SPANNY: The entire Japanese MAG team needs to get a hair stylist who doesnt work part time designing anime characters. Sorry not sorry.
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ALLISON TAYLOR: Hey gymnasts, Elite Sportz Band is a cutting edge compression back warmer that can protect your most valued asset: your back. Im Allison Taylor on behalf of Elite Sportz Band. Visit elitesportzband.com. Weve got your back.
JESSICA: This is episode 46 for August 28th, 2013. Im Jessica from masters-gymnastics
BLYTHE: Im Blythe from the Gymnastics Examiner
SPANNY: Im Spanny Tampson from Spannys Big Fake Smile
UNCLE TIM: And Im Uncle Tim from Uncle Tim Talks Mens Gym
JESSICA: And this is the number one gymnastics podcast in the entire world, bringing you all the news from around the gymternet. And Blythe is here this week to tell us all about the Russian Cup! Oh my god so much drama! Blythe tell us everything. Who won?
BLYTHE: Well the absolute winner of this was Tatiana Nabieva. And you know for those people who wrote Nabieva off, who said she was over the hill, she was too old, she had gone through puberty, whatever you know. All totally false. You know and she proved it here. She took the all-around. She won vault. She won bars. She won beam. Can you imagine? Tatiana Nabieva, queen of Russia on beam. Granted some of the other veterans, the Olympic veterans, Aliya Mustafina was not present, Ksenia Afanasyeva was not present, Viktoria Komova was apparently quite ill and so she didnt compete either. And that was a bit of a shame because a lot of people were looking forward to seeing her kind of big post-Olympic comeback. And theres a lot of people who are still holding out hope that she will be able to compete at Worlds. It seems like its really up in there air, but it also seems like Nabieva has earned her spot. And so we have three Russian gymnasts who seem to be confirmed for Worlds. Mustafina, Afanasyeva, and Nabieva. Whos going to get the fourth position? Thats the question. You would think given what happened in Moscow, the European Championships earlier this year, that that would be Anastasia Grishina. But the information that is circulating from sort of the Russian gymnastics media-
JESSICA: GrishinaGate is what were calling it. GrishinaGate.
BLYTHE: GrishinaGate. They say no. I dont know. Apparently there was talk that she refused to participate in the selection, she didnt feel ready, she didnt feel prepared. And the national coaches are just not really having it. And so they have said well, we are not going to take her. And so you have to wonder will they, you know, will they take somebody whos maybe more of an unknown? Evgeny Shelgunova who was second in the all-around at junior Europeans in 2012 and is a new senior this year. Maybe even someone like Anna Rodionova who has been competing. Maybe even Anna Pavlova, who is like 25 and still absolutely kicking. And its really hard to say. They could also just go the route of having three strong gymnasts I suppose. But everyone really wants to see a fourth.
JESSICA: Now there were rumors that, was it Dementyeva had meningitis before and was in the hospital?
BLYTHE: That was Komova
JESSICA: Komova sorry, Komova
BLYTHE: Komova they said- and when I say they said I mean sort of like the gymternet at large. Somebody put it out there that Komova maybe had viral meningitis and then it got repeated and shared a lot. And so it seems like maybe 15 people are saying it. But I, you know- if you read Russian, youre able to read these articles. If you dont read Russian youre using Google Translate. And that makes it really hard to know what correct information is.
JESSICA: Ok. So no confirmation on this. We know she was in the hospital but thats the only for sure thing right? We dont know why.
BLYTHE: We know shes ill. But you know whether she had the stomach flu or whether she had meningitis, thats harder to say.
JESSICA: It would be really freaky if Nastia and Komova both got meningitis in the same year. Nastia had it earlier this summer. Shes fine now. Im just saying that would be a weird coincidence. Ok. So. Uncle Tim, lets talk about Grishina and the Anandia Challenge Cup and this whole GrishinaGate thing. Discuss.
