Episode 138 Transcript

JESSICA: Remember, this show is PG13. So you might hear a naughty word or two.


A 9.9975 and a 9.925? She competed an exhibition.


EVAN: How many 9-9s were in that 9.975? [LAUGHTER]




EVAN: 9.999975?


JESSICA: She got a 9.9975? It’s like [LAUGHS]


EVAN: Everybody, you must genuflect when entering the alter of Peng Peng.




EVAN: Jess is waiving inscence and stirring the air with a maple leaf and a Bruin paw. [JESSICA LAUGHS]




JESSICA: This week, Paul Ruggeri wins the Winter Cup, The NCAA regional qualifying scores are out, Kyla Ross commits to college, and Bridget Sloan is back. Plus, Princess Catherine has competition from a boy named Emyre. This is episode 137 for February 25th, 2015. I’m Jessica, from Masters-Gymnastics.com and welcome to the number one gymnastics podcast on the planet. I’m Jessica, and I’m joined with Uncle Tim, from Uncle Tim Talks Men’s Gym, Even Heiter, and Spencer, from the Balance Beam Situation. So Spencer, tell us what is the latest–what were the highlights from NCAA for the last week or two?


SPENCER: Well, a whole lot has happened. The biggest thing, this past weekend, Bridget Sloan finally returned from her devestating, catastrophic, horrible, life-changing ankle injury that she suffered in the first week of the season. So she was out for seven weeks but came back on bars this week. They’re hoping to add balance beam next week, but she was back on bars this weekend. And she scored a 9.9, basically looked like her old self. A little more ragged then usually, which is understandable because she hadn’t competed in seven weeks, but she did have the best dismount landing on the team, which sort of shows up–or at least on bars–which sort of shows up everyone else. Like, “Oh, by the way, I missed seven weeks and I still landed better then all y’all.” But she’s back, and that’s very exciting.


Elsewhere, Alabama and Georgia had a big meet. One of many big SEC meets this weekend. It’s funny, because Alabama and Georgia, we’re so used to that being the big meet of the whole regular season–




SPENCER: –near eternity. And then on Friday, when they competed, it wasn’t even the biggest SEC meet of the day. Because Florida and LSU also had a meet, and they’re both ranked higher. But, it was a little nostalgic, Alabama and Georgia, because they were back to their old tricks where every single person got a 9.95 just for showing up, which, you know. Frustrating? Maybe. But also sweet, cute, adorable, because that’s how it’s supposed to be, it’s Alabama and Georgia. But–and I should say, while the scores were crazy in that meet, and Alabama did end up defeating Georgia, many of the high scores were deserved. Particularly Kayla Williams on vault, who stuck a yurchenko 1.5. It was her best vault of the year, I was fine with that getting at least a 9.95. Could have been a 10. Same with Brittany Rogers sticking her 1.5. So there were some great routines in there as well. But it’s been kind of interesting with the scores. Because we’ve seen a lot–especially at these SEC meets, where the scores kind of go a little crazy–a lot of people getting 9.95s, but the pace of the 10s has slowed in the last couple of weeks. We’ve only had one each of the last two weeks. This week, Georgia Dabritz on bars got the only 10–she has the most 10s this year, that was her third ten of the season. But, Georgia on the other hand, got a pretty good score, not a great meet. Evan, tell us about Georgia’s performance.


EVAN: So Georgia, really surprising. I was surprised to uncover this fact: They haven’t broken 197 yet this year. And I was like, “Hmm? Hmm… When is the last time that happened to Georgia?” And I didn’t even find an answer, it was so long ago. So, there have been a few years where the last week of February they’ve finally broken into the 197. But they haven’t done it yet. So this year will for sure the latest they have ever maybe gone 197 since at least 1998. So that’s even through the dark ages known as [LAUGHS] the Jay Clark era at UGA. And–this is like, catastrophic. Legitimately, they haven’t broken 197. And when you look at the RQS that came out this week, there are so many teams who have gone over 197. So it–this just brings me to the point. Do we think that Georgia is even getting the scores that area acurately reflecting them, or just kind of riding the wave of SEC scoring that’s happening around them, and would they be higher or lower in a different conference? What do you guys think?


SPENCER: I think it’s definitely in this most recent meet there was some really high scoring. Georgia had very poor floor rotation where they had two falls, but even in the routines where they didn’t have falls they had major lack of control on the landings and still got some 9.8s. That was sort of surprising. Yeah, I think they’re–they’re still a really talented team, and they can still contend for Nationals and maybe contend for Super Six, but yeah. I think they are getting a little bit of benefit that makes them look better than some of their performances have really been so far.


EVAN: Jess or Uncle Tim, do you have any thoughts or feelings on the Gym Dogs this year?


JESSICA: I want them to do so well, because I really like this coach. And I really feel like she has the potential to turn it around. But I think maybe they’re suffering from–I mean, they have the people on the team, but I feel like it’s maybe still a little growing pains/haven’t had the recruiting difference that they need because there’s been so much turnover with the coaching? But I got in big trouble for talking about scoring differences between the SEC and the PAC12, so I’m going to say nothing about that. I’m just going to talk about the coaches and recruiting. That is my final comment. [LAUGHTER]


EVAN: Very diplomatic for once, and I hope only once. [LAUGHTER] The thing about Danna Durante at this meet is that in the post-meet interview, she was pissed. She was no having it at all. She said, you know, “Our freshman and sophomores, sometimes they’re good and sometimes they’re not good. And tonight they couldn’t finish a meet.” So she was frustrated, on camera, and owning it. Which, I kind of admire in a coach because if I ever saw my coach get to a level like that, it would be so earth shattering that they were like, the coach wasn’t like, “You know, it was our best attempt. We went out there, and we’ve got some things to work on.” She was pissed off at these girls for not being able to deliver. And like Spencer was saying, their floor rotation was just broke down. It just was not good. And these were the things that Georgia needs to watch out for, and that’s because Danna knows that they are very much so in danger of not qualifying to Nationals if they rely on a little bit of home scoring for these routines. Because when they go to regionals, and even SECs, those scores probably won’t be there when they’re going head-to-head with Florida, LSU, and the likes of Alabama, who they were against here. So it’s time to get it together, and I admire Coach Durante showing such. Otherwise, there was a lot to celebrate because we have a new leader in the all-around, based on the RQS, which we’ll talk about in a little bit. [JESSICA SQUEALS] If the squealing is any indication…




EVAN: Who is it–did you just say it? Did you break the sound barrier and say it? I couldn’t tell.


JESSICA: [LAUGHS] Yes. [LAUGHTER] Lindsay Mable, Lindsay Mable! Talk about someone who’s not been offending from home scoring, because there’s no such thing in Minnesota. Lindsay Mable, Lindsay Mable, Lindsay Mable. The goddess. The goddess of perfect form. The–the–if there were an E-score in NCAA, she would be the queen of the excution score. She is so beautiful. We have been in love with her forever, and now she’s ranked number one, yes! Oh my God! It’s like the greatest thing ever! Spanny Tampson is probably losing her mind right now. She’s–I’m so excited for her. I’m so freakin’ excited. We know how consistent she is, we know how beatiful her gymnastics is, she’s everescent, she’s a performer, she’s everything it’s supposed to be. And they’ve had so much termoil at that school, with the sexual harassment scandel, and the coaching turnover, they have a really young coach, and she’s just consistently doing her thing, totally unfazed by all this when it comes to her scores. I’m so proud of you, Lindsay Mable! We are all–YES!–we’re behind you. But we have to remember now, we can’t get too excited–who am I kidding? Yes I will.–that Rhaegan “Tigress of the Bayou” Courville, Irish Daniel’s favorite gymnast in the entire world, still has scored the highest all around period, of anyone. Which–a 39.825, which is redonkulous.






EVAN: A 39.825–I mean, in very recent history, I was applauding a 39.575 in the all around, and I was like, “How did that happen? Where was this meet? What did she do?” 39.825–that is ridiculous, that is so, so good and so–it shows you how balanced in the all around Rhaegan Courville is. And she’s amazing on all four events. Sometimes not so much on uneven bars, but she’s really done well to kind of put that exclamation on the end of her routine, so I’m–is it possible to see a 40?


JESSICA: Yes. It’s been done before.


EVAN: I know.


JESSICA: So yes, she could totally do it. And let’s not forget either–not to insert my PengPeng bias, but my adoration for Ms. PengPeng Captain Canada is totally been validated this past weekend, because she got, I think, a 9.99975 and a 9.925. She competed an exhibition–


EVAN: How many 9-9s were in that 9.975? [LAUGHTER]




EVAN: 9.999975?


JESSICA: She got a 9.9975? It’s like [LAUGHS]


EVAN: Everybody, you must genuflect when entering the alter of Peng Peng.




EVAN: Jess is waiving inscence and stirring the air with a maple leaf and a Bruin paw. [JESSICA LAUGHS]


JESSICA: A Bruin Paw looks like a maple leaf. Oh my God, I’m totally going to bring that next week. [LAUGHTER] Yes. So. She was exhibition on vault, so everyone might not have seen this, and it’s not registered anywhere officially, but I’m just saying if she were to magically do floor by the end of the season, which she could because she’s PengPeng, I’m just saying that everyone else could be all excited and then boom, PengPeng wins the all-around. That’s all I’m saying. I’m just–psh. Could happen. That’s all.


So speaking of the tigress of the bayou, LSU, there were some, there were some–it was very interesting what happened at the Florida/LSU meet. So Spencer, could you just give us the low-down quickly on that meet, and then talk about the shocking allegations?


