MARCELINE: And so really its not uncommon to see in their 30s performing high acrobatic acts. And its pretty impressive when you really get to see oh my god theyve been doing it for 15, 20. I mean we did have an acro sport mixed pair flyer in really late 30s, early 40s. And we have some catchers that were well in their 40s.
[EXPRESS YOURSELF INTRO MUSIC]
JESSICA: This week, the winter meet rosters, Ohashi is POd, and what its like to be a recruiter for Cirque. Dream job!
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 in behalf of Elite Sportz Band. Visit elitesportzband.com. Weve got your back.
JESSICA: This is episode 59 for November 13, 2013. Im Jessica from masters-gymnastics
UNCLE TIM: Im Uncle Tim from Uncle Tim Talks Mens Gym
EVAN: And Im Evan Heiter from the gymternet
JESSICA: This is the number one gymnastics podcast in the world, bringing you all the news from around the gymternet. So lets start with, Evan Im so glad youre joining us again.
EVAN: Im back!
JESSICA: Where are you these days? Are you in super Atlanta?
EVAN: I am. Im reppin the dirty south in the ATL and putting up a bunch of letters with my hands right now.
JESSICA: [LAUGHS] Fantastic
EVAN: It takes up the majority of my day, but Im liking it.
JESSICA: [LAUGHS] So Uncle Tim, tell us whats happening. We had Charlotte Drury on last week. And oh my god dont you guys think- I thought she was an amazing ambassador for the sport. So well spoke. So passionate. So excited. Such a message. Uncle Tim what did you think about her?
UNCLE TIM: I actually really liked listening to the interview last week. I wasnt on the call when you guys talked to her, and I thought she was probably one of the more entertaining 17 year olds that Ive ever heard speak. 17 year old gymnasts I should say, speak. It was quite good.
JESSICA: So howd she do at trampoline and tumbling Worlds?
UNCLE TIM: She did pretty darn well for it being her first World Championships. She got 7th in the synchro finals, and then she got 12th in semi finals for individual tramp. And she was the second alternate going into semi finals. And Jess, how do you feel about that? I know you have many thoughts.
JESSICA: Well you know I like what ifs, of course. Thats like my favorite thing. So Im just saying she was the second alternate. But if a bunch of people crapped the bed in finals, which is a fantastic trampoline pun and I would like to pause here for everyone to acknowledge how fantastic that was. And I dont know whatever they got like 50s whereas the winner got a 56 and Charlotte got a 53 something. And so Im just saying had she been in the competition, she wouldve placed like 6th because shes super consistent like her buddy Kyla Ross. And I think this is just its proves that she totally has the scores to be in finals. And so it bodes well for her. Im saying Rio, serious possibility. Thats what I think.
UNCLE TIM: She was super popular. Everyone wanted to take a picture with her at the competition. All the famous British gymnasts and everything. Everyone was taking pictures with her. I was quite impressed.
JESSICA: Yeah she was extremely popular, which Im pretty stoked to see that because I think shes a great ambassador. I think if someones going to put trampoline on the map, this is the girl. So. Stoked. So lets talk about the US roster for the winter meets that are coming up. Lets talk about all the rosters. First of all we have the Mexican Open coming up. This is super- I would just really like to go to this meet because first of all, its in Acapulco which is like eh. But its at the Fairmont. And the Fairmont Hotel is one of my favorite hotels in the entire world. I would like to live in a Fairmont hotel just like- whats the name of the little girl that lived in the, she had the book written about her. New York. Famous. Totally blanking on it. Anyone? Eloise! Like Eloise. I would like to live in a Fairmont like Eloise and have a turtle that I walk on a leash. So have you guys not read Eloise?
EVAN: No I missed that
UNCLE TIM: No but my neighbor has a-
JESSICA: The movies to not do- no. Its not the same at all. She does good and all this crap in the movie, which is bull. Like Eloise was actually written by this female performer who was like a total brat and so she wrote about her she would be if she was a kid. And its all about just tearing up the place and harassing her nanny and harassing the people that live- she lives there because shes super rich and her family pays no attention to her. So. She is just a terror in the hotel. And its just excellent. Orders room service at all hours, refuses to take a bath, colors on the walls. I mean everyone has to read Eloise. The original book. Not that Disney-fied crap. So anyway. Enough about me aspiring to be Eloise. The Fairmont. Fantastic hotel. Like if youre going to pick the best place ever to have a gymnastics meet, Fairmont Hotel. Podkopayeva is going to be doing a clinic there with Mister Yesso himself. Yesso! I should say it like that. Yin Alvarez. Chusovitina and her sidekick Svetlana Boginskaya are going to be there. Chusovitinas competing. Its just oh, it looks so awesome and so super fun. So the roster international roster is Jade Barbosa, Afanasyeva is going to be competing, Josh Dixon, well finally get to see him in an international meet, Im so excited about this. Because he didnt make the national team this year right?
UNCLE TIM: He was added later.
JESSICA: Oh thats why. Awesome. Because I was like they just recognized his fabulousness and they put him on because he has beautiful form. Oh thats exciting. So hes competing. And then for the US junior we have Bailey Key, Lauren Hernandez, Amelia Hundley, and Nia Dennis which is fierce. Theyre going to wipe the field. I mean those four, forget about it. I was kind of surprised that Norah Flately isnt competing though. What do you guys think of that?
EVAN: I think theyre giving her some time. You know shes one of those, I mean this crop of juniors that are competing, theyre basically seniors for lack of age if not anything else. So the skills theyre competing right now, they need to get out there and get that international experience. Norah, theres time for you, dont worry.
JESSICA: This is true.
UNCLE TIM: Yeah I think they just took the top four all arounders from Nationals too. In that order. Bailey, Lauren, Amelia, then Nia. So that seems to be the logic behind that decision.
JESSICA: So International Gymnast originally reported Elizabeth Price or Ebee as shes known as was going to go to the Mexican Open and to the Stuttgart Cup, but then of course realized that shes not in fact going to the Mexican Open because those meets overlap. So Ebee is not going. So now theres two US senior spots that are open for the Mexican Open. And they have not been named yet. So the question is, and our listeners wanted to know, who should the US pick from the seniors to go to that meet? So Evan, Ill start with you.
EVAN: I am a big proponent of Abigail Milliet. As much of a meltdown as she had this year at P&G, I think shes beautiful and she brings a ton of great skills to USA Gymnastics. And I think she needs to be tested. Unfortunately a lot of times in domestic meets, there can be overshadowing of other athletes and more storylines. So I think maybe sending her to a smaller event like this one would bode really well for her confidence. And I enjoy her balance beam tremendously. Shes great on bars as well. Do we know if Madison Kocian is better? I dont know?
JESSICA: I dont
UNCLE TIM: I dont either
EVAN: Well if she is, Im willing that to happen, and I would love to see her compete too. I think shes going to be a goddess for UCLA. Like the second coming of Yvonne Tousek for them. So if we can see more of her, of course being healthy, I would love to see her out there. Otherwise, theres still a ton of viable options. Im going to go with Maggie Nichols. Shes been to a few international meets before, so looking at her, I wouldnt be surprised if we see her down there.
JESSICA: Uncle Tim, what do you think?
UNCLE TIM: Well, Marthas attitude is always you want the gymnasts to be on the podium. It doesnt matter if they win, but you need someone to keep up with Afanasyeva and Roxana Popa of Spain. And Im guessing that they might send Peyton Ernst. She finished third at was it third at US- third or fourth at US Nationals. And theyre also sending Kim Zmeskal so you might as well send the Kim Zmeskal and the entire Texas Dream litter while youre doing it.
JESSICA: [LAUGHS] litter!
UNCLE TIM: Might as well send them all.
JESSICA: [LAUGHS] the littler like shes like the mama bear? Cat?
UNCLE TIM: Exactly.
UNCLE TIM: Bring her little babies along
JESSICA: I agree I mean I think top of my list first of all- can you guess whos top of my list?