UNCLE TIM: Alright. Well so there were a couple interviews going around. I think one was on Rewriting Russian Gymnastics. And basically one of the judges said oh, you know, Grishina really messed up in London and people are still upset about that. I have to wonder though if Grishina, keeping in mind that I dont read Russian but I do read body language, and at the- so going back to Cottbus and the European Championships, she had 13 heart shaped clips in her hair and she seemed happy and everything was fine and she was doing good gymnastics. Fast forward to June at the Portugal Challenge Cup, her hair is in a team USA messy ponytail and on beam she fell on her round off layout even though she wasnt that crooked. It just looked like she decided she was not going to fall before she even took off. And she just seemed and looked very dejected at that meet. And Im not sure why. I have no inside information about that. But there must be something going on with her. I dont know what it is. And then also to go back to this idea of Anna Pavlova, I know that a lot of people on the gymternet are very very excited because she had really beautiful gymnastics.
JESSICA: And shes glorious!
UNCLE TIM: I dont-
JESSICA: Shes glorious god damnit! Im not telling you shes going to win any medals or be the next Olympic champion. Shes glorious.
UNCLE TIM: It depends on what you like. She does have beautiful toe point. But during the Italian series in April she did a yurchenko arabian on vault. This isnt 1996 Jess. So
BLYTHE: Yeah Ive got to agree.
UNCLE TIM: And she did a giant full to a laid out flyaway. Like, yeah. The only event that could maybe really be world class on is balance beam. She does an aerial walkover into side somi and she actually has a decent dismount. She does a 2.5 off.
JESSICA: Well this is individual championships so, hmm.
UNCLE TIM: Yeah
JESSICA: She could just do beam.
UNCLE TIM: Thats maybe the only event that she could do
JESSICA: Im not going to say shes going to go but thats still fantastic that shes competing and being fabulous. Thats all. Ok carry on Im done now.
UNCLE TIM: So thats my point about Pavlova. I mean people are getting really excited about this, but I personally am not.
JESSICA: Ok thats fine. Im still going to nickname her. All gymnasts should have nicknames. Im going to nickname her Anna Goonies Never Say Die Pavlova. That should be on one of our tshirts.
JESSICA: So Im interrupting here because this just in: Ksenia Afanasyeva, the reigning world floor champ is now reportedly, could be, out due to a minor leg injury. The Russian press is reporting itll just take a day or two to recover. Some are speculating shes now out from Worlds. So who knows. But she does have a leg injury and well have to see what happens.
JESSICA: Lets talk about- and we actually had a question from a listener about this. How the secrecy like on the US side when were just now having more transparency as to what goes on in the selection camps and how it works and who wins selection compared to the Russian system. Uncle Tim, start us off on this.
UNCLE TIM: Ok. So I understand the Kim Kelly argument. We dont want another 1992 experience in which someones on the team and then theres this secret meeting and then that persons no longer on the team. I get that. But I also feel like this is how life works. We dont get to sit it on the meeting when someones promoted and find out why someones promoted and someones not. We dont get to know the deliberation process for college admissions. During the NFL draft teams dont explain why they chose this player and not all the other players. So I personally am not really bothered by a decent amount of secrecy. Jess I know youre somebody who likes a lot of transparency though and so Im guessing you have a different opinion on this.
JESSICA: Yes. Transparency, sunshine, open records, this is the most important thing. Because it prevents all the backhanded nonsense that can go on. And when people know that their decisions are going to be scrutinized, they are more likely to act I think in a moral and ethical way. So. And I think-
UNCLE TIM: But arent their decisions already scrutinized even with the amount of secrecy?
JESSICA: Yeah but scrutinized by who? I mean yes in the end theyre scrutinized. But while theyre making their decisions theres only three people on the committee. I mean thats it. Three people make the decision in the US. So I feel like its just better if you know what goes on overall. And theres more- you know, I mean. Basically I feel like it should be like Hard Knocks, my favorite TV show in the whole world. Even though I do not like football at all which will tell you how awesome this show is, the HBO documentary series. Where you get to see in the room why theyre making the decisions they make and what they say. I think that would be the best thing for everybody. Seriously.
UNCLE TIM: I dont know. I feel like that just opens the door for even more problems. I mean we, Spanny was talking about this earlier, the 2004 Olympics and how the announcement happened on TV. And lots of people were upset about that.
SPANNY: Uncle Tim was just saying that you know where does the transparency stop? And I know this is something that Coach Rick has kind of not vouched for, but hes kind of been a supporter of judges making their decisions open. So if we need to make selection procedures open and to the public and so everybody knows exactly what happens. Where does that stop? Do the judges need to every single gymnast is able to get like a receipt, if you will, of all their deductions?
