Episode 46 Transcript

SPANNY: The entire Japanese MAG team needs to get a hair stylist who doesn’t work part time designing anime characters. Sorry not sorry.


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 46 for August 28th, 2013. I’m Jessica from masters-gymnastics

BLYTHE: I’m Blythe from the Gymnastics Examiner

SPANNY: I’m Spanny Tampson from Spanny’s Big Fake Smile

UNCLE TIM: And I’m Uncle Tim from Uncle Tim Talks Men’s 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 didn’t 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 there’s a lot of people who are still holding out hope that she will be able to compete at Worlds. It seems like it’s 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. Who’s going to get the fourth position? That’s 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 we’re calling it. GrishinaGate.

BLYTHE: GrishinaGate. They say no. I don’t know. Apparently there was talk that she refused to participate in the selection, she didn’t feel ready, she didn’t 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 who’s 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 it’s 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, you’re able to read these articles. If you don’t read Russian you’re 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 that’s the only for sure thing right? We don’t know why.



BLYTHE: We know she’s ill. But you know whether she had the stomach flu or whether she had meningitis, that’s 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. She’s fine now. I’m just saying that would be a weird coincidence. Ok. So. Uncle Tim, let’s 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 don’t 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 wasn’t 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 I’m not sure why. I have no inside information about that. But there must be something going on with her. I don’t 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 she’s glorious!

UNCLE TIM: I don’t-

JESSICA: She’s glorious god damnit! I’m not telling you she’s going to win any medals or be the next Olympic champion. She’s 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 isn’t 1996 Jess. So


BLYTHE: Yeah I’ve 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.


JESSICA: She could just do beam.

UNCLE TIM: That’s maybe the only event that she could do

JESSICA: I’m not going to say she’s going to go but that’s still fantastic that she’s competing and being fabulous. That’s all. Ok carry on I’m done now.

UNCLE TIM: So that’s my point about Pavlova. I mean people are getting really excited about this, but I personally am not.

JESSICA: Ok that’s fine. I’m still going to nickname her. All gymnasts should have nicknames. I’m going to nickname her Anna Goonies Never Say Die Pavlova. That should be on one of our tshirts.


JESSICA: So I’m 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 it’ll just take a day or two to recover. Some are speculating she’s now out from Worlds. So who knows. But she does have a leg injury and we’ll have to see what happens.


JESSICA: Let’s talk about- and we actually had a question from a listener about this. How the secrecy like on the US side when we’re 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 don’t want another 1992 experience in which someone’s on the team and then there’s this secret meeting and then that person’s no longer on the team. I get that. But I also feel like this is how life works. We don’t get to sit it on the meeting when someone’s promoted and find out why someone’s promoted and someone’s not. We don’t get to know the deliberation process for college admissions. During the NFL draft teams don’t 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 you’re somebody who likes a lot of transparency though and so I’m 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 aren’t their decisions already scrutinized even with the amount of secrecy?

JESSICA: Yeah but scrutinized by who? I mean yes in the end they’re scrutinized. But while they’re making their decisions there’s only three people on the committee. I mean that’s it. Three people make the decision in the US. So I feel like it’s just better if you know what goes on overall. And there’s 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 they’re making the decisions they make and what they say. I think that would be the best thing for everybody. Seriously.

UNCLE TIM: I don’t 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 he’s 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 you’re like that’s a wonderful idea, but then it’s 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 can’t it just be between them and why do all the gymnastics fans need to be involved.


JESSICA: Well ok. I see what you’re saying there. I mean because how can you really have an honest conversation with somebody in some way if you are, you don’t want to humiliate them by telling them their hair is too messy to be on the national team.

SPANNY: Also teenage girls too. I’m thinking of someone like Sabrina Vega. How do you explain to her like you just weren’t what we needed. I mean you just weren’t at your peak. I don’t- I mean maybe this is just media dribble but they always say I just do my best and whatever happens happens. I mean isn’t the same put toward the selection procedures, is I’m going to my same job I’ve done every day in the gym, and if they pick me they pick me, if they don’t they don’t. If they’re 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 we’d have more bars girls if that was the case. But I wonder-

JESSICA: No they should know ahead of time. I think that’s the only thing that’s fair is you tell someone listen if you want a realistic shot, and they’ve done this in the past. Martha’s 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 there’s no way, you know. I think it’s 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 I’m sorry gymnast A, there’s no chance you’re ever going to be named to this particular team. You know? So- for the benefit of the girl. I’m just playing devils advocate.

JESSICA: No I hear you. I just feel like it’s better to say, not six months ahead of time but say basically yeah. Here’s where you are right now in the ranking. If you want a spot, you need to get to this place. I feel like that’s a fair and realistic thing. That’s like any college team that’s how they would operate as well. You don’t 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 you’ll have a shot.

