JESSICA: This week: everything you wanted to know about the Nastia Liukin Cup, Marta commentating, and the American Cup.
[EXPRESS YOURSELF INTRO MUSIC]
ALLISON TAYLER: Hey, gymnasts. Elite Sportz Band is a cutting edge compression back warmer that can protect your most valued asset, your back. Im Allison Tayler on behalf of Elite Sportz Band. Visit elitesportzband.com. Weve got your back.
JESSICA: This is episode 80 from March 5th, 2014. Im Jessica, from Masters Gymnastics.
LAUREN: And Im Lauren, from thecouchgymnast.com.
JESSICA: And this is the best gymnastics podcast of all time, bringing you all the news from around the gymternet! The first thing I want to start with, something very exciting. We havent had a contest in quite a while, but now we are bringing our contest back, andIm so excited about this, because this is something everyone does, so all we want you to do is take a picture of it. Or a video! The contest is your gymitations. We want to see your imitation, your gymitations. All you have to do to enter is to post yourself, or someone you know, doing an imitation of your favorite gymnast. It can be dance, it can be a pose, it can be a face, it can be actual gymnastics skills. Tag it with #gymitation and tag Gymcastic in it. It can be on Twitter, on Facebook, on Instagram, and youll be entered into the contest. Were doing this all through March, and the prizes are: a USA Gymnastics official polo shirt from Under Armortheyre very nice, I have to say. These are like the kind that are like the sweat-wicking fancy material. Theyre very nice. They are size medium, so you can go to USA Gymnastics site, their store, and check out what the sizes are. Three of those we have to give away. And thenLauren, did you know theres a chalk shortage in the US, especially in the East Coast right now?
LAUREN: Like, for all kinds of chalk or gymnastics chalk?
JESSICA: For magnesium carbonate.
LAUREN: Oh wow, I did not know that.
JESSICA: Yeah. I didnt really know either, but I guess someoneone of our listeners will explain this, Im sure, but it has something to do I think with, like, how thereslike, theres been so many storms, that theres a salt shortage too, from, like salting the roads and all this stuff. Somehow, that has to do with chalk. Thats my understanding with it, but if Im like totally wrong, Im sure one our listeners will let me know.
LAUREN: [INAUDIBLE, LAUGHS]
JESSICA: So we also have real, honest to God chalk from the P&G Championships from 2013, which means that, I dont know, McKayla Maroney and Simone Biles probably actually touched this chalk. And if you areno, I have no idea. Its still in the box, but [LAUREN LAUGHS]. If youre at a gym with a chalk [LAUGHING] shortage, we are going to help you out. You can win chalk that was actually, almost, possibly used at the P&G Championships. So, all you have to do is tag us with gymitation, and tag us Gymcastic on one of your social media sites, and let us see you doing your favorite gymnastics imitation. Tell us who youre imitating, too! So, [LAUGHING] well judge the best ones. I cant wait to see these.
Okay. So, first things first, lets talk about Nastia Cup, one of my favorite meets, because I love how she does this whole event. And Lauren, you were there, so tell us, tell me just about the whole thing. I mean, she turned the whole place pink, right? What were your impressions of the meet as a whole?
LAUREN: Oh, I actually love the Nastia Cup. I went to the very first one, and Ive been to every single one since, so like, I have this very like, special, admiration for the Nastia Cup. I love that Nastia does it, I love that they get to do a level 10 meet basically on a podium, I love that they get to do it in a huge arena. I think this was like the most, the biggest, like, attendance record or something that the Nastia Cup has had?
LAUREN: The first year there werent that many, there were like, parents and things like that. I love that its come so far in the last few years. And this was also like no one made a big deal of this, but it was the fifth annual Nastia Cup, so I thought that was cool as well.
This year was different because they split the juniors and seniors, which Im guessing was because, aside from Lexie Priessman winning the first year, its always been like a 17-year-old-ish won, 17-18, someone whos like, pretty much on her way to college.
LAUREN: Which, you know, you have 17-18-year-olds competing with like, 11-year-olds.
LAUREN: So it doesnt really come off as very fair when you have all these tiny little kids. So I think thats the reason for the split. So they had 6 winners instead of 3. Which was cool, and then, you know, we all saw both junior and senior divisions ended with ties and co-champions
JESSICA: Which is the best! I love it!
LAUREN: Drama, and [LAUGHING]
JESSICA: Dont you love, though, I mean after all thats happened to Nastia and how unfair all these, likewhy cant we have ties in the Olympicsthat she, at her own meet, was like, No, were having ties. There will be no tiebreakers. Dont you love that though?
LAUREN: Yes, and thats, thats the best thing! And even after they broke the ties, she was like, Uhh, what? And then she unbroke them, pretty much.
LAUREN: And the thing with breaking the ties from what I was told, because someone came around and said, These are the ties, this is how they broke the ties. And then all of sudden there was an announcement on the podium and theyre saying Co-Champions, and everyone at the, like the media table was so confused. But they said they were going to break them because of the trophy situation, because
JESSICA: [QUIETLY] Ohh.
LAUREN: they give out small to the third place winner, medium to second, and large to first. So they were like, concerned with how that would work out; the fairness of giving a medium-sized trophy to a first place winner. But I think the one who, if they had broken the ties, the girls who would have come in second got the medium trophies, but theyre still considered a co-champion. So
JESSICA: Thats beautiful. I love that.
JESSICA: Because honestly, who cares what size you get if you get to be the co-champion, like
JESSICA: Ties are awesome. I just love that. And I love that there was confusion, and Nastia was like, No! Its my meet, we will not do this! [LAUGHING] It made me so happy!
LAUREN: Yeah. Yeah. I liked it a lot, and they were all, like, super-excited in the media afterwards, even though all of them were like, How much longer do we have to sit here and do media? because they were all so excited that they won. [JESSICA LAUGHS] And they were all so happy for one another, and you could tell how close knitI mean, there were a few Texas girls as well. I think four of them were Texas girls? So you could tell how close-knit that, like, level 10 community is.
LAUREN: They were all super supportive of each other, which is awesome to me. There was no, How come she got the bigger trophy, because were both first place. There was none of that, which was Ive just been watching a lot of Toddlers and Tiaras recently, [LAUGHS] so my ideas of, like, who deserves what are a little skewed. So to see actual, I dont know
LAUREN: Sportsmanship, yeah, is awesome. [LAUGHS]
JESSICA: [LAUGHING] Oh my God. So, how, what were some of the routines, or some of the athletes that really stood out to you? Who were your favorites?
LAUREN: My favorite? My absolute favorite was this tiny little princess named Morgan Hurd, who Im completely obsessed with.
JESSICA: She was so cute!
LAUREN: And this is actually hilarious, because I was tweeting about her all night long, and was, like, almost creepy in reading the tweets back. And then yesterday I was looking through our replies and she favorited every single creepy tweet that I wrote about her.
LAUREN: Shes like, 11. So I was I mean, like, they were all really nice, like Oh my God, I love this kid! and blah blah blah. But like, I think that at one point I was like, Oh my God, I want to kidnap her, shes amazing. [BOTH LAUGHING] So but she was my favorite, she wears glasses, she was in a group with all well, I guess it was half juniors, half seniors, but the seniors were all very tall, as were the juniors in her group. She cannot be any taller than 3 foot 8, max. Like max
JESSICA: Honestly, the low bar looks like she could stand under it with her arms fully extended and not touch it.
LAUREN: [LAUGHS] Yes. Yes! Shes just the tiniest person. And its like, my favorite thing in the world. And shes also really good.
JESSICA: Really good!
LAUREN: Shes from Delaware, shes a first year level 10, a 2001 baby. Im pretty sure elite is on her mind. But I love that shes from Delaware, because what gymnast is from Delaware?
JESSICA: Right, nobody.
LAUREN: Yeah, so she Im just really excited about her because she has a lot of really good basics and shell like warm ups, if you view her bar routine, like, shes flying all over the place, but then in competition she looked great, she pulled it together and she really showed that she has, like, the mindset to do these big competitions, even though, like I said, this is her first year doing level 10. So Im really excited about her, even if she didnt show a ton of super big skills. I think she just has a lot going for her.
A lot of people did have really big skills though. One who I had never heard of and then completely blew my mind was Olivia Karas. She had a really nice yurchenko one and a half on vault, but like, I kind of turned over to floor just as she was finishing up a piked double Arabian, and I was like
LAUREN: Where does that come from? [LAUGHS] And so I had to, like, seek out her name, because I was just amazed by some of the skills that she was doing, which, she was really good at her piked double Arabian. And yeah, I havent, like, looked her up to see if she was attached anywhere for college yet, shes an older one, so I doubt, like, she has elite in her future, considering that road, but yeah, she had some really good stuff. Yeah, I think there were a couple others. Rachel Flam, who came in first for the juniors, shes trying elite this summer. She had a full twisting double layout off of bars. Kelsey Knox, she had a really pretty bars, her extensions very Nastia, so
LAUREN: And shes blonde, so obviously theres a lot of, like, Nastia comparisons, but, like, yeah. Her extension was really pretty. And another elite, kind of, I guess hopeful, is Bailey Ferrer. She also had a full twisting double layout off bars and four floor passes, which is different from most had three. So Im pretty sure I think she got injured last summer, so Im pretty sure shes trying elite again this summer. But yeah, I think those are my favorites in terms of, like, people I was just totally shocked by. Because, like, Mac Brannon, like, she was amazing. She was, from start to finish, everything was polished and clean. But you kind of knew that going in, that shed be amazing, and this is her third year doing it, and third times a charm, Alex McMurty proved that last year. So I kind of like figured that Bannon would be on the mark this year, but those four, I think, that I mentioned, or five, four or five, were just really outstanding and surprising.