SPENCER: [LAUGHS] Yeah. Basically, what happened is that LSU whooped FLorida in LSU. They were pretty close for the first half of the meet, and then Florida has a mistake and LSU super didn’t, and LSU won. But there’s a bit of a backstory going into this meet. Which I had forgotten about, but Florida had not forgotten about. So two years ago, Florida went–so it was the last time that Florida went to LSU for a meet, two years ago. It was very close, right to the last rotation, and then Florida went to beam and Bridget Sloan fell on beam. And there was a big hoopla about it, because she was booed by the crowd, or she fell and they cheered, and Florida was very upset by it. And I remember Rhonda Faehn talking about how Bridget went to her and said, “I have never competed in front of people who wanted me to fail before.” Or, “I had never experienced people wanting me to fail in gymnastics before.” And that moment affected the Florida team, especially the freshmen, that was their first road meet ever. Bridget Sloan, Bridgette Caquatto, that was their first road meet. And it’s–I guess it’s sort of been on a low simmer ever since then, because it came out in the discussion before this meet. Again, Bridgette Caquatto said, “But if I remember correctly from my freshman year, we got some boos.” And Rhonda Faehn referenced them too, that the LSU boo and heckle and yell mid-routine, so they were very much–this was still fresh, even though it happened two years ago. But in this meet I thought everyone was pretty well behaved, from what I saw on the feed. I didn’t hear any problems from the crowd. It’s a very raucous crowd, it’s a huge crowd, a record-breaking crowd for LSU, over 12,000 fans. But they seemed pretty normal gymnastics fans. There were some frustration from LSU fans–you know, Twitter people, who knows. But LSU fans in the crowd that Florida was trying to distract LSU when they were on beam. I didn’t really see any of that, watching it. Florida was definitely loud through the whole meet, I think they made an effort to try to match the volume of the LSU crowd with their own volume, so they were shouting. But it was directed at their own athletes. But there was a lot of shouting and cheering and agressive yelling, and they made a point of that. So perhaps that’s what people were reacting to. But behaviorwise, I thought it was pretty much the norm for an SEC meet with a big crowd. When you–


JESSICA: I mean–


SPENCER: What did everyone else think?


JESSICA: That’s the thing. I–I–people got kind of upset with us. We–Uncle Tim does a fantastic job of going through the news and tweeting out all the new stories on our Twitter. As I say, it’s like the CNN ticker. It’s like the ESPN Twick–Twit–blah blah blah–Ticker. But even better, because it’s only gymnastics and no nonsense. But people got kind of upset, the LSU fans totally got upset, when we tweeted the story where Rhonda and Bridgey talked about what happened to them at the LSU meet, and then I retweeted some of the LSU fans, because I feel like I’m trying to give–if we put one story out there, then lets also put the other side out there. So our retweeting is not necessarily an endorsement. Sometimes it’s a, “Here’s the other side, because we just tweeted this.” So don’t everybody freak out. It doesn’t mean we’re totally agreeing with someone just because we retweet it. If we agree with it, you know that we’ll respond with a thousand exclamation points and all caps. Because normally it’s me responding, and that’s how I respond to everything. [LAUGHS] So, I just–like, this is the thing. I know that everyone says that their fans are perfect, but that’s just not true. You cannot say that–you can’t account for every single fan, every single time. And you cannot say, “There’s never been a boo the enitre time at a meet, ever, ever, ever.” I mean, everyone–thing’s happen. There are a lot of people who are just fans of their school. And they’re not gymnastics fans, and they don’t know anything about gymnastics, so they don’t know that you don’t boo or heckle people in a sport where you could actually die. This isn’t like ping pong. It’s a super dangerous sport, so we don’t do that kind of stuff. And people are just bandwagoners for their school don’t know that. So I just feel like, I know LSU fans are really upset by this, but it’s like–things happen. So what you can do as a fan is, when you see that happen, someone’s doing that at your school, go over to them and say, “Hey. This is how we do things here, and this is how we show support. And if you want to upset the other team, do nothing.” Or like Georgia did back in the day, all the student section, they held up newspapers in front of their faces while UCLA competed. And then on the next routine, they all pretended to fall asleep. I thought that was really creative and funny. And then UCLA did the same thing when Georgia came and competed, their fans. And that wasn’t mean–it’s not a gymnastics fan thing to do, but it was kind of funny. It’s better than heckling, I think. But anyway, I just wanted to address that whole Twitter upset going on.


EVAN: And the fans from LSU drive their jet-powered hover boats over to Florida and meet them on their jet-powered hover boats. And agree that no one is surprised by this. This is not– [JESSICA LAUGHS] First of all, I don’t think Rhonda and the athletes have any reason to lie about that, because they can easily say that that happened at probably any meet if they wanted to. And I–I’m sitting here just like, “Yeah. That sounds about right.” Because I don’t think that in a situation like the SEC, it’s so into sports. It’s sportscentric. It’s a sports-centric cutlure. And if you think you’re going to go to a meet and have respectful fans, that’s just not the culture that a lot of those schools exist in. So let it motivate you. And I think that it is kind of a fine line to mention it, just because at that point you think, you know, people are trying to make excuses or whatnot. Like Jess said, it’s really dangerous to have some type of overreaction, and I think that where the lines are crossed is when you see a situation like last year at Nationals, when there was a laser pointer on the beam. That is is really real and really dangerous. But somebody being not into you because of the school you go to? That’s standard. And embrace that. I say rise to the occassion and let that motivate you.




UNCLE TIM: Evan, did you ever get heckled during your gymnastics career at Michigan?


EVAN: Umm–me, personally, no. But I know that we went places, and–you know a lot of time, it’s other sports who come and support that. And just, you know, just say what they want to say, and make it known. And a lot of time in these college venues, a lot of people watching at home–you don’t realize how close the crowd is to these events. And especially if you’re not competiting, if you’re standing in the back or sitting on the side somewhere, you’re right, basically, in the crowd. So people would make comments all the time. But at the same time you just have to kind of look at it, and I would be like, “Are you for real?” [LAUGHS] But that also, I think it fuels the competitive fire in a good way. So I’m all right with it. We tried to be way louder at Ohio State. We were like, screaming our heads off.


JESSICA: I am always super impressed when the team on the floor can be louder then the other team’s crowd in the stands. That is like, we should give out awards for that [EVAN LAUGHS], it’s freaking amazing.


EVAN: I think the award has gone to Chris Brooks for [JESSICA LAUGHS] best supporting actor in a cheering situation. [UNCLE TIM LAUGHS] He has taken home the academy award and is fist pumping it all the way down to Texas because–oh, and back to Colorado now–because he is so loud in every arena that he’s ever in.


JESSICA: This is true. Can we talk about Kennedy Baker’s wolf turn? What’s happening Spencer?


SPENCER: What’s happening is it died.




SPENCER: [LAUGHS] She hasn’t–no, she fell on her wolf turn once again this weekend, which was–she’s had six beam routines this year and fell on her wolf turn on beam three times. In her press conference, Rhonda Faehn said, “It is gone.” She was like, “Yeah, we’re not doing that anymore. That’s out.” So if you love Kennedy Baker’s wolf turn on beam, sorry. It’s not happening anymore. I take some responsibility, because I did put a curse on it. [JESSICA LAUGHS] I just happen to hate wolf turns on beam especially so much. I made a potion, and I sacraficed a lamb to make sure that it didn’t happen any more. And now it is, so I feel a little guilty, but not that guilty because I do hate wolf turns just that much.


JESSICA: [LAUGHS] Well, we know that it’s true that you should only do a wolf turn if you can do it as fast as Simone Biles, because that’s the only one that looks good ever. So, Kennnedy Baker should just give that thing up and just do her quad wolf turn. That’s the only way to not fall off-just do it so fast that it’s impossible, you float above the beam. Okay, let’s talk about the RQS. The Regional Qualifying Score. This is a huge deal, it’s very important, we’ve finally reached this point in the season. Evan, what is it all about?


EVAN: So, RQS–I mean, basically this is just when you start averaging a certain amount of scores. So I didn’t, I didn’t really, I don’t–I think you just throw out your… You take your highest three road scores by the end of the season and your highest three home scores by the end of the season and they average those. Is that not right? Is that right?


SPENCER: Sort of.




EVAN: Correct me.


JESSICA: Spencer’s like, “Let me fix this.” [LAUGHTER]


SPENCER: Yeah. It’s at least three road scores. It could be–all six could be road scores. But it’s sort of like in elite, where you have to have at least three dance elements on beam. To make sure that you’re doing that as well, you have to have at least three road scores. And they drop the highest one, and then average the remaining five scores to get your RQS.


EVAN: Got it. And usually the highest score is a home score. In most cases.




EVAN: But it doesn’t have to be. Okay, cool. That’s the dance known as RQS, Spencer’s choreographing it right in front of us today. So that is RQS, but I just want to talk about what it means. So, not much at this point. But it does kind of give us somewhat of a clear vision as to who might have had more home meests, who might have had less home meets, and who is seeing really big improivement or just really reaching for those scores. So not surprisingly, you have Oklahoma, LSU, Florida, and Utah at the top. Those are–they’ve established themselves as the power houses this year. I don’t think anybody’s really surprised by that. But Oklahoma has an average over 197.5, just a little bit. 197.516. So to give a little bit of perspective on the RQS, Michigan, who’s number six–who I like, but guess what, they’re number six and doing well, so I get to talk about them–they are not… [LAUGHS] I wouldn’t call them an exciting team. I think that they’re super consistent and that their RQS is really indicative of that. Because their max score on the season is 197.3, which is .5 lower then Alabama’s season high score. So, just to give you some parity between just teams five and six. And then compound that perspective, number 12, Oregon State, had a 197.25 high. So, .05 lower than Michigan’s maximum but six spots down from where they’re at. So until the RQS is actually calculated how it will be in the final week of counting scores, it’s kind of hard to tell where it’s going to shake down, because like Spencer said, you’re throwing scores out. So really, this just gives teams a line drawn in the chalk to know where you need to get better than and where you really hope that you don’t get worse than. So, any predicitions from this point out? Do you think that the rankings are going to stay the same with the top five to six up there? Auburn is blowing everyone’s head up by breaking into number seven at this point of the RQS.


JESSICA: LSU might jump ahead Oklahoma. It could happen. That’s my prediction. Otherwise, I think everything’s going to stay the same–well, everything in the top three is going to stay the same.


SPENCER: Yeah, Oklahoma is in a good position right now because they have such road scores. And that usually tends to determine, because most of the top teams have the really high home scores, the big home meet where they get 207 and everyone’s like, “We’re the best!” But the road scores really come down to it. And Oklahoma schedules very well, because they have a couple road meets every year where the scores tend to go pretty high. They have the Bart and Nadia meet in Oklahoma City, which counts as a road meet but is really a home meet, and they go to Metroplex, where the scores always tend to be really high, because it’s after that huge Metroplex meet and everyone’s delirous. [UNCLE TIM LAUGHS] So they schedule well, earn those big, high road scores, and they stay there. There’s a couple of teams that still have some really low road scores counting on their RQS, so they can get rid of them. Like UCLA still has that 194 against Utah. So even if they get another road score of a 196.5 or something normal, they’re going to shoot way up. Auburn still has some low road scores, so I think they could easily go higher than that number seven, which is already a big surprise.


JESSICA: We were never supposed to mention that UCLA/Utah score ever again! I thought we all decided that as a group! [LAUGHTER]


SPENCER: They have to get rid of it! If it’s not one of their best three road scores, then we don’t have to talk about it anymore, but it still is. [JESSICA SIGHS]


EVAN: Well, speaking of UCLA not getting rid of something, they have a new addition, as is recently announced. Spencer, it’s very close to Jessica’s heart, so you’re going to talk about it. [JESSICA LAUGHS]


SPENCER: Yeah, we can’t trust Jessica to talk about this, because it might not be in English, it might just be in squeals.