SPANNY: Right. But what if there- I mean and let’s not pussyfoot around this. That like there are gymnasts who very well will probably never make those major teams. Ever. Ever ever. We’re just too deep you know. Do you honestly let them just keep going being like sure you’re just competing just for fun. Or do you then have to be open with them being like hey it’s awesome that you’re coming to these meets, we want you to compete. You’re not even in our radar. You’re not on our radar at all. It is in your best interest to not pursue this particular team or goal because it’s never going to happen. And let’s not pretend those girls don’t exist because we all know they do and that’s 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 you’re here’s 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 here’s what to focus on. In the meantime you’re not in this pool of people. And that’s how it is. I don’t think there’s 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 it’s never good enough. I just feel like if they’re like well I had to hit every single handstand and I’ve 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. I’m 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 they’re not put on a team or they deserve to know where they stand. I think that’s only fair.

SPANNY: Yeah that’s fair

JESSICA: Blythe you-

UNCLE TIM: Yeah I agree-

BLYTHE: How do we know that the athletes aren’t getting this?

JESSICA: Well that’s the thing. I mean I think for my talks, some athletes do get it. And others don’t. That’s the thing.

UNCLE TIM: I think also we’re having two different conversations right now. I think on the one hand we’re 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. It’s on Twitter. And I realize these are adults and they have a contract about their health. It’s a different scenario. But I’m just using that as an example. So with the adult athletes that are on the national team, you know. And it doesn’t 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 that’s one of the things Bregman’s doing by coming on the show. That’s a big start in the right direction for that. I know that’s not selection process, but it’s 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 that’s a good thing they’ve been doing. They’ve had the camp videos. We don’t necessarily get to have live footage of the camps. I don’t 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 don’t have a problem with not knowing everything about a selection process. And I think that if the athletes want to know, that’s fine. But it’s also not my business as a fan.

JESSICA: Blythe you’ve 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 they’re 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 I’m 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 heaven’s 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 don’t think it’s necessary to have a live streaming of what’s going on at camp. Because it’s a strategy thing. You know you want to show your hand at critical points before certain big events. The USA’s 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 it’s 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 they’re releasing little teasers of information. Here’s 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, here’s what we’re 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 it’s 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 they’re doing that. But if you’re a different country, maybe you don’t have that strength. Maybe you don’t want to show your hand at all times. And USA Gymnastics has been very strategic about what they put out and what they don’t 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 wouldn’t call it secrecy as much as I would call it strategy. And you know, this is a sport. It’s a game. You’re trying to outwit your opponent. And this is USA Gymnastics’ way of playing the game. And frankly I think it’s 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: We’re going to call that the hot pink strategy.

BLYTHE: The hot pink strategy.

UNCLE TIM: I am a little surprised that we haven’t had more cases of US athletes getting really upset about selections though. I’m 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 didn’t seem like British Gymnastics was too upset about what he said, because this year he’s been included on teams, he’s been at competitions. So it wasn’t like oh you talked to the press and now you’re done. And so it’s interesting to see how perhaps other cultures deal with this as well. We’re 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. I’ve heard that Max just has an incredible head for competition. And you can’t really argue with the results as it was. But of course for Dan it’s absolutely devastating. And the second thing, and I’d 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, what’s considered proper for a woman is conventionally speaking is very different than what’s 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, she’d been called sour grapes, or she’s butt hurt or she’s bitter, just because I don’t 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. She’s in some senses a hero and in some senses a pariah for writing this book that’s just her truth about her experience and what happened. I feel like people are just in this camp against her now. I just totally don’t understand it and I feel like she’s treated that way because she’s 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 we’re not saying….you know we weren’t there. We didn’t 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, we’re 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 you’re 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 that’s 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, I’m just kidding I have no idea update on casting for her movie.

SPANNY: You know, I don’t know much more. It’s just been rumored that she’ll be on Dancing with the Stars either this season or the next, that’s as far as my knowledge goes, that it is a rumor that she’ll be cast. It’d be interesting if they did cast a gymnast three seasons in a row. I’m 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 don’t 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? I’m a middle aged white woman. But you know especially after the Oscars last year, there aren’t 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! They’ll get to play their hero. Anyway, there’s one that really stood out to me. For what it’s worth, her profile is a comparison picture of herself and Gabby, both on bars or both saluting and they are. This girl’s like a preteen if anything. Just the passion was there and it was really cute. So we’ll have a link to it. It’s “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 they’re trying to cast. [Spanny’s cell phone rings]

JESSICA: That’s the agent calling you now to hire you for the casting of this. That girl’s so cute, oh my God! She’s so adorable!

