JESSICA: This week, Pavlova to Azerbaijan, Oleg finally, how to play fantasy gymnastics, and the Mexican Open extravaganza.
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JESSICA: This is episode 62 for December 4th, 2013. I’m Jessica from masters-gymnastics
UNCLE TIM: And I’m Uncle Tim from Uncle Tim Talks Men’s Gym
JESSICA: This is the number 1 gymnastics podcast on the planet, bringing you all the news from around the gymternet. Today, we are starting with the news that this episode will be all gymternet news and meet news. And then later this week, we’re going to bring you an episode that is just an interview. And we’re going to have Larry Nassar who is the team doctor for USA Gymnastics. Let me tell you I was tearing up during the interview with him. I was laughing with the interview with him. And I totally learned things that I never expected. I just- ugh. Is there- I don’t know what else to say about this interview. Uncle Tim can I sum it up some other way?
UNCLE TIM: It’s very in depth. And he tells things very honestly. And he’s a very caring man yet a very blunt man I would say. He’s an interesting guy, and I really enjoyed hearing everything he had to say because he filled in a lot of holes that were missing in my gymnastics history knowledge.
JESSICA: Yep. That’s a really good way to put it. So let’s talk about the Mexican Open. So this is the meet that is at the Fairmont which you know I’m in love with all Fairmont hotels. And it was in Acapulco. And Chuso, Bogi, and Podkopayeva have been Instagramming pictures of each other the entire week. So freaking adorable. It’s in this gorgeous location by the beach. They had a white party the night before, so everyone dresses in white and they did the little YouTube videos. And they had a little signing. And oh my god it looks so fun. They had live streaming coverage. They had Danell Leyva and Josh Dixon there. What else do you need? They have this crazy $10,000 prize leo, which actually was gorgeous. I have to say there was another one that they gave away, some I don’t remember what company it was but do you remember the other one was really funky looking? I didn’t like it.
UNCLE TIM: See I didn’t like this one either. I thought it looked like they had sewn together like four different Vanna White gowns. And I don’t know. Plus most of the lines were horizontal which makes you look wider, which is never a good thing on the women. But that said, you want to wear large prints to enhance your best assets. And where there were very large bold prints was around her chest area. So you know I guess that’s a good thing to kind of enhance- I don’t know. But in general I wasn’t a fan. Like I said it looked very hodgepodgey, pageant dressy.
JESSICA: Well I totally loved it, which I was shocked. I mean I was ready to just roll my eyes. They were prepared. They were halfway rolled when I was looking at the picture. And then I actually liked it. I was totally shocked. And a white leo, I mean she’s of course the perfect person to wear a white leo. She looks absolutely gorgeous in it. And I feel like it’s where the other one I thought just looked like glitter threw up across the leotard, this special whatever crystal it has some kind of crystals on it, I don’t understand why is Swarovski crystals- why is this a big deal? Is this just a company? This is the same stuff that your grandma’s crystal that you’re not supposed to- only use on Thanksgiving. Why would you want that on a leotard? I don’t- is it dangerous? Can you compete in it? Are there going to be injuries? You know that’s all I care about. Will it damage the beam? What if you do a back spin? WIll it tear the whole thing apart?
UNCLE TIM: Yeah I think this is just for show I would guess. But. Yeah I think other people I know some people on our Facebook page were a little upset about the fact that it cost $10,000 and they thought the money should go to Ukrainian Gymnastics Federation instead of spending it on a leotard. What do you think about that idea Jess?
JESSICA: Well I mean I think the point of this is that it’s a way for- one thing first. Bogi and Nadia chose the gymnast who would win this. And of course so it doesn’t matter. They could give me a roll of toilet paper. If those two picked me for anything, I don’t care what the prize is. But back to the leo [LAUGHS]. I mean the thing is, you know you have to attract sponsors right? So how are you going to attract GK to do something right? And you want to say you know will you be a sponsor for this event and we’ll highlight you in some way. So how do you get people excited about their products and at the same time involve them blah blah blah. So I think this is a way for GK to show that they’re innovative and can do beautiful and interesting things and step it up. And I mean I’m assuming I mean this is going to bring a lot of attention to Ukrainian gymnastics. That’s what these prizes of elegance are for. They’re you know a way to involve the sponsor and bring attention to gymnasts who are maybe great at for marketing your materials. Even though they might not be the best gymnast, they’re someone you want to put in your ads. That’s how I always see these prize for elegance. So they could, this is good publicity for both Ukrainian gymnastics and for the sponsors, and that’s what you want. And maybe they’ll sell it. Maybe Ukrainian gymnastics can auction this off.
UNCLE TIM: I think the other thing we have to keep in mind is the $10,000 is probably the retail value and not necessarily how much GK actually spent on the production of the leotard. And so it’s not necessarily the idea that oh you know they just put $10,000 into making this leotard. They didn’t spend $10,000 making a leotard. That’s the retail price. And so I mean that’s something that people should keep in mind as well. But yeah I’d be all for her auctioning it off and giving some of the money to Ukrainian gymnastics or to her own training, whatever she decides to do.