UNCLE TIM: Kennedy Baker
JESSICA: Of course. Because first of all Kennedy Bakers going to go down there and smack everybody in the face with her Patterson. And thats how it should be done. You should go to a meet like this and you should smack everyone in the face with your fantastic skills. Just being really good and blowing everyone away. No no no. We need to set fireworks off on one of the events. So obviously, Kennedy Baker and her Patteson should go to this meet. Peyton Ernst definitely should go. She deserves it. And I think her placement and her consistency- she had minor problems, minor. I mean compared to all the wobbly routines from the Russians, Im not worried about Peyton Ernst. Then I have as my alternate if those two want to go, Abigail Milliet. Shes beautiful. I totally agree with Evan. Shes just fantastic. So I would love to see her because she is like the- she would be the complement to Laurie Hernandez I think in the artistry realm. Really bring to show the world that we havent forgotten it is in fact called artistic gymnastics. So. But well see what happens. I mean do you guys think its too late now since they had two people just say they werent going to go, that it might not happen? They might not find two seniors who are ready to compete in a couple weeks?
EVAN: Well I think in the wake of Brenna declining and going or choosing not to take whatever [inaudible] were offered to her, I think will probably send out the message that if it wasnt already broadcast loud and clear, you need to be ready whenever, wherever, as Shakira said. And [LAUGHS] just be at Marthas beckon call. Truth be told, the Olympics arent next year. So when are you going to prove yourself? How are you going to get these opportunities? You need to seize whatever you can take.
JESSICA: Uncle Tim what do you think?
UNCLE TIM: I could see them not sending anyone. International Gymnast updated their webpage and its only one spot designated to America. I could totally see them not sending anyone, just because if no ones ready and no one looks like theyre going to be on the podium, I think Martha might say no, no ones going, too bad so sad. And thats that. And will focus on winning medals at Stuttgart and Glasgow.
JESSICA: Ugh I hate that strategy. So lets talk about Stuttgart. What comes first, Stuttgart or Glasgow? Stuttgarts first?
UNCLE TIM: Stuttgart, yeah.
JESSICA: Ok. Lets discuss.
UNCLE TIM: Its the same weekend as the Mexican Open. And basically my question for you guys is who do you thinks going to win? So Im going to list off the competitors on the womens side first. So lets go with the women are Carlotta Ferlito, Vanessa Ferrari, Ruby Harrold, Larisa Iordache, Elizabeth Price, Elizabeth Seitz, Guilia Steingruber, and Briannah Tsang from Canada. Aliya Mustafina was originally slated to compete but she withdrew. So who do you guys think is going to win? Lets start with you Jessica.
JESSICA: Ok. Well Ruby Harrolds obviously going to win bars and everyones hearts. I think that probably its going to be Price and Ferrari. Theyre going to be 1-2, 2-1. Theyre going to be at the top for the women. Then Im going to vote for my favorites in the mens department. Im going to say that John Orozco and Daniel Purvis are going to clean up, win everything. You never know. Orozco could be totally ready. He could have learned a totally different technique. Or he could be embodied by someone else. Legendre could take over his body when he does a takeoff then he could take over again on the landing and he could just be a whole new person on vault. Purvis though, hes coming up.
UNCLE TIM: You read to much sci fi lately. Watched Freaky Friday or whatever that movie is.
JESSICA: Oh my god Ive been watching Long Island Medium and The Witches of East End and all these shows. And Im rereading The Hunger Games. Its too much. Im just you know. But a girl can dream. Lets just say that. So yeah.
UNCLE TIM: So on the mens side the list is Fabian Hambuchen, Sergio Sasaki, Daniel Purvis, Andrei Lichovisky, Fabian Gonzalez of Spain, John Orozco, and Oleg Verniaiev. What about you Evan? Who do you thinks going to win the womens and the mens all around titles?
EVAN: So I feel like Iordache is kind of coming into her own. As long as shes been around and as highly touted as shes been, I feel like now shes kind of riding the wave of alright, I have all these skills, I have kind of that swagger going on, and I think shes really the next wave of the top of Romanian gymnastics. I think Ebees still coming back. Obviously shes healthy enough to be out there competing. But you know its not last year. So Im going to give Iordache a little bit of an edge over Ebee this time around. But Id love to see Ebee come out and compete and just bring it back. On the mens side I would say Sasaki. Hes a really consistent all arounder. And I think his consistency is going to be key at this point. Like I said before, the Olympics arent next year. So people are probably going to be trying some new stuff. In terms of Orozco I think its great hes back out there, hes going to be competing, hes competing all around correct? Only all around. So hes back out there on everything.
UNCLE TIM: Mhmm. Jess Im surprised you didnt choose Fabian. I know how much you like those hugs.
JESSICA: I do. But I can watch him hug everybody. So I will win either way. Itll happen. So its all good.
UNCLE TIM: Ok. Im going to go with Elizabeth Price, just because I wanted her to win something this year for a long time. So Im just going to go with people I want to win, no matter what my mind tells me. And then Im going to go with Oleg Verniaiev just because I want him to win something as well. Itll probably be a disaster. Hell probably fall five times. But I will keep supporting him and his pointed toes till I die.
JESSICA: So speaking of the Eastern bloc, Romania. So there was a report by Bea, who you guys might remember. She was on the show during Worlds when we did our little mini-sodes. She writes for The Couch Gymnast and covers Romania. And she put up breaking news that I mean as usual, Bitang and Bellu, the head coaches for Romania have left the national training center. And theyre in contact about their demands with the Romanian Gymnastics Federation. So I feel like this is what they do every couple years. They leave, they wait somewhere in the sunshine sipping mimosas till their demands are met, and then they return to save Romanian gymnastics. So its like breaking news, but seriously this happens all the time. I dont know. I just- is anything ever going to change there? I mean the report says that they realize that Romanian gymnastics doesnt have any depth anymore and they really need to restructure the whole system and thats kind of the part of the contract theyre waiting on. But I dont know. What do you guys think?
EVAN: First of all, it sounds like the village of Deva needs to get together at dusk, have a processional with plastic cups around candles and like lead Carmen Ionescu and Claudia Presecan into a cathedral. They all need to kiss a crucifix. Then things will be better. That worked for them back in the day. Cant we go back to these festivals? Rather than lifting demands. I dont know, thats the Romania I have in my mind. I know that its become so much more sensationalized and commercialized, but I just want them to be having late night parades.
UNCLE TIM: I dont know how to respond to that.
JESSICA: You just want to put a handkerchief over your head and tie it under your chin.
EVAN: You could agree.
UNCLE TIM: But wasnt that fluff piece of something completely else? Some festival unrelated to gymnastics, even though they made it look like it was related to gymnastics?
EVAN: Does anything else happen in Deva?
UNCLE TIM: I dont know, Ive never been there so I wouldnt know. But in terms of the sensationalism, I think the title of the Couch Gymnast post was a little on the sensationalized side of things, just because its like ok theyre not there, but from the sounds of it doesnt really sound like theyre leaving. And theres an update on the Couch Gymnast news page. And it basically said I have not gone anywhere. So theyre just really taking a vacation, which they probably deserve. Theyre getting up there in years and its not easy to train all these young little girls anymore. And yeah I think they deserve a little break.
EVAN: Do you think theres an FWB situation going on? Theres a little Bitang is Bellus side piece and theyre just they go off on their jaunts together?
JESSICA: Arent they married?
EVAN: Are they?
JESSICA: I have no idea [LAUGHS] I always thought they were just because theyre an inseparable pair.
EVAN: Ive never heard that
JESSICA: I just assumed. I really have no idea.
EVAN: Maybe thats what the festival was about. A wedding!
JESSICA: [LAUGHS] Were going to have to ask Bea and get to the bottom of this.
UNCLE TIM: According to Wikipedia they did get married.
UNCLE TIM: In 2008
JESSICA: They just got married in 2008?! So it was a scandalous affair for years!
EVAN: Yeah this was [inaudible] coming full force in terms of a wedding.
