VICTORIA: We’re not like hockey players in Canada. So we don’t get that type of spotlight. I mean if gymnastics involved ice, it would get a lot more.
[“EXPRESS YOURSELF” INTRO MUSIC]
JESSICA: This week, notables from Portugal’s Anadia Cup, the Mediterranean Games, a University Games preview, and the baby of the Canadian Olympic team turned double double twisting layout Twitter star Victoria Moors is here.
ALLISON TAYLOR: Hey gymnasts, Elite Sportz Band is a cutting edge compression back warmer that can protect your most valued asset: your back. I’m Allison Taylor on behalf of Elite Sportz Band. Visit elitesportzband.com. We’ve got your back.
JESSICA: This is episode 39 for July 3, 2013. I’m Jessica from Masters-Gymnastics
BLYTHE: I’m Blythe from the Gymnastics Examiner
UNCLE TIM: I’m Uncle Tim from Uncle Tim Talks Men’s Gym
JESSICA: This is the only gymnastics podcast in the history of the world, starting with the top news stories from around the gymternet. This week, there’s something exciting happening in Russia. I feel like this is a test to see if they can really pull off the Winter Olympics. So Uncle Tim, there’s actually some Olympians and current elites competing, which we never see. So what’s happening in Russia?
UNCLE TIM: The University Games are going on this week. And I’m excited for the men’s competition. There’s going to be several big names, not necessarily the Kohei Uchumuras. But for instance Daniel Corral of Mexico is going to be there. He placed fifth at the London Olympics on parallel bars. So I’m definitely looking forward to seeing him compete. There are also two really good event specialists from Croatia who will be competing. There’s Filip Ude who’s pretty awesome on pommel horse, and there’s Mario Moznik who is also pretty spectacular on high bar. So those are who- the gymnasts whom I’m looking forward to seeing. Jess what about on the women’s side?
JESSICA: I’m pretty stoked. Well I haven’t found all of the names because apparently Putin has decided to ban any Americans from clicking on the link to competitors on the website. No I’m just kidding I don’t know. No but really you can’t click on the competitors link [LAUGHS]. So I’m going by the Full Twist article they put up. We’ll put a link to this. Awesome, Full Twist, thank you for putting this together, this is fantastic. So they’re reporting and I definitely know that Danusia Francis of sideways aerial on the beam fame is competing, and also Hannah Whelan which is really exciting. They’re representing Great Britain. There are reports that Nabieva, Afanasyeva, and Mustafina will be there. Not sure if that’s confirmed. We hear that Lisa Hill and Kim Bui from Germany will be there. Ellie Black from the Canadian team. So it’s pretty exciting to see that there are some big names competing because normally University Games are not the big current stars of the sport. So I’m really stoked to see what happens in competition. And you can watch it. There’s going to be streaming coverage. The reports are that there will be streaming coverage. So definitely check out Full Twist’s article on this. You can find the links to that. They also have the time frame set up so you can see what time it is in Kazan, Russia compared to what time it is in Romania. You’re only one hour behind, Romania. So you won’t have to get up in the middle of the night like San Francisco. We’re 11 hours behind. The meet starts on Sunday the 7th and it goes through Wednesday the 10th. So it sounds like it’s going to be a great meet and I’m pretty stoked about it.
UNCLE TIM: And Jess, do you know what Elena Produnova famously did at the University Games back in the day?
JESSICA: Yes I do. She did, debuted the Produnova. Her handspring double front vault, which she stuck. And that makes her the greatest gymnast of all time. That is all.
JESSICA: I love her! And she was wearing her green leo. With her red hair. She’s so good with styling for her red hair. Alright so tell me about the Mediterranean Games. I’ve never heard of the Mediterranean Games before. Is this a new thing? What’s up with these?
UNCLE TIM: Alright well the Mediterranean Games are not new. They’ve been around since 1951. We’re just all a little late to the party I guess. And it’s a competition that since 1993 has been held every year after the Olympics. And like the Olympics it’s held every four years. And it has countries from Africa, Asia, and Europe, and gymnastically speaking, Spain, Italy, Greece, and France were kind of the big countries this year. Spain won the men’s team competition, and Italy won the men’s team competition. But the big talk of the gymternet has to do with an Egyptian gymnast named Fadwa Mahmoud. Jess can you tell us a little bit about her vault? Which she won, she won the gold.
JESSICA: No, this is not ok. So basically she does a Produnova which is a handspring double front. But she basically does a handspring two and a half/triple. I mean she takes off, does two flips, and then just basically hits the ground on her hands and knees still in a tucked position, bounces off her head onto her feet. So basically she does a triple front with the last front being halfway into the ground. It’s super disturbing actually. I really was like, “Oh my god she broke her neck and just bounced back up.” Like she’s lucky she’s walking, alive, she’s not paralyzed. It was really scary. It’s not ok. And she won. Like that’s not ok. I mean she never opened up from her tuck. It’s like her coach just told her, “Just throw a triple and hope you live.”
UNCLE TIM: [LAUGHS] I mean we should note that her feet do hit the ground before her head does. So it’s really the fact that she’s just pulling to save her life. And it’s just basically pulling till something hits the ground
UNCLE TIM: …is her philosophy. Yeah it was not pretty. And you know it’s not like Pena’s in the sense that Pena kind of- I mean she opens up but she just has no clue where she is and almost lands on her back every time, and it’s a question of whether her feet or butt hit first. This was definitely her feet hit first but it still wasn’t safe.
JESSICA: You know you should be able to almost do a triple before you can compete, compete a double tuck. You should be able to kick out of it in practice before you can actually compete it. It’s just like the kind of thing there’s no room for error, so you have to be able to do more than the skill in order to do it safely it that makes sense.
UNCLE TIM: Yeah, it’s, yeah. It was not pretty.
UNCLE TIM: But she won the gold!
UNCLE TIM: Whatever. On to better, more uplifting news, there’s one gymnast on the men’s side I love to mention, it’s Umit Samiloglu from Turkey. And he did a pretty incredible high bar routine. He had a 7.0 difficulty and an 8.366 execution for a 15.366. And he had a lot of difficult releases. Obviously with 7.0. But he did a Cassina and he did a Kolman. And he kind of could even increase his difficulty because he only did a double twisting double tuck for his dismount and if he laid that out he could bump up that difficulty score a little bit more.
JESSICA: It was beautiful
UNCLE TIM: Yeah his routine was really good and we don’t usually talk about Turkish gymnasts so it was nice to watch that routine.
JESSICA: Yeah I was totally impressed. I was pretty stoked by him. It’s a rare- I mean his releases were so high! I mean they were so so so high. Like, “take your breath away” high. So it was really exciting to see someone new that’s almost Dutch in the height of his releases but with way better form.
UNCLE TIM: [LAUGHS]
JESSICA: So let’s talk about the Anandia World Cup, which is the most exciting one that happened with all the big names. I have to say this is one of the most well-attended on both the men and the women side of any of the World Cups so far. It was pretty exciting. So give us a report first on the boys. And there was an exciting vault that was attempted that we have been talking a lot about.
UNCLE TIM: Alright so in Portugal we saw our first attempt at a triple twisting yurchenko. And it should be noted that I’m using both the word “attempt” and the word “triple twisting yurchenko” very loosely.
UNCLE TIM: Enrique Tomas Gonzalez of Chile did a yurchenko 2 and 5/8ths into a pivot turn basically.
JESSICA: Yeah like, no. His hips are facing the back away from the vault when he lands. Like it’s not even- I took a screenshot, I will put it up on the site so you guys can see. It was pretty scary.