JESSICA: Yes! Yes yes yes!
SPANNY: What and why. Because in theory youre like thats a wonderful idea, but then its not feasible. Even if it would help.
JESSICA: But there is a receipt. There already is a record. Like why not just you can put in an inquiry you can get your judging sheets at the end of the day. And the other thing is the selection committee, everyone at USA Gymnastics, all these people work for the athletes. The athletes are their bosses. That is who they work for. That is how they make their living. Those are the people who they are should be responsible to. And so they, the athletes have the right to know exactly why the decisions were made the way they were. They should be answering to the athletes and their coaches. Period.
UNCLE TIM: Ok so why cant it just be between them and why do all the gymnastics fans need to be involved.
JESSICA: Well ok. I see what youre saying there. I mean because how can you really have an honest conversation with somebody in some way if you are, you dont want to humiliate them by telling them their hair is too messy to be on the national team.
SPANNY: Also teenage girls too. Im thinking of someone like Sabrina Vega. How do you explain to her like you just werent what we needed. I mean you just werent at your peak. I dont- I mean maybe this is just media dribble but they always say I just do my best and whatever happens happens. I mean isnt the same put toward the selection procedures, is Im going to my same job Ive done every day in the gym, and if they pick me they pick me, if they dont they dont. If theyre like oh if this is what I need to do to be picked, then they were going to focus too much on that. Which you can almost argue for. I think wed have more bars girls if that was the case. But I wonder-
JESSICA: No they should know ahead of time. I think thats the only thing thats fair is you tell someone listen if you want a realistic shot, and theyve done this in the past. Marthas done this and gone to certain gymnasts and said you are basically our alternate right now. If you want to get on the team you need to be getting a 16 on beam every time. And make it so theres no way, you know. I think its better for people to have an open conversation and know exactly where they stand. Otherwise you have a situation where NBC had the Olympic selection live and someone who had no chance in hell of making the team practically faints from crying so hard. How is that fair to her?
SPANNY: Would it be more fair just to tell her well before. Like six months before. Like hey Im sorry gymnast A, theres no chance youre ever going to be named to this particular team. You know? So- for the benefit of the girl. Im just playing devils advocate.
JESSICA: No I hear you. I just feel like its better to say, not six months ahead of time but say basically yeah. Heres where you are right now in the ranking. If you want a spot, you need to get to this place. I feel like thats a fair and realistic thing. Thats like any college team thats how they would operate as well. You dont have a spot on beam right now. If you want to make it in the lineup on beam, you have to do X Y Z. And then youll have a shot.
SPANNY: Right. But what if there- I mean and lets not pussyfoot around this. That like there are gymnasts who very well will probably never make those major teams. Ever. Ever ever. Were just too deep you know. Do you honestly let them just keep going being like sure youre just competing just for fun. Or do you then have to be open with them being like hey its awesome that youre coming to these meets, we want you to compete. Youre not even in our radar. Youre not on our radar at all. It is in your best interest to not pursue this particular team or goal because its never going to happen. And lets not pretend those girls dont exist because we all know they do and thats sad. But it just is what it is.
JESSICA: Yes and I feel like you can have an honest conversation with those girls too and say youre heres what we expect from people who are in consideration. If you want to get into this group of people who will eventually be in consideration, here are your goals, these are the goals you have to meet. In the meantime heres what to focus on. In the meantime youre not in this pool of people. And thats how it is. I dont think theres anything wrong with that. I feel like realistic expectations are helpful for athletes and are useful for athletes. And I feel like it prevents this horrible heartbreak. And it also gives someone something to focus on instead of just thinking I did my absolute best and its never good enough. I just feel like if theyre like well I had to hit every single handstand and Ive never been able to do that in my entire life, so. Why am I going to be able to do it this one time at a meet when I can never in practice you know. Im all for realistic expectations, putting out there. And I think you can have a transparency in the selection process that does not humiliate the athletes. You can have a private conversation with them if they want to off the record. But something that is just you know more honest. I mean I think the athletes deserve an explanation if theyre not put on a team or they deserve to know where they stand. I think thats only fair.
