Episode 136 Transcript

JESSICA: Remember this show is PG­13 so you might hear a naughty word or two






JESSICA: Today, Elite Canada now with more Moors, and the best job posting we have ever read. This is episode 136 for February fourth 2015 and welcome to the number one gymnastics podcast in the entire universe. I’m Jessica, and I’m here with Evan and Uncle Tim. Let’s start with gymternet news today, guys. First of all, Brazil. ESPN Brazil has been doing a lot of stuff and they did a little video story about Rebecca Andrade and she’s the one­ if you guys remember, she’s the one that was supposed to go to the Youth Olympic Games in Nanning last year but then she broke her toe and she was replaced by Flavia and, you know Flavia was the one who ended up getting silver in all­around and gold on floor and she was super super adorable with the Russian Seda, who­ I’m sorry that’s not­ it was Rebecca who she repla­ who that was supposed to go but then couldn’t go. And she’s also the one­ you remember Rebecca because she’s the one that used the Single Ladies song [laughing] by Beyonce for her floor music. And she’s also the one that does an Amanar. As a junior, she debuted her Amanar and she Rio­eligible, she’ll be a senior and she has an Amanar and the Olympics are going to be in her home country. So I’m just saying, you will need to know her name and it’s no wonder ESPN Brazil did this little story about her because she is what’s up in Brazil and the future of Brazil. So first thing I have to mention in this little little documentary story that they did, which was super cute, was that she was rocking a mesh long­sleeved black leo with little short shorts, like you wear little bike shorts, and it actually looked really cute. And I just wonder if you guys think this is­ I don’t know if it actually was a leotard? it might have been like a mesh shirt that was tucked into her little gymnastics shorts, but what do you guys think about this look? I’m expecting like Arkansas will adopt it next year but she looked kind of cute in it. Do you think it could work as a leotard in the future?



EVAN: I think that there’s a lot of black mesh and a lot of coloured mesh going on right now, uh especially in the college scene, you know coll­ NCAA always kind of brings out the uh [laughs] the mesh from the woodwork. So I think that it’s uh, it’s on trend.



JESSICA: All mesh though.100% mesh. All of it. There was no­ you could­ all nude, basically but her sports bra was cute­ it was like Adidas black with a white trim. But it was all mesh. so just­



EVAN: Yeah that’s kind of like Discoteca. JESSICA: Very.

UNCLE TIM: [laughs]


EVAN: You know, like ‘I’m gonna like put gel in my hair and make it like crunchy and wavy and then go out to the club’. Yeah, no. Um I don’t think that in that capacity it will, but I think like­ details of it are heading in the right direction.



JESSICA: OK. Do you think­ I mean, if anyone was gonna wear this, Uncle Tim, who do you think would be most likely to wear an all mesh leotard?



UNCLE TIM: Stefon from Saturday Night Live? JESSICA: [laughs]

UNCLE TIM: Well really that’s pretty much what Evan was describing, you know, going out, getting, you know, your hair all crunchy and stuff so that would be my vote. Um I don’t know who would wear this. It would have to probably be Rene Lyst.



JESSICA: [laughs]



UNCLE TIM: She will wear it as a coach.



JESSICA: I can totally see that. She probably already has that outfit. With mesh shorts.

UNCLE TIM: Probably. I haven’t seen it yet. Just wait for you know, PAC­12s this year [laughs] JESSICA: Oh I can’t wait. Yes. You guys will remember Rene Lyst as the one we discussed­

she was at Arkansas, now she’s at Arizona State during the lace­ see­through lace jumpsuit­ shorts jumpsuit as a coach on the floor. So, yeah that was her. The other thing that goes on besides her outfit, which actually looked really cute on her despite us talking about it like this, um first of all she’s totally adorable and giggly? the whole time she looks like she’s having fun. Their workouts looked very­ I mean it’s hard to judge just from this but they looked very

autonomous. The girls working out, doing their thing, not a lot of like coaches yelling at them the whole time or standing there giving direction. I kind of liked seeing that. And then her coach talked about her training a double double, so she’s doing it on a Tumbl Trak­ish kind of…floor that they had, and it looked really good. And she’s just stinking adorable. She looks so cute. I mean, I was really happy to see this and I’m excited for Brazil because they have such great coaching staff, they look like they’re really coming up and they’re working on hard stuff with nice form. Speaking of hard stuff, Niamh Rippin, oh my God, I don’t know how to say her name, you guys. Niami? Naye­um? Nimah?



EVAN: I don’t know either.



JESSICA: [sighs] I was supposed to check­



EVAN: I think I was gonna say­ I think I was going to say like Nim Rippin.



JESSICA: Nim Rippin. We’ll say that. Ok. So, you guys know who we’re talking about from the UK. So Rebecca Downie posted a video on Instagram of Rippin doing a Yurchenko double back. Mm­hmm. Into the pit, into the pit, not, you know, not freakin’ on the floor or anything. But it’s super exciting just to see anyone playing around with that. Just that they’re comfortable enough to actually throw it for fun was really­ is I think just super super fun to watch. Do you guys ever think we’ll see a woman do this? Will it ever be worth it for somebody to do it in the code or someone have it be so easy for them to do that they’ll actually throw it…get it named after them?



EVAN: I don’t want to tempt any emerging nation’s athletes by discussing this at all because I think that we’re probably dangerously close to seeing something like this in actual competition. Whether it’s successfully completed or not is another thing. Um with going backwards, you also, I think, you know, it’s easier to maybe land forwards or at least double flip forwards in some instances, especially on vault. Um so I would not be surprised but I will not be loving it at all.



UNCLE TIM: Yeah I hope we don’t see it any time soon [laughs] I don’t know, hers looked like it would have been a total head­plant. Not face­plant, it would have been a head­plant. You know I’m trying to think who else I’d heard trained one. I think Liz Tricase used to do one for the United States into the pit like like­ I believe it’s pronounced Neev. I believe there’s a­



JESSICA: Niamh. Yes.



UNCLE TIM: Niamh. Yes. I think that’s how you pronounce it. Anyway, so you know, like Niamh, Liz used to train it into the pit. Have we seen Simone Biles try one? I don’t remember. No.



EVAN: I feel like Maroney maybe did­



JESSICA: Maroney could totally do one. Easy. Easy.



EVAN: Right. She has a really compressed tuck, it would just be a matter of if she could get her hands up to her knees quick enough and securely. But I don’t think she would have any problem at all whatsoever landing that. But I want to say that she’s probably done…Yurchenko quads

into the pit, among double backs, so…with a block like that­



JESSICA: Just from warmups when she does her timer, her Yurchenko tuck timer, she’s high enough to do a double back and it looks like she has to stop herself from double flipping, like it’s that powerful. I think Sacramone probably could have done one. If she wanted to. London Phillips used to do one. Remember London Phillips? She went to SCATS in the late­



EVAN: I do remember her. London Phillips­ one and a half twisting double layout back in the day.


JESSICA: Yep. She used to do one but it wasn’t worth the danger factor, I guess. And then who was the one that went to UCLA, who also went to SCATS and­



EVAN: Jamila Antelem.



JESSICA: Yeah there’s videos of her playing around with the double pike, Yurchenko double pike just into the pit.



EVAN: Right.



JESSICA: But I honestly would like to see Maroney do it because Maroney, A, it would be easy for her, I wouldn’t be worried about her getting hurt at all, like I’d be worried like in general about her body holding up but in terms of safety, totally not worried about her. She could probably do it easy. She could do it piked, she could probably do it laid out, like she’s so high that she could just vault with the men. That’s how confident I am about her vaulting abilities. She’s that good.

So if her legs­ if her bones can stay together, she could totally do this easy. There is a new skill I’ve never seen­ I mean, someone must have played with it before but I’ve never seen it before. Cintia Rodriguez from uh Spain put up a video on Instagram of her doing a Stalder Hecht to high bar, so you know you’re on the low bar facing the high bar you’re doing a Stalder then you’re gonna hecht up and grab the high bar but before she grabs the high bar, she does a full twist to grab the high bar. I love this ‘cos it’s like old­school new­school mixed together. I love it so much. Do you think it would ever be worth­ that you would get enough swing out of it to actually make it worth doing? Or would you just dead hang?



UNCLE TIM: If a Chinese gymnast would do it, it would be a dead hang.

JESSICA: [laughs] What about a tiny Romanian? They’re not gonna dead hang out of it? UNCLE TIM: Probably. I don’t know I think that the trick would be timing your snap correctly,

and it would be hard because you’re going from an arched position to a hollow position and twisting and so I think it’d be hard to catch the bar and not be crooked in some ways.



JESSICA: Mm that’s true. You’d have to snap your feet back­ ‘cos when she does it, she basically is twisting it completely vertical. She’s not horizontal at all. But if you had­ if you actually snapped and twisted at the same time, then you could be­ you’d get the horizontal momentum going enough, but then I’d be worried about hitting the low bar but I don’t know why, like, that would never happen to them, but that’s just what I’d worry about.



EVAN: Well it’s also important to call out that she doesn’t actually catch a bar­ JESSICA: Yes.

EVAN: In the video [laughs]



UNCLE TIM: [laughs] JESSICA: This is true.

EVAN: It’s still very developmental so I think that­ I think it’s cool, I think it’s obviously something that no one else to my knowledge is doing, so it’s always cool to see kind of, you know, a few years ago was like, you know, with the exception of Khorkina, when people started twisting out of their Shaposhnikova, and then like, you know, there’s been full­twisting Shaposhnikovas and it’s just craziness. So things like that, maybe, but that skill’s already valued so high, that it

makes sense to progress, whereas like this simple transition, I don’t think the FIG or any type of ruleset will be like ‘Yeah, we wanna see more like revolutions in between the bars, from like a low to high transition. I just don’t­ I don’t see it going that way but it seems really fun to play around with.