UNCLE TIM: Yeah and the judges rightfully credited him with a Shewfelt, a yurchenko 2.5 So that was good to see them not saying, “Yeah that was a yurchenko triple.” They did the right thing in that case. Jess it should be noted though that even with that terrible vault, he beat your favorite Igor Radivilov. He cowboyed the heck out of Dragule- sorry, he cowboyed the heck out of his Dragulescu
UNCLE TIM: And stuck it
UNCLE TIM: And then on his second vault he did a tsuk double pike and put his hands down. Which is what cost him the medal.
JESSICA: Well he won the sexy contest, and that’s all that really matters
JESSICA: In my mind!
JESSICA: And I would also like to note that Gonzalez has grown out his porn stache a little bit. So now it’s more like- it’s a little more 70s motorcycle cop I would say.
UNCLE TIM: Yeah he had more of a five o’clock shadow look going on. It’s not necessarily the silent movie
UNCLE TIM: …look anymore.
JESSICA: Yeah it’s not as hipster as it looked last summer, so we’ll see what happens next. So who else was there?
UNCLE TIM: Max Whitlock was there. On pommel horse he tried out his new routine with a 7.3 difficulty score. Which is insanely high. Nobody else in the world is doing a 7.3 difficulty score. But this isn’t a routine that you’ll really see him perform in an all-around competition because he does what’s called a Busnari which is basically, how do I explain it, the gymnasts circles up into a handstand, pirouettes down the pommel horse, and then pirouettes back down the length of the pommel horse, and then continues doing his routine. And as you can imagine that skill is really tiring and if you do it before a rings rotation in an all-around competition, your arms are going to kind of be dead and your rings routine is going to suck. And actually now that I think about it, it’s probably not really a routine that we’ll see too many times in the future. His execution wasn’t that great. In Portugal with the 7.3 routine his high score was a 15.4 with a 8.1 in execution. And with an easier routine he has scored as high as 15.967 at the English Championships. So if he wants to medal it seems like he’s going to have to go with the easier routine. What do you think?
JESSICA: I- ok, so like I think pommel horse is the most boring thing ever invented except when, who’s our little super skinny American who’s so incredible who had the Russian name, Sasha Artemev. See guys I can’t remember anyone’s names but I can remember exactly what they look like. Sasha Artemev, when he did pommel horse, it was super exciting. Louis Smith, when he did, it was super exciting because he was all sexy with his different haircuts and everything and I was a fan of him in general. And last week I said Louis Smith is the greatest pommel worker ever and I know that’s not true. It’s like Magyar or whatever. Who’s the Hungarian guy?
UNCLE TIM: The current one?
JESSICA: It’s not Magyar.
UNCLE TIM: No that’s from like 70s
UNCLE TIM: It’s Krisztian Berki.
JESSICA: Berki, yes. That’s- I was close. So men’s gymnastics you know, without the suspenders they all look the same. So but I have to say about this, I realize that I am swayed by fashion. And Louis Smith was not the greatest of all time but I like him. But Whitlock, actually this was a fun routine to watch because there was a lot of up and down. He went to a handstand and came back down without whacking his legs against the pommel horse, which looked really hard. And that’s why I think that they should- I’m really kind of stoked about him, I can see why everyone’s excited about him because normally pommel horse is so boring. But I think that they should add airflares to pommel horse and it should be a requirement. And I think this would make it much more exciting.
UNCLE TIM: I think I put that on my blog once
UNCLE TIM: Airflares on pommel
JESSICA: [LAUGHS] Like if there was a flight requirement on pommel horse it would be much more exciting to watch. I’m glad we’re of the same mind in this.
UNCLE TIM: [LAUGHS] Yeah do like a handstand hop from one end to the other
JESSICA: Yes! Or just like a hop full on your hands then swing back down. That would be awesome. There’s a move like that on beam that’s like a D. It’s a mount. Just handstand, hop yourself around in a circle. I’ve seen it competed once. She totally straight just bend her knees and shot herself up in there air. It was in Germany at a Masters meet. I was like holy crap you have to have strong arms. So I think the guys could do it. Ok let’s move on to Uzbekistan.
UNCLE TIM: Yeah so after talking about two poorly executed routines, I think that I want to quickly mention two nicely executed routines. First we’re going to talk about Anton Fokin of Uzbekistan who won parallel bars. If you’ve been around men’s gymnastics for a while you remember that Anton was the 2008 bronze medalist on parallel bars in Beijing. And honestly if you want to see pretty gymnastics you should watch this routine. He probably has one of the best swings on parallel bars. So many of the guys nowadays kind of muscle their way through the routine but Anton is smooth like butter as Spanny Tampson like say.
JESSICA: I enjoyed watching this one too! I was like, “Ooooh this is what they mean like swinging on p-bars.” It was so fun to watch. It was like he was swinging then he did flips then he swung then he did another flip. It was another routine where I was like, “Oh this is why this event is supposed to be exciting to watch.” And he was so high on his flips. And he did a double front which is super hard so even though he bounced out of it it was another one that I was pleased to watch. And that’s one of the things that makes these World Cup events fun to watch because you get to see gymnasts you don’t normally see and you get to see those people that stand out. So I liked it.
UNCLE TIM: And my second highly ex- well decently executed routine is Sam Mikulak on high bar. Like I said last week it was Sam’s big international debut for 2013. And he had a pretty good go at things. He took bronze on floor with a 15.1 and a gold on high bar with a 15.275. They’re both good scores, but the question is will they challenge someone like Kohei Uchimura on floor or high bar for an individual medal. And as of right now I probably say no. But personally I’m more interested to see what Sam can do in the all-around. I really think that’s where he’s going to shine, and these scores should hold up in an all-around competition.
JESSICA: Yeah. And he also looked extra good on high bar because he’s extremely tan right now I would just like to say. He’s really like, you can see his- I don’t know what is he? Greek? Polish? Something Eastern European dark summerness is coming out right now. It’s very nice. And I just have to mention that Penev did compete on floor. He made floor finals. And then he fell on his last pass. So. That’s too bad.
UNCLE TIM: Fell on his triple twist. A good routine until that point.
JESSICA: Yes. That’s all I have to say about that. So [LAUGHS] Ok. Now let’s move on to the women. So this was a really exciting competition. Like there were some big players here. But let’s talk about what the hell went on on beam because this is totally an outrage as far as I’m concerned. So give us the lowdown on Iordache vs Shang Chunsong.
UNCLE TIM: Alright. So Iordache scored a 15.650 with a 8.750 execution and a 6.9 difficulty score. Are you sneezing?
JESSICA: [LAUGHS] No I’m just making disgusted noises
UNCLE TIM: Oh! [LAUGHS]
JESSICA: I’m just disgusted with the whole thing
UNCLE TIM: Ok
JESSICA: An 8.7 with that? Anyway go ahead. Too high too high.
UNCLE TIM: And Shang Chunsong scored a- what was her score?
JESSICA: I don’t know what her score was but she got an 8.6. She was like a tenth behind. She got an 8.6 execution and a 6.5 difficulty. An 8.6? That’s lower than Iordache. Which is just outrageous. Give us the details. I’m all sick by it. You go ahead.
UNCLE TIM: Alright yes. She got an 8.65 with 6.5. And if you’ve been listening to the show you know that, how do I put this, I’m not a person who has rainbows of happiness blasting out of every orphus of his body. But, when I saw Shang’s beam routine I think a couple rainbows shot out of me. It was a very beautiful routine. It was just so light and so smooth. And I can see why there’s a little bit of a gymternet kerfuffle regarding her execution score. With the 8.650 it seems very low compared to Iordache who had a huge wobble
UNCLE TIM: On her tuck full
JESSICA: Huge! Practically fell off! Did a needle scale, practically grabbed the beam to stay on. Ugh.