SPANNY: Yeah thats fair
JESSICA: Blythe you-
UNCLE TIM: Yeah I agree-
BLYTHE: How do we know that the athletes arent getting this?
JESSICA: Well thats the thing. I mean I think for my talks, some athletes do get it. And others dont. Thats the thing.
UNCLE TIM: I think also were having two different conversations right now. I think on the one hand were talking about having openness with the athletes, and the original question what about openness with the media. And I think that we can all be in agreement that there should be some kind of openness with the athletes. But whether those details remain private or get shared with the media is a very different question.
JESSICA: I think if gymnastics ever wants to compete with sports like the NFL, you have to have more openness and more dialogue with the media. Because the way the NFL is, when someone gets injured, you know moments later. Its on Twitter. And I realize these are adults and they have a contract about their health. Its a different scenario. But Im just using that as an example. So with the adult athletes that are on the national team, you know. And it doesnt have to be every little thing about them. But I feel like there needs to be more give and take and more access. And I think thats one of the things Bregmans doing by coming on the show. Thats a big start in the right direction for that. I know thats not selection process, but its just like if you want your sport to grow, you have to get information out there instead of keeping it all secret all the time.
UNCLE TIM: Yeah and I think thats a good thing theyve been doing. Theyve had the camp videos. We dont necessarily get to have live footage of the camps. I dont know that we ever would. But I feel like when something is very secretive like what goes on at the camp, that just makes people want to know more. And now that there is at least some coverage, the mystique is gone a little bit. But I personally dont have a problem with not knowing everything about a selection process. And I think that if the athletes want to know, thats fine. But its also not my business as a fan.
JESSICA: Blythe youve been very quiet.
BLYTHE: Well, two points. The first is as far as athletes getting feedback from judges and athletes getting feedback from the selection committee, I have no insight on whether this actually happens. However, I bet you that it does. I bet that all of the girls on the 2012 Olympic team who- or in the 2012 selection process who just barely missed out got some pretty statistical analysis as to where theyre strengths were, what the US team needed, where their start values were, where their deductions were, that kind of thing. And I think a lot of it comes down to the coach. If I were a coach and if any of you were a coach, would you not be hounding judges at the end of meets? Just going up and politely asking hey I see, tell me how we can improve. And Im certain that there are coaches in the US who are doing that. That there are coaches who are having brevets come into their gym and do mock meets. And going over very carefully with the coach and with the athlete saying on this skill or this sequence or this combination, you have to do this, you can stop doing this, for heavens sake point your toes. I hope. And I think that that feedback is very helpful. As Tim said, as far as when it comes to the national team selection camp and the things that happen behind closed doors at the Karolyi Ranch, I agree with him. I dont think its necessary to have a live streaming of whats going on at camp. Because its a strategy thing. You know you want to show your hand at critical points before certain big events. The USAs way of doing this for the last dozen years has kind of been to show up at World Championships, the Olympic Games and to blow everybody out of the water with their fabulousness. And its been a strategy that has worked very very well. And even now, even as USA Gymnastics is doing into the Karolyi Ranch with the cameras and theyre releasing little teasers of information. Heres so and so doing a full twisting double layout. This is just a little taste for the rest of the world, for all of the adversaries out there who are following along on YouTube and who are looking at what other countries are doing on YouTube, heres what were working. And now back to you. You know what are you going to do to better that. And USA I think is very confident right now. And it should be confident right now. That its putting out how many Amanars did we see at the last training camp? How many full twisting double layouts? And the US knows that there are no other countries that can challenge them, at least on the leg events right now. And so theyre doing that. But if youre a different country, maybe you dont have that strength. Maybe you dont want to show your hand at all times. And USA Gymnastics has been very strategic about what they put out and what they dont put out. And as far as all the other coaches around the world and some of the other gymnasts are the world watching very eagerly, I think they do have to be careful. So I wouldnt call it secrecy as much as I would call it strategy. And you know, this is a sport. Its a game. Youre trying to outwit your opponent. And this is USA Gymnastics way of playing the game. And frankly I think its many other countries way of playing the game as well. Everyone plays the media little bit. Look at Russia. Look at Romania. Look at the things they put out there.
JESSICA: Were going to call that the hot pink strategy.
BLYTHE: The hot pink strategy.