JESSICA: This weeks interview from Marceline Goldstein is brought to you by Tumbl Trak. In honor of a circus-related interview, lets talk about slacklines. Theyre like a tightrope but about a thousand times bouncier and super wiggly. Theyre also flat, so they dont hurt your feet as much as a tightrope. Tightropes are ouchy. As we know, nobody likes to do conditioning. But, everyone likes to try to walk the plank over an alligator-filled pit. This is where the slacklines comes in. Slacklines are fantastic for developing core strength, balance, and confidence. Whats even better, they are portable and easy to set up. So your alligator-filled pit can be in a new place each week. Check out the slacklines at tumbltrak.com. Thats tumbltrak.com.
JESSICA: Marceline Goldstein began her career in trampoline and represented Canada at the senior national level. She actually started going to a circus trampoline school when she was 11 and started doing shows at the age of 13. After she was done with her competitive sports career, she toured Korea, Europe, New Zealand, and Singapore doing special events and festivals doing trampoline. She was also- this is crazy. She was the national director for the hip hop group Culture Shock in Canada. If you guys love Jabbawockeez, you would love Culture Shock. Theyre amazing. Im just so impressed with that because Culture Shock is the Cirque du Soleil of hip hop as far as Im concerned. I love them. She is a senior acrobatic talent scout at Cirque du Soleil and shes here to tell us all about what its like to do her job and how she picks people who will fit well and advises them on being in Cirque du Soleil. This interview was recorded at the NCAA Championships in April 2013.
JESSICA: What if you have someone whos like- theres been some great elite gymnasts or great, Im thinking Kristina Baskett who was absolutely amazing. But as an elite, she could not hit to save her life because she was doing stuff that was way too hard. And then when she got to college, she was amazing. But had she gone to you or had you seen her, she was just incredible but could not hit. If its someone whos like that whos amazing but is not consistent in competition, is that something that worries you?
MARCELINE: Occasionally, but its a very very different context. And you have a lot of support so not all the pressure is on your shoulders. Youve got a lot a group of physiotherapists and coaches and even artists that are around you to help you succeed. And its not all about you. And sometimes its maybe the fact theyre in a character that they can succeed and its not all the pressure on them. So its something I would look at if theyre never performing, but definitely I wouldnt only focus on that. Because the true desire to want to learn and be on stage and really have that experience with Cirque is more important than what youre doing in competition. And also we all know people that crack under pressure, being specifically competition pressure. And I can relate to being one of those that either did phenomenally well or phenomenally terrible. So I was actually a very consistent athlete any time in training, any time in shows. But in that moment there was always something that was either way and those were amazing or not. But its not my only focus.
JESSICA: So totally sounds like you really understand the difference between performing and competing. I feel like theyre totally different. Because performing you have the ability to cover your mistakes, the ability to make a change on the fly, the ability to create as I like to call it its an opportunity for comedy sometimes if something happens so that people shouldnt worry so much if theyre not- if they havent hit every single routine.
MARCELINE: No not at all, not at all. And I think the opposite sometimes I think an Olympic champion who has gold, its not really their focus to be within the group and share. They want the spotlight. And its totally the opposite at Cirque. Youre sharing it whether you want to or not. And its not your show. Its really 60 people plus techs, plus everyone behind stage thats really helping making it happen. So you cant expect all the limelight on you. A lot of the other skills come into play a lot more. And also competition youre never doing your maximum. Youre trying to just hit once. And at Cirque its going to be 470 shows a year so its really not at your maximum and trying to maintain that level and mainly stay healthy in the show.
JESSICA: And that perfectly goes with my next question which is kind of if someone has their own- how do I phrase this. Sometimes I wonder if people go into Cirque thinking Im going to be the centerpiece of this show and it will be created around my magnificence. And I feel like there are some people who maybe do something so incredibly unique, like Im thinking of theres the Chinese act who does the ballet on the light bulbs. Something that youve just never seen before that maybe yes. Because youre the only one in the world that does this, yeah thats a possibility. But do you ever go into it with that- do you ever recruit someone based on one single thing you know is going to be in the show?
MARCELINE: Sure we have a lot of acts in our shows that are called guest acts. And if you want to think of the show that had the ballet on lights, thats Dralion, Victor Key was in it. So hes a juggler. He was kind of the main juggling act in Dralion and a big attraction from the show. So now hes in Amaluna, which is another touring show thats going to be making their way around the states. And hes a world renowned juggler and really great mover so he offers something unique in the show. Hes a main character and does a lot throughout the show, but hed be considered whats a guest act at Cirque. So thats something thats probably a very high level, wouldve reached a lot of different prizes in different competitions really featuring circus acts. And so we do hire people based on those skills. But as far as athletes are concerned, often not because they have to learn a whole bunch of things to even integrate it into the show from acting, dancing, moving, because theyve been trained for a certain movement thats really correlated to sport. And theres other skills they need to compliment in order to do an act in Cirque. So a little bit of a different way that we recruit in sport than in circus.
JESSICA: Has there ever been a situation where Im thinking about Isabelle Severino who went- she competed at the top level, then she went to Cirque, then she went back to top level competition. Do you ever have anybody whos gone back and forth? Whos been like Im done with sport then they do Cirque then maybe their federation needs them to save does that just happen? We need you to compete again to save our funding?
MARCELINE: I mean in the USA and tumbling world championships we had an artist from La Nouba, a tumbler joined the American team. And she was phenomenal. She was in great shape and really was a great-
JESSICA: Is this the one whos like 26 or something?
MARCELINE: Yeah, yeah. So thats a similar story to that. We dont often have them come in and out. Often once they go to Cirque theres a lot of examples. People are I wish I did this sooner, or its really everything that compliments what I did before and its where they want to be. Often even I can say from knowing people I can say this person wont from communication last year so often Ill have an artist come back to me and say thanks for guiding me in that direction. But its definitely done very respectful which like I mentioned. But often when athletes do come to Cirque theyre definitely happy to be there for a variety of different reason from stability, where they are in life, theyve already passed through sport and that system and theyre ready to move onto something new. And the first years youre in Cirque youre learning a lot. How does this system work? What do I have to do in this show? Whats the balance around that? Because its very different when youre an athlete and youre doing your own thing versus youre doing a career. So whats your life transforming into and I think thats normal for any collegiate student after university or college life.
JESSICA: I always wonder if theres anything that for clues in athlete right away. Like that you cant theyre excluded, they cant compete, like an injury thats just youve had- or does it totally depend on what theyre doing to do in the show?
MARCELINE: It does depend what theyre doing to do. Everyone who comes through Cirque does go through a medical before they go on a show so they do need to pass that. There is a wear and tear in sport that is normal and it happens in Cirque as well. And so they have adjusted guidelines. It also depends on the job theyll be doing. So if someones a flyer theyre not so much on their legs. And if any kind of athlete has done a really good job on rehab and is back to 100% and full range of motion, everything, there really isnt too much of a limit. So as long as they pass that, theyre all fine. Weve only had some random cases where people showed up in a cast without mentioning it. So obviously they could not do the job. But theres not really anything that excludes someone to being able to do anything.
JESSICA: Cool. I have to ask this, and we mentioned the tumbler from La Nouba who was on the-
JESSICA: Marina yes thats right. Because I did a profile on my- I have another site, masters-gymnastics, its all about adult gymnastics. And I write a lot of profile on older gymnasts. A lot of people think you cant do gymnastics or do sport when youre not- when youre over a certain age.
MARCELINE: You have to look at the 86 year old in Germany or like in Japan actually whats awesome is I do work with a casting partner in Japan. [inaudible]. And Ive gone over a couple times. And at their different non student championships they have different divisions. And whats amazing is they have seniors, still doing giants, I think one even did a tkachev. And so it was a standing ovation and I think thats something thats remarkable about that country. Its like how can we spread that so that even after college gymnastics or even if youre just doing a rec program you stay active. You stay involved. And thats something in some countries, Japan does a great job. Also Denmark has a lot of participation in gymnastics. So how can we spread that. And even us and health and wellness spread it. Although Cirque does recruit a certain high level for our show specifically, but really to encourage that whole lifestyle and everything because its beneficial to all.