UNCLE TIM: But that’s when I’m look at the routine from a gymnastics fan perspective rather than a couch judge perspective. There were definitely places for the judges to take a deduction during Shang’s routine. She kind of has a built in composition deduction. Gymnasts have to go sideways on the beam and show several skills sideways, and she does like one pose that she doesn’t even hold for a second. So the judges can kind of automatically take one tenth of a point from the routine. Also if a gymnast pauses for more than two seconds before an element, she receives a one tenth deduction each time. And Shang did that before her front tuck, and before her back handspring back handspring layout. And then on top of that, because she’s pausing so much, the judges can take an additional artistry deduction for lack of rhythm and tempo. Finally, the excessive arm swing is what the Code calls it. Before dance elements, is another tenth deduction each time. And Shang does pretty much like a huge underarm lift before almost every jump in her routine. So that’s one tenth every time she does that, which adds up when you’re doing a bunch of jumps in your routine.
JESSICA: Yeah and that’s almost like…
UNCLE TIM: That’s where I’m thinking the judges are coming from. Go ahead Jess.
JESSICA: And that’s almost like changing all of China’s technique on their jumps. I mean that is their technique. But you’re right she does do that, but still her routine was way better I don’t care. That’s how I feel about that [LAUGHS]. Although Iordache was really exciting. She did the two fulls it was really exciting to watch. She just runs all over the beam, does speed gymnastics like the Romanians do.
UNCLE TIM: And so to go to the other end of the spectrum.
UNCLE TIM: We saw Oksana Chusovitina win a silver medal. Jess, tell us all about it.
JESSICA: So fantastic. First of all, she looks wonderful. She’s obviously had a great summer. She has a nice tan, has some highlights in her hair, wearing purple, she’s competing for Uzbekistan. She looks fantastic in purple. She should always wear purple. So much better than the German colors on her. And- what’s that?
UNCLE TIM: Long sleeves. Can’t forget the long sleeves.
JESSICA: Long sleeves yes! Which is so rare. In prelims she wore a white- was it in prelims? I’m pretty sure it was in prelims. She wore a white silver short sleeve, which also looked good on her because she has a nice tan going on right now. But yes long sleeve purple. It looked really nice. It was a lovely change for her. So of course she does her standard vaults and she look a little step and you know she’s doing the same stuff she’s been doing at the World Cup and she took silver and it was beautiful. She looked fantastic. And it was funny to me that she has like the two Uzbek coaches who are coaching her, and I’m like seriously what are you going to say to Chusovitina. Like, you ask her for advice. You don’t coach her. I mean I don’t know but it was just funny to me every time I saw them talking to her I was just like really? Really? Please.
UNCLE TIM: And I’d like to add while we’re talking about Oksana Chusovitina that I suggested to Kim Zmeskal that she include Oksana as one of her Legends at her Legends Meet
UNCLE TIM: And Kim said that she would definitely look into it and ask her, so that would be exciting in the future.
JESSICA: I love that idea! Ok let’s talk about this little Hungar- is she Hungarian? Or-
UNCLE TIM: Yes
JESSICA: Yes. Ok. Let’s talk about this little Hungarian gymnast who you know she’s been around but she really stood out at this meet. One to watch. Tell us about her.
UNCLE TIM: So Noemi Makra of Hungary was just really pretty to watch on bars and beam. She only does a 5.5 difficulty routine on uneven bars, but it does include big skills like a Church release. And it’s just really pretty. And her jaeger on bars was so high and so pretty. And her toes are just always pointed. Jess what were you thinking as you watched that routine?
JESSICA: I was just like this is a 1989, 1992 bar routine with more difficulty. It was so beautiful. It was like the old school Hungarian beauty like Onodi with the difficulty. And then, speaking of which, we go to beam, and she does these incredible combinations and connects them. Like she does Onodi to front aerial side aerial connected. She does all of her turns connected. Then she does gainer flip flop to two foot layout which we never see gainer flip flops anymore. They’re so pretty. Then to do the two foot layout out of it. It’s just interesting, beautiful, it’s exactly the kind of gymnastics you want to see. Clean with the difficulty. And she has style. These are why you love watching these World Cup meets because she’s not going to win but you’ll love watching her.
UNCLE TIM: Yeah and we’ll put the video of her beam routine up on our website. And one thing that you have to watch is her judges. At the 1:22 mark the judges, one judge, to give her her time notice, rings her little bell. It’s a little bell. And that’s not a euphemism a la Anita Ward “You Can Ring My Bell” the old disco song.
JESSICA: [singing] You can ring my bellllllllll. It’s not that one.
UNCLE TIM: Exactly no not that. I just thought it was so interesting because it was actually a bell rather than that “EHHHHHHHHHHH”
UNCLE TIM: noise that we usually hear right?
JESSICA: It was so pleasant. I’m proposing a new rule that that bell should be used at every single event and we should have Tiffany sponsor it and be like a special bell. And you give it at the end to the gymnast that won the most valuable or most elegant instead of a watch or whatever Longines gives. I just loved it. It was so nice you know.
UNCLE TIM: And last week we talked a lot about rhythmic gymnastics. Jess, do you have an update about the judging inquiry?
JESSICA: Yes. So a source close to this event told us that basically so this is the judging course. They were learning something and at the end you take a test. Well too many people got perfect scores on the test. So the FIG suspects the judges were given the answers ahead of time. This is a classic way to cheat. You get the answers ahead of the test, memorize them, then take the test. So we’ll keep you updated on any new developments but that’s basically what the inquiry is all about with the judges at that course. So it was nice to finally find out what’s really going on there. One other thing I want to mention, and this is interesting. So The All Around posted an op/ed about the Pro Gymnastics Challenge and they were kind of like “oh it’s been done before, it’s new, we don’t care” and whatever. It was very European of them. Which I love The All Around but they’ve very European. Like “let’s keep things the way they are that’s my view of The All Around. But I love that site and it’s a great site and I read it all the time. So one of the interesting things that they said was that they’ve tried to pull in the professional gymnasts and build up these stars, and that’s what the Pro Gymnastics Challenge was trying to do and that’s one of the things the FIG has tried to do with the World Cup events is to have these places where you can see stars throughout the year competing. And this is a quote from The All Around. They said, “In theory that sounds like a great marketing opportunity. In practice, the FIG has tried every trick in the book to keep a World Cup series alive with its top stars. Even FIG officials will now admit, albeit only in private, that the women’s part of the series has flopped.” And that really stood out to me because we always complain about women not showing up to these World Cup events and especially the American women. And now we’re the best for the last three Olympic cycles, we’re winning everything, we never go to these events. So Uncle Tim what have we gone to, World Cups? We’ve only sent…
UNCLE TIM: We sent a gymnast, well Katelyn Ohashi and Simone Biles, to the American Cup, which is an FIG World Cup event. And we also sent Peyton Ernst to the Tokyo Cup. So those have been the two competitions that we’ve sent gymnasts to.
JESSICA: Yeah and then Elizabeth Price was last year to the Glasgow. So we’ve sent four gymnasts in the last nine months to these events total. And none of them are- I mean they may be the future stars, but not the current stars. You know and it’s right after the Olympic year. But that really stood out to me because I feel like one of the points The All Around made was this is a female dominated sport. Women are the leaders. Women are the stars of the sport. And they’re not- the big stars aren’t showing up to these World Cup events. Now at the Anandia Cup, they did. Some of the big stars, not the Americans, but some of the other big stars showed up. And I think it made the event much more exciting.
