE TIM: Sorry, just picturing your son shaking. [LAUGHTER]

SPANNY: That’s…

UNCLE TIM: His face turning red.

SPANNY: I’m going to send you a video. And you’re going to think I’m making it up or I’m exaggerating.

JESSICA: Can we have a picture side by side of like, Brandon Wynn on like, no, someone who’s really struggling. Because he doesn’t struggle hard enough. Someone who it’s like their worst event. And your son when he’s grumping…

SPANNY: Pooping…

JESSICA: …side by side pictures, so we can show how hard it is.

SPANNY: Let’s refocus…

JESSICA: For toddlers to poop.

SPANNY: I am, I’m obsessed with… we’re moving soon, and so the house we’re moving into, the whole upstairs is going to be Grumpus’ play room. And of course I’m already like, “Playroom/His own workout gym.” [LAUGHTER] And I want to do, like you know those little kids’ rings, you can just mount them from the ceiling. And I’m like, “This is how it starts, and it’s going to be awesome.” And then I’ll probably be sent to jail for, like, pushing my child or I’ll be on Dr. Phil.

LAUREN: Well, there’s that video of like, the Russian little boys. [JESSICA GASPS] And they’re like four and five, and they do like a thousand press handstands and they have eight packs, and that’s what I want Spanny to do. [LAUGHTER]

SPANNY: It’s gonna happen. He’s already got kind of, yeah, I don’t know. I’m going to make sure that when he gets really good at rings that he, that everybody’s going to know how hard he’s trying. [LAUGHTER] There’s none of this like, “Eh, it’s so easy for me” crap. Like, people are going to know he’s going to be tooting and grunting and drooling, probably. [LAUGHTER] As he holds an iron cross or… [LAUGHTER]

UNCLE TIM: Awesome. As long as he’s better than Baby Horton I’ll be proud.

SPANNY: Yes, his nemesis is Baby Horton. [UNCLE TIM LAUGHS]

UNCLE TIM: All right. So, moving on, this, Scott Bregman I do not believe was at the OTC, yet USAG still had videos. And there were some interesting moments. Perhaps my favorite is before Jake Martin does his rings routine [JESSICA LAUGHS] there’s a sudden zoom…

JESSICA: [LAUGHING] Go ahead. Tell this. It was the worst. I laughed so hard when I watched that. [LAUGHS]

UNCLE TIM: It’s like…

JESSICA: [LAUGHING] I can’t believe that they adjust that. Awesome.

UNCLE TIM: The camera suddenly zooms in on his, I think it’s his right nipple? and his armpit hair as he’s saluting. And we get very up and close and personal with Jake Martin’s armpit hair.

JESSICA: [LAUGHS] It’s like the best. I hope they do, like, blooper videos at the end of the year. This has to go in there. Oh, we’ll put it up so you guys can watch it. This was not up to Bregman’s standards, for sure. [UNCLE TIM LAUGHS]

UNCLE TIM: And then the other moment that I love. So last week we were talking about the US Classic and how Mihai was in the back, you know, being like a big papa during Ariana Agrapides’ beam routine when she fell, and was like very, very dramatic about it. And then you have John Orozco on floor and you can see Kevin Mazeika in the background. And John’s kind of struggling on his press handstand a little bit. And Kevin Mazeika was the opposite. The antithesis of Mihai. Kevin just like, moves his lips a little bit, like, “Mm. It’s okay, you’re struggling, it’s okay, no big deal.” And then, you know, I feel like Mihai probably would have falling out his chair, like “Come on, John!” kind of thing. Very Bela-ish, I don’t know. Maybe it’s a Romanian thing or something. I don’t know. I don’t know. So the big news is also Danell Leyva, right? So 2012, third at the London Olympics, 2013 he finished seventh at the P&G Championships in the all-around but was still named to the World Championship team. Then he withdrew. And now we’re in 2014, and he’s fifth in all around in the United States at a qualifying meet. This isn’t Nationals or anything. So it feels like he might be on the downswing a little bit. I don’t know. We’ll see. He did quite well on parallel bars. He did not win high bar though, Paul Ruggeri won high bar at this meet. I don’t know. It’s hard to say. His parallel bars is looking pretty good. His double front dismount always scares the crap out of me because it looks like he’s going to rotate so slowly and never make it to his feet. I don’t know. But, Jessica, what you need to do now for me is choreograph Danell’s routine. Because he does this round off whip two and half twists that’s not very pretty. After watching the Texas Dreams’ Beyond the Routine I feel like Chris should probably coach Danell on twisting in general. But after this he does this littlefrolic into the corner and it’s just, it’s not very cute and I feel like he could do better. So Jessica, what should Danell do into the corner after that pass?

JESSICA: Well, the, oh geez. I’m just rewatching it right now. So he just does like a little, it’s not even like a hitch kick, it’s just a kick, what he does. It’s just so sloppy! I just feel like, God, his, like, tumbling seems so much faster but it’s just out of control and sloppy. But then again it’s men. They’re like, a mess until it counts. So unless you’re Paul Ruggeri or like, Josh Dixon, who always look to me like cleaner than everybody else. Or like Paul, the Hamm brothers always looked super clean no matter what they were doing. So, well, what he should really do is he should do a fouette with a full turn in the middle. Like Baryshnikov could, used to do. I don’t know what it’s called, because we don’t… maybe we do have that in gymnastics, but I don’t know what it is. So you do like a hitch kick and then you turn yourself all the way around, and then you land. I think that would be fantastic. Or, even better, he should do a little Cuban salsa into the corner. A little, like, hunched down, get his hands out, do a little step to the side, uh. With head out, you know? Do a little uh with the shoulders. I’m doing all the choreography right now.