UNCLE TIM: Like a pterodactyl. [JESSICA LAUGHS]


SPENCER: But I will. Kyla Ross has officially announced that she has committed  to UCLA. Which is kind of an upset, because all we heard for years, I think, was Stanford, Stanford, Stanford, Stanford, Stanford, Stanford, Stanford, and she was going to go to Stanford. I think you guys even talked about it pretty recently, that she was saying, “Well, Stanford’s my first choice, but I could also go to UCLA.” And now she’s going to UCLA. And there is an interesting–she’s yet another UCLA-committed scholarship gymnast. So, Jessica, do you want to explain what’s happeneing with UCLA’s scholarships and some of the changes in the future?


JESSICA: Yes. Okay. So, now that I’ve calmed down. So here’s what’s happening. There’s something really exciting which we can mention UW here, because there is a UW gymnast who helped pass this by going to Washington–I’m totally forgetting her name right now, Evan, but…


EVAN: McKenzie Fechtr!


JESSICA: Yay! Good job! You’re making a difference! Your legacy will live on forever, because you…


EVAN: Me, or McKenzie?


JESSICA: McKenzie, hello! Evan, you’re already in the annals gymternet fame. [LAUGHS]


EVAN: In the what of what?


UNCLE TIM: In the anals.


JESSICA: [LAUGING] isn’t it the annuls?


UNCLE TIM: No, it’s the annuls, yeah.


JESSICA: I was like, have I been pronouncing it all wrong all these years? That I could have had more fun saying the anals? Okay, anyway. I digress. Okay, back to McKenzie. So, she helped pass this new rule, an NCAA rule that–these are not laws, people, these are just a bunch of rules that a bunch of people agreed on. So calm down. It’s–I love when people are like, “But that’s illegal!” Because no, it’s just sports. So, she helped pass this rule that as of 2016 all scholarships have to be four year scholarships. That doesn’t mean you can’t lose your scholarship, doesn’t mean even if you fail all of your classes or assault your coach that you still get to keep your scholarship, no, no, no. It just means that for Division 1 schools that when you get your scholarship, it’s a four year scholarship. Right now a scholarship is a yearly renewal. There’s no such thing as four year scholarships. After this, it changes. However, here’s what’s freaking people out. there’s like, a bazillion gymnasts committed to UCLA, but you only get 12 scholarships. So people are like, “They’re going to break the rule, the 2016 rule! What’s happening? Don’t they understand? They have to offer everyone the four-year scholarship.” But here’s the thing–the gymnasts have an option when they get offered a scholarship, the coaches can tell them, “We would love to have you, but we have this many people coming and after 2016 every single freshman has to get, has to be offered four years of scholarship. So that means when you’re a senior, we’re not going to have a scholarship for you anymore. Are you okay with that? Are you okay with coming here knowing that you’re only going to get three years of scholarship?” Or for other people, maybe, “You’re only going to get one year, that’s all we can offer you. You don’t have to come here, we’re telling you this ahead of time.” Can you imagine if they didn’t tell people that ahead of time? And someone shows up to like–and all of a sudden they get a giant bill for their tuition? They’re like, “What? I thought I was here for four years!” No. everybody knows this ahead of time, and they’re still choosing to go to these schools knowing that they might not have a scholarship for all four years. And they still want to go. So that’s kind of–that’s–I hope everybody understands that. It’s only starting 2016 that you have to offer all four years, which is freaking awesome. It’s not retroactive. So, it’s not like as of 2106 all the juniors…


EVAN: Four more years for Sam Peszek!




EVAN: A decade of college for Sam Peszek! Yes!


JESSICA: [LAUGHING] That’s not how it works!


EVAN: I can’t believe you’re telling everyone this. This is such breaking news [LAUGHTER] that you are annoucing it here, and we’re so humbled and honored that the NCAA allowed us to do that. Congratulations to Sam!


JESSICA: [LAUGHING] How could people not figure this out? It’s not retroactive you guys. Calm down. And not everybody gets a four-year scholarship. So anyhoo, I hope that helped explain it. Is that clear? Some people decide to come to come certain schools, even though they’re not going to have their entire education paid for. They might only get one year, and it might only be their senior year or junior year. That’s how it works.


EVAN: Or no years.




EVAN: Or no years, that’s also important.


JESSICA: Or no years, right! You might just…


EVAN: Walk ons.


JESSICA: …walk on and not have a scholarship the whole.


EVAN: Walk it on, walk it out. Snap, snap, snap. There you go.


JESSICA: Exactly. Evan, also a walk-on, right?


EVAN: I was, yeah.


JESSICA: And totally worth it, right?


EVAN: Oh gosh, yeah, no, I was all–a thousand percent honesty? I was nowhere even near a scholarship compared to my teammates, so it’s also about knowing your place on the team. And it’s not like, “I deserve this, I deserve this.” You know, there is a lot of transparency. There are no surprises going on.




EVAN: It’s not like–there’s the hunger games of scholarships going on if they’re like– [LAUGHTER]


SPENCER: Although, that would be… [UNCLE TIM LAUGHS]


EVAN: That might be even better for me, yeah. But no. I think it’s also reflective of your program. You’re not going to tell people otherwise, and honestly, that’s usually–people don’t feel their getting what they deserve, then they can transfer. And these rules also allow for that, within the Pac12.




EVAN: Allow for that. So it’s good on all sides.


UNCLE TIM: So who’d win in the UCLA Hunger Games? Because a lot of girls will be losing scholarships eventually. Because they just committed like, five billion people. So who would win in the Hunger Games of Scholarships for UCLA?


JESSICA: Sam Peszek will come back and kill everyone. [LAUGHTER] That’s what would happen. She would.


EVAN: I think Sophina might–she might–that blue hair might be a grabbing, whipping device. That [LAUGHS] takes out some other girls. But yeah. I think she might have a good shot. But also think about how motivating it is to be on a competitive team. So often we see elites go to programs, and it’s like, “Do you even care–are you caring? Are you not caring? Are you worried?” So if anything, I feel like more competitive teams are going to really force those elites who might get kind of relaxed and might get kind of injured and might get kind of never competing ever into a zone where they’re like, “All right. I’ve got to bring it from Day 1.”


JESSICA: And I also want to mention here, because I’m trying to be much more aware of my extreme, very obvious bias to UCLA, that Florida also has amazing, amazing, amazing recruits, and they’re going to be totally killer. And you can see what that competitive difference, having what all those elites together in one place did for Florida. And then again, we think about Oklahoma who are like, “F all y’all, we don’t need any elites. We are just going to recruit our ninja level 10s and win all the things.” So there’s that. Speaking of which, Rage-O-Meter time. Excuse me, did you see that they changed the Pac12 Championships venue? They just changed it? Like, four weeks before the freaking meet? What the hell is that? I know, it’s like, there was a thing that was a conflict, potential conflict, because the basketball team might need the arena. Well, people already bought their plane tickets! I’m so upset about this! This is totally–and you know how much it costs to plane tickets that refundable? You have to pay all this extra money now! I don’t see how this is acceptable. They couldn’t have forseen that possibly the basketball team might have been good, the basketball team can’t go anywhere else? I’m very upset about this! Very upset! Is anyone else upset as I am about this?


SPENCER: Well, I wouldn’t say that. But it is dumb. Because–yeah, like, planning, people.


JESSICA: Exactly.


SPENCER: Why did we not know about this in advance? The positive is that they’ve moved it to Utah, and they’re going to have a lot more people there and probably put on a better meet honestly, and so at least there’s that positive. And we won’t get a situation where the good teams are competing early and the worst teams are competing at night. Like last time, which was weird. But yes, annoying, I agree.


EVAN: And also Greg Marsden was like, “We’ll–we’ll pay to fly the basketball team somewhere else and we’ll have it at Utah. Because we’re having it at Utah.” No, just kidding, he didn’t say that. [JESSICA LAUGHS] But I bet he was like, “We volunteer. Yes. Us. Here. Good.”


JESSICA: It will be.


UNCLE TIM: We’ll hear–[JESSICA AND UNCLE TIM TALK OVER EACH OTHER] I was going to say we’ll hear Sam Bor–Sam Borden. Amanda Borden talk about the elevation is hurting every team except for Utah, and when she was a gymnast, she hated to compete at Utah because that last pass was so much difficulty–so much more difficult at high elevations.


JESSICA: It’s a real thing.


EVAN: The heighth, with a T-H, of the city is higher, so the heighth really affects you. [LAUGHTER]


JESSICA: Uncle Tim, next time you’re at high elevation, you need to do a full floor routine.


UNCLE TIM: A full floor routine. Okay.


JESSICA: Yes. Even if it’s cartwheels and a standing back. Or a standing front tuck. Which I still have not seen a video of, hello.


UNCLE TIM: Wait, I thought, Jess, that there’s no excuse for bad, poor conditioning.


JESSICA: There is no excuse for poor conditioning. But there is no way to prepare for high altitude except to sleep in one of those sleep tent things. I forget what they’re called. But they recreate it. That’s the only way to do it. You can’t–you can’t prepare for that. Even if you have amazing, amazing conditioning. There’s still no excuse, that’s true, but the elevation is a real thing. That’s all I’m saying. It’s the one exception. No, it’s not an exception! It’s like an astrix. I’m just saying. Amanda Borden is right.  Okay. I wanted to give a little shout-out to all of the NCAA sites that we follow when we’re doing our coverage. Which, of course, The Balance Beam Situation which Spencer runs so fantastically. And CollegeFantasyGymnastics.com, which is our fantasy gymnastics league that we play in. And the–they actually do an excellent recap newsletter, so if you don’t sign up for their news letter you really should, because it’s fantastic. And oh, by the way, we’re in it too, so you can see a little preview of our show every week if you subscribe to that. And then Road To Nationals is like, the most beautiful sexy data site. They have charts and graphs of everything: individuals, team history, where–and you can sort the ranking any way you want. Oh my God, sortable lists, oh! It’s my favorite. Because you know I can’t do the numbers by myself. Okay, then we also want to give–Evan has a really special shout-out to give this week.