UNCLE TIM: Yeah. But still the Mustafinas of the world aren’t necessarily going either. There were Russians at the Portugal Cup. Grishina was there. But still, no yeah. No Aliya Mustafina and then of course the big American stars are still kind of sidelined. So yeah. It’s hard. It’s not just an FIG problem though. It’s a question of holding onto our stars for more than one Olympic cycle period. And so it’s yeah, you can’t blame it entirely on the FIG.
JESSICA: Yeah definitely. That’s a good point.
SPANNY: Thank you to Tumbl Trak for sponsoring our interview. I was super motivated after watching Florida come from behind to win the NCAA Super Six finals. If you’re like me, you’re counting down the minutes until your next adult gymnastics class so you can practice new skills on the Tumbl Trak. Maybe like Lindsay Mable’s twisty double stag leap on floor or even Danusia Francis’ sideways aerial on beam. Visit www.tumbltrak.com. Tumbltrak.com. And get motivated.
BLYTHE: 16 year old Victoria Moors competed in her first Olympic Games last year in London where she played a crucial role in helping Canada achieve a historic 5th place team finish, their highest ever for a women’s team at the games. In her own right, 2012 Canadian champion is known for her floor routines where she blends artistry with powerful tumbling unlike anyone else competing today. In this post Olympic year, Moors’ has emerged as one of the leaders of the Canadian team, stealing the show with her smile and choreography at the American Cup, and debuting a double twisting double layout on floor at the Canadian Championships last month. Victoria thank you so much for coming on the show. And I’d like to start off actually with a non gymnastics question for you. So a couple of people were wanting to know why you are a Penguins fan even though you live in Ontario.
VICTORIA: Oh I don’t know, because I’m like best friends with the GM’s son, so I guess we kind of picked a favorite and stuff. And I get to go to all their games and stuff, get to meet all the players. So I just kind of you know liked their team and plus Crosby’s on it which makes everything all better.
BLYTHE: And so moving on to gymnastics, can you just tell us how you got started in gymnastics? Like how old you were and who you looked up to, and how long you’ve been training with Elvira Saadi.
VICTORIA: I mean, I started at Kips but Elvira was also coaching there too. And I actually started in rhythmic for a bit. But then I think I just sort of transitioned over to artistic.
BLYTHE: Did you like rhythmic?
VICTORIA: I mean I just kind of- I didn’t do competitive. I was four or five when I did rhythmic. So I didn’t really know exactly what gymnastics was at the time. But no I just did it for fun you know? My parents thought it’d be better for me to be jumping around at the gym rather than jumping at home on the couch. So.
BLYTHE: [LAUGHS] And were you jumping around on the couch?
VICTORIA: Oh yeah. I was a very very hyper child.
BLYTHE: [LAUGHS] And so I guess that translated pretty well into gymnastic right away right?
VICTORIA: Oh yeah for sure. Stayed out of trouble
BLYTHE: [LAUGHS] And so when did you turn elite? And when did you start thinking like hey, you know I could do really big stuff with gymnastics like traveling and representing Canada and things like that? At what age did it dawn on you that hey, this is really something?
VICTORIA: I never really thought that far ahead. I just took it day by day and had fun with it. I mean looking back from like four or five years ago, I would never thought I’d be at this level. I mean I always looked up to girls saying oh I would want to be like them, but I never actually think I’d be here. But I’d always dreamed of it. But I always had those little day to day goals. Just had fun in the moment.
BLYTHE: That makes sense. And I take it that when one starts at Kips, one does not start working with Elvira directly. How old were you when you started working with her directly? And how did that come about?
VICTORIA: I mean she helped me I think she saw me at a young age and you know, saw that I had a little bit of potential in me. So she just kind of worked on me- well not worked with me but kind of helped me and helped me grow. But then I went into her group when I was nine, eight or nine. That’s when she started coaching me. I started progressing a lot
BLYTHE: I see. And you know when we think about your gymnastics, one of the first things we think about are your gorgeous floor exercises. And has floor always been the event for you?
VICTORIA: I think so yeah. Ever since I remember, I had in a level 8 or 9 I was known for my dance. And you know my powerful tumbling I guess. I mean I never really had high amazing tumbling as a level 9 and stuff, but I really showed the more artistic side as in dancing and you know putting passion into my dance. And it also comes with Elvira. She always makes sure I have the- my eyes are into it along with my body movement. So always showing my face expressions. Just making the floor routine more entertaining to watch as well.
BLYTHE: And they are really entertaining. It’s always something that stood out about your gymnastics. So we were curious actually, do you do ballet training as well? Is classical dance training part of your repertoire?
VICTORIA: I mean we try to do it when we can. We worked on it a lot when we were little but I don’t always have time for it now.
BLYTHE: Understood. And who choreographs your floor routines? Do you have say in the music choice and the movement choice? Or is it all coming from a coach or choreographer?
VICTORIA: The “Assassin’s Tango” that I had for four years it he one I picked out. But Elvira was the one that found the music I have now and she liked it. And then we get a few people to come in and work on it with us.
BLYTHE: Very cool.
VICTORIA: And Elvira worked a lot on this routine as well.
BLYTHE: Was it hard to follow up on “Assassin’s Tango” because it was such a beautiful signature piece. Did you at any point think gosh this is going to be hard to top?
VICTORIA: Yeah, actually it’s a different kind of music that I have now. But I feel like I’ll never stop loving that routine. And even if- I never got bored with my other routine. So. It is going to be hard to top it.
BLYTHE: And you know we watched all the videos from the recent Canadian Championships and we are dying to ask you about the double twisting double layout that you threw. Really props to you. You are the first person that we know of, I feel comfortable saying that right guys? That we know of who has thrown a double twisting double layout, the first woman, in a competition. And just how long have you been training that? And what was the process for learning it? And were you afraid to throw it in competition? Just so many questions.
VICTORIA: Oh man. It’s a tough skill. I mean I worked for a long period of time on just double double tuck. But actually it’s completely different than double double tuck. And after Nationals we learned that there was a special technique that I needed to work on and stuff like that. And I think hopefully if I compete it at Worlds it will be more successful than just Nationals. I mean Nationals was the first time I competed it and you know you can’t have a successful skill unless you fall and stuff. So I think it’s in that process as well.
BLYTHE: What made you guys decide that it was ready to show at Nationals? How long had you been working on the skills?
VICTORIA: I think just not too long. Just like a couple months I think. Yeah a couple months I think that’s all I had.
BLYTHE: And was it Elvira who came to you and said you know Victoria, you’ve got a pretty nice double layout, you’ve got a pretty nice double double tuck there, why don’t we put the two together? Or did you have the idea like hey, this double double tuck’s getting kind of easy, I think I’m ready for something new?
VICTORIA: I think it was her idea. I think, I’m not sure. It just popped in her head one day. And we kept working on it. I’m not really sure what she was- what made her think that. I just started working on it. And then we both saw that it was possible so that’s when we just continued working on it, you know? Trying different techniques and stuff, so.
BLYTHE: Do you realize that if you compete it successfully at Worlds, you can submit to have it named for you? And it would be called the Moors?
VICTORIA: Yeah I think, yeah I have been told that before actually. But yeah that would be a big step. But I’m just right now I’m just focused on competing the skill well.