UNCLE TIM: I can sense that. I’m sure the listeners really appreciate it.

JESSICA: And that would be… [LAUGHS] I think that would really make him stand out, and it would make everybody start talking about him, which he needs to raise his… I feel like he needs a little, he needs a little spark in his corner. Other than the USO team, he needs a little buzz, you know what I mean?

UNCLE TIM: I feel like USAG should make a video of the US men’s team trying to do the women’s leaps on floor. I feel like it would be the most hilarious video ever. Like a bunch of dudes trying to do a ferrari. Just like, it would be the best. Lauren, what jump do you think the men should try?

LAUREN: Oh my God, sheep jumps, all day. [LAUREN and UNCLE TIM LAUGH] That’s what I want to see. A bunch of guys doing sheep jumps. [LAUGHTER]

UNCLE TIM: I would love it too, it would be the best. Scott Bregman, write that down. I know you’re listening. [LAUGHTER]

JESSICA: Put it on the list. At least Michigan men will make it happen. Or, like, Illinois, they haven’t done any. I know they’re all there working out, but they haven’t done any of our request videos now. I feel like we should have them all try sheep jumps and ferraris, please. [LAUGHTER] Justin Spring, that’s for you.

UNCLE TIM: Awesome. So, one meet that we didn’t really talk about that happened in July was the Festival Pan Americano. [LAUGHTER] And basically what we come out of this meet with was the fact that Cuba’s really awesome and they should send a team to Worlds. Which they haven’t done in a long time. And so on the women’s side you had Yesenia Ferrera Nunez. She won gold on vault over Yamilet Pena of the Dominican Republic. She scored a 14.6625 and Yamilet scored a 14.2375. And as far as I know–I haven’t seen any videos of her vault–but there are videos of her bars, which she won. And she won floor with a 13.800. What do you guys think of this floor routine, Lauren and Jessica?

LAUREN: I loved it. I just watched it today, and I was screaming. I love her tumbling, I love her–how into it she is. The only other thing I can like reason that I absolutely loved was someone doing a Beyoncé routine, and I forgot who that was already, but it was crazy. But yeah, this one was probably my favorite in a really long time. And yeah, I like her energy. I like–she opens with like full twisting double layout, and then she does a double layout in like, her second or third pass. And so her tumbling’s really on point. Yeah, I don’t know choreographically what to say about it, but I don’t know, I thought it was a really fun, high energy routine.

JESSICA: I love her so much I can’t even stand it! She is like–I’m in love with her! Oh! She’s everything! She’s so fantastic! She’s totally into her dance, she can dance, she actually dances to the music. And it’s not just like standing and stuff, she shows extension and has great presentation. Oh my God, her leaps are like all over split. She shimmies and does a little samba in the corner, and it all looks good and it goes with the music. And she does this crazy backwards spinning leap thing off from her knees. I love her! Oh my God, her tumbling is so freaking good, too! Like, her landings are a little bit, they’re not like perfect stuck, but that’s bad for you anyway so we’re just going to ignore that. But she’s, I’m totally obsessed with her. I’m obsessed, obsessed, obsessed. They have to go to Worlds this year because hello! No one’s going to defect to another communist country. Like, Cuba, come on! They’ve got to send a team. [UNCLE TIM LAUGHS] I love her!

UNCLE TIM: So to go back to Beyoncé, that was Rebecca Andrade of Brazil.

LAUREN: Yes, that’s it, from Brazil. Yeah. I love that routine. I was like, “What is happening? This is my new favorite thing in life.” It’s like a remix of several Beyoncé songs. It’s awesome.

UNCLE TIM: It’s pretty fantastic. We’ll also link to that in our show notes. And then on the men’s side we have Manrique Larduet, also of Cuba. He’s doing crazy stuff, he’s really awesome. I think that he had an 89 or a 90 in the all-around, which is an exceptional score. Very well contend at the Worlds on several events–parallel bars, floor, all around. His floor routine had a little bit maybe, a little bit of the old school Cuban flare that you love, Jessica. What did you think? There’s a little transition in the corner that I thought maybe you’d like a lot. And maybe Danell Leyva could take some notes on.

JESSICA: I just, this…God, Cuba, I just. This makes me yearn for the days when Cuba was at everything. Because they’re just, their style is just so beautiful. Like, their tumbling is huge, and they actually include the artistry. Oh my God! His form, it’s just so nice! He does like a thomas, or is it like a one and half thomas? And his legs just look like they go on for days. And I love his little thing in the corner. I don’t know, it’s like a twisting hitch kick. There’s probably some Frenchie ballet name for that, but I don’t know what it is. The only thing that’s distracting is that he is so taped up that his legs look like he has casts on, which is worrisome. But I just love him. Like, I love the Cubans. Bring on all the Cubans, they are just, they’re, they’re exactly what I want on the artistic side and the power side married together in perfect harmony. They’re like a team of Produnovas. You know how I feel about her.

UNCLE TIM: Nice. So what was going on in master’s gymnastics news, Jessica?

