JESSICA: Just a reminder that this show is rated PG-13. This week, our picks for the most fascinating gymnastics people of 2013.
[EXPRESS YOURSELF INTRO MUSIC]
ALLISON TAYLOR: Hey gymnasts! Elite Sportz Band is a cutting edge compression back warmer that can protect your most valued asset, your back. I’m Allison Taylor on behalf of Elite Sportz Band. Visit elitesportzband.com. We’ve got your back.
JESSICA: This is episode 68 for January 1, 2014. 2014! I’m Jessica from masters-gymnastics
BLYTHE: I’m Blythe from the Gymnastics Examiner
UNCLE TIM: And I’m Uncle Tim from Uncle Tim Talks Men’s Gym
JESSICA: And this is the number one gymnastics podcast for all time, bringing you all the news from around the gymternet. So let’s talk about the meets that happened over our two week break. Uncle Tim what happened in Tokyo?
UNCLE TIM: So at the Toyota International, I believe it’s called, it was a lot of repeating on the men’s side from the World Championships. So for instance on floor, Shirai Kenzo finished first with a 16.325. On pommel horse, Kohei Kameyama of Japan finished first with a 15.3. Still rings, Arthur Zanetti finished first. And then on vault, Kim Hi Hoon finished first. And Kohei Uchimura won both parallel bars and high bar. On the women’s side, we had Phan Thi Ha Than of Vietnam finish first on vault. Beam was Natsumi Sasada. She won beam. And then Victoria Moors won uneven bars and floor. And Miss Moors also debuted a new floor routine. What did you think of it guys?
JESSICA: I loved it. I loved it. And I can’t believe she’s done three routines this year as you pointed out. That’s nuts. But I love it because I hate it when people keep the same routine, even for two years in a row. That’s ridiculous. Like oh my god. I bang my head against the wall so hard if I had to do the same routine two years in a row. That’s the best thing about becoming an optional gymnast. You don’t have to do the same routine over and over and over for your whole life. Ugh. So hats off to her. And three routines in one year, even better. And not to mention she did her double double and she still stepped out of bounds but it was fantastic. It’s even better. More laid out. She’s getting better and better, more confident at it, so I like- this is my favorite routine of hers too.
BLYTHE: Yeah, agreed. I’m totally a fan of this routine. It has everything. It’s got the tumbling of course. And the double double layout is getting better every time she does it it feels like. And this one, even though it had the out of bounds, was probably the best one that she’s landed in competition this year. It’s also got artistry. And Victoria has such an interesting unique way of moving. It’s got grace, it’s got originality, it’s got a lovely piece of music. It’s everything that you would want in a good floor routine these days.
JESSICA: And no stork stands that I noticed anyway. So she’s choreographing the way it’s supposed to be instead of doing the horrible stork stand. So that makes a huge difference. This is what the code is supposed to look like. If you had an example, if you read the code and were like here’s what it’s actually supposed to look like in practice, this is the spirit of the code. The spirit of artistry, the spirit of what they’re trying to do. There’s no code whoring in it. So, loving it.
UNCLE TIM: Yeah I’m not a huge fan of this new music selection, but I do like some of the little bits of choreography. For instance after her first tumbling pass before she goes into her second tumbling pass, the music just cuts out then theres this CH CH moment where the music kicks in again. And I thought the choreography there was really cool. I also wonder if the Japanese floors helped her a little bit. When we had Sho Nakamori on the show he talked about how bouncy the floor are in Japan in comparison to those in the United States. And I wonder if maybe she got a little extra bounce in Japan and that’s why her Moors was so excellent.
JESSICA: Hmmm. Interesting.
UNCLE TIM: The other big meet was the Liukin Invitational. And that’s a men’s gymnastics meet. And my favorite Oleg Verniaiev won with a 92.1. It was the second time that he scored over a 92 in the all around. First time was at Stuttgart. And he’s the only man to do that so far in 2013. Coming in second was Wataru Tanigawa with a 90.3. And coming in third was Danell Leyva with an 88.2. Danell keeps having some problems. For instance, at the meet he fell on his stretch kovacs. But he did add a kolman which looked pretty good. So it wasn’t quite as scary as Sam Mikulak’s where you’re wondering if he’s going to catch the bar and when he’s going to catch the bar. So yeah it looked pretty good. Jess what did you think of some of the routines that you saw?
JESSICA: Oleg’s was, he does a lot on the side single rail work. That’s the technical term. It’s not on the side. It’s single rail work thank you. I learned that from your-
UNCLE TIM: On parallel bars
JESSICA: blog. Yes yes. And so I like that because that’s kind of throwback. And I think it’s more artistic you know. You shouldn’t just work under the bar and on your arm pits. Move around, use the whole thing. That should be a rule too. Maybe it is, I just don’t know. So and he didn’t get stuck sideways and fall off, so that was a bonus. And I just really like that they do the meet in the gym so people are really close to the apparatus. So when he landed it was like you know it felt like there was a big crowd going nuts for him even though there weren’t that many people there but I just like that setup. And Leyva, his routine was a little sloppy to me. I feel like this isn’t a big meet. So I don’t know if he he might be one of those gymnasts that has gears. So this is a try out new things, see how it goes, have a good time kind of a meet for him. But he looks a little sloppy. He’s always had really nice form and I was kind of surprised. But adding a kolman is a huge deal, so I was pretty stoked to see that. And he went for it after his fall, which was a big fall, which would’ve been like a you have a concussion if there wasn’t a mat there kind of fall. So. Yeah.
UNCLE TIM: A lot of the US guys are adding kolmans. Did you see that Stacey Ervin is working on one?
JESSICA: [gasps] he is? My Stacey?
UNCLE TIM: I believe so. I think I saw that on Instagram.
JESSICA: It’s going to be beautiful. It’ll be the best one ever if he does it. Just saying now. I’m totally not even trying to act like I’m not completely and totally- as if I have been hiding it from so far, you know, that he’ll be it’ll be the best one ever. I’m completely biased for him in every way. So yes take everything I say about him with a grain of salt.
JESSICA: Blythe, any thoughts on the boys?
BLYTHE: Not really. Just sort of what you guys have said. I think Oleg Verniaiev has been a huge talent for the last two years. And really this year, even though he had a bit of a misperformance at the World Championships. He was great at Europeans. He won three of the four World Cups. He’s excellent. And he’s only 20 or 21. Might be 21. He might still be 20. But yeah. He’s fantastic. And yeah I agree with you about Stacey Ervin, Jess.
JESSICA: He’s kind of like yeah.
JESSICA: Yeah he’s kinda awesome.
JESSICA: Yeah. So Blythe, one of our favorite pouty teenagers who with a concussion has decided to call it quits. What’s happening in Russia?