JESSICA: So we found the­ actually we did not. On Twitter someone sent this to us. Thank you. Thank you so much. The greatest job posting of all time. I have no idea if this is real, but if it is real, someone please find out and send us a video of this because this is like if I ever quit my job, this is how I’m gonna do do it. Oh my God it’s the greatest thing I’ve ever seen. Everyone needs to do this when they quit their job. Ok here it is. This is what the posting says. It looks like maybe it’s from Craigslist ‘cos there’s a little star by it. Anyway, so it says ‘I am looking for a gymnast’ spelt­ g­y­m­n­i­s­t, ‘$200 for ten minutes. I am leaving my job and looking to hire a gymnast to do ten forward hand flips, just like in the movies, disguised as me as I make my grand exit’. Genius! [laughing] genius! I love this so much. [sighs] You guys, what would happen if you did this at your work? Would anyone be surprised if that’s how you made your grand exit? Have you ever done anything like this? Have you seen anything like this? [laughs]



EVAN: Um…I mean, for me, I think it would be more of a of a statement piece just to do a really good stomp­



JESSICA: [laughs]



EVAN: Out there, but um yeah. I can’t even wrap my head around that. I don’t think that I have ever…first, first don’t plan how to quit jobs too often.



JESSICA: [laughs]



EVAN: And second, don’t plan on incorporating gymnastics into much of that, so Uncle Tim? Are you looking to walk out anytime soon?



UNCLE TIM: No I’ve never done this. Um unfortunately, I haven’t done too much gymnastics in the workplace outside of coaching, but I have a feeling Jess has done a lot so Jess, please enlighten us.



JESSICA: No I have never done anything like­ I’ve only had one job­ ok, I had one job where I just worked one day and then never showed up again, that’s the job where I was like­ vegan, I thought I was being a vegan at the time and it was like this place where I had to deal with like fresh seafood and I didn’t know that it was still alive and I was supposed to put this crab in the case, and the crab was still alive so it jumped up and ran across the all rest of the food and infected it all ‘cos no meat’s supposed to touch any other meat, but how did I know the meat was still alive? Anyway that job I just never went back to. There’s only one other job I left and it wasn’t under good circumstances, but if I had thought about it, I would have gone in in a huff and done a gymnastics exit. Oh it’s genius. Have you ever seen anything like this? No. But this is the logistics: if you’re not gonna do the gymnastics yourself, where do you hide the person disguised as you? Like do you sneak out the back and you hide them under your desk wearing a wig, and the same clothes as you that day? Like the logistics is what really­ this fascinates me. I’m ver­ I’m obsessed with this now. Someone has to do it. So if you’ve ever done this, please write in. Or if you know anyone that’s done it, write in and tell us. Or if you’ve had any kind of gymnastics­related­ doesn’t have to be quitting your job, just a gymnastics­related like

harumph exclamation point on something in your life, [laughs] please tell us how you did it in full detail. Speaking of harumphs, someone [laughs] got there, someone had the final harumph at the FIG. Uncle Tim, can you fill us in on the Michael L’église drama?



UNCLE TIM: Wow that’s such beautiful French. Yes, so a few months ago we were talking about how many of the rhythmic judges for the FIG were sanctioned and basically, I don’t remember if they suspended or what have you but they were, you know, not allowed to judge for a little while because there was some kind of cheating going on and Michel Le­ go ahead Jess, pronounce that again for me so beautifully.



JESSICA: L’église



UNCLE TIM: Thank you. [laughs] JESSICA: [laughs]

UNCLE TIM: So he was one of the suspended judges and he was a vice president and he has appealed that decision and now he’s back in his vice presidency role for the FIG, which is quite interesting. So I mean I don’t really know all the details behind the scenes, I’m sure somebody out there on the gymternet who follows rhythmic gymnastics very closely could tell us, but um that’s about all I know for the time being. Anyway, so we have this game. Jess and I are very good at this game. So let me back up here, one evening, Jessica came to San Francisco and she and her husband went out for dinner with me and my boyfriend and my boyfriend just sat there silently the entire time­



JESSICA: [laughs]


UNCLE TIM: Because Jessica and I talked about gymnastics the entire time. Everything would be nerd­jacks. We would be talking about I don’t know some obscure topic like, I don’t know, champagne stocks, which is when the price of a stock rises really really quickly, and we were

like ‘oh champagne stocks, that’s like Simone Biles. She suddenly came out of nowhere for a lot of people and she was suddenly so popular and awesome’. That’s what we would do. And so this is our new favourite game, you have to bring everything back to gymnastics. It’s like seven degrees of Kevin Bacon but related to gymnastics. And so my challenge for you guys is nerd­jack some topics. Evan, for instance, how can we relate climate change to gymnastics?



EVAN: Well we all know that Al Gore was…shared, you know, an inconvenient truth and he has ties to President­ former President William Jefferson Clinton, who is from Arkansas and Arkansas is actually, you know, was a program that was kind of, you know, nobody really believed it was true. It was, like climate change, people were like ‘that’s a myth! That’s fake! That’s never going to happen!’



JESSICA: [laughs]



EVAN: And then boom, Arkansas is making the Super Six and then boom, polar bears are disappearing. What’s not real about that.



UNCLE TIM: Wow you’re really good at this game. JESSICA: That was well done. I’m intimidated now. EVAN: I’ve never played it either.

UNCLE TIM: It was beautiful. JESSICA: It was badass EVAN: Thank you

UNCLE TIM: Jessica I hear that there’s this new plug­in called Greenhouse. How is that related to gymnastics?



JESSICA: Well, ok so this plugin is the most fantastic thing ever and it’s free, and it’s to expose the role money plays in congress? it displays the detailed campaign contributions made for every single for every single senator and representative, including the total amount broken down by industry and size of donations, it will tell you like oh here’s­ this person received like five

bazillion dollars from the oil industry or this person received five bazillion dollars from the insurance industry. And you know the problem about the insurance industry is that the have a lot of power? they have a lot of power when it comes to litigation? they’re always going after

everyone instead of just paying, what you’ve paid to be, you know, insured for. And the problem


with that is when you­ there’s a lot of gyms that don’t want to have adult gymnastics because they’re afraid of being sued, not because no one has health insurance but because the health insurance doesn’t want to pay, ‘cos the insurance industry does not want to pay? they want to go after the gym and make the gym pay instead of them paying what they owe and what the

person is paying their insurance for. So that is how this fantastic plugin relates directly to gymnastics.



UNCLE TIM: Wow. You guys are really good at this game. I feel like I will lose. I am not so good at this.



JESSICA: I have to think of one for you now. Uh ok. How about this. Ewoks. UNCLE TIM: Ewoks?! [laughs] Man, first I have to know what an Ewok is. JESSICA: Oh my God!

UNCLE TIM: [laughs]



JESSICA: There’s one on my desk right now. Because I made Star Wars lamps for my new desk and they’re characters that are totally adorable that were never actually in the Star Wars books and they look like teddy bears come to life and they live on the planet Endor. They think C3PO is their God.



UNCLE TIM: So I would say Jenny Thompson is like the Ewoks of USA gymnastics. She was completely adorable as a little kid doing her whip whip whip through to a triple twist but, and you know, standing full on beam, but she just never really made one of the big big teams. There you go. I’m not as good at it as you guys, ok?



JESSICA: [laughs]



EVAN: I mean that’s evident, yes. UNCLE TIM: [laughs]




UNCLE TIM: Jess, walk me through how I should have answered that question.



JESSICA: Oh that’s a good­ that’s a good question. Ok so the Ewoks, they were not actually in the original um­ oh no that’s not a good way to go about it. So… oh ok I got it. So the Ewoks um they weren’t actually in the original Star Wars books. Endor was actually supposed to be a slave camp where the um Chewbacca’s race the Wookies were slaves, but apparently that wasn’t,

you know­ slavery’s not cute so they had to take it out and put in like live teddy bears. So the


way that relates is, you know, it’s like, you know you have to change the story so, you know, all these countries the only way is you know through gymnastics and people think that it’s like slavery and all these Communist countries for all the gymnasts and they try to whitewash it and say that they’re all like happy and they’re doing these things for patriotism but in reality we try to turn everyone into these adorable Ewoks but in the background you know that it was really a Wookie slave camp.



UNCLE TIM: This is the stuff that goes through your head every day, isn’t it?



JESSICA: [laughs] It does. And if you love listening to this kind of thing, what can you do, Evan? EVAN: You can ignore the talk of slave camp and­

JESSICA: [laughs]



EVAN: Help us pay our bills, naturally! So you can donate in a variety of ways­ directly on GymCastic.com, one time or on a monthly basis. You can make it recurring. We’re recurring. It’s all good. Choose your own adventure here. You can give as little or as much as you’d like. We just got an actual new donation from a listener who found the show and is now listening to all of the episodes they have previously missed because they have just discovered. And that is available obviously through the free archives, so, you know, once you find us, you’re not going

to want to leave us, and we’ll find you! UNCLE TIM: [laughs]

EVAN: So uh feel free to contribute as you can to keep this show running smooth.



UNCLE TIM: I’m just picturing Jess coming up to people’s windows and tapping and being like

[high voice] ‘donate!’