JESSICA: Yeah. And I mean I think that the bigger thing about this meet is that whoever put this together is just extremely smart in terms of knowing how to market gymnastics and knowing what will get the athletes excited, what will get spectators excited to travel to a meet, and then what’ll get the sponsors excited. I mean you’ve got to pay for this kind of stuff and they did such a great job with all the different aspects of putting this together. I mean the athletes looked out of their minds [LAUGHS] they looked so happy. They looked like they were having the best time. And you know that’s so much fun for everybody. So hats off to everybody involved in that. You guys did an amazing job, except the one thing we’ll get to later of course. But let’s start with the results.
UNCLE TIM: Alright so there was a junior competition. On the women’s side, it was all about America. Coming in first was Bailey Key with a 56.901. Second was Laurie Hernandez with a 56.567. Then in third was Emily Gaskins who is a recent addition to the junior national team. And then fourth was Nica Hults. And then in fifth was Elena Martinez of Brazil. She ended up with the bronze medal because of the two per country rule. But she actually finished technically fifth overall. On the senior end of things, it was Roxana Popa who won with a 57.350. Coming in second was Maggie Nichols with a 57.3. Coming in third was Peyton Ernst with a 57.150. And she was definitely the gymternet favorite going into this meet, at least according to our gym nerd poll. But she had two falls, one on balance beam and one on floor, which had she not fallen twice, she would have won. And she would also have posted a score higher than Elizabeth Price’s score from Stuttgart which we’ll get to in a second. Then on the men’s side it was Jossimar Calivo Merino with a 90.5. Coming in second was Nikiti Ignatyev of Russia and then coming in third was Koji Uematsu of Japan with an 87.050. And so going back to Peyton, Jess, what do you think is going on with her? So earlier this year, she was at the Tokyo World Cup where she fell on beam. And then now at the Mexican Open, another international assignment, she fell on both beam and floor. What do you think is going on?
JESSICA: I just think she doesn’t look to me like she has the eye of the tiger. She doesn’t look like she has- she just looks like she’s questioning herself. She doesn’t look like- she has to have that look like I will not fall no matter what. Like they can shoot bullets at me during this routine and I will not fall off. She just looks happy to be there and she doesn’t look- she just doesn’t seem to have that fire in her yet. But I think she can get it. I think she totally can because I can see her just her confidence building I think as she goes on. So I mean that’s what I think it is. But I don’t know. Maybe she drank bad water and had an upset stomach. You never know.
UNCLE TIM: Yeah I would say I mean in Tokyo she kind of looked like she was so nervous she could throw up. And this time she didn’t seem quite that nervous even though she did have two falls at this meet. But yeah. While we’re talking about falls, Jess inform us about this floor situation and what happened with Sabrina from Canada.
JESSICA: Ugh. Ugh. Alright. So you guys know the new Speith floors. They used them at the Universiade in Russia. They used them at- did they use them at Worlds?
UNCLE TIM: Worlds, yeah
JESSICA: Worlds, yeah. So it’s basically like the floor is it goes out further from the when you have the border, the white line, it goes out further and instead of sloping like the AAI floors so you can gently roll down onto the floor, it has the foam actually extends past the spring. So you have the springs then you have another eight inches, a foot or more, two feet of foam that are underneath the carpet. So if you fall, you’re not going to fall down, you’re falling at the same level. And the foam is supposed to extend all the way out to the edges of the carpet. So what it looked like, I mean you can clearly see this in all the videos unless the person who filmed this and put it on the- filmed it from their TV, thank you to that person on YouTube that did that. Unless their TV screen is warped or something, it looked from all these videos that the floor is on a hill. Like it looks like the floor actually bubbles in some places, like it actually goes uphill and downhill. And that so maybe the actual floor in the arena was had a slope to it. Or, then when on the sides of the mat it looked like the foam didn’t actually extend all the way to the edges as it should. It looked like the foam was supposed to be two feet wide and it was only a foot and a half. So when Sabrina Gil, she goes out of bounds, and then it looks like she takes a step and there’s nothing underneath her foot. There’s carpet but there’s nothing else there. So the carpet just pushes all the way down to the ground and she just slid right off the floor. And you can see Nadia was disgusted with the whole situation when they panned to her afterward. So I don’t know what was going on with the floor, but it looked like it was set up incorrectly. What did it look like to you?
UNCLE TIM: Yeah well I was just thinking more in terms of floor exercise in general. And how there’s very little margin for error as you said. This floor does extend a little bit farther, but even so there’s not that much space. So if you for whatever reason go a little too far on your 2.5 punch layout, you could be landing flat on a really hard surface without mats. And so I don’t know I wish that at meets, they would at least put a sting mat in the corners just in case gymnasts travel a little farther on the tumbling pass.