JESSICA: Yes exactly. I wholeheartedly agree. So in that vein, I wanted to ask. You guys have a show in Zumanity, there are two athletes whove got to be 60s or 70s. Theyre rollerskating. I dont want to give it away. Am I allowed to say that? Oh my god. Am I giving away the whole show?
MARCELINE: No no no no no no. People will forget anyway, theres a lot of shows in Vegas to see.
JESSICA: Ok yeah. When they came out on stage I just about fainted. And its super acrobatic what they do. And especially for their age. So did you recruit them?
MARCELINE: I personally did not. But theres a lot of really great talent. I think one of the things in Cirque thats amazing is that theyre not all 20. So although there are some going on the arena tours that are a little bit younger, party because of the lifestyle. They want to see the world and thats also the nature of an arena tour. Theres a lot of quite older ones that are sometimes with the company 15, 30 years and I think thats something thats really inspiring is even if you apply and you dont get in your first try or you dont pass an audition, theres often feedback given so you can try again. And also once you are in, its not just for one or two years. Ideally its for a long time. So its not uncommon for catchers do their roles for 15, 20 years and really be excellent at it and not break down just because theres certain maintenance. And a sidebar to that is Cirque really has a low percentage of injuries. So theres a lot of back stage coaches and physical trainers that really keep things in check and keep athletes in the top of their shape so they can go on stage day in and day out. And so really its not uncommon to see in their 30s performing high acrobatic acts and its pretty impressive when you really get to see oh my god theyve been doing it for 15, 20 years and theyre still doing it. And theyre healthier and in amazing shape. So.
JESSICA: That reminds me too that whats so back to that age thing. Whats the oldest athlete youve ever recruited?
MARCELINE: Oldest athlete, good question. I mean we did have an acro sport mixed pair flyer in early, late 30s early 40s. And we had some catchers that were well in their 40s. But with a lot of experience so they come in really solid in their skill. And thats something thats really important. As a catcher you want someone whos responsible, mature, really is there and has that vision. Not someone whos young and distracted or too motivated to show their own skills that theyre not taking care of the safety of the other ones. So thats something when youre in an audition you try to get to know the people to see those skills that are not so concrete and technical but really soft skills. And thats one of the reason our auditions are so important. Its really the time with the person. Because anyone can send in a demo. And its not uncommon to be recruited only by the demo. But our auditions really are a long full day with a lot of different challenges, artistic and other, to get to know what the person is all about. And for surprises too. Because its not uncommon people not to put their full skills on a demo and to explore in a day and you learn theyre also this and this and this. And even when theyre in their 40s thats great their skill, but a great mover could be a potential for Cirque. It just depends on the fit and the needs of the company and what theyre able to do.
JESSICA: I mean everybody has a different training circumstance but for a lot of elite athletes, and especially depending on the country that theyve come from, they might have had a really difficult training situation. And it might not be till they are free of that training situation that theyre able to deal with the issues that happened to them. So you might have someone who quits their career then they have an eating disorder they have to deal with. Or they turn to alcohol or drugs because of to deal with now that theyre away from the situation. Do you guys have any kind of programs to support athletes who might be facing those kinds of problems when they come to Cirque?
MARCELINE: Yeah we do have sports psychologists that are on staff. And they have a lot of experience dealing with high level athletes and high levels of pressure. And also nutritionists, athletic therapists, and really theres quite a bit of support staff to help people if they have any issues that are either theyre coming with or develop along the way. So thats something I think is part of what even brought me to Cirque is the support staff because you see the coaching expertise is there that accompanies them. Not just in the studio but on the show as well. And the higher level really of management thats there that ensures people are happy and healthy to be able to perform. So with everything thats there, the sports psychologists that are understanding that on a Russian bar its not maybe something youve ever done before and youre going to be doing a triple with these two guys that need to catch you on a thin bar, there may be a certain level of stress and theres certain exercises and things you can do because you have the technical expertise to do it. Its just getting to that skill and feeling confident that you can do it day in and day out. So they definitely accompany along and its something really nice to see. Same if someone gets an injury theres a really solid program to help people get back to 100% and back in the show so theyre back doing what they were doing and moving on with the life they had before.
JESSICA: And so you talked about ethics in sport and maintaining good relationships with sport. And this is one of the things thats really fascinating to me is you guys have a great relationship with the FIG and you just released your art in sport videos which I love. And I loved seeing the emphasis on that. I was like yes yes everyone pay attention, this is how its supposed to be, artistic gymnastics. Its not gymnastics, its artistic gymnastics. So thats how I feel about that. But one of the things thats really interesting is how you can recruit out of sport but maintain that relationship. So how do you do it when you see someone youre interested in or maybe they come to you but maybe theyre not done with their career yet. Like how do you negotiate that say their country still wants them to compete but maybe theyre ready to be done and I can see that being a difficult situation in that.
MARCELINE: Definitely, definitely. And if you look at all over the world, I can take artistic gymnastics in each country theres a different set of rules and a governing body that operates in different ways. Russia is very different than Canada for example. And what draws gymnasts to stay in sport are very different things. So what casting and Cirque has done is really put out a big transparency to the federations, to coaches, and to athletes in how we recruit in what were looking for and the criteria. So whats most important is when we talk often well have an athlete just apply online is to get the conversation going with their coach, with their federation, so everything is very transparent and out in the open from the athletes wish to the message that we send. So its not uncommon to have everyone around a table sometimes at a competition. When we attend a competition for example me being here, Im very respectful and distant to the competitors. This is their last big meet of their career in college gymnastics. So its their moment. And I talk mostly to their coaches. And we have quite a few NCAA female gymnasts come to Cirque in the past few years and thats because the strong relationship with the coaches. So really our goal is while athletes are in sport to inform them what its all about because again its not for everyone and really help guide them. If its something theyre interested in, heres the timing they should apply. Which is often before they retire. So to think and also with their coaches involved in that communication they can say this athletes more suited to Cirque and might guide them even to that direction. Or this one not at all, theyre interested more in books and pursuing a traditional life or not Cirque performance after. Youll see on floor some of them that shine are really great for Cirque because they love to put it out there and gymnastics is their passion. And often after college gymnastics theyre not sure where to go. So thats a specific situation. And different countries you have different ways you operate because there are different laws and rules within the system. So its kind of a touchy subject but for us transparency has been the most important thing keeping everyone in the loop. Also theres lots of people that are vying for a position at Cirque so theres no one person that we need to take at any given time and putting out that message and making it very clear is something the companys done. And its been really good for them because it keeps a certain trust in the community. And also even as far as laying grassroots and different sports to keep them alive to keep them motivated and often well show videos of the athletes at Cirque to motivate youngsters to stay in sport. Because its kind of that ongoing relationship with the federations. If they have good number of gymnasts and then eventually get to elite they may be interested in Cirque after. Maybe not but definitely theres a codependent relationship.
JESSICA: And do you have like you mentioned helping some of the teams struggling financially right now. Like Ukraine is one theyre kind of bankrupt and theyve sent athletes home and we on our show were talking about how we should start a fundraising campaign. Like if one of our favorites shaves his head and gets a mohawk then for every time he appears in a meet with a mohawk everyone donates $5 or something. So were very concerned about this on the show. We talk a lot about international listeners. So can you give an example of a way where that symbiotic relationship has worked and where maybe youve helped out in a situation where a federation or a specific gym or something was struggling?
MARCELINE: Sure. Whats also challenges a lot of people do request Cirques help because it is an international platform. And theres a lot of different ways they do it from a financial donation to different relationships in federations to even implanting a coach even in a place to help them bring the level up. Or even in acrosport for example theyve done a lot of grassroots program because we saw it becoming a little more extinct and it was something really important not only for Cirques survival but also for that sport to survive. So we see it a little bit in tumbling and right now we do have a conversation with them on things they can do because we are a very in tune to whats going on outside and we do see different things that are possibility that sometimes when youre there you may not see. So really a lot of the conversation we have is whats in the best interest, whats also fair, because we dont want to favor one over another. And whats the best way to stimulate the sport because sometimes it can be to a specific area or coach or supporting a federation by perhaps donating a power trak. Its been done before. Or different expertise that even within the company. And sometimes its easy as motivating the youngsters to stay in sport because theyre kind of not sure what they want to do. And theyre almost at that elite level and distracted by things going on. And eventually want to come to Cirque but we tell them stay a couple more years then youll have a better chance than right now where youre not at that level yet.