JESSICA: Well, I don’t know if you guys watched The Extreme Weight Loss on ABC, which sounds like the most horrible name for a show ever. But it’s actually, it doesn’t have to do with their making them lose weight in an extreme way. It’s that they have an extreme amount of weight to lose. So, that’s a little bit reassuring. But anyway, this one was this woman Georgiana, who was–or Georgeanna, I guess her name was, Georgeanna. And she was a competitive gymnast, and she always loved gymnastics. You know, she had the posters all over her room, and her daughters grew up doing gymnastics. But she went right from being a competitive athlete to having two kids, and then she just didn’t…she completely focused on her kids and did nothing for herself, so she gained all this weight. And she like, now she had high blood pressure and all these problems, so she wanted to get back. And you know, her family’s totally supportive of her, like, losing the weight. And like, her, you know, her passion was gymnastics. So the trainer she worked with was like, “Okay, we’ll use that as your goal for losing weight.” And so the very first workout, she was 315 pounds, she does cartwheels all the way across this field. That’s her first day of boot camp. I was like, “Yes!” And you can see, like, she has great flexibility and strength. Like, despite all this weight she’s gained, can you imagine strapping on a weight pack that’s, you know, 215 pounds and doing cartwheels with it? You have to be really strong to do that. So like, she definitely had, like, a great base that she’s working from. It was so cool to watch, so like at each milestone she had something she had to accomplish, and she had to get to a certain weight, and then sort of she had a reward. And one of the rewards when she had lost 117 pounds was she got to work out with Nadia. And Nadia choreographed a floor routine for her. Oh my God, and Nadia. You guys know how Nadia is. Like, we never get to hear her do commentary anymore, but she says exactly what she thinks. Like, she has no filter. I’m sure she does, but she doesn’t use it very often, which is my favorite thing about her. Because I am very much the same way. So she’s like, “She lost 117 pounds. That’s a whole gymnast. She’s already lost a whole gymnast.” It’s amazing. She’s like, “Can you believe this? That’s a whole person.” So Nadia works with her, she’s cracking up, she’s like matter of fact. And Nadia’s like, “Oh, okay. You can already do your back walkover.” Like, they spotted her on her back walkover on the low beam. She weighs, I don’t know, one…what would she be then? Still, what’s the math? She was 315 and she lost…she’s like 200 pounds and she’s doing back walkovers on beam. She’s amazingly strong and has this incredible flexibility. So then she’s like, “Oh, let’s take you to the tumble trak and we’ll try some back handsprings.” And she’s totally doing her back handsprings with a spot. It was so cool! She cried when she saw Nadia, and then at the very end when she’s lost pretty much all of her weight, she’s, like, down to 181 pounds, she does this performance in front of–are you ready for this? Like, how nervous would you guys be? She–like, even if you were in the best shape of your life, how, even if you had, like your 12 year old body, how nervous would you be? She does a routine, a floor routine and a beam routine, in front of Bart Conner, Shannon Miller, Dominique Dawes–who’s pregnant at this point in the show, and Nadia’s there to help coach her in her corner. Oh my God! So she does her beam. It’s just, like, basics, but you can see she has good basics. And Bart was so complimentary, the way he always is. And he said, “You can tell that you have this background and you were a gymnast because you have your, the way the technique you used, the way your arms are.” He was just so complimentary. And then she does her floor routine, and she has a round off back handspring in it, and a front handspring. She’s terrified to do the back handspring by herself. So her coach goes out there and gives her a spot for it, and she kind of, and then she, like, fell on her front handspring. But she did the whole thing, right? And she went for it. Because she was terrified not to do it perfectly. And this is the other thing. So Mary Lou Retton comes on the show, halfway, and she coaches her. And Mary Lou Retton’s like, “I had the same struggles. It’s like, as a gymnast you want to be perfect all the time. Like, if you can’t be perfect than you don’t even want to try it.” You know, do you guys ever have that? Where you, if you can’t do it with good form, even if it’s like, learning some new thing in the gym. Like, if it’s going to be ugly, why even bother trying? Do you ever have that?

UNCLE TIM: I just have impeccable form all the time. [LAUGHTER]

JESSICA: I feel like when I learned, like, Olympic lifting and stuff, I was like, I don’t want to do it with any heavy weights. Like, I want to do it with just the bar until it’s absolutely. And then I will add the tiniest bit of weight until I can do that absolutely perfect. Which I know is a bad example, because you should do it with perfect form, Olympic weight lifting, or you’re going to blow your back out. But I can, I can relate to that.

UNCLE TIM: I have a good example.

JESSICA: Okay, go.

UNCLE TIM: I’m that way in yoga. I have to point my toes, I have to have 180 split when I’m doing different things, and yeah. I’m that way in yoga.

JESSICA: Good. So, Mary Lou Retton also talks about… So this woman, Georgeanna’s telling her her story about how she didn’t pay any attention to herself and just put everything into her kids and her husband and whatever, and Mary Lou Retton’s like, “I can totally relate. After I had my kids I totally struggled with body image, because I was like, ‘I have to get my body back.’” And she’s like, “How insane was that? I’m not ever going to get my 16 year old body back, let alone my 16 year old elite gymnast body back. That’s totally unrealistic!” So she really opened up about struggling with that, just as an athlete and having that idea of, “Oh, my perfect body is how I looked at my peak.” And that’s just totally unrealistic, you know?

SPANNY: It’s impossible to get over that, too. Like, I’m not going to claim that I was ever anything near an elite, because clearly that is not the case. But it is every single day you have to remind yourself. You know, whether you believe in science, or God, or the juju bee, or whatever like designed the female body to distort in such a way to prepare for this baby, to deliver this baby. And not all those bodies go back. I deal with it every single day. Because even though I lost the weight, my body is a whole new body. Like, it’s, that’s just how it is. It never, like, I have to remind myself every day. I’m never fit into those jeans anymore, because my hips are on another planet [JESSICA and SPANNY LAUGH] than they were before. And that’s just how it is. And it’s frustrating and at the same time extremely empowering. You’re like, “You know what? Nope, can’t do that. But I can do this, I can create the miracle of life. Wonderful! Life that doesn’t know how to poop without me helping it.” [LAUGHTER]

JESSICA: That’s a thing, I think, like, I totally struggled with that too. Because I’m like always going up 20 pounds, down 20 pounds, up 40 pounds, down 30 pounds–like, my weight’s all over the place.