BLYTHE: Yeah. And we were sorry to hear that you got sick and sort of duck out on part of the Nationals. Was that difficult for you? Have you ever gotten sick at a meet before? It sounds like it’s not really pleasant.
VICTORIA: Yeah. The first day, I just felt really tired and I had cramps in my calf. So I just I couldn’t punch. So beam, I just was trying to avoid putting as much pressure on my calf as I could. Which was tough.
BLYTHE: I see.
VICTORIA: Then I woke up the next morning and I just you know, my throat was- not my throat was sore but I was just dizzy and I was tired. And then it all clicked together because I found out I was sick. And then I went to see a doctor and she’s like yeah, you’ve caught a virus and everything. So now the cramps and the fatigue, it all put together. So I’m glad we got to take care of it and compete day 2. But my goal was just to compete double double straight at Nationals. I think I did well second day, but I’m just glad I competed it for the first time.
BLYTHE: Ah that explains your beam routine. We watched your beam routine you know? And you had the fall right, before your dismount. And then you kind of stood there for a second and stretched your calf.
BLYTHE: And this had people-
VICTORIA: That’s why I did a whole yoga- that’s why I did the whole yoga class before my beam routine to stretch everything out. But yeah.
BLYTHE: That makes sense. We were all wondering like oh my god is she injured? Is it the achilles? Something like that.
VICTORIA: No just had those calf cramps, it was the worst. Never realized how much you use a calf in your beam until it’s actually not there anymore.
BLYTHE: Definitely. And so we do have also some questions about the Olympics. So we’d like to go back to that. So actually I wanted to ask you first about Elite Massilia in France in 2011. And that seemed like a really big breakout meet for you. You outscored Viktoria Komova on both floor and vault. And it really got people talking. And so can you just take us back to that and maybe tell us if that competition was special for you, and what it meant to you if anything?
VICTORIA: I think that was my first you know like big high level competition. But with all you know the bright lights and all the people and stuff. But I was very nervous, but I think that it was the competition that got me started, got my adrenaline going for the rest of the year. But I did gain a lot of experience from it because, for example, I, not winged my routine, but my grip broke right before I had to do my bar routine. So I just was like yelling and being like where can I find someone’s grip that they’re not using right now? So I like I did my bar routine with one grip that wasn’t mine. So I think that really kind of gave me some confidence that you know I could my routines you know, they’re getting very solid. And now I can do it even with a grip that didn’t really fit my hand well, so. Yeah that gave me a lot of experience.
BLYTHE: Even with a stranger’s grip. Who actually gave you their grip to use?
VICTORIA: I’m not sure, I think it was Natalie Vaculik
BLYTHE: uh huh
VICTORIA: But I’m not positive. I’m not sure. I just grabbed a random hand.
BLYTHE: And then two months after Elite Massilia, you are a first year senior and in January you go to London with the rest of the Canadian team for the test event. And what was it like being a brand new senior right out of the box and being at this event and knowing ok, this really matters because if I want to go to the Olympics, first we have to get team Canada there. And so the pressure must have been really on for that meet. Can you tell us about that?
VICTORIA: Oh yeah for sure. I- just getting a chance, being with the girls for the first time. I mean for example like Peng, Kristina, like those were the girls that I looked up to when I was like 10 years old and now I’m competing with them. I was so in awe even though they’re like warming up beside me and stuff like that. So I think that really gave me a feel of what team was like and you know, what other countries are like. So I think it all added up in the end just to getting experience, you know. And it turned out very very well in the end with the team, worked together so hard and I get the feel of the team. We just got a great result from that.
BLYTHE: That must have been a really special moment when you guys knew that Canada made it through and you guys were going to be one of those top 12 teams. I was just wondering was that the moment when the Olympic dream really became real for you?
VICTORIA: Yeah. I don’t think I realized how intense it was until we were waiting to get marched out and the Brazilian girls were just bawling because they just made it. So that’s when we realized how special it was that we made a team to the Olympics. I don’t think it hit us till that point in time. But after that it was just unreal thing that Canada made a team. I was happy for Canada. But the next step was making that Canadian team.
BLYTHE: What did you learn from Peng Peng Lee as a leader? Being on the competition floor with her. As you said you’d been watching her for four or five years. And it seemed like she was a very special part of that team at the test event. And I was just wondering how that influenced you?
VICTORIA: She’s always so calm and she supports everyone. And she has very very good sportsmanship and that just kind of pulled the team together to make all of us just one. I think that really helped me as a person as well.
BLYTHE: And so if you don’t mind my asking, what was it like in May when she got injured?
VICTORIA: Oh, geez I was on beam when she did the vault and I could hardly finish my beam routine. Like I was Shakira on the beam, like I could not stop wobbling and everything. And I was just so worried. I was like she’s like a leader of the Canadian team. We didn’t know the team at the time, but it was obvious that she would be on it. But she’s a big part of Canada and the growth.
BLYTHE: After she got injured and it became clear that it was the ACL and it just wasn’t going to happen for her that summer, did she tell you anything personally? Like, about you especially going on with chances to qualify for all-around finals, for an event final, that kind of thing?
VICTORIA: No I didn’t really get the chance to talk to her, but you know she’s not the one to dwell on things. She definitely looked on the bright side of everything, which I love. But she was so happy for us at the end. Like she was crying, giving us hugs everywhere, and she was our honorary captain and stuff. Which yeah, which definitely felt like almost she was on the floor with us pretty much I think.
BLYTHE: And after the Canadian Championships, what was the Olympic selection process like for you?
VICTORIA: Oh I was nervous. I know I had a good chance going in, but right you’ll never know. So I just, I gave it my all, I said go big or go home. So that’s- I just tried my best to you know stay consistent and stay on the beam and stuff. So it was nerve-wracking. But yeah definitely one of the best, hardest things I’ve had to go through.
BLYTHE: And at the Olympic Games, the Canadian women, they made history. Fifth place in team finals. What was it like for you guys after you knew what you had accomplished there? Or during the competition. Really both.
VICTORIA: Oh it was unreal. I mean sitting, it was so loud. And you know some people say that even as a spectator you get an Olympic fever when they go to the Olympics. And that’s completely true. There’s no other feeling like being on that Olympic floor. Just it’s like an awe that you’ll never get in your whole life. And that’s something you’ll treasure always. So but at the end of the day, it was just like you know I [inaudible] without that team, and we worked so hard together. But it was just really all the hard work paid off for that day. We worked so well together, and I’m so proud of the team and how we did. We had some struggles, but you know we got through it. We did our best.
BLYTHE: What kind of struggles exactly? Can you give us an example?
VICTORIA: For me, I had a back injury going into it.
BLYTHE: And so was it painful to be doing floor or doing any of the events?
VICTORIA: Yeah I had a tear in my lower back, so but I was like, my first injury that I’ve had in a while actually. Like I had a sprained ankle when I was six or seven. But other than that, the tear in my back was the only issue that I’ve had. It gave me more of an experience of injury rather than actually. I’m really proud that I had to overcome that injury. It taught me a lot of for myself actually.
BLYTHE: Man if you’re a high level gymnast and the only thing you can say about your injury history is you had a sprained ankle when you were six, that is really impressive.
VICTORIA: Oh I don’t know how, I don’t drink a lot of milk either. I don’t know. It was my coach too. She puts me before gymnastics. My health and stuff before my gymnastics. I think that I’ve learned a lot from her as well, with that.
BLYTHE: So there’s good communication between the two of you?
VICTORIA: Oh yeah for sure
BLYTHE: You can say, if you’re tired, you say hey I’m tired today, can we go easy?