JESSICA: I think, so just to give everybody the, the full picture here, so the senior co-champions are MacKenzie Bannon of, she goes to Capitol, in Austin, Texas, not the capital in DC, and then McKenna Kelley, who is Mary Lou Retton, who was 1984 all around champion, Belas first star in the US. She also is the co-champion, and she looked awesome. I loved watching her.
JESSICA: Shes a competitor. Shes going to be amazing at LSU. Theyre really, really lucky they got her. Like, she is incredible. And then in the junior division it was Rachel Flam, the one you were just talking about, of Houston, shes from Stars, and then Lauren Ramirez from Arizonia, Arizona, from Gold Medal Gymnastics, so yeah. That, that meet is just so fun. I love the trophies, the torches, I love that Nastia designs their leos, and I really liked their leos this year. Like, pink is not my color, but, the fact that they those leos are really cool. Like, I could see those being an Oscar gown, I really liked them. [Lauren LAUGHS] Well put
LAUREN: Yeah, I think these are my favorite Nastia leos since the first year when they were just, like, really simple.
LAUREN: But this year, they were, they werent simple but they were awesome. They were designed really well, I thought.
JESSICA: For those of you at home who experienced this live, it was the most amazing, most groundbreaking, first time ever in the history of gymnastics and television: Marta Karoyli did commentary with Tim Daggett, and Nastia, and John Roethlisberger. I was losing my mind. I dont know how they convinced her to do this, if they didnt tell her it was, like, how many people were watching, and what that it was. It was awesome. It was also like, honestly, I think her like six minutes doing commentary did more to boost the reputation and image of USA Gymnastics than anything theyve done in the last twenty years. Like, she was endearing, she was kind, she was sweet, she was positive, she had really positive comments on everybody that she talked about. You know, it was a little hard to understand her, you can see, you know, I think when youre a perfectionist like that its hard to not have total command of the language and feel confident talking on, on television, but she honestly was so cute, and she had really interesting things to say. And she was so cute, with one of the girls shes like, Shes my little project! [LAUREN LAUGHS] I loved listening to her. It was really, really amazing. I hope they do that with her again. It was totally adorable. I loved it. Diddo you have any insight into how this happened? Did you see what went on in the background over there?
LAUREN: I dontI didnt even know that it had happened! And then, I cant I was updating Twitter and then I think I saw posts on Twitter saying Martas commentating, and everyone was kind of freaking out. But I couldnt, like, they were all the way on the other side of the arena, which, we were by bars and they were by, like, the start of the vault runway, so yeah, I didnt know, I had no idea. So everyone who I talked to was like, Oh my God, it was great! It was like the best thing that has ever happened!
JESSICA: Yeah, it was really, really great. I totally loved it. And then they have Valeri come on. Of course Valeri is hilarious too, because Valeri says like three sentences, and theyre like So, Tims like, So, you if notice anything when you watch these, say something, and dead silence. So what did you , uh uh, dead silence. You know, hes like, only will he respond to his daughter, and hes totally like, I am not going to give away any of my ancient Soviet secrets. Like, [LAUGHING] he was locked up, like, a vault. [LAUGHS] It was hilarious! Like, he was not going to say anything. Oh my God, he was sitting there with this, like, look on his face, like he was coaching, I just, like, oh my God, it was all just so gym nerd fantasy. And then, oh! And Mary Lou Retton came on, and totally [LAUGH], it was so funny.
LAUREN: All I heard was that she screamed, like every single time her daughter, like, did a flip.
JESSICA: [LAUGHING] She was so, oh my God. Like, everything you hear Okay, imagine if Aly Raismans parents had been on, in the broadcast booth. Thats what it was like. You could just tell how proud she was of her daughter, and how well she wanted her to do, but like, in a good, positive way. And she kind of talked about some things that, like, she had talked to her daughters coaches about because she understood. Like, she had also had problems with bars, it just wasnt natural, shes a power gymnast, it just wasnt natural for her to swing. And she was like, But theres other things where I just dont talk to them at all, because its her gymnastics, and I need to stay out of it, and so It was very interesting, every once and a while her daughter, they have the same body type, I mean, really, they could be
JESSICA: You know, they are like carbon copies of each other. And she would say, you know, she generally stayed out of her gymnastics, but sometimes her daughter will bring home videos of herself and ask, you know, Here, will you look at this and tell me what Im doing wrong, and she can help her because, you know, she understands that same body type. And it was just really, really cute, and you could just see it really gave you insight into what its like, the mind of a parent who cares
LAUREN: Mm hmm.
JESSICA: about their childs health and welfare and safety watching them do gymnastics. [LAUGHS] I loved it. [LAUGHS] I loved it. And she was horribly embarrassed.
LAUREN: Yeah, that was the thing I want to go back and listen to, because I feel like and her daughter was up, she was there for the press stuff, and she was so, just expressive and excited and like, probably one of the better interviewers, interviewees in gymnastics. And I feel like a lot of that reminded me of her mom, especially from what Ive heard about people in terms of how her mom responded to the whole Nastia Liukin Cup kind of thing. So they seem like theyre like, the same person, like, just in terms of their personality and body type and everything. So I loved that.
JESSICA: Like, do you mean, like, that her mom was really excited that she qualified?
LAUREN: Yeah. Well, cause she was talking about how her mom took a video of her when she found out she qualified. And shes, like, sobbing in the video and shes like, Oh my God, Im making, like, the ugliest crying face
LAUREN: My moms, like, screaming in the background. Theyre not like, theyre Mary Lous obviously is gymnastics royalty, and her daughter is, therefore, a princess, and so INAUDIBLE OVER LAUGHING]
JESSICA: [LAUGHS] Therefore.
LAUREN: [LAUGHS] Therefore. So youd think theyd be like, Oh yeah, of course you qualified. Were royalty, you know, it was just going to happen. But they have, like, this reaction youd expect from any level ten who just qualified to the biggest competition probably of her, if not life than season. So I feel like thats how, like People are probably surprised, too, that people who have this history in the sport are still really kind of down-to-earth about it. When there are other people who dont have that history who are just, like, Oh, the Olympic trials, ho hum. I made it again. [JESSICA LAUGHS]. So but I feel like I kind of love that about them, that theyre, like, genuinely just cool people.
JESSICA: Ah, thats so good to hear. That definitely came across. So the night after. So the tradition is the Nastia Cup is on Friday, and then on Saturday is the American Cup. And the American Cup has now become an official FIG World Cup event, which means that you have to be in the top ten in the world to qualify or be selected to go to one of these meets. And its part of the World Cup series. Whats complicated about the World Cup series, which, I dont know why, there must be some reason they do this, like sponsorships or whatever, because theres a great purse at the end of this if you win it. I mean, its a great way to make a living as a professional gymnast. You the, the, the World Cup series spans two years. So it doesnt start in 2014, it starts in 2013 and ends in 2014, so this is one of the part of the series, it will end in Tokyo later this year. So its great to see that, you know, I hope that because its an official FIG event now some of the SCAM stuff goes down. I think that the scoring was very fair and I think that you could see the difference.
JESSICA: Like you were only allowed to have one coach on the, on the competition floor. So like, when Brenna Dowell was out there competing, you know, Armine was nowhere to be seen, because only one coach was allowed out there. So, you know, the cameras followed her back, and Brenna had to, you know, run into back behind the black curtains to go find her coach. So, you know, what did you think, knowing that its, its FIG event now. How, how did you see the difference?
LAUREN: I mean, even though, I think in 2011, I think that was the year Mustafina came along. That year was the messy, like, Jordyn won with a fall kind of year, or dead hang, whatever happened on bars. So even though it had become a World Cup there were still issues that caused people to call it SCAM. And then in 2012 like Aly well, Aly I thought rightfully beat Iordache, but some people still complained about that, so anyway. Now I feel like, I just feel like this year it was a more even field. The trend has been for the top gymnasts internationally from worlds will turn it down either because theyre saving themselves for later in the season or for whatever reason, so you end up the absolute two best Americans, and then amazing athletes from other countries, but not necessarily either those who were in the top eight or those who were maybe like just sort of outside of it. And so this year, because both Kyla and Simone, who are world gold and silver medalists couldnt be there, you have Ebee and Brenna, who are in their own right amazing but not the best in the world, or at least in terms of, like, having won world medals. So I feel like, because there was that, like, there wasnt as much of a divide between the international athletes and the American athletes going in, I thought that already set it up to be a little bit more fair. But then I thought that compared to previous years the judging was also a lot more sane.
JESSICA: Mm hmm, I agree.
LAUREN: In previous years, I think that, yeah, like even in 2011 they, Wieber and Mustafina both did amanars. And Mustafinas was, like, not atrocious, but it was pretty bad. And she got, like, the same execution score as Jordyn, and I was like I was sitting with Nicole for that, and we were both like, Are you kidding me? Whats going on? [JESSICA LAUGHS] And the judges were, like, back and forth between Jordyn and Aliya, like, not judging either one of them correctly. So I feel, like, even if its not, like, pro-American its still really messy. And this year I didnt find that at all. I mean, there were a couple were I actually, for the Americans, I was like, Oh, thats going to get a 15, like I thought that with Ebee on floor, and then she got a 14.5, and I was like, Oh my God. That was like, really conservative of them.
JESSICA: Mm hmm. And
LAUREN: And I was like, so shocked.
JESSICA: Did you notice when I dont know if you heard this one, Ebee gave her comments, and she might have said this same thing to the rest of the media, but when she gave her comments on TV, she said, Im really Ive been part of several of these World Cup events around the world and Im so happy to have won another one, FIG World Cup event. Like, she really made a point of pointing out that this is not the olden days, and she did not want anybody taking any
JESSICA: Anything away from her victory where she won by like, three points. And I was like, Oh, dont worry. Thats not going to happen. [LAUGHS] You totally earned it.