EVAN: So it’s our friend Emma, who is PressHandstand on Twitter, some of the Gymcastic crew ran into her at the UCLA vs Stanford meet a couple of weeks ago, and Emma was like the Rosie the Riveter of wanting to organize gymnastics meet-ups. So we know that she’s been kind of–she gets all over the country to go to these meets, so make sure that you’re reaching out to your gymternet friends if you’re planning to go to a meet and want people to sit with. Hit them up. See who else is going there before hand, so you’re not trying to do it at the meet. It gets crazy in the heat of the moment. So, Emma, as a proponent of gymternet meet-ups, we salute you.


JESSICA: And she is the president of making awesome meet memes for gymnasts. Because she’s the one who made that meme of the cat doing aerobics with its foot over its head, and then Danusia Francis doing her over-the-head pose, which is hilarious–one of my all-time favorites. Was that made for one of our contests? She was also reminding us of all the contests we did. Which we need to do again. We need a president, a volunteer to be president of contests. And just–if you want to do that, could you e-mail us? Gymcastic@gmail.com and volunteer. We’ll put you in charge. Just write up a contest and the rules, and that’s all you’ll have to do. A monthly contest. Gymnerd contest!




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UNCLE TIM: If you’d like to help support the show, and send us to more meets like PAC12s at Utah, and to the Winter Cup, and maybe even World Championship in the fall, you should support us! So you can do that by using our Amazon link on our show, on our website. And you can shop for anything. You can shop for candles, you can shop for books, you can shop for toothpaste, you can shop for toenail clippers, I’m just naming things in my room. But use our Amazon link to shop for it. You can also review us on iTunes or Stitcher, or you can donate directly one time or monthly, as little or as much as you’d like. If you listen to our show at least five times, we’d really appreciate if you donated a little bit. And everything you donate goes into the production and the travel for the show.


JESSICA: Let’s talk about gymternet news. The USA Gymnastics media team, headed by the King of the Gymternet, Mr. Scott Bregman, has outdone themselves once again with videos from everybody at the last camp at the ranch, and they even visited Gabby’s house at her–not her house. It’s the gym. She lives there. It’s basically her house. [LAUGHTER] They visted her new gym in Ohio where she works out with Nia Dennis. Also, do you guys remember who coaches there? He’s in the video. Our friend who I called Phil randomly, because I thought that was his name, and it was not. His name is Christian. He’s the coach who was coaching Nia Dennis on bars, and he does elaborate kissing his cross, gold necklace, and this whole thing. He’s in this video too! His real name is Christian, not Phil, as I said before. So you can enjoy him in the video as well, as I did.


Okay, so, Gabby video. We see her new bar combo, which is very exciting. Uncle Tim, can you describe this new bar combo for everyone who hasn’t seen it yet?


UNCLE TIM: [LAUGHS] No, because I don’t remember what it was. [LAUGHTER]


JESSICA: It was like an in-bar. A piked in-bar stalder to eagle grip stalder to van luween? Ish?




JESSICA: That’s why I defer to you!


UNCLE TIM: It was–she does…


JESSICA: Saturday night, you just told everybody exactly what it was, and I was like, “Oh, he’ll know! He’ll remember what it is!”


EVAN: So Gabby does–and this is all on the low bar, mind you. An in-bar stalder to a higgins.


JESSICA: Higgins. Not an eagle grip.


EVAN: Which is basically a pirouette–yes, on the low bar, a pirouette into el-grip. And then she does an endo, forward on the bar, and then half  pirouette out of that into a stalder shaposhnikova up to the high bar.


JESSICA: I totally failed my bar exam, right there. Like, that was uneven bars judging test. I just failed. I got, like, an F- on that. I really need to learn the bar code. That’s going to make Japanese, and then bar code. Those are hard enough. [LAUGHS] Thank you, Evan. Thank you for saving the day. She also does  beautiful standing full on beam in her blue leo, with the bright color stripes on the side. I just love that leo. So let me ask you guys. After seeing this video, did it change how you felt about her comeback? Did you have any doubts, and then after seeing this have your doubts been squelched? Uncle Tim?


UNCLE TIM: I think that the video highlights her strong points, right? So when you listen to Marta Karolyi talking about her in the video, Marta kind of alludes to the fact that bars are really the strong point, and she needs to work on everything else. [LAUGHS] We didn’t really see vault besides a yurchenko timer from her. So if she’s going to repeat as the all-around champion, I’m guessing she has a little bit of work  to do. And Marta also alludes to the fact that Gabby needs to go to all these national team training camps, so that she realizes she’s no longer the champion. Well, she is the reigning Olympic champion, but she is not on track right now to be that Olympic champion again, unless she kicks her butt into gear. So I think–I mean, it’s a legit comeback, she does have a lot of skills, but there’s a long way to go if she’s going to make the 2016 team.




EVAN: Hell yes it changed my perception of what Gabby Douglas was bringing to the table in this comeback! I was–you stay quiet long enough, it’s very hard for me, in the day and age of social media, to believe that you are training that hard. And looking at back at–I think the kicker here is that Gabby Douglas is probably one, if not the most naturally athletes in the last decade. In USA gyymnastics. So she has a lot of natural ability that she can rest on in times of need, in times of comeback need like this. But I think that everything looks polished. And I think on the flip side of that, the videos that we saw of Aly Raisman, are a lot more put together and lot more–we’re seeing more skills together, and obviously she’s at camp so it has to look a bit more put together. But I think that she’s sacrificing the e-score a little bit at this point. Whereas Gabby is kind of doing the opposite of that approach and really making sure that she’s doing clean skills, doing them well, and maybe just not as many on such a large, pressure-filled scale. But I think she’ll be back at camp in no time, and I think she’s on the right track.


UNCLE TIM: Evan, do you think she’ll take over Kyla’s position as the execution queen?


EVAN: I do not. Just because I think that–I guess it’s hard to say. Because Gabby also–you know, the international judges haven’t seen her in a while. And I think that one of the most striking things about these videos is that her body is different. And her lines are different. What she’s always had are really long legs in comparison to her torso, and it’s even more aesthetically pleasing now. Unfortunately, I think that Kyla–her basics are just on another level to where as long as she’s healthy and competing, I think that her e-scores will be higher than Gabby’s.


JESSICA: So Spencer, Aly and Gabby are both planning to compete at Jesolo at the end of next month. The Jesolo meet, which is basically the US is reminding everyone that we are here to stomp every other countries’ dreams meet. And they freeze their asses off in Venice. Do you think both them are going to end up competing? Do you think it’s really going to happen?


SPENCER: I would like to see them both compete, just because that would be more interesting than seeing everyone we’ve just seen. I think based on the videos that we’ve just seen, Aly, as Evan said, her routines are more put together. So she looks farther along and more likely to be selected to that team just for having routines. I’m sure Gabby has routines as well, we only saw just the vault timer in the video, I’m sure she’s training more than that. But one of the things about the Gabby video that I thought was kind of interesting was sort of a disconnect between what Marta was saying and what Gabby was saying. Because like Uncle Tim said, Marta was like, “Oh, she has a ways to go. Bars was fine, but the rest, woof.” Or just starting to put together a floor routine. But then Gabby was saying, “Oh, I want to go to Italy,” and “Everything’s great.” So I thought that was interesting. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that Gabby was sick or wasn’t fully participating at the most recent camps, so Marta hasn’t really seen everything that she has together, but I think they both could. But based on what we’ve seen from Gabby, it didn’t look like she had four events fully ready, which is I why I would be less sure about her. What do you think?


JESSICA: [SIGHS] I–I mean, this is the thing. It doesn’t seem like the women ever do what the men do, which is basically, “It’s okay. Just come back and water down.” No. You have to dominate everyone and just stomp their dreams into another dimension or you can’t compete. So I think that if they aren’t totally 100%, if they don’t have their minimum Olympic routines back from 2012, then they’re not going to go. Because I just don’t think we put anyone out there who isn’t doing their absolute highest difficulty, unless their absolute highest difficulty–their minimum difficulty, like Kyla Ross, can still compete with the top  in the world and beat other US team members. Like, Aly on floor could probably do that right now. She–you could probably get her up in the middle of the night in her pajamas and she could do a floor routine and still compete with Simone. Be in the running–I’m not saying she’s going to beat Simone, come on, everyone relax please–but she’s, her floor is ridiculous. So yeah. I think there, we’ll see. I don’t know. But I’m really hoping they do! Because it would be super, super exciting and I would love that. And it would be exiciting, and I think it’s just an exciting meet to have little kids in Italy have access to all those champions there. It’s kind of a cool thing.


Speaking of Simone, she was also in her video doing her double layout full out stuck. She did the Biles to immediate split jump, so upgrade, because she’s just, “Oh, I can stick this anytime. So let me do a perfect split jump out of it.” And then she’s doing a triple wolf turn on beam. She was doing a double wolf before, right, and now she’s doing a triple? Which, it’s a little slower than I like. You know I like to go lightening speed. But it’s still–it’s Biles. So it’s not ugly, it’s okay. And then she’s sticking her Mustafina dismount of bars, which is also freaking perfect and delicious. So oh! I could watch her all day! She looks perfectly fine. She’s freaking amazing. How is she this consistent, after all these years already? Has it been three years since we first saw her first time? Competing as a senior? She’s just–It’s like, everyone else is all broken down and had like ten surgeries by now, but she’s just going strong. I don’t know what magical stuff they do at that gym, but– Maybe it’s the resting and going for coffee?




EVAN: I think that that’s it. I think that it’s Aimee Boorman the Teenage Witch. And she [LAUGHTER] has cast a spell of healthy proper training on Simone. And she just gets it. She finds what works. And it’s not some cookie-cutter, Soviet-flavored [JESSICA LAUGHS] potion that works for some athletes for a while. It’s what I like to think is a pretty straightforward and realistic approach to being a badass, world class winner.


JESSICA: Yes. Amen to that, sir. We also saw Sabrina Vega in the background of these videos. And you know she was on the 2011 team, World team that won Worlds in Tokyo, with Jordyn Wieber. And we haven’t seen her since 2012 Trials. Really, I haven’t seen her in any competitions or at camp that I can remember. And then she switched–after Trials she switched to training at GAGE. So it was interseting to see her. She’s definitely grown up a bit and her skills still look really pretty, but we only saw very little of that. So I don’t know. I hope things work out for her, and I hope we see more of her. But we’ll see. I’m bummed we didn’t get a video on her, but I imagine if a video wasn’t put out then she’s not ready to be picked for any team. So we’ll have to see what happens with her.


In gymnerd heaven news, there is a new YouTube channel called “Gymnastics Meets” that has old gymnastics competitions all the way back from 1977 through the ’90s! Hallelluah! USA GYmnastics has a bunch of old meets on their YouTube channel as well. This one has even more stuff, and oh my God, it’s so freaking exciting! [SQUEALS] So, Gymnastics Meets. YouTube. Go to it, subscribe, give them all your love. There’s only like 700 people subscribed or something. I was like, “How can this be? Why didn’t everyone in the whole world subscribe to this already?”