SPANNY: Mm hmm.

JESSICA: And I really, like, one of the things I have to remind myself is when I go to gymnastics, like, sometimes I’ll look like I’ll weigh 165 pounds. Sometimes I’ll weight 190 pounds when I go in there. And I’m just like, because I’m so self-conscious about that.


JESSICA: But you know what, I’m just like, doing this because I love it and because it’s fun for me is what helps me get back in shape.


JESSICA: But doing this because I love it is what helps me get back in shape. And so I have to, I just have to go in and be like, you know, “I don’t care what anybody thinks, and I’m just going to do this. I’m going to start on trampoline, do my conditioning, and slowly I’ll get back to it.” But like, having that passion about something is just so helpful to motivate yourself to workout.

SPANNY: That, and what a high. Like, it is a physical and mental high. I just this past weekend, with my nephews were in town. We went and, we went to the gym and I did back handsprings and back tucks for the very first time since I had… Since 2009 I’ve had two knee surgeries, a hip surgery, and a uterus…a baby extraction from the uterus. [LAUGHTER] And so it’s been five years, over five years since I’ve done anything, anything like that. And it was kind of like you mentioned. “Okay, I’m going to get up on trampoline, I’m just going to bounce here a little bit, just chuck it.” And it is the most exciting. Like just, my air sense is so out of whack I was caught off guard. But yeah. I left, like, I was floating. I wasn’t walking, I wasn’t even human anymore. I was dead and I had ascended into the heavens. Because I was so happy just to be able to do, just do that again. Or for the first time. I imagine that it’s the first as had I done it before when I was you know mother doing it for the first time. I, there’s something magic about gymnastics.

JESSICA: There is! And just like, leaving the gym with chalk on you, and the sweat, and just like the feeling…

SPANNY: Mm hmm.

JESSICA: I love it. I feel so accomplished, even if I go and I’m like, “Okay, I haven’t been here in a while, I’m a little overweight, I need to go just work on basics for a while so I don’t kill myself.” Which basically means trampoline. And what’s more fun in the entire world than trampoline onto the resi pit? Oh my God, my favorite thing ever. And doing a lot of handstands. It’s just like, it’s the best, oh my God. And so I love that they pick this woman for the show, to show that yes, you can still do gymnastics even if you’re overweight. And not only is it–I mean, she’s not doing crazy stuff. But she used it as a goal to lose weight, and it was super fun for her, and she had these like very concrete markers that she could reach. So the first thing was that she was going to do her front handspring by herself. And then she did her back walkover on beam. And then she did her back handspring. So the very final step at the very end of her final weigh in and all that stuff. You know, like, makeover and she has her extra skin cut off and all that stuff. Which, they did a fabulous job with, by the way. You couldn’t even tell, there’s like no scars. And I have some friends who did that and have like huge scars, so make sure you go to this clinic, wherever they did this show, because the plastic surgeons there are magical. So if anyone needs that surgery, just by the way. So she does her final test, she does her weigh-in, and they’re like, okay, you’re going to do your back handspring right now, by yourself. So she weighs a hundred and…what did she weigh then? 165 I think, something like that? Or was that…I think it was 165…she ends up at 1…yeah, around there. So she does her back handspring by herself, totally does it, no problem. Stand back handspring, by herself, she’s 44 years old, she has two kids, and she does a standing back handspring by herself. And the coaches were just like, “Yes, that’s it! You’re a gymnast!” Like, you just did this skill by yourself, you know. And it was just like the best, best thing ever. When she’s did it on the show, I totally yelled. I was like, “Go, block, she did it, she did a back handspring!” [LAUGHS] And that’s like, when you can do any kind of flip or back handspring, that’s when you feel, “I’m a gymnast.” You know?

LAUREN: Yeah, yeah.

JESSICA: Even if it’s on tramp or whatever. It was so great, and so motivational, I just loved that these judges, you know all these great gymnasts participated and promoting adult gymnastics. That’s what they did. It was a whole masters gymnastics show, and hats off to all of you who participated in this. It was just so inspirational. And it was great to watch and feel, I feel, like, motivated. I feel like every woman in the whole entire world can relate to this woman. You know, you have ten pounds you feel like are overweight or you know, 300, or whatever. It was just, she, they sent a great message, it was wonderful.

SPANNY: Yeah. Like fitness through playing is…I feel…in my… for me, for my body it is the best way to attain any sort of fitness goal. Right now my fitness goal is to be able to play, like really play in the playgrounds with my son. We’ve been having a lot of fun with that this summer, and my fitness goal is always to be able to do that. Is to be… if I can’t fit in there, and he’s like, “Mom, no you’re lame, go away.” Like, I want to be able to climb up there, and I want to be able to do the monkey bars with him, and I want to be able to, you know, play on all those toys. Because that’s what they seem to me, they’re like toys. Healthy fitness goals that are tangible as opposed to ideals, I guess.

JESSICA: Yeah, exactly. Not the ideal of perfection, just like… yeah, and don’t you feel like you play… Every time my nieces are here, or small friends are over–like, my friends bring their kids over–I find myself pushing myself way harder to workout. When I’m like, trying to get away from a little kid in the pool…

SPANNY: Oh yeah!

JESSICA: …and I’m like, “Of course you’ll never catch me! I’m amazing, I’m an adult, I’m way faster than you!” But then, you know, I have to let them catch me eventually. But I, like, work so hard.