JESSICA: You know I subscribe people? When they ask about it, they’re like ‘oh how do I­‘, I’m like ‘give me your phone. Let me take care of that for you. I’m just gonna download the podcast app, subscribe you and let me just make it easy for you’, that’s what everybody should do. Just to make sure, you know, you don’t want to leave anything for chance. That’s what I do, which might bother someone but I ask them first if I can have their phone. Let’s talk about Elite Canada, you guys. So the most exciting thing about Elite Canada is that Victoria Moors is back. She didn’t retire, she’s not just doing a makeup blog for the rest of her life. She’s back in gymnastics and she said it felt good to be back and I’m so excited! So I haven’t seen any videos

of her yet. There are some videos up on the Canadian Gymnastics Youtube page, but no videos of Victoria Moors yet, which is obviously a huge mistake ‘cos they should have put those up

first. So the results­again this is like, it’s sort of like the Winter Cup here, which is sort of like a splat­athon but you have to show that you’re still trying, that’s in Vegas for the US men every year, which I’m going to this year and am very excited to see all the drunk gym moms catcalling


the men during warmups. So­ but that’s not the only reason I’m going [laughs] the drunk gym moms. But anyway it’s kind of like that. You guys won’t see like huge scores here, that kind of stuff, especially for the men but we’re just gonna talk about the women’s side, but just to put it in perspective. So anyway, Rose Kayen­Woo won the all­around with a 54.8. Ellie Black, this is very exciting, she won beam with a 14.95? she had a 6.4 start value. That is not too shabby. So­ and I also want to tell you before I forget­ so Victoria Moors, she competed only two events. So it’s like all­around and then the second day they do event finals. Moors did vault on floor on the first day and she got second on both of them­ 14.45 on vault and a 13.65 on floor. Again I don’t know what she did because I haven’t seen the video, so send them. If someone has the video, send it to us, send it to us. Um the second day, she didn’t make it into the top three on either final but she is back. So that is the good news and again this is like super early, she has a long time before Worlds to get ready and and be prepared for that, so I’m not worried. That’s what

I’m telling you. So back to Ellie Black, who was wearing the lovely black leotard the the flowers on it. The flowertard, I like to call it. Love that leo for Canada. The Canadians with all their flowers, I cannot get enough of it. So 6.4, she does a flip­flop, layout step uh two foot layout, at like shoulder height. Super high. She does a flip flop tucked full, she does a double turn, she does a front tuck, she does a front pike, she does all the skills. All the skills. This is what I want to know from you guys­ her front pike is legit. It’s huge, her form is fantastic, It’s like an actual­ I paused in the middle, she’s got a perfect diver’s like pike position with straight knees and pointed toes. Whose front pike is better­ Ellie Black’s or Alicia Sacramone? Uncle Tim, to you first.



UNCLE TIM: Sorry I was talking to­ JESSICA: Whenever you’re ready.

UNCLE: Sorry I was talking to [inaudible]. Um I would say…huh I’d probably actually give it to Ellie Black. I think that her legs were straighter, a little bit longer. I feel like Alicia Sacramone would often tuck down, um so in this case I would give it to Ellie Black, although I don’t really like the composition of Ellie Black’s floor routine. It reminds me of vacuuming, just going back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.






UNCLE TIM: What about you, Evan, whose is better? Sacramone­Quinn or Ellie Black?



EVAN: [laughs] The non­married choice of Ellie Black. I’m going to have to go with her as well, I think that she gets­ so on all her skills, she gets phenomenal lift. And it’s not necessarily even a lift that’s like generated from a punch, it’s just like the way she sets her body up to do the skills. So it’s not like she’s jamming her feet in, you know, before the back layout, you know, on her flip flop or­ just punching the beam as hard as she can before her front pike, it’s just really really sound technical takeoffs so it looks super­easy. So I was impressed with that. But again, even though 14.95, I mean, [hesitantly] I felt that might be a little generous.



JESSICA: Because of the composition or because of the rest of the routine? EVAN: Because of the huge wobbles [laughs]




EVAN: Just mainly those.



JESSICA: Ok well that’s understandable. After the double turn there was a huge like bend at the waist wobble.



UNCLE TIM: And there was almost a Peszek arabesque after her fall. It was more like a side arabesque, though.



EVAN: The Peszek in combination! [Uncle Tim and Jessica laugh]

JESSICA: And there was, I have to say on her dismount too she has definitely Romanian legs going on. It’s like [sighs] I love how you described her lift but the dismount, I was like [disappointed] oh. It was sad [inaudible] for me. But she had the leotard. Before we get to the NCAA, to start us off in the NCAA discussion and getting to these meets, Evan is there something you want to get off your chest?



EVAN: There is. It’s weighing heavy heavy heavy like um like a large chested female gymnast­ JESSICA: [laughs]

EVAN: Being strapped into her leotard. Um it’s a little thing that I like to call­ [Dramatic music and gunshots, glass breaking]

EVAN: Listen, bitch. [Thunder sound] JESSICA: [laughs]

EVAN: We need to strive for greater commentary. And this is not being said just because I have once or twice commentated some meets, but we need to bring authenticity to commentary, especially in college gymnastics because this is an event that can generate revenue and notoriety for sports in communities where gymnastics really isn’t that visible. So if we have some


girl who­ I don’t even have a specific example because usually, it’s the girls who just like stuck around to get their second master’s degree in something at the school and they competed

seven years earlier and she’s, you know, saying ‘oh a little trouble on that’, as homegirl is falling down off of the beam. Yeah that is a little trouble, it’s the biggest mistake you can essentially make in the sport, so next time you’re trying to say ‘oh it was a tiny little step’, no no, that was a big step. A tiny step is, you know…not within shoulder distance. Call it like you see it and

explain to the people what the sport of gymnastics is and what the judges are actually looking for. Not some cookie cutter, sugar coated bullshit construance of your idea of what­ your idea of what everything should be perfect and great and sparkly. Thank you, bitch.



JESSICA: [laughs] So we need somewhere between Elfi Schlegel’s super­bitchiness and…Shawn Johnson not being able to say a single negative thing. Like someone could have tripped, fallen on her face, slid down the beam and plopped on her head at the end and she would have been like ‘ok. I mean, she tried’. So we need more­



EVAN: ‘It’s a great effort to carry on after a fall. It’s really hard to carry on that routine, wow’. JESSICA: Less nice. That’s what we need. More real.

EVAN: Not necessarily even, you know, like a degree of nice and critical, it’s just drawing those lines in­ for the mind of the viewer because you’re supposed to be, as a commentator, what I would prefer, is that they’re the vehicle to understand what you’re seeing and to, you know, agree with or make you form an opinion of what you’re seeing. So if no decisive judgements are ever made, I mean this is a subjective sport, you have to be able­ you have to speak about it

like it is what is. Do you guys agree with that? Are you­ like do you see­ do you see the void that

I’m so bothered by? Impassioned about.




JESSICA: Uncle Tim you go first.



UNCLE TIM: I do. I was just listening to a fresh air interview with the commentator for the Superbowl and you pretty much summed up his exact position on it. I mean he did make some distinctions between radio and television­ radio you really have to paint the picture more because people aren’t seeing it live, but with television, you don’t have to do it quite that much, but you are somewhat of an interpreter for them and I agree with that. With a little fun, too. I wish­ I wish in sports like football and stuff, they weren’t so much [shouting] like the thunderous voice, and a little more fun. But yeah, I agree. What about you, Jessica?



JESSICA: Yeah I I­ what i feel like is that we need more, like you say, we need more education and less­ ‘But I’ve been criticized my whole life and it’s really bad and I don’t want to do it to anybody else’ fear and that’s what I hear coming out of a lot of the gymnasts­ ‘It’s ok, I don’t want you to call me a bitch’. Like, do your job, say it how it is. It doesn’t mean because you’re being instructional for the viewers, doesn’t mean you’re being cruel. There’s a total difference.


That’s not what it is and everyone’s used to you stating the facts. Like, that was­ and you can say, you can be really specific: that was maybe half a tenth step, that was a two tenth step because it was pretty big, that’s gonna hurt the score. That’s just a fact. it’s not being cruel and I think with women, there are so many female commentators that are afraid of being like mean and bitchy, like oh my God, get over it. Just be real. Say it like the coach would say it to them. That’s what people­ like, you know, that’s what they need. And you’re not talking to them as gymnasts, you’re talking to an audience, who needs to know specifics about how to understand the sport so yeah. I totally agree with you and I think we need uh I understand we’re going through a little growing pain period ‘cos this is the first time we’ve had every Division One meet on TV live, which is fantastic, but you need to come prepared and ready and have practiced for this. Like this is, you know, this is big time professional sports so a little more practice I think would go a long way. Yeah I I totally agree. Uncle Tim, do you want to do the rankings so I don’t mess up any of the numbers?



UNCLE TIM: [laughs] Sure. Or give Kytra Hunter a 19.55 for the all­around­ JESSICA: [laughing] Yes!

UNCLE TIM: I can do that. So, in NCAA right now for the team we have Oklahoma in first with a

197.4 average, Florida is in second with a 197.13 average and in a very very close third we have LSU with a 197.125 average. Are you guys surprised by these team standings right now? What about you, Evan?



EVAN: I’m not so much surprised. I think that OU always comes out guns blazing um and not saying that this score isn’t accurate for them, but I think that for all intents and purposes, OU, Florida and LSU are essentially just tied at this point in the season. And you know, looking at those tenths or, you know, thousandths of a point, it’s pretty much all for nought at this point. I think they’re all neck and neck, those three especially.