LAUREN: This is like her fifth one of these. Like, she did two in 2012 and two in 2013, and that was like, number five. And shes won all but one. So I feel like, if anyone were to say, Oh, its unfair judging, then theyd be completely just biased against the US. Which happens. But its like, Hello! Shes won every single one out of the country, expect one where she, like, fell or something.
LAUREN: But yeah, I felt like she was obviously the rightful victor in this situation. There were a couple of people who said Brenna was maybe gifted a bit, because she came out on top of Steingruber, but Brennas beam, she got the lowest E-score almost, apart from like, Ferlito, who fell. So its like And Brenna did not fall. So I felt like, there was no, there was no real, like, I dont know, [INAUDIBLE] going on.
JESSICA: And the thing with like, Steingruber, I really, I really like her gymnastics because she flies. She really does high, powerful skills. I mean, I was talking on Twitter about how I feel like she is the exact example of what should really get credit for a layout on beam. And then a lot of people pointed out to me, which I thank you all for, that the FIG has made these fantastic videos which weve been talking about recently on the show, where they give an example of, Heres what counts as a whip back. And we dont give that a D.
JESSICA: And heres what counts as a layout. And then its like, 5,000 Chinese gymnasts throughout history all doing beam. [LAUGHS] And its like, Here you go. But you know, Steingruber really, she does not have great execution scores you know.
JESSICA: She, her best execution score was on vault where she got a 9, but you know, she got a 7.9 on bars, and I was like, Ohh, thats kind of high. [LAUREN LAUGHS] You know, her beam was an 8.3, but really like, shes one of those ones where youre just like, And this is why we like NCAA gymnastics. [LAUGHS] Because in NCAA that would have gotten a 5. [LAUGHS] And she would not be in the lineup. But she, her beam, like, I love it. She took third on beam, which I think was totally correct.
LAUREN: Yeah. Well, I think and on vault too, like, because of her execution I was having a coughing fit, so I looked over and I saw her pike and then coming down facing the vault. So I was like, did she do a podkopayeva? Like, cause she was piked. And it was like, I guess? and so I wrote thats what she did and everyone was like, No, she did a rudi. I was like, Is she doing a piked rudi? And then everyone was like, No, its a laid out rudi. And I went back and watched videos and shes just so piked in her layout where, so that Im like, you cant even tell what vault shes doing if you dont see the whole thing because the execution just isnt, I guess, where it should be, maybe? And I love her, but I feel like, yeah, I feel like most of her execution was pretty accurate.
JESSICA: Okay. What is going on with the Japanese and Ukrainian, Russian debatable, mullets? This is no good.
LAUREN: Mm. Yeah, I didnt really notice them that much. The only one whose hair I noticed was Sam Oldham.
JESSICA: His hair was so cute! But I totally had that exact same haircut in, like, fifth grade, just so you know. [LAUREN LAUGHS] But it looks really cute on him.
LAUREN: Well, I think Philipp Boy, or no, Marcel Nguyen
JESSICA: Nguyen totally has that hair too. Mm hmm.
LAUREN: Yeah, so thats all I could think of. And I was like, Oh. And everyone else, I dont know, I didnt notice their hair for whatever reason. Yeah, I didnt even notice the mullets.
JESSICA: Ugh. Thank God, that you couldnt see it. [LAUREN LAUGHS] Because on TV you could totally see it. Its like a mullet, but its a short mullet, and Shogo had it and the Russian guy whos now This is terrible. I need to really remember his name.
JESSICA: I feel like a horrible, horrible person, let me say that again. His name is Andrey. Im just going to call him oh, its, and its Belarus, not Ukraine. Oh my God.
LAUREN: Was he the one, hes the one with the L last name?
LAUREN: Yeah, I couldnt pronounce his name at all.
JESSICA: Likhovitskiy. And so Andrey, who is competing for Belarus, and not Ukraine, please forgive me all Ukrainians. You have enough to deal with with Russia invading your country right now without me telling people that people are competing from you and theyre not. Even though theyre all going to freaking Azerbaijan right now. Im so sorry. So Andrey is competing, hes Russian, but hes competing for Belarus, and he has a baby mullet. There we go. So, yeah, his is pretty strong and I dont approve of it at all. I mean, this is no good. We cant have this. Some 80s things can come back, but not the mullet. And then can we talk about Sophie Sheder, who I loooove her bars. Shes 5 foot 3, which makes her look like shes six feet tall, she has beautiful bars, it reminds me of Khorkina. Like, her skills arent the same, obviously, but her look is the same, just really long and lean. And, but, ugh, Germany! What is with that freaking collar on a leo? No. [LAUREN LAUGHS] No. And then Nastia, I love, you know, Nastia is, I defer to her in all things fashion. But she was totally rocking a shoulder cut out shirt, just like Ferrari. [LAUGHS] Did you notice that too?
JESSICA: I was like
LAUREN: Yeah I was more focused on her skirt, which was intense.
JESSICA: It was.
LAUREN: Even miles away in the arena.
JESSICA: It was. And I just like to think that shes in like, a whole fashion world in Manhattan that like, so like, ten years from now that will trickle down to the rest of us somehow, we just dont know shes wearing the future. So Im just like, shes a college student, shes rocking her, you know, thing [LAUREN LAUGHS] so its all good. But there was a lot of fashion. A lot of fashion going on. So
LAUREN: Yeah. It was really cute to, because like, when they were warming up the Italians and the Americans were in the same rotation, and Ebee was in no, Ebbe was in magenta and Brenna was in red, and then I think Vanessa Ferrari was in red and Carlito was in magenta. It was like Valentines Day just parading around wherever they were, like,location wise. The Italians were in like their little short sleeved leos for practice, and then they changed for competition. So it looked really pretty, everyone was [LAUGHING] matching and thats all we care about in gymnastics.
JESSICA: Oh my God, Christy Linder is doing a photo essay for us. Behind the Scenes at the American Cup. So if you guys have seen her, I know youve seen her photos. Like, her photos are amazing. She, like, combines being an artist with being, having been a gymnast with photojournalism. And she really captures the moments between people and really gets gymnastics in kind of views that Ive never seen before, which is really hard. I like to call her Baby Lansley, from the famous photographer Emily Lansley, thats what I call her, Baby Lansley, because shes just amazing, and I think shes going to be the next official photographer of everything someday because I just think shes the most incredible talent to come into sports, gymnastics photography in literally like 30 years. So she is doing a photo essay for us. It will be up on Wednesday with this show, so you can look at it and bask in its glory while you listen to us discuss the show and enjoy that. And so she has pictures of Sophie Scheder wearing her like, outfit that she warms up in which was like knee-high leg warmers; a leotard; shorts; a back warmer, like Elite Sportz Band but more like leg warmer material, like wool; and then some kind of like glove she had or something. I mean, she looked like a dancer from Bolshoi in the 80s. I was like, Who is that? [LAUGHS] Whats happening over there? It was fantastic, it was completely different, I totally loved watching that. So enjoy the full Behind the Scenes, coming soon.
All right, so, lets talk about Mr. Orozco. He made a lot of progress in this meet. But his vault, when he did his vault, zero repulsion. Totally pushed off, like did, like, a headstand almost and then pushed off. [LAUGHING] His vault was better than Winter Cup. I was like, Okay, ninja cat. Where does this come from? He is just like [LAUGHING] I mean, most people would do that and just land right back on top of the vault because its like the opposite of all technique. But hes like, Oh yeah, Ill just do my vault better than Ive ever done it before. Then hes like, Hmm, okay, and just kind of giggles, and I was like uhhh. Hes just like a total genetic freak. I
[LAUGHING] could just watch him all day.
LAUREN: Mm hmm.
JESSICA: So then he goes to p-bars, and he like, clipped his shoulder while he was doing his dismount and, like, lost grip on his leg. That was so scary. Was there a collective gasp when that happened?
LAUREN: I didnt even notice! I, okay, Ive been really sick, so Ive been like, coughing constantly. The guy next to me finally pushed cough drops towards me. [JESSICA LAUGHS]
JESSICA: Oh, God.
LAUREN: So I, like, I missed a lot of moments for the men, especially. Because for the women I was live blogging, so I made sure to be watching. But the men, I missed like, a lot of moments I would just hear the audience, like, respond, and Id be like, What just happened? So that was one where I noticed the audience was like, [gasp] and I was just like, What? I later saw that he tweeted, like, Oh, almost broke my neck today on p-bars. [JESSICA LAUGHS] So I figured that was what was happening.
JESSICA: Yes! I was like [strangled gasp] Oh my God, he is just I dont even know. Something else. But you know what I decided, like this is the thing. He always looks sad and defeated. Remember how he used to always look so happy. Like, he was just like, I cant believe this is happening to me! Oh my God!
LAUREN: Mm hmm.
JESSICA: You know, he had that look of joy, and he was appreciating every moment, and this was so fun, and he couldnt believe it. And now he always looks defeated, and I have just so this is what Ive decided. I have a fix. Because you know I have a solution for everything. Because that is my superpower, is knowing what other people should do with their lives and what other people should do to solve situations. So, like, Uncle Tims superpower is pausing the TV at really awkward moments and saving those for Twitter just on accident, thats his superpower. Mine is other peoples problems, fixing them. So Ive decided that Kim Zmeskal, so Kim, if youre listening, or anyone who knows her, please let her know, that the same kind of thing is happening to John Orozco that happened to you in 1992. Theres this huge build up and pressure from the media that he was going to win, and he was going to be the one, and it was this great Cinderella story. And then, you know, he had a slip-up. It wasnt the end of the world, he still placed eighth. It was, he still did a fantastic job. Its, he, you know, hes still, he has many more Olympics ahead of him. But it was this unthinkable thing that totally got to him. So I think that shes one of the people who has experienced exactly the same situation, and she can I mean, not exactly, because it wasnt like, Oh, hes going to beat Uchimura, but still he could medal. But that she can really related to what hes going through, and I think that they maybe he should travel down there, and he should work out with them for a while, and he can just, like, feel the whole Kim Zmeskal, like, mental vibe. Because her gymnasts are like very, they hit, you
LAUREN: Mmm. Yeah.