SPANNY: Yeah, it’s, you know, playing with children is such a workout. It’s an energy suck. And it’s worth it.


SPANNY: Because, you know, from a fitness standpoint as well. To just keep going, going, you know, at the children’s museum today, crawling. Lots of crawling. Crawling is hard. [JESSICA LAUGHS] It is hard for me. And I did it. And there were like…because they whole thing was like, anthills. So you were an ant–sorry, I forgot about your ant problems. [JESSICA LAUGHS] But I was an ant today. And you crawl through these ant hills, which–good thing I’m not claustrophobic, because I probably would have like, lit the place on fire. But yeah, it was just fun, fun. And that’s what master’s gymnastics is too. It’s just fun. It’s fun exercise.


UNCLE TIM: Before we get to gymternet news and your letters, here’s how you can support the show. To donate, there’s a donate button on the About page. All money, or I should say in my Wisconsin accent…

SPANNY: Yes. Although that was not a Wisconsin accent.

UNCLE TIM: I know it wasn’t. About. I can’t do it anymore. About and Aboat.



SPANNY: [WISCONSIN ACCENT] There’s a donate button on the about page. All money raised goes directly to [LAUGHTER] the show. To improving our sound equipment and paying our bills. [UNCLE TIM LAUGHS] We have an Amazon bookmark. Remember, if you shop on Amazon from us [LAUGHTER] a little portion of what you buy goes back to supporting the show. Yeah.


SPANNY: [WISCONSIN ACCENT] You put a bookmark link on our About page. Just go to the link, [LAUGHTER] add it to your bookmarks or favorites, and use the bookmark when you shop. [LAUGHTER]

JESSICA: I feel like you’re wanted in Fargo.

LAUREN: That is drop dead gorgeous, the whole movie.

UNCLE TIM: I feel like I’ve gone to Piggly Wiggly or some grocery store.

SPANNY: [WISCONSIN ACCENT] Plus, on iTunes, review us on iTunes or Stitcher. [LAUGHTER]


UNCLE TIM: I just got one upped by Spanny Tampson. [LAUGHTER]

SPANNY: The Midwest won.


JESSICA: Okay, speaking of Spanny Tampson, let’s get down to some Midwest news and talk about Gabby. Because it looks like Gabby is training with–okay, last week we talked about how Gabby had left Chow’s, and we didn’t know what was going on, and I suggested that Nastia invite her over to her apartment and have a, be an arbitrator for whatever’s happening because Chow and Gabby are meant to be together. But right now it looks like Gabby is training with Fernando, who is one of the coaches who coached her at Waller’s Gym Jam when she was living in LA. But Fernando is now at Buckeye, where Nia Dennis trains. You know, Nia Dennis with the highest standing arabian ever, Nia Dennis. And so it makes sense she would go work out where Fernando is, because he was coaching her before. So, Spanny, what are your thoughts on this? Do you have any insight?

SPANNY: [WISCONSIN ACCENT] Well, I–now I can’t stop doing it. [WITHOUT ACCENT] My initial thoughts are sadness, because, you know, consistency in both gymnastics and but also in your home life, family life just outside of gymnastics, like real life, is important. And it’s sad that everything’s always kind of up in the air for her. Knowing very little about her, her departure, I don’t know. As long as she is happy and she finds a place that she is comfortable at where she can stay for some time, without any of the drama. And I feel terrible too. Like, once it was kind of announced that, I think it was Nia, someone wrote on Nia’s askfm and she’s like, “Yeah, Gabby’s training here.” And people are like, “Oh God. She is there to steal your family and your pets, you better run!” [JESSICA LAUGHS] And just really bad, mean things. Like, I hope that, I don’t know. I hope Nia, and Nia does seem strong enough to know that, for her to know that this doesn’t affect her training in any other way. Anything other than it pushing her.


SPANNY: She’s now training with the Olympic champion, going neck and neck and that’s why, and that’s kind of why I see them both on the team, is I can’t think of one situation that Nia would have come across that Gabby hasn’t already dealt with. Mentally. And yeah, it’s, I just hope she stays there for a while.

JESSICA: I’m pretty stoked that Nia has her to train with, because exactly, getting pushed. And Nia’s already amazing…


JESSICA: …so I hope that there’s things that will push Gabby too. Like, it’s good to have all these training partners who push you. So Lauren, tell us what’s happening with The Couch Gymnast. You’ve been a part of The Couch Gymnast for a long time, and then we were all really sad to see that the site was just down for a while. So can you just give us an update on what’s happening?

LAUREN: Yeah, so the servers were down for a few months. Basically everything was lost from the original website, which is a shame because it was six years of work. They started it right before the 2008 Olympics. So I think, like, Bridget put a lot of time and money into getting the servers back up. But once it finally happened, just everything was gone. So it’s back, it’s slowly getting its feet back on the ground. There are a few articles up now, and yeah. It should be going strong, hopefully, again soon.

JESSICA: Awesome, good.


JESSICA: Glad to hear it. And then, Spanny, you’ve been watching Beyond the Routine…

SPANNY: Mm hmm.

JESSICA: …the one about Texas Dreams.


JESSICA: Give us a little review.

SPANNY: All right, yeah, I have been watching. And they, it’s interesting, they progressively get better. So it’s broken into four episodes, which I agree with because there’s a lot of interesting… I mean, I will say that they’ve been doing them for, just over a year now? Maybe a year and a half they’ve been doing this series?

LAUREN: A year and a half, yeah.