UNCLE TIM: I am a little surprised that we havent had more cases of US athletes getting really upset about selections though. Im just thinking of last year with Daniel Keatings who went to the British press and really took British Gymnastics to task and got really upset that he was left off the team. And it didnt seem like British Gymnastics was too upset about what he said, because this year hes been included on teams, hes been at competitions. So it wasnt like oh you talked to the press and now youre done. And so its interesting to see how perhaps other cultures deal with this as well. Were all Americans talking about American gymnastics.
BLYTHE: Oh, well.
JESSICA: Go Blythe go!
BLYTHE: Two things about Daniel Keatings. And this is my opinion only. The first is he beat Max Whitlock on every event at the British Championships and Max got chosen over Dan. Ive heard that Max just has an incredible head for competition. And you cant really argue with the results as it was. But of course for Dan its absolutely devastating. And the second thing, and Id be eager to hear you guys opinion on this, is Dan Keatings is a guy. If a girl had gone to the media and said the same things after not being left on the team, would we feel differently?
JESSICA: [GASPS] Uncle Tim, you go first.
UNCLE TIM: I do think that there would be some name calling, whats considered proper for a woman is conventionally speaking is very different than whats considered proper for a guy, conventionally speaking.
SPANNY: No I totally agree. I think, again depending on the age of the woman. If she was a teenaged girl, shed been called sour grapes, or shes butt hurt or shes bitter, just because I dont think we take teenaged girls very seriously regardless of the situation. But I totally agree that there would be different treatment of the two.
JESSICA: I have to say I totally agree. I think guys get more I mean look at the way that Dominique Moceanu is treated. Shes in some senses a hero and in some senses a pariah for writing this book thats just her truth about her experience and what happened. I feel like people are just in this camp against her now. I just totally dont understand it and I feel like shes treated that way because shes female and is treated much harsher than a man would be if he wrote the same kind of book. I also just really quickly want to make the point here that with the whole Daniel Keating and Max Whitlock thing, obviously were not saying .you know we werent there. We didnt watch the national team training camps and that kind of selection. This is just from the outside looking in and of course that makes all the difference. And also obviously, were saying that other people might see this differently, not that we do. Other people are sexist, not us. Other people have double standards, not us. And because we know that you guys would call us out if we ever did, if anything ever even remotely reeked of sexism, you guys would call us out for it. So just another fabulous thing about the gymternet. One point I wanted to go back to making before I talk about competition and getting feedback from judges. I was talking about in international competition, getting a receipt in meets where youre not allowed to talk to the judges rather than the local meets and leading up to where you can go to the judges and say hey can you give me some feedback on this. I think coaches do that normally. Like at the Olympics if you talk to the judge, you get a yellow card and get thrown out and you can only petition by paying $100, those are the ones where I feel like you should get a receipt. I think thats the greatest idea ever. I love it!
JESSICA: Speaking of things that are in the press, Spanny can you give us an update on the Gabby Dancing with the Stars rumor and the casting for the Lifetime movie straight-to-DVD, Im just kidding I have no idea update on casting for her movie.
SPANNY: You know, I dont know much more. Its just been rumored that shell be on Dancing with the Stars either this season or the next, thats as far as my knowledge goes, that it is a rumor that shell be cast. Itd be interesting if they did cast a gymnast three seasons in a row. Im sad and embarrassed that I know that. But hey, get that money. Far more interesting is the Gabby Douglas Story, which as far as I know is a made for TV movie, so maybe there will be a DVD, I dont know. There are a couple of fan pages popping up on Twitter and Facebook titled Actors and Actresses love Gabby Douglas or Actress cast as Gabby Douglas which is equal parts amusing and also endearing. I mean who am I to talk about this? Im a middle aged white woman. But you know especially after the Oscars last year, there arent a lot of parts for young black girls. I could see these families and these little girls getting so excited and they are really pushing the media, like cast me, cast me! Theyll get to play their hero. Anyway, theres one that really stood out to me. For what its worth, her profile is a comparison picture of herself and Gabby, both on bars or both saluting and they are. This girls like a preteen if anything. Just the passion was there and it was really cute. So well have a link to it. Its Taylor Dior loves Gabby Douglas is the Facebook page name. And there a couple of other ones to look at. Word has gotten around that theyre trying to cast. [Spannys cell phone rings]
JESSICA: Thats the agent calling you now to hire you for the casting of this. That girls so cute, oh my God! Shes so adorable!