UNCLE TIM: And if you want to understand why Jess calls the Dark Ages, the ’90s–the ’80s and ’90s, you should just go back and watch an American meet and the coaches scream at their girls. Because there’s a lot of that in some of those clips. Especially vault. Lots of scary yurchenkos and coaches getting really upset at their gymnasts. You’ll understand why Jess calls it the Dark Ages.


JESSICA: Thank you. Double Olympian Hannah Whelan for team GB annoucned her retirement. Of course, this isn’t really a surprise. But we’re sad to see her go, but she had a fantastic career. And yeah, we’re happy for her. Moving on and doing exciting new things. West Virginia Gymnastics got busted for some NCAA violations. And it was all related to one of the assistant coaches doing a lot of tweeting and contacting recruits that was not supposed to be happening. So that’s kind of a bummer for them. Dan Purvis and Amy Ragan took the 2015 Scottish titles. Dan Purvis, you’ll remember him. He’s the one that fell on the judges, straddled the judge’s face. Our favorite gymternet blooper ever. Amy Ragan doesn’t get a lot of press, but I really like her gymnastics. She’s not–she doesn’t have typical body of a gymnast, but she has some crazy hard skills that she does. I’d really love to see her in the NCAA. I don’t know if she’s being recruited, but NCAA–




JESSICA: NCAA coaches, check out Amy Ragan. Scotland. Three time consecutive NCAA champ and my personal hero, Jenny Hanson, had her leo retired. They said, uniform, whatever, jersery, and I was like, “That is so rude. It is not a jersey sport. It’s a leotard. They better put some leotard up there and not some stupid shirt.” So anyway, I’m saying she had her leo retired this past weekend in Kentucky. And of course, how do you think she celebrated, you guys? She did a back tuck in the middle of the court. But it’s Jenny Hanson, so did she just do a back tuck? No. She had knee high combat boots on and did her back tuck. Have you guys ever tried to do a back tuck with boots on?


UNCLE TIM: Yes, but not combat boots.


JESSICA: And how did that go?


UNCLE TIM: It’s hard. You don’t get as much height as you usually do.


JESSICA: Yes. She did it with knee-high combat boots on. So, mm. She’s very impressive and never disappoints. That’s what you need to know about her. Big–oh you guys, this is so exciting. Oh my God. Okay. The Big Bang Theory–who watches Big Bang Theory? Do any of you guys watch this show? [SILENCE] None of you? What kind of nerds are you? You’re only gymnerds. You’re not even nerds outside of gymnastics. So this so disappointing.




JESSICA: Anyway, it’s a hilarious show, it’s super popular and you should watch it because it’s awesome. So there is–one of the stars of the show’s name is Bernadette, and she is in a movie called The Bronze. [LAUGHS] Best name for a movie ever. She plays a former Olympic gymnast who has descended into a lackidasical life of boozing and smoking pot in a small town in Ohio. And there is a sex scene in this movie which is getting rave reviews. Variety described the scene between her and her co-star as, “One of the raunchiest sex sequences in a movie,” noting that it involves pole vault, cartwheels, and pirouettes. Obviously it’s not going to be a pole vault, those idiots. I’m sure it’s not. Watch it be, and I’m sure I’m wrong.


UNCLE TIM: I’m glad they’re trying to make some clever turn of phrase there.


JESSICA: [LAUGHS] Oh my God, I can’t wait to see this movie. Mashable panned the film, but said the sex scene was a perfect ten. While the–let’s see, the Slanted raved about the film and says the scene has “Everything from tumbles to vaults to cartwheels thrown into the mix to create one of the funniest, raunchiest events you could hope for.” And that’s all coming from ew.com. I cannot wait to see this. The only real gymnastics sex scene that I can remember seeing in a movie [LAUGHTER] was–because I’ve never seen the Gymnast, that is the lesbian circus, French movie. I’ve never watched that. But remember in–what’s the movie about the runner at Oregon, who was really famous.


SPENCER: Prefontaine?


JESSICA: Yes, Prefontaine! He–there’s a gymnast that he hooks up with, and he’s doing a–no, she’s doing a handstand. One of them’s doing a handstand and they’re having sex, and falls into a lamp. And then he cuts his foot and has to run, and the stitches all break on his foot’s all bloody. That’s the only gymnastics sex scene I can remember seeing in a movie, and it was pretty good. It was pretty funny. Anyway, I think that we’re going to have to do a review of this. They should probably send us to the premier. So that we can give it our–on our sushanova scale? Give it a rating? Oh, speaking of sex scenes, Brandon Wynn recently posted a plee for funds to help him reach the 2016 Olympics. And it was met with a little bit of criticism–he put up a fundraising campaign. Because he lives at the OTC, he’s a national team member, he’s sponsered by Hilton. So no one’s really sure what his funding needs are. But I of course took it upon myself to think of things that he could do to raise the money that he’s asking for, and someone has already taken my idea. So, Brandon, we have the solution for you. It’s at manservants.co. That’s manservents.co. You should all go to this site; it will not disappoint. It is described this way: “It’s not a stripper who gets naked and rubs his greasy body over you. It’s a man servant, a gentleman, who treats you like a queen. Book one for a bachelorate party or any gathering to be your special photographer, your personal bartender, your body guard, and butler, all in one!” This is the perfect solution. Brandon, I would totally hire you just to sit around and read to me while I take a bath, for example. Or, I don’t know. Can you guys think of–what would you hire Brandon for if he was on manservent.com?


UNCLE TIM: Evan, don’t answer that. [LAUGHTER]


JESSICA: It’s not a stripper. It’s–what would you hire a gentleman for? [LAUGHTER]


EVAN: Do people need people to help with–like, “Make me a sandwich, Brandon Wynn.”




EVAN: And like, “Make it with a lot of protein.”


SPENCER: That should be the [INAUDIBLE] supplements.


JESSICA: [LAUGH] MakeMeASandwichBrandonWynn.com.


SPENCER: Yeah, that should be a website. He could do that.


JESSICA: [LAUGHS] Yes. That’s exactly what you can hire a man servent to do for you.


UNCLE TIM: I’d have him read Risk, Originality, and Virtuosity, by Peter Vidmar to me. [LAUGHTER]


JESSICA: Spencer, how about you?


SPENCER: I don’t understand this. [JESSICA LAUGHS] Why? [LAUGHING] Who hires–this is very upsetting to me.


JESSICA: This is kind of like–you know in Japan they have the–


SPENCER: A geisha? You want him to be a geisha?


JESSICA: No! Well, kind of, but no.


SPENCER: A male geisha?


JESSICA: But no, no, no. So in Japan they have–what are they called? They have the–oh, I’m totally forgetting the name of it. There’s–it’s like, men who–they have these bars and the women go and you–it’s like hire a boyfriend, but without the sex? There’s no–they just tend to you. They tend to your needs. A host. They’re called host clubs. And so basically it’s just a guy who gets you drinks, he asks you about your day, he’ll give you a little shoulder rub. If you need to go to a party and say you’re dating someone so that your parents don’t give you a hard time and tell you–ask you when you’re going to start procreating. That’s what you hire this guy for. You know, to be there for you after your long, hard day.


SPENCER: It feels very socially awkward to me.


JESSICA: [LAUGHS] Well yes. Yes.


SPENCER: [LAUGHS] I have a lot of problems with it. [JESSICA LAUGHS] But that’s okay.




SPENCER: Brandon Wynn can still make me a sandwich, that’s fine. [LAUGHTER]


JESSICA: So Brandon, let us know what you think. They’re hiring from anywhere in the world, so I’m sure you’d get a lot of business in Colorado Springs. So let us know how that goes.




We had a voice mail this week asking us about–well, let’s listen to it. Here’s the voice mail:


“Hi Jess, this is Dan from Cleveland, Ohio. I freaking love the podcast, and I love it even more recently, as I have a huge crush on Evan. Thanks for listening to my message. My question comes about because as I much as I adore gymnastics, I’m also a huge tennis fan. The Australian Open just concluded, and in my opinioin the greatest female tennis player ever just won her 19th Grand-Slam title. So freaking exciting! And I am so thankful to be able to live in and experience a time where I’m able to first hand and in real time admire such greatness in sports. So my question for you, Evan, Uncle Tim: Who do you think deserves the title of greatest female gymnast ever? Please, no politically correct answers. Is it Nadia, Shawn Johnson, Khorkina, Korbut, Boginskaya? Is it Simone? Looking forward to hearing your responses. Thanks so much for your work, love you guys.”


Thank you so much for calling in and leaving a voice mail. We love voicemails, you guys. Voice mails, voice mails, voice mails. We love our letters too, but voice mails are the best. You can call us on Skype at GymcasticPodcast free from anywhere in the world; leave a message. Or you can call 415-800-3191. We love voice mails. You guys, voice mails. For real. So, since I wasn’t asked to answer the question because someone has a huge crush on Evan and Uncle Tim, do you guys want to answer that?


EVAN: First of all, I just want to prefice that this whole thing with, “I have a crush on you.” Because I still live in the world where when I find out someone likes me, I automatically like them. So let’s do this. And I think that–greatest of all time. I feel like we’ve discussed this before. But for my persepctive, literally just knee-jerk reaction, is Dominque Dawes. So that’s my piece. Uncle Tim, what about you?


UNCLE TIM: Ugh. That’s a good one. Especially her 1992 tumbling pass. It’s my dad’s favorite thing ever. I mean, I’m going to have to go with Svetlana Boginskaya. Partly colored by the fact that I interviewed her, and it’s partly colored by the fact that I love her friendship with Oksana Chusovitina. So, I’m going to go with Bogi. What about you, Spencer? I know you weren’t asked explicitly, but what about you?


SPENCER: Oh, and I feel very hurt by it, but I’ll have to get over it somehow. [JESSICA LAUGHS] Best of all time, this is what we’re doing? I don’t even–I mean, Bogi would probably be my answer too, just because obviously, but–


UNCLE TIM: College Courtney Kupets?


SPENCER: College Courtney Kupets is a hero of mine, even the gymnastics commentor Courtney Kupets Show makes me happy. College-wise, yes, Courtney Kupets is my favorite. Elite-wise, basically, every Russian who competed on the Unified Team in 1992? Probably?