SPANNY: From that first one to what they do now, it’s unreal. Like, just the artistic value, the subject content, everything, the editing, everything else it’s wonderful. Okay. The first episode basically focuses on Kim and her haunting eyeballs. Just basically talking about how, well, they touched for just a minute on how she never understood the importance of having been the first American World all-around champion. Or if not the importance, at least, maybe she didn’t know that she had been the first. And then that kind of tied into her, which, quote, massive air quote, you know, quote unquote, her failure at the ’92 Olympics. And she said, and she got her haunting eyes, being like, “I…it…you have to, you know, learn that the stars do not align like that more than once.” Like, it’s not often that they align like that way more than once. Which is so true. I mean, lightening doesn’t strike twice, and it’s not every meet that you’re going to be so far ahead of everybody that you’re going to win, and you’re going to do it again next year. It’s, that makes this year’s Worlds more interesting in a Simone, all around…we’ll go back to that, okay. More about Kim, she talks about going to coach down with Mary Lee. And at that’s where she met Chris. Fast-forward a bunch of years, now they want to start their own gym. And you know, they have, they waited to have children so they could really get in there and develop this as a business. Chris is, his coaching philosophy, he’s more the good cop to Kim Zmeskel’s bad cop. He, he’s very open about the way he pits the girls against one another.

JESSICA: Really?

SPANNY: Yeah. And he’s really, “It’s all good. They get it. They laugh about it.” I don’t know–I feel like a lot of it’s like, really condescending?


SPANNY: I know, right? Where it’s like, “Nanana.”

UNCLE TIM: Are you going to start in a Sea World or something… What was the comment? Something about starring in a Sea World show or something. I was like, “What?”

SPANNY: Yeah, just really, like, passive aggressive. Like, underhanded just snark. I don’t know. That, I’m aware that he, I believe that he doesn’t believe that there’s any harm in it. But I don’t know. That gives me the willies, just a little bit. And then it’s well, it’s been well documented that Kim, before her children, was kind of a Bela clone. And then she had her kids and she’s like, “Maybe kids aren’t bad, maybe we should not scream at them.” End of story. The second episode is all about Bailie. She’s, I, you know, I like her. Just as a person, from what I can tell from a couple of minutes of video, I like her. She’s so soft spoken. At the same time is very confident in what she says. I feel like she doesn’t say words that she doesn’t need to say. Unlike myself. Macy and Bailie, they share an apartment. They are with Macy’s parents and Bailie’s grandmother. Well, they split the guardian duties. And just offhand, they’re like, “It’s been, well, four years.” So Bailie’s been doing this since she was ten. Like, living in an apartment with her friend with alternating parents, basically. That’s, that’s a thing. But it’s worth it, because she has her amanar, and we saw that. And it’s been giffed all over the gymternet. The entity, not the thing. Yeah. I think it really was just kind of a generic one, with like, “Oh, Bailie’s fantastic. Here she is at Pac Rims. Oh, she’s winning, she’s wonderful.” Now as I said, they get better. The third episode is mostly about Peyton. And we really got to see her tenacity in that, she came in as just a very gifted girl. Where, she was insanely flexible, and I know those kids get pushed in get pushed through the levels. They’re pushed, you’re in your preschool class and you’re like, “Oh my God, this kid is insanely flexible.” You’re like, “Okay, boom. Preteam.” That sort of thing. She didn’t, it was unclear as to whether she didn’t have the drive, she did not have the focus, she didn’t want to be there, but for whatever the general consensus–being Chris, Kim, Marta–basically thought she was never going to get very far. And then suddenly she just was. Now I can’t remember which meet it was. Sometime last year, she just, maybe it was Nationals. She just was fabulous. And they, from there they sent her to three international meets in a row. She went to Jesolo, Germany, and then to Japan. Came home and then she was sent; she went to fill in for Simone Biles at Pac Rims when Simone had to leave. And that’s a lot for someone they just didn’t really believe in. And she showed them bitches wrong. [LAUGHTER] She showed them ladies wrong. I don’t know. Yeah.


SPANNY: What’s that?

UNCLE TIM: Sorry, can we talk about her story about what happened when she was in a hotel?

LAUREN: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah! [UNCLE TIM LAUGHS] This is probably why Marta likes her now. So apparently there’s this hilarious story where they’re in…I can’t remember which meet it’s at. But they’re at the hotel, and it turns out that Peyton sleep walks a little bit. So she slept walked herself right out of the room and right down the hall and right over to Marta’s door. And started banging on her door. [JESSICA LAUGHS] Banging on her door! And then Marta comes out, and she says, “What, what, what? Did you sleep walk?” And she’s like, “I don’t know, I’m… am I awake? Where am I?” And then Marta’s like, “Oh dear God.” Yeah. So she basically came to with Marta’s face in her face asking her what she wanted. [UNCLE TIM LAUGHS] Which is obviously also your nightmare, but in her, that’s a messed up situation. So Bailie’s just, like, cackling in the background. Now they, now she has to sleep with room in key in her bra. [LAUGHTER] Which sounds terrible. Who has to sleep with their bra? But [UNCLE TIM LAUGHS] whatever, yeah. Lest she go and she roam the dorms.

UNCLE TIM: It seemed like a plot line out of Make It or Break It.


JESSICA: Oh my God, I can’t believe they don’t have like one of the trainers sleeping in front of the door. So that she can’t open it or something. Like, that seems like it would be serious hazard. I mean, sleep walking to the point where you open doors and walk around in hotels at night in your pajamas? In foreign countries?

LAUREN: Yeah, please.

SPANNY: Yeah, that’s awful. That’s serious.