BLYTHE: Well unfortunately for fans of Tatiana Nabieva, fans will be very sad to know that she has decided to retire apparently. And you know she’s had a fantastic career. And so many roles. Sort of one of the Russian teams pillars, companion to Aliya Mustafina, sort of a partner in crime. And just really one of the most engaging gymnasts to watch, on the equipment or off the equipment, of the past four or five years. She was a fantastic junior, Junior European all around champion over Mustafina. She’s been a World medalist on uneven bars. She’s been an absolute badass pioneering her toe on tkachev straight over the bar on uneven bars. And she’s really been helpful for the Russian team as they sort of built towards 2012. Unfortunately of course she did not make that Olympic team. And 2012 was kind of the worst year of her career. But it was wonderful to see her come back at the Universiade this summer and really look much more mature, focused, calm, steady in her gymnastics, and give a very satisfying performance. The routine that stands out to me is her beam routine from the Universiade. Basically because it’s never been her good event. But she really demonstrated I thought how far she had come in the past few years and just taking her time and focusing. And doing lovely, very watchable, very pretty gymnastics. So Nabieva, you will be sorely missed. If ever you feel like you want to go to Azerbaijan and compete-
BLYTHE: they would welcome you with open arms.
JESSICA: Yes. Azerbaijan if you’re listening.
BLYTHE: We can like build a dream team for Azerbaijan. Maybe we should be hired as like consultants.
JESSICA: I totally think we should. I mean obviously we’re geniuses, so.
BLYTHE: Listen here Azerbaijan Olympic Committee. Want a good gymnastics team? We can help you out with that.
JESSICA: I’m going to miss that Nabieva, you never had to wonder what she was thinking. Like Khorkina. You knew. You could see it on her face. She didn’t have, Nastia has a competition face. You will not know, she has the same expression the entire competition. Nabieva, you never had to guess. It was very expressive. She was very enjoyable to watch from the sidelines or during her routines. So I’m going to miss that about her. And she made it really exciting to see women’s bars again doing something so innovative. So wish her the best.
JESSICA: So in the cool new skills department, we have a couple of exciting things. One, we missed oh my god. So thank you to one of our listeners for pointing this out to us on Facebook. Rowena Needham from Bristol Hawks competed at the Junior National Championships in Glasgow. There at the espoir apparatus finals, she competed this on bars. So exciting. And she’s like two feet tall by the way. She’s tiny little thing. She did the zuchold with a half turn. So this is the skill that everyone was so excited about because Ruby Harrold has resurrected it from the 1980s and put it in her routine. Now this kid is doing it with a half turn and it looks really cool and really pretty because she actually stretches it out then turns. You’re like wait what happened. She looks like a little cat, she’s like boop turns the other direction. Very excited about that. Then King Kohei has put up a video of him practicing a, are you ready for this, cassina to a kolman to a kovacs. So that is a, wait which one is a cassina again?
UNCLE TIM: Full twisting double layout over the bar.
JESSICA: And then the kolman is a?
UNCLE TIM: Full twisting double tuck over the bar
JESSICA: Ok so cassina is laid out. Kolman is tucked full. And then the kovacs is just the flip.
UNCLE TIM: The double tuck yeah
JESSICA: Yes. Is it a double? I guess it is. Because otherwise you’d just. No it’s a single.
UNCLE TIM: No it’s a double.
JESSICA: Because you just let go with your hands then grab with your hands again.
UNCLE TIM: Yeah but you do a double back over the bar.
JESSICA: You don’t do one flip?
UNCLE TIM: No. Otherwise you would never, yeah you wouldn’t be able to catch.
JESSICA: I think it’s a one flip. Ok we’ll, we’ll have to argue this later. Because if it was half a flip you’d like on your feet on top of the bar. Full flip you land- ok we’ll discuss later. Ok. Anyway. Laid out full, single full, and then the yes. With perfect form. This is the thing. He did it with perfect form. So I don’t know. Blythe what do you think Mr I’m in medical school with the blond hair in the Netherlands was thinking when he saw that?
BLYTHE: Oh man. Well we’ve talked before about Epke. He is a wonderful gymnast. A terrific trickster. So much daring. And has a wonderful ability also to hit better during finals than he does during preliminaries in terms of E score. However, and Epke is completely aware of this, he still needs to clean up a bit. And I think to have Kohei posting this video, hey man you’re not the only guy who’s doing three kovacs style release moves in a row in the world anymore, might be a bit of a wakeup call for him. Of course we don’t know what Kohei is really planning. Maybe he’s just working things in the gym as he does. We’ve seen some awesome stuff from him before. We’ve seen the quad twisting double layout from Kohei. And it’s unlikely, it seems, that he’ll ever compete that. But certainly it’s a bit of a wakeup call. And you know, if Kohei is doing these sorts of things, I bet you that Kohei’s teammates are also working on similar things as well. And so we might really see in the coming year, two years, that this kind of become a trend. Like remember in the early to mid 90s when to do four or five tkachev style release moves was a trend?
BLYTHE: Well this is the new era. And I think this business of doing big kovaces and several in a row is really where it’s at on high bar right now. And the Japanese seem to have to wherewithal and the daring to do that. And I don’t want to point a finger at European gymnasts and say your high bar routines compared to the really daring stuff that has been done at the world level is a bit I don’t know, what’s the word that I want. Stayed? I want to point the finger a little at Great Britain honestly for doing fairly safe conservative high bar routines with a tkachev release move. And then you have someday like Epke or Fabian Hambuchen or who knows maybe Kohei in the future who are just ripping off these wild things. And I think there’s a big difference. I guess that’s all I really want to say. But yeah.
UNCLE TIM: Coach Rick calls those routines crap. They don’t do any big releases.
BLYTHE: Coach Rick is far more succinct than I am.
UNCLE TIM: I’m curious though whether we’ll actually see this in Kohei’s routine. In February we saw a video of him doing kovacs to kolman to kolman. And that never materialized in a routine. So we’ll see. But like you said, there are other Japanese gymnasts working on similar release skills. I’m trying to think of his name. Koji Uematsu is also doing a similar release sequence. So, yeah. It’ll be like you said it might be the new era of high bar.
JESSICA: I just feel like everyone else, we should go back in time and give them a million more deductions for those skills. Because I didn’t even think you could do them the way that Kohei did them. I just didn’t think you could arch your back like that or go so high you don’t have to arch your back to have that form. Like he’s just you know, he’s the king. That is all. So in other news, people that don’t have such good form, Mykayla Skinner has posted a video of herself doing a triple double onto a spring floor. Or she’s not doing it onto the spring floor sorry. She’s doing it on what looks like a spring floor landing it on a resi. But actually she has pretty good form when she’s doing this. It’s very nicely done. So I should not compare this to her other skills at all so I apologize for this. And it’s really exciting to see someone doing a triple double. How about her landing position though. What did you guys think? Uncle Tim.
