UNCLE TIM: And while we’re on the topic of children, one of our listeners, Jay, he wants to know how you met your husband. Will you tell us the love story?
SVETLANA: Oh it’s a love story. Well, it was beginning, middle, and the end. Which part would you like me to tell you?
[EXPRESS YOURSELF INTRO MUSIC]
JESSICA: This week, our take on the Olympics, and Bogi’s love story for Valentines Day.
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 76 for February 12, 2014. I’m Jessica from masters-gymnastics
EVAN: I’m Evan. Find me on Twitter @yoev
JESSICA: And this is the best gymnastics podcast in the universe, bringing you all the news from around the gymternet. And this week I have to tell you guys that Uncle Tim has laryngitis. So he’s not with us on air today. But we’re wishing him the best and a speedy recovery.
EVAN: He is still alive. You were like he’s no longer with us.
JESSICA: He’s not with us in the present moment.
EVAN: He’s putting sexy data into curing his laryngitis right now. So. We can all appreciate that.
JESSICA: Let’s first talk about did you listen to the Melanie Sinclaire interview?
EVAN: I did. I think she- I love her voice. I just love her presence. Talking. I’m like I want to talk to her, where can we have a conversation. But I enjoyed it thoroughly.
JESSICA: What really stood out to you? Because you know the whole story and you followed her and everything. Did anything, was anything particularly of interest to you?
EVAN: Yeah I think it was interesting how she kind of took a step back from everything and saw it come full circle. So she talked a lot about the lessons that gymnastics taught her early on in her career. And then she was like and then I learned the same lesson as an adult. I also thought it was so funny how she was like guys scared me when I was 17.
JESSICA: Right I was like you were scared? I could not imagine that.
EVAN: I know. I know. So I loved her honesty in that because I was like you know what, your a fierce ass lady.
JESSICA: She is the kind of person you want to hang out with. She has a magnetism. You should want to be around her. I really liked that she talked about learning how to tough it out through injuries and then also learning when that’s not a good idea. Like maybe you can do that when you only have three meets a year but when you have to perform every single night you can’t live that way. So that was interesting. And then also when she kind of I don’t know I just I talked before to a Cirque recruiter a lot about all the different programs they have for health and happiness and all the kind of benefits that they have available to people. And I thought what I’ve heard from the recruiter, I definitely feel like Melanie backed up when she talked about what it’s like to really work there and all the support that they give their performers. So that made me happy to hear. Not only is it the gymnastics professional league, but they get all the good benefits that the NFL players get as well. So not everything but you know in my mind they do, that’s right. So let’s discuss NBC’s coverage of the Olympics. The Olympics are happening right now. And of course we have to give our opinions on everything. This is very important. So let me just say I love Bob Costas. I would like to be him when I grow up. And I have so much respect for him. And everything I’m about to say has nothing to do with him because he’s perfect and untouchable for the most part. But they had Meredith Vieira and Matt Lauer on during the Opening Ceremonies and I was horrified. Horrified. I’ve never been so upset watching Opening Ceremonies. I was, they were condescending. They were rude. They said mean childish things about the art that was presented during the Opening Ceremony. And I was totally disgusted. What did you think?
EVAN: You know I think unfortunately you go from year to year and the Olympics are such a key event that people feel compelled to kind of create this undertone or inner plot working. And it’s just that bigger picture that I guess a story has to be written. But I would rather the athletes write the story than an on air host or network.
JESSICA: I agree. And I realize they want to create a story and tell it. But I just felt like it was like 1984 again and I was listening to Cold War commentary. And I was like where were all the discussion of the human rights abuses when we were in Beijing. And all the stuff about terrorist attacks. And I was like in case you forgot the US and Germany are the only Olympics that have had successful terrorist attacks. So maybe we should be looking at ourselves more when we talk about that. But the most upsetting I think to me was that as was reported today by let me make sure I have the source, Deadspin is reporting this. That the very strong message against discrimination by IOC President Thomas Bach was edited out of the NBC broadcast. I didn’t even know that until today. I really I finally listened to his entire if you go to the Deadspin article which we’ll put up you can read the entire speech and you can listen you can see the NBC version and then the version that was broadcast uncut. And what is great about his speech is that he talks about what the Olympics are for. They’re supposed to be about peace. They’re supposed to be about harmony. They’re supposed to be about togetherness. And the part that was cut out, he said yes it is possible even as competitors to live together under one roof in harmony with tolerance and without any form of discrimination for whatever reason. Yes it is possible, even has competitors, to listen, to understand, to give an example for peaceful society. The idealism of the Olympics is and specifically this speaks to the anti-gay violence and laws that are happening in Russia. And that was the part they cut out. I’m like seriously you’re going to do all this criticism of Russia and then you cut out this beautiful message by Thomas Bach? So I was not pleased about that.
EVAN: You know hearing things like that it almost makes you want to not make an excuse for them but just be like please let this be like some type of like frantic oversight where they’re like cut paste you know we’re going live. Like it’s for a reason. So I am going with that. That that’s what happened. And that they just this beautiful message fell by the wayside. But you know seeing the quotes and stuff about about sport and athletics and what it truly means, I think that bringing those things back especially during the Olympics is so beautiful because it is, the Olympics are the ultimate equalizer. Putting everyone in one arena and it’s like be the best, go, do, prosper. And I don’t know, that message still rings true for me.