VICTORIA: Yeah. Yeah she’s a- I mean she pushes when it needs to be done. But you know, when something she feels something’s not right, she’s kind of accomodate you in that way. Be like you know just do one but do one well. Like you know what I mean by that?
VICTORIA: She still gets the job done, but in a good way. Yeah.
BLYTHE: And we ask all of the Olympians that we have on the show about sort of like behind the scenes stuff in the Village. And so can you tell us about what you guys did there? Was there partying that you did? Did you meet any celebrities? That kind of thing.
VICTORIA: Oh I met Michael Phelps actually
VICTORIA: I did yeah. We saw him in the [inaudible] and kind of creeped him down. Got a picture with him.
BLYTHE: And what was he like in person?
VICTORIA: I mean, [inaudible] I guess. Gotta go, kind of thing, make it quick. Just happy I got a picture with him I guess. It was [inaudible]
BLYTHE: [LAUGHS] That’s pretty awesome. And at home, when you came back, what was the reception like after the team did so well in London?
VICTORIA: Oh it just- I mean we’re not like hockey players in Canada. So we don’t get that type of spotlight. I mean if gymnastics involved ice, it would be a lot different. But I think gymnastics made its way up in Canada now. Everyone’s much more aware of the sport and then the gymnasts and stuff. I think that that’s good. I mean Canada’s one of those well rounded countries and all sports are respected. But gymnastics is still working its way up there. And the gymnastics [inaudible]. Which makes more competition but it makes me happy as well.
BLYTHE: Well we talk a lot about making gymnastics more of a mainstream sport. And we like to ask athletes what they think should be done to the rules or to the events or whatever that might make it more exciting in some ways for the public. Like outside of the Olympics. And so if you had one thing, if the International Gymnastics Federation came to you and said Victoria we want your opinion, what needs to be changed about our sport, what would you tell them?
VICTORIA: Oh that’s hard. Geez. I’d say we should go back to the perfect 10 kind of stuff. Because all anyone remembers is that perfect 10 that Nadia got. And I think that kind of rule system, we should go back to actually. I mean if you do a perfect routine, no wobbles, you stuck your dismount, you stayed on the bars, beam, whatever, I think that should be a perfect routine. Not McKayla Maroney vault and not getting that perfect score. And them still finding some sort of deduction in that. I think that’s what would [inaudible] the public a lot more.
BLYTHE: Definitely. The perfect 16.25 doesn’t quite have the same ring does it?
VICTORIA: No it doesn’t
BLYTHE: Was it hard to get back in the gym after the Olympics? Did you take any time off?
VICTORIA: Again my competition ended soon, so I didn’t do the all-around final or the event finals. But after I came home from London, the next day I came to the gym.
BLYTHE: Oh wow. No even-
VICTORIA: I didn’t do any skills. Just conditioned for a good couple weeks I think. You know I still had my back to heal up, so.
BLYTHE: That makes sense. And after the Olympics of course, there’s always this kind of generational shift, like some of the older girls like Kristina, they go to college or go back to college
VICTORIA: Yeah I got to see them last weekend which was really nice.
BLYTHE: Oh really?! What were you doing?
VICTORIA: Yeah it was a GCG Awards banquet kind of thing. And the whole team was there which was awesome.
BLYTHE: Oh that’s right! We saw pictures, yeah. You guys got awarded, as you should have been. And so coming into this year, do you feel like you’re now one of the leaders on the Canadian team? You know, you and Ellie Black both look incredibly strong through the early competitions this year. What’s it like at this point to be you know you and one of the representatives of Canadian gymnastics?
VICTORIA: It’s a little bit of a change because I went from like a rookie to I guess a veteran in a couple of months. I’m still trying to find my groove back into my gymnastics frame. The Olympics are so far away. After the Olympics, it’s hard to get back into the gym and be motivated. Because I was always working toward that Olympic dream, getting to the Olympics, but now it’s just kind of like, it’s a different feeling. But I’m now starting to get back into that groove of trying new skills and stuff. And I’m still balancing school with it as well and trying to graduate and get done with school. I’m just taking it day by day and trying to be a happy person and not letting anything kick me down and stuff like that so.
BLYTHE: It’s a good philosophy. Can you give us some spoilers on the skills that you are working on, new skills that we might see from you soon in competition?
VICTORIA: Yeah I’m throwing a new release. We’ll see how that goes. And the double double straight. That’s a big one that I’m trying to master.
BLYTHE: Definitely. What’s the new release?
BLYTHE: What’s the new release?
VICTORIA:It’s toe on to off to catch.
BLYTHE: Cool! Very nice. And a question about Elvira actually. If you had to describe her coaching style in one word, what word would you pick?
VICTORIA: Um I’d say Russian. Because that coaching style is very much like you’re here until it’s done. For each circumstance, you’re going to work on it until it’s good. Some coaches are like oh yeah try it two more times and then move on but she’s like just do it til it’s done. Like free catch, I don’t care how many you’re gonna repeat but you’re going to redo it until it’s done.
BLYTHE: That is interesting. That is very interesting. And is that both the best and worst thing about being coached by her?
VICTORIA: It gives me the results. We’re kind of like the same person as well. We’re not satisfied until it’s good and that’s the main reason behind it. It’s almost like she’s doing gymnastics as well. If I do something and she’s totally satisfied, you know and happy for me and for herself as well.
BLYTHE: I see. But I’m sure like everybody says you know, at times it can get very tough in the gym.
VICTORIA: Oh it can. It’s very hard mentally as well. You keep on repeating a skill not as well as you hoped but you know what she says is you’ve got to do your amount and that’s what she’s working on for me for my double double straight. She says just work on it good or bad, in pit or on tramp, just do the skill and okay back. That’s what she says.
BLYTHE: Now Elvira knows something about competing at the Olympics. She has two gold medals of her own.
VICTORIA: Oh yeah for sure. She definitely can entertain. I think she dances better than me now. Oh not it’s supposed to be like this and then she does my whole routine.
BLYTHE: [LAUGHS] She takes the floor and I’m sure that she still commands it.
BLYTHE: Do you ever watch videos of her? She was an absolutely gorgeous dancer like you are.
VICTORIA: Oh she was. I know. She’s tall and skinny, has the long legs. So definitely. She definitely used that to her advantage.
BLYTHE: Did she give you any advice about competing at the Olympics? Did she get nostalgic when you guys were in London?
VICTORIA: I didn’t really always get the full feel of it just because I was so stressed about my back. And I had to take a bigger time off before the Olympics. So getting back in the routine and mastering routines was a really big challenge for both of us. So plus she wasn’t really the team coach, so she wasn’t on the floor with me. Well she was second day, the finals. But no she was just jumpy and happy as well as me, so.
BLYTHE: Is it weird to like be in the Olympics and not have your personal coach down on the floor with you
VICTORIA: Yeah it was actually. I mean she- it really gave me a lesson of how much she does for me and how much she supports me in competition.
BLYTHE: Yeah. Yeah definitely. And we did want to ask you actually about the American Cup this year as well. You know you really stole the show on floor by winning floor. And the tumbling looked great, the new routine looked great. But I understand that you didn’t know too far in advance that you would be competing there right?
VICTORIA: No actually. I- actually maybe I did, I’m not sure. There were a lot girls being pulled. Not pulled but that didn’t compete. I forget who it was. But yeah Kyla Ross didn’t compete and Elizabeth Price also. I was really nervous, but I mean Katelyn and Simone are amazing gymnasts as well, but Elizabeth Price and Kyla you know, the Olympians that did extremely well. That’s amazing, everything pretty much. So but I think the American Cup I was just you know this doesn’t even matter if I come last. I’m at the American Cup which is a huge honor. It’s one of my favorite competitions. So I was like let’s just have fun with it. So I think I did. And it went pretty well.