JESSICA: Right. I love that you mention acrosport because its so cool. Growing up I didnt even know that was a sport.
MARCELINE: Its awesome
JESSICA: I wouldve totally stayed in gymnastics forever if I had known that was a sport.
MARCELINE: And we have like here part of my present also to help organize, we have a surprise for Sundays opening ceremonies. So there might be a little Cirque in that final. So definitely keep your eyes open especially if you like acrosport because theres a lot of home grown talent thats really phenomenal in the state.
JESSICA: Yeah. Oh thats so exciting, people are going to love that. Thats the end of my formal questions for you. Is there anything else you want to add or anything you think people should know?
MARCELINE: I mean whats interesting is still in this time of where the economy is a little more unstable I think whats great to see about Cirque si they have the Cirque du Mont program thats still going on where they do circus in underprivileged communities. So theres a lot of those different programs going on in focus. So theres some in South America, and all over the world. So I think thats something thats still interesting and held to heart in the company. Not just shows and making a profit. But really helping out underprivileged communities and seeing what they can do with the skills that are there. So thats something they hold to heart. Then also theres the One Drop program which is to give healthy water all over the world. And thats something Gee the owner holds to heart. And theres quite a bit of efforts there. And I think thats something. You can check out online on the website at cirquedusoleil.com and theres a lot of really interesting information that shows even in a time where there may be some struggles here and there, theres still an important message of helping people out and helping the world and being present that I think is something really remarkable in any given company. So definitely check that out. Then you can also look online. Theres a ton of information on cirquedusoleil.com/jobs. Theres tons of videos on the acts if youre interested in ever joining. Or seeing what gymnastics can bring you to and coming in contact with any one of the scouts or audition schedule. Theres tons of information. You can be all day on that site. And take in a lot.
JESSICA: Now lets talk about the gymternet news. First, Katelyn Ohashi got pretty pissed. And she posted a little note on Instagram. She basically tells everybody to back off. So this is what she said. There are many different rumors going around and I dont know where the information has come from. I understand that I havent competed in a while but injuries happen and it doesnt stop people from their goals. Ive not said or decided anything. So I dont know where people have got their assumptions from. So I would appreciate it if they stopped. Mhmm. So. What assumptions do think shes talking about and did something happen to trigger this? Did someone post something like shes going back to level 7 that really pissed her off?
UNCLE TIM: I dont know that anyone posted anything. Im assuming its the talk about her dropping down to level 10. Thats a rumor thats been going around for quite some time. The other rumor, again I have no confirmation of any of this, but its a rumor. People are saying that Valeri has stopped coaching her and so Im assuming thats what shes talking about.
JESSICA: Interesting. Well you know how I love when people say exactly what theyre thinking. So I appreciate that she put it out there and was like, you dont know whats going on so shh it. So I like that. Another reason to love her, and her crazy comedy Vine videos. In other fantastic fantasy gymnastics dreams coming true unicorns and rainbows, Nastia posted photos of her and Travis Wall, THE Travis Wall doing choreography for her for the Gymnastics and Skating Spectacular on NBC January 5. Tune in because its going to be the best one ever because I dont know if you just heard me but I said Travis Wall choreography. Yes! Oh my God! Is anyone else as excited about this as I am? Did this thing just get a thousand times better than its ever been in the history of it ever happening?
EVAN: It looks pretty good from what I saw. I mean obviously, theyre two mega powers of gymnastics and dance colliding in rhythmic unison. So it looked good! Im intrigued. Im definitely intrigued.
JESSICA: He did her elite routine and then she ended up not competing floor so we never got to see it. And then we sort of got to see a dance through that she released a little while ago. I mean we might finally see like a full- AH! Im so excited! You know, I never watch this thing because I cant it in general. But I mean, Im going to be glued to the TV. So whoevers genius idea this was, Nastia, Travis, if it was the producers .doesnt Zert put this on? Is he a producer? Am I imagining that? Paul Zert? Does he have something to do with this?
EVAN: No idea
JESSICA: I could totally be imagining that. If this has nothing to do with him then never mind. Whoever decided that, youre a genius. Thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. In other news, Nastia has resigned as the athlete rep. We knew there was an election for athlete rep and it was Sacramone vs. Beth Tweddle and Beth Tweddle won at World Championships, that position. And so Nastia has resigned as athlete rep because of a conflict of interest. So Im imagining this is because shes an NBC commentator. Is that what you guys think? I dont know what the conflict of interest is but Im assuming thats what it is. Lets talk about Movember. The Mo, this is what people call mustaches. Its a thing where men grow their facial hair. You guys know how I feel about facial hair, except for chops. Why cant we have chops November? I would be totally for that. But anyway, its a good cause. You see a guy with a mustache, youre supposed to reach down and do a self-exam really quick. Thats my understanding of the movement. So Uncle Tim has made the most fantastic infographic in which we identify trends in facial hair in gymnastics. And then we gave our pros and cons for each. And it is fantastic. And one of the people who recognized that it is fantastic is Chiles own Tomas Porn Stache Gonzalez. We have mentioned him many times. We are big fans on the show. He retweeted it because were awesome. And he was also in an H&M ad, looking all ready for the- what are the mountains down there in Chile? The famous mountains?
UNCLE TIM: Andes?
JESSICA: The Andes with the alpacas. Alpacas right? Llamas, alpacas, some kind of large animal that spits when you shave the fur off to make things out of.
UNCLE TIM: Mustaches, you make mustaches out of them.
JESSICA: Anyway, hes looking very rugged. Very rugged. Ready for the Andes. Okay. So check out the infographic. Well put up his excellent H&M ad where hes looking very chic. And then, also speaking of mustaches, Oleg Stepko posted a video of him doing a triple full, triple back of p-bars. A triple back. Thats nuts. Thats insane. Nuts, see? Movember. Evan, whats your take on the triple back?
EVAN: I cant even. Oh gosh.
UNCLE TIM: Sorry, I thought you were going to say whats your take on nuts?
[Laughter from the group]
EVAN: Shes contracting.
JESSICA: Okay carry on. Just ignore me.
EVAN: So a triple back off p-bars is one of those great, I dont want to call it an exhibition skill but what is he going to put before this triple back? I think it should be peach, back toss and then like five seconds of just breathing before going for a triple effing back. So I think its a cool skill to have. I think its good to engage people on the internet and create conversation but if youre going to chuck that in competition, I have a hard time believing better start preparing for Rio right now just doing the same repetitions over and over again. I dont know if were ever going to see that.
JESSICA: Uncle Tim, what do you think?
UNCLE TIM: We also dont know how high the parallel bars were, if they were above regulation size. So I dont know. The skill just scares me. I think hes the only guy whos ever thrown a triple back off parallel bars. It just always looks like the guys kneecaps are going to go through his eyeballs. Thats what it always looks like. I dont know. I agree. I dont think its a skill that were ever going to see in the near future. I mean we dont even see triple backs on floor anymore.
EVAN: Its at the end of a trampoline routine when they absorb all of their momentum and that huge recoil goes through their body. Im like how is that ever good? And its like required of them. Can we like just gently land? No. Like abrupt.
JESSICA: The one thing I thought when I saw this was obviously, its awesome. If I ever did a triple back, I would of course post a video of it online. But I was wondering if this is one of those things that I feel like male gymnasts do way more than female gymnasts, which is if youre doing a double back you train a triple. You know, you always do something harder than what youre actually going to compete. Or do you think this is just too insane? You would never do this just so you would have an awesome double back?