SPANNY: Isn’t she? And I watched her little videos. She’s like I’m 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 they’re 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. I’m telling you, if I was 14 and they were like we want you to play Dominique Moceanu, I would’ve 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. It’s every little girl’s dream, I don’t 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 they’re fun to read and I enjoy it very much. So there’s 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 she’s 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 person’s 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 it’s 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. We’re really excited that there’s 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: It’s on sale for $2.99. That’s what a sale means. Three bucks for a book about gymnastics? It’s kind of the best thing I’ve 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 men’s 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: We’re amazing. Just saying. We’re 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 don’t know, and we named it Paul D. Frog. I’m 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 he’s giving him the smooches so he can turn back into a prince.

SPANNY: That’s right. That’s exactly right, only a matter of time now.

JESSICA: One other thing we want to tell you guys to check out is, I don’t 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 it’s 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. We’ll put a link up to it. Do not miss it!

SPANNY: If you don’t 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 don’t even know. You probably weren’t even born yet. But these leotards and socks and hair and scrunchies, it’s 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 don’t know if we mentioned it on the show but Jenni Pinches, who is our fantastic, she’s ours. I would just like to say she’s ours. We’re claiming her. She’s been on the show before. She’s an Olympian for Britain and she’s 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 it’s so freaking fantastic. I love it. If you like puzzle games, that’s the kind of game it is. Download it. It’s fabulous and I’m totally stoked. The game fits her personality. So if you like the stuff that she was into, if you’re a Nerdfighter, what I’m 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 can’t 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 can’t do it like she says it but

JESSICA: Uncle Tim?

UNCLE TIM: I can’t do it. I’m just going to tell you what I loved about her.

JESSICA: Fine! Don’t play our game!

SPANNY: Hey I did it!

JESSICA: Everyone will judge you.

UNCLE TIM: That’s fine. I loved her bangs back in the day and I’m kind of sad that they’re gone. But seriously though, she didn’t 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 I’m going to say. I love that she’s a woman, a real woman doing gymnastics. Was that a British accent? Or was that like Italian?

BLYTHE: That was very majestic.

SPANNY: Classy!

BLYTHE: Upstairs Downton Abbey

JESSICA: Perfect! That’s 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 we’ve 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. Don’t 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 haven’t seen it, I’m not going to describe it to you, that’s impressive. That’s not easy. And also number four, not to mention the foot control needed to not fall over onto your face as you twerk, that’s 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 isn’t so much about her as her theme song, Blurred Lines could also represent Anna Li’s ability to line judge. That had to be in there.

JESSICA: The flag’s up. The flag’s down. The flag’s out. I’m 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 it’s 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, that’s so going to happen. And Uncle Tim has prepared a very special surprise for us this week. I’m so excited. So Uncle Tim, tell us all about it. We’re 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.



UNCLE TIM: Oh just wait.

SPANNY: For the younger listeners, I just want to make sure they know what a haiku is.

UNCLE TIM: It’s a poem of five syllables, seven syllables and five syllables. So we’re going to start with Blythe.

Blythe, carefree, jaunty.

That’s 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.

Jessica’s wheezing



Jessica’s wheezing.

Is there anyone who loves to laugh more than she?

End of Haiku

Finally Spanny.

Spanny, queen of snark.

Please teach your son pommel horse.

ASAP Thanks.

So those are your haikus.

JESSICA: Fabulous, I love them! I’ve 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, it’s called Gymnastics Confessions. Full disclosure: I don’t know if these people are being real or not or if they’re supposed to be funny. But I think it’s hilarious. That said:

There’s a regal elegance to every single one of Aliya Mustafina’s movements that literally no other gymnast has had in the past three quads. There’s 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: That’s a serious confession. Grumpus likes it.

SPANNY: This one

The entire Japanese MAG team needs to get a hair stylist who doesn’t 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, I’m going to roll my eyes too hard and I’m going to go blind.

SPANNY: I don’t know why you read that.

JESSICA: Because it’s so Tumblr! It’s 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 don’t get it.

JESSICA: It’s such a gymnastics fan thing to do. And it’s 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 won’t 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?

BLYTHE: backhandspringlayoutlayoutlayout

SPANNY: Go to YouTube. What’s 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. 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. Right that’s 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. He’s perfect. Even if he doesn’t do a perfect stag jump, it doesn’t matter because he’s Nemov. On my site this week, I have a story up from boston.com. It’s 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 it’s so fun that I’ve 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. They’re 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 gymcastic@gmail.com. You can call us at 415-800-3191 or on Skype if you’re 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, I’m Jessica from masters-gymnastics.com.

BLYTHE: Blythe Lawrence from The Gymnastics Examiner

SPANNY: Spanny Tampson from Spanny’s Big Fake Smile

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