JESSICA: I’m going to go with Chusovitina. Because she has showed the longetivity that makes her the greatest of all time. So–And Produnova is my personal favorite forever. Because psh, we’ve seen her. But yes, Chusovitina. She’s my new greatest of all time. Because she’s like the Dawes but neverending. With the gold medal too, by the way. Oh wait, Dawes has one of those too. Yeah. So there you are. Let’s move on–


UNCLE TIM: Who said you could answer, Jess?


JESSICA: Oh my god! [UNLCE TIM LAUGHS] Oh, that’s right! I started the show! So I get to answer it! No, I love when you guys get these. It’s so adorable when you guys get these fancalls. And everyone forgets me. No, it’s really fine. I really, really don’t mind. It’s fantastic. I love when you get all your adulation, which is totally deserved.


So let’s go on to the next letter that we got. So Sarah and her husband have some questions, and the first one is about Winter Cup, which we’re about to talk about. [LAUGHS] She’s like, “We’ve been loving watching a lot of gymnastics lately, and we have some questions/comments. We noticed that in the Winter Cup, there seems to be a lot fewer manwipes [LAUGHTER]–manwipes on floor. Maybe people heard your commentary and made some changes?” Uncle Tim, do you think we’ve influenced the number of manwipes on floor? Was there a difference this year?


UNCLE TIM: There were quite a few manwipes. I would say that there–the number is decreasing amoung the top gymnasts, but if you watch the college gymnasts–I’m guessing on your feed you got mostly just the top gymnasts. But if you watch the college gymnasts, there are still plenty of manwipes going on. A couple had two or three, even. It was, it was kind of crazy. Two or three manwipes with heavy huffing and puffing.


JESSICA; Oh, and there was one manwipe that was–first of all, I love a good manwipe. And there was one manwipe that was a manwipe, pause, double manwipe at the bottom and then open it up. I forget, was that Marvin Kimble who did that? Or was it–


UNCLE TIM: I don’t remember.


JESSICA: Or was it–cool. There was one of the young ones did it, and I was like, “Oh my God. Was that just like, he’s super tired?” And I know, I’m calling them the baby gymnasts, but they’re not even the baby gymnasts because they’re actually seniors. But to me, if they’re 18 and you’re one of the guys then you’re a baby gymnast. But he did a double manwipe at the bottom, and I was like, “Oh my God, he was so much style.” And then I was like, “Oh wait, is he just really tired?” So, let’s go on to the next one. Spencer, this one’s for you.




JESSICA: I’ve decided. “Should there be a time requirement on a stick in NCAA gymnastics? It could eliminate the stepping out of a landing salute. Plus, men have to hold poses on rings. It seems like the stick should be equivalent to showing control. So do you think you should have to hold your stick like you hold a handstand to get credit for it in NCAA?”


SPENCER: I don’t think that there should be a time requirement, just because that would be really difficult to enforce. But basically, the new clarification on sticking has–is trying to have the same effect, because it says you have to bring your heels together after you stick to show the stick. And basically, if you have the time and control to do that, then you really do have a stick. And if you haven’t really stuck it, you’re not able to do that. So, I think that’s what it’s trying to do, at least, so the effort is there. But we’re always going to have step out of landing salutes, just because it’s better than just stepping. The Alabama Shuffle, or whatever Suzanne used to call it. Didn’t she call it the Alabama Shuffle? [JESSICA LAUGHS]


JESSICA: Of course she did.


SPENCER: Of course she did.


JESSICA: All right. Evan, this one is for you. A time honored question: “We have been wondering,” Sarah and her husband, “why is gymnastics so huge at the Junior Olympic level in Texas, but there’s no big name college programs?” There are of course college programs in Texas, but big name college programs. “My only thought would be funding issues.” Evan.


EVAN: I don’t have an answer to that. You know, it probably has some–I don’t know. Sorry, I don’t have an answer [LAUGHS] I don’t have a–I have no clue.


JESSICA: I don’t think anyone knows. It’s like the biggest mystery in all of gymnastics–why there’s no program. Mary Lou Retton lives there. So does Carly Patterson. So does Nastia. There’s a ton of money that, like, literally, it’s shooting out of the ground in Texas and killing us all; that’s how much money there is in Texas. And there’s no gymnastics–huge Division 1 gymnastics program. Basically, their gymnastics program is Oklahoma. Their Division 1 gymnastic program. Anybody else have any ideas why this isn’t happening there?


SPENCER: It mostly is a funding thing. Schools don’t have gymnastics programs anymore, really, almost at all. Some small schools do. But big universities don’t do it anymore. So that’s why they’re not adding them. And why we don’t have one currently in Texas, even though they have gymnasts for it, certainly.


JESSICA: And the money.


SPENCER: Yeah. They don’t have–but the schools will not add the gymnastics programs because there are so many requirements within NCAA and all of the different things you have to meet with Title IX, and all the things that people just don’t add those programs anymore.


UNCLE TIM: And football’s huge in Texas. And they make a lot of money off of football. So they should–colleges should have the money, the athletics departments for gymnastics, so it’s kind of surprising.


SPENCER: Athletics departments have a lot of money, they just won’t spend it on gymnastics. [LAUGHTER]


UNCLE TIM: Exactly.


JESSICA: I’m calling it a greed issue. That’s what I’m going to say.


SPENCER: I thought you were going to say conspiracy. And I was really looking forward to hearing about the conspiracy against gymnastics in Texas. [LAUGHTER]


JESSICA: It’s a conspiracy to keep the football money in football and not share it with any women’s sports. That’s my conspiracy theory. Okay, next one. “Do you know the record for an all-around score recorded in women’s NCAA gymnastics? I’m thinking someone must have scored a 40.” Yes, I think two gymnasts have scored a 40, maybe three. There was–okay.


UNCLE TIM: Only one.


JESSICA: Only one?








SPENCER: No. Kristi Lichey!


JESSICA: Sharon Schapiro.


SPENCER: Kristi Lichey!


JESSICA: Didn’t Sharon Schapiro score a forty?




JESSICA: Or she won each inidividual event.


UNCLE TIM: It’s Karin Lichey, she’s the only one who has scored a forty ever.




UNCLE TIM: When she was a freshman at Georgia.You’re going to try to find a way [LAUGHTER] to bring UCLA into this, but you’re wrong, Jess! You’re wrong!


JESSICA: Karin Lichey of Georgia! Everyone knows that, God! It’s only been done one time. Geez, get your facts straight. Ah. Okay, this is a good one. Okay, Uncle Tim, this is for you. “My husband thinks that p-bars height should be raised so that men don’t have to bend their legs when swinging between the bars.” Yes, we talked about this recently I think. “I would guess that it’s just the same height as long–it’s been the same height for so long, so it’s hard to get things changed. Are there pros and cons you can think of–” besides the dismount issue, of course? I’m adding that in.


UNCLE TIM: I mean, some gymnasts are lucky that they’re short enough that they don’t really have to bend their knees. What else would be a pro or a con, Evan? I don’t know.


EVAN: I mean, I–I think that more than anything, you’d probably need–there’d be more effect if you made the bars wider. Set them apart. Because that would probably encourage some different innovative ways to swing. But I think that the height, it’s not so–it’s just something you have to deal with. Same thing with the high bar and the vault, men just do it standard across the board, and some body types cater well to some events. And you just–you just have to deal with it.


JESSICA: They could require a moat underneath. Which would make the falls extra hilarious, because when someone falls they’d just disappear into a hole [CRICKETS CHIRPING] No? No one likes that idea?


SPENCER: Do it on every event. Shark tank. Pirranha tank. [LAUGHTER]


JESSICA: Thank you so much, Sarah, and your husband for watching so much gymnastics, for listening to the podcast, and for sending in your questions. We very, very, very much appreciate it.


Let’s talk about the great Winter Cup. Also known as the Winter Splatfest. The winter championships for men’s gymnastics, formerly known as the screaming gym-moms championships. Uncle Tim, who won?


UNCLE TIM: You’re going go, “Eee!” Because Paul Ruggeri won–




UNCLE TIM: –with a two day total of 175.250. Coming in second was Steven Lengendre, with 174.7, and coming in third is the American Cup participant for 2015 Donnell Whittenburg with 174.5.


JESSICA: And we have to mention that on day 2 Sam Mikulak won the all around.


UNCLE TIM: Yes. He posted the high score on day 2.


JESSICA: Yes. So just so you know, he still did well, he’s going to be ready for American Cup, not to worry. Who made the national team? Because this also decides the national team, but we have to remember that the people who are already on the national team because they were on the World team are safe. Their spots aren’t in danger, so you don’t have to worry about them. But this is just the new national team members. So, who made it?


UNCLE TIM: So, based on their all-around scores, Steven Legendre made it, Marvin Kimble made it, and Donathan Bailey made it. Marvin–Steven Legendre most people probably know; he’s competed at several World Championships. Marvin Kimble is a gymnast out of Swiss Turners, and Donathan Bailey is a Cal grad. And then making it based on the points system–we won’t go into details about the points system.


JESSICA: Ugh, God.


UNCLE TIM: It’s complicated. But Kevin Wolting of Cal made it, and Akash Modi of Stanford. And then there are three wildcard spots. Alec Yoder made it. Allan Bower of Oklahoma made it, and Brandon Wynn made it as well. Brandon did not compete on, at the competition. He was in Las Vegas according to some photos I saw, but he didn’t compete. But he petitioned on the team. Last year Jonathan Horton petitioned on. This year is was Brandon Wynn.


JESSICA: So we noticed then that this is actually Jonathan Horton’s long reign of being on the national team for 175 years has ended.


UNCLE TIM: It’s true.


JESSICA: Yes. We will have to look at how long he really was on the national team. But I bet it’s been since he was like, 14. On the junior national team. It’s a very long time. So we’ll have a moment of silence for Jonathan Horton’s reign ending, and Kennedy Baker’s wolf turn on beam. Thank you.


So, what happened to all the screaming gym moms this year? It was like, there was like–there was very little screaming.


UNCLE TIM: Well, there wasn’t cat calling, which was what you wanted. But we sat right behind Yul Moldauer’s mom, who was very into her son’s gymnastics meet. So there were definitily screaming moms. It just wasn’t the cat calling that you wanted to hear.


JESSICA: That’s too bad. I guess we–well, wait, we were doing a very exciting interview, you guys. And I’ll give you a hint. It’s someone who travels to Switzerland a lot. So anyway, we missed the warmup part, where I imagine was the revealing part of the–warm-ups, where there might have been more cat calling. So maybe next year I’ll get to experience the full cat calling warm-up portion of the meet. [LAUGHS} Yin Alvarez was in full effect. Can you tell us what happnened to him and Danell on high bar?