EVAN: I dont know what kind of Communist regime youre taunting but I always just did the hardest stuff I could do and just prayed that it somehow came together. So in terms of being like oh no, Ill just do this obscurely, insanely hard skill so I can do an easier one later, that isnt happening. Im going to say no. Im just going to say no on that.
UNCLE TIM: I can just hear Jess coaching No you cant do a backward roll yet in your routine. You have to master a double back before you can do a backward roll, child. What are you thinking? Mykayla Skinners the same way. Shes training some crazy skills and she only competes much easier skills. Its not just a dude thing. Or she trains like a dude. I dont know how you want to look at it.
JESSICA: Well that would explain a lot. Well I would just like to say it was Coach Rick, who coached in the gym with Kyle Shewfelt who pointed this out and was talking about this. So when we talk to Kyle Shewfelt next time, we will ask about this. What particular skills did you do that were an example of this? Well get to the bottom of this. I will not be mocked! Alright I will. So whats happening in video news on the gymternet?
UNCLE TIM: Well besides the triple back, we have found some old videos of Simone Biles from 2011 doing a Yurchenko double back and a double layout full out. Jess, what were your thoughts on those videos?
JESSICA: Well I love watching them because you almost never see, its so rare. I think I can think of two other times Ive ever heard of a woman or seen a video of a woman doing a Yurchenko double back. The last one Im thinking of is London Im forgetting her last name. London, she went to SCATS.
JESSICA: Phillips yeah. And this is of course totally true for men but its a totally unforgiving skill. Once you go for it, thats it. Theres no way to bail out. So it has be so perfect. And he was like oh its totally not worth it. The other person who did it was a Yurchenko double pike which was .who was at UCLA with Jamie Dantzcher and she got kicked off the team and then she was back on? Always wore short sleeved leos?
EVAN: Shavahn Church?
UNCLE TIM: Jeanette
JESSICA: Jeanette Antolin
EVAN: I thought she did a Tsuk, it was a Tsuk double pike.
JESSICA: I thought it was a Yurchenko double pike. Was it Tsuk? I could be wrong.
UNCLE TIM: Its a Yurchenko yeah.
JESSICA: Yeah she did those too. I mean I think its totally a possibility. It could totally be done. I mean clearly McKayla Maroney could do it right now. No problem. The thing is, is it going to be worth it? Is it worth it when you have that moment where you dont land well? I mean obviously shes not like close to doing the Yurchenko double back here but if anyone could do it and if theres going to be a race between Biles and Maroney, it would be very exciting to see someone throw the double back. I was excited to say the least.
UNCLE TIM: And Liz Tricase also threw one back in the day and hit a couple times I know. So yeah. Itll be interesting to see if anyone actually competes this on the womens side. Its not like there are too too many guys doing this on the mens side. Evan did you ever try one?
EVAN: My time with Yurchenkos was very short and not productive so no. No I did not. The one thing I did notice about Simone and the video was I know that it wasnt done in any seriousness. But she looks out of control. It was like touch the horse and pull and just keep pulling forever. So I think thats kind of the caveat to these flipping skills. Until you can earnest that power and you almost need to come out early every time to start seeing the landing. But with coming out early, you also risk landing severely short. So like Uncle Tim mentioned, with the amount of guys doing it now and still doing it unsuccessfully, I would say women are going to go the route of twisting more so than flipping.
JESSICA: Meh. Youre probably right but I also like to see that theres a gym where someone with her talent can play and play with really fun stuff. And it doesnt have to be after youre done with your career. It can just be like hmm today lets play around with new skills.
EVAN: Right and out of control comes with the asterisk of its still beautiful technique and impeccable form. Its done well.
UNCLE TIM: And then the other big video that weve seen was Danusia Franciss transverse aerial, her Pelaez into a full off the side of the beam. Not a Gainer full, just a full off the side of the beam. Jess why dont you start with this one.
JESSICA: I lost my mind when I saw this. I was so excited. Literally, I got tears. Like tears of joy. I know ridiculous. And its not even, its not like a Yurchenko double back. But first the transverse aerial, who is it named after again, Pelaez?
UNCLE TIM: Yeah of Florida
JESSICA: Yes Pelaez. And theres another gymnast at Florida who did it too. Was it Eaton? Eaton she had like two last names.
UNCLE TIM: I think youre thinking of Alabama, Geralen Stack Eaton.
JESSICA: Oh yeah. No thats not who Im thinking of. Ugh anyway, theres a gymnast Im sure. Who is it? I will remember her name right now. Blonde, she got in trouble for accidentally stealing sunglasses. Didnt she do one?
JESSICA: Remember the one
UNCLE TIM: This is what I have to deal with Evan.
JESSICA: [LAUGHS] Because I can never remember anyones name. Like if you could look into my head, you would recognize them right away. I cant remember anyones name. You know the one that was blonde and she had a really cool floor routine and shes very thin.
EVAN: Corey Hartung?
JESSICA: Yeah! Didnt she do one? I will fact check myself. Corey Hartung. Note to self. Back to Danusia. Tears of joy. Its not even that its so incredibly hard. Its so unique and unexpected. Its just so original and cool and you know how I love that kind of thing. Anything that makes me go *gasps* and watch it fifteen times is my favorite thing ever. Its just great. Im so excited. What did you guys think? Did you cry too?
UNCLE TIM: No.
EVAN: No tears were shed as of yet. I dont know. There might still be time. I agree with you. Its so different. Like why the heck hasnt anyone done that? Why have we waited so long to see this dismount, even a full standing off the side of the beam instead of a gainer whatever whatever. But I think its a really cool setup. The one thing that entered my mind and I want to say that Danusia will hit it 10 times out of ten, any situation. But if youre off at all, youre left with very little option. So I was like whew. Hopefully we see that in her competitive routine but we do know that she has a lot of other options for dismounts. So I hope it makes it in but its a big risk.
UNCLE TIM: Yeah I would not throw that on podium because I would end up on the judges faces.
JESSICA: Do a Purvis.
UNCLE TIM: Yeah Id have a little Purvis incident. But then again, Im not Danusia. I dont have the guts she has. I mean I dont start my floor routine with my foot behind my head. So you know, were very different people. The bad thing though is guess how much connection bonus she gets for doing this in NCAA?
JESSICA: Four tenths, four tenths!
UNCLE TIM: NOTHING!
JESSICA: What?! Shut up!
UNCLE TIM: No connection bonus. The only way to get connection bonus in NCAA is through a flight series with three skills. So you have to have three skills to actually get connection bonus in NCAA for the dismount.
JESSICA: I protest. I protest this in the strongest way possible. Im offended. There should be an exception. Isnt that like a D?
UNCLE TIM: Its an E into a B.
JESSICA: An E into anything should be a giant bonus. The judges should just throw their pencils into the air and walk away. You should win! Thats all there should be to it. Well, Im going to have to put this in my letter to the NCAA. Corey Hartung did do the transverse aerial and she did go to the University of Florida although Im not sure she competed it there. But we will find out. The gymternet will tell us. Gymternet, please give us the answer. But anywho ok. What else happened in video news?
UNCLE TIM: One second sorry. Oh wait what happened to Maroneys
JESSICA: Oh yeah I took those out.
UNCLE TIM: Alright. And then also in video news, we have Utahs leotard reveal. Yeah they just wore their leotards and had dramatic lights. I mean deep down inside, Im just a grumpy old man and so I find this completely obnoxious that theyre doing this. I mean I dont care about leotards. I just care about what they do in the leotards so I would have been okay with this video had they actually done gymnastics instead of showing me close ups of their thighs and their boobs where they have a giant U. What about you Jess? Youre very big on the leotard fashion.
JESSICA: Well number one, genius marketing. Genius marketing. I bet they got a ton of hits on that video. And its a leotard reveal. And people love fashion. People love leotards. You know theres kids on Instagram that have the entire Instagram account dedicated to adjusting peoples leos and doing different colors and getting peoples feedback on it. Its a huge deal. So I think its genius marketing. Its another one of Greg Marsdens great ideas. Now I did feel a little uncomfortable watching the video because they zoomed in on their chest. Now gymnasts on this team, the people they used were not super well endowed so it wasnt that uncomfortable but it was definitely uncomfortable. I mean if I was on that team, I would have been like forget it. Im not going to be in that video. Like no. Its exploitative. Youre zooming in on sex parts so i will not be doing this. But thats just how I feel about it. Evan what did you think?