JESSICA: So, thats the solution, Ive totally come up with it. This will solve all of his problems.
[LAUREN LAUGHS] So someone let him know.
LAUREN: [LAUGHING] I agree.
JESSICA: [LAUGHING] Thanks.
LAUREN: I think its a good plan.
JESSICA: Okay, good. So lets talk about Moors. Ah, I could just watch her all day.
JESSICA: She did her on floor she ended up actually, so this is the thing, after watching her floor I was like, Oh, she won! Thats it! Of course, she won! But in fact, you know, because I love her floor. She dances. And oh, just to let you guys know, I was totally thinking that the new FIG floor rules already went into effect, but they didnt. They dont go until May. So I was like all, you know, Uh, Carlotta Ferlito has already broken the rules. And everyones all, Uh, it doesnt go in effect until May, Jessica. And I was like, Oh, thats right! Oops. Sorry, okay.
LAUREN: Yeah, I think theres like a six month, like, delay
LAUREN: between the stating it and the enacting or whatever.
JESSICA: Yes. Which totally makes sense.
JESSICA: And is so very well thought out. And of course very courteous to the gymnasts and their training plans. And I was totally ahead of myself. [LAUGHING] So, so Moors did her layout double-double, which I think gets better every single meet. But you were saying she landed out of bounds?
LAUREN: Yeah, I think she well, I saw her land out of bounds, but my angle was really weird and someone said she landed one foot, she landed on one foot in bounds, and then bounced out, and then put both feet down. So yeah, so I think but I saw her form in the air, because I was one of the biggest critics of her form, I feel like, in the past. And I was like, shocked that shes gotten it this far. So yeah, even with the deduction for going out, I feel like it was one of her best that Ive seen. I thought it was the best, actually.
JESSICA: Yeah, I think it was the best that Id seen. And then when she was on beam she ended up doing her full in dismount. [squeal] So excited!
LAUREN: Mm hmm.
JESSICA: I mean, I know shes not, like, the first ever to do the full in, but we almost never see it very often any more, you know?
JESSICA: Totally excited to see people go for hard dismounts. And then, she so, the way it worked out on floor Ferrari took first on floor, she got a 14.633. Her difficulty was a 6.0 and then her execution was an 8.6. And then Price took second with a 14.5. Price and Victoria Moors both had the same difficulty level, they both had 6.1. Moors had a 14.266, so she would have, even if she stayed in bounds she would have been below Price with her execution. And I think that was all her landings, dont you think?
LAUREN: Yeah, her landings, every single pass she had either one or multiple steps. So I feel like, they just werent very controlled. But I didnt notice. Well, I noticed it on blogging, but after she finished the routine I was like, That was a great routine. And then I reread what I wrote, and I was like, Oh yeah, she took steps on every single pass. She covered everything up so well.
LAUREN: So like, you dont really notice. Shes such a performer. So youre not looking really at the landings, youre like, Wow shes dancing already.
JESSICA: I know! And how dare those judges not be swept up in her dance? [LAUREN LAUGHS] I demand they take those deductions away because I didnt notice them, I was in the moment. I was like, Oh, were transported to like, ancient Russia. I dont know why Im on this whole ancient Russia thing. [LAUGHING] Ancient Russia was a horrible, horrible place and time to be anything.
LAUREN: With Mongolia invading.
JESSICA: No one with like the wars. No one would ever want to be in ancient Europe, ancient Russia. It was so bad. So let me just [LAUGHING] pick another time. Uhhh, the Great I cant even, I dont know. Youre going to have to fill me in on this.
LAUREN: [LAUGHING] There were no other times.
JESSICA: No, no, I cant . In the future, when there is a stable [LAUGHING] non,non surveillance
LAUREN: Murderous,non murderous.
JESSICA: Government, where art is free, I dont know. But it has that pain. Like the, you know, what is the, it has the angst, the
JESSICA: The eastern European angst in her routine. Speaking of which, I really Uncle Tim was saying how Elvira Saadi and other coaches should have like, a dance off. Like, shes on the sidelines, and she is totally looking at everyone elses floor routines. For those who dont know, Elvira Saadi is the she was a two-time Soviet gold medalist with her team at the Olympics. So she won with the Soviet team at the 72 Olympics and then again at the 76 Olympics. So shes basically super bad assed. And she looks like it. I mean, she was like when the men were competing at first, she was like sitting on the sidelines, shooting the shits with her friends. I was like, Oh my God, Ive never seen her smile before. Like, what is happening? And then the competition started and she was like, Uh! We will kill everyone with the beauty! We will dominate them with our incredible dance! [LAUREN LAUGHS] I was just watching her watch the other floor routines while people were out there, and she was just like, Oh my God. Just put me in a leotard right now and I just will smoke these fools. [LAUREN LAUGHS] Like, This is just not up to our standards. And you can see. Just, Victoria Moors is in a category all her own when she performs. Like, no one can touch her. Shes I mean, no ones even close. Shes just yeah. Totally different category. So, sometime maybe we can convince Elvira Saadi maybe she can do the gymitiations! Could we get her [BOTH LAUGHING] to do gymitations?
LAUREN: She can imitate every American floor routine in London.
JESSICA: Shell just stand like a robot.
LAUREN: It would be comedy.
JESSICA: [LAUGHING] Oh my God. So I did kind of, I have to say though, I kind of liked like Prices routine. For I mean, its not, its not my style, its not my thing, but you know, its pretty good.
JESSICA: I didnt hate it, basically. [LAUGHING] Cause I kind of hate, like, all the American routines. And that one I was like, Oh! You know, hey. I could get into it a little bit, bop my head. Thats extremely high praise from me for an American routine. Thats like, yeah. So shes having a good time, you know, she gets the crowd into it. So.
LAUREN: Price on floor, shes one who I remember her tumbling, but I never remember her music. And like, even right now Im trying to think of it, and I cant even tell you what style choreography, what style music she has because I feel like I only care about her tumbling. But thats one of the ones where Id have to like look that one up and watch it on YouTube to be like, Oh thats like what her dance looks like. Which, its not that its bad, its just not really memorable to me kind of thing.
JESSICA: Yeah. I think for the Americans it stands out. Like, if it makes you want to bop your head, then its, whoosh, solid, for Americans. [LAUREN LAUGHS] Its like, in the top echelon. So while were talking about Ebee and how she won by about 3-ish points, and how much shes come back from, what surprised you the most about her victory and her performance here?
LAUREN: I think her beam especially, because beam is not her best event, and I havent really seen her compete beam really since the World Cups in 2012. I didnt see a lot of her performances from the 2013 World Cups. So I know she did it, she did compete beam and she clearly did well enough on it to medal at both. But I wasnt expecting her to go out there at American Cup and have what I think was her best beam routine ever. And just in general, I feel like the last time I saw her, again, at Nationals, doing her double twisting yurchenko. So to see her doing so well, like with hitting the amanar and then her bars were clean I mean, everything she did I was like, Wow, shes really clean, shes really impressive, shes still has, like, I mean, I think shes exceeding her 2012 peak. Before her hip injury. And then, yeah, I was totally surprised at what we saw her do. So yeah, it was, it was awesome.
JESSICA: I love that she told Tim Daggett, when he interviewed her, that she wanted everyone to know that even though shed been injured and shed had these shed had so much to overcome to get back to where she was, that she was happy the whole time. I was like, Damn. This is why I totally tweeted, Ebee for president! And I mean, like, Ebee has like she might not be I mean, if I was putting together, like, my favorite gymnastics Frankenstein doll from all my favorite gymnasts, there are parts of her that I would put in there, but the biggest thing that I would take from her is that she has an integrity and a perspective thats so much larger than just her gymnastics. That is very rare in elites. And by that I mean shes aware of how her performance relates to how people perceive the American Cup, with her comments about how shes won these, and shes glad to win one at home. She wants people to understand who she is, not just that shes a gymnast, but why she chooses to do the sport. You know, she wants, she has an idea of how she wants people to see her and is in control of that. And thats, I think, so uncommon for a teenage elite. Theyre people they put it out there, and theyre just like, I just want, I went out here, four for four You know, the stuff that we cant stand hearing. So her comments were very uncommon, and you know, I dont know that shes going to go to Stanford, but wherever she chooses to go, theyre going to be very lucky to have someone like her. I think shes going to do great things.
JESSICA: Wherever she ends up, whatever she ends up doing.
LAUREN: Yeah, I agree. I think she was saying after the competition that shes not sure. Shes very smart, also, because she was saying that shes not sure if shes going to defer Stanford just yet, because there are however many months until Worlds next year. So its like, shes not like, Yeah, I won this competition, and Im going to Worlds, Im deferring college, blah blah blah. Shes actually waiting. And shes taking it one step at a time. And I think thats very smart, because I think a lot of people who could come in and win this competition be like, Okay, time to go prowl; Im the next Olympic champion! You know, like that kind of attitude.
JESSICA: Mm hmm.
LAUREN: They take a big step early, and then they take it way too far. And another thing is that she is actually the World Cup series, they have a leader which leads by points, which you were kind of explaining earlier.
JESSICA: Mm hmm.
LAUREN: And shes leading. Everyone else has kind of like 80 points, 85 points. She has like, 120 points. And she cant take any of that prize money.