UNCLE TIM: [LAUGHS] So Yin–I mean, Yin on the first day was very quiet because Danell was not having a good meet. But on the second day of competition during finals, he was putting on a show. There were also more people in the arena, and the more people in the arena the louder Yin gets. And when Danell landed his high bar routine he ran backwards, and then ran forwards, and then Danell went over to the chalk bucket to pick up his bag or something, and Yin was fist pumping and almost hit him right in the face. [JESSICA LAUGHS]


JESSICA: That was one of the best moments! Oh my God. Their whole thing is just, like–I love it. It’s just hilarious, I just love watching those two. Okay, can you describe for us what it’s like when you’re trying to warm up and there’s a good beat on, and Chris Brooks is also warming up on floor at the same time?


UNCLE TIM: I would not be able to tumble. I would probably drooling, but–No, I’d probably be laughing. So, Chris Brooks likes to shimmy when Pitbull’s Fireball is on. And he also likes to gyrate his hips and make a taunting, come-at-me kind of thing to his fellow–well, he went to Oklahoma, and he was doing it to, I can’t remember, it might have been Allan Bower on floor during warm-ups. This was on day 1. Chris Brooks unfortunately hurt himself on day 2, so he was–there was no gyrating to be seen during day 2 on floor.


JESSICA: [CHUCKLE] I always do that before someone’s going to tumble on floor. I just stand there in the corner and just gyrate my crotch at them. It’s totally normal.


UNCLE TIM: [LAUGHS] That’s a new way for NCAA teams to taunt each other.


JESSICA: [LAUGHS] Forget the booing and heckling, it’s all about grinding your crotch at the other team to intimaidate them.


There’s a new pornstache in town, and his name is Logan Bradley, and he goes to Illinois. And everyone needs to look him up and evaluate his ‘stache and let us know. It’s so pornstachey that it’s like an uber-pornstache. It’s in its own category, and we really need to know, because Pornstache is already taken. That nickname. So we really need another one for him. Like should he be Motorcycle Cop? Should he be–who was the, in the YMCA, Village People, was it the cop who had the pornstache, or was it the leather daddy? I’m trying to imagine them. It wasn’t the Indian. It wasn’t the construction worker. Maybe he needs to be one of those characters. It’s so hipster-stachey you won’t even believe it. That’s what we’re trying to tell you.


UNCLE TIM: I’m pretty sure everyone except for the Native American had some form of mustache.


JESSICA: Logan Bradley, please enjoy everyone. And get back to us with your nominations for nicknames for him. The other weird thing was just seeing Paul Hamm there, Mr. Olympic All-Around Champion, just moving boards and coaching his awesome little gymnasts. And then there was the best highlight–


UNCLE TIM: [LAUGHS] And even more surreal.


JESSICA: The highlight of the meet is that I finally got to meet Stacey Ervin. He’s such a gentleman, such a nice guy. Very nice guy. I was not disappointed, let me just say that. At all. Stacey, such a sweetheart. That’s what you need to know about Stacey. And he did great, by the way. And I think he should add a triple front to his floor routine, because clearly he can do one by what he did in finals, which was–he was underrotating his double front, so then he just completely overdid it and flew out if-like, Marvin Kimble off of the vault podium style off the floor. Because obviously he has a seventh gear in his butt and can totally do a triple front if he wants to. So I say that’s the way that he’s going to up his difficulty and finally be the US floor champ. So, let’s see. What’s up with this meet? Why does this meet exist?


UNCLE TIM: Why does it exist? [LAUGHS] It is the first nationals for men. It determines who will be on the national team for the first roughly six months of the year, and whoever makes it then can be assigned to international meets. So, you really want to make this team, especially if you want to go to world cup events. It might not be the World Championships, that’s decided at P&G Championships. But if you want to go to the smaller meets, go to the individual event meets, this is the time to make the team.


JESSICA: And Evan, did you have a comment about this meet?


EVAN: Yeah. So somebody was kind of comparing it–they were like, “I wish the women had a meet like this!” And what the women have is a monthly national team camp. So listen bitch, it’s taken care of. And the results speak for themselves. In the women’s world, they don’t necessarily need a meet like this because the system is different. So do you guys think that the men’s program could benefit from a system like the approach that the women’s program is taking?




UNCLE TIM: I think it would be a good idea. I just–I worry about the men’s bodies holding up.


SPENCER: The expectations would have to be different, I think. I don’t know if they can come in ever time and be Marta-level quality. Or meet Marta’s standards. But I think the expectation of having to do it would be a positive.


JESSICA: Yes. I think we have to have a modified Marta system. Modified Soviet-style system. Because clearly they’re not, it’s not working. They can’t handle pressure, and that’s what it’s all about. They can clearly do the skills, they can’t handle the pressure. So, we need to have a modified Marta system, and that means instead of camp every month it’s every other month. Or instead of camp every other month, it’s just the week before the competition actually starts. Because obviously you’re doing six events. These are adults. Their bodies can’t handle–they can’t do what teenagers can do. So you can’t have them last for two months of doing two-a-day, ten routines twice a day like you can with children. You can’t do that to men. So obviously. So they need to go to camp, it needs to be a week before a meet, you compete for your spot, you get selected for your spot based on right there and then, you get scores that happen at the Olympic Training Center, and then you leave the next day and go to the meet and compete. And it’s like, just a two week proces and that’s it. And then you just show up for the next camp if you’re in contention for the next spot. And you compete, and you go, and that’s it. And it has to be an intimidating environment! That’s what works about the camp system. It’s scary, it’s intimidating, it’s–you want to up your game every time you go there. And I just do not get the feeling that the men’s program is run like that. I feel like it’s–you go to camp and it’s not fun, but you see your friends, and you joke around, and you work on some stuff. It needs to be a competitive environment. That’s what they need. That’s what I think. I feel very strongly about this!


EVAN: Do you think there’s a complacency on the men’s team with the top, the very top gymnasts? That they know their places aren’t in danger, so they don’t improve as much as they would if they were pushed?


JESSICA: No, I don’t necessarily think it’s the gymnasts being complacent. I don’t really think it’s them. I think they’re driven. What I think is lacking is I don’t think they’re driving each other as much as they could. Do you know what I mean? I feel like it’s more the national team staff and the way the men’s program is run and not necessarily the gymnasts. I think it’s the way the system is run.


UNCLE TIM: Yeah, I think that they’re–I just feel like they need to get more consistency, and I don’t know… I mean, I’ve never gone to national training, so I don’t know exactly how it’s been run, but I feel like they need a little bit more push and little bit more drive, and I don’t know how they’re going to do that. I do think that maybe some of the OTC boys get that a little more, because they’re constantly seeing each other in the gym and seeing what other people are doing, and they’re getting pushed a little bit more. But I think that overall I do feel like there is some kind of complacency. I don’t feel like certain members of the team feel like their spot is in jeopardy. That said, though, look at last year when Danell Leyva was left off the team. This year he might have been left off the team again had he not been on the world team in 2014.


JESSICA: Let’s go through some of the highlights and lowlights of the meet. What was the most heartbreaking for this meet?


UNCLE TIM: The most heartbreaking probably would have been the fact that Ellis Mannon and his beautiful flares–that man knows how to spread his legs like a champ–he did not win pommel horse. He has the most beautiful–I mean, sorry. He won pommel horse. But he never gets recognized for it. It’s just like, “Oh, Ellis won. He might be the best pommel horse worker we have. We’re never going to put him on the national team though.” It kind of sucks to be him, simply because we kind of suck at pommel horse and Alex Naddour sometimes works out for us, sometimes doesn’t. And it would be a great to have a little bit more depth on pommels on our national team.


JESSICA: Ellis Mannon is–I want him on the national team just for that. Every year we’re like, “Oh my God, who is that?” And every year it’s him. And he totally stands out, and there should be a special spot just for him on that national team because he deserves it, and he’s amazing, and we need someone like him. It’s just like–


UNCLE TIM: Yeah. That said, Alec Yoder, who did make the national team did post some pretty decent scores on pommel horse. I don’t know if he’ll score quite that high internationally, but I do think that the scores could hold up and he could contribute on pommel horse in future years. I don’t think it will be this year, but maybe after 2016.


JESSICA: Who’s the best comeback of the meet for you?


UNCLE TIM: The best comeback would have to be Kevin Wolting. He, as I mentioned earlier, is a Cal gymnast. And he during the first night did a rybalko and didn’t quite get his grab on the bar and went flying off the bar onto the carpet, missed all the mats. Landed towards the chalk bucket and just whacked himself on the ground. And he got up and finished the routine, and he went on to finish sixth overall. Which, in some ways tells you a lot about this meet, that you can fall and finish sixth overall. But that is impressive. I would probably have cried and been like, “I’m too scared to finish this meet.” What about you, Jess?


JESSICA: Yeah, for me definitely Steve Legendre, his vaults in finals. He’s always–he’s been hurt for the last year and has just been–you never knew if this was kind of the end for him, or if he was going to come back. And he just looked great. He looked great. He looked better than he has in a long time. And he did a vault in finals that I could not believe. He got a 9.7 E-score. First of all, the E-scores for vault are so freaking high. There’s tons of 9.6, 9.5, 9.4s, it’s out of control, the E-scores. But this was totally deserved. And 9.7–he stuck it like–he slammed the mat through the floor. That’s how emphatically he stuck this double front. And it was huge, and it was amazing. So I’m just stoked that he’s back and healthy. And obviously he has a problem sticking on floor, and so Stacey Evin’s probably going to take his spot, but I’m still excited for him and he did very well.


UNCLE TIM: [LAUGHS] Okay. Stacey has a little way to go on the other events before he catches up to, catches up to Steven, I’m sorry to say, Jess. Steve’s stronger on pommels and–


JESSICA: Something in my ear, I can’t–what? I don’t hear anything, sorry.


UNCLE TIM: Okay, sorry. So Jess, your favorite topic. Who had the biggest Ds?


JESSICA: [GIGGLES] Ha. Well, Paul Ruggeri and Josh Dixon have huge Ds on vault. They did yurchenko 1.5-2.5 off, is that right? That’s their vault.


UNCLE TIM: [LAUGHS] They did a half on, not one and a half on.


JESSICA: [LAUGHS] Half on! Did I say one and a half? [LAUGHTER]


UNCLE TIM: Yeah. That would be a huge D.


JESSICA: They’re combining 1970s women’s vaults with the shewfelts. Yes, that’s it. I’m sorry, half on, two and a half off.


UNCLE TIM: Two twists off.


JESSICA: Two off.


UNCLE TIM: They do two and a half twists.