EVAN: Meh. Meh in general is my thought on the matter. I mean I can look at a leotard and be like yeah its nice, whatever. I, like Uncle Tim, would rather watch what theyre doing in the leotard gymnastically. But none of them are really even that exciting. So its not like theyre bringing anything new or interesting to the table in terms of their fashion choices. Im shrugging. Im shrugging repeatedly over here.
JESSICA: What if men had more exciting leos? Your leos are just blah. Would you guys be excited if they were cooler?
EVAN: I think theres probably some options to customize and stuff but it depends on who your school has an agreement with, the manufacturer for your uniforms and stuff. But I was always happy with what I wore. For me to get very nostalgic, its all about what youre representing. I guess for guys you almost take a bit of a back seat to the flash and the rhinestones and the retina-tearing sequins and all that stuff. So thats where I sit with that.
JESSICA: Ok so speaking of retina tearing sequins, or as we know that Oregon gymnast got a rhinestone injury, a cut down the side of her cheek last year. Have you ever suffered a leotard related injury? Either of you.
UNCLE TIM: What? How would that, no! Its not something you wear in practice. I mean I have seen coaches grab a girl by the leotard and they get a giant wedgie. But since its not really something that I wore on a regular basis, no I never got one. I mean I had my coach smack me in the junk doing spots but not leotard related.
JESSICA: [LAUGHS] smack you in the junk. Oh I kicked my coach in the balls so many times. I felt so bad.
UNCLE TIM: doing handstands
JESSICA: What did you say?
UNCLE TIM: testing to handstand
JESSICA: It was more like a squat through for me. Very dangerous. Very dangerous skill. Evan how about you?
EVAN: I avoided in any type of I actually called it either a step in or a body suit or a uniform. I never referred to mine as a leotard. I think thats also like a regional thing, like some areas of the nation call it different things. But no. I was always just really, put it on. I mean sometimes at practice, we would wear them but it was usually for like intrasquads or something a bit important. Yeah they werent really tossed around all that often.
JESSICA: A step in?
EVAN: Yeah a step in. Its also a verb.
JESSICA: A step in. Ive never heard that, unitard.
UNCLE TIM: No they called it a singlet so that little boys would not think its girly so they called it a singlet where I was from.
JESSICA: The shortest cut singlet ever. Another question because I was just noticing this when I was watching trampoline. The guys, ok so I feel like the bottom of your singlet should be the same color as your shorts so that your underwear part isnt as noticeable. The guys, like when they would sit on the couch if they had a different color than their shorts, it was like super obvious we were looking at their underpants. So dont you guys agree with me as everyone should that the shorts color and the unitard color should match?
EVAN: I dont really have a thought on that. I guess looking back, thats very much so kind of not the norm at all. I dont know if Ive ever seen a really well matching crotch area. So I think youre alone in wanting that or wishing you could see that.
UNCLE TIM: When youre a little boy, thats not what youre thinking about. Yeah you just wore whatever underwear you had and you were totally oblivious to the fact that you were wearing white pants and the entire world could see your Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles underwear or whatever you were wearing that day.
JESSICA: Oh my God. Well I never really noticed this before until trampoline where basically, their knee is at the same level as the camera. I was like um excuse me. Im trying to see his reaction, not up his shorts.
EVAN: Were you? Were you?
JESSICA: [LAUGHS] yes!
UNCLE TIM: Stacey Ervin
JESSICA: I dont know what youre talking about. So moving on, lets play guess which country this gymnastics story comes from. So a man was jailed for slandering a gymnast. The 47-year-old man was sentenced to six months in prison, two years of probation and 80 hours of community service for posting unfounded malicious comments about this gymnast on the internet eight times. He also alleged underhanded dealings in her university admission. Any guesses?
UNCLE TIM: Im going with North Korea and rhythmic gymnastics. It just seems like a rhythmic gymnastics scandal because yeah. Theres so many scandals on that side. And it seems like North Korea to me.
EVAN: Im going to go with Russia. Good ole Russia.
JESSICA: Like hes in jail with Pussy Riot?
EVAN: Yeah except Pussy Riot all of a sudden disappeared on a train to some other prison.
JESSICA: Right? God, were going to find out that they were poisoned with uranium cake and theyre going to end up like that reporter. Im telling you. Putin-gate all over again. Well, the winner is Uncle Tim. Rhythmic gymnastics and not North Korea so I have to take a point away but South Korea.
UNCLE TIM: Oh so close.
JESSICA: Now the question is if it was this easy to sue for slander in gymnastics here, would we the gymternet have to cease to exist? Are we not a big enough sport to have these kind of lawsuits? Will we know weve made it when fans are being put in jail for slandering gymnasts?
EVAN: Its an interesting thought. I see the process in terms of professional sports. You see it happen a lot I feel like. And even broadcasters of professional sports and things that happen to them. Its kind of another universe and if gymnastics could ever catapult into that, I feel like it would be a lot more commonplace. There have been situations with Shawn Johnson and that incident where she was being stalked pretty soon after the Olympics. I think it was while she was on Dancing with the Stars. There was some prosecution involved there. I think thats a lot of what will be associated with the sport in terms of legal matters. In terms of slandering online, I think thats just the first amendment protects my internet speech as well. I think were okay there.
UNCLE TIM: Yeah in America its so hard to win a slander lawsuit because you have to prove that the statement was false. You have to prove that the statement was made to others. And you actually have to prove that the statement caused you harm which is probably the hardest one of those prongs to actually prove. And so, I dont know what you would have to do in order to actually get in trouble for slandering an athlete. It would be really hard.
JESSICA: So lets go from slander to our gymnerd survey results. And we have to hear how Evan would have voted. So what happened in our poll?
UNCLE TIM: First question Evan. Who would win in an arm wrestling match? Last week, Jess was talking about how buff Jordyn Wieber was and said something to the effect that Ryan Wieber was probably jealous of her body growing up because she was so buff. So who would win in an arm wrestling match Jordyn or Ryan?
EVAN: I think Jordyn. I think the forearm, yeah I think shes got this one on lock.
UNCLE TIM: Yeah the gymternet definitely agrees with you. 88% said Jordyn and 12% said Ryan. So not much faith in Ryan. Hmm oh well. So the other question was so how much did you love Paul Ruggeris routine on uneven bars? One being no just no. Five being oh my God best thing ever. What about you Evan? How much did you love it?
EVAN: I loved it! I loved it. You spend so much time gripping high bar. You go over to girls bars and youre like what the heck? How does this work? For him to kind of pick it up naturally and hes just such a talented trickster in every sense of the word. For him to be able to do that and execute skills well and make it look good and have some flow, I mean more power to him. Go for it!
UNCLE TIM: So five oh my god best thing ever was the most, the highest, cant speak. So five, oh my god the best thing ever
JESSICA: [LAUGHS] See what I have to put up with?
UNCLE TIM: It was the number one answer. Which makes me wonder whether Make It or Break It was right? Do the gymnastics fans secretly want to see the guys try the womens events and vice versa? What did you guys think?
JESSICA: Yes without question.
EVAN: Yeah I think its a pretty novel idea. I think it would just be, I dont know. I struggle with that. its interesting.
JESSICA: I mean its vice versa, to see the women do p-bars and high bar, that would be awesome. Plus thats where were all going to have to go eventually anyway because it needs to be gender equal and men have too many events and its not fair. Well discuss that at a later date. Thats a whole other topic. Let me just drop that bomb one more time.
UNCLE TIM: Lets put it out into the gymternet ether and lets move on. Alright so the next question was do you think all gymnastics meets should have a kiss and cry little booth and Jess definitely does. What about you Evan?