BLYTHE: Yeah you certainly didn’t finish last, right? Did you foresee that result coming?
VICTORIA: No not at all. I was like at least come fourth. I mean I don’t really think about what I want or when I want to win. I just wanted to go out there and have fun.
BLYTHE: And you seemed to be having a great time with Katelyn Ohashi and Simone Biles on the floor during the meet.
VICTORIA: I was, yeah
BLYTHE: [LAUGHS] It’s always nice to see just like the smiling and the goofing off. I lot of times everybody is so serious.
VICTORIA: Oh yeah I know. I was just having fun with it.
BLYTHE: [LAUGHS] Had you met them before?
VICTORIA: I think I saw Katelyn before, but haven’t really talked to her. But yeah.
BLYTHE: And you know before I turn it over to Jess who has a couple of listener questions, I have two questions not completely related to gymnastics also. So your cat we understand has sort of gained her own special gymternet following. Can you tell us about her rise to fame?
VICTORIA: My cat?
BLYTHE: Your cat.
VICTORIA: Oh yeah Boston?
VICTORIA: Yeah we have like four cats but I guess we have four family members as well so I think we all just kind of snatched one. But I mean Boston, he’s just I don’t know. I got him for my birthday when I was like nine or 10 and I think we’ve just been best buds. Like when I come in all tired and sad from a tough training day and I just lay on my bed he’ll lay right beside me. So I think he knows me pretty well. My parents say he always cries when I go for like week long trips and stuff. So.
VICTORIA: He’s just like a nice guy all around and he’s kind of funny looking which makes everything a lot better. Yeah.
BLYTHE: This is the cat with the mustache?
VICTORIA: Yeah, Boston. Yeah.
BLYTHE: Awesome. And we also understand that you are a fan of nutella.
BLYTHE: Tell us about that. I also am a fan of nutella. I think I can say for the entire GymCastic crew we are fans of nutella.
VICTORIA: Oh yeah for sure. I mean I don’t eat it anymore, apparently it has lots of calories and stuff. But you know I just I love it.
JESSICA: So we have a question first from Daniel Bertolina. And he says: are you working on any floor upgrades and can you please remind her THE WHOLE FREAKING GYMTERNET LOVES HER. Please and thank you.
JESSICA: So any upgrades?
VICTORIA: Well I think my upgrade is the double double straight.
VICTORIA: Other than that not really.
JESSICA: Gotcha. I mean that’s kind of a huge massive gigantic deal, and you could probably never ever have another upgrade on floor because it’s so fantastic. So we’re good with that. I think really he yeah it was more concerned we let you know how much the gymternet loves you. Ok. So.
JESSICA: Beautifulgymnastics on Twitter wants to know: where did the inspiration come for her to do her bars dismount? It’s so deliciously old school.
VICTORIA: Yeah I know. Well I always did the tucked one. I’m like well if I do a layout will it be more? Will it be like a D? And then she’s like I don’t think it’s ever been done. So I just worked on it. It’s truly hard. You need- just getting your feet over and getting your shoulders up after the layout half, it is so [inaudible] back and stomach muscles. Every time I work on it I can’t even walk the next day because my back muscles are so sore. But no it just it’s something new which I like. So. I think it all worked out in the end.
JESSICA: Yeah it definitely stops the crowd. I mean I remember watching American Cup with some friends who aren’t gymnastics fans. And when you did your dismount they were like what what what was that? That looked like the hardest thing anybody did. So.
VICTORIA: Yeah I tried every dismount in the book too and I think that’s the one that sticks.
JESSICA: Yeah we love it. Ok so Kathy Hennis on Twitter asks: what happened at the American Cup that made her and Katelyn Ohashi such good friends? Anything happen behind the scenes? Any inside jokes you can tell us about?
VICTORIA: Oh geez. I think we just like relaxed during the competition. Funny stuff that happened. We got stuck in the drug testing together so we had to go through all that crap together also. But it was funny. We had to wait to pee. So we were just sitting there for a bit just talking and stuff. Now we text like 24/7.
JESSICA: Awesome. I love that. I remember Maroney and Ponor got stuck in drug testing together too. Not Ponor but Izbasa. And after vault. And they were talking about how they had a really good time and they got to bond. So drug testing, good things can come from it.
VICTORIA: Oh yeah I know
JESSICA: So let’s see, Madeline Morrets wants to know what your favorite subject in school is.
VICTORIA: Subject in school, hmm. Well I guess lunch and spare don’t really count as a class. I have to say maybe gym or like English. English I guess, yeah.
JESSICA: I love that you said lunch and spare, is like your break? Or like your free period?
JESSICA: That’s awesome. Alright. Ok so Justin on Twitter wants to know: How does she feel about her new fan following, and what do her parents and coaches think about it?
VICTORIA: My parents, I mean I don’t really get the chance to talk with them much. We’re always busy and the only time we get to talk is the car ride to gym. And to my house. But I think when they scroll through my Twitter, they’re like oh Tori. Like what is my daughter even thinking.
JESSICA: Have they been surprised by how many, how much attention you’ve gotten and your Twitter and Instagram have gotten since after the Olympics?
VICTORIA: Oh I know they’re kind of astonished actually. I told my dad I hit 10,000 followers on Instagram. He’s like wait what? So yeah I think it’s pretty cool. We don’t have as much fame as the US gymnasts, but I mean I just try to relate to my followers as much as I can. Try to let them know I’m not just a gymnast, I’m a human as well. And teenage girl.
JESSICA: Yeah I think that’s what people really like about it. I feel like they get kind of a glimpse into your life and that you don’t take everything really seriously. You know? So it’s very fun to watch. And I should tell people you’re on Twitter and Vine and Instagram right?
JESSICA: Yes. The Vine videos are fantastic too. Alright let me see. Next one is, what were your thoughts, ok this is from Arabian Punch Front on Twitter. She asks, or he asks, what were her thoughts on the floor qualifications. Nerves? Did she hold back a little? And did it change how she attached floor in team finals?
VICTORIA: Well first day, I kind of had a rough beam before that. So I just tried to you know like push that out of the way and focus on floor. But I think beam kind of dragged on with me. But I mean I still put full effort in, tried to have fun with it and do the best that I could. But I mean second day I was more prepared and just more ready to you know hit that floor routine. But also first day was one of the first floor routines I’d done in a couple weeks since the injury. So at least I got through it, I was just happy I got through it and didn’t fall.
JESSICA: Wow so you hadn’t done a full floor routine till you actually competed it in the Olympics?
VICTORIA: Yeah I think it was my second or third one.
JESSICA: Wow. Wow wow. That’s pretty amazing. Oh oh oh ok. We had this question from many of our listeners. They want to know what your thoughts are on doing college gymnastics and going to the US to do NCAA.
VICTORIA: Oh I don’t really know. I mean I still have another two years of school. So I think I’m just going to take it day by day. My parents are like oh hey Tori, I heard on the internet that you accepted to like UCLA or like Florida. And I’m like oh funny joke mom. Because I guess just rumors going around and stuff. I haven’t accepted to anything yet or- I mean I am interested in the future, but haven’t really made any big commitments yet.