JESSICA: Yeah. Anyway, so they’re doing that. And they–so they had great D-scores. They had 5.9s. Both of them had the highest d-scores on vault in the competition. And Josh Dixon is coming back from having major shoulder surgery in October. I could not believe when I saw him out there. I was like, “What is he doing?” And he’s doing high bar, floor, and vault. But then I realized why he’s a genius. He placed–he took second on vault on prelims. Because he’s–he’s like, “Oh, I saw Skinner. She won a medal only using one hand on vault. So I’ll do the same thing.” He totally just brushed his fingernail on vault with one hand. His arm–his arm is already twisting when he’s still repulsing with the other arm. It’s–I can’t stand it when Skinner does it, but when Dixon does it it’s genius. That’s how I feel about it. Because he has beautiful form. He got a 9.5 E-score, so it’s totally okay. When Skinner gets a 9.5–it would be great if that happened to her, but I have no hope that that’s going to happen, because I just don’t–I don’t see it happening. But if she did, then I would be okay with that. So she should do it like Josh Dixon and geta 9.5 and have beautiful, beautiful execution. So, huge Ds for those to. Let me see, Legendre on floor has a 7. Which is gi–oh, but let’s talk about the bonus. This is very important.


UNCLE TIM: Yes. So there is a stick bonus at men’s national competitions, and that gets added to their D-score. So for instance, Ruggeri and Dixon both stuck their vaults, so they got one tenth of bonus. There is no 5.9 vault in the code of points. They actually have a 5.8 vault.


JESSICA: Exactly. Very important. So, let’s see. Kimble had a 6.5 on pommel horse. Which probably–is that a bonus too? I don’t know.


UNCLE TIM: No. [LAUGHS] There’s no pommel horse bonus for sticking your landing, [JESSICA LAUGHS] because everyone sticks their landing.


JESSICA: Not true, though! That’s the sad thing. [LAUGHTER]


UNCLE TIM: Everyone should stick their landing. It’s like the double full off beam for NCAA. If you don’t stick it, your coach is going to be pissed. [LAUGHTER]


JESSICA: Rings, Lacombe and Kimble. P-bars, Leyva had on p-bars a 7.0 start value, probably with a stick bonus. And high bar, 7.1, probably also with a stick bonus. So, Leyva, up there with the big Ds. How about–who do you think should get the, “Looked better than last year but has a long way to go” award?


UNCLE TIM: I do think that overall college has been for Bobby Baker. I think his swing on pommel horse has gotten better. I think that some of his skills have become more consistent. Probably because he’s competiting more. And I think Justin Spring took out some of the harder skills. He’s no longer doing the full twisting double front, he’s just doing a simple double front. But I think it’s working off–working well for him. But I think that he does have a ways to go until he is really in the mix. What about you, Jessica?


JESSICA: I think Horton definitely stood out–he looks much better. When I saw him at Nationals, I was like, “Oh my God, he’s so not ready to be here.” He’s still–it’s Winter Cup. So the fact he looked this much improved from last year bodes well for August. He just really, it looks like, needs to–his size is much better. It looks like he’s gotten his muscle back, but he definitely needs to work on his conditioning still. Because you know, there’s no excuse for that unless your at high altitude, as we discussed earlier. So maybe a few more trips to the Olympic Training Center would actually be beneficial for him. because conditioning looks like he’s struggling there. Who were your, like, “F-yeah! Uh!” moments of the meet?


UNCLE TIM: Oh, man. I don’t know if I had any that were like, “Uh! Yeah!” But I think that one of them would probably be Sean Senters, because he has–he’s kind of a Kyla Ross of the men’s team. Well, he’s not on the national team. But on the men’s side he is kind of like a Kyla Ross in the sense that he has really execution. You watch his gymnastics because it’s clean. You don’t watch it always because he’s doing the huge skills. So his shewfelt on vault is out of this world. I like to say it’s better than Kyle Shewfelt’s yurchenko two and a half, but Kyle Shewfelt doesn’t agree with me. [LAUGHS] He thinks it’s good, but you know. He has to protect his namesake. And Sean is also capable of a triple twisting yurchenko. Unfortunately he didn’t do that at competition. What about you, Jessica? Who made you go [HIGH PITCHED VOICE] “Fuck yeah!”


JESSICA: [LAUGHS] I sound way more butch when I say that, by the way. Well, Paul Ruggeri, just seeing him finally get to this level. And when he won, got his award for first all around, I got a little teary. And I’m just so happy for him. Because he’s one of the–his execution is beautiful, he brings style and artistry, it’s exactly the kind of gymnastics I like to see. I was just super happy for him. And yeah. He’s my kind of gymnast, so I was really happy for him. Who is on your “One to watch for the future”? Who are the baby gymnasts–even though they’re not babies and they’re seniors–who were exciting for you to watch?


UNCLE TIM: I have to say Anthony McCallum. Scott Bregman and I were watching warm ups together on the first day, and we saw him do a double layout. And we were both like, “Damn, that was good. Where–it’s better than Kytra Hunter. This is better-than-Kytra-Hunter good.” And then we watched him take another turn, and it was a double layout full out. And we’re like, “Oh, that was better then Simone Biles. [JESSICA SQUEAKS] It was incredible.” So he’s one to watch on floor. And he also does a tsuk double pike on vault. He had a little trouble, I believe it was at the 2013 P&G Championships where he had a scary fall, but the vault is back, and it looks good again. What about you, Jessica? You watched a lot of–a lot of great gymnastics.


JESSICA: I was watching Yul Moldauer on floor, and he is one of the guys who just stopped the show. Everyone was watching him. he was amazing. he’s like–ahh! I love his routine. I could watch it all day. He’s so exciting, and he got the top e-score of the entire meet. So not only was his floor routine realy exciting to watch and difficult, it was extremely well executed. So Yul Moldauer (Mold-er) is one I’m going to keep an eye on.


UNCLE TIM: His last name if Moldauer (Mol-dauer). He’s not a character for the X-Files. [JESSICA LAUGHS] He’s not Scully and Mulder.


JESSICA: It’s Mol-dau-er?




JESSICA: It’s Yul. Just Yul. Y-U-L. I got that part right. Yul. I love him. Okay. Kyle King. Do I have that one correct? Kyle King.




JESSICA: Thank you. His twisting is so fast. He did a double double on floor, and I was, like, looked at Uncle Tim, “Was that a triple double? That wasn’t a triple double, right? That was so fast!” He’s so fun to watch on floor and vault because his twisting is like Kenzo speed. He doesn’t have the form of Kenzo but the speed. So he’s super fun to watch. And then Bobby Baker, what the hell? So you know Bobby Baker is one we started watching because he does the double front full out? On floor. And he does a triple back on high bar and kicks out of it. So let me repeat that. He does a triple back dismount. And is still so high. That he kicks out of it. And then lands. Yes. So watch his routine and be in awe.


Now, both of us fell in love with someone at this meet, and could not stop watching him. And we’re completely in awe. Can you tell us about this gymnast, Uncle Tim?


UNCLE TIM: Sure. So I–at the end of finals, I learned over to Jessica, and I said, “Hey, Jessica. Can we name Emyre Cole the Gymcastic–give him the Gymcastic prize for elegance?” And Jessica agreed. So we gave him the Gymcastic prize for elegence, simply because he just had some of the cleanest lines. Even cleaner then Sean Senters. What can you add to that, Jessica?


JESSICA: He just–he puts–you know how when Danell Leyva on high bar flares his arms out in his release? Everything Emyre Cole does looks like that. On floor he does a hitch kick. Which, in general when men do a hitch kick on floor, it looks like their big brother told them to do it at gunpoint and were making fun of them and were making other people watch. It’s–they look like they’re humiliated and someone’s making them do it. They’re so ugly. Emyre Cole does it, and he lifts his chin up. He kicks his legs to his forehead level, with perfectly straight legs and pointed toes, and does it like a freaking Baryshnikov. And then he does his stag jump with his leg perfectly at 90 degrees. Beautifully. He’s just–he’s everything that men’s gymnastics is supposed to be and has let fall by the wayside. He’s doing it right.


UNCLE TIM: And we have to give a little shout out to his coach, because it’s not entirely common. There are female coaches, but it’s not entirely common for there to be a female coach. And I’m always impressed when women are like, “Yeah, I’m going to coach guys.” I feel like a lot of guys are like, “Yeah, I’ll coach the women.” But I think it’s always impressive. And I–I had female coaches growing up, and I was always impressed. Partly because usually the male gymnasts end up weighing more than you do. So it can be tricky to spot. Also, if you’re going to invest time in learning men’s gymnastics, I take my hat off to you. Because pommel horse is not easy to learn, and it’s not easy to coach [JESSICA MAKES SNORING NOISES] because it’s such a difficult swing. Yeah. And Jessica falls asleep while she tries to coach it. So I was impressed with that.


JESSICA: Emyre Cole from Go For It USA in Vegas. And his coach. Who I talked to, and she said she got into men’s coaching because the men’s coach left at the gym where she was, and the gym owner said to her, “Okay, this is your new project. Coach the boys.” And she was like, “All right.” And so that’s how she got started. And so it’s pretty cool. I really enjoyed that kid. Looking forward to seeing more of him.


If you guys love the show, please contact us and let us know what you think. Ask questions, send in questions and comments like Sarah did with her husband. We read everything, even if we don’t get to it, because sometimes we have some other stuff going on. But we read every, every, every single thing, and I even have a list that I’m going to go back to so that we’re always going to get to all of your e-mails and all of your voice mails. They are all saved, they never go away. Eventually we will get to them. So thank you, everyone, for sending those in. Our voice mail is 415-800-3191. Or you can call us on Skype at GymcasticPodcast. This weekend there’s lots of gymnastics–NCAA gymnastics happening. And of course you can check out Gymnastics Meets on YouTube and watch all the old meets and find out why the dark ages were called the dark ages. Gymcastic is producded and edited by me. Our social media and content director is Dr. Uncle Tim. Our audio engineer is Ivan Alexander. Our new Head of Scheduling and Gymnast Outreach is Emma Bailey, thanks Emma! Our theme song is mixed by Chris Seculo, as performed by NWA. Transcription services are provided by Katy, Katie, Alex, Amanda, Hayley, Cece, Danica, and Emma. And I know our transcripts are little bit behind right now, but we’re working on that, because we have a little plug-in problem. But don’t worry, our transcripts are still being done, and our page will be updated soon. Until next time, I’m Jessica from Masters-Gymnastics.com for all your adult gymnastics needs.


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


EVAN: I’m Evan. Find me on Twitter @yoEv.


SPENCER: And I’m Spencer for the Balance Beam Situation.


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