EVAN: I think its a really cool concept. I struggle with the meet organization. You saw Secret Classic this year with the junior womens competition. How many were there, like 48 competitors? So its like okay when do we do this? Is it only senior competitions? Is it only finals? I think theres a lot of technicalities to be worked out. And if people want to get moving, I just think that the drama can be held to the very very end.
UNCLE TIM: Yeah its a lot easier with something like ice skating where theres only one rink and everyone has to wait for the next performer whereas gymnastics, its a four or six ring circus. Our listeners thought that, 54% said that yes this is a great idea. So 54% were on Jesss side and 46% said no.I dont want to see gymnasts waving at the camera all the time. Its kind of almost straight down the middle.
EVAN: Dont we already see gymnasts waving at the camera? I feel like its pretty unofficial. I feel like we get some good personality in those fleeting moments of camera time between events. Im satisfied.
UNCLE TIM: Jess, any comments because this is your big moment.
JESSICA: My moment. I just think it can be done selectively for finals. Obviously yeah meets with like 48 kids is way too many. Someone made a really good point on Twitter. They said wouldnt you rather see someone sit there and talk to their coach than run over and take off their grips and put their butts toward the camera? And thats the thing. They follow them around and wait for their reaction anyway. Why not get some more money for the sport, get some sponsors and sit them down and have them wait for a sec? I mean, we know who the leaders are. It doesnt take that long, except when you have to rotate because the last person up has to totally run. I dont know. I think it could be done for finals.
UNCLE TIM: So I remember this Twitter conversation from a little while back. Michael Buckley did the US Figure Skating Nationals and he was in the kiss and cry booth. And then hes tweeted at USAG and Scott Bregman and said oh you guys should have me do it. And Scott said were thinking about it or something to that effect. Or well think about it. So that was around US Nationals time. So yeah it might happen. Who knows?
JESSICA: Or it could be Evan. That would be okay with me too.
EVAN: I like that idea better.
JESSICA: Maybe you guys could test out. They could do some with you and some with Michael Buckley. And then you could have like a handstand contest to decide. Have the gymnasts vote. Or the gymternet vote. That would be even better.
EVAN: I would be humbled. Hes hilarious.
JESSICA: He is hilarious. A little spazzy though. But hes awesome. I love him. If you guys dont follow him on Twitter or his videos, they are so funny. I wanted him to do a recap video for gymnastics for so long. I hope he does it because hes hilarious. His dogs and his drinking in the morning. I enjoy him very much.
UNCLE TIM: He did it for the Olympics during 2012. So if you go back in his archives, you can find them. And finally, our last question is besides artistic gymnastics, which gymnastics discipline would you like to see more coverage of? Acro, aerobic, rhythmic, trampoline, or tumbling? Evan?
EVAN: Im going to go with trampoline purely because I was watching, I was as bad gym fan and I only watched very randomly the womens semi final of the trampoline competition. And I was legitimately hanging on the edge of my seat. You dont know if theyre going to land. Four of the girls didnt land on the trampoline. Youre just sort of like nope you fail. Get off. Youre out of there. And I kind of admire that. That drama and its almost like a one shot deal. Just getting back up on the pommel horse or getting back up on the beam, you get off the trampoline and you go and look at that 22.4 instead of your 54 or whatever. I thought that was really intense so Im going to go with trampoline.
UNCLE TIM: What about you Jessica?
JESSICA: Well I voted because I vote in the polls. I love voting. I want my voice to be heard.
UNCLE TIM: How very American of you yes.
JESSICA: Yes its very important to me. Even though I get to talk about it all the time, I still need to vote. I feel really good when I get the thank you and that its been counted. So I voted for acro because I love acro so much. I should have done acro. I would have loved it. But I was just like Evan, watching trampoline. Oh my God. Its gripping. Its exciting. Theres some fantastic crashes but Im so much less worried about them getting hurt in trampoline which sounds totally ironic since theyre already four feet in the air just on top of the trampoline bed, let alone flying in the air. Because theres all those spotters and the extra mats and the have the person who throws the mat in to stop your crash. But its so exciting to watch. And now Im like oh my God should we make a new rule that a fall in gymnastics, youre done? Thats it? You shall leave the podium like they do in trampoline? Now its all I can think about. Evans totally changed my mind.
UNCLE TIM: What about double mini though? That is some scary crap!
JESSICA: You just said double mini and my palms are sweating immediately. Literally they are sweating.
UNCLE TIM: Yeah.
JESSICA: Yeah thats a different sport altogether.
UNCLE TIM: So our listeners, 41% said theyd like to see more power tumbling, 24% said trampoline, 18% said acro, 16% said rhythmic, and 1% said aerobic. I think aerobic only got one vote. But yeah I guess it doesnt really surprise me that people say tumbling and trampoline. Not only are they cool but they are two sports that are very easy for artistic gymnastics fan to understand. Because you know what a double twisting double layout is. You know what a triple back is. So yeah its a little bit easier for us to understand. So our international listener shoutout goes to Anna Isbake from Sweden. She is one of our active Facebook followers. So thank you Anna for following us and being so conversational, is that the word?
EVAN: Yeah thats good.
ALLISON TAYLOR: This episode is brought to you by Elite Sportz Band. elitesportzband.com. Weve got your back.
JESSICA: Visit elitesportzband.com. Thats sports with a z and save $5 on your next purchase with the code Gymcast. So I want to let you guys know how to support the show if you enjoy listening. You can leave us a voicemail. Remember no one will answer the phone. Dont worry. Its just a voicemail system. You can call us 415-800-3191. Our Skype username is Gymcastic Podcast. Thats how you can call us for free from wherever you are in the world. You can shop our Amazon store. Evan have you done any Christmas shopping yet or any Thanksgiving shopping?
EVAN: Not as of yet. Im holding out. Im a really great last minute holiday shopper.
JESSICA: Oh excellent. Well when you do your shopping, if you just click through our Amazon store through Gymcastic, a little portion of what you buy goes back to supporting the show. Its fabulous.
EVAN: I know that. I know Gymcastic is looking to stuff a lot of stockings this year.
JESSICA: Thats right. Also to support the show, you can download the Stitcher app. It works on all devices including Android. You can subscribe to the show and have it delivered directly to your email with a little blurb about what we talk about that week and also any videos that we discuss. I find this very nice. I would like to, if I was not the person who already put it together and redo it ten times when I was editing, I would subscribe that way. We also post all the routines we can on our website so you can watch while you listen. You can recommend the show to a friend. You can like us on Facebook. You can rate us and write a review on iTunes. You guys also asked for ways to support the show. You can donate directly. Theres a button the website so you can donate. You can email us email@example.com. We read all of your emails. You can also follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Google Plus. Next week, Im so excited about next week you guys. Like so so so excited. Do you know whos going to be on next week?
JESSICA: Ill give you a hint. Its someone who has been essential in deciding who was on the last Olympic team and the last World team.
EVAN: Steve Rybacki
UNCLE TIM: Jessica OBeirne
JESSICA: [LAUGHS] No. Olympic medalist.
EVAN: Terin Humphrey
JESSICA: YES! Im very excited. Were going to ask her who was the person she threw all her papers up in the air and demanded that they were put on the team. Ive been wanting to know that so bad since she gave that TV interview. So totally excited to talk to Terin Humphrey and find out all the background on what happens with deciding who makes the team. So until next week, Im Jessica
UNCLE TIM: Im Uncle Tim
EVAN: And Im Evan
JESSICA: See you guys next week.
JESSICA: Uncle Tim made this fantastic, I need to start this whole thing over. Let me start that over. Like the hairy nuts thing
EVAN You got so upset for a moment.
JESSICA: [LAUGHS] I know.
JESSICA: Did I just offend over 90% of all humans on earth? Thats my goal. Alright let me start that over. Thank God we never do this show live.
UNCLE TIM: Alright so thats enough of the internet gymternet poll. Now lets talk about international listener shoutout. It goes to Anna crap where did I put her name in my life.
EVAN: Anna f my life from Poland.
JESSICA: That needs to be a Tumblr name