UNCLE TIM: What about you, Jessica?



JESSICA: I haven’t even seen LSU yet and I feel like they’re gonna beat Florida [laughs] I just­ they­ LSU, to me, when I see their training videos and their little vines, they seem to have to confidence that Oklahoma has. I’ve watched the Florida meets and I’ve only seen that from a few of the gymnasts so far, whereas LSU and Oklahoma, although I haven’t seen a whole LSU meet, just seem to have that fire and confidence like they know they’re gonna be successful, where I see a little doubt for Florida. Not with everybody, but with some people, like ertainly not with Kennedy Baker, holy crap. Um yeah.



UNCLE TIM: [laughs]



JESSICA: Um yeah, I don’t know I might be partial just because Jessie Jordan and Rheagan

Courville are goddesses. But yeah.



UNCLE TIM: I’m­ I guess from my perspective I’m just a little surprised that we haven’t seen a team really put together a great meet yet. I mean I think there have been some good meets, but in past years we have seen some teams early on just really gel and really get really high scores. So I’m still waiting for a team just to have a really good meet. For instance, Oklahoma, we’ll talk about them little bit later but this past weekend, I thought they missed a lot of handstands on bars and I thought they could have been a little bit better, too, so I’m waiting for that one team to really stand out. However, I do think we have seen some individuals do quite well, um and so Georgia Dabritz in the all­around­ she’s leading the all­around with a 39.625 average. Sam Peszek from UCLA is in second with a 39.588 average, and Kytra Hunter is in third with a 39.55 average. In terms of the individual events, Bridget Sloan is still leading vault with a 10. You guys talked about that last week how she’s still leading even though she’s only competed vault once. Um then in second­



JESSICA: That’s how you get a great average.



UNCLE TIM: [laughs] Exactly. Haley Scaman of Oklahoma is in second with a 9.935. On bars, Bridget Sloan again is leading with a 9.95 average and Rheagan Courville is in second with a

9.944 average. On balance beam, Sam Peszek is leading the way with a 9.917 and Chayse

Capps is also­ JESSICA: [sings note]

UNCLE TIM: I know. Glorious on beam with a 9.910. On floor, we have one of the Michigan girls in first with uh Nicole Artz with a 9.944, and Georgia Dabritz, who ends with a triple twist, with a

9.931. Honorable mention, tied for thirteenth, we have Kennedy Baker and we also have and

Laschenova’s daughter Sasha Tsikha­ [babbling sound] JESSICA: Yes.

UNCLE TIM: I can’t say the name. Exactly, Sasha Tsikhanovich.I don’t think that’s spelled correctly in the doc, either, but­



JESSICA: [laughs]



UNCLE TIM: She is, you know… doing great performances and she’s at a division two school if

I’m not mistaken. Correct, Jess?



JESSICA: Yeah she’s at Bridgeport. That’s a D2 school and once again, we talked about her I think her Freshman year­ how well she’s doing on floor and and just that she definitely has the ability to be an individual who makes NCAA finals and I think an individual who could potentially win, especially if she ups her difficulty a little bit. This school is doing so well. Them and also Lindenwood are just doing incredible. We’ve talked about these two how they’re really new


programs? they’ve only been around a couple of years and they are scoring­ I mean I think Bridgeport might have outscored­ correct me if I’m wrong but I think they outscored UCLA [laughs] at that Utah meet where UCLA got like the worst score ever. So these two programs are coming up and you can see why when they have someone who’s Russian royalty, Soviet royalty first of all, but second is tying on floor with one of the, you know, US elite greats, doing the hardest­ biggest difficulty in the game right now, with Kennedy Baker, so very excited for Bridgeport, for Sasha, for Laschenova and also for Lindenwood ‘cos they’re what’s up. So let’s discuss the tens of the week and debate their merits­ whether they’re worthy of a ten or not, so let’s start with Georgia Dabritz, who as we know, uses no grips. No Grips Dabritz, which is the most brilliant marketing campaign ever by Utah to call her that because it’s an interesting fact and everyone loves to call her that. So No Grips Dabritz. She got a 10 on bars and she also came really close on vault, with a Yurchenko one and a half. So let me ask you, Evan, did you think this was 100% worthy of a 10 or did you see any deductions in the video?



EVAN: So I did see deductions uh­ it’s kind of what I like to call full in syndrome off bars, where, as athletes, by no fault of their own, are getting ready to land, your legs come apart just a little bit. It’s really hard to keep your feet and ankles together and land a full in or a full out, whatever the variation is, perfectly. So I did notice some feet kind of apart, to the side just before the landing, so in my mind, it’s not perfect. But everything she did on the bars, I’m pretty confident in saying that was perfect, so um, you know, I think that she is an athlete who kind of pushes the sport in a new way um and does kind of new and interesting things, so I think that it is deserving of a 10 in that aspect but not from a true technical merit standpoint.



JESSICA: So, just to question, so the full in syndrome is the same as what I would consider the

I’ve gotta pee syndrome, where your knees are together but your feet are apart? EVAN: Yes, some of that.

JESSICA: Ok. Yeah.



EVAN: Sometimes they’re not together, sometimes they go out to the side, sometimes it’s kind of one in front of the other. A really big offender of this was Amy Chow. You guys might remember­






EVAN: She had a really great lift on her uneven bars dismount both on the full in and the double double um but always always really weird looking in the air if you paid close attention to it right before she lands.



JESSICA: Uncle Tim, did you think it was worthy of the 10?


UNCLE TIM: Yeah, I would say it is. Um, you know, I did notice the dismount error um and so, that’s I think why so many college gymnasts switch over to the double layout because it’s naturally cleaner. it’s a lot easier to keep straight and tight versus twist and try to keep your knees together and look pretty. Um so I did notice that. I also noticed that the coach was very enthusiastic, and this is something that people should pay attention to is when do the coaches clap during the routine? ‘Cos some coaches, you know, whenever there’s a hit handstand they start clapping. And you can always tell the novice coaches like Dom at UCLA, because they haven’t figured this out yet, that all of you college­ well not all college gymnastics but a lot of college gymnastics is pretending like everything is perfect and doing big cheering and Dom still shows his disappointment when something doesn’t go correct.



JESSICA: [laughs]



UNCLE TIM: And this is something he has to learn and I think that this­ UCLA? This Utah coach has it down.



JESSICA: I kind of think that…Dabritz did not­ should not have gotten a 10 because she flexed her feet on her Tkatchev. That’s like my number one biggest pet peeve ever. Is she amazing? Do I just like swoon a little every time she does her Comaneci salto? Is she gorgeous? Yes. I love her. 9.95, 9.975 I would give this, ‘cos you can’t flex your feet on a Tkatchev.



EVAN: I think she does a Jaeger.



JESSICA: Her Jaeger. You can’t flex your feet on a Jaeger. EVAN: [laughs] On anything! No flexing of your feet!

JESSICA: All I could see was a straddle with flexed feet in my mind. That’s how much it bothered me ‘cos I was so excited to see her perfect 10 and I was like pause pause and now that’s all I can see, like the picture is stuck in my head of those flexed feet. Ugh! Nothing bothers me like the flexed feet. Of all the things that are hard to do on bars, really? You can’t point your toes? [sighs] Bothers me so much. Ok, on to the next one. I really thought she would get­ I

mean I thought she could have gotten a 10 on that vault instead of bars. I mean, at first I was like ‘oh she got a 10 on the­ oh wait it was bars? She didn’t get a 10 on vault?’ Again, I mean I couldn’t really see her land, I mean it was far away, but her vault was absolutely gorgeous. We’ll see. I think she’ll get a 10 on vault this season. Ciera Perkins of Boise State. Boise State, who­ I love their choreography. They usually have something very very interesting, like one year they did all Bollywood routines, like everyone had a theme and they did it really well and it was so entertaining and so different. So Ciera Perkins had a 10 on vault, and in her vault she opens up, flares, has her arms to the side as if she’s Danell Leyva doing a…something with a Japanese name over the high bar the way he does. But she was doing a vault, gorgeous? it was almost

Kim Zmeskal­esque, compulsories 1992. Did you guys think it deserved a 10? You can tell how

I feel.



EVAN: I did. I I thought this was a 10. Accurate. UNCLE TIM: I’d say give her a 10 for living in Idaho JESSICA: [laughs]

UNCLE TIM: Well, so I thought it was good. I do think it’s so fascinating how Kim Zmeskal has done the textbook full­twisting Yurchenko and everyone’s trying to mimic that technique

where you’re more hollow in the first stage of the full twist and then you arch and flare it out at the very end and that’s definitely what Ciera is going for. I did think the vault was a little crooked. It wasn’t necessarily straight and I’m trying to­ I don’t think that’s a deduction in NCAA or not. That was my little qualm with that vault.



JESSICA: Yeah I bet it’s really hard to see unless it’s super pronounced. That it’s crooked like that.



UNCLE TIM: Yeah you’re probably right.



JESSICA: Ok well we can all agree Boise State, hats off to you guys and your orange leotards. Ebee. 10 on vault. Stanford. This was last Monday while we were recording this happened. Is there any doubt, any doubt this was a perfect 10?



UNCLE TIM: I’d say yes because­ JESSICA: [whispering] What?

UNCLE TIM: Her feet are not very good. The vault is beau­ like huge pop, I believe Evan commented on [laughing] Facebook, vault­splosion­



JESSICA: [laughs]



UNCLE TIM: Which is very accurate. However, I don’t believe her feet are as pointed as they could be. I feel like they’re a little flexed, a little Dominique Dawes­y in the air.