SPANNY: Isnt she? And I watched her little videos. Shes like Im going to do a bunch of back handsprings right into the beam. That scared me a little bit. I thought it was sweet. And if theyre not going to go with the, how do I put this politically correctly, an experienced actor, why not go all out and find somebody with a passion who actually loves gymnastics and loves the Fierce Five and has the posters and all that garbage. Im telling you, if I was 14 and they were like we want you to play Dominique Moceanu, I wouldve died. I would not be alive right now because I would be six feet in the ground. I would not have gotten the chance to play her because I would be dead. Its every little girls dream, I dont know.
JESSICA: Well speaking of exciting things in the media, there is, I totally love like teen and young adult fiction like Twilight and Harry Potter and The Hunger Games and all those books. I just love them and I think theyre fun to read and I enjoy it very much. So theres an author named Julie Cross who wrote the Tempest series. I saw that she was on Twitter and I was like Tempest series, it says that shes a gymnastics coach. Wait. So I looked in my GoodReads and I had on my to-read list of YA fiction and she was in there. So I was like oh my God, this persons a gymnastics coach and so then I was talking to her on Twitter and it turns out she has written a book where the main character is an elite gymnast. And its called Letters to Nowhere and it has just come out and you guys should definitely check it out. The Kindle edition has been on sale on Amazon so you guys should check it out. Were really excited that theres someone who really knows gymnastics, who is also an award-winning author who is writing about this, so definitely check out her book Letters to Nowhere and of course the Tempest series.
SPANNY: Its on sale for $2.99. Thats what a sale means. Three bucks for a book about gymnastics? Its kind of the best thing Ive ever heard, just so you know. On Amazon, $2.99.
JESSICA: Yeah pretty much you have to buy it. The Kindle edition is freaking awesome. This is the great thing about things going digital. Uncle Tim, can you give us an update on the incredible amazing totally correct debate that we had on the last episode about what men should be on the mens world team?
UNCLE TIM: Alright so last week, Jess was in favor of Paul Ruggeri being on the team instead of Steven Legendre, in her ideal world. But obviously Steve was on the team and we debated about who should be the sixth person after Danell Leyva removed himself from the team. And we decided that it should be John Orozco and sure enough, it was John Orozco.
JESSICA: Were amazing. Just saying. Were fantastic.
SPANNY: Any consolation, my son, I bought him a USA gymnastics frog when I was in Hartford last week. That was the one souvenir, I dont know, and we named it Paul D. Frog. Im not going to explain the D but his name is Paul in honor of Paul Ruggeri. And he likes Paul D. Frog. He tries to eat his face a lot but yeah. Paul D. Frog is pretty much with him all the time.
JESSICA: Aww hes giving him the smooches so he can turn back into a prince.
SPANNY: Thats right. Thats exactly right, only a matter of time now.
JESSICA: One other thing we want to tell you guys to check out is, I dont know if you guys know or not but this is the 50 year anniversary of USA Gymnastics. They did something really amazing at Congress at Nationals which is they had a history museum. Spanny are you going to do something about that? You should write something about how awesome it was. One of the other things they have done is they have put up a magazine collection of gymnastics magazines for years and years and years. And its so awesome and super entertaining and everyone should totally check it out. It is the best thing ever and you will get nothing done. So just take your computer to the pool and plan on sitting there all day browsing through this amazing gymnastics collection. Well put a link up to it. Do not miss it!
SPANNY: If you dont want to read the articles, just go into the 90s section, open it up, and just look at the leotards. Look at the leotards and look at the hair. If you thought we saw pinks and greens and oddly cut items before, like you dont even know. You probably werent even born yet. But these leotards and socks and hair and scrunchies, its really I mean just go look at the ads. There are some really great pictures of Tim Daggett.