JESSICA: This totally makes me think of- remember was it the WOGA Classic or whatever when they used to have plants in the corners [LAUGHS] of the floor and they would have little trees. And I want to say it was Nastia but it couldn’t have been Nastia because that could never have happened to her, but somebody flew into the plant [LAUGHS] off the floor. The gymternet will remind me who this was. But the video was just so cute and so funny. And then thank god it wasn’t her head that went into the planter first. But then I have actually seen someone do a double pike and land on the basketball floor instead of on the mat. Just like everyone’s standing in the corner and she just took one extra step or she was I don’t know somehow she wasn’t estimating correctly. She was just too pumped up or whatever. And everybody in the corner was like all the sudden they looked up and like yelled and ran away and she landed completely off the mat onto the hardwood floor. And then finished the rest of her routine. I was like oh my god both of her ankles have got to be broken right now.
UNCLE TIM: Yeah. So moral of this story: put mats in the corner [LAUGHS] I don’t know. Yeah. So why don’t you tell us a little bit about the gala that happened. Last year Jess you weren’t a big fan of the gala.
JESSICA: Well you know how I feel about these gala things. They are just weird and they’re you know how I feel. They’re very Sabado Gigante. They’re not my cup of tea. But I think for the Mexican audience this is perfect. They love it. So go for it. If it works and they can sell a lot of tickets and people love it then more power to them. They know what sells there and they know what people like so I’m all for it. But, two things. Number one is that Peyton Ernst, I could not see her whole beam routine but she did this beautiful beam where she did some stuff on the floor then stuff on the beam. She did it in this white dress. Oh my god it was gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous. Secondly, two dudes, I’m pretty sure it was two different dudes, did gymnastics in capes. Now, capes and gymnastics. What did we learn from Edna in The Incredibles? Do you remember Uncle Tim?
UNCLE TIM: I have never seen the movie.
UNCLE TIM: I haven’t seen a lot of movies.
JESSICA: Oh my god first of all Edna is the greatest character ever created in an animated feature film. And she’s a fashion designer. And she says no capes darling, no capes. Do you know what happened? So basically they kill you. Capes kill you. They get pulled into the airplane wing. They’re very dangerous. You can’t be doing gymnastics with capes. This is a superhero rule and it is also a rule for gymnastics. But guys doing high bar with a cape on. Ok if it’s velcroed on. But what if it flips around and flips you in the face, you can’t see where you’re going. Or what if it wraps around your grip when you’re swinging around the bar. I mean it could choke you. I was just like ugh. I couldn’t even watch. I was horrified. We don’t do capes in gymnastics. There’s a reason for this. Unless it was a little tiny pretend cape that was only handkerchief side on the back of your neck, then maybe that would be ok. But you know [inaudible]. But the other thing was hilarious is that Jossimar and Chuso did a boxing match. And of course she wore her cut off daisy dukes, which she’s famous for always doing gala routines with daisy dukes on. I think it’s her signature. And I appreciate the effort to give the local crowd what they want. But no capes. [LAUGHS]
UNCLE TIM: Thus says Jess
JESSICA: That’s right
UNCLE TIM: We’ll add that to the Jess code of points.
JESSICA: Yes that’s going into the rules. So let’s talk about Stuttgart. So from the American side Paul Ruggeri went. And he competed in there’s like a team challenge which is separate than the World Cup. So a bunch of the US guys went. And he actually tied for first in prelims on vault with a 15.1. So hats off to you. Orozco did not do bad. And his vault, he got a 14.8. And it was as I like to say improbably good. [LAUGHS] He punches actually on the part of the board that has springs, so that’s an improvement from what he’s done in the past. Actually punching on the right part. He totally bends his arms on the vault. But he got insane distance and stuck it. I was like how is he this is why they call him ninja. Because he should not have been able to do that. He breaks all laws of physics. So he really hasn’t changed his technique but somehow it worked. So.
UNCLE TIM: Yeah you’re just being really nice right now Jess.
JESSICA: Well yeah. Well I mean he should not be able to do that vault. Even if- that shouldn’t- there’s no- it should be terrible, but it’s better than it has been in the past.
UNCLE TIM: Yeah. I don’t know.
JESSICA: He landed up-
UNCLE TIM: I did a whole post about how bad that vault was last year. And I don’t really see too much improvement. He almost missed his right hand on the vaulting table while doing a front handspring. You are looking at the vaulting table the entire time. There is no excuse for going that crooked coming onto the table. Then it was almost- it was like a- I don’t know a lay-uck. It was a tucked layout. I don’t know.
JESSICA: Do you think he needs glasses?
UNCLE TIM: [LAUGHS] I don’t know
JESSICA: I’m not trying to be mean! It’s [LAUGHS]
UNCLE TIM: I don’t know. I think that he can definitely do this vault a lot better, but it’s another one of those situations similar to MyKayla Skinner. He needs to go back to the basics and break down this vault from the start. Start just doing a front handspring front layout, and then slowly adding the twists. But yeah he needs to go back to the basics, and hopefully he’ll be able to do that over the next couple months between now and Winter Cup.