JESSICA: And I do have to say, you know there is a stream, NBC has this, they’re doing some amazing work. Basically you can watch the Olympics 24/7 and pick the sport you want to watch, which is fantastic. I absolutely love it. So perhaps the live stream was uncut and it was only for the as you were saying the 8pm prime time that they cut that for time. We’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. But I was a little bummed about that. I was also bummed that they brought up the Kabaeva an Olympic champion in rhythmic gymnastics was allegedly the lover, Putin’s lover. She’s a torchbearer and they’re like we should mention that it’s rumor it’s girlfriend. You don’t mention that stuff during the Opening Ceremonies. That’s for us to talk about on the show, but we hold you to a higher standard and this should all be about peace and love and keeping everything in the highest standard of journalism right now for this commentary. I was like ugh, please. And not to mention I thought that was really sexist because she’s an Olympic champion. You should not bring up her boyfriend. She stands there on her own merit. She’s a badass. Kabaeva is untouchable as far as I’m concerned. She’s amazing amazing. And I know rhythmic fans are going to be like no that should’ve been the Bulgarian. I don’t care. I loved her and she was incredible and I thought that was very sexist to bring up who her that she wasn’t there she was somehow picked because who she’s having sex with not because she’s an incredible athlete on her own merit. No excuses for that as far as I’m concerned. As we’re talking about this I just want to remind you guys that you have choices about how you would like to watch the Olympics. And one of the services that we love here at the podcast is called Tunnelbear. Go to their website. It is a VPN. So basically if you would like to watch the BBC broadcast but you can’t because you don’t have an IP address located in England, you can use Tunnelbear. If you want to watch Canadian broadcast you can do that by using Tunnelbear. You know, you have choices in what you want to watch. So let’s talk about one of the stories that seriously almost made our Facebook page explode. In a story for CNBC, Russian born journalist Dina Gusovsky wrote about what commentators really say about gymnasts during the Olympics. And so we got some translations about Russian commentators really say. And before anyone gets in a big huff about over the language, some people were like she’s not translating this correctly. First of all, she’s a native speaker, born in the Soviet Union. She has extensive experience in translation and cross cultural reporting so I’m taking her word as the word of law here. So we’ll just put that aside. If she said that’s what it’s translated as, that’s what it is. And so she this is what was kind of shocking. So she said that one of the commentators on Rosiva 2, one of the stations that broadcasts the Olympics there, referred to some of the men from other countries as pieces of wood, and also claimed some of the Americans were showing off. Of course it’s gymnastics that’s what you do. And referred to American Olympic gymnast Jonathan Horton as “little legs,” “little arms,” and “ugly.”
EVAN: His arms aren’t little though. Like, at all.
JESSICA: No I was like I just I was totally shocked by that whole thing. First of all you just don’t say that about people, at all. It’s super rude. And secondly it’s just so ridiculous it made me laugh. One of the things that you know I think in different countries there’s a different standard for what’s polite or acceptable. But I don’t think this is at all considered polite or normal in Russia. The journalist pointed out a lot of people posted comments on Rosiva’s website that they were disgusted with the commentary by the commentators and this did not reflect how Russian people think about gymnasts or feel about them or anything like that. So.
EVAN: Also, to kind of steer to another, BBC and Australian commentators are maybe if not even more so just like blunt in their commentary. And also assessment of athletes’ bodies and like calling out non aesthetically pleasing movements and just qualities like that. So I really don’t think that this is that uncommon in commentary as a whole. But I do think that Russia maybe it just has kind of this mystique of no one’s ever really gone through the trouble of translating Russian commentary. But some of my favorite favorite commentary is either from the Brits or the Australians and they’re just like it’s kind of shocking.
JESSICA: Is it like Perez Hilton is doing the commentary?
EVAN: It’s not like that. It’s just like you know, she’s quite a stout lady and you know a little clunky in her movement and you know just like really calling out when there are like differences between athletes. So and that probably could connotate as a bit offensive to some as well.
JESSICA: Yeah I think that’s a good point, that and to your point here one of our listeners, Cari Edwards, said you know this is horrible about what the Russian commentators said. But always knew the reason Americans say NBC is the worst is because Americans only know the english language. Theory proven. Hats off to you Cari. Because honestly I really think that if we listen to the commentary for many countries, countries where perhaps it’s not rude at all to say to someone you’re so fat and lazy. Like when I lived in Germany and heard that all the time. I was like oh nice to meet you too, thank you. Like really? Ok. That’s you know of course I totally love Germany. But you know was it rude to say that kind of thing there? And of course I’m not saying that’s really how it happened because I know German listeners are going to be like oh my god don’t say that. I’m exaggerating to make a point. But yeah I really do think that even when we debate the NBC’s diva narrative and how they talk about the Russians as divas and all that stuff and they create this narrative, you know there’s definitely places where people say worse things on the air than that. So yeah I have to agree.
EVAN: Although, you didn’t see Gabby Douglas shouting down the vault runway like as Khorkina did in 2000 about moving the board or rallying the troops so. Those kind of outbursts are really uncommon. So I feel like it’s important to call it out because people will be like what? Does that really happen? But maybe it’s just the struggle of nationalists, national ties ring through. Even if you’re trying to be a neutral party it always kind of comes out.
JESSICA: And I guess it’s how you see things in your own personal experience. Because whenever she does that I’m like yeah you tell them Khorkina that’s right. You should punch someone in the face if they set your board wrong because it could kill you.
EVAN: Right when she really should’ve been worrying about them setting the vault horse.
EVAN: Yelled that at someone. Sveta listen you don’t have to worry about that board. It’s the entire effing vault.
JESSICA: Least of your problems today.
EVAN: Needs to be a little bit higher.
JESSICA: Alright so some of the cool things that are happening at the Olympics we’re super excited about is like 88 bronze medalist on balance beam from the famous Olympics in Korea where Rhonda Faehn stayed on the podium to not get in the way of the judges then we didn’t get the bronze as a team. That was a ridiculous rule and we should’ve gotten the bronze medal but anywho. Phoebe Mills, one of the Karolyi kids, the OG Karolyi kids, she went on to so after she won her bronze medal at the famed Olympics of the podium bars disaster, she went on to get into snowboarding then she went to law school you know. And then now she’s a snowboarding judge at the Olympics. How freaking cool is that?