JESSICA: One other thing that I wanted to tell you guys about is, I dont know if we mentioned it on the show but Jenni Pinches, who is our fantastic, shes ours. I would just like to say shes ours. Were claiming her. Shes been on the show before. Shes an Olympian for Britain and shes a commentator in Britain and a future Bruin. She made a game. You can get it on the iPhone or iPad called Laser Chambers, plural. And its so freaking fantastic. I love it. If you like puzzle games, thats the kind of game it is. Download it. Its fabulous and Im totally stoked. The game fits her personality. So if you like the stuff that she was into, if youre a Nerdfighter, what Im saying is that you will love this game. And lastly, Beth Tweddle announced her retirement recently. And in honor of her, we would like to say what we love about Beth Tweddle in our best English accent.
BLYTHE: I have got to tell you that what I adore about Beth Tweddle is innovation. In a sole word, innovation. You look at her bar routine over the years, oh God you guys, I cant do the English accent. Anyway, you look at her bar routine over the years, and just the sheer number of different skills that she did is absolutely mind blowing. Take her Olympic routine from 2012 and the routine that she performed to win her first world title in 2006 on bars, and they are so different. Her mastery of that apparatus was just extraordinary. And that is my favorite thing about Beth Tweddle.
SPANNY: I enjoy her double twisting double back.
JESSICA: [LAUGHS] Spanny street urchin.
UNCLE TIM: [LAUGHS] That was really good. I loved how she said it on the show too. I cant do it like she says it but
JESSICA: Uncle Tim?
UNCLE TIM: I cant do it. Im just going to tell you what I loved about her.
JESSICA: Fine! Dont play our game!
SPANNY: Hey I did it!
JESSICA: Everyone will judge you.
UNCLE TIM: Thats fine. I loved her bangs back in the day and Im kind of sad that theyre gone. But seriously though, she didnt do it in 2007 and Beijing when she did the Markelov or the Tweddle into the Ezhova on bars, I loved her from that moment on. Just because that combination is so crazy and so much is going on in one little span of time. It was amazing. And it also reminded me of throwing up on a tire swing when I was a little kid because it made me so dizzy watching it.
JESSICA: Well you know what Im going to say. I love that shes a woman, a real woman doing gymnastics. Was that a British accent? Or was that like Italian?
BLYTHE: That was very majestic.
BLYTHE: Upstairs Downton Abbey
JESSICA: Perfect! Thats what I was going for!
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JESSICA: Miley Cyrus has been in the news for her horrific performance at the VMAS. And we got to thinking and weve come up with a list. The top ten reasons Miley Cyrus would make a great addition to the sport of gymnastics. Spanny, take it away.
SPANNY: Well number one and I believe the most obvious reason is Bruno loves twerking. Dont ask how I know this. I just do. Number two, there would be an increase in mesh/nude fabric sales, two things I love. I really love mesh and nude fabric sales. Three, hamstring flexibility that you need to bend over like that, if you havent seen it, Im not going to describe it to you, thats impressive. Thats not easy. And also number four, not to mention the foot control needed to not fall over onto your face as you twerk, thats commendable. Good job, Miley! Her stellar performance can only boost up other performers as she makes Tatiana Gutsu appear to be a fabulous performer. This is number six. Adi Pope would not have to choreograph any hip thrusts into the routine as they would already be there. Seven, she already has a bowl haircut reminiscent of the 1990s. So we would really get back to some Kerri Strug, Amanda Borden current Chusovitina haircut. Eight, this isnt so much about her as her theme song, Blurred Lines could also represent Anna Lis ability to line judge. That had to be in there.
JESSICA: The flags up. The flags down. The flags out. Im just going to wiggle it, no.
SPANNY: Number nine, Tim Daggett would have someone legal to talk about. Watch the broadcast. And number ten, Billy Ray would make the best gym dad. And I only say that because its only a matter of time before someone uses an instrumental version of Achy Breaky Heart and they will win floor in Rio doing so.
JESSICA: Oh God, thats so going to happen. And Uncle Tim has prepared a very special surprise for us this week. Im so excited. So Uncle Tim, tell us all about it. Were dying to know.
UNCLE TIM: So we were talking on our chat that we should do a dramatic Tumblr reading after one of our Twitter followers told us that our show is somewhat like Tumblr at times. And it got me thinking about how at one point in time, I found this Dominique Moceanu fan page and there is poetry and stuff and so I wrote haikus for my fellow GymCastic hosts.
JESSICA: Oh God!
BLYTHE: [GASPS] Oh Tim!
UNCLE TIM: Oh just wait.