JESSICA: Wonder if he coach listened to this and were like yeah what do you think we’ve been doing for the past year and this is still what happens. Yeah I mean the vault, yeah it’s a mess. But it’s a-
UNCLE TIM: I mean he did a different vault at the US Nationals in, when was it, June or July. So he’s changed his vault since then.
JESSICA: And he did a front handspring 1.5?
UNCLE TIM: He did a kasumatsu 1.5. Well-
JESSICA: Oh that was supposed to be a kasumatsu?
UNCLE TIM: No. So at this meet, pardon.
JESSICA: [LAUGHS] Oh ok I was like wow it was way worse than I thought.
UNCLE TIM: [LAUGHS]. At US Nationals he did a kasumatsu vault. And this was a handspring double full is what he’s doing.
UNCLE TIM: Yeah. Yeah it was terrible. He totally, yeah. No.
JESSICA: But for him, you know. Ok we’ll agree to disagree. Let’s go on to the results. This is the most exciting thing I think has ever- did you weep? Did you throw a party? Did you run into the streets and scream? Did you- I mean what happened. Well we should say-
UNCLE TIM: What did I say I was going to do if Oleg won Worlds?
JESSICA: Set fire to a car?
UNCLE TIM: I was going to riot.
JESSICA: Riot yeah that’s what you do in riots.
UNCLE TIM: So pretty much. I mean my version of rioting is running outside and screaming which is quite normal in San Francisco so nobody really stared at me or anything. It was a little anticlimactic. But my favorite Oleg Verniaev won with a 92.165.
UNCLE TIM: And he beat Fabian Hambiceps who had a 90.264. And coming in third was Daniel Purvis with an 89.931. On the women’s side was coming in first was Elizabeth Price with a 58.032. Coming in second was Larisa Iordache with a 57.998, so it was really close this year. And coming in third was Vanessa Ferrari with a 56.866. I just want to point out that I picked both the winners. When we picked our winners I picked Oleg and Elizabeth Price to win and I got it right.
JESSICA: I would just like to point out that I said Daniel Purvis was going to be up there.
UNCLE TIM: It’s true, it’s true. And so there was also this team competition. And China brought kind of their big guns. They brought Wang Li Don, Tan Sixin, Tan Jiashin, and Yao Jinnan. And they came in first. Coming in second was Russia. The most notable gymnasts were Aliya Mustafina, Tatiana Nabieva. And coming in third was Germany. On the men’s side, first was China, second Japan, and third was Great Britain. And we have a lot of videos to discuss Jess. So let’s cut to those videos right away. What did you think of Aliya Mustafina’s new flight series.
JESSICA: Are you referring to her front aerial front aerial back handspring?
UNCLE TIM: Yes
JESSICA: I am fine with it because she actually connects it. And I’m totally ok with that. Although the arm swing thing, the arm swing I guess is fine because she lands with her arms behind her and then just swings them straight back over. I’m fine with that. I don’t care. Connecting two front aerials to back handsprings, whatever. She does other really hard stuff, like an onodi to double turn. What?! That’s nuts! So I’m fine with it. What did you think?
UNCLE TIM: I was very happy to see that she added a new flight series. Because what was it at Worlds? A back handspring back tuck or something? I don’t remember. Or back tuck standing back handspring? Anyways. Something like that that was something ridiculous. So I’m very happy to see her upping her level of difficulty on beam. Also so on Coach Rick’s website on gymnasticscoaching.com, he said that he thought maybe Elizabeth Price could eventually do a yurchenko triple twisting yurchenko. A twiple twisting yurchenko! What do you think Jess? Do you think Ebee would be capable of that?
JESSICA: Yes, but so yes. I do. But after our talk with Dr. Larry Nassar, I think it is never worth anyone doing that until they are at least in their 30s and never ever want to do gymnastics again. Because yeah. Yeah I think she could. And she just looks so- incidentally you know, she looks incredible and so does Ms. Strauss. Right? Last time we saw her she was in her wheelchair little beeper scooter thing. And she looked great. I think that she has been revitalized with the second coming of Ebee. So I was happy to see she looked healthy. Yeah. Yeah I think she could totally do it. What do you think?
UNCLE TIM: I think she could do it. I again it’s one of those things like you have an amanar, is it really worth going for the triple twisting yurchenko? I don’t know. Especially if you want to go to college eventually and you want to be healthy for college. I don’t know.
JESSICA: But you should totally do it into the pit for fun and send us videos. That’s a given.
UNCLE TIM: Exactly. That’s what she should do. What did you think of her leotard? She had a, I don’t even know how to describe it. A pepto bismal pink leo with some like a white almost-
JESSICA: It was the same-
UNCLE TIM: I don’t even know. It was very like pilgrimy around the neckline.