LAUREN: Because she is
JESSICA: I thought you could take the prize money now. If its prize from completion, I thought that didnt count against you. Or is this different because its like, a professional circuit?
LAUREN: I think its a professional circuit kind of thing.
LAUREN: So regardless, she cant take any of that money. There was like, someone who was talking about that recently. Probably her [INAUDIBLE]
JESSICA: Mm hmm. It wouldnt be equal to a private school, college education anyway.
JESSICA: What is that, like $400,000 education? [inserted] Just editing to add this little note here, that per Stanfords website, it is actually an estimated $250,000 for four years with everything put
together: travel, tuition, housing, food, ect. [end insert]
LAUREN: Yeah, its probably like, 800,000. So yeah, that would be great if she could go to all these, and like, I want her to go to Tokyo and win that one too. And be like, Yeah, I won pretty much every one of the World Cup series. I think, yeah. That would be amazing.
JESSICA: I just love, too, that shes actually being sent to these! Because its one of the things were always complaining about, we have all these amazing gymnasts and theyre never being sent anywhere to compete. And the World Cup circuit is just a great opportunity for gymnasts like, to make a living too! I mean for her, shes going to not do that because she wants to keep her eligibility. But for so many of these adult athletes I think if Mohini had stuck around for that, or Annia Hatch had stuck around for that.
JESSICA: You know, if, I just, Im glad that she is doing that, and Id love to see her win this. And then also set that precedent of, Im going to go do college gymnastics now, and get more of these elites, you know, international elites, to come do college gymnastics. Its so fun, and just
JESSICA: Yep. And lets see
LAUREN: Oh, Ebee
JESSICA: Oh, Ebee. [LAUGHS] So some of things if you guys were watching at home, if you missed it at home, were great comments from the commentators during the American Cup. [LAUGHING] Oh. My. God. So Sam Mikulak killed it. He would not have won though, if it wasnt for Shogo made a mistake on his last event. It was, he was just like, he didnt get his dowel over the bar on one of his releases, so he just pinged off and ohhh, it was so sad. Because he would have won it and it would have been great because On the other Its just another exciting Japanese gymnast to watch. He has that beautiful Japanese form, like he did his double pike dismount off of p-bars, and he does it perfectly. And then he dropped into a stick. Dropped on p-bars. You know, you normally on p-bars, people come in at like, 1,000 miles an hour, they like skid into the mat [LAUGHING]. Because its freaking p-bars and youre just lucky to live if you land on your feet. And hes like, Double pike and drop. It was beautiful. So, but, you know, he had this mess up on high bar much like Sam Mikulak had at Worlds. It was a beautiful juxtaposition for Sam to then come out on top with this, you know, repeat of kind of what had happened to him but now happened to someone else at this meet. So he looks fantastic, he looked incredible. Hes a great representative for mens gymnastics because he just looks so happy and hes just a little goof off.
But, so, Tim Daggett, oh my God. Im sure he didnt mean it this way, because I dont, I dont, I dont think hes just not a cruel guy. But he said, hes talking about Sam Mikulak and how hes really taking it in and enjoying the experience, and hes like You wont see this guy with a towel over his head! [BOTH LAUGHING] It was like, Ohhhhhh my God! I cant believe he just said that! I was like, Ohhh, okay, I see how you feel about that whole thing. Like, yeah, we now understand your feelings. The other thing that happened was that Al Trautwig said halfway through the meet, or it was like the last event, it was like, I dont even remember who he was talking about because it doesnt even matter, but he said, Oh, shes only doing it for pride at this point! She has no chance of winning. And were like, Really? Shes only doing it for pride? Because honestly, like, if youre not going to win, what are you going to do? You throw your leotard off and like, stomp out of the arena? [LAUREN LAUGHING] Like, God, this isnt like, you know, Lucho Libre. We dont do that here. We enjoy the performance. Its gymnastics, Al! Like, God. Oh my God.
LAUREN: Who was he even saying that about? No one was going to win it except Ebee.
JESSICA: No one was going to touch Ebee! [LAUREN LAUGHING] By like the second event, I was like, Oh yeah, shes going to win by three points. And thats how it happened. Like, I dont even know. It just doesnt even matter, it was like, the stupidest comment ever.
And then, the other thing that happened, I dont know if you guys caught this, it was very, very bizarre. Im going to play it for you guys, and see if you guys can hear it. Its really bizarre. Its in the very back of this. Youll hear the regular commentators. Like, Al Trautwig stops talking, and then you hear this comment in the background.
AL TRAUTWIG: Last years champion, Katelyn Ohashi, not here. Shes been hurt.
BACKGROUND COMMENT: She doesnt look very Japanese.
JESSICA: You can hear someone in the background, and I dont know who it is, and they say, She doesnt look very Japanese. Which is like
LAUREN: [LAUGHS] I remember someone tweeted that to Katelyn. And she retweeted it with like, smiley face emoji.
JESSICA: I was just like, Who is it? Cause I was like, Is that a cameraman, who doesnt know whats going on? Is it someone who happened to be sitting there? Is it an inside joke amongst the commentators, because someone said that once and they thought it was super ignorant, so they use it as a joke now, because they cant stand when people say stuff like that? But I was just like, so, in the future NBC, maybe make sure, you know, you have people, [LAUGHING] the inside jokes are, like, ignorant comments, like, keep those people away from the microphones?
LAUREN: I know
JESSICA: Oh my God. Thats just like, the little things that you catch on here. The other thing that I decided after listening to all these comments and all the commentary at this meet is that pommel horse should now and forever be accompanied by haunted mansion suspense music. From start to finish. [LAUREN LAUGHS] As they walk up, it could start [singing slow, creepy music]. And then they mount it goes [singing fast, creepy music], if they actually make it to the end. Wouldnt that be fantastic? Can you
LAUREN: It is amazing. Actually, something hilarious I just remembered happened. Leslie, who does the media for USA Gymnastics
JESSICA: Mm hmm.
LAUREN: came by with a print of a local newspaper. And they printed pommel horse as pummel horse.
JESSICA: Freudian slip!
LAUREN: She discovered this like, right as everyone was like, falling. I was actually shocked that the Americans, like they were both like I dont know anything about mens pommel horse. But like, the fact that they both were, they both hit their routines
LAUREN: To me, its like, Whoa! Like, that actually looks good to me! And so when everyone else was falling, though, so we saw this newspaper article It was just like, The pummel horse. And we were really [LAUGHS].
JESSICA: That should be
LAUREN: And then someone commented and was like, I think I tweeted that, and someone was like, Pummel is slang in Dutch for dirty old farmer. [JESSICA LAUGHS] Yeah.
JESSICA: Dirty old farmer? [LAUGHING]
LAUREN: Its derogatory.
JESSICA: Oh my God! Dutch listeners, please [LAUGHING too hard to speak] confirm this. Oh my God. [LAUGHING] Okay, so, what else? So, yes, the American men hit pommel horse, so a giant high five to Sam Mikulak and John Orozco
JESSICA: from us for that. Like, that was super exciting. And can we just talk now about the crazy Okay, first of all, the American Cup was trending before it was on, even on TV. That, that this happened is so amazing and that is all because of you, gymternet, for tweeting about this. And thats so important to getting gymnastics on TV and getting it more coverage, because this is what the sponsors care about. So other, next giant high five to all, everyone who tweeted about the American Cup, because you made that happen, and I have a message for you, Steve Penny. You should be buying Scott Bregman and the whole marketing team at USA Gymnastics a truckload of hookers and blow. Because they deserve it! [BOTH LAUGHING] If you can get an event to trend when its just streaming online, I demand hookers and blow! For the whole team!
Okay, speaking of shenanigans. Lets discuss the Macready shenanigans that went on and the other behind the scenes things that happened when you were there.
LAUREN: Oh yeah. Okay, so Macready always has his little games for the crowd. And they terrify me, because theyre weird and like I commented a few days ago that they should be like theres like a Nickelodeon games and sports TV channel where they used to air all these really cool game shows on Nickelodeon back in the 90s. Like, GUTS, and other, like Wild and Crazy Kids. I feel like, Macready could have his own Nickelodeon game and sport gymnastics TV show.
LAUREN: Just from all these weird games he plays with kids and their parents at these meets.
JESSICA: That is a great idea. And then he can get slimed at the end.
LAUREN: Yeah, of course. They have to. This year was especially weird and crazy because A) he came up with some many different games that were actually good, like there was one where the kids, four girls. And he made a circle out of t-shirts, and the girls had to do round off back tucks and land in the center of the t-shirts. Which was awesome. Like, they were doing it on floor in between rotations, and I was watching that. I wasnt even watching like, warm ups, or like, the hot touch or whatever, the thirty second touch warm ups. I was watching John Macreadys games.
JESSICA: Dude, the competitors were totally cracking up at his games, while they were waiting to warm up! I was like, This is awesome!
LAUREN: Yeah, it was really cool. And then he also this time around would, they have the little girls and their dads games, and there was one where they do, like, a relay race down the vault runway. And they have to like, pick things up, and pick [INAUDIBLE] up, and put hats on them, the girls have to ride on their dads backs and stuff. He made the dads wear leos this time. [JESSICA LAUGHS] So you have like these huge, and of course he sought out the big dudes in the crowd. And you have these dudes putting on silver metallic short, or sleeveless leos to like, basically run around and make fools of themselves. So like, the dads could not have been more excited to do. And every time I looked up, I was like, What is he doing now? [LAUGHS] So and at one point he was holding a baby. I dont know where he got it from. Who thought to give him a baby.
JESSICA: Maybe it was his baby. He has babies.
LAUREN: No, it wasnt! It was like, some guy, like, handed him his baby! [JESSICA LAUGHS]
JESSICA: You were like, Stop! Hes going to use it for a contest!