SPANNY: For the younger listeners, I just want to make sure they know what a haiku is.
UNCLE TIM: Its a poem of five syllables, seven syllables and five syllables. So were going to start with Blythe.
Blythe, carefree, jaunty.
Thats what her name means.
And that is who she is.
And this is where you snap like at a poetry reading. There you go. There you go. That was for Blythe. Second one is Jessica.
Is there anyone who loves to laugh more than she?
End of Haiku
Spanny, queen of snark.
Please teach your son pommel horse.
So those are your haikus.
JESSICA: Fabulous, I love them! Ive never had anyone write a haiku in my honor before.
SPANNY: I do have two readings if we have time from Tumblr. There is a popular Tumblr, its called Gymnastics Confessions. Full disclosure: I dont know if these people are being real or not or if theyre supposed to be funny. But I think its hilarious. That said:
Theres a regal elegance to every single one of Aliya Mustafinas movements that literally no other gymnast has had in the past three quads. Theres just something about her performance that has set her apart from all of her peers. Her gymnastics is what we have left of the great Soviet gymnasts.
JESSICA: Thats a serious confession. Grumpus likes it.
SPANNY: This one
The entire Japanese MAG team needs to get a hair stylist who doesnt work part time designing anime characters. Sorry not sorry.
JESSICA: Ok I have one to add to the list of dramatic Tumblr readings. This is from tampontampoff: One of these days, Im going to roll my eyes too hard and Im going to go blind.
SPANNY: I dont know why you read that.
JESSICA: Because its so Tumblr! Its just so funny. It has nothing to do with gymnastics. I mean all gymnastics fans roll their eyes really hard, just saying I can relate.
SPANNY: Oh I get it now, okay. I looked at that and I was like, I dont get it.
JESSICA: Its such a gymnastics fan thing to do. And its called tampontampoff which is the most creative Tumblr name ever, instead of half on, half off. You need to create that button just to get a Tumblr name. We have to make it up. We have to create it. People wont actually have to think of stringing four gymnastics moves together to come up with a Tumblr name. Like a porn name or a superhero name. What would your Tumblr gymnastics name be?
SPANNY: Go to YouTube. Whats the fourth video on your feed? Go 90 seconds in.
JESSICA: Oh my God Uncle Tim, you totally have to put this on one of your drinking games. You have to create the Tumblr name.
UNCLE TIM: Ok alright I can do that.
ALLISON TAYLOR: This episode is brought to you by Elite Sportz Band. Elitesportzband.com. Weve got your back.
JESSICA: Visit elitesportzband.com. Thats sportz with a z and save $5 on your next purchase with the code: Gymcast. Right thats going to do it for us this week. International shout out of the week goes to Judge Paulson in Iceland! So excited to get your email and yes stag jumps are that thing that Nemov is doing in the corner before his last pass. Nemov can do whatever he wants. Hes perfect. Even if he doesnt do a perfect stag jump, it doesnt matter because hes Nemov. On my site this week, I have a story up from boston.com. Its a video report on a reporter who goes and takes her first adult gymnastics class and it is everything. It captures the spirit, the best report on adult gymnastics and what the atmosphere is like and why its so fun that Ive ever seen. She totally hit the nail on the head so check it out. I want to thank you so much for listening. Please remember you can support us by writing a review on iTunes. You can subscribe on iTunes. You can download the Stitcher app. You can donate or you can shop on our Amazon store. We post all the routines we possibly can on our website if you want to follow along. This week, we will just post a picture of the four of us all arguing about transparency with the sunshine in the background maybe. We also have transcripts of every episode up on our site. Theyre usually up a week or two after the show airs. Thank you to our transcribers for their fabulous work. And we want to know what you think so you can always get in touch with us at email@example.com. You can call us at 415-800-3191 or on Skype if youre in another country and want to call. You can call us on Skype. Our username is Gymcastic Podcast. And you can always follow us on Google Plus. Thank you guys so much and we will see you next week. Until next week, Im Jessica from masters-gymnastics.com.
BLYTHE: Blythe Lawrence from The Gymnastics Examiner
SPANNY: Spanny Tampson from Spannys Big Fake Smile
UNCLE TIM: And Im Uncle Tim from Uncle Tim Talks Mens Gym