EVAN: However have we ever seen Elizabeth’s feet point to a level that’s greater than that? UNCLE TIM: [laughs]Ok fair. True.

EVAN: Ok and that’s the thing­ that’s the thing because you almost have to hold athletes­ when you’re looking at things like toe point, it’s kind of like, you know, I guess foot position­ is, you know, is it to the same level as, you know, it’s­ you’re not hitting a certain amount of extension through your ankle joint that it should be a deduction.I don’t­ I don’t­ that’s an interesting thing


that I’ve never really thought of, but­ I mean, I think that’s her­ that’s her full extended toe point that unfortunately is just not that aesthetically pleasing.



JESSICA: That’s kind of like the Rebecca Bross argument, kind of like her knees always looked like they were bent. But I think that’s just how her leg was, like it didn’t go any straighter than that. So…was­ but I feel like­ oh I don’t know. I’ll have to look. But I feel like Ebee’s toes point very nicely. I’ve never noticed them not going farther than that. So but maybe I don’t know. I’ll have to go back and look. I thought I was like that’s it. Ten. And I watched it a couple times. And you know how I feel about, you know, toes, like Dabritz.



UNCLE TIM: [laughs] JESSICA: Flexing. UNCLE TIM: Nice. JESSICA: Ok.

UNCLE TIM: So what was going on down in Texas, Evan this past weekend?



EVAN: Deep in the heart of Texas there was the Metroplex meet, which is an exciting quad

meet for Oklahoma, LSU, Arkansas and Iowa State. And I’m just gonna hit some highlights. The top two were Oklahoma at 197.7 and LSU at 197.425. So this was a great opportunity for teams like LSU, like Oklahoma, like Arkansas, who recruit really heavily from Texas, and gives these athletes to compete essentially in front of a hometown crowd, so a lot of Texan girls going back home to have their dads watch them in bolo ties and­



[Jessica and Uncle Tim laugh] JESSICA: Carrying their guns.

EVAN: An interesting [laughs] an interesting note for OU­ four out of their six vaulters had a one tenth spain from one judge to another. So, for example, one judge would throw a 9.8 and one judge would throw a 9.9, so obviously that results an averaging of the two, but these are things that you have to pay attention to later on in the year because if four out of those six vaulters were actually, you know, on the lower end of that, the meet would have usually been tied. So conversely, LSU had all of their gymnasts within half a tenth from both judges, so something interesting to look at. Unfortunately I did see a bit of OU’s vault rotation and I think they were a bit overscored­ I thought some of those 9.9s should have actually been 9.8s, from both judges. One thing that I like about OU is that they’re really methodical in how they approach their lineups, so I feel like their first spot, is you know it’s kind of like a job description? there’s a criteria that they’re looking for week in and week out, you know, what the athletes are doing in training for, you know, everything from the first spot to the sixth spot, so I feel like they’re really


intently kind of formulating their lineups. Nat from LSU did a double twisting Yurchenko! Hello? It was amazing [laughing] because you didn’t even know it happened. So she did it and she unfortunately took a step because it was a double twisting goddamn Yurchenko and she got a

9.85. So does this make you feel rage, Jess? How does this rank on the rage­ometer with, you know, an athlete doing a double twisting Yurchenko in college and getting a 9.85?



JESSICA: Well this is the thing that drives me nuts! And I know it drives so many other people nuts because it’s like she did something way harder and you don’t get any credit for doing stuff that’s way harder and it’s so frustrating! [exhales] I just­



EVAN: Right.



JESSICA: Yes. Yes I feel rage.



EVAN: Bummer. Bummer. Bummer and a half.



UNCLE TIM: Sounds like, Jessica, NCAA needs the open scoring system. JESSICA: I know. I don’t know what to do about this­

UNCLE TIM: [laughs]



JESSICA: Because then there’s gonna be no parity and it’ll just be like the top five teams and no one like no one will ever ever be able to catch up because if you can’t do a Yurchenko double full and you can’t do a double layout you won’t even be able to compete so I don’t want that to happen but then again, this is a problem.



EVAN: It is, so­



JESSICA: This is why we should have vault specialist teams.



EVAN: We’ll see­ we’ll see where it goes one way or another. Hopefully it doesn’t discourage her from not not still doing the double and maybe she can zero in and try to Lysenko that landing a bit. Um but another interesting note here was that LSU had three all­arounders here, so Jordan, Gnat and Rheagan Courville all competed in the all­around and OU had no all­arounders. So just some interesting quirks to look at, when especially at this point in the season. It will be interesting to see if OU feels compelled to ever use an all­arounder this year because they don’t really, you know, hypothetically, need need any at this point. But again, when you want to win titles, you usually want to have an all­around title in addition to any team titles as well. So, moving on, Michigan beat Nebraska with a 197.3 to 195.875. I think that Nebraska, who we know has been going lights out on vault all season long up to this point, was a bit underscored on that­ on that event. And I think Michigan was a bit overscored but I think

the results, you know, it was far enough apart, you know, Nebraska unfortunately had to count a


fall on beam, I think the results were accurate for the most part. So the thing that is great and a testament to the Nebraska coaching staff, I think, is that they’ve made the thing that, you know, athletes, you know, and and former gymnasts try and convey all the time to female college gymnasts, it’s like ‘just stick your Yurchenko full every time you do it. Go down and stick it’ and that’s what these girls do. Now is that to say that there aren’t some feet separation upon landing issues­



JESSICA: Mm­hmm.



EVAN: Or body position issues in the air­ no. That’s not that’s not being ignored, but they’re sticking these vaults one after another after another like clockwork. So getting a team to believe that they can all do that is amazing and I think that, you know, I think it’s not that tough of a concept but for some reason, it usually doesn’t happen so props to Nebraska on that. Again, they had to count a fall so that kind of marred their overall total but one athlete from Michigan, who is really stepping up and challenging for all­around titles along with Nicole Artz is Sachi Sugiyama­






EVAN: Who is a Texas native and she had to work really hard because previously she was just a three event specialist and now is in the beam lineup and does some really cool combinations­ she has a gorgeous pike jump and also has a roundoff two and a half dismount so ­



JESSICA: A gorgeous pike jump is something else because a pike jump is inherently ugly, so­ EVAN: Yes.

JESSICA: It’s a lot. She’s kind of awesome. I really like her.



EVAN: I enjoy that as well. So, good to see for Michigan. And then finally the last thing I’m gonna cover is Oregon State versus Washington versus Hamline versus Sacramento State. So Washington coming away with a win and flirting with a mid 196­ they had a 196.3 total and Oregon was next with a 195.8. Oregon State, again, unfortunately having to count a fall on floor but UW has looked probably the best that I’ve seen them in the last two seasons, led by Allie Northey and she just looks like she’s in great physical shape, she’s a beautiful dancer, and really just leading by example and consistently in kind of that mid 39 range, between 39.3 and

39.4, so really great to see her leading by example there. I think the big thing for Washington is gonna be over 49 on every event, not relying kind of ‘oh we were, you know, 49.3 on one event and 48.85 on another’, they need to be over 49 on everything and I think with some of those teams where it will come down to them being on the bubble at regionals, that’s what they’re gonna need to have the confidence to go out there and do. Oregon State­ a couple of my faves­ Chelsea Tang? she qualified as an individual to NCAAs last year just does great gymnastics.


And it’s almost like like nothing too flashy. There’s not a ton to say about her gymnastics other than it’s just simple and good.



JESSICA: And her beam. Mm.



EVAN: And she scores between 9.8 and 9.9, I would say on pretty much on every event any time she’s out there competing. So it’s quite lovely. I love it all. And then Maddie Gardiner, she was a Canadian World Championship team member and is kind of fierce, has some sassiness to her and has some really great gymnastics but unfortunately is just kind of struggling with some consistency so she’s one to keep your eye on if she can put those meets together, uh I think she can shine. Another one of their individual qualifiers from NCAAs last year. And that was everything that I watched ever this weekend! So­



UNCLE TIM: [laughs] EVAN: There you have it.

JESSICA: Now do you think it’s possible that part of the problem with Nebraska is that Owen

Field is not wearing his red pants?



EVAN: Yeah. For some reason, Owen Field took a page out of Jake from State Farm’s book and wore khakis this weekend.



JESSICA: [disgusted noise]



EVAN: Yeah I don’t know, red pants, maybe he’s saving that for later in the season, he’s like

‘You know what, all you guys get right now is khakis. We gotta­ we gotta put in the numbers.’



JESSICA: This is no good. I feel like he’s letting the team down. It’s clearly­ this has an effect on morale and morale is very serious so if uh we can let Owen Field know, please, to get out the

red pants [laughs] the team­ his team would appreciate it. That’s all I’m saying. That’s all I’m saying.



UNCLE TIM: And by his team, you mean you?