LAUREN: I was like, Put him back! You dont know whats going to happen! [LAUGHS] So, yeah. Im like, picturing that thing that they did for the tour where he dressed up like a baby, and I was like, Is he going to do something weird with this baby? And yeah. [LAUGHS] I dont want to talk about it anymore. It was terrifying. But [LAUGHS] I love Macready. I feel like he, the first time I saw him doing things live I was like, This isnt funny. But now that Ive watched it, and Im seeing the same gags over and over again, Im like, and also the newer ones, Im seeing that he really makes the crowd feel like, I dont know, excited to be there.
LAUREN: And hes doing silly things that they just dont do at other sporting events, and I feel like its half the fun nowgoing to a gym meet and watching what Macreadys going to do.
JESSICA: I love when he makes, when he gets like a little group of boys, and he teaches them dance moves. And they all dance in the crowd. Thats my favorite part. [LAUGHS] Its so adorable.
JESSICA: Okay, so.
LAUREN: He actually included a lot of boys this time. He usually doesnt. But I thought that was because he had Peter Vidmar and Marta there, and he wanted to let Marta give them prizes and stuff. They were doing pull ups, very manly pull ups, on the p-bars. And, yeah. I thought it was I had a lot of fun with Macready this time.
JESSICA: Awesome. And what happened with Marta, oh my God?
LAUREN: Oh! Oh my God! So I was like, leaving a little bit early on Saturday, and Im walking backstage and Marta and Ebee were running around trying to find where to do media. Which, I dont know how they got separated from every single other person who made it to media. But, so I walked, Im like, on my way to the bathroom, and Martas like, leading Ebee into the bathroom And so I was like she was screaming in rapid Romanian. [JESSICA LAUGHS] And I dont think Ebee knew what was going on.
JESSICA: Screaming Romanian at Ebee to go into the bathroom? What?
LAUREN: Im kind of looking at them weirdly, and Martas looking back at me, like, Who is this lady? I was like, Are you looking for media? And I was so afraid to say it, because, oh my God, Im going to talk to Marta! And its not like, an interview! [JESSICA LAUGHS] So I was like, Are you looking for media? And she was like, Yeah! And she started like, screaming at me. And then so I like, showed her the way to media, and led them away from the bathroom, which was like, way far away from where we were supposed to be. So yeah. I helped Marta. Were best friends now. We shared, like, not a smile, but [LAUGHS] like, kindness. I gave her some kindness. She gave me like, a nod. So, were best friends.
JESSICA: [LAUGHING] Oh my God. So in general, this American Cup, how did you feel when you were watching the level of difficulty at this meet? With guys and women, but lets specifically talk about women now. Because lets be honest. Uncle Tims not here, so were not going to talk about mens gymnastics. How did you feel the difficulty was compared to NCAA? Was there any time you were watching people and were like, Phhh, Rheagon Courville would smoke these fools?
LAUREN: Well. I feel like the way that I usually measure that is because at the beginning of every year Im live Tweeting a lot of NCAA gym. And then I go to American Cup. And Im like, How do I live blog this? I dont know any of these skills anymore. Because its been since Worlds since Ive done it. And usually its getting used to doing longer routines and harder skills. For me. Because Im like, Okay, this is a really typical American Cup. This year, I would say maybe like half of the routines that we saw were like, easily world class routines. But then there were a huge amount, probably like the other half, that were NCAA level. I would say, like I thought two gainers, well, Steingrubers gainer off beam was cool, so Im not going to include that.
JESSICA: Yeah. The layout, and it was a real layout.
LAUREN: Yeah. Yeah, there was like, a straight gainer layout off beam. Which like, everyone in NCAA is doing layout, gainer layout fulls. So, or most are. And then like, all of Carlotta Ferlitos routines. She had like, a full twisting yurchenko that maybe would have been a 9.7 in NCAA, maybe. She had a double full off beam. She does, does only three floor passes. And one is a double back and the other is a double full. I think her first one is like, a triple or something. But I felt like watching her I was watching like, a lower level NCAA
JESSICA: Mm hmm.
LAUREN: difficulty. So that was quite shocking to me. Because I always thought that Carlotta did a lot more difficult things. Maybe shes just toning it down because its not, like, a Worlds sort of situation. But I dont remember her doing basically what were four NCAA routines. But at the same time
JESSICA: Yeah, I feel like beam is her difficulty area, but she didnt do it this time.
JESSICA: She changed her series. Her series was beautiful though, but, yeah.
LAUREN: Yeah. Her series was gorgeous. But then at the same time you have the Americans. They were both doing amanars, and they both had full twisting double layouts off bars. And they both had like, well, Im not going to say Ebees skills maybe were innovative, but she does some really big stuff on floor. And then Brennas bar routine? Like, I have to review it, I havent yet and I want to talk about it, because she does three tkachev variations
JESSICA: Mm hmm.
LAUREN: Like, a church, a tweddle, and then maybe a ray something, or just a straight up tkachev. She has that ezhova release from high to low. Where
JESSICA: The barani? Yeah.
LAUREN: she was missing in the warm ups, and then she hit like crazy in the competition and the bars were like, shaking and falling down. [JESSICA LAUGHS] And she hit that routine like Ive never seen anyone hit a routine before. Like, she was like, I dont care, Im hitting this routine. I didnt get to do Worlds, this is my time to shine. Im the bars genius this year, and Im going to be amazing. And she was. And I talked about that routine for probably, like, an hour after it happened. So you had the really, like, low difficulty, NCAA routines that werent as clean as they should be if they were that low difficulty. Like, I think there are a bunch of Rheagan Courvilles in the world who would put some of those NCAA routines to shame. But then you also have some, like, really, really cool skills. I think Scheders bars were
JESSICA: Mm. Love them.
LAUREN: still in that mix. Yeah. Vanessa Ferraris floor. Roxana Popa had a lot of really cool
things, like on floor shes just like, whip whip to full in or something? And the crowd freaked out. They were loving that. Her double twisting yurchenko on vault was a-mazing. So you had a lot of really cool stuff. It wasnt all super low difficulty. But I really was amazed at how low difficulty the lower difficulty routines were.
JESSICA: Mm hmm. And I also kind of wondered if it was like, its the beginning of season,
LAUREN: Thats what I was thinking.
JESSICA: I was like, Man, the beginning of elite season. Like, NCAA smokes the beginning of elite season for these international gymnasts. But I want to give a shout out to Roxana Popa. Because we really, really like her. Theres just something about her, I dont know what it is. But our listeners are like, Talk about her! I want to talk about her. So, I just like her. I dont know what it is about her. Shes just shes like if the Romanians ate more, and they had a little more power. [LAUGHS] That is how I feel about her. And they had some Retton legs. Some Mary Lou Retton legs.
LAUREN: Mm hmm.
JESSICA: I just, I just, theres something about her thats really enjoyable to watch, and I cant quite put my finger on it, but its some of that combination of her great basics from being a Romanian junior and the power that shes gained with age thats just really enjoyable to watch. I really like her a lot.
LAUREN: Did she come up in the Romanian system?
JESSICA: I dont know if she
LAUREN: And then moved to Spain?
JESSICA: I dont know if she came up, I just know that as a kid, I just know I mean as a I dont know if she was a junior elite there, I should rephrase that.
LAUREN: Right, yeah.
JESSICA: Yeah, I just mean as a kid there, but she might have, though.
LAUREN: Okay. Yes, I know obviously her name, like, is very Romanian, but I didnt know if she trained with Romania and then moved over to Spain to compete there.
JESSICA: Yeah, I think she was only there until she was like, 10 or 11. But yeah, Im not sure if she like, moved to Deva and did the whole elite thing.
JESSICA: But as a kid, that her foundation. So, the NCAA rankings have changed yet again. And now we haveman, the scores this year are crazy. Like, I know they get high, but I just Okay, so LSUs in first, their high is 198.05. Florida is in second now with, same as last week I think, with 198.125 as their highest score. Oklahomas in now in third, but theyve had the highest score this season with a 198.175, and then we have fourth Alabama, fifth Georgia. Georgia looks amazing. They really, I [EXHALES] Im tot
LAUREN: Georgias bars are killing me this year, Im obsessed with them
JESSICA: They are.
LAUREN: I love their bars.
JESSICA: Im like, Im like, What? This is the Georgia of years past. Theyre incredible.
LAUREN: I dont want to say it, but this is the first year that theyve done well since Shayla Worley has been there. [LAUGHS] I dont want to blame her, because there were other factors involved too, but she just gets so much of the gymternets hate, sort of I feel like, and thats something that people have been saying. And Im like, It makes sense, but I dont want to blame The Shayla Worley factor.
JESSICA: The curse. Its
LAUREN: Yeah. The Shayla Worley curse.
JESSICA: Yeah. They look amazing. They look like the Georgia that won, like, a bazillionwhat did they win? Four in a row, five in row? Something insane. They look great.
LAUREN: Yeah. The past years.
JESSICA: Yeah. They look great, great, great. And then Utah! Holy crap! Theyre in sixth right now and, uh, Tory Wilson did have I I dont think Ive ever seen a woman do this skills. I think Ive only seen dudes do it. She did a layout half a double layout half in, half out this past weekend.
JESSICA: What?! Who does that? And who is so consistent that their college coach is like, Yep, go ahead. Go ahead and throw that. [LAUGHS] You know how consistent you have to be? You have to be, do it 112% of the time perfectly for your college coach to be like, Okay, go ahead and throw that. And especially at Utah! Like thats, you know
JESSICA: Im just blown away by her. Just, hats off, bow down. Like, Im glad were seeing some crazy stuff out there from these teams. Michigan right now is in seventh. And then UCLA moved up to eighth. They finally got a 197.5. And you know, Evan Heiter said on this show, you cant ever count them out, because theyre like a phoenix that rises from the flames. You know, they really have a totally differentof course, Im biased, theyre my favorite team everbut they have a totally different training system than any other school. And obviously it works for them. I mean, you know, theyve won all these national titles. But their thing is that they start very slow and then they build, build, build. Theyre best at the very end of the season. Like, right now theyre just adding Sam Peszek on, on vault. So shes one of those gymnasts who can go, you know, 9.995 on every single event, and shed get a 10 on beam. Speaking of which, Lindsey Cheek. Have you been watching her vaults? Lindsey Cheek at Georgia?