EVAN: Ok you might need to clarify for people. Her law degree did not lead her to become a judge of snowboarding with a gavel and like a snow drift. But.
JESSICA: I don’t think they’re related.
EVAN: These are separate yes. But weird crossover possibility there. Might want to take snowboarding judging to a new level.
JESSICA: Snowboarding judging is so difficult you need a law degree. But it’s slope style. So I’m kind of stoked she’s doing this because she definitely had style. She did that reverse planche on beam. So I like she’s doing the sport that you know since we don’t have ski ballet anymore which is freaking awesome, she’s doing the artistic, the most artistically inspired acrobatic event besides ice skating.
EVAN: And aerial skiing
JESSICA: But it’s not artistic. Would you say aerial skiing is artistic?
EVAN: I mean I think you can definitely there’s some aesthetics involved in terms of flaring out if you can. Those little differentiators. But I see where you’re doing with this. There’s more options.
JESSICA: I feel like slope style is just. I mean there’s a bunch of obstacles you can make stuff up. I was waiting forever for one dude to do a hand plant or somebody one of the women to land on top of the doll and like dance on top then jump off. Finally someone tapped it so that was pretty good. But you know that’s artistry. Nastia’s reporting on the cultural side of things, which I love that she did a little bit about the rainbow gloves that are very popular and they have a different flag on each hand so you can exchange them. Excellent. I like that and I feel like that was very gay pride of Nastia. I love that she did that.
EVAN: She best. She best recognize.
JESSICA: Yes and she totally does. I think she’s very good about getting her point across without getting her point across without smacking you in the face with it. Which would be ok with us too. Did you see sexy Alexei in the presidential box?
EVAN: So in honor of this Valentines day thing, I have early hot and heavy feelings with Alexei Nemov. And it was the ABC 96 Tour. And he was like dancing in this really intensely lit hallway. And he was just kind of like shimmying to “Do You Love Me” and I was like I do love you. What is this life. You’ve set me up here. So yeah, I mean my heart felt that.
JESSICA: When I saw him in the corner, who puts Alexei Nemov in the corner first of all. I don’t care how many presidents were there. He should’ve been right in front. Anywho. I seriously was like oh my god and like jumps off the couch, paused, ran around, grabbed my phone. And my husband’s like was that Nemov? I was like yes yes yes! He’s like yeah I saw him too. He was like good eyes. I was like oh my god so many husband points. Nothing is as sexy as when your husband recognizes gymnastics stuff and knows facts. It’s just like take me to the bedroom immediately. So hats off to him for that. But yes he needed to be put in the front for the closing ceremonies. I think that’s everything for the Olympics. We’re enjoying it. We’ll give you our full thoughts on the rest as it goes along. Let’s talk about NCAA news and what we’ve missed this week. Some really surprising things happening in NCAA news.
EVAN: So many exciting things are happening in NCAA. And I just went on a little vacation. So it was like I felt like NCAA was still happening but I was like it was like I was in another planet and like just hearing whispers and things were happening but of course this weekend will be like the 10 parade of Peszek on bars and Sloan on balance beam. So I, as a bad bad man, have not seen these routines yet. Have you seen them?
JESSICA: Yes. I was there for Peszek’s. And I’ve been waiting for her to get a 10 on bars forever. And you know some people might be like oh her handstand didn’t stop on exactly on top of the bar and sit there and she didn’t have tea. But you know you just have to be within 20 degrees, it’s a hit handstand. So it was beautiful. You can’t do that routine better unless you added Zamarripa’s handstands where you just totally break rhythm and hang out there for like 15 minutes. That routine is glorious. It was perfect. It was stuck. Her feet were together when she did her release and when she caught you know how most people catch then their feet fly apart because their back is in agony. No no no. She kept them together. She’s just freaking awesome. I want an army of Peszeks on every team.
EVAN: Precious Peszek Moment figurines is what I want. Just want a case of them.
JESSICA: That would be fantastic.
EVAN: And the one thing you know about athletes who have gotten 10s so far this year, Sloan, Peszek, Kytra Hunter, you know they’re capable of 10s. Like they do perfect gymnastics. And whether it’s in the moment, they’re on really excellent teams, and they’re set up well. So you know like you said, are there nuances that probably might be a bit better? Probably. Probably always. But at least they’re athletes who it’s not like who is she? And why is she getting a 10? That’s probably a little bogus. So these girls deserve it. And as the polar vortex infiltrates every corner of our lives, it has now affected gymnastics. And you know what, it’s a polar whore-tex. And I tweeted that. And I’m saying it aloud right now. You do not cancel gymnastics meets, polar whore-tex. You have gotten around town long enough. You close up shop. And your wintry legs. The Oregon State meet was canceled against Cal. And one, so sad because you know they probably were practicing like they had to compete then they just didn’t compete. So that’s a bummer. Two, my fantasy gymnastics league team is F’d royally. Because who do I rely on? Chelsea Tang. How many events do I rely on her for? Four of them. All of them. So Chelsea I wish you could have competed along with the rest of your teammates. I am so sad.
JESSICA: It’s too bad there’s so much snow like four inches or something in Oregon that it shut down all of Oregon. But more importantly, this is the thing I have to say about this whole polar vortex thing. Whore-tex. This is what climate change is going to do. And this is why anybody who’s ever felt like climate change, I don’t care. I’m just going to live my life like nothing has changed and I’m not going to make a difference. This is what’s going to happen. Your favorite sports are going to be canceled. People aren’t going to be able to travel. Fans aren’t going to be able to get to them. It’s just this is what’s going to happen more and more. So I hope that once an NFL game is canceled because of climate change, that we can finally we’ll finally see some movement in legislation to start reversing this trend. That’s how I feel about it. I’m super doomsday about this. So let’s move on to people who were robbed of 10s.