JESSICA: Gotcha ok. The interwebs will be very interested to know that. I’m just there will b even more rumors now. Ok so in the US when you do gym class you can get out of it if you do enough gymnastics. Like if you do 10 or 15 hours of gymnastics you can-
VICTORIA: Oh yeah I heard that
JESSICA: So you can’t do that in Canada?
VICTORIA: I mean an elite athlete program, which means I can do a co-op. But that gives me a credit for doing gymnastics, which works out pretty well. So it’s pretty much like a spare.
VICTORIA: I don’t do gym class anymore because I decided if I get hit in the head with a football or something Elvira wouldn’t be too happy.
JESSICA: [LAUGHS] So before when you had to do it when you were younger, were you the strongest one? Did you like school all the boys in push ups and pull ups?
VICTORIA: Yeah. I mean I was actually pretty good at high jump in grade 7. It’s actually odd because I think I jumped the height of- the height that I was. So.
JESSICA: Whoa. That’s major. Well no wonder you can do those-
VICTORIA: Yeah. It was like three meters almost. I don’t know. Not really three meters, sorry. I don’t know. It was pretty high I think.
JESSICA: That totally makes sense you can do the tumbling you can do now because you have serious ups. That’s awesome. Well that’s all we have for you. Is there anything else that you would like your listeners, our listeners to know or your Instagram followers or any message you want to deliver?
VICTORIA: Yeah just I guess just have fun with it.
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JESSICA: It’s time for listener feedback. Last week we had Svetlana Boginskaya on the show, who is just a goddess and hilarious and super fierce. And so many of the gym myths about her were actually true. We got overwhelming feedback from that interview. And I just want to thank everyone who listened and sent feedback and linked and told their friends to listen. We just, wow. We’re totally overwhelmed, thank you so much for all of your feedback. What really stood out the most for you Uncle Tim?
UNCLE TIM: Well obviously when I asked her whether she used to bite and kick her fellow gymnasts and then she said of course, as if you know every gymnast should bite and kick the people standing in line next to them. It just showed how determined she was, because she was going to do anything in order to you know be the best. And I think that it was good to hear her perspective. It’s a very different sort of rhetoric from the type that we’re usually used to hearing in the United States regarding we’re best friends. So it was interesting to hear her perspective. Not that she wasn’t friends with her competitors. But she wasn’t scared to show that she was competitive and that was interesting.
JESSICA: I feel like a lot of times with women in sports, and even you’ll see this between the coaches when the NCAA coaches, especially, are talking before a press conference, they’ll get into it a little bit. And then you’ll see someone reports on it, oh but it’s ok because they’re friends. Men don’t have to say that crap. You don’t have to say you’re friends with someone. You can totally call them out you know? That totally annoys me. So I’m glad she was just straight up I’m going to be the best, I don’t need to be your best friend, but I don’t have best friends on the team and that’s what’s up because that’s what I thought it took. And so she was really honest. So I love that about her. And I just want to tell you guys that we saved one part of her interview for later. So at some point in the next year there will be a special episode and you will get to hear the part of her interview that was left out. And you [LAUGHS] we could not believe. We were like with our mouths hanging open after she said what she said. So. We’re going to save that story for later. So anyway, just she was amazing. She was everything I ever dreamed of. I remember looking at IG, International Gymnast magazine when she was on the cover of her doing a tkatchev and I was like oh my god that looks terrifying I never ever want to learn that skill.
JESSICA: And she was probably like if someone doesn’t let me do that I will stab them. That’s how I feel about her now. So I just love her.
UNCLE TIM: Yeah and I was thinking about how sometimes people on the gymternet are a little negative towards younger gymnasts in their interviews how they’re not very articulate, how they don’t really say anything of substance. And I was thinking about you know, had we interviewed Svetlana Boginskaya when she was 15 or whatever she was in 1988, she probably would not have given us this great interview that she gave us this year. And so you know, I think that there’s hope for all those young gymnasts out there, and who knows how their personality will develop. And you know, we might interview them in 20 years and they might be as hilarious and funny as Svetlana Boginskaya.
JESSICA: You remind me of something, and it’s one of the reasons I wanted to start the podcast in the first place. Is because I had always wished that when I was a gymnast I had someone with perspective to talk to me about the sport. And I didn’t have that in my immediate circle of family or friends or from my coaches. But I didn’t feel like I could totally talk to them about these things. So I really hope there are young gymnasts out there who are listening to these and getting to basically talk to someone and get advice from someone who, or listen not talk to, but listen to someone who can give them perspective and give them advice and can, who understands what they’re going through and can share from their experience with them. So if you’re one of those people, let us know. I’d like to hear from you.
ALLISON TAYLOR: This episode is brought to you by Elite Sportz Band. Elitesportzband.com. We’ve got your back.
JESSICA: Visit elitesportzband.com, that’s sportz with a z, and save $5 on your next purchase with the code Gymcast.
JESSICA: That’s going to do it for us this week. I want to thank whoever it was who went through our Amazon store on the website and bought a very expensive piece of computer equipment because that was a fantastic donation that we got through that. So that reminds me to tell you guys, you don’t just have to buy gymnastics stuff, you can just go through our link and buy whatever you want to from there. You don’t have to buy gymnastics stuff, you can buy your groceries, you can buy yourself some earrings, whatever it is that you want to get. And a little bit of the proceeds, not all of them, a little bit of that goes back to supporting the show. So giant thank you to whoever it was who bought that. We really appreciate it. I was like shocked. So thank you so much. You can also donate directly to the show. There’s a link on our webpage. And thank you to everyone who has donated to the show. We had a question about how to listen if you’re not on an iPhone or iPad or a Mac. You can listen to the show via the Stitcher app. So it works on Android devices. So if you have a Google tablet or Android phone you can use that. You can also, if you forget when a new show comes out or you want to be reminded when you’re at work, you can subscribe to the show. There’s a little button on the righthand side of our navigation. And on the little sidebar thing you can subscribe and the show will be delivered to your email each week when it comes in. Remember we post all the routines we possibly can on our website so you can follow along and see what we’re talking about. And this can augment your listening experience. The other ways you can support the show, you can recommend it or share it on Facebook or Google+. Rate us on iTunes or even better write a review. There are so many reviews now have you seen how many we have now? Oh my god. It’s like so fantastic. Every time I look at it my heart just leaps. It makes me so happy.
UNCLE TIM: As always we love hearing from you. And so you can send us questions or comments to our email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also call us at 415-800-3191 or our Skype username is GymCastic Podcast. You can also contact us and check out our stuff via Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and Google+.
JESSICA: Next week we are taking a little breaky-poo so we can gear up for the rest of the summer. Get ready for Classics. Get ready for Nationals. And then finally it’s time for World Championships! So we’re going to take a break next week then we will be back with the one and only Stacey Ervin. And you know how I feel about him. So until two weeks from now, I’m Jessica O’Beirne from masters-gymnastics.com
BLYTHE: Blythe Lawrence from the Gymnastics Examiner
UNCLE TIM: I’m Uncle Tim from Uncle Tim Talks Men’s Gym.
JESSICA: See you in two weeks!
[OUTRO MUSIC: “RING MY BELL” COVER]
UNCLE TIM: Also from Japan we have [SOUND BYTE] who is doing some crazy release combinations on high bar. Last time I saw him, he did I believe a Kolman to a Kovacs to a Gaylord. A tucked Gaylord. Which is you know, pretty easy. No big deal. NBD.
JESSICA: Yeah totally do that on the playground like every day.
UNCLE TIM: Yeah that’s how I got discovered in gymnastics.
UNCLE TIM: Svetlana Boginskaya eat your heart out.