LAUREN: Yeah, theyre crazy, yeah.
JESSICA: Why isnt she getting a 10? I am, I, I, another, again this weekend she does a perfect, perfect vault that anywhere in the world What, what happened to Georgia? Remember the good old days, where Georgia could do a vault way less well done than that and she would get an 11? What happened to those days? [LAUREN LAUGHS] Like, can we get
LAUREN: I have a feeling thats under this year. Florida needs to stop doing that and Georgia needs to start doing it a little bit more. Because there have been a couple of routines where Im like, Thats a 10. And, like, when theyre at home, and then they get like a 9.9 or something, and Im like, Youve got the be kidding me! Like, I everyone in the crowd is screaming, 10, 10, 10! And like, maybe one judge will give it a 10, but the other judge is just really mean about it. Im like every other like, I hate the whole giving away 10s stuff, but if everyone else is doing it, then Georgia needs to do it too. Because that, I know what vault youre talking about and that one was she was good.
JESSICA: That vault is, its like Sam Peszeks beam as far as Im concerned. Like, you cantwhat else does she need to do? I [raspberry sound]. I Its making me sick. Every week I am outraged for her. Outraged!
Before we get to the gymternet news, I just want to remind you guys of how you can support the show. I want to thank the people who have donated this month to the show. You guys are freaking awesome, thank you so much. You guys asked for a way to donate, so we put a donate button on there and every time Im like, Oh my God, this is embarrassing that its there. And then people totally donate to us, so thank you so much! All the, anything that you guys donate or you spend in our Amazon store goes directly to the show. We use it to pay travel costs or to pay our hosting fees for our server, or upgrade our equipment, like weve done with the sound equipment. So thank you so, so much for that. Really appreciate it. And the other way to support the show is to review us on iTunes or Stitcher. And of course, since Lauren is here this week, make sure make sure to visit The Couch Gymnast, a fantastic site. All the editors there do a great job of keeping the gymternet abreast of the important news around the world.
And with that lets discuss the major news out of Texas this week. This was a rumor going around for about a week, and then finally the Houston Chronicle put out an article via USA Gymnastics who released a statement from Simone Biles and from Ron Biles, her dad, and Aimee Boorman, her coach, that they, Simone and her coach, Aimee, have left Bannons Gymnastics. This I thought this was really surprising. But I have theories. Which are totally unfounded, theyre just my own random theories, I just want to make that really clear. Lauren, do you have any thoughts on this, any insight before I give my theories?
LAUREN: I dont. Im kind of like, away, like, not paying attention to like, little gymternet type stuff, getting ready for American Cup. And then I saw that like, Aimee Boorman, like, posted this thing, like, Shooting down the rumors! And I was like, What? And then she posted that they were leaving, and I had no idea there was even like, trouble brewing or whatever. So, yes, I was just like completely shocked and took me by surprise. So Id like to hear your theories, cause I have, literally have none.
JESSICA: [LAUGHS] Well, thats the thing. Theyre looking for a new place to, yo go, theyre looking for a new gym. And theres absolutely, you know, theyve given no reasons publically for why this has happened. And so Im just, Im just putting out my theories, this is totally unrelated, but this is what I think. There have been many, many world champions who have, as soon as they win a world championship, they leave their gym. And thats happened to, remember, Chellsie Memmel? She, actually it was right before she became world champion. But no, she won at 2003 Worlds, with the team.
JESSICA: She leaves her longtime coach and goes to her parents. The Hamm twins.
LAUREN: Kayla Williams.
JESSICA: Kayla Williams, exactly! Kayla Williams, same thing. The Hamm brothers did this. Its not unprecedented, and it seems to happen right after, a couple of months after, a team World Championship or individual World Championship happens. And my theory is that this has to do with how Worlds team member stipends and stipends related to where you place on the team are given to the gymnasts. And what happens is that their, the gym gets paid. It doesnt necessarily go directly to the gymnast. And I feel like all of a sudden now you have a gymnast and coach with the support of the gym have gotten to this point, but now the gym is getting the money for them, rather than it going to them directly. And on one hand, that totally makes sense because they need to take their portion out for whatever the gymnasts fees are, the coachs fees are. But on the other hand, this can create, I think, a lot of problems. When theres disagreement about how the money should be spent. Maybe theres disagreement about how much the gym is taking out. Maybe theres a disagreement about how much the gym thinks that, you know, what their portion should be now that, you know
JESSICA: I just, I feel like this is such a trend that there has to be something. I could be totally, completely wrong, but I feel this this is a trend
JESSICA: and it probably has something to do with this. And again
LAUREN: I dont if I with Kayla Williams, it was like, her coach was the owner of her gym, which is different from Simones situation. But she left her coach and the gym because the coach thought, Okay, now I have this world champion on my hands. Shes doing appearances for me every week, doing every invitational and signing, and everyone is going to pay us. So she sort of became a cash cow, and I dont think thats whats happened with Simone and Bannons. But like, its, now that youre talking about the money aspect, I feel its kind of similar. Like, once you have a world champion in your gym, its like, now you have that prestige, like you can put her name up and say, Home of Simone Biles. Theres a lot of that post-Worlds kind of pressure and, I dont know, to help your gym become a big gym. So, yeah. Im on board with your theory.
JESSICA: Yeah. So, and again, this is all just my own speculation and like, you know, I always have my conspiracy theories. It could be something completely, totally different and unrelated, and Im, this is just all off the top of my head. But, yeah, so I, we really wish them the best. Wherever they end up is going to be an amazing situation for them. Any gym will be lucky to get those, that, I mean, Simone and of course her coach. So we wish them the best and hope everything turns out great, and that Simones shoulder is healing well and were excited to see what the next chapter will bring for them.
Did you know that the Oklahoma mens gymnastics alumni have like a little Disney World Animal Kingdom mafia going on?
JESSICA: Let me just say that I use the word mafia loosely to mean any group of people who help their friends. [LAUGHS] Thats always the mafia. Like, we could be the Gymcastic mafia right here. So you know when you move to some cities, every pizza place will be all owned by Brazilians.
LAUREN: Mm hmm.
JESSICA: Or like, every cop is Irish, and, like, I can say that because Im Irish. You know, thats the mafia. You know, you help each other out to make sure things happen. So, so anyway. The Oklahoma mens teamtheres, one of them went down long ago, and got a job doing stunts there after he graduated, and he invited his friend and another one invited their friend. So now theres this whole troop of Oklahoma alumn all working at the Animal Kingdom at Disney World. And theyre in the Indiana Jones show doing stunts, and then theyre also in I dont know what the show Lion King show! And they have this whole thing where they do, like, rings. And then theres bars, and in the middle theres tramp. And I was like, How did I not know about this? Like, I pride myself on arranging my vacations around being able to watch gymnastics somehow. [LAUREN LAUGHS] And I was totally at the Animal Kingdom, and I didnt even know about this show. I am so upset with myself. Like, Im going to have to redo my whole vacation. I might have to send myself back to Disney World. In fact, Disney, if you would like us to do a special review of the acrobatics in your shows, you could send the whole staff, and we would give you our scientific review, the way we did for Cirques Amaluna, about how the, you know, about the ratings of gymnastics and how gymnastics fans would like it. Its very scientific. We have a chart and everything. We give points to certain things. So, you could totally send us, we would do it! I would do that for you, Disney World.
So the other major news is that our April Fools joke from last year is coming true more and more. And now Azerbaijan has recruited Oleg Stepko from Ukraine onto their team.
LAUREN: Another one.
JESSICA: Yes. They are going to have
LAUREN: Theyre sneaky.
JESSICA: They are going to have the most amazing team. I hope that this is turning out theyre going to be the Yankees of gymnastics.
LAUREN: We should just send every US female gymnast who cant make US national teams.
LAUREN: Like Mykayla Skinner can go.
LAUREN: Abby Milliet can go. They can all go to Azerbaijan because I want them to win Worlds.
JESSICA: Kennedy Baker! I want her on their team.
JESSICA: I want her to go and just win beam, everywhere around the world. Like, her and Pavlova can be buddies.
JESSICA: They can hang out together. Oh my God. This is just, I love this. And I wonder if Azerbaijan would be interested? I mean, I wonder if other people will get recruited. I wonder if Casey Jo Magee is going to get a call
LAUREN: Oh my God.
JESSICA: and theyre going to be like, Be our bars and beam specialist. Like, theyre going to recruit her out of Missouri coaching and send her there.
LAUREN: I kind of want to send Brenna there! Shell really
LAUREN: Shell do so well for them.
JESSICA: So this weekend, there was the Welsh Open Championships. So its, anyone can compete, so the British girls all competed. Some are recovering from injuries, but they competed. And God, I just love what Britain is doing. I just am so freaking excited for that country and whats happening with their gymnastics. So Rebecca Tunney, youll remember her from the Olympic team
LAUREN: She has the real high bun.
LAUREN: Shes the one that Al Trautwig said would need Dr. Phil when she fell off beam like, three times at SCAM.
JESSICA: What did he say?
LAUREN: In 2012 when she was at SCAM she fell off beam three times, and he said, Shes going to need Dr. Phil in her future!
JESSICA: Thats oh my
LAUREN: And he said, Thats the last well ever see her. Because shes going to be so embarrassed or something.