JESSICA: [LAUGHS] It was the same one they were wearing in Mexico, it was just they had red ones and she had the pink one. I mean I like the pink simply because pink means world domination now. That is what pink means when you wear a pink leo. So I’m ok with that. But I think that on her, she has really strong shoulders and traps. And so it does not accentuate her neckline I think in the best way. I think there’s a different kind of design that would look better on her. And especially when you’re competing as an individual I feel like why not select a leotard that is best for that as opposed to Mexico they’re competing as a team. But she’s there by herself. She should be able to pick something she really likes. But maybe this is her favorite leo ever. But I’m sure she intimidated everyone even more in that leo because it made her look like yeah she could pick up the vault, bench press it, then throw it into the crowd, which I liked.
UNCLE TIM: [LAUGHS] Nice. Yeah. Speaking of things you liked, I know that you loved Sophie Scheder’s bar routine. Sophie’s from Germany. She qualified for the event finals at Worlds but she didn’t medal. She scored a 15.2 which is quite a good bar score. What do you think of the routine?
JESSICA: Oh my God. She is like form and body type wise, she’s like the second coming of Khorkina. Gorgeous, long lines. Tall, as in average height for a normal human woman. Just beautiful. She even does the Khorkina tap on bars where she’s really hollow over the top of the bar and then taps and then taps over the low bar. It’s just gorgeous to watch. I love a nice 5 foot 5 gymnast on bars. I could watch them all day. So beautiful. Someone please make a slow motion video of all of her Stalders. I could watch it like sheep jumping over a fence to put me to sleep at night. Just so lovely. I love her. If we could combine her and Ruby Harrold together, perfect gymnast for all time.
UNCLE TIM: Yeah that would be your dream.
JESSICA: Yes it would.
UNCLE TIM: With a little bit of Becky Downie, maybe a little bit of her too and yeah. You’d be in heaven.
JESSICA: Combine her Stalders with an in bar release move creativity and I would just fall over. I wouldn’t be able to handle it. It would be too much for me. But she’s glorious. Just stunning, stunning to watch.
UNCLE TIM: And speaking of routines that almost made us fall over, what was going on with Yao Jinnan, especially during team finals?
JESSICA: She was like a little bit off. I mean the routine was fine and then she was a little bit off. I don’t know. She tapped too soon or if she just let go of the bar really really late but she just hurled herself into her double layout and had to completely tuck to not miss the high bar. Then of course as she’s doing that, she’s throwing her head back. I thought for sure she was going to land on top of the bar and hit her head on the bar. It was so scary. So so so scary. And it was really weird. It kind of came out of nowhere. She had a really nice routine. So terrifying. Terrifying. But not as terrifying as Nabieva’s dismount, which was actually completely fine. I literally screamed when I saw her dismount. Maybe it was just the angle, not watching from the side. You know those videos are kind of from the front at a diagonal. Screamed, screamed by myself watching on my phone on the couch, screamed.
UNCLE TIM: Yeah when Nabieva does the full twisting double back, it looks like she’s going to do one of those full twisting Tkatchevs, where you kind of hold on to the bar for a long time and then kind of scoot your butt over the bar and twisting at the same time. And that’s what it looks like. Legs come apart and she holds on to the bar forever. Yeah that was very scary. I feel like there is a tendency with the Chinese to have beautiful routines and then pull in to the bar at the very end. I’m trying to think who else did that. Somebody else did that I want to say at the Olympics.
JESSICA: Do you think, someone was speculating that that is because their routines are so freaking long that they have zero endurance at the end. And it kind of looks like that because they go, go, go and then they just fall to the ground like stones.
UNCLE TIM: Yeah and when you’re tired, you’re probably more likely to pull in because you’re like how am I going to hang on to the bar this long. Ohhh.
JESSICA: Please let me hang on long enough to not slip and land on the judges.
UNCLE TIM: Yeah the routine’s beautiful with her Ono turns and her Healys and stuff. But do you feel like the routine’s a little bit of a letdown without the Mo salto?
JESSICA: Yes. I feel like the Chinese are relying on their Ono turns too much. And they’re beautiful. They’re done so nicely but I’m just like, I mean it’s like a compulsory routine. I’m like (snores). I mean honestly can they mix it up a little bit over there. I mean it’s getting a little boring. I mean it’s like the Chinese men on high bar too with the twisties and the twisties and another twisty and oh they do like one release move.
UNCLE TIM: Yeah it’s true. They find a formula that works and then they all do it. I am curious though if they have problems with labrum tears like we do in America with all the girls doing L grips and stuff.
JESSICA: Oh yeah! I’ll bet we never ever find out because they probably censor and it we’ll never know. Who knows? Maybe someday someone will escape and give us the records of them constantly fixing labrums over there. Or maybe they have a special secret, something they do when they’re little kids, some special labrum protecting technique, like don’t compete if you’re over 70 pounds.