LAUREN: Yeah. So, hilarious, good. I love her eyebrows. And then my favorite episode–the title was something like, “Who–The Famous Ones” or whatever and I was like, “Really?” But it was mostly about Nica, and it was, it was touching. It was. Like I, curmudgeonly, dead-hearted me, was like, “Oh my God, this is really great.” It’s on about how her entire life has basically–she’s only wanted one school. It was always going to be UCLA UCLA UCLA. And so when Kim was like, “Okay, we need to start thinking about schools and some ideas,” she was like, “Oh, I’ve got it for you. U-C-L-A.” And then Kim’s like, “Oh. Well. Okay then. UCLA.” And they went there. Her family took a trip to go visit. And Miss Val and Chris Waller pulled her into the office just to chat, and at the end went over all of her accomplishments and followed that with offering her a scholarship. Which she verbally committed to. But not before just, like, breaking down and sobbing. Like, hysterics. Like, hysterical tears. And you might think, “Oh, it’s because she’s emotional little girl.” And no. Like, when they went back there they were talking to her, they were interviewing her. Even just the way that she starts to tear up when she was interviewing, I just think, “This girl, she could be an actress.” She really could. Because she has the most beautiful face that can emote so much emotion. Not always, not just crying. But when she was talking about Miss Val and UCLA, just the light. Like her face was illuminated. And then when she was talking about the scholarship, when she was so happy that she cried, like… And the reason wasn’t just like, “Yeah, I got this thing!” It was, it was, “Why’d you cry?” Or, “Why did it make you emotional?” And she says “It’s, it’s because Miss Val read off all of my accomplishments. You know? Maybe it’s just that come to Jesus moment, where you’re like, “This is what I’ve done. And Miss Val thinks it’s awesome. Or it’s just, no one has to think it’s awesome. You can just hear back, like, like, your credits of all the things you’ve done in your life. That’s amazing. And she’s 14, so…FML. [JESSICA and LAUREN LAUGH] She’s 14. I don’t know, that was really touching. Just how, you know, most of these episodes are so focused on Worlds teams, Olympic teams, glory, glory, glory. And here’s Nica, hysterical, sobbing over an athletic scholarship. And that’s, you know, that’s absolutely a service to the sport.

UNCLE TIM: No, oh, the one cute moment was, the other cute moment was in the final episode, Ragan Smith is showing her room and her grandmother gave her a book. And the book, of course, is Kim Zmeskel’s biography.

LAUREN: And every…those books, like, got me through my teenage years. My teenage, 12-13 year old years.


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

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

Let’s get to mail call. So, last week we talked a little bit about the whistling noises that go on in T&T. Tumbling and Trampoline. And we asked kind of, why this is, and why people hurdle, and then we hear a whistling sound coming out of their mouth. So, one person, let’s talk about Jim on Twitter told us that these sounds happen because the gymnast is doing a line out, which is when you come out of a tuck or pick position into a straight or like, a layout position. And that they’re exerting so hard that their breathe comes out in a whistle.

UNCLE TIM: When I exert really hard, sounds come out the other end. [LAUGHTER] Is what I was just thinking, so you know. [LAUGHTER]

JESSICA: There has to be a lot of farting in tumbling and trampoline, right? [LAUGHTER]

UNCLE TIM: Probably on rings too, I’m guessing. You know.

JESSICA: Yes! Stalders, rings, and tumbling and trampoline. We’ll have to talk to them about this. We also got a letter, because last week we discussed this and we discussed if the age rules were sexist. And so one, the first thing CR wrote in, and she says, “Regarding the whistling while running for power tumblers, it’s because you need the breath for tumbling while running before tumbling because the tumbling passes are so long. However you want to time your breathing with your run, so it’s not distracting and doesn’t throw you off, resulting in quick, intense breaths during the run.” So, that’s…I never thought about them being so long you had to take a giant breath. I always thought, like you would breath like you do in a bar routine. But who knows? So the next thing she says, which was… Okay, here’s the thing. So then she’s talking about the age differences for men and women, and it’s not sexist, and it has to do with your body, and when you go through puberty, and optimal time for women is before you gain body fat, which is before puberty, and the optimal time for men is after they gain muscle, which is post puberty. And that the optimal body type for women is prepubescent body type, and yes, there are women who have succeeded–Beth Tweddle, and on and on–who have normal female bodies, which would be hips, wider hips for example, breasts, all that stuff. And then she says, you know, the contrast is the male is ideal after this age and the women are ideal before. So the, you know, and she’s like, it’s not sexism, it’s that it has to do with when it’s optimal for you. And, you know, it’s just biological. And we totally, yes, we totally that, and we totally understand that there is the, you know, body fat changes for women and that is why it’s more optimal when you have a better strength to weight ratio, which is before puberty for women and not necessarily so for men after puberty. So that’s all, but I feel like we’re talking about this, and very good point, and your points are all true, are all correct, but I think the thing we’re talking about here is, can you really have a sport that people can get behind and believe in and can really be good for the sport if you can only do it when you’re, before you go through puberty? That’s the age-old question. I mean, I don’t think that’s a healthy sport, if you can only do it before you get your period.

UNCLE TIM: I mean, I’m trying to think if there are any comparable sports besides gymnastics. I don’t think there really is, I think the closest would probably be professional ballet dancers. And you know, that’s, I know, I don’t think I would ever let my daughter be a professional ballet dancer, ever. You know, one of my friends’ former roommates danced with the New York Ballet growing up, and just her stories, I don’t think I could let her do that. And so I think in ballet there’s still a need, I mean it’s changing in certain companies, but in certain circles there’s still a need to have that prepubescent look. I mean, yeah. So I guess that would be the most comparable. And it’s not necessarily… right, is ballet a sport? Or is it just performance art? You know, that’s a different question.