JESSICA: Yes! I am part of team Owen Field. I’m on team Owen Field. UNCLE TIM: [laughs]

JESSICA: I went to the UCLA Cal meet and I, first of all, do you know how last year how we talked about bars falling down­ how sometimes bars fall down. They’ve fallen down at major events. They’ve fallen down for years and years and there’s no mandata­ I was about to say mandatated­ there’s no mandatory mandated secondary security system for the bars. So­ not


security system like an alarm. The kind of that if one cable fails, there’s a duplicative­ a redundant cable system to hold up the bars in case something fails. You don’t have to have anything like that. I mean there’s nothing you have to­ I mean I guess the NCAA could say you have to have this or the FIG or whoever sanctions your meet could say you have to have a redundant cable system as a safeguard against the bars falling down. Because honestly, we’re just lucky that no one has been seriously injured and this is what I’m so afraid of. I’m afraid­ I’m really really afraid that someone’s gonna get really seriously injured? someone’s life is gonna end or they’re gonna be paralysed because the bars fall down. And this happens way way way too often. So this is the second­ did it happen last year? This is at least the second or third time that I’ve been to a UCLA meet and the bars have fallen down. We saw it happen at was it worl­ was it a World Cup meet? When the high bar came down? For men? I mean it’s not just­ it’s happened at­ I saw it happen at a UW before when I was there watching. I mean everyone’s

seen the bars fall down and this happened again during warmups while Cal, you know, then Cal had to go and change their warmup order because they couldn’t do bars because the bars were on the floor and so that totally threw them off and they still had a great meet­ very impressed with them because we have to do something about this bars situation. Like…it’s…I mean if the if the floor was just sucked underground randomly while people were going, we would do something about it, right? Well why haven’t we done anything about this bars situation? Like what do we have to do? Uncle Tim, what is the solution? How do I snap my fingers and make this happen?



UNCLE TIM: I don’t know, but I feel like there are plenty of crappy floors out there, too, that people compete on.



JESSICA: [laughs] That’s true. UNCLE TIM: [laughs]

EVAN: Well it’s the other thing. I mean, look at the innovation that kind of took the sport by storm when we developed the new vaulting table. It’s like, who would think of that until it, you know, actually happened. And it was widely adopted and, you know, it was just what you had to use at that point, so if this is gonna become a pressing issue, it’s time to get, you know, some good engineers on board and just make a system that moves how it needs to, feels like the bars need to, and is safe for the athletes.



JESSICA: And the thing is, the reason that we have the new vault, that we have the table now instead of the old vault is because there were catastrophic injuries and I’m­ I I cannot stand that this might be what has to happen before we actually do something about bars safety. That

would be so sad and apparently AAI, I’ve heard, has a backup system but the thing is like if­ you don’t have to buy it if it’s not mandated and it costs a lot more, then no one’s gonna have it.

Like­ the table was, everything changed? you had to have the table? you couldn’t use the old vault. That that was the difference. And so that’s I think what needs to happen if there isn’t an existing system out there, there needs to be a rule change that mandates it. Period. And


everyone has to get behind it because we don’t wanna have to be in this situation where someone’s life has to be ruined before we make a difference. Anyway, very upset about this. So, then the good news. The Peng Peng show! It was the Peng Peng show, everybody. [squealing] She was so fantastic! [sighs] Peng Peng is back. She has her her ring dust off of her­ ring? Like she’s a UFC fighter. She has her beam dust off, she is back to the Peng Peng we know and love. She was on fire, she got a 9.95 on bars [squeals] and she got a 9.95 on beam and it was so fantastic, you guys. She’s going to go to Rio. That’s what I’m telling you right now. Rio Olympics­ Peng Peng. I don’t care what she’s said about it, I’ve decided that she’s gonna go to Rio and she’s gonna win all the things and Canada needs her first of all. So that’s what’s gonna happen. She’s just fantastic, you guys. And when she does her flares on beam, the whole place just is like [gasps] like gasps from thousands of people. It’s the best sound in the World. I just love her! So UCLA really got it together. They went to the Dom and Miss Val beam salon and they got a full makeover on beam and it totally worked? they used thirteen different competitors. UCLA did. Thirteen people competed. It was like­ who said­ someone said it was like a beam­ like a­ oh, the Balance Beam situation’s Spencer was on last week, he was like ‘yeah, it was like a team of specialists’. Thirteen different competitors they used in this meet and it totally worked. Sadiqua won floor, she beat Toni Ann Williams, which I was really surprised at. Toni Ann Williams um is amazing from Cal. Sadiqua got a 9.925 and she didn’t make floor finals last year at NCAAs but I think she might this year. She’s totally on fire and she’s doing one of those legacy routines and it looks really good on her, so. A little too much with the moon walk. I’m not a fan of the moon walk. There’s too much moonwalking from everybody, I think. It’s too in vogue right now. We need to give it back to Michael Jackson for a while and we can pull it out a couple years from now. Cal, you guys know, we’ve discussed Cal before how they almost lost the programme, the athletes allegedly approached the athletic director before because their coach was so horrible and they were like ‘you have to get rid of this coach’, allegedly that’s what happened. And it was just like horrible for so many years and you could tell the athletes were miserable and they never got what they deserved out of the

programme. But then they were about to lose the programme and it was about to go away when it was saved, thanks in part to the men’s gymnastics programme and now they have these super­motivated amazing coaches there. They’re breaking school records left and right, the athletes look fantastic, they have this total variety of skills, like in vault they have­ Robinson is doing a handspring onto the board and then front front pike vault,, front, you know, front flip

piked position vault­ handspring front but from a front handspring onto the board, which always makes people freak out, like ‘are they allowed to do that? That looks really dangerous’. It drives me nuts and I feel like it’s very­ it totally  scares the crap out of me but it’s like if it works for you, go ahead. And they have a Tsuk full, which of course is not really a Tsuk, it’s a Kaz, which is is something I’ve learned from you two, that the women’s code does not have a­ doesn’t have a Kaz in it even though that’s what like everyone does, a Kasamatsu­ they do the roundoff on, not the half on. But, you know, some variety, which is really nice to see. And I really like their choreography­ they show lots of back flexibility, which is something you don’t often see a lot of­ you might see a leg up by the ear but I feel like by college, most people are like ‘don’t touch my back, I’m not even gonna do a bridge? my back’s had it with gymnastics. It’s not doing anything flexible’. But in their routines, theyreally showcase their back flexibility, which is great to see and


I really enjoy it. And get this, are you ready for this? Cal beat UCLA on floor. Floor! That’s how fantastic Cal is. They’re just­ I really really like this programme. Toni­Ann Williams of course is the star? we’ve talked about her before, Evan talked about her. She has Jamaican citizenship, so she’s American but she competes for Jamaica. You know who else has Jamaican citizenship? Danusia Francis. Can you imagine you guys, if they go to the University Games in Korea? In korea, they’ll be huge stars. Huge stars. And just the two of them should make enough of a team to win. They will win everyone’s hearts if they don’t win the entire thing. And then they could go to Worlds. Jamaica, those two competing. Go to the Olympics. It’ll be fantastic. I’ve already decided this is what’s gonna happen. The two of them are gonna be the Jamaican team. They’re gonna go to the Olympics. It’s gonna be the best thing that’s ever

happened to Jamaica since Bob Marley. Toni­Ann Williams also does a standing front on beam. Could either of you guys do a standing front standing?



EVAN: Yes.



JESSICA: On a hard surface like the beam? EVAN: Uh I don’t­

JESSICA: Not on a floor with springies.



EVAN: I wasn’t one of those beam boys, Jess. JESSICA: [laughs]

UNCLE TIM: [laughs] I’ve never tried one on a beam. I can do one on the floor but I’ve never tried it on a beam, no.



JESSICA: Well you guys should try it. Or at least try it on a hardwood floor. Ok. EVAN: What? No!

JESSICA: With shoes on.



EVAN: Just find a really nice hard tiled surface­ JESSICA: [laughs]

EVAN: To attempt this in your socks. Let us know how it goes.



JESSICA: What could go wrong? It’s really hard on the beam. It’s not like doing it on the floor. Like even I could do a standing front on floor, which is like, you know, how hard could it be if I could do it? But on the uh not at the moment but like in my life, like in my late twenties I could


still do that. But, or thirties maybe? I don’t know. But on the beam, standing? Very hard. So that’s everyone’s challenge for next week. Do that on something without springs and tell us if you land without your butt hairs touching the ground. Ok. Dana Ho’s bars from Cal. Ok, she does a Geinger, you guys. That is like­ it’s like she does a­ it’s like she’s doing the highest double layout timer ever, like goes up in the air, and then she whoop does a half turn in the air and catches the bar again. It’s totally not like a Geinger. There’s like barel­ there’s like an inch of­ like a degree of pike in her body at her hips. It’s so high, she might as well do a Def. It’s better than Nastia’s. That’s what I’m telling you right now. I challenge you guys. Someone make a gif of them side by side and I’m telling you it’s better than Nastia’s. That’s how huge it is and how laid out it is. It’s so good I love love love it. Am I crazy to say it’s better than Nastia’s?



UNCLE TIM: If you say it’s better than Kristina Vaculik’s, I might punch you. JESSICA: Alright I’m gonna watch it and­

UNCLE TIM: I’m just kidding.



EVAN: Can I watch him punch you?



JESSICA: [laughs] We can have a fist fight over it. UNCLE TIM: You’d win. It’s true.

JESSICA: If you need to. I’d probably win. [laughs] But only ‘cos I’m more irrational than you.



EVAN: It’s very WOGA­ it’s very WOGA­esque, though. I mean, the connections­ the similarities are very­ they­ tried and true WOGA Geinger from Dana Ho there, so Ho there woah there,

she’s got a good Geinger. [Uncle Tim and Jessica laugh]

JESSICA: Oh ok. It’s is it’s yeah, It’s good stuff. You guys should check it out and just like drink it in ‘cos it’s so fantastic. Alright in­ now we need to do the Kennedy Baker report, which is a new part of the show, the Kennedy Baker report, because every week she’s more fantastic and

this week, Uncle Tim, you you watched this happen in real life, can you describe what transpired and then what happened to Kathy Johnson after this?