UNCLE TIM: Yeah. It looks like it could easily be a knee problem. Unless she is one of those rare human beings that Larry Nassar talked about that just have like 25 extra ligaments in their knees. But it looked a little scary on the landing because she’s still twisting as she was landing.
JESSICA: Yeah she definitely has I agree like a ways to go. Because she’s definitely landing with her body, she’s a full quarter turn away from finishing it. So she’s coming in the ground still twisting. But it’s exciting to see she’s working on it. It’s like if she can get more height, you know, which clearly she’s a great tumbler, so it’s something to look forward to. And then, in our dreams our coming true news, Sam Mikulak is working on the air flare. And it’s actually like he’s almost got it. Like he’s pretty much doing it but it’s weird. He kind of doesn’t have enough height yet so he’s reaching around. It’s really archy. But I think he would get credit. What do you guys think he would get credit for doing it? I think he would the way it looks in the video.
BLYTHE: Yeah probably. It’s a little bit, well, probably.
UNCLE TIM: Yeah it’s not quite there yet. It’s not as good as Max Whitlock’s. But it’s coming along. And when he comes down his legs are a little sloppy too. If I remember correctly. But you know he still has a couple weeks I guess before his first meet if he’s going to put it in his floor routine this year.
JESSICA: Yeah and that’s the thing is I feel kind of bad about even criticizing anybody’s training videos. Because on the one hand we’re so excited to see anyone training videos but then we’re like it isn’t ready blah blah blah. So I just want to say thank you guys to Skinner and Mikulak and everybody for putting your videos out there because it’s so exciting to see. We get to see what you’re actually capable of even if it’s not worth the risk of doing it in competition. But I think Sam was saying when they filmed it was the first day he actually even got it. So clearly it’s going to get much much better. I can’t wait to see that. So we talked a little bit earlier about Victoria Moors and her routine seemed to be with the intention of the code behind it because there are no stork stands. But there is some unfortunate news with the, well it depends. Unfortunate news or not with the new floor rules. So these are in the elite code. Uncle Tim can you tell us about this?
UNCLE TIM: Yeah so the stork stands are here to stay. That’s not changing. Then another rule that you must kind of dance into the corner. You can’t just step into the corner and then turn and huff and puff then do your next tumbling pass. You actually have to move your arms a little bit. That’s here to stay. And then new rules, two new rules. You cannot start your routine with an immediate tumbling pass. You actually have to do a little choreography before the first tumbling pass. Then the other rule is you cannot perform two subsequent tumbling passes in the same diagonal. So what a lot of girls will do is do their first tumbling pass, maybe do a little couple arm movements, and then do their second tumbling pass back down the same diagonal that they came from. And so that is no longer allowed according to the new rules the FIG has put out. And what do you guys think? Are these good improvements? You just think they’re just making a bunch of rules that nobody really cares about? What are your thoughts?
JESSICA: I don’t like the rule about how you can’t do two tumbling passes back to back in the very beginning. Because I feel like the thing that sucks is there isn’t enough time to dance. So people do that so they have enough time for a real dance sequence. And that’s strategic. I don’t think people do it because they have shitty- people don’t do it because they have shitty conditioning, they do it because the rules suck you know? So to be like no you can’t do that anymore, you have to fit your two dance moves in between all your 10 tumbling passes is ignoring the real problem. So I am totally upset with that.
BLYTHE: I think we’ll have to wait and see really. I think that the success of these rules is going to be judged by the product that’s put out on the floor literally over the next couple of years. And if they are good rule changes, we will be happy with the floor exercises that we see. And if not, then I suppose you know we’ll still be complaining in a couple of years. I think that 2013, there have been some really gorgeous floors this year. And so you can say that that’s because of these rule changes that were implemented. Or you can say oh that has nothing to do with the rule changes, it’s just good choreographers and such. People making good things in spite of the rules in place. I don’t know. I think for the most part they are good rule changes. The stork stand, I don’t know about that. But the other things yeah. I understand the reasoning for wanting to do two tumbling passes, front loading your routine like that. It maybe it’s not the most aesthetically pleasing thing. Gymnasts can make it work. There’s all sorts of ways to be creative on floor. But yeah I mean for the most part I feel ok with the rule changes. Even the stork stand. Because if nothing else it got that great montage “Get out of that corner” that everybody loved.
BLYTHE: So it was worth it just to be able to see that. But yeah time will tell.
JESSICA: I hope someone just does their first tumbling passes then just jazz runs to the other corner that’s next to them and then does another tumbling pass to get around this rule. Somebody please do that just for me. Jazz run and like with your hands up you know with the jazz fingers, jazz run and then just do dramatic looks from side to side then take off for your other one.
UNCLE TIM: Well I think that you’re thinking that all gymnasts have to do four tumbling passes. But Ellie Black’s routine from this past year only had three tumbling passes and fulfilled all the new requirements. And so I’m thinking that maybe the FIG is hoping that people will start doing three tumbling passes rather than maybe four tumbling passes. I also think that they’re hoping that the gymnasts will try to be more creative with their use of floor space because yeah I mean the routines were fairly predictable. Lots of the girls will start with one tumbling pass then go back down the same diagonal, do their turn sequence or their leap sequence, do another tumbling pass, do a little dance then do their tumbling pass. And it was really predictable. And so I think that’s what they’re trying to get the girls to do. And the way to do that is to take deductions if you don’t follow their rules. So. I don’t know. That’s my take on it.
BLYTHE: I think you’re absolutely right. Personally I would rather see three, and forgive me for sounding like a snob here, three elite tumbling passes rather than two elite tumbling passes and a 1.5 to a front tuck full and a double tuck at the end.
BLYTHE: That’s just me
JESSICA: Amen to that. Why are you doing- if you can’t get your tumbling, all your tumbling in in two or three passes, what else are you going to show us? This is what we’re talking about with Ferrari. If she can do a double double she doesn’t need to do a double back. Obviously she can do a double back, we don’t need to see that. That kind of thing, it’s just the tumbling rules were getting out of control when you’re doing a double back dismount. Like Moors did that in her routine in Tokyo and I’m just like really? Really? I totally agree Blythe. Ugh.
UNCLE TIM: I’m also curious to see if some of the female gymnasts will take a page from the male gymnast floor routines in the sense that they will start doing tumbling passes on the straight away but on the diagonal straight away. Do you know what I mean? When you go basically start in the corner and then tumble into the middle of the floor. Because that would be a way of avoiding that same deduction. So but still doing four tumbling passes. So we’ll see if some of the female gymnasts start trying to do a full twisting double back on the straight away or something.
JESSICA: I would love that oh my god. No need for the jazz run when you can just take one or two steps into a skill. And we totally know there’s gymnasts that can do that. Hello, Biles. She doesn’t even need to run. Why does she even bother running? Besides when she does run her little legs are so tiny she only makes it to the middle of the floor anyway. That’s genius. Oh I hope all you coaches out there listen to this. Get around the rules.