SPANNY: Situation, you know, in other sports too. I was thinking diving. Might be one that, I don’t know, your ability might drastically change once the Big M comes.

JESSICA: Is it the right thing to have a sport you can only do before puberty?

SPANNY: No, because it was sport before, when people did it after puberty.

JESSICA: Mm hmm.

SPANNY: The way that the current rules are don’t…They really… It’s confusing, because you need this difficulty, you need a lot of it, you need to do it in this amount of time, no. Prepubescent bodies are going to be best to do that. But they want the older girls to do the things that the prepubescents can. And not get hurt, which older girls do. Older women. No, it’s not, it’s simply, I understand that, you know, from ’76 to even to ’94, I mean ’92, it was. That was all very prepubescent. But then you could say that Aunt Flo came at about ’96. [LAUGHTER] And, yeah. Even, I mean just look at that group of people. Look at the Mag 7. Sure, you could, I think it’s arguable, that two, and I feel icky even just contemplating other girls’, women’s, their, you know, their ovulation, and blah blah,because it’s just none of my business. It’s not my place to judge based on looks anyways. Because there’s going to be someone like, Amy Chow let’s say. She’s never going to be a big, busty, hippy lady. She’s always going to be kind of straight framed, because that is her body. And awesome. But you would argue, I could think of two members of the Mag 7 probably hadn’t gone through it yet. The rest almost undoubtedly had. And that team did okay. They were all right.

JESSICA: They weren’t bad.


SPANNY: They had a smidge of success. Yeah, I think it’s, you know. It’s a hurdle, I mean, but it’s certainly not the finish line. And that’s all I have to say about that.

UNCLE TIM: I was trying to remember. I think it was Dominque Dawes who didn’t have her period until she was 18 or 19. I know Kathy Johnson was kind of one of the more extreme examples, she didn’t have hers until she was 23, I want to say. Or 25.

SPANNY: But that was like, forced, whereas I think Dawes was just naturally, like, that was just her body, and you know. Yeah.

JESSICA: Yeah. Because Kathy Johnson was just like, totally developed except for that, which is so weird.

SPANNY: Mm hmm.

JESSICA: But maybe it’s because her body fat was so low all those years.


JESSICA: So yeah. Anywhoo. Let’s talk about sheep jumps. So last week we asked, or a weird Korean news agency asked, “Why is a sheep jump called a sheep jump?” And the great photographer and judge Grace Chu told us on our Facebook page, “The leg positions are supposed to resemble a set of horns on a big horned sheep. Think British Colombia. Kind of like this.” And she showed us a picture, which I’ll put up for you guys on our Instagram. “I think in Rhythmic the feet can be apart, so you don’t kick your eyeballs out.” And then she put a picture of a rhythmic gymnast doing a sheep jump that looks totally different from when artistic gymnasts do it. So she’s far bent back that her head is actually between her ankles. And her arms are out to the side. So if you look at it like that, you can see how her arms and her legs make like circle, like a big horned sheep. But I really can’t tell if Grace Chu is pulling our leg or if she’s serious about this. If she’s serious then it would make sense that if this is the sheep, then the wolf would be jumping forward and the sheep is jumping back. I don’t know. What do you guys think? Is she kidding, or is she serious?

UNCLE TIM: I don’t know. When I saw the photo, I was like, that’s not a sheep, that’s a ram.

LAUREN: Mm hmm.

UNCLE TIM: But then I googled it, and I guess it’s a real sheep, I guess.


JESSICA: It was like the Canadian ballet, that came up with these names? When did this first come out? [LAUGHS] I have no idea. I kind of think she’s kidding, but at the same time it kind of makes sense, so. I think we should just call it a C-jump from now on. But then are we denigrating the legacy of the great sheep horned, what is this thing called? It’s a…

UNCLE TIM: It’s a big horned sheep. Big horned sheep. It’s not that complicated.

JESSICA: [LAUGHS] Thank you.


JESSICA: If you have an further comments or if you have an important life crisis that you need us to solve, like why is a sheep jump called a sheep jump, or you want to ask out that cute boy or girl on your gymnastics team let us help you. E-mail or send us a voicemail, at gymcastic@gmail.com or call 415-800-3191, or on Skype we’re GymcasticPodcast and let us know how we can help you and solve this crisis for you. Or let us know what we’ve totally mangled this week and what you completely disagree with, and we will read it here on the show and discuss. Remember this weekend you can watch the Commonwealth Games, this whole week actually, watch the Commonwealth Games. Download TunnelBear to watch it. And you can also watch the Secret Classic on the Secret Classic website. And check out Lauren’s new website, The Gymternet, and Spanny is writing there to, and remember The Couch Gymnast is back up and running. So you can visit them once again. And their Facebook page is always very active. And as always we will have a YouTube playlist up so you can watch the routines and the people we are talking about as you listen to this show. And thank you everybody again for volunteering for the transcription team, you guys are the best. Gymcastic is produced and edited by Jessica O’Beirne, sexy data by our content and social media director Dr. Uncle Tim. Audio engineer is Ivan Alexander. The theme song is mixed by Chris Seculu, as performed by NWA. Transcription by Katy, Katie, Alex, Amanda, CeCe, Danica, Emma, Jillian, and Kristy! Thanks to you all! I am Jessica, from Masters-Gymnastics.

SPANNY: Spanny Tampson, from Spanny’s Big Fake Smile.

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

LAUREN: And I’m Lauren from The Couch Gymnast and The Gymternet.

JESSICA: Thank you all for listening, and we’ll see you next week.