UNCLE TIM: So Kennedy Baker, as we have discussed on this show, opens with a Dos Santos? she does an arabian double pike and she in the past couple weeks has over­rotated it and taken big steps out of it, but this week she stuck it cold and Kennedy even looked surprised it happened and Kathy Johnson, who is always a firecracker when she is doing her commentary, said ‘I would Gator chomp after that, too’, because Kennedy Baker does her Gator chomp

[claps] right after her arabian double pike and, Jessica, is that the greatest compliment ever?



JESSICA: [laughs] Pretty much. Like if Kathy Johnson says she would do a Gator chomp, it’s, there’s nothing better that she could say. If you’re a Florida gymnast and she’s doing commentary for you, like that she would do the obnoxious team choreography, is like, you know, probably against like every bone in her body­



UNCLE TIM: [laughs]



JESSICA: Just like tries to like rip out of her skin, run the other way when she sees that happen. So there’s nothing more that she could say that is a bigger compliment than that.



UNCLE TIM: There’s no Gator chomp in Swan Lake. JESSICA: [laughs]




EVAN: There’s a Gator in that lake! Watch out, Kathy! [Uncle Tim and Jessica laugh]

UNCLE TIM: Nice. So on the men’s side, on Friday evening I got this next, saying ‘Are you watching the Nebraska Army meet? What’s going on? Why are there gymnasts competing back to back on the same event?’ and I was either in the gym or doing something else, and I’m like

‘No, I’m not watching the meet. Maybe they’re just trying to pull a JUstin Spring on us and do something different’, because the Illinois men this weekend competed back to back without their little points system we’ve discussed on the show in the past, but you know, one floor routine

after another floor routine so you can really compare the routines, which is kind of a cool idea. Anyway, well it turns out that they weren’t pulling a Justin Spring on us, one of the judges got confused, thought the meet was on Sunday, not on Friday, and didn’t show up at the meet and he got a phone call from the other judge, saying ‘Hey, where are you?’ and the other guy’s like

‘I’m in my living room, and it’s 6:30 and I need to get to the meet’. Thankfully he lived in Council Bluffs, which is about an hour­ish, hour and a half, depending on how fast you drive, away from Lincoln, and he rushed to the meet and so after doing two events simultan­ well two events back to back routines, they­ for the final four rotations, the men were able to compete on separate events because Mr Schedule­problemer finally got to the meet, which I just thought was the greatest story ever ‘cos you don’t hear those stories too often.



JESSICA: No, I loved that they talked about it and then they were like ‘It’s kind of fun doing the meet back to back’ and I was like ‘That’s what Justin Spring has been telling you people!’ ‘Cos you know I like that idea. A lot. Have you guys ever been to a meet where the judge was late?



UNCLE TIM: Yeah I lived in the snowy place. Judges were late all the time.



EVAN: Yeah I think so, although I don’t like­ isn’t there supposed to be like a meet referee? JESSICA: Yes.

EVAN: So wouldn’t­ wouldn’t there be­ I was just thinking like what options would they have? Like the only option was like to call him and tell him to get here now? Like they could do nothing else? Like I mean I’m sure there are regulations and all of that where you need like a dedicated referee and dedicated judges but…in the record books of uh newsworthy gymnastics, the Nebraska versus Army men’s competition probably isn’t historically one of the most­ uh one of the meets with the most notoriety, so I think it would have been just fine.



JESSICA: Now it’s on the map. I was at one college meet where a judge didn’t show up so they had to do this until the judge arrived and when the judge got there, she’s running onto the floor, like putting her judge­y scarf on, you know how they have those little accessories­ she’s putting her jacket on, and then the whole meet started to boo her!






JESSICA: I was like um hello? She’s obviously hustling, people. [laughing] Can you leave the poor woman alone? No one tries to be late for these things. It’s not like she was having sex in the car and didn’t look at her watch. Come on!



UNCLE TIM: [laughs] As grown adults do. They have sex in cars.



JESSICA: [laughs] Like everybody does. I just thought of that because she was like putting her clothes on as she was running. I mean, her jacket, but yeah. When I was a coach, of course, we totally got to a meet­ since you had the meet time wrong, missed the ferry and got to the meet like totally halfway through the meet being over and messed up the whole entire meet. So I am totally… you know, I feel a strong sense of understanding, and can commiserate with these judges who make these little mistakes, I mean what are you gonna do? These things happen. Ferries.



UNCLE TIM: Is that when you knew that numbers weren’t your specialty?



JESSICA: [laughs] Yes! That’s when I put my other­ my co­head coach in charge of anything with numbers on it. It’s like, you be in charge of the ferry schedule from now on, because. They did­ they did let one of our gymnasts, who, this was her only time that she was gonna be able to compete. She was the one that was Muslim and she had to compete with her zebra striped pants on under her leotard. It was a great outfit so she was very pleased. And the judges seemed to enjoy it very much ‘cos when do you get to see that kind of thing? So um let’s talk about the unique skills of the week. I want you guys­ if you guys have seen something and you want to send it into us and want us to know­ ‘cos we can’t watch every single meet even though


so much is on TV now, like you have your­ the right cable channel, sign in and have the VPN, you know, go abroad to watch all this stuff. Let us know. Send us a tweet. Take a little video at the­ at the meet and send it to us ‘cos we’re trying to collect a list of the cool unique skills that are happening right now. One of the ones that I want to tell you guys about that one of our listeners told us about is Kentucky gymnast Katie Carlisle does a backspin. Mm­hmm. In her routine, which, you know how I feel about backspins, they’re the greatest thing ever and everyone should do them. I’m still waiting for a headspin, though. I don’t know what the holdup is, especially in men’s gymnastics? so easy, you don’t have to worry about messing up your giant rat’s nest ponytail or your ribbons in your hair of whatever godforsaken awful hairdo you have that week. Like all those guys with the short hair, nothing to worry about. Why isn’t a guy doing a headspin? I am outraged now! [sighs]



EVAN: [monotone] It’s gonna be ok, Jess. It’s totally fine. You can get through this.



JESSICA: Why haven’t I thought of men doing headspins before? Alright. This is the next thing that all the guys need to put in their routines. Ok. Dabritz doing her Comaneci salto. Unique skill that we like. Danusia Francis doing her aerial to one leg catch in Y scale thing at the beginning of her floor routine. That’s­ I’ve only seen that on So You Think You Can Dance before. And then Kaitlin­ Kaytianna Mcmillan at Oregon State doing the one arm… oh that’s right! She does the one arm full­twisting back handspring to this kneel on beam. Is that how she does it?



EVAN: No. No. No.



[Evan and Jessica laugh]



EVAN: That would be really cool, though. JESSICA: What?

EVAN: Forget about the headspin, let’s do a one armed full­twisting back handspring. JESSICA: [laughs]

EVAN: Jess is interpreting FHS as full­twisting back handspring when it is indeed front handspring, so one armed handspring to sit slash kneel position on the beam. It’s really cool and you won’t even know what happened when you see it because basically all of a sudden it’s like ‘did she use any hands? Was it one to two hands? I don’t know. Why is she sitting? Wow’



JESSICA: [laughs] Ok now I’m really excited to see that because it wasn’t at all what I had in my mind, which is a made up skill. Alright I want to give a shoutout to the under­appreciated gymnast of the week, this is a new segment that we’ll be doing. You guys need to send us

ideas. It’s the teams that we don’t see a lot? they’re not on TV every weekend, like we’re talking about Sasha at Bridgeport, who we just think is doing something really cool or something


unusual and you want them to get a little more attention. That kind of thing. So send us your ideas for these people. So, Lexi Cappalli at the University of North Carolina, she does­ Ok so first of all the reason the floor routine stands out is because she does the routine to Personal Jesus by the New Wave 80s British, would­be spokesman for Prozac Depeche Mode. If you’re not familiar with them, very depressing dark music, of the urban legend of, you know, everyone in the band tried to kill themselves, which is really not funny if they did. I don’t know if it’s just an urban legend or they did or maybe I’m thinking of any one of the other of the wearing all black New Wave bands from the 80s. But it’s an iconic song, basically is what I’m telling you. And you don’t often see it used in floor routines. I think this is the first time it’s been used in a floor routine, but it’s unusual. And I just really like her choreography. And I especially like the middle section, where there’s all this like like sort of chest…thrusting [laughing] on the floor. And then

she does this reverse worm on her back, which is really hard to­ it’s hard to describe. It’s like the regular worm except you’re facing, you know, you’re lying down facing the ceiling and then you start the worm from your head down instead of laying on your stomach doing it feet to head.

And it looks really really cool. So I’m just­ it’s just something very different’ the music is different, the choreography is different and she does it really well. She performs it really really well. So I’m really enjoying watching Lexi from the University of North Carolina. Anyone else that you guys, like comes to mind who you guys think is standing out?



EVAN: Well speaking of Lexi, one thing, though her choreography is cool and she’s really into it, you can tell, she has like a kite string tied in her hair.



[Uncle Tim and Jessica laugh] JESSICA: Right?

EVAN: There is like one entire foot of ribbon on each side of the knot that is tied. [laughing] And

It is all over the place.



JESSICA: I seriously was like? did the ribbon­ did like the bow fall out right when she got onto the floor? Is this part of like instead of hairography, she has ribbon­ography?



UNCLE TIM: Rhythmic? JESSICA: [laughs]

UNCLE TIM: She’s got like a rhythmic ribbon



EVAN: Mastery of the apparatus is occurring on Lexi Cappalli’s head.