BLYTHE: There’s room for that. Remember for example Kayla Williams’ side tumbling pass triple full in 2009? That was pretty wild.
JESSICA: Yep I love those, yeah side passes. Those are the best. Big fan. I keep wondering why people don’t do that in NCAA. I just feel like it’s such an obvious unusual thing to do. And I was wondering why more people don’t take advantage of that. So. Let’s discuss the most fascinating people of 2013. So we had a lot of nominees. We have narrowed this down and nominees nominated by ourselves. And we have narrowed them down to two each. And then we have some honorable mentions. So Blythe, tell us who your two choices are for most fascinating. And tell us why.
BLYTHE: Well my, this is probably pretty typical, but the people that I picked were Kohei Uchimura and Kyla Ross as most fascinating gymnasts of 2013. You know Kohei for very obvious reasons. The man is a living walking kovacs doing legend. And he just- it’s very rare to see a gymnast who is always at the top of his or her form at every single meet they compete at. You can say a little bit that during the Olympics there were some chinks in Kohei’s armor. He made more mistakes in London than he has in any meet in the four years preceding that since Beijing. But this year he came back, he was newly married, he’s a new father to a young daughter, and he looked completely focused. And completely driven. And just he was the leader of his team and he showed them how it was done in Antwerp. The variety of skills that he throws you know? He has something like five or six different vaults he could do in a meet. Everything was just so beautiful and so perfect. And that should be celebrated at every opportunity. And then for Kyla, she was, she’s just such an intriguing story. You know most of the time when somebody goes to the Olympics and wins a gold medal, it is the pinnacle of their career. But I feel like for Kyla, London was just kind of almost a warmup. She came in this year and she’s two inches taller. And she’s really a completely different gymnast. She’s so much more mature. She is more polished. Her presentation is just excellent. She has this beautiful elegant new floor routine. Elegant look, elegant presence on that. And doesn’t seem to have been fazed like Kohei by being an Olympic gold medalist. And that was just, it’s wonderful to see that after an Olympic Games, the Olympics are certainly going to be the highlight of any gymnasts’ career but they’re not necessarily the pinnacle. And it will be very interesting to watch Kyla as she continues over the next few years and what her place on the US team will be.
JESSICA: I so agree about how this is with what you said about Kyla with this being sort of like a warmup and how much she’s improved. Because I feel like when other people get to this level, there’s no motivation for them to change anything. Even though they’re definitely could be improvements. I’m thinking about Alicia Sacramone. Her gymnastics was basically and her choreography and artistry exactly the same her entire career. Where there’s definitely places, she’s so incredible, definitely places she could’ve made improvements. But why? She was winning. Whereas Kyla, she’s winning, but she still went on to make all these improvements and still made an effort to make changes. And that’s so admirable, incredibly admirable. I didn’t really think about it until you said it and I just appreciate that so much more about her now that you pointed that out.
BLYTHE: Although I don’t know if I completely agree about Sacramone. I think that her choreography did improve quite dramatically between 2005 when she won her first floor title and 2011 which was the last floor routine that she did. And showed a real emphasis in that she’d studied modern dance and had much more polished precise movements. And real dance. Real choreography rather than kind of just posing and being in the corner and posing again. And then tumbling. But yeah, no I see what you mean as well. Kyla has had a real metamorphosis. I really feel like in 2012 she was still a caterpillar and today she’s a butterfly.
JESSICA: I love that! So adorable. Ok Uncle Tim, tell us about your, well let me mention one more thing about Sacramone. Actually I totally agree with you. She did make an effort in that last routine. I think the problem was it started if you watched it the first meet of the season and the last meet of the season, first meet it was a totally different and then by the time she got to the end of the season she reverted back to old habits. But she totally did make an effort there. You could definitely see it. Yeah you’re very right. So. Uncle Tim. Tell us about your people.
UNCLE TIM: I’m going to pick Kevin Mazeika and Rhonda Faehn. So Kevin is the national team coordinator for the men in the United States. And honestly after US Nationals I was very concerned about the US men. I didn’t think they looked ready for Worlds at all. So I thought it was possible the US men wouldn’t win a single medal at Worlds. But somehow between Nationals and Worlds, Kevin whipped these guys into shape. And the US men won four medals at Worlds which I don’t really think anyone expected. So props to you Kevin Mazeika, that’s why you’re one of my most fascinating people of 2013. And then my other choice, Rhonda Faehn. Where to start. So at the top NCAA programs, the head coaches are pretty much playing chess while everyone else around them is playing checkers. And those coaches who have won National titles are like Bobby Fischer chess masters basically. They have so much strategy. They know how to motivate, they know how to do PR, they know how to brand their program, they know how to attract recruits. They however don’t always know that much about technique. They leave that up to their assistant coaches. Rhonda Faehn however I think is kind of the perfect blend of craftyness and gymnastics knowledge. I mean you don’t win the NCAA Championship without being cunning on the women’s side. But the thing about Rhonda is she also knows her technique. She knows her skills. I chatted with her before NCAAs this past year, and she can really gym nerd out and I love her for that. And at the same time I’m a little jealous of her too because her husband is so hot. So Rhonda Faehn, you are one of my most fascinating people of 2013.
JESSICA: Is Rhonda Faehn the only head coach who’s actually been a high level gymnast beyond recreational gymnast of the top five? Because Marsden wasn’t, he tried diving. Yoculan wasn’t a gymnast.
UNCLE TIM: Wasn’t. Greg Marsden wasn’t. Miss Val wasn’t. Sarah Patterson wasn’t. So yeah, I’d say she was.
JESSICA: That’s kind of a big, yeah. And I think it’s interesting too about her what fascinates me is she is one of the, she was a Karolyi gymnast. She made it through, she was on the team where there was bribery going on at that Worlds. She made it through the darkest years of gymnastics and has come out to be a collegiate coach you know in this totally different world and has been so successful at it. So it was so hard for me to narrow these down, but my most fascinating people are actually three. So number one is a couple. A pair. It’s a couple. Well not a couple, that’s not the right way to put it. I don’t want to imply anything with that. That was just, I mean the joining of- that was a bad way to put it. I mean nothing by that. That’s just the first thing that came out of my mouth. I’ve been traveling a lot. I have a little bit of a cold. Forgive me. Ok. So. Chuso and Bogi together. This past year where they have Bogi has been traveling with Chusovitina and coaching her. And they have been posting all these pictures of them on the road having a blast. And just Chusovitina continuing after the Olympics and continue to be successful and traveling around to compete at all these different countries as their special guest on the Japanese team. And just how much fun they’re having And to see Boginskaya be so excited for her friend. And just to see where they have come from, the dark days of the Soviet system and what they must have endured. And Chuso and her history. And to come to this beautiful happy amazing successful ending where they are both together again in this new world still in gymnastics is just heartwarming and beautiful. And I base my choices on who I want to see a documentary on, this is my fascinating accomplishments don’t really matter. Just who would I want to watch in their daily lives and what goes on and hear them talk for hours about their lives. So Bogi and as when Emma was on the show she was saying they should totally have a show about them that follows them and I completely agree. I just think they are amazing and beautiful story and they would be hilarious. My second person is Aimee Boorman, head coach at Bannon’s Gymnastix, coach of Simone Biles. She is the first female head coach to ever coach a US world champion. And the reason I pick her is two-fold. One, because I can’t believe we are at 2013 and we haven’t had a female head coach coach a world champion. How has that happened? How in this world, in the United States has that happened? I look at the British gymnastics team and how their country is completely different. The women coach the women. The women spot the women. There’s none of this men spotting the girls and men being head coaches over women. I see her as a role model for other coaches. And I hope that other women who aspire to be coaches see that they can do everything necessary to create a champion. And I don’t want to take anything away from the other coach of Simone, Luis. We had him on the show and obviously he’s done an amazing job as well. But to be the head coach is obviously different. I think that she’s set a new standard and I think it’s fantastic and I hope that little girls watching now will see her with Simone Biles and her on the sideline and say that could be me. I could be that person coaching someone. I don’t need a man to help me. I don’t need a man to do the spotting. I know what to do and I can be in charge. I think she’s a great role model. So that’s why I chose her.
UNCLE TIM: I also like her because I think she’s probably a fun coach and understands how important it is to have fun no matter what level you’re at. In the Gymnastike documentary about Simone and her experiences in the gym, there’s a video of Aimee teaching her girls how to play poker and I’m guessing it was in conjunction with some strength activity or something. But I was just like I wish I had that kind of learning when I was doing gymnastics, you know, learn a life skill like poker and also get to do strength and have fun at the same time. So yeah I agree.
JESSICA: So there were a couple of people that we couldn’t decide. They didn’t make our most fascinating list but they were really important this year and very interesting and we kept talking about them on the show and they kept being mentioned on the gymternet. They are our honorable mention people. So Blythe who’s your honorable mention?
BLYTHE: Somebody who’s been in the news in the past month has been Anna Pavlova who has signed up to go and compete with Azerbaijan. And this has gotten gymnastics fans hugely hugely excited because there’s now the prospect again after all of these years of seeing Pavlova again at the World Championships and to qualify for what would be her third Olympic Games. And there are people who are just in raptures about this and rightly so. And when you talk, Jess, about the people you want to see a documentary done on, I think Anna Pavlova would make a lot of people’s list. She’s certainly, I think, on all of ours. So yeah Anna Pavlova definitely makes mine for honorable mention of people of the year.
JESSICA: Like how has she made a living all these years? And where has she been training and what has it been like for her because she was on the team and off the team and still training. There’s so many blanks I need filled in on her story you know? And now that she’s competing for Azerbaijan, she’s another one that I feel like, like Ferrari, could be another Chusovitina. I really think she could. And people are going to want to watch her even if she’s not successful. She’s like Vasiliki Millousi from Greece. Even if she never wins anything, you could watch her all day. She’s so beautiful. She’s the essence of artistic gymnastics. Uncle Tim, how about for you?
UNCLE TIM: I’d have to say my honorable mention goes to Victoria Moors, just for the simple fact that she had a new category created in the Code of Points just for her skill, the double double layout. I mean that’s just so impressive. It’s not necessarily unprecedented because if you look back in history, the 1975 Code didn’t even have a double back listed as one of the skills. Like a double turn was the hardest skill listed in the Code. And by 1978, people were doing full twisting double backs on floor. But that said, it’s been a while since we’ve somebody do something so mind-blowingly difficult. So that was really impressive. And there’s something to be said about the fact that she has in a way put women’s gymnastics on par with men’s gymnastics in terms of difficulty. I mean the double double layout is one of the hardest skills being competed on the men’s side and she’s doing that skill as well. So yeah good for her.
JESSICA: So the last person on our honorable mention list was mentioned by Spanny Tampson when we were talking about this. And this one is going to be very controversial but you cannot deny that there is a fascination with this person. So Mykayla Skinner is the final honorable mention and it is because she is a lightning rod both for controversy and just for performance greatness. So everyone that was at Nationals, P&G Championships just said her performance on floor was incredible. It was transcendent. It was the most amazing moment of those national championships. And whether you can’t stand her form, which obviously I can’t because I bring it up every time. It makes me nuts. Or you know, you think she’s definitely going to get hurt because she does a vault with one arm, which is going to lead to problems or you think that it doesn’t matter because she’s doing something that is so fun and draws people to the sport. You know, she’s also politically controversial because of her very conservative views in a sport that is so liberal, there’s definitely an interest in her whether it’s good or bad. It can’t be denied that she really stood out this year in a lot of ways. So yes, we’ll see what happens from this honorable mention but she’s definitely someone people have been talking about and made an impact this year.
UNCLE TIM: Before we end our year end wrap up, there’s one question I wanted to ask you guys. And I want to know, what routines from 2013 you think people will be talking about let’s say in 20 years? People are still talking about, I’m trying to think of a good example in the past, Svetlana Boginskaya’s guitar routine. It’s this kind of iconic routine that people still discuss to this day. What do you think will be the routines from 2013 that people are still talking about if there are any? What about you Blythe?
BLYTHE: Well for me, and this is maybe reaching a little bit because it’s a training routine but the routine that I’m going to remember is Enus Mariani, our junior European all-around champion from Italy training a new floor routine sometime around March around Jesolo. I think it was a dance through but it was phenomenally beautiful. I mean it got people talking about the grace and the polish and the artistry and the choreography. And I don’t think we’ve even seen her compete it unless I’m wrong about that, yet. But it was absolutely stunning. To pick something that we have seen people compete, you’ve already talked quite a bit about Victoria Moors, that routine and the double twisting double layout, her being the first woman to do that and to break the Code as one YouTube commenter said. If you look at that routine, there’s a comment that said “way to go Victoria. You broke the fucking code.” That routine is amazing as well. And so for the artistry and the difficulty, those two routines I think will be the ones that we really remember.
UNCLE TIM: I’m going to go with Kenzo’s floor routine. I feel like that one will be one that people are discussing for years to come just because of the level of difficulty. I don’t know that anyone will be able to match some of his difficulty in the next even ten years. A back 2.5 to a punch Randi, it’s just crazy what he’s able to do. I think that’s one routine that people will be talking about for quite some time. Jess do you have any routines?
JESSICA: I’m going to have to go with the NCAA and beam finals and Danusia Francis. I can’t remember the last time in NCAA that anyone was so excited about a single skill. When she did her transverse aerial which is now named after and will be very interesting to see what happens if they both make beam finals this year, it’s now named after Florida gymnast who competed it, and I’m totally blanking on her name. She has two last names.
BLYTHE: Silvia Colussi-Pelaez.
JESSICA: Thank you Blythe!
BLYTHE: You’re welcome.
JESSICA: Spain. She has to remind me every time. I will memorize this before the end, I will. I’m going to put a sticker on my computer so I don’t forget her name.
BLYTHE: But it’s complicated because she trains in Canada. And she was on the junior national team in Canada. And then she went to represent Spain.
JESSICA: And wasn’t she like born in Romania too? Or was that the other one on the team?
BLYTHE: Roxana Popa was Romanian born. You know, I’m not even sure if she was Romanian born or she just is Romanian and her parents went to live in Spain. But yeah.
JESSICA: So she, so yeah. Now it’s named after someone else. I mean many people compete that skill. Just the level of excitement around that skill and in general, the artistry and the difficulty that were in that routine, I think it had everything that made people, except a rolling skill, oh no she does! She has that shoulder thing. Ah it has everything! That’s a routine that totally stands out to me and I cannot wait to see what happens in beam finals this year. But Nush, that beam routine is going to be one. And also Hanna Nordquist. That’s the routine that gave Kathy Johnson the audible orgasm wasn’t it? Minnesota, yes I believe it was. Those two are the ones that stand out because elite eh. There’s skills that I’m excited about but no one’s routine is making me fall over but NCAA….
JESSICA: It’s time for gymternet news. First I want to know have you guys signed up for fantasy gymnastics yet? Uncle Tim?
UNCLE TIM: Yes I have! But I will not be playing unless Emily Wong is on my team. I have decided that.
JESSICA: Everyone wants Emily Wong on their team. Well it depends on what conference you get in. You might. We’ll see. What was your strategy? Did you do all arounders? Tell me your strategy. I’m interested in this.
UNCLE TIM: So I did a lot of all arounders first but I didn’t necessarily go with Bridget Sloan because I knew everyone was going to put down Bridget Sloan. I did choose some more esoteric all arounders. And then I also did some of the individual events people. It was just kind of a mixture of people. I really didn’t put too much thought in it other than going back and looking at how people did last year during the season.
JESSICA: I went from last year, the rankings before nationals, going into nationals. I put the all arounders and then I put the individual event finalists after that and then I picked basically freshmen who were from gyms that I knew. Like I kind of watched their routines and then went through what freshmen have incredible form is basically what I did. They have the skills. They are level 10s. But who has beautiful untouchable form, that’s kind of who I went after. And then I put some of my favorites just because you know, I have to have them on my team like Jamie Armijo from Southern Utah, the one that does the most amazing, like insane beam routine, just because like no one else is going to pick her and I have to have her even if she only gets 9.85s all season, I don’t care. 9.85s equal finals just like Ds equal degrees. So I’m okay with that. That was not a good analogy to make. Her routine’s not like a D. So in the gymternet news this week, there is some drama. Okay first of all, the ex girlfriend of Xiao Qin who is the pommel horse gold medalist in Beijing, she has been jailed for life, China prison for life, for $12 million in fraud. That’s got to sting. Now was it against him? Did it have something to do with him? Or it just happens to be his ex girlfriend? Do we know?
BLYTHE: It happens to be his ex-girlfriend. In the news reports that I read, she kind of used the fact that she was his girlfriend ,he was you know an Olympic gold medalist and a person of prestige and influence to gain access to some of the people that she defrauded. And it appears that, according to this news article, among the people she defrauded was 2008 Olympic all around champion Yang Wei and Yang Wei’s wife Yang Yun who is a 2000 Olympic bronze medalist and really one of the elegant and artistic gymnasts of the past 20 years. So they were on the list of victims of this sort of business that she was involved in. I do not know if Xiao Qin himself lost money or whatever. Certainly he’s lost a lot of face because of being involved with this.
JESSICA: That sucks! That’s awful. Man ,jailed for life for fraud in China. I can’t imagine something worse. Alright, oh no I can imagine something worse. I can imagine someone being paralyzed because of bars falling down which I can’t believe hasn’t happened yet. And I’m sure it is going to happen unless someone does something about this immediately. So Ellie Black posted a video of one of her teammates at her gym doing a Jaeger and then the bars fall down. Thank God she’s okay. But honestly when is this going to stop? How many times have we seen the bars falling down? There needs to be a mandate that any gym that is USAG sanctioned or a USAG member or an FIG gym, there just needs to be something from the associations that states that you have to have a secondary what is it called, a redundant cable so that if the first level of cables fail for some reason that there’s a second back up cable to hold the bars up. This really happens way too often and it’s totally unacceptable. And I know they laugh in the video but when you’ve gotten to our age and you’ve seen this happen basically two or three times a year all over the world, it’s just not okay. It makes me so angry you guys. I can’t even. It’s like someone doing a vault and then someone pulling the mats away. Like would everybody be okay with that? That’s basically the same thing. There are manufacturers that make secondary cables so take a look, find them. If you’re a gym owner, make sure you have these. Because this is going to happen to you one of these days. It will happen. Alright, rant over. Did I miss anything in my rant?
UNCLE TIM: No I mean it’s just something that’s happened for a long time. I mean the earliest one I can remember and I wasn’t alive for this but I’ve watched the YouTube video so many times. Ludmila Tourischeva at the 1975 World Cup, the uneven bars came down on her while she was doing her dismount I want to say. So yeah I feel like, you would think that we would have figured out a system by now, over 30 years later where this is no longer happening.
JESSICA: In irony in the gymternet news, Aliya Mustafina did a question and answer session on VK, which is kind of like their Twitter/Instagram
UNCLE TIM: Facebook
JESSICA: Facebook? Okay sorry I was totally wrong. It’s like Facebook of Russia. And she said, so fans submitted questions and then she answered them and a couple of sites translated this and I looked at the translation up on World of Gymnastike. Someone asked her about the increasing difficulty vs. the deterioration of execution. Is this a problem? What do you think of this? You know, is form getting worse? And she responded increased difficulty doesn’t mean execution deterioration which I found a little ironic. But I’m glad to hear that she was, she feels this way despite the helicopter legs. Yeah so there’s that. The other really interesting thing in part one of this is that she didn’t start wearing grips until 2009. Is that like kind of shocking?
UNCLE TIM: Yeah I guess because 2010 was her big senior debut so she only learned how to use grips one year before she had her big senior debut.
JESSICA: Yeah and doing those kinds of skills with no, and you know she had to be at an elite level already in 2009 so I found that really surprising. I mean, not that it can’t be done but why would you do it? So I have it on good authority that Miss Gabby Douglas, our current Olympic champion has been back at Gym Jam and training consistently since around Thanksgiving. So she was also on a morning show recently promoting something and talked about how she’s been back in the gym so it’s kind of exciting. She said she’s been working out about four hours a day in the afternoons and I’m glad to see that she’s back. So it’ll be interesting to see. I wonder if she has like a show coming up or she’s actually thinking about competing again. We’ll have to see what’s in store. In terrifying news, Lexie Priessman tweeted about being in the hospital with a blood infection and Amelia Hundley also being in the hospital because she had ankle surgery and had a cadaver ligament put in for her ligament. This is the kind of thing that we were talking about before with Peng Peng and Dr. Larry Nassar about using your own body part for ligament replacement vs. using one from a cadaver. And it was pretty funny because Lexie was talking about how Amelia really wanted to meet the person who gave her the ligament and thank them. And Lexie was like they’re dead! I thought that was hilarious. But a blood infection is really really scary. That’s very very serious serious serious to have a blood infection so. You know, she said everything is fine and she’s being treated so we wish them both the best. Simone Biles revealed who her new choreographer is. Are you ready?
[Dramatic music plays]
UNCLE TIM: Who is it?
JESSICA: Dominic Zito
UNCLE TIM: Ooooh!
JESSICA: I think it’s a good choice. I mean it’s not my dream choice but it’s a good choice. He has a proven record and he’s bringing something good to gymnastics choreography.
BLYTHE: And just for the record Jess, who’s your dream choice?
JESSICA: My dream choice is Sonya Tayeh from So You Think You Can Dance fame.
JESSICA: Yes that would be my number one. She has the fierce superhero choreography that would be amazing if Simone did it. But if Simone is happy with her choreographer, it’s going to be amazing anyway because if she’s happy and having fun, it radiates so I’m very pleased about that. So what’s happening in South Korea with men’s gymnastics Uncle Tim?
UNCLE TIM: Well they’re going through a similar process to Temple. Hanyang University is going to drop gymnastics and their reasoning is not because it gets less media attention. That’s not the reason. But it’s because it’s an individual sport rather than a team sport. That’s kind of their reasoning for it. Yeah, which is a very different mindset, I would say, than the States where it’s really about media attention and money and Title IX is kind of the scapegoat and gets blamed a lot even though I doubt that Title IX is always such a big factor. But yeah. So that’s what’s going on in South Korea. And our vault champion, our World and Olympic vault champion, Yang Hak Seon, he is outraged about it. So we’ll see what happens with that.
JESSICA: So I happen to notice on Instagram when I was traveling over the holidays that Sam Peszek and Eric Stonestreet met each other on the plane back from Indiana. And you know, Eric Stonestreet, he plays Cam on Modern Family. He’s the stay at home dad and the husband of Mitchell. He’s also the football coach of Manny’s team. I just love him! They selfied and they vined and they were hilarious and I just love him a thousand times more now that I know that he’s a fan of gymnastics. So everyone should follow him on Twitter and watch Modern Family if you don’t already because it’s hilarious and I love it.
UNCLE TIM: And Jess, we’ve had a lot of feedback about our last show. We interviewed Judge Dean Ratliff and we talked to Fred Turoff from Temple and we talked to Jill Hicks about recruiting and so what can you tell us about the feedback to the show?
JESSICA: Well first I want to start with a correction because I think this was a little bit confusing sometimes because we talked about the JO rules vs. the elite rules vs. the NCAA rules. And I asked them if there was affiliation rules. Basically if you had been a collegiate gymnast, could you go back immediately when you became a judge and judge there and there actually is an affiliation rule for NCAA. So you have to wait 5 years before you can judge your alma mater. I just want to make that correction clear. Second, we had some feedback about our discussion about the puppy mill meets as we affectionately called them. The meets where the judges judge from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm and we both discussed how we can’t stand that and we think it’s not a great way for kids to experience a gymnastics meet and really difficult on the judges. So one of our listeners on Facebook said, “Two or three full days of competition is really tough on the judges. Generally, you have to stay on the same event all weekend to keep the panels consistent. Imagine judging 700+ girls on a compulsory vault. That’s 1500 front handspring vaults. However, judging those kinds of meets are how I paid for my sorority dues, yearly trips to the beach with my friends, and a two week trip to Europe during the London Olympics. Working those meets sucks but they pay remarkably well for a college student. So there’s another perspective on the benefit for judges on doing that kind of meet.” Another comment on our website was left about how I called cheerleaders slutty. Slutty, I used that totally as a joke. I don’t actually think that being promiscuous is a bad thing or that being slutty is bad. I always mean that as a total joke. And when I say slutty, I mean that someone is using their sexuality inappropriately to get attention. So it actually has nothing to do with actual sex and how much of it you have. I totally don’t care. What I’m talking about is….I also want to make this clear. I don’t think that revealing your body and wearing a leotard means you’re slutty or using your sexuality inappropriately. I don’t think that ice skaters or beach volleyball players are like filming group porn after their matches or their ice skating meets. That’s not what I mean at all. I just want to make it really clear. I don’t think that what you wear is equal to that. That’s just totally a joke on my part. That’s just how I use that phrase to talk about inappropriate, trying to get attention through sex instead of trying to get attention through your actual talents or skills. So to describe how I feel about cheerleading, let me just put it this way. I’m not talking about competitive cheerleading where people, they don’t actually lead cheers at a football game. They are just people who do the sport for competition. That’s totally different. What I’m talking about for example, high school cheerleading where your whole purpose of being on this cheerleading squad is to promote boys’ sports and some girls’ sports. Let me just put this in perspective, how I feel about this. So I have a friend from work from South Korea and she was like oh my daughter’s thinking about doing cheerleading. I was like oh how do you feel about cheerleading? She was like I don’t know. I don’t really know anything about it. We don’t really have that and I wasn’t really exposed to it in South Korea. And I was like well let me just give you my perspective. I was like here’s how the cheerleading was in my high school. The cheerleaders had to wear miniskirts, their outfit is a miniskirt, every single Friday to school. They then decorated the boys’ lockers. So the whole football team, they decorated all their lockers in their miniskirts. Then they would deliver food to the boys in the middle of class in their miniskirts. And this was all during the winter of course because it’s a fall and winter sport, football. So I was just like you know, I think that sends a completely inappropriate message to girls. I think that we’re beyond the time when, boy/male cheerleaders didn’t do any of that stuff. They didn’t wear their outfits to school. They didn’t have to wear miniskirts. They didn’t have to wear super tight anything. And they didn’t do any of the decorating or the food delivery or any of the support, like being a mom basically in a miniskirt to these boys. So I just think it sends totally the wrong message and I’m completely against it for those reasons. However, being in debt is a horrible thing and going in the school in the United States is incredibly ridiculously expensive so if you have to become a sexual object in order to not be in debt until you’re 50 years old, then go for it and get that cheerleading scholarship.
UNCLE TIM: So to kind of push back a little bit, how come you’re okay with the objectification and to a certain extent the sexuality inherent in gymnastics? For instance, you are very much a proponent of men competing shirtless and in short shorts. And you’re also a fan of UCLA gymnastics which have had somewhat sexual floor routines. I mean last year we didn’t even get to see Sam Peszek’s floor routine which featured moaning in the background. So how do you rationalize that and how come you’re okay with that but you’re not okay with cheerleading?
JESSICA: Well for one thing, I think that historically men have not been objectified. Men being sexualized has not resulted in their oppression for thousands of years. So there’s no historical basis for that. It’s totally not equivalent to women in any way, shape or form. And secondly, there is a limit to sexuality in gymnastics. I’m okay if it’s a woman expressing herself, ownership of her sexuality in college in an artistic way. I’m totally fine with that. I did not like the moaning in the floor routine by the way in Sam Peszek’s routine. I thought that was over the top. But it’s artistic. It’s part of the sport and if that’s how they want to express themselves. I might not like it but I’m okay with it. But it’s not sexuality in order to support men. It’s their sexuality. They own it. They do it. If they don’t want to do it, they won’t. It’s not in support of men, for men, being objects for men. So that’s where I see it as totally different.
UNCLE TIM: So two quick questions, two quick follow up questions. I don’t want to beat a dead horse but do you think that part of it has to do with age in the sense that cheerleaders are still minors? And then what do you think of for instance, competitive cheerleading squads, the ones that go to nationals and aren’t necessarily high school spirit squads. They’re the ones who are training hardcore and stuff and they’re not there just there to cheer on the male sports? And female sports but you know
JESSICA: I love competitive cheerleading. I think it’s awesome. I’m all for that. I think it’s really cool. I think it’s totally different. It’s not a spirit squad. And yes, age, age, age is a huge gigantic mega factor in this. College cheerleading I think is only slightly better. In another way, it’s way worse because then it’s televised for the whole world to gawk at their skirts. But yeah.
UNCLE TIM: And people don’t gawk at gymnasts at all, leotards.
JESSICA: No they totally do but it’s fine with me if we went to wearing shorts. I’d be okay with that. And yes they do gawk at them but again, the gymnasts are doing it for them personally. They’re not doing it for the benefit of men. Even though that might be what ends up disgustingly happening in the end when it gets put on the internet but it’s not its original purpose. And that’s how I see the world in a nutshell.
UNCLE TIM: Alright let’s move on.
JESSICA: So we had some listener comments and questions we wanted to get to. One of our Facebook followers asked what the best camcorder for gymnastics meets is and so of course, we asked Scott Bregman. He first of course mentioned how he thought everyone should just relax and watch the meets. But yes we know we can do that now that you’re in charge. But for people at their regular level 5 meets or whatever, he said that USA Gymnastics uses Panasonic HCV500M. So again that’s Panasonic HCV500M. So if you want to get one of those, you can look on YouTube and see what kind of quality that gives you. Whatever you get, it just needs to be a really high frame rate because that’s what happens if you have low quality, when someone does gymnastics or any sport, they get blurry when they’re actually doing a flip or whatever so you want that really high frame rate to get the good quality. So another question, I thought this was very interesting. One of our Facebook followers asked if USA Gymnastics should hold an annual gala like USA Swimming does. It’s called the Golden Goggles. And basically, swimming does this as a fundraising event. It always seems to sell out. It was in New York last year, LA this year. It’s a red carpet event for all the swimmers and they often bring back retired stars. They give out year-end awards for things like best race, best relay etc. And of course it could be tailored to gymnastics. So Uncle Tim, what do you think about this idea?
UNCLE TIM: I think it would be great. I do feel like people in the United States might be a little hesitant to do it just because there is the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame gala dinner whatever it is exactly. So yeah I think that people might be hesitant to do that. But you know, whatever. I like going to fancy award shows. I like wearing a fancy tux and stuff. So I’d be all for it if I would ever be invited. But yeah it’d be fun.
JESSICA: And you do look fantastic in a tux by the way.
UNCLE TIM: Well thank you!
JESSICA: So people should invite Uncle Tim to events that he has to wear a tux to if you want to see him in it. He looks excellent. I think this is a great idea. I mean first of all, they use it as a fundraiser and hello, we need an endowment for men’s gymnastics or men’s gymnastics is going to die. So I think if they did something like this, and they use it as a fundraising event to start the endowment for men’s collegiate gymnastics, it would be a great way to do it. They do sort of have an award thing at nationals but I think something like this where it’s a red carpet event is a great idea. And having celebrities there is another thing. I mean who wouldn’t want to come and hang out with gymnasts? Obviously everyone would. Duh! Having it in New York and LA will also raise the profile. I think it would be really cool to have something like this. So I’m all for it. I think it should happen. And especially as a fundraiser, you can sell tickets to it. Everyone gets to schmooze. Yeah I like it. I want to remind you guys that we are going to have our end of the year survey up on the site for the next couple of weeks and so this is to help us give you more of what you want on the show, to find out what you like, what you dislike. And then also, it’s also to help us pay the bills. So we get a little bit of demographic information from you to help our sponsors better know what you guys want or what you’re interested in. So and of course, doing the show is not free so we need our sponsors and help us by giving us a little info about you would be fabulous.
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.
Again, if you want to support the show, you can leave us a voicemail, call us, Gymcastic Podcast on Skype, or 415-800-3191. You can email us firstname.lastname@example.org. I want to thank everyone who voted for us in the Stitcher podcast awards. Thank you so much. We’re so honored to be nominated and the results are going to be out on the 1st so by the time this airs, the results will probably be out. So cross your fingers for us. You can shop in our Amazon store. And oh my gosh, mega thank you to everyone who purchased in our Amazon store when they were doing their Christmas shopping. We get a little bit of a portion of what you buy through that and we’re going to use all the revenue that we got during the Christmas season to upgrade our recording equipment and bring you even more fabulous coverage, going to some meets and stuff like that. So thank you everyone who remembered to go to that Amazon link and start your shopping there. And of course you want to skip the hassle of shopping and just support the show directly, you can do that by just using the donate button. Just throw some money at us. So we’ll appreciate it. You can download the Stitcher app. It works on all devices including Android. You can subscribe to the show and get the show delivered directly to your email. We post all the routines we can on our YouTube channel and also on the site so you can follow along while you listen. We have transcripts of the show. Thank you to our wonderful transcription team. Those are usually up two or three weeks after the show airs. And remember, you can recommend us, share us on Facebook and Google Plus. You can rate us or write a review on iTunes. Thank you to everyone who’s written a review on iTunes. They make us so happy when we get those. And of course we’re also on Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr. Until next week, I’m Jessica from Master’s Gymnastics
BLYTHE: Blythe Lawrence for The Gymnastics Examiner
UNCLE TIM: And I’m Uncle Tim from Uncle Tim Talks Men’s Gym
JESSICA: See ya next week!