JESSICA: Now let’s talk to Kristen and find out how to play Fantasy Gym. So Kristen Watkins is here with us and she runs the one and only Fantasy Gymnastics league on the planet, as far as I know. People have been asking us forever about this because everybody wants to, just like they always wanted a podcast, they’ve always wanted to play fantasy gymnastics. And so everyone has been asking us about this for years. Last season, we got so many questions people wanting to know how they could play. And so Kristen is here to tell us about it. So first of all, let’s get to the most important part. There are deadlines for the draft. So when does the draft start?
KRISTEN: So the draft starts this Saturday on December 7, that’s when everything will open up and everyone can start researching all their gymnasts and putting them in their ranked order. And we’ll have a few weeks to go through that whole drafting thing. And then I’ll press the magic button and everyone will get drafted and everyone will have their teams and the whole game will start.
JESSICA: And then when does the draft end? So like if you don’t draft
KRISTEN: December 28th. I give you a couple of days after Christmas to get your crap together, draft if you forgot and then we’ll be rolling from there.
JESSICA: Okay cool. So we have from December 8th to December 28th to draft your team and if you miss the deadline, you’re out. You have to wait until next year. And this is only women’s NCAA right?
KRISTEN: Yeah for now. So last year it was only Division I women’s NCAA. This year, I’m expanding it to Division II and III, so they’ll be included this year which is exciting. And I’m hoping eventually to do men’s but for now, just to keep my life simple, we’ll start with women’s and see how it goes.
JESSICA: So like I could draft the best Division II vaulter and the best Division I floor person if I want to?
KRISTEN: Yeah you can do whatever you want.
JESSICA: Oh awesome okay!
KRISTEN: Yeah you just drag and drop and order them however you want and then it randomly decides who gets to go first in the draft and does it all for you. It’s pretty easy. If you’re a gymnast, you could pick your friend. You could do whatever you wanted.
JESSICA: So this is just like a regular fantasy league where like only one person can have Bridget Sloan on her team. Or can multiple people have Bridget Sloan on their team?
KRISTEN: Yeah so what we do is there are conferences, kind of like real NCAA. You know, there’s the PAC 12 and all those other conferences. People get randomly assigned into them. So you’ll be assigned a conference with maybe 10 people and within that same conference, no one has the same gymnast. So only one person can have Bridget Sloan or you know, whoever else it is. But between the conferences, people can have the same person. Just to make it a little bit more even and interesting, no one has the same gymnast within one conference but between them, someone can have them twice because there aren’t that many gymnasts to go around.
JESSICA: Okay that makes sense. And then what happens if someone is injured or they redshirt in the beginning of the season? Are they automatically taken off and can you redraft then?
KRISTEN: So last year we didn’t have that option and I’m trying to figure out a way to do it this year. It’s a little complicated. But for right now, there’s not really a way to do that. But each person gets twenty gymnasts so hopefully that’s enough to kind of cover your bases. You know, I had a couple of girls that I found out last year that were just out for the season and I didn’t know that when I picked them. But I was still able to get enough people on all my events the way I wanted to so looking into it, but so far we don’t have an option for injured gymnasts, just like if you were a coach of a real college team.
JESSICA: Of a real team, you’re totally screwed if that happens to you during the season. But 20 gymnasts is a really good size team. And so what happens if, oh I totally lost my oh. How many people do you have signed up for this?
KRISTEN: So right now we have maybe 450 people that have an account. So we already have double what we had last year so it should be a big year. And you know, the more the merrier. The nice thing about it is as many people can play as they want and it doesn’t make it any less fun.
JESSICA: That’s awesome! That’s so many people! Can you make your own, like I want to make my own, like I want to get all my friends together and compete against each other so we can talk massive crap to each other the entire time, can I do that? Can I put 20 or so of my friends together and have our own little league?
KRISTEN: Yeah so that’s another thing that I am working on. The kind of cool thing is that there is a big leaderboard of everybody that’s playing so you can compare yourself to your friends even if you’re not in the same conference. So that actually happened to me. I did college gymnastics back in the day and most of my college teammates did it. So even if we weren’t in the same league, we were able to compare across each other and poke at each other and say hey I’m beating you or she’s beating you or whatever. So we’re working on getting it where you can actually do it with a normal fantasy league where you and your friends create a league and that kind of thing. But not quite yet as this is not a full time job for me unfortunately.
JESSICA: Someday though someday. Now the other important question. How do you talk smack? Is there your own message board on here or is there a hashtag we should use for talking smack on Twitter? What is the appropriate method here?
UNCLE TIM: Jessica’s very clear priorities
KRISTEN: So you can use the hashtag #fantasygym. That’s the one we’ve been using for a while. That is welcome and it will actually show up on the home page of College Fantasy Gymnastics so everyone can see what you say.
JESSICA: Even better!
KRISTEN: Yeah and we’re working on, I’m going to have a message board so you can talk to members in your conference. It’s not going to be for the entire group but you could leave a little note saying I’m going to get you next week Uncle Tim or whatever it is.
JESSICA: I love this! Oh my gosh, I’m so excited to do this. I’ve always wanted to do it and I’ve just been intimidated by I don’t know what. So I’m totally in. I’m doing it and we will encourage our listeners. They don’t need much encouragement because they have been wanting to do this. We’ve had so many question last year about this so. Okay you guys. You start December 7th and you have until the 28th. So don’t forget for the 28th or else you’re out for the rest of the year. So this is fabulous. Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us and thank you for putting this together.
KRISTEN: Yeah no problem. Thank you for having me on.
UNCLE TIM: And what’s the website?
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 sports with a z and save $5 on your next purchase with the code Gymcast.
Alright, so we’re going to go straight to gymternet news now because we are going to bring you our interview with Dr. Larry Nasser later this week. So number one in gymternet news is that we have a gift guide, a holiday gift guide. I put this together. I’m very proud of myself because I always wanted someone to find all of the gym nerdy stuff that I would want to buy and put it all in one place so I don’t have to find that one person on Etsy in Sweden or the leotard maker in France or the one t shirt company in Canada. So I did it and I put them all together. So we have a little gift guide for you for anything you want to tell your friends and family to get for you, something nice to buy for yourself or to indoctrinate the little munchkins in your house with gymnastics things. What’s your favorite thing that’s in the gift guide?
UNCLE TIM: I’m trying to think. Oh I know. The Iron Man leotard. I thought that was the most hilarious thing in the world. But I’m trying to think, in terms of things I would actually buy….so one of the cool free things are the Christmas tags for presents. I’m totally going to use those.
JESSICA: And those are free by the way. Free.
UNCLE TIM: Yes, free. The thing I would want most, maybe tickets to the US Nationals next year. That might be something I’d want the most. What about you? What’s your favorite?
JESSICA: I think the beam, the lady on Etsy who will do custom 8 foot long low beams for you. So she has ones that are like leopard print with pink feet. I love those. And I wouldn’t get one for me but you know, maybe one of my little gymnastics nieces. And what’s another thing I love? I put some workout gear in there that’s kind of adult gymnastics workout stuff. And there are some awesome pants that are crazy expensive but they are so cool looking. I just want them. Like the (inaudible) ones that are compression pants with like little panels in them that are sort of like nylony. They make you sort of look like Lara Croft. And who doesn’t want to look like you’re going to pillage ancient treasure and kick ass on your beam routine. So I like those. Alright let’s talk about the craziest thing that happened this week. It shook the gymternet. Azerbaijan recruited three Russian gymnasts and some other gymnasts to come to Azerbaijan and compete for them. So the list for the new citizenship, who’s competing for what countries came out last week. And let’s see. Who’s one of our favorite gymnasts from Russia, two time Olympian, she has two World medals and is never ever selected for a team but she’s gorgeous? Hmm who would that be? 26-year-old Anna Pavlova will now be competing for Azerbaijan. In addition, Inshina. She’s 18. She was on the 2011 World Championship squad in Tokyo. She was sixth on balance beam. She is also going to Azerbaijan and competing for them in addition for one of the male gymnasts. And I think this is freaking fantastic. I could watch, as you know, Pavlova all day long. She’s one of those gymnasts that if she wasn’t from Russia, she would be competing for some other country and finally she has done just that. And according to Rewriting Russian Gymnastics, she will not be receiving any payment. None of the gymnasts will. They only receive payment if they win medals. So there really isn’t a financial incentive for them. The incentive is they get to compete on an international stage again instead of never being picked for teams. And there’s another article that Rewriting Russian Gymnastics talked about, translated and basically Pavlova says you know I was tired of not being picked for teams. I was tired of the selection process being unfair and she gives some examples of someone who took second or third in the all around and then wasn’t picked to go to Worlds or World Cup. You know, she would speak out about those things and she thinks the federation turned against her because she spoke out about it. She’s like you know I want to compete internationally and I think I still can and so this is what was my incentive to do this. I’m freaking stoked. But of course this leads to the whole what do you think of country hopping and a country like Azerbaijan who has the money can incentivize gymnasts to come to their country. I mean, they’re not buying them or paying them a salary. But they’re basically saying come and compete for us and we’ll support you and send you to these meets and finance you competing on the international stage again, which is a big incentive. What do you think about that?
UNCLE TIM: I really don’t have a problem with it. I feel like this whole idea of competing for your country and your nationality is very nineteenth century and very concept of nationhood. I think that we live in an era of globalization and you should be able to cross borders and compete for other countries if that’s a possibility. I think I’ve said this on the podcast before. If I were someone who finished fifth at the P&G Championships on the women’s side, I would be looking at my family tree and trying to find out what country would give me citizenship so I could compete at the Olympics in 2016.
JESSICA: I totally agree. I have no problem with it. I think it’s fantastic. I mean yeah maybe it’s unfair but so are sports. So how is this any more unfair than the two per country rule? Yes, you’re the third best gymnast in the world but you’re not allowed to compete at all in the all around finals. I just think it’s fabulous. I could care less. And all of the gymternet wins because Pavlova’s back! (cheers)
UNCLE TIM: Yeah and speaking of other gymnasts competing for other countries, Sophina DeJesus is competing for Puerto Rico I believe. So she’ll also be competing for another country. Well Puerto Rico is kind of part of the United States but not really. So complicated. But yeah I think it’s great. I’m curious what will happen with Anna Pavlova’s Russian nationality, if she’ll be able to be a dual citizen or if Russia will be like you have forsaken us. You must give up your Russian citizenship or what have you.
JESSICA: Her mom’s going to be the national team coach and they’re going to stay in Russia to train so I think they’re doing dual citizenship. I don’t know that for a fact but it seems that way. They don’t even have the facilities for them to train in Azerbaijan. So yeah that’d be my guess. So what’s happening with this Chuso article? It looked really mean.
UNCLE TIM: In what way do you think it was mean?
JESSICA: They were talking about how she wasn’t a good citizen and she would just go with whoever had the money to save her son and she had to defend herself against her homeland or defecting, well it’s not defecting but leaving to compete for another country because they could help save her son. I was just disgusted with that. Like how could you ever put nationhood above human life?
UNCLE TIM: So I think that the article itself wasn’t mean but the way that the Uzbek gymnastics federation treated Oksana Chusovitina when she left for Germany was mean. And so the article talks a little bit about how she was accused at the time of being unpatriotic but they also point out, it’s very even handed. They also point out the fact that the gymnastics federation didn’t pay for, didn’t give her money for her results. For instance, at the Asian Games in 2002 where she won two gold medals and two silver medals. So yeah, I think the article does a good job of showing both sides of the story. And so yeah she has returned even though she said she was not going to return. They don’t really know why. That’s the interesting thing. Like nobody really knows why she started competing for Uzbekistan again. Some people think it’s to help them with the upcoming Asian Games in South Korea next year. Yeah it’s not really clear. But there were some details I definitely didn’t know before. For instance, when she left for Germany, she had to sell her house and her car. Yeah it just seemed like a huge financial strain on her.
JESSICA: She’s got to be the person who has completely risen above all the nonsense. Like she must have seen everything that can possibly happen, having your federation talk smack about you, having the worst possible thing happen to your kid. That Asian Games I believe is the one where her and her husband weren’t allowed to room together even though they were married because people were against them because he’s Muslim or she’s Muslim or she’s Christian or something like that, all this nonsense about their religion. I mean she must have just seen everything. She must be the best person at just nodding at people and then going and kicking ass. Being like oh people are stupid. Now I’m going to just go and do my thing. I wonder how she deals with it all and compartmentalizes or processes all the nonsense. But she’s just a hero. A hero.
UNCLE TIM: As the article points out, people who criticized her when she immigrated to Germany, they are no longer in the Uzbek federation and so the guard has changed. One official in the article said I hope she has forgiven us for everything that has happened. And so yeah. I think that it’s not necessarily as mean-spirited as you originally thought.
JESSICA: Okay well I’m glad. I’m very defensive when it comes to Chusovitina. And she placed fifth at the Mexican Open with the kids so we love her. Everybody do not forget that this Friday December 6th, the gymnastics episode of Bones is going to be on Fox. So make sure you watch that. Maroney’s in it. Some other NCAA gymnasts who I’m sure you will recognize are in it. And it looks to be pretty funny and we can only hope that Spanny will do a recap of this episode. So this Friday December 6th and then after you do that, you’re going to go to bed, wake up the next morning and you’re going to draft your fantasy NCAA team on the 7th. Okay write that down. Put it in your calendars. Okay. Uncle Tim, who is our international shout out of the week winner this week?
UNCLE TIM: It goes to Christian Clarkson who is very very active on our Facebook page and she is from the UK. So hi Christian. Thanks for everything and thanks for always having great comments.
JESSICA: Yay I hope she’s going to Glasgow. It’s not Glasgowww it’s Glasgow. This is how I remember this now. I’m very excited for this meet. If you enjoy the show, please review us on iTunes, rate us, share us on Facebook or Twitter, recommend us to your friends, watch our video playlists for this episode, subscribe via email. You can download Stitcher app. Leave us a voicemail 415-800-3191 and our Skype username is Gymcastic Podcast. Shop in our Amazon store. Check out our holiday gift guide. As long as you shop through our Amazon link, a little portion goes back to the show. And you guys asked for a way to directly support the show and you can do that by donating, a little donate button. And as always, we read all of your emails at firstname.lastname@example.org. So later this week, we will be bringing you our interview with Dr. Larry Nasser from Team USA. And until then, thank you so much for listening and we will see you later this week. I’m Jessica from Masters Gymnastics
UNCLE TIM: And I’m Uncle Tim from Uncle Tim Talks Men’s Gym
JESSICA: Thanks for listening!