JESSICA: [laughs] Yes. It’s problematic. It’s problematic. But at least it’s variety instead of just the rat nest action which we normally get, sp­


UNCLE TIM: I don’t know about that. I feel like unless you’re a Christmas present wrapped by

Martha Stewart, you should not have a bow on your head.



JESSICA: I agree. I think it’s gross because I think it’s it’s infantilizing the adult woman and it’s yucky. Especially when they’re wearing like basically no clothes. I just­ It grosses me out.

UNCLE TIM: Especially when you’re like thrusting your hips in a circle like she is. JESSICA: Yeah I’m against bows. Yarn is ok if we’re doing a throwback meet or wearing a

Commi old school leotard like Florida did with the fake Adidas stripe leotard, probably because

they couldn’t get licenses to do the real Adidas stripe, then you can do yarn. That’s totally ok. No bows, though.



UNCLE TIM: So while we’re on the topic of clothing in gymnastics, did you guys watch the

Superbowl last night, especially the halftime show?



JESSICA: No. I’m so excited, I missed the whole thing. I’m so proud of myself. UNCLE TIM: [laughs] Evan?

EVAN: I got portions, highlights. It was my Birthday so I had different priorities.



UNCLE TIM: [laughs] So Katy Perry was wearing this like maroon and gold flame outfit and I

was wondering the whole time if Arizona State was pissed that they didn’t think of that outfit first. It totally looked like an Arizona State leotard.



JESSICA: Did it have a hole burned in it? By the Sun Devil?



UNCLE TIM: [laughs] No but it had like these big like flaming puffy sleeves and it was cut almost like a leotard because it didn’t have­ yeah. It was definitely something Arizona State would




EVAN: You know who also would wear it? Spain in like the very late 90s­ UNCLE TIM: [laughs]

EVAN: Early 2000s like Esther Moya­ JESSICA: [inaudible] sisters.

EVAN: I think that Esther Moya is Katy Perry’s costume designer as far as I’m concerned after seeing that because I was like that is something I’ve seen on a Spanish girl.


UNCLE TIM: [laughs]



JESSICA: But what about the­ ok so I did see a picture of her hog dog­ like hot dog on a stick in the mall outfit that she was wearing, except bedazzled. And then that one reminded me of the Australia when everybody was wearing those leotards with the kangaroos on them. Remember those? No? Kangaroo leotards?



EVAN: No. Was that in like the yellow era? JESSICA: Yes.




JESSICA: It was like it was like sand, dirt, outback colour with kangaroos. Because that’s how to be taken seriously when emerging on the international stage [laughs]



UNCLE TIM: Clearly. So back to under­appreciated gymnasts. Any ideas, Evan?



EVAN: Uh I think I alluded to one a little bit earlier, Sachi Sugiyama from Michigan, I mean, to come in as an all­arounder in your senior year? I think that speaks volumes of somebody who has obviously worked hard to improve each and every year in college, so I would say her. Not that she’s necessarily under­appreciated, but that she’s kind of getting the acclaim that she’s she’s worked hard for.



JESSICA: Uncle Tim? It can even be a boy. Even if he doesn’t do a headspin, even though he has short hair and it’d be easier for him than the girls.



UNCLE TIM: I can’t think of one­ I can’t think of one off the top of my head. I would have to look through my tweets because once in a while I’d be like ‘oh! Who’s this gymnast I’ve never heard of and you’re doing something totally cool’, but one that we were talking today, I would say Ashleigh Gnat. I mean, I think a lot of hardcore NCAA fans know about her but other people might not and we’ve talked a little bit about her but she, in the LSU lineup, kind of fades into the background until she does a double twisting Yurchenko.



JESSICA: So we got a mail call this week from­ oh first of all I just want to say thank you everybody for your positive responses to­ and informative interesting responses to my final….my final feedback on the whole Penn State thing from last week and I want to especially thank the several people who suffered from abuse and sexual abuse not just in gymnastics but

in­ at their workplace, at their schools, who reached out and thanked us for talking about that on the show. That really meant a lot and I felt like [sighs] all of this was totally worth it just to hear from you guys, that you guys felt supported so thank you so so much for reaching out and for writing in to gymcastic@gmail.com and if you guys can reach us there, too. Um and so we got an email today and um here is what it says, or a message on Facebook: ‘Hey guys, I can’t tell


you how much I love GymCastic. As a former gymnast turned mom of two, discovering your podcast has been life changing.’ Yes! I listen while I workout and it is some of the only me time I get. I started listening to you guys and then discovered blogs like Rewriting Russian Gymnastics and the Gymternet, I can’t get enough. I finally have something that is mine again. Thank you’ Yay! ‘Question about the American Cup­ do you guys know a way to get tickets at a discount. I’ve convinced the hubby I need to go,’ Obviously you do need to go, of course ‘But I don’t want to pay an arm and a leg for the good seats. Thanks so much’. Ok, so um thank you so much for your lovely letter. We appreciate that so much and we’ve discussed it amongst ourselves and researched. So you have a couple of options. One is that you can get discount tickets through the local gym club programme. So there’s a club ticket sales programme and

basically all the gyms get discount bulk tickets, so I would contact all the gyms in your area, and obviously if you’re in Dallas, there’s pretty much one on every corner like a 7/11. So just call them all and you’ll find one that has the group discount tickets and see if you can buy into that system. They’ll probably want you to go and drive to the gym, give them a cheque so they know you’re serious about it. So that’ll be fun, try to do that with all the kids and all the parents and they’ll be freaking out just like you are. The other option you have is that you can volunteer. That’s a way to watch for free. You’re not guaranteed to be in an area where you’ll actually be able to watch the whole competition, but it is a way to be there and be around the athletes and hopefully at least be somewhere where there’s a screen inside so you can watch. So that’s an option and you might be even able to do it for the Nastia Cup, which is the day before and that would be something really cool to see, too. You can see the future NCAA stars, and future elite stars at that meet. It’s a great meet in a super positive environment and of course Nastia will be there, so. The other thing to remember is even if you get the super cheap tickets and you’re feeling like you’re not really close­ ‘cos it is like the most gigantic stadium, it’s like if a freaking alien ship came and they were gonna like harvest us all and take us to another planet for a breeding programme, ‘cos of course that’s what they would be doing, it’s that big. It’s like an alien ship size. Like they could take us all­ it’s huge. Huge. The stadium is ridonculous. But here’s the thing­ they have the most gigantic television screen? it’s like the size of a small planet. It’s like the size of our moon in the middle of that stadium television screen. So even if you’re sitting at the very top of the arena like a million miles away, you will still be able to see and

count Simone Biles’ eyelash hairs from all the way up there ‘cos­ eyelash hairs or eyelashes? Because that’s how big that television screen is. So don’t worry if you can only afford the tickets that are, you know, the fourth or fifth level up, because that screen, you’ll be able to see what’s going on­ people may be kind of small but that screen is huge. Anyway, those are some ways for you to get tickets and I wish you all the best and we want to hear all about it. And tell us if you get the discount tickets, or if you volunteer or how big the screen is. We can’t wait to hear

all about it, it’s gonna be fantastic. That’s my answer. UNCLE TIM: I have nothing to add. Anything, Evan? EVAN: She’s got it all.


JESSICA: Good, we’ve covered all our bases. Alright, if you guys have any feedback for us, you can contact us at gymnastic@gmail, call­ no­ gymcastic@gmail.com. You can also call us. We received a very extensive message in five parts from a­ a listener. I really appreciate that she called over and over so we now have­ we now have found out that you can leave messages that are under eight minutes long ‘cos we have like five of them from her. And I appreciate that she apologized every time for how long her messages were. But it was very interesting to hear her take on things. So you can call us on 415 800 3191 or you can call us for free from anywhere in the World if you have Skype, which is also free to use. Find us by searching for our username

on Skype, which is gymcastic podcast, and we will listen to your message and get back to you and of course even if we haven’t gotten back to you yet, we read all of your emails, all of your Facebook messages, everything, and we appreciate them very very much. Don’t forget to watch the Skating and Gymnastics Spectacular this weekend. [laughing] It’s one of our favourite things to watch, and by that I mean watch, like through your fingers in horror at how…oh. Let me just

tell you they’re wearing metallic shiny pants, the boys. Red metallic shiny pants. That’s all you need to know about this­ oh and there’s ice skaters. It’s on ABC this Saturday February 7th. Eastern time it starts at four? Pacific time it starts at two and uh yeah, it’s gonna be um [laughing] you guys just­ it’s just­ make sure to be on Twitter at the same time. It’s something really special you’re not gonna wanna miss. And hello? Simone is in it so it could be like the

greatest thing ever and the boys usually are very entertaining in this too, so make sure to watch that this weekend. GymCastic is produced and edited by me, Jessica O’Beirne. Our content and social media director is Dr. Uncle Tim, PhD. Our audio engineer is Ivan Alexander. Our theme song is mixed by Chris Saccullo, as performed by NWA. Transcription services are provided by our exceptional volunteer super staff of Katie, Katie, Alex, Amanda, Hailey Cecy, Dannica and Emma. Until next week, I’m Jessica from masters­gymnastics.com, where you can find all of the information to jump start your adult gymnastics career.



UNCLE TIM: I’m Uncle Tim from Uncle Tim talks men’s gym. EVAN: And I’m Evan, find me on Twitter @YoEv

JESSICA: Thanks for listening. See you guys next week.