JESSICA: Oh my God, Al Trautwig. Oh Jesus. Oh my God. Okay, so. Shes now becoming a force. And she threw a church, which is a toe on tkachev, to a Bhardwaj, a full twisting pak. A full twisting flip to the low bar. Connected. Beautifully. That is I just, she totally blows me away. That is such a cool, cool, freaking amazing transition and connection, and I just love that theyre just continuing the Tweddle legend of insane connections in Great Britain. It lives on!
Also, Hannah Whalen, who is on the British team, and who, if you follow her on Twitter, you know her Twitter for her gorgeous, like, what was it, like Vogue photo shoot or something, where shes like, wearing that white dress, shes doing a back kick, and shes just, oh. Beautiful. So she, she did, are you ready for this?
JESSICA: So she does a side aerial to two layout step outs. Two of them.
LAUREN: Oh, wow. Oh, a side aerial into two layout step outs.
JESSICA: Thats pretty dope, right? Like, a side aerial to a layout is rare.
LAUREN: Wow. I was picturing like, a front aerial, but now Im picturing a side aerial, and Im like, What?
LAUREN: Yeah. Thats awesome.
JESSICA: Pretty cool. And thank you to Daniel for keeping us up on this, hes one of our listeners. I think hes in Ireland. I want to say Ireland, Daniel. Were Irish, [clicks tongue] Oh my God, I might be, like, Ireland, not Northern Ireland. Im pretty sure its Ireland and not Northern Ireland, I dont want to get that wrong.
So the other news in, in the Instagram-verse. Its not the Twitter-verse, its the Instagram-verse, is that Steve Legendre, you know he injured himself at Winter Cup and wasnt quite clear if it was a bicep injury or a pec injury, but it looks like hes had his surgery and there are some very gruesome photos on Instagram of his surgery. But it looks like hes been patched up and recovering well at home with his wife, the trampolinist. Those two have had so many surgeries together. [LAUGHS] They are going to be, that house must be, just like, they must have crutches, and ice packs, all over the place.
LAUREN: Wait, who is his wife again? Oh, Im confused.
JESSICA: Its Alaina Williams.
LAUREN: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, trampoline. Yeah.
LAUREN: Yeah, yeah. I was thinking Kayla Nowak, shes with Jake Dalton or something.
JESSICA: Jake Dalton, yeah.
LAUREN: Its hard to keep these couples, like, whos
JESSICA: I know. Oklahoma is like, literally a breeding ground for gymnasts.
LAUREN: Yeah, they are.
JESSICA: Oh! And the Michigans mens team is like in Puerto Rico for spring break. Did you
see their pictures?
LAUREN: Ooh, no.
JESSICA: Theyre like, doing rings on, literally on tree branches on the beach. [LAUGHS] Im not kidding! I was like, What! Whos not going to want to go to that school?
LAUREN: So does Sam Mikulak get to join them?
JESSICA: Yeah, hes there with them.
LAUREN: Oh good, I thought hed be left behind.
JESSICA: Oh no.
LAUREN: I understand its the team.
JESSICA: Im sure Fabian is there with them too now too. Hes like, Oh, you guys are going to Puerto Rico after this? Okay, Im coming. [LAUGHS] Hes like their mascot.
LAUREN: Yeah, best buddies. Yeah.
JESSICA: So, I have we now have a new segment called the Rage-o-Meter. Because, you know, I get very upset about things and I have to have a place to go off about them. So this weeks Rage-o-Meterand if you have anything you want to rage out about, Lauren, we are here for you.
LAUREN: No, Im, I didnt have that much rage this weekend. I think.
JESSICA: Okay. Well, if you do, just let me know any time.
LAUREN: Okay, yeah. Ill rage with you, yeah.
JESSICA: So the first thing is, that Im disgusted by, is all these little kids who were in the crowd at the American Cup, and when the camera came near gymnast who has traveled from far and wide around the world to compete for us in our country. The camera came close that gymnast to capture their performance, and these little kids would wave like crazy in the stands and totally distract the audience from the gymnast performing.
JESSICA: First of all, its totally rude. Second of all, its distracting to the gymnast. Third of all, it makes all Americans look like asses. And if any of the adults around those kids, if you were doing that to, than youre totally at fault. If I was around those, I would have been slapping those kids hands down, and if they did it again I would have called the usher and asked them to remove those kids. Because its unsafe and its totally bad etiquette, and shame on you! All of you kids who did that, thats totally not okay. Thats bad etiquette, and we do not do that here. This isnt freaking hockey. Which, I love hockey and its totally okay if you do that in hockey. But in gymnastics we dont do that. So let that be a lesson to you, and any coaches out there
LAUREN: I feel like
JESSICA: Go ahead.
LAUREN: I feel like, yeah. But going along, I work in theater, like, on Broadway, and there was this woman the other night who said, Do you have any of those glittery glow sticks that we can wave around during the show? And Im like, Youre not at the circus! Youre at a Broadway show, where people, like, are singing in front of you and trying to do their jobs. I feel like its similar for gymnastics than for other sports. Because people go to like, baseball games and people are like drunk and screaming. And hockey obviously people are drunk and fighting each other. And its like they think, Oh, this is acceptable behavior for every sports game. But you dont do that at gymnastics. You dont do that at figure skating. There are sports that really need, like, can you imagine at a golf game? [LAUGH] Like, I mean
JESSICA: Right? Theres etiquette! Exactly! The thing is, I remember exactly when I was a kid, we went to special performances for kids on Broadway, and we went to one of the symphony. The symphony in the town where I grew up. And they taught us etiquette. Like, before the show started they came out and they taught us the proper etiquette. And they taught us what to do at certain times. And then we watched the show, and we knew. And I feel like, you know, if you take your kid, or your niece, or your whatever, your gymnastics team and youre the coach to these meets, its your job to teach them that etiquette. So if theres coaches out there who are listening to this show, take your team aside and teach them this. Because gymnastics is becoming a bigger sport, were going to have more things covered on TV, and even if its not on TV, its not okay to do this. Its just, it made me so mad that I was just like, Where are their parents and why arent they doing their jobs?
LAUREN: Yeah, yeah, I would have been mad about that. I would have raged about that, definitely.
JESSICA: No. The other thing that I wanted to mention is that This isnt something Im really enraged about, but, you know, Im really jealous that ice skating [LAUGHS] and ballet and dancers, and I guess this happens on Broadway, but actors too, right? They get flowers thrown on to the stage when they do a great job.
JESSICA: And they get, especially in Japan, or maybe they do this in other countries too, but theyll throw like, plushie toys, like, stuffed animals onto the stage, onto the ice.
JESSICA: And they do, so the fans have great etiquette about it. They cover, they wrap the toys or the flowers in plastic or paper so that nothing falls off onto the ice. And its such a .I just love that its like, a show, its such a great old tradition from the old days of ballet, of throwing the flowers on the stage, you know?
JESSICA: And I just totally want to start that in gymnastics.
JESSICA: I want us to do it. And I think NCAA would be, college gymnastics would be the perfect place to start it. Because its, its the perfect environment to try something new like that. And I think if people wait til the gymnast is totally done; and theyre not going to get whacked in the head with something; and no one else is competing, so youre not going to, youre not throwing it over the bars, in between the bars, onto the floor, over the vault runway, you know, something crazy like that! As long as its, you know, not in anyone elses way I think this would be such a cool tradition to start
JESSICA: If its done responsibly and doesnt get in the way of other athletes. I think its something that would be so fun. Just like, launch a stuffed animal onto the floor? How cool would that be? If you were done with that routine, and [LAUGHS] you had like flowers and stuffed animals, I just think that would be so cool. So.
JESSICA: I may do this.
LAUREN: That wouldve been cool at American Cup, when they do the whole finale at the end, when they give awards to the best guy and the best girl, if Ebee and Sam were standing there and people were just throwing crap at them, that would have been amazing.
JESSICA: Yes! Right, wouldnt it be so cool?
JESSICA: Why cant we bring some of these cool traditions from other sports into gymnastics? I just think, I think it would be great.
LAUREN: Except being drunk and screaming.
JESSICA: Right. Exactly, exactly. Yes. Not that. [LAUGHS] So I
JESSICA: want to challenge you guys to do this at an NCAA meet in a responsible, safe manner. So if you have flowers, you have to wrap them up in paper, wrap them up in plastic, something like that. Take a video of it, take a picture of it, send it to us. Lets start a trend. Lets do it. We can add this to your gymitate contest.
ALLISON TAYLOR: This episode is brought to you by Elite Sportz Band. Elitesportzband.com.
Weve got your back.
JESSICA: Visit elitesportzband.com, thats sportz with a z, and save five dollars on your next purchase with the code gymcast.
If you guys want us to discuss something on the show, if you want us to solve a problem for you, if you want us to answer a question, if you want us to discuss something, if theres a routine that youre dying to have our opinions on or you really want us to know about or comment on, let everyone on the show know about, send it to us. We are at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also call us and leave a voicemail on our 415-800-3191. Or were on Skypecall us for free from anywhere in the world on Skype. Were at GymcastPodcast, thats our user name on Skype. Were also on Twitter, were super, super chatty on Twitter. Like, you can always find us on Twitter. And Lauren is all over Twitter too. Lauren, whats your Twitter handle for everybody?
LAUREN: L-C-H-O-P-S-9-6. Lchops96.
JESSICA: [singsong] L-chops.
LAUREN: Thats my Twitter name. Yeah.
JESSICA: Im also going to ask you guys to, if you have time, fill out the survey from Safe for Athletes on our website. They are trying to gain some information on abuse in gymnastics and what peoples experiences are. Weve had them on the show, on our preventing abuse show. So well put the link up. Remember to enter our gymitation contest! Send us a picture or