EVAN: So Austin Sheppherd, she is a former elite who actually competed internationally for Hungary. I think I’ve said that before but it’s still true. She competes for the University of Michigan. She’s a sophomore.
JESSICA: That’s why she looks so glorious in that white leotard.
EVAN: Ok. So you want to know my favorite adjective to describe her?
JESSICA: Tell me
EVAN: Regal. She’s very regal presentation
JESSICA: She has Hungarian skin tone too. You know?
EVAN: I don’t so much notice that
JESSICA: I totally do
EVAN: Regal might be a skin tone as well. Maybe it’s Maybelline. Who knows. But she did just an absolutely gorgeous yurchenko full. Huge, enormous, gives you life, just is like she’s making lemonade with lemons then just sticking the lemons on the mat.
JESSICA: Drops out of the sky from 100 feet in the air
EVAN: She drops it down. And you know what I love is that she doesn’t just do the typical college girl. She essentially sticks the landing with bends her knees a little bit, has her chest up, it’s just a gorgeous landing position. It’s not that kind of-
EVAN: Right it’s just wonderful. So, she got a 9.975.
EVAN: Which who wants a 9.975 when you can have a 10. But watch out for Austin Sheppherd because she’s making some really great strides. And I think in the online commentary and through the people I know with the program, she’s kind of making really active changes in her gymnastics just to be a great athlete for her team and contribute scores like this that she’s obviously capable of. So keep an eye out for her. I think she’s, a 10 is within possibility. On another note, have you ever seen a gymnast wearing a strawberry fruit roll up with lace sewn to it? Well if you missed it, Nebraska did it.
JESSICA: I can’t even
EVAN: It is- so lace, I actually get it because I would be like that would be a really cute shirt if it’s kind of three quarter length, black lace with a I don’t know like a cami. You could put a cami underneath that and it would look awesome. But this was a leotard.
JESSICA: So bad. So bad. I can’t.
EVAN: And I really like Nebraska. I mean Nebraska’s a great program. They have a ton of talent. They’re pretty deep across the board. But this is just one of those aesthetics where remember when Utah used to wear that warm up that was like the bottom of a compact disc.
JESSICA: The space suits. The astronaut cosmonaut suit.
EVAN: Yes. I was like I’m seeing every color that’s ever existed. And they’ve burnt some retinas. But It’s kind of one of those fashion moments. So I won’t say I completely hate this because I like that it’s something that we took notice of you know. It’s like disrupt the game a little bit. Kind of like that UCLA leotard I know that you really had strong feelings about that they wore at Utah.
JESSICA: I despise that leo so much. It’s the one that looks like someone you took a beautiful woman and then which is the entire UCLA team, and then you took-
EVAN: And skinned her
JESSICA: And then you took the skin, dyed it dark blue, put it into an old lady sweater shape from the victorian era, and then tied it around her chest so it looks like she has the biggest droopiest boobs in the world. That is what that leo looks like, which describes none of these fantastic athletes. It does them an absolute disservice. They are all perfect and gorgeous and incredibly athletic. And I hate that leo so much. I want to punch it in the face. Which is what I want to do a lot when I get angry. So I’m going to have to start taking a tally of how many times I say punch something in the face. How much I hate it. Anywho.
EVAN: Maybe you could just punch it in the victorian area.
JESSICA: That’s what it needs. Oh my god someone please make a picture of that. Spanny needs to recap that.
EVAN: And you know that there are so many great leo companies out there who do new and innovative things and kind of bring new things to the table. But where is the fusion of really high fashion and leotard creation? You know it’s kind of happened in figure skating and I mean you know we have like Ralph Lauren designing Olympic apparel. But maybe it’s just getting a young, up and coming designer. I’m like on this Project Runway wave in my mind right now where I’m just like it doesn’t have to be ornate. I don’t want a lantern on my shoulder or anything. I don’t it doesn’t have to have tiny fashionable hat with the bird cage thing over it. But just a leotard that you would be like dang that looks good and it makes what she’s doing look even better. Where is that? Can that happen? That could happen right?
JESSICA: It could so so so happen. It could definitely happen.
EVAN: I hope so. It’s one of my hopes for tomorrow. A brighter tomorrow. The next thing, I mean we have the rankings. So the numbers don’t lie. Florida’s on top. Oklahoma, LSU, Utah, Alabama, Georgia, Nebraska, Michigan, UCLA, and Stanford. Just outside the top 10 is my girlfriend and everyone’s because she does the best gymnastics in the NCAA arguably, Katherine Grable and Arkansas are number 11.
JESSICA: Katherine Grable. She’s what’s up. That’s all there is to it.
EVAN: She’s what’s up in 11th right now, but they’ll rebound toward the end of the season. You know I feel like we’re kind of getting into that area of the season where things just you know you kind of hit that lull and honestly as an athlete who kind of experienced that whole training, you really do hit this lull. Then you need an injection of adrenaline into your aorta and just boom it’s March. So February’s a tough month everyone. It’s not like it’s the first meet, it’s the second meet. It’s like the sixth meet. And you kind of hit a lull.
JESSICA: It’s the 12th man time. This is the important time where you as a fan need to scream your freaking head off for your athletes because they so need you. Because all they want to do right now is take a nap. Instead they have to do a whole entire routine.
EVAN: And it’s also the time in the season where we’re either going to see the upgrades or we’re not going to see the upgrades. So all that cool ass stuff, I had to edit myself so much in that sentence, all of that stuff that you saw in those preseason videos on YouTube that got you so hyped up, if that’s not happening in practice in the next two weeks, it’s probably not going to happen. That makes me so sad. But also so excited to see who kind of steps up to the plate and what we’re going to see.
JESSICA: I agree. And we saw some of that this weekend. We saw some full ins on floor from Andy Sipra UCLA. Who else did we- oh can I just go back. I hate to interrupt your flow for a minute. But in terms of being robbed, here’s what’s up. Sam Peszek needs a 10 on beam. Period. I don’t know why she hasn’t had a 10 before. I don’t understand it. I don’t understand why she didn’t get a 10 last weekend. It makes me furious. I don’t know what else she has to do. Her routine is so easy and so flawless and so effortless for her that she could be talking on the phone, having a news conference, writing a paper, and like solving the world’s problems.
EVAN: Hosting her weekly show
JESSICA: While she’s doing that routine. That’s how perfect it is. So robbed. That’s all I’m saying. Ok carry on.
EVAN: Well she’s also I mean Peszek Moments Figurines are going to be sold in Home Good stores across the nation pretty soon. So as far as I’m concerned, she’s one of the, she really could get a 10 I think she could get a 10-
JESSICA: On everything
EVAN: On, yeah
JESSICA: I agree. She could be a 40.
EVAN: So speaking of weekly shows, there’s a lot of these now. Gymnastics is branching out. We’re getting more forward thinking in this digital age. So Georgia has the Georgia Gym Dawgs show which is about 20 minutes each week, they have episodes. Look at those.
JESSICA: It’s like a full TV show. It could be on HGTV or something.
JESSICA: Like Lifetime, it could be one of those.
EVAN: I don’t know
JESSICA: E? Could it be on E?
EVAN: UCLA, as we mentioned, Sam Peszek, I think she, from what I’ve caught, she’s like I’m Britney Spears and you’re Beyonce and you can share Beyonce but I’m still always Britney Spears. That’s like a lot of what she talks about but she always just has a really friendly banter because they’re teammates, they’re just chatting it up. So I like that. Michigan has a podcast. I think theirs is called The All Around and they talk to different athletes each week. Alabama is another one. Theirs probably could be on E. Sarah Patterson probably has a little studio actually in Hollywood. She’s like, we’ll just go there with our young ladies and film this.
JESSICA: It looks like a freaking ESPN studio except it’s like reddish pink. The whole thing.
EVAN: Alabama’s such a great story because I mean that’s like been built. It’s the stuff of gymnastics stories and there are so many great programs like that. But you look at so many other programs and it’s like do you have your TV show yet? No you don’t because you haven’t worked 30-plus years to build what we have here at Alabama. So props to that. And then, did you want to talk about judging?
JESSICA: Yes! And I found this shocking. And maybe I’m the last person on earth to know this, but I just assumed, like this is me in my little world where there’s justice for all and everything is perfect and equal. So I just assumed that NCAA sets the prices for how much people get paid for judging, referees in all sports. I just assumed that’s how it is. There’s a union and they set the price and everyone agrees on it. No no. Totally wrong. Couldn’t be further from the truth. The judges get paid different amounts depending on the school, which i think is nuts right? So they get paid between 90 dollars and 275 dollars per meet. Of course they get travel and all that stuff and hotel and all that paid for. But that’s a huge difference and of course you have to go where you’re assigned and you can’t say no so it’s not like they’re picking where they want to go but I just feel like this opens up a lot of, this opens up the whole question of certain divisions or areas like certain conferences getting favoritism because the judges get paid way more there. So in the SEC, if they’re getting paid 275 dollars a meet as opposed to when they go to the Eagle Conference or wherever in the northeast that pays the least. I don’t know. What do you think about that? I don’t think the judges are doing this but I think it’s a real problem.
EVAN: So unfortunately I respectfully disagree. If you want to trace anything back, I think it can be attributed to money. Unfortunately, the judges I feel like, your perspective is totally valid because judges are essentially being paid to be completely neutral in this subjective environment. But you can also attribute it to what if the school doesn’t have that much money and they keep the arena at a different temperature and you’re baking or you’re frozen. That’s also going to affect the performances. While it doesn’t necessarily affect the outcome like the judges might, I do think there are some instances where almost everything can be brought back to money. Do you see that? Do you see that side of it? A really nice arena, you’re creating a better experience. Your fans are going to be louder, more encouraging to you. I think there are more connections to be seen here.
JESSICA: Yeah I see it. I mean it is what it is.
EVAN: Say no. You say no.
JESSICA: I think if you want to get rid of all the criticisms about judging, you want to start with making things even across the board. And paying judges would be the most obvious and simple place to start. So if its set at 150, the rich schools need to subsidize the lower schools who can’t pay the 275. Like that’s how it should work. That’s how the NFL does it. They all subsidize each other. It’s a super commie socialist system and it works. They’re bazillionaires so that’s what we should do. So let’s talk about some insane skills that we have seen since the last episode. I didn’t even know this was humanly possible. Maybe in cliff diving but not in gymnastics. Kristof Willerton, he is doing a triple layout, three layouts with three twists. Triple twisting triple layout.
EVAN: Dumb. In a good way.
JESSICA: The one thing I did love about this video is that the mats that they land on are black on the sides and then they have a red strip down the middle which I think is a very nice safety feature for someone who’s insane enough and talented enough to be doing a triple twisting triple layout. Insane.
EVAN: So here’s the thing about the video. You’re like okay this is pretty normal. Like obviously, he’s a tumbler and his technique is just pristine for you to even get to a point where you can even get to a point to attempt this skill. But like all of a sudden, he just does another full flip at the end. And I’m like wait. There’s another flip. So yeah my mind exploded with that. It was also executed very well.
JESSICA: Yeah it’s gorgeous. I mean I was totally shocked at how well he did it. Let’s talk about Mykayla Skinner. She got a 10 at a JO meet, so not an elite meet. She vaulted a Cheng. It was very nicely done. But there was one major thing missing which would be the other arm that needed to touch the vault. So she once again did her Cheng with one arm. Like I don’t think her arm is even close to touching anymore, like a finger, it’s not even. I watched it about a million times. So the vault was beautiful but I believe it should be given a zero and not a 10 because you are not allowed to vault with one arm and I think it’s super dangerous to vault this way. What are your thoughts?
EVAN: I always see it and I’m like just one arm, one arm. One hand. Just one. Just one other time, I want her to put that other effing hand on the vault so we can see what happens when she does it accurately. I think that it takes almost an exorbitant amount of more skill and decided effort to do it the way she’s doing. Obviously she’s found a way to do it very consistently. And like you said, it looks pretty nice. But aesthetically, I just don’t like the rise of the vault. Her landing position is pretty good but it just doesn’t look like a Cheng as it started. And I don’t think her technique is better than that of the vault’s namesake so I can’t really give her too many props. Although I know for sure I would definitely never even know how to go about doing what she’s doing there so props for that. But no, no thanks.
JESSICA: The thing that frustrates so many gymnastics fans is that think about if she did this all with proper technique, she could be one of the greatest vaulters ever. She could go higher than McKayla Maroney. She could have more distance than Alicia Sacramone. In our dreams, if she wanted to do it and put the effort to do it with correct technique, it could be spectacular but right now it’s just really frustrating. And it’s going to really suck if she ever got sent to an international meet and it’s a zero on her vault. But I’m sure that won’t happen. So in other news. I’m just going to say it. It’s not. Who would ever risk that? So Elite Canada this weekend. Twitter sensation Victoria Moors added a full in to her balance beam repertoire. She also did a hilarious spinning fall off the beam. She did the squatty turn and sort of spun on her butt and fell off the side. It was awesome. And she gets back up and is like hmmm now I’ll do a full in off beam because I’m awesome. So we love her. So she won Elite Canada and then Aleeza Yu, a newcomer placed second. Ellie Black, well known is in third and then Meagan Chant was fourth. So always adding Victoria Moors, it’s very exciting. And did you even think that was possible like the guy who did the triple twisting triple layout? Kennedy Baker did a quintuple wolf spin on beam. She’s just
JESSICA: I hope she does that with her Patterson on beam and wins NCAA finals. Just to be like *grunts* that’s right. What’s up now? Did you see the the videos from the Ranch? Did you watch some of them?
EVAN: I did yeah.
JESSICA: And did you see Norah Flatley?
EVAN: I did. That little front tumbling connection girl.
JESSICA: I feel like Norah Flatley is every gymnast I’ve ever loved reincarnated into one human.
EVAN: I feel like her dad might be Michael Flatley from Riverdance and I would like her even more. But he’s not. But if he is, I could be convinced to like her even more than I already do.
JESSICA: She should add some Irish dance into her
EVAN: Right, which is why I feel like he’s not her dad. We’ll see.
JESSICA: Did you watch the Gabby movie?
EVAN: I didn’t.
JESSICA: Fired, you’re fired. That’s it. Done.
EVAN: I know. It was my birthday so I know that Lifetime tried to give me that gift. It was everything that I asked for. But I haven’t yet. But that’s why movies are there so you can just watch them in the future. So what did you think of it?
JESSICA: Well first of all I have a very important correction to make because a whole bunch of news outlets were reporting that Gabby did the stunts in the movie so we reported it on the show and it turns out she did no stunts for the movie. None. So I feel like that was a rumor started to get people excited about the movie somewhere. Or some genius at Lifetime was like hey let’s just throw that out there. But in fact, she did none of the stunts.
EVAN: It was probably that Abby Lee Miller.
JESSICA: Yeah so Spanny did an excellent recap of all of this. I know some people were like oh there’s no way that Chow just walks into the room and says hey kids who can do an Amanar? Okay Gabby you go first after you’ve been sitting listening to a lecture for 20 minutes. Of course we know that doesn’t happen. So there’s going to be little things like that that aren’t true to life and gymnastics. But come on people. This was like a super positive movie. It was a great message. There was great gymnastics. They used real footage from NBC. It was super uplifting and it made me cry twice which is like
EVAN: Not that hard.
JESSICA: Exactly it’s really not that hard. But I wasn’t expecting to cry which is different. So I really liked and I think it’s one of the best gymnastics movies besides the OG Nadia movie when they were little kids and Bela goes to look for them in the pit and they’ve all been stolen and taken to Onesti I think. Besides that one, I think it’s one of the best gymnastics movies that’s a biography type of movie. Because obviously we know that Stick It is you know the greatest ever. So I will be looking forward to hearing your thoughts after you finally watch it, even though it was your birthday and you went on vacation and pssh none of that matters. Did you see what was on Louis Smith’s Instagram? Now we’re getting to the Valentine’s Day part of the show.
EVAN: I did not but I bet you did.
JESSICA: Oh my God, so apparently he tans. First of all, who knew? Like what? Why does he tan? But I feel like everyone in all of Europe tans, like unless they’re from Italy or Slovenia. They all tan. But he gets spray tans so that’s good. He’s not giving himself skin cancer. He posted pictures of himself in this little, it looks like a fig leaf with strings on the side so you can get tan everywhere. So he posted two pictures of himself with that on. And Happy Valentine’s Day to us. That’s what I have to say about that. Thank you Louis Smith. Everyone, please follow him if you’re not already because he will make your day on a regular basis. Now as we get into these Valentine’s Day messages, I want to let you guys know that Mr. Owen Field at Nebraska, one of our favorite jeans wearing coaches, he heard our cries for his hot pants and wore his legendary red pants to the last Nebraska meet so we want to thank you sir for your service to the gymternet and hats off to you Owen Field. He’s a joy. Great team, great coach. What can I say? So Evan on the show in the past, we’ve talked about our Valentine’s Day gymnastics related stories. We’ve shared a few. Do you have any romantic or otherwise Valentine’s Day gymnastics related stories to share with us?
EVAN: Ummmm no I can’t. I can’t.
JESSICA: So Evan is a gentleman. But I am not. So I will just say I don’t have good gymnastic, I think I told my gymnastics related hook up story last year so this year I will just say that traveling as an athlete is one of the best things ever and wrestling nationals were always in Vegas and they were fantastic. A good time was had by all. A very very very good time. You can just fill in the blanks.
EVAN: Literally like the national wrestling orgy championships, because you’re like literally everyone was having a good time with everyone.
JESSICA: Pretty much.
EVAN: It was like one room with soft matting.
JESSICA: Pretty much with a million hotel rooms in one city. Yes it’s a great great great event and everyone should go. So let’s get to the non romantic Valentine’s Day stories that we asked you guys to send in. We have a really great one. So you know, Valentine’s Day can be a romantic love or it can just be an appreciation for someone, just like someone you really love and made a difference in your life and we wanted to give you guys an opportunity to give a shout out to one of those people, especially if it was a coach in your life. So we got a letter and this letter says: Dear Gymcastic, please give a shout out to Woody and Mary Clifton for accepting me on to their team at age 33. Woody always called me Kid and said the only thing that fans your fire is negative reinforcement. Tell me I can’t and I will. I became state champion on three of four events at age 34 competing against girls 16 years and up because of my training from Woody and Mary Clifton. Thanks for allowing me to share this. Sincerely, Lori Gallis. How freaking cool is that?
EVAN: You go Lori! You go all over town and you just do early mid thirties gymnastics. I am in awe of you. But legitimately that is something that even at late mid twenties now, I can’t even imagine doing that, so I like that. And she’s giving credit where credit is due. I’m not saying that her effort isn’t worth it but I think that coaches so often go underappreciated when they really should be over appreciated. So thank you to all my coaches, High Flyers Educational Gymnastics Center in Brighton, Michigan and Greater Kalamazoo Gymnastics for a while and of course The University of Michigan, so everyone there who’s ever helped me.
JESSICA: Before we bring your our Valentine’s Day story from goddess Svetlana Boginskaya, Evan can you tell people how they can support the show?
EVAN: So you can support the show in a variety of ways. You can yell at your computer screen like Svetlana Khorkina in 2000 and just force your iTunes by pressuring it. You can download our podcast there. You can download the Stitcher app to listen or you can check out the email option via our website and support the show. Because we love support. You’re like our bra, or bro.
JESSICA: Or dance belt.
EVAN: Right, a lot of support is needed in a lot of areas. You can also shop in our Amazon store. We’re probably going to need to start selling intimate apparel now that that’s been spoken into existence. Remember as long as you start through the Amazon link that we provide on the website, a little portion of what you buy goes back to the show and helps us live on to come back to you next week. If you want to skip the hassle of shopping though, which you know, I don’t want to say sometimes you just want to give
JESSICA: Yes, yes. Sometimes you do. Sometimes you don’t want to be the receiver. You just want to give.
EVAN: Sometimes you just want to give. There’s a donation button on the about page. So you go do that.
JESSICA: So I have to give a shout out to Mary, one of our listeners. She decided that she wanted to donate to us regularly, so she set up a monthly donation on PayPal. So she donates ten dollars a month to the show. How freaking awesome is that? I was like what?! It’s just so nice and thoughtful and I just want to give her a special thanks. Sidebar: why don’t male gymnasts need a dance belt, jock strap? Like why do they need it in other sports? Is it because you don’t have things hurling at your nethers? But you do? Please explain.
EVAN: I’ve never worn a dance belt so I don’t know why you do need it. I mean in gymnastics, I don’t think it’s uncommon for people to wear like underwear and your step in body suit and then usually pants or shorts or some type of shorts and pants together
JESSICA: So like three layers
EVAN: Right so there’s a good amount of support there. You’re just like I’m wearing boxers today. This is going to go great. You choose a cut and a style that accommodates movement and support.
JESSICA: I just had the most horrific horrific mental image of boxers and pommel horse. No, no, no. That is not good. That could be bad. Getting back on track now that we’ve solved that mystery. So you can contact us on the show. Tell us what you think. Tell us what you want us to talk about. Tell us what routines you want us to review and discuss. Tell us what you thought should have received a ten, what was robbed in NCAA. You can contact us by leaving us a voicemail at 415-800-3191 or you can call us on Skype and leave us a voicemail there, user name is Gymcastic Podcast. Email us firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter and Facebook. You can message us there. And of course we have for your viewing pleasure, a video playlist so you can watch the routines we are talking about and follow along as you listen to the show.
JESSICA: You know that I met my super hot, smart, gorgeous, driven and sexy husband through wrestling right? Since this is our Valentine’s Day show, I should tell you one of the most romantic gifts he ever got me, besides my floor routine of course. I came home one day, flipped on the lights and there in the middle of the living room floor was an eight foot long balance beam with a bow on top. It wasn’t just any floor beam. It was a sectional beam, two parts connected by a velcro under the base. Easy to detach and hide under the bed when company comes over. The top is the same width and the covering is the traditional beam, just firm enough to hold a tight handstand but forgiving enough to try new acro skills without bruising your feet. If you are intrigued and want to know more about this romantic sectional beam, you can check it out at Tumbl Trak. That’s tumbltrak.com. TumblTrak. Do it again.
And finally, here is the recording I’ve been waiting forever to bring to you guys. This is Svetlana Boginskaya talking to us last summer about her love story and how she met her husband and how she got engaged. Her husband’s name is William Guy and he will tell you his side of their love story after her interview. And pay attention you guys. When you’re looking for a man, it’s what he does, not what he says that matter. So pay attention to the things he does for Svetlana. And also one of the things I had to cut from the interview just for time’s sake was that he picked her up from the airport and would take care of her mail and stuff while she was traveling. That’s a good man right there, willing to do the non glamorous dirty work for you while you’re traveling around the world following your passion, so I hope you guys enjoy it.
UNCLE TIM: And while we’re on the topic of children, one of our listeners, Jay, he wants to know how you met your husband. Will you tell us the love story?
SVETLANA: Ooh the love story. Well my love story is very interesting. It was the beginning the middle and the end. Which part would you like me to tell you?
UNCLE TIM: Um let’s do the beginning.
SVETLANA: Okay, okay. I met him at my neighbor that I had across in my luxury apartment complex where I used to live. I had a next door neighbor who used to work for an oil firm and my husband and my neighbor were best friends. And my husband and my neighbor would stop by to work out after work in our luxurious apartment complex. So I asked my neighbor to introduce me to him. And he said Svetlana, I’m going to tell you something. You’re not his type. Now once again, once isn’t always enough. I said is he dating anybody at the moment. He said no. Knowing me, I wouldn’t give up so I said introduce us. He said okay I will, but remember you’re not his type. For a regular person, I am sure. And I had very short blonde hair at the time. And my neighbor mentioned to me that’s dated only 5’10 Hispanic girls with long dark hair down to their waist. So that’s how I met my husband. And that’s what I found out about him. Maybe it was just a challenge to prove myself. I had to be extra nice when I met William, my husband. So that’s how we met, through our neighbor. We got introduced and after three months, he proposed to me on the Eiffel Tower in Paris. And I asked him, do I have to say yes and he said you do have to say yes because it’s the Eiffel Tower and if you say no, I might gently push you down. So I had to say yes. I said yes.
UNCLE TIM: Wow.
SVETLANA: I know.
UNCLE TIM: It sounds like you two have similar senses of humor.
SVETLANA: I know. We have to. Anybody to put up with me has to have a sense of humor.
JESSICA: Yes the very beginning. How did you first meet? What did you think when you first saw her?
WILLIAM: (laughs) Well here’s the thing okay. She used to live next to a friend of mine right. I went out with my friend to this place called Cute Cafe. We ran into here there. She was dancing with some girlfriends. That’s when I really saw her but I didn’t really think much you know. I was just like oh she’s nice looking. She was in very good shape. You know what I’m saying?
WILLIAM: So I actually say hello to her, you know how are you doing? And my friend goes oh well that’s my neighbor. I was like oh okay. I had no clue, well I knew what gymnastics is but I had no clue of anything.
JESSICA: You didn’t know who she was or anything like that.
WILLIAM: My friend told me, she’s an Olympic gymnast. Me, I could really not much care less. I would go to my friend’s house, I would knock on the door and she’s literally across the hall. So whenever I would knock on the door, she would open it and say hey how are you doing? And that’s it. My friend arranged us to go out like a group. And we went over to this place called [unclear] where they have live Latin dancing and she jumps in the front and she pays for everybody’s cover. So that was nice. And we were just standing there and just talking and somebody recognizes her and sends her some flowers. And then she leaves I guess to thank the guy or whatever and I was just standing there and I was like well I really don’t have much interest so I’m just going to leave. So I left and on the way home, she calls me. She’s like oh I’m sorry. So I say well you wanna go somewhere tomorrow night or Friday and she goes no, how about Saturday. I said okay, well we’ll go on Saturday. Years later, I find out that she had a date on Friday night with the guy that sent her the flowers.
JESSICA: Classic. Of course she did.
WILLIAM: It just kind of slipped out. So that’s what you were doing Friday when you wouldn’t go out with me.
JESSICA: So did you slowly start to realize who she was and how popular she was?
WILLIAM: Yes and no. I’m not terribly starstruck with people, you know when you meet famous people. I knew who she was then. I wasn’t really going out with her because of who she was. She was just a really unique person who I really liked the way she was. It was April 20 of 1998. We went out that Saturday. I had to meet some friends for a birthday party. We went out and met from there and basically, what we call our first date, we went to downtown Houston. That night’s kind of a blur. I take her home. I’m pretty drunk so I’m not driving home. I say I’m going to sleep here on the couch. And she says oh no. She kicks me out. I don’t even know how I made it home.
JESSICA: And then what happened?
WILLIAM: I like to cook so I made her all these like lobster with rice and things like that. Everytime she would leave, she’d be like can you pick up my mail?
JESSICA: So when did you know that she was the one?
WILLIAM: Oh I think after the first date. But it wasn’t because of who she is. It was just because she’s a very unique person. After that, she was in and out of summer camps. She sent me some flowers. I was like oh okay. This is the one. I have the flowers somewhere, but I don’t know where it is.
JESSICA: You saved them? That’s so romantic!
WILLIAM: Oh yeah I have a little book that shows like the first movie we watched. I have the menu from our first date, that kind of thing. It’s kind of cool.
JESSICA: Oh that’s awesome. So what advice do you have for someone that’s in a relationship with an athlete or even someone that’s super passionate like your wife?
WILLIAM: Well just know that’s their life and that’s what they like to do and they really can’t do anything else. Once they do that, that’s basically what they live for. My wife wakes up and she starts looking at gymnastics things and calling her gymnastics friends and doing this and that. They have no concept of anything else really. It’s what they live for. Other than that, just patience. There are some that, some of her friends that when they’re done they don’t really want to do anything. They don’t want to have to do anything with it. But just so they know, this is what they love to do.
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 using the code Gymcast.
Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone. We will see you next week. Until then, I’m Jessica from Master’s Gymnastics
EVAN: And I’m Evan. Find me on Twitter @yoev. Mwah.
JESSICA: See you guys next week.