Episode 64 Transcript

UNCLE TIM: I think it sent me into a manic stage, and I after that, baked 144 Christmas cookies roughly. So you know. Rioting, baking.

 

JESSICA: Like you do when you’re really excited for your favorite gymnast.

 

UNCLE TIM: Exactly.

 

[EXPRESS YOURSELF INTRO MUSIC]

 

JESSICA: Today is an all news show about the Glasgow World Cup and NCAA previews.

 

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JESSICA: This is episode 64 for December 11, 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 one gymnastics podcast ever in the history of humankind, bringing you all the news from around the gymternet.

 

UNCLE TIM: So Jess, in a few seconds we’re going to talk about the Glasgow World Cup. But before we do, you got an inside scoop from someone the gymternet knows and loves. What did you find out?

 

JESSICA: Well, I talked to Cordelia Price who you guys know is Ebee’s aunt. And she goes to all the meets. And we were going to you know I recorded an interview with her but we had a bad phone connection. I just could not make the connection sound good in post production. So luckily I have a fabulous memory. Luckily I take copious notes. So you know how we all love this meet because it’s cutting edge for how to put on a gymnastics meet. So what they do is they know gymnastics fans are visual people and so they use visual displays to show you what’s going on in the meet. Last year they had a picture of each gymnast. And they would show the leader with their picture and the would show kind of a bowl filled with marbles if you will. And you could see that’s how much the leader has. Their score is 14 it’s filled up halfway. Then they would show the next competitor’s picture and they’d say here’s the points they need. And then when their score came up it would fill up the competitor’s jar. And if that jar got more full you could tell oh, they’ve beat the other person, you can see their score. It was just very innovative, very different. They also always showed the rankings. They had this animation to show the scores. And they didn’t do any of that this year. There’s none of that stuff. None of the stuff that made this so unique. One of the other things they did was they had the competitors come out and do a dance when they got introduced. So it was like So You Think You Can Dance. The competitor would come out, they’d turn some music on, they’d stand there and dance for a second, then they would turn on new music and the next competitor would come out. Totally innovative right? That would make you remember someone. Oh that’s the person that did this dance move or whatever. It’s so cool. None of that this year. So she was kind of bummed about that. I mean she did say she really really wanted to make a point when I asked her is there anything else you want to talk about or want people to know, she said British Gymnastics does an amazing job and also she said the Scottish people and Scottish gymnastics were fantastic. It’s just still the people the fans, it’s one of her favorite meets. Still without all this stuff, she just absolutely loves it and loves going to Scotland for this meet. She also made a point of saying how great the fans were. And also the gymnasts. I don’t know if you saw that two of the gymnasts, Teal and Catherine Lyons, both tweeted about meeting her. Not the other way around. They tweeted about meeting her. They were like Ebee’s aunt just said I did a good job, oh my god I’m so honored. I was like that is the coolest thing ever. Like I just was like that is so sweet. I mean it’s just yeah. I mean so that was one of the examples of how amazing everybody is there. So she just said they were amazing hosts. It’s just a fantastic country to visit and put on a great meet. They had a dinner afterward for all of the competitors. So it was a time for them to have a meal after a long competition. But also it’s like a little country exchange. Like a cultural exchange. So it’s a time for them to get to know each other. Their families can come. So Cordelia was able to go with Ebee and have a meal. And all of the competitors exchanged gifts. So you bring a gift from your federation gives you gifts or your sponsors give you things to give to the other gymnasts. I was like what did she get what did she give? So she said that people had pins, she had pins and pins from USA Gymnastics, things that said USA Gymnastics. And for us I’m sure as Americans I was kind of like eh that’s ok. But then I’m thinking oh my god we’re like the USSR of the 80s right now. Like we’re the greatest country of gymnastics right now. So if I had a pin from the 80s that said or like a jacket or an umbrella. If I had a scrap of toilet paper that said USSR Gymnastics on it, I would still have it framed. I can understand how that would be pretty exciting to walk back to your gym and be like oh my USA Gymnastics umbrella that I’m sporting in Japan. Oh yeah yeah I’m special. And so she said Ebee got some headphones and cool stuff like that. So she just said it was really nice and they all had time to hang out and she said that Ebee and Ruby got to kind of bond about both going into NCAA gymnastics together. And she’s really excited about that. So that was kind of cool to hear. Then in terms of the meet she said Popa, Roxana Popa from Spain was a big crowd favorite. And Ferrari she said she’s just she’s a workhorse. She’s just getting better and better with age. And that she just keeps looking better with each competition. And then she said that Carlotta Ferrari looked like she was limping and she was hurt a little bit after her vault. And then in warmups but then after floor she really was limping off and then crying afterward. So she was a little worried that she was hurt. And-

 

UNCLE TIM: Do you think that Vanessa Ferrari could be the next Chusovitina?

 

JESSICA: Oh totally

 

UNCLE TIM: In terms of longevity

 

JESSICA: Hands down. I think she’s on that path. The interesting thing is I was thinking about it exactly what you’re saying and I was like oh no she wasn’t- like Chusovitina started out as an Olympic champion. But Ferrari I mean she’s been a world champion. So actually I’m totally contradicting myself. Yes. I totally think she could. Because I feel like you have to have that level when you’re young because most people don’t get that- they don’t really progress from their peak afterward. They only go down. And Chusovitina has been at the top then she’s just sort of stayed in the top 10 level. But Ferrari the same thing. She was world champion and she’s still staying in that top 10 and I’d say she’s even better. Because I’d say on beam, probably beam and floor, she can contend on two events. For Chuso it’s pretty much down to one event now. But yeah. I totally think she could. In terms of the competition, Ebee fell on her vault. And I asked Cordelia about that and she said well just from watching she kept kind of running out, falling forward, stepping forward out of her amanar in warm ups. So she thinks she kind of overcorrected and that’s why she fell on her amanar because she said she’s never ever fallen in competition on that. So she was just shocked that Ebee fell on that. She just kind of fell on her side. It sounds like she was just over correcting.

 

UNCLE TIM: Yeah. So one thing I found interesting watching the video was last week when we talked to Larry Nasser he talked about how Martha has grown and learned from her mistakes. Well I think the same could be said about Donna Strauss. So you know how most of us have seen the CNN documentary on the Parkettes. And you’ll probably recall the phrase “quitters try” right? So that I mean the documentary portrayed Donna as a rather churlish woman. But after Ebee’s fall, Donna wasn’t talking about quitters tries. And she was calm and smiling. And I was like wow this is a totally different side of Donna Strauss than the one we saw on the CNN documentary. So I feel like maybe Donna Strauss has also learned from her mistakes in the past and has become a better coach too.

JESSICA: Definitely. I totally agree with that. And you know what’s interesting is so I asked her why Allentown is so full of engineers and she was like oh there’s Bell Labs here and there’s AT&T and there’s all these engineers that work in the digital phone whatever that’s called now. The interwebs, yes. So the reason I’m bringing this is up is because I feel like this is a super educated family that Ebee comes from. And if someone pulled the kind of stuff on Ebee that Donna Strauss pulled in the 80s, like when who was it that fell on floor in the finals? 89 Worlds? When she had that cats leotard. Cats routine. She

 

UNCLE TIM: You’re talking about Hope Spivey but are you thinking of Kim Kelly when she did her triple turn and fell?

 

JESSICA: No I’m thinking of when Hope Spivey came off the floor after falling on floor, and I think she could have medaled at that point. She walks off the floor totally upset with herself of course and Donna Strauss looks at her and says “You just threw away a world championship” and walked away from her. And I’m just like I don’t think Ebee’s family would put up with her being treated like that. So I’m agreeing with your assessment from where we stand it seems like things have changed with the Parkettes as well.

 

UNCLE TIM: So going back to the competition, Elizabeth Price wasn’t the only one that fell. Iordache, Larisa Iordache, threw the two fulls on beam. The first one’s a back handspring stepout tucked full and the other one’s a round off layout full, and she fell on the second, the layout full. But I was so impressed because her foot slipped off the beam and then she almost saved it. She was really close to staying on that stupid beam. What did you think when you saw it Jess? Do you think she could’ve saved it?

 

JESSICA: That’s the thing. This is what Cordelia was talking about this two, like her foot went then she almost made it. I don’t know it’s hard to say because you have so much torque going into that, if your momentum is already taking you off, I don’t know. I’m just happy to see with that much difficulty honestly it’s not really going to matter if she falls. To be honest.

UNCLE TIM: Yeah

 

JESSICA: You know, she still won.

 

UNCLE TIM: Yeah she did. So I mean the myth that if you have an amanar you’re always going to win isn’t necessarily true.

 

JESSICA: Mhm but if you have two fulls in your routine and start from a 25 then you could still win.

 

[LAUGHTER]

 

UNCLE TIM: The other, speaking of vault, Asuka Teramoto also unveiled a new vault, a handspring rudi. And we’ve seen several gymnasts compete this. For instance, Alicia Sacramone and Oksana Chusovitina. What did you think of Asuka’s?

 

JESSICA: It’s a little scary.

 

UNCLE TIM: Yeah didn’t have a lot of amplitude.

 

JESSICA: Yeah and it had a lot of torque going into the ground, which terrifies me. So you know hopefully it’s better in practice and this was a fluke.

 

UNCLE TIM: Yeah. For our listeners who did not watch, coming in first was Larisa Iordache of Romania with a 57.932, second was Elizabeth Price from the United States with a 57.365, and in third was Vanessa Ferrari with a 56.633. On the men’s side, Oleg Verniaev of Ukraine won with an 89.798, Daniel Purvis came in second with an 89.131, and Andrei Lichovistky of Belarus came in third with an 88.597. So Jess, there was a little I don’t know how to put it, a little-

 

JESSICA: Kerfuffle?

 

UNCLE TIM: Yes a kerfuffle on the parallel bars. What happened?

 

JESSICA: So it sounded like that well so I watched this and I also talked to Cordelia about it, that from the crowd it looked like he had just went up to his handstand and just jumped off. And she was like well what happened was that the equipment failed. And I was like well how did he get a penalty? If the coaches didn’t set it right, this has happened before I think it was Sam Mikulak where who was it where they shook the bar to show I’m in a handstand and this thing’s loose and the coach came over and tightened it. But in this case what it looks like happened was the equipment actually failed. So they tightened it but it came loose and you can see that one of the bars, it just one side, it turns out so his setting is totally off. Because the pbars rotate in and out, that’s how the settings work, so up and down but in and out. So one of them rotates out and he couldn’t do it, it’s not his setting. So it looks like he wasn’t faulted for this because it was equipment, not the coaches they had tightened it all the way. And so the thing with this is you know Cordelia also brought this up because there’s so many falls on beam on the women’s side. And I was like why do you think that was, what’s going on? And she was like well you know they use this equipment, she was like I don’t know if this had anything to do with it but they use this Continental equipment. And a lot of the competitors said it was really hard. And then Oleg had this problem. So I’ve never heard of Continental before. Apparently the gymnasts were polled afterwards to ask how they liked the equipment. And I don’t know what the result of that was but it sounds like they did not like the floor at all. It was really hard. And then the fact that this was an equipment failure during someone’s routine, eeek. These look like the old Spieth pbars with that weird cranky handle thing.

 

UNCLE TIM: Yeah

 

JESSICA: You know what I’m saying? I don’t know. So I’ve never heard of this company, I don’t know what’s going on, but it doesn’t look good for them. From where we’re standing right now, suspicious.

 

UNCLE TIM: Yeah I agree. It was a little weird. So and Oleg we were talking about Oleg’s parallel bars routine, and he actually did not have a fall-less meet. He fell on pommel horse. So both the women’s and men’s winners fell on an event. But I guess I didn’t realize this, I always thought this was the end of the World Cup circuit but these are actually the meets that kick off the World Cup circuit. And so you know this is technically the beginning of the season. So I think we should expect mistakes and also most of these gymnasts aren’t accustomed to competing twice in the span of a week. So they’re probably a little bit tired. They’re not necessarily used to it. So some mistakes at this point aren’t that big of a deal. You know who landed his vault this week Jess?

 

JESSICA: I can only guess it’s our friend John Orozco.

 

UNCLE TIM: It’s true. He landed his vault. He had much straighter legs. His hands both made it fairly safely to the vault. But he fell on high bar.

 

JESSICA: No no no

 

UNCLE TIM: So maybe he does need glasses, I don’t know.

 

JESSICA: This could be. We’re going to have to discuss this with him at length.

 

UNCLE TIM: Yeah because I was thinking last week oh well I mean it’s hard to make the argument that he needs glasses if he’s able to catch the little thin high bar while he’s going a tkachev full over the bar. If he can see that there’s no problem. But this week he missed that skill. So I don’t know what’s going on with him. Yeah.

 

JESSICA: Can we just before we finish with this meet. So did you have a second riot in the span of two weeks? Did you set a tiny car on fire? And roll out in the middle of the street?

 

UNCLE TIM: No I did not. I think it sent me into a manic stage, and I after that, baked 144 Christmas cookies roughly. So you know. Rioting, baking.

 

JESSICA: Like you do when you’re really excited for your favorite gymnast.

 

UNCLE TIM: Exactly. I’ll mail them all to Oleg.

 

[LAUGHTER]

 

JESSICA: So I asked Cordelia if there’s anything else she wanted to talk about because I was so excited to talk to her, is there anything else you want people to know. And she was like yeah, I do want to- she wanted to get something off her chest which is unusual for her because she’s very factual. She’s an engineer. She went to MIT. So she’s very concise and specific and so she said you know what really makes me mad that everybody still is stuck on calling the American Cup the Scam Cup. She was like you know it’s been a World Cup part of the World Cup series just like Glasgow for several years now. It is not just an American meet with only American judges boosting up Americans. It is a legitimate World Cup meet with international judges. It’s part of the circuit, and people really need to get over that and stop talking about how this has been the place where America sets up their next Olympian. You know it’s not that meet anymore. It really is something different. So she’s right about that. She really is. The Scam Cup days are over. It’s not our fault that the Americans happen to be better than everybody right now. So they win. You know you have to be in the top eight to be invited. You don’t just get to pick. It’s the FIG I think that extends- you have to be in the top eight in the world to get an invite to a World Cup, so it’s not like Steve Penny is looking through a list, puts the worst gymnasts in the world in a hat and then picks their names out.

 

[LAUGHTER]

 

UNCLE TIM: It’s true. But I think back in the day though there was reason to believe that there was totally some bias. For instance I was reading a 1999 American Cup article from International Gymnast. And they wrote-

 

JESSICA: The New York Times of gymnastics magazines

 

UNCLE TIM: Totally. They said one American judge who was promised anonymity offered the following explanation. We don’t hammer the foreign guys, he said. We’re just lenient on our guys. Speaking about the American guys. In short, the judges would never give a gift to a foreign gymnasts, but put more bluntly another America judge said I wasn’t sent here to help the Bulgarian. The Bulgarian referring to Jordan Jovtchev back in the day.

 

JESSICA: He doesn’t need any help thank you very much.

 

UNCLE TIM: Yeah. So there was some bias back in the day I would say.

 

JESSICA: Yes. Totally. Agreed. Oh my god that quote is scandalous. Do you see that’s why IG is the New York Times of gymnastics. They get the scoops. But I yeah I mean I think totally right, totally valid. But it’s like in gymnastics just like the dark days of the 80s where which and the 2000 which Larry Nassar talked about last week. It’s hard when something so blatant and terrible happens and so unfair. That lingers for a long time until you know you get that taste out of your mouth. So.

 

UNCLE TIM: It’s true.

 

JESSICA: Yeah. So hopefully that’ll move on. Ok let’s talk about espoir.

 

UNCLE TIM: So it was really dominated by Catherine Lyons. Espoir is kind of like the I would say like the junior nationals kind of for them. And she won pretty much every gold medal possible. What did you think of her performance Jess?

 

JESSICA: You know how I love her, oh my god. I love her. She’s the second coming. She’s the greatest thing since sliced bread, oh my god. I love her love her love her love her. I’m so biased about her and love her so much and her choreography and her skills. And her fierceness. That I can’t even, she could probably trip and fall during the middle of her floor routine and I wouldn’t notice. That’s how awesome she is. And speaking of which, I took that out of I had to cut that out for time with Larry Nassar’s interview, but he talked about how ballet and artistry can be used to hide from the judges your weaknesses. And that’s how I feel about her. Like she could really have a mistake and I wouldn’t notice because I’m so blinded by her amazing elegance in every other way. So I think she’s the greatest thing ever. Her floor is transcendent. Just look at the audience while she’s doing her floor, they’re like ooooh what’s happening, we’re in the presence of greatness, should I mark this moment on the calendar oh my god can I still feel my legs. Then she does a huge double pike. Boom drops the mic, that’s it.

 

UNCLE TIM: I think a lot of people agree with you. A lot of her Facebook fans were also saying the same thing, so. Catherine Lyons is the next big thing. Who would you say would win between Catherine Lyons and Bailey Key if they were head to head? Who do you think would win?

 

JESSICA: Well Bailey Key would win because she has way more difficulty, but Catherine Lyons would win anyone who she would win the heart of Podkopayeva award. Which means it’s the greater difficulty amongst the true gym nerds that Podkopayeva award always trumps difficulty.

 

UNCLE TIM: Gotcha, ok

 

JESSICA: I’m glad you followed that totally strung together train of thought that is my mind [LAUGHS]. Can we talk about how freaking awesome the British juniors are, dancing their asses off on floor?

 

UNCLE TIM: Yeah I mean they’re quite impressive. I’m trying to think where’s this all coming from. It seems like the program is just picking up steam and it seems like it started primarily with Beth Tweddle. And yeah it’s just continued. They really seem to be a program that’s blossoming.

 

JESSICA: Yeah like the other one a lot of people were talking about, and Cordelia mentioned her too because she watched this meet, was Teal Grindle. The cutest name ever. Doesn’t that name just sound like a little elf who steals cookies? Teal Grindle! [LAUGHS] I just love her name! And she lives in a hobbit house and oh I just love her name. Anyway. So she really made a name for herself I think at this meet. And put everyone on notice that she’s an up and comer. And honestly between her and Lyons, their floor routines are just non stop dance. They do not stop. They don’t rest in the corner, they don’t rest before they go into the corner, they dance hard the whole time. There’s no easy lying on the floor laying down, extend my arm, catch my breath roll over, no. No no no no no. No breaks, no rest. I feel like they should get bonus for that. Honestly how do you think you should differentiate. If you’re a judge, we’ll ask Dean on this when we talk to him later this week. Someone who dances hard the whole routine and someone who just does what’s required and basically lays on the floor the rest of the routine but has equally hard tumbling. You know who I’m talking about, NCAA season coming up.

 

UNCLE TIM: Yeah I don’t know. I think I talked about this last year with Bridget Sloan because she’s had a 15 second extended floor sequence. And then she got up after it and choked on her double pike. And so I feel like the judges might judge you more harshly if you sit on the floor and do this extended sequence on the floor and then get up and mess up your tumbling. They’re not going to be as lenient. I mean judges are human. So I think they will take that into consideration who was doing like an 80s aerobic routine [LAUGHS]. Jazzercising and you know, hit all their tumbling. They’re probably going to look on that routine a little bit more favorably.

 

JESSICA: Well I think we should introduce a new bonus for dancing your ass off the entire time and call it the Jabbawockeez bonus.

 

UNCLE TIM: Why Jabbawockeez?

 

JESSICA: You don’t know the jabbawockeez? How are we even friends. You don’t know who Edna is from The Incredibles and now you don’t know the Jabbawockeez? The dance group.

 

UNCLE TIM: Oh I was thinking of the children’s literature.

 

JESSICA: No no no, no one knows what that is anymore.

 

UNCLE TIM: Sorry

 

JESSICA: That weirdo, did you have to remember that damn poem when you were a kid too? Did you have to memorize it?

 

UNCLE TIM: I didn’t memorize it, but yeah.

 

JESSICA: Oh god we had to memorize that crap. Terrible, drug induced weirdo, freakin what is it from? No it’s its own poem. The jabbawockeez right? I’m thinking it’s in the-

 

UNCLE TIM: Yeah it’s by Lewis Carroll and it’s from Through the Looking Glass

 

JESSICA: Through the Looking Glass yeah, not from the original, the girl that falls down the hole [LAUGHS].

 

UNCLE TIM: Alice in Wonderland

 

JESSICA: Thank you, thank you. See can’t remember the names of anything. Not just people. Books too. Girls who fall down a hole. [LAUGHS]

 

UNCLE TIM: Moving on

 

JESSICA: Moving on. NCAA previews.

 

UNCLE TIM: Alright Jess. It is NCAA season more or less. We have a bunch of intrasquads going on right now. And a bunch of previews and exhibitions. And I know that you went to one. You went to the UCLA one right?

 

JESSICA: Yes. It is a mere 45 miles from my house, so yes I drive the hour there just to go watch. And it was a fun event. There was Kyla Ross was there with a whole posse. The gang of Orange County girls who came in and ran the show. And she was so cute she took pictures with a bazillion kids. And just over and over and over and over with a big smile and oh I just love her. So Nina Kim was there, an elite great. She went to WOGA. She was at Steve Nunno’s gym, Dynamo, in Oklahoma. Shannon Miller’s gym back in the day. She went to Utah. She, yes, we love Nina Kim. And she was selling her fabulous flower headbands, which you may have seen. They’re taking over every Instagram account of every elite you follow. You may have noticed those. The down moments were that Pinches, our beloved Pinches, has fractured her pinky toe. Aw. So she couldn’t do anything. [LAUGHS] She has a fractured pinky toe. Yeah. The other bummer was UCLA on beam. Yeah.

 

UNCLE TIM: What happened?

 

JESSICA: It was a horror show. Horrow show. Everyone fell. They were supposed to hit 10 in a row, series. They couldn’t get past I think four in a row. Just it was fall after fall after fall. They had to go like four or five rounds of this. And the only people that didn’t fall during that were Peszek and little Gerber, baby Gerber. Aisha Gerber’s sister from Canada. She was at Tokyo worlds team, she was on that team. And then people just kept falling including Danusia, which I was just like what is happening. I mean Spanny was probably just like freaking out. So she-

 

UNCLE TIM: What did she fall on?

 

JESSICA: Her front aerial

 

UNCLE TIM: The same skill she fell on at NCAAs?

 

JESSICA: I can’t remember what she fell on, I blocked that out.

 

UNCLE TIM: I think it’s the same skill.

 

JESSICA: Front aerial?

 

UNCLE TIM: Yep. In event finals she hit the transverse aerial and then fell on the aerial front walkover into her dismount.

 

JESSICA: It’s all blurred to me. I can’t remember. So yeah it was weird her arm was all off. Like one arm was it was almost like it kept going out of- it just I don’t know it was weird. So all the sudden Peszek just stops everything. Because Peszek you know how she can’t stand losing. She can’t handle it. So she stopped, brought everyone over in a huddle, and was just like no. This is not acceptable. We do not do that. And then they got it together. And they were a little bit better but they still couldn’t totally get it together. Then they did full routines. Which were a little bit better. Nush did her routine and it was just absolutely gorgeous. And she did her transverse aerial to immediate layout full off the side. Insane. I was sitting next to guys that never been to a gymnastics meet again and he like oh my god did you see that what is that thing? What is that? I’ve never seen anyone do that. And I was like no one’s ever done it before that we know of. And he was like does she get it named after her? I mean he was like out of control excited about that. It was totally adorable. And I was like yeah we’re excited too because that’s insane. So beam, horror show. Hopefully that will never happen again. Ok then ok bars was pretty exciting. They had first of all Peng Peng was walking around back and forth so that’s exciting after her ACL surgery she’s back. Then we had some full ins off bars, some double layouts, and then two Rays. So Sawa and Olivia Courtney are both doing toe on tkachevs. And then they went to floor. This is freaking cool. You watched the video right?

 

UNCLE TIM: Yes

 

JESSICA: They split the team up into two separate teams, and they cut the music together so that one person will start a routine and then do one or two tumbling passes. Then a second person would come out on the floor while they were still doing the dance in their floor routine and then they would both like sort of dance into the next person’s routine. Then the first person would leave and the second person would continue the routine. Then at the end all the team members came out and all did a finishing pose all choreographed together too. It was so cool. I kind of was like oh this will be fun. I loved it. It was so much fun that my whole row was like this should be an NCAA event. They should add this. Or if men’s gymnastics wants to survive, men’s gymnastics needs to add this in as an event. It wasn’t like team gymnastics. It was totally different because one person had the floor then two people combined their floor routines into one. They both shared a moment of dance and then transitioned into the next. It was so fun. Can you imagine if that was how floor rotations went?

 

UNCLE TIM: It would be kind of crazy yeah. It would be kind of like fartlek. Do you know what a fartlek is?

 

JESSICA: [LAUGHS]

 

UNCLE TIM: So it’s where one person if you’re training for cross country or track, one person’s running in the front then the person at the very end of the line has to run sprint up to the front and then run. And then the person in the back has to sprint up to the front and run. So you keep so it’s kind of like that. Just ongoing floor routine that never ends.

 

JESSICA: Except fun and not horrific like running. Ugh. Fartlek. Ugh. Yeah so it’s like that except awesome.

 

UNCLE TIM: So what were the highlights on floor?

 

JESSICA: Oh yeah. So besides the dance, Hallie Mossett is probably my favorite. She didn’t do her best, I think, at this event. But I don’t know how to describe this, but her arms are like another set of legs. [LAUGHS] Sounds weird and maybe like it would be an unattractive factor on a gymnast. But her arms are so long and expressive and there’s just something I’ve just never quite seen this in a gymnast before. She just has something some physicality that I’ve never seen. I don’t know. That’s all I can think of. They’re like another set of legs. Also on floor there’s some two double arabians, whip whip double pike from Nush, and then just some you know fun combinations like front step out to double back. Stuff like there were you like to see something interesting instead of a really boring front layout front layout puke all over yourself because you hate yourself for doing the most boring gymnastics ever middle throw away pass.

 

[LAUGHTER]

 

UNCLE TIM: Wow

 

JESSICA: If you do front layout front layout, you should just take a crap on the floor and walk out. That is how much I hate those. [LAUGHS] If you’re a division I gymnast. If it’s like-

 

UNCLE TIM: Why don’t you tell us how you feel

 

JESSICA: [LAUGHS] Like DII, DIII, if that’s all you can do, that’s awesome. But if you’re DI and used to be an elite, you should just be so embarrassed with yourself that you would rather just leave the gym than do that. I hate those passes so much.

 

UNCLE TIM: So I watched the medley as well. And I have to say that when a lot of people are going to hate me for saying this, but when I take a step back and look at Miss Val’s body of work, I find that her floor work has become somewhat stale in the sense that it has become somewhat predictable. Actually very predictable. For instance, you know that if she has an African American gymnast on her team, that girl will inevitably have some kind of tribal beats in her routine. And I haven’t decided whether that type casting is offensive or not. I keep vacillating on that issue. But yeah I think that her she hasn’t really pushed herself to step outside the box lately. And yeah, that’s kind of when you step back and look over the years, that’s kind of my impression.

 

JESSICA: Has Olivia Courtney had tribal beats in her routine?

 

UNCLE TIM: I’m trying to think. She did not. But what’s her name, Sadiqua did last year. She had the whole [inaudible] routine. Then this year I’m trying to think who had them. But yeah it’s kind of her go to with her African American gymnasts.

 

JESSICA: Interesting observation. I will refrain comment.

 

UNCLE TIM: [LAUGHS]. Alright. Well with that, let’s head over to another team that has-

 

JESSICA: Ninja level 10s!

 

UNCLE TIM: Ninja level 10s as you’d say. Oklahoma. So why don’t you tell us a little bit about what you liked from what you saw of Oklahoma on YouTube.

 

JESSICA: Well, I watched Lauren Alexander, and I love her mount. I really like that Oklahoma is trying and they’re making an effort. They’re not resting on their laurels like some team [coughs “Utah”]. So I really appreciate that. I watching one of the routines and was like oh the choreography’s so linear, they’re not using the- and then the girl turns, faces sideways, does a whole sequence of kicks and dun dun dun poses sideways and I was like ok nevermind, you got me. So I just appreciate that they’re really trying different things. And I like their choice of skills. And I really appreciate Oklahoma very much. And Lauren Alexander I was appreciating her routine very much. [LAUGHS] And then [LAUGHS]

 

UNCLE TIM: She does a chin stand and then what happens?

 

JESSICA: [LAUGHS] She like jumps into a chin stand which I was like oh that’s so- and then I was like [gasps and laughs].

 

UNCLE TIM: I don’t know what you just said, you’re going to have to try to say that again.

 

JESSICA: She like crawls on the beam and then like chest humps it. Or she like, she does like a little circle. It’s sort of like if Shakira and Britney Spears were doing a music video on the beam, what would they do.

 

UNCLE TIM: It’s very Shakira She Wolf if you’ve ever seen the music video to it.

 

JESSICA: Yeah. If she was covered in black oil, it would be even more. Yeah. Is that She Wolf or is that the one where she crawls under the table and the guy is cutting onions.

 

UNCLE TIM: That’s Tortura

 

JESSICA: I think it’s more Tortura than She Wolf. But anyway. It’s an eye opener. Let me tell you. Because I watched it about 20 times. So you got to watch that routine.

 

[LAUGHTER]

 

JESSICA: Then I also really liked Taylor Spears. Taylor Spears is like psht, she’s the, she’s awesome. And she does an Onodi to Korbut that will just take your breath away. I think I just expletived. I expeleted out loud when she did it. Can you say that? I’m making it up. I don’t care. It’s beautiful. It’s Oklahoma. There you go. And how do they not look fake tanned in Oklahoma? You think they do tanning beds? Why don’t they look orange? They know that causes cancer right?

 

UNCLE TIM: I do not know the answers to those questions.

 

JESSICA: Ok

 

UNCLE TIM: We will have to interview one of their gymnasts to find out.

 

JESSICA: Get to the bottom of this as we do these important important questions. What did you think?

 

UNCLE TIM: I had a funny transitions. I was going to say speaking of orange gymnast let’s talk about Florida.

 

[LAUGHTER]

 

UNCLE TIM: But no I think that one of my favorite up and comers is Chayse Capps. She does a back handspring step out lay out step out to a back handspring step out to arabesque. And I just thought that’s kind of a neat little touch at the end to finish the skill in an arabesque and just kind of capitalize on this and say I am in complete control of all this. But she does have a little bit of form on her back handsprings with her leading leg in the stepout, but other than that I think she will eventually deliver for Oklahoma and blossom into a really great gymnast. So yeah that’s kind of my impression on Oklahoma. I agree they’re making a name for themselves in terms of their balance beam rotations. So yeah. I enjoyed it.

 

JESSICA: Ninja level 10s

 

UNCLE TIM: [LAUGHS]

 

JESSICA: Ok. Orange gymnasts, Florida Gators. Why aren’t they green? Gators should be green. Or like, anywho. Ok. Silvia Colussi-Pelaez who has the transverse aerial named after her. She got it named after her at Worlds this year, which is shocking it’s taken this long for someone to get that named after them at Worlds. She’s fantastic. Gorgeous, gorgeous gymnast. I just I’m loving loving her. But let’s talk about beam for a minute. Spicer, Spicer, oh my god. Spicer from Kim Zmeskal’s gym Texas Dreams in Texas

 

[LAUGHTER]

 

UNCLE TIM: Really they’re from Texas?

 

JESSICA: I am really struggling today [LAUGHS] I don’t know why I’m struggling. Ok. So anyway I can’t get past the chest humping the beam circle, mm. Anywho. Ok you know why? Because I have a friend who I think I’ve mentioned this in a show before from North Dakota, and she did that in a floor routine. And she got a vulgarity deduction. The judge told her afterward because it was a long long time ago and, but I’m all for it. If it makes someone go what? And you know more power to you. I mean when you say to yourself what would Shakira do? Then the answer is what’s in my beam routine, then it’s ok with me. We need to make [LAUGHS] make-

 

UNCLE TIM: And the show has been derailed.

 

[LAUGHTER]

 

JESSICA: We need to make a tshirt that has that on it. What would Shakira do on the balance beam. Ok so Spicer. Back to Florida. Let’s go south, Florida, Spicer. From Texas. She does the most glorious sequence on beam. She does this thing where she does a needle scale then she does like a backwards turn on the beam then does a lay back pose without hanging onto the beam. Greece. We know that’s not how you do it. And then she turns over again and then she goes directly into a valdez. Who does a valdez anymore? Nobody. But Spicer does. I love it. I love it.

 

UNCLE TIM: [LAUGHS] You really like the low portions of balance beam routines.

 

JESSICA: Because no one does it anymore. And they don’t do it right. Just touching your leo to the beam, that’s a quitters try is what that is.

 

UNCLE TIM: [LAUGHS]. Well yeah. And in NCAA to get a, to- let’s see, you have to have level changes. Let me back up. You have to have level changes, so you have to have high, medium, and low skills on the balance beam. And-

 

JESSICA: Skills

 

UNCLE TIM: Yes. Well, except you can do a kneel, you can do a squat, and those count as low skills. And-

 

JESSICA: If you’re totally lame

 

UNCLE TIM: Yeah. So yeah. You appreciate when somebody actually touches the balance beam with a portion of their body. So. Besides their feet and hands.

 

JESSICA: Right. In the O’Beirne code you actually have to do a skill down there. Not just wiggle your butt at the bottom of the beam and stand back up.

 

UNCLE TIM: So one thing I did notice with Florida’s floor routines is that they use very familiar floor. So for instance, the Colussi-Pelaez, they use “Those Were the Days,” which is the song that McKayla Maroney used this year. Mackenzie Caquatto uses “Heart of Courage” by Two Steps from Hell which was the song they used at the Olympics in 2012 which was interesting because that was supposed to be the Olympics Mackenzie went to. Alaina Johnson uses the “Diva Dance” by Eric Sara. Bridget Sloan uses “Seven Nation Army” by the White Stripes. So they use very familiar floor. And I think that’s probably a good thing because it probably makes you know your average fan a little more interested in the floor routines if they know the music. Yeah what did you think Jess?

 

JESSICA: Yeah I mean, I’m not like super into their choreography. It’s like, some people I love. But then the rest, I’m like eh. But then, you don’t know the gymnasts. Some gymnasts, you just can’t get anything out of them. Like, that’s the best they can do. They can’t squeeze an emotion out if you beat it out of them. That’s a tactic that I think works. It’s a tactic that works. That’s all I’m going to say. I just feel like they’re not trying hard enough. Oklahoma’s trying. It might be weird but they’re trying. So, but I do love the Colussi. We will now call her the Colussi. Like the Khaleesi. Is anyone else watching Game of Thrones? No, because Uncle Tim doesn’t watch TV.

UNCLE TIM: (laughs) I don’t have time.

JESSICA: No you’re very busy. So, go ahead.

JESSICA: Let’s discuss Bridget Sloan’s floor.

UNCLE TIM: Yeah so it’s interesting. So as I was saying, she uses Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes

JESSICA: (hums Seven Nation Army) no go ahead. I’m doing background music for you.

UNCLE TIM: So I loved the song at one point in my life so I don’t mind the music. But what I found very interesting is she is doing a lot of Alicia Sacramone’s old old dance elements. For instance, one time in the corner, she does kind of a butt shelf, what we call a butt shelf. You arch your back, stick out your butt. And then she rubs the inside of her thigh just like Alicia Sacramone used to do. And I was like huh, you really are a little Alicia follower out there. It reminded me of, you know how like when you’re a level 8 and you have to choreograph your routine and you’re like oh! I remember when I was like seven and I saw this other level 8 do this one thing and I’m going to do all those skills and put them in my floor routine, that’s what it reminded me of.

JESSICA: Well it could be an ode to Sacramone. This has been done before. But the thing is, it’s not just that one thing. It’s many Sacramone moves and we’re not the only ones who noticed this. A lot of people on Twitter and Facebook were like is this like a Sacra-what did they call it? A sacra-graph, something like that. But you know, maybe that’s part of the plan. Whatever it is, it’s for sure there, unquestionably. Unquestionably, there.

UNCLE TIM: Yeah and I  was also curious if maybe Alicia Sacramone choreographed the routine just because, you know how she’s getting into choreography. But I know that Jeremy Miranda usually choreographs Florida’s floor routines. So I’m guessing that they just used the normal choreographer. But I don’t know. So Jess, I know that you were saying some things about Utah not really trying. What did you think of their videos that have been coming out? I mean we know that Greg Marsden is the king of social media and puts out like a gazillion videos that are very high quality. But what did you think of the actual gymnastics?

JESSICA: Well first of all, kudos to them for having live streaming of the Red Rocks preview, what they call their intrasquad meet. That’s just great. Every team should do this.

UNCLE TIM: And that’s coming up on this Friday the 13th.

JESSICA: Yeah it’s at 7 pm mountain time. I mean, this is how it should be, everybody else out there in the whole world. Except you know there are some teams that are doing an intrasquad. No, they’re doing an intersquad instead of an intrasquad. So they’re competing against whatever local team which is great. I think that’s a cool way to do it too, so it’s an actual meet instead of just an exhibition. So I like that. Nansy Damianova has the hugest, most beautiful double Arabian into a stag jump ever. It’s glorious. So pretty. It’s really really really something, something to watch. And it just looks like tumbling wise and skill wise, they’re totally stepping it up. Choreography wise, you can basically just close your eyes the entire time until they get back to tumbling.

UNCLE TIM: (laughs)

JESSICA: Really I don’t understand it. I don’t know what else to say. You have these amazing athletes, you have this huge crowd. You could be setting the stage. I just feel like it’s lazy.

UNCLE TIM: Yeah but you do have to admire their tumbling.

JESSICA: Oh totally.

UNCLE TIM: Two handsprings to a full twisting double layout which is crazy. Nobody does that in NCAA. So yeah.

JESSICA: Yeah absolutely. The tumbling, the skills, they’re totally stepping it up. Absolutely, they are not resting on their laurels. That’s amazing. Totally not talking about the skills. I’m just talking about the choreography. But you know how I am. So let’s talk about Michigan.

UNCLE TIM: Yeah they had a live streaming video of their intersquad between Michigan and Central Michigan. And so it was interesting to watch. Bars is not necessarily considered their strong event. They’re very much like Brestyan’s in the sense that they are considered very good at floor, vault, and beam but bars not so much. However, I was really impressed because Austin Sheppard, a girl who competed for Hungary at the 2011 World Championships, Austin did a piked Tkatchev on bars which was impressive. Like nobody does that in NCAA. Nobody. So I thought that was interesting. And then also they have some big floor tumbling. Pretty much everyone opens up with a full twisting double back of some sort, either in a tuck or pike. And then they also have Joanna Sampson who is the NCAA floor champion. She is opening with a double layout. They have some big tumbling. However, their floor routines are very much in the hip thrusting chest popping dubstep hip hop realm of gymnastics. How do you feel about that Jessica?

JESSICA: I don’t mind that. If it works for the gymnast, then I’m okay with it. If it’s someone who clearly, when Terin Humphrey used to do her routines at Alabama, she looked like she wanted to put a bag over her head, no. But if it works for the gymnast, then I’m fine with it. I have no problem with hip hop in a leotard. I don’t care. Like if you can dance, you can dance. It doesn’t matter.

UNCLE TIM: Yeah I was thinking about it kind of more in philosophical terms. You know how in college, it’s kind of this time, especially for a gymnast, where they are learning how to take ownership of their bodies in many ways, especially for female gymnasts. And it’s always interesting to see how that manifests itself. It could be what kind of clothes they wear. I also think it kind of comes out in their floor routines. There can be this part of you that ends up being expressed in maybe more seductive ways and I think that also comes out in their gymnastics. And I think it’s interesting. You have to think about the context. They’re in college and they’re finding themselves in many ways. So I really don’t have a problem with it because I think it’s just part of the identity formation process.

JESSICA: I agree. And the other thing is hip hop is the dance of our time. It is what you grow up doing. It is what you take dance class for. It is what you do when you go dancing. It is what happens, what people do in the hallway at school. It is what happens when you go to your school dance. To not include that kind of dance in NCAA , it is the dance of our time. It cannot be denied. It must be expressed! Okay, now I’m done with that.

UNCLE TIM: Your favorite, Jessica, Minnesota. Tell me all about Minnesota.

JESSICA: Well as usual, they’re my favorite, favorite, favorite. And Idaho, Boise, I love them too, in artistic ways. Lindsay Mable, glorious as always. Just extension. Like extension, extension, extension. They’re like shorter versions, tighter versions of McCool. That’s what I would say. They don’t have, they just seemed a little tight. Just exquisite extension. Oh I love them. But oh my God, Hanna Nordquist on beam, shut up! She’s doing aerial, layout step out, stuck cold. Then she does an aerial full dismount, which is freaking hard. An aerial into a dismount, I don’t like just a full for your dismount. But an aerial into your dismount, that’s scary. I mean it’s not an E into an aerial which obviously Nush should get 100 points of bonus for. She does a switch half and she does a switch side. Doing a switch side, just watching it, it makes me feel like I’ve pulled every single muscle in my crotch. So she’s just fantastic. Have you ever tried one?

UNCLE TIM: Yeah. I used to make the girls really upset because I was very good at leaps.

JESSICA: I don’t want to talk to you anymore. That is the hardest freaking, well I guess for some people it’s fine. Whatever. Okay, what are we on to next? Alabama.

UNCLE TIM: So I would say that I’m very impressed with Sarah DeMeo because she is doing an Arabian double pike. However, you feel there is a tragedy at hand, Jess. Why’s that?

JESSICA: Because she’s such a beautiful dancer and they are just not finding. The routine starts pretty promising actually. It starts with, what’s the twerking song with the one that used to be on the Disney Channel. You know they all end up to be drunk addicts. And there’s the older guy

UNCLE TIM: Are you thinking of Miley Cyrus?

JESSICA: Yes! What’s the song they did that to?

UNCLE TIM: Blurred Lines

JESSICA: Blurred Lines! Like you can’t help but dance when you hear that song. Isn’t that what it starts with? In my mind, that’s what song it starts with. I’m pretty sure it’s Blurred Lines. Anyway, it starts with that and I’m like oh yeah. She’s my favorite gymnast and she’s going to do an Arabian double pike which everyone should lose their minds. It’s an Arabian double pike in college! Is she the first person to ever do that? Is she? I kind of want to say yes.

UNCLE TIM: She might be yeah.

JESSICA: Oh my God and I love her. And then the music changes and I do not want to jump up and down in my seat anymore and it’s just like eh. I don’t care for it. I mean can we try something different with her? It’s the same problem with Terin Humphrey. This is what they did, injustice all four years, injustice. What did you think?

UNCLE TIM: I don’t know. I was mostly just thinking about the fact that she was doing an Arabian double pike. And I’ll be honest, there’s a lot of times during NCAA routines that I just kind of tune out during the choreography because I hate to say this but really what it comes down to is whether you land well in NCAA, land your tumbling passes well or not, whether your drag your front foot on your lunge or not. I don’t even know that they really take too much deduction for cheating on your jumps which happens a lot in NCAA. When you’re doing your twisty jumps, let’s say you’re doing I don’t know, a Popa into a Popa, they don’t really pay too much attention into whether you did a Popa and a quarter into a straddle and three quarters or something. I guess it’s probably bad that I don’t always pay attention to the choreography.

JESSICA: Well I can see why you don’t. I mean it’s not terrible. It’s not like she’s doing anything hideous. It’s a missed opportunity. You know how I feel about missed opportunities. Oh, speaking of stuck landings, Bridget Sloan, holy crap. She’s stuck like every video of her that’s come out. She’s stuck her landings. Beam, floor whatever. She’s a sticking machine, sticking machine.

UNCLE TIM: Yeah, we’ll see. This is really early to be making predictions. But do you think she could repeat as NCAA all around champion?

JESSICA: Yep.

UNCLE TIM: Or do you think that Kytra Hunter will be so mad that she didn’t win last year that she’ll step it up and win this year?

JESSICA: I think she will be extremely mad but I think there’s no way she’s going to beat Bridget Sloan.

UNCLE TIM: Okay. Who else do you think could be up there? I’d say Rheagan Courville probably.

JESSICA: For all around? I don’t know yet.

UNCLE TIM: I’d say Rheagan Courville could be up there. Maybe Emily Wong of Nebraska.

JESSICA: Mmm, love Emily Wong.

UNCLE TIM: We’ll have to pose this question to our gym nerds.

JESSICA: Did you draft your fantasy team yet?

UNCLE TIM: Not yet.

JESSICA: Oh my God, I haven’t either. Just thinking about it makes my palms sweat. Like I need to seriously plan. I don’t feel prepared. It’s a serious decision. It’s my first time so I want it to be special. Okay, let’s talk about gymternet news. I added some more stuff to the gift guide because I can’t help myself. And one of the things I added is this really cool book called Flip Outside the Box: Creative Women’s Gymnastics Elements. So I love, love, love, love this book. It was published in 2009, I think and it just has really unique skills that aren’t necessarily in the code. Like some of the things, I think they’ve been added since this book came out. But it’s stuff that just, after you’ve been doing it, especially as an adult gymnast, after you’ve been doing gymnastics for 20-30 years, you want to just try something new. Like you just want a challenge. It’s fun to just challenge yourself with something new. And this book is full, full, full of ideas. If you have a rec program, or I remember Steve Nunno talking about this a long time ago. He said he would give the Code to his athletes and just say pick out something you want to learn today and we’ll just try it. Just to mix it up, to make it fun, to give someone a challenge. You know, it gets so tedious doing the same workouts so I cannot recommend this book enough. I mean and there’s stuff for every level. You don’t have to be a level 10 to try the stuff in here. They have something everybody can try from a level 5 on. Such a cool idea, and it also has a spot for notes so you can take notes about what you tried or how many times you tried or a variation. And actually, the illustrations are really good. I was a little worried, stick figures, but, they’re not. They’re really nice illustrations. It’s really easy to understand what’s going on in the pictures. I’m really really impressed with this. Very impressed, I totally wholeheartedly recommend this book. So I added it. Check it out. Hopefully, I don’t know if I’m going to add more stuff. We’ll see. But I love our gift guide. I keep adding more stuff to it.

UNCLE TIM: And so last week, there were a couple of people tweeting at us about Shawn Johnson and what Larry Nasser said about Shawn Johnson. He said that she only tore her meniscus. She didn’t tear her ACL. And lots of people have been saying but Shawn Johnson said she tore her ACL. So Jess, what can you say about that?

JESSICA: Okay so just to clarify. So a sprain is a microscopic tear in your ligament. So you have different degrees. You have first, second, and third degree sprains. So a first degree could be a microscopic tear. Second degree, a little worse. Third degree can be a full entire tear of the ligament where the ends are not touching anymore. So that’s when you need an ACL repair. So you know, Shawn even said this. I went back and looked on her blog, the very first post she puts up about this. She said that she had a small tear in her ACL. So she did not have a complete tear of her ACL. What she had was a bad sprain. A small tear is totally different than a full complete tear of your ACL. So I guess she was advised by her doctors to have ACL repair because she did have ACL repair. But she didn’t have an ACL tear. I don’t know why they advised her to have the ACL repair even though she didn’t have a full tear but that’s what she decided to do. So that’s the clarification about what that was about.

UNCLE TIM: Okay. And what did a lot of people say about Mr. Larry Nasser? Well, Dr. Pardon, Dr. Larry Nasser.

JESSICA: We have had so much amazing feedback about his episode. I thought the Katelyn Ohashi, that had to be the one we got the most feedback ever about. This show, constantly, even when I was at the UCLA event. People came up to me and they were like Larry Nasser, thank you so much for putting that episode out. He’s a hero. I mean I was like shocked. He really, I mean this is kind of epic response that we’ve gotten. People are just absolutely thrilled. Alright so this person said, gymfan10 said: “This interview was FANTASTIC! All caps. Dr. Nasser’s insight into USA’s history is so fascinating. I really respect the work he does for the gymnasts. You could really tell he cares about them as human beings and getting them as successful as they can be. I found his comments about Morgan White to be so heartbreaking. I can see why the US has stuck with injured athletes at the Olympics. Chellsie Memmel came to mind. Thank you for your podcast. I look forward to listening to it every week. It’s a great way for us gymnerds to keep up with everything that’s going on in gymnastics world.” Tonya said, “I love love LOVE these Gymcastic interviews. Great questions, fascinating answers, getting a chance to hear from people I’ve always wanted to, such as so many gymnasts, Tim Daggett, now Dr. Larry Nasser. I was try to tell my husband how all the athletes walk under the picture of the 2000 team and the hell they went through and couldn’t stop from tearing up. It’s so refreshing to read someone’s comments and see that there are so many fans like myself who have such a love for the sport. Thank you Gymcastic. Please keep the interviews coming.” Lauren H. said “Oh my God, I love Dr. Larry Nasser. I love compulsories and miss them so much and thought it was amazing that that would be the one universal gymnastics change. Brilliant. And never put two and two together but the injury rate increased once compulsories were dropped. So true, insane, and sad. Great interview.”

UNCLE TIM: Gymnassthole wrote on our website, “I’m going to start a petition to have Dr. Larry Nasser on Gymcastic every week!!!!!!! He should also take Tim Daggett’s commentator’s place. He should also take Tim Gunn’s place as Project Runway mentor. He should also take Abby Lee Miller’s place on Dance Moms. He should also take Rudolph’s place on Santa’s sleigh. What I’m saying is, he should take everyone’s place.” So basically we are no longer needed Jess. We just need Dr. Larry Nasser.

JESSICA: That comment expressed the depth of love and gratitude and hero status that he has now gained after that interview. Yeah he’s a pretty special guy and very honest and put some sunshine and light and honesty onto the history of our sport and what’s going on now and definitely resonated with the fans. In Russia, some not so good news.

UNCLE TIM: Yes, unfortunately Afanasyeva had ankle surgery before World Championships and it turns out that the ankle surgery did not produce the desired results and it sounds like she’s going to have to go to Germany for another surgery. So hopefully those magical doctors who I believe fixed Aliya’s knee back in the day, will also do some magical work on Afanasyeva. But in good news, in terms of injuries, Kalon Ludvigson, we interviewed Justen Millerbernd a few months ago about Kalon’s injury. And for many months, he was in the hospital. But now it sounds like he will be heading home for Christmas. That’s very exciting news. I’m sure that Kalon’s family will be happy to have him home.

JESSICA: And he can use his arms, not fine motor skills. But he can use his arms and he has a push wheelchair which is a big big big deal. So I’m very excited for him and his husband that he’s going to be home. Sending you both our love, Justen and Kalon. Okay, so we asked you guys for a leotard injury, oh my God. So wait until our interview that’s coming up at the end of the week on Friday. We’re going to have three interviews actually for you. We asked the same question to one of our guests, have you ever had a leotard injury. I broke the sound on my recording because I laughed so hard. So do not miss the interviews on Friday. Just to preview it, if you thought I laughed hard in the past on the show, just wait until Friday. So, one of our Tumblr followers wrote in with this fantastic response. Newtonthinkimattractive said: It was not a gymnastics leo but when I used to do ballet, we had leos with tutus. I just thought these were the coolest things ever. I was about six and it was one of my first public recitals. I tried to jump straight into my leo with the tutu. I decided that literally jumping into the leo with both feet was a good idea. I jumped and managed to  get one leg into one of the arm holes. But I didn’t realize this at the time, I thought I had jumped right into both of the leg holes no problem. So I kept pulling and pulling and fighting with the leo trying to figure out why it wouldn’t pull up and what was wrong. To make a long story short, I cut my leg and fell head first into a chair. Not one of my best moments.” Thank you, thank you newtonthinksImattractive for writing in with that fantastic story. Uncle Tim, do we have an international shout out of the week?

UNCLE TIM: So I’m going to go with gym nerds of the week, plural. And the gymnerd award goes to all of our Facebook followers who tried to think of a way to change the composition of Larisa Iordache’s bar routines so that she did not have a giant swing into a half pirouette. And so they thought of a bunch of different ways to reorganize her routine so that she would no longer have that kind of awkward swing half pirouette in it. And so, it goes to all those people who participated and were nerdy enough to throw out some ideas.

JESSICA: I was super impressed with that. They came up with great ideas. I was like, how do we send these to the Romanian federation because clearly they need all of us gym nerds.

UNCLE TIM: Exactly.

JESSICA: So next week, not next week. Later this week, we have our interview with NCAA judge extraordinaire Dean Ratliff who’s been a judge for a long long time and I just love love love. Because when I was judging high school gymnastics and had no idea what I was doing because I didn’t even know that high school gymnastics existed, he kindly walked me through everything without laughing hysterically in my face at the ridiculous questions I asked him. So he will always have a special special place in my heart and he’s an extraordinary judge and he’s been around for a long time. He’s seen everything. So we will get the scoop from him. Thank you to everybody who wrote in questions for him. We’re also going to talk to Fred Turoff at Temple University about how we can help save the men’s gymnastics program that was dropped there the day before finals, the week before finals. Put all the student athletes in a room the week before finals and said oh all of your programs have been dropped, all these teams. We’re also going to talk to Jill Hicks and find out what she discovered when she surveyed NCAA coaches and asked them what they thought of early recruiting and what should be done about this. Some interesting results she got so we’ll talk to her on Friday. If you love the show, please remember to vote for us on the Stitcher awards. You can go to the site and there’s a link and nominate us in one of the many categories available and remember to check out our gift guide.

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.

If you love Gymcastic, and you can’t get enough of us, remember to subscribe via email, watch our video playlists, recommend us, share us with a friend, walk into the gym and yell it from the top of the beam, Gymcastic is the best podcast ever. Everyone should listen. Rate us, review us on iTunes, review us on Stitcher. You asked for ways to support the show. You can donate directly. You can also support us by doing your holiday shopping through our Amazon store. There’s a little link to Amazon and just click on there and as long as you start that way, a little portion of your holiday shopping will go back to us and to support the show. You can always call us or email us, leave us a voicemail or our email isgymcastic@gmail.com and our phone number for voicemail is 415-800-3191 or our Skype username is Gymcastic Podcast. Did I forget anything Uncle Tim? Anything you want to mention?

UNCLE TIM: Nope.

JESSICA: Please go on to Amazon and buy tiny match cars that can be set on fire and send them to Uncle Tim so he can stage the riot for Oleg that he’s always wanted to. Okay. Until Friday, my gym nerds, this is Jessica from Master’s Gymnastics.

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

JESSICA: See you later this week.

[Exit music plays]

JESSICA: Oh my God you are not doing that right now. Did you drink a whole bottle of wine? You’re fired. You just made me reverberate on my recording. (sighs) Coop is fired. He just did the running man past the desk. As if we weren’t off track enough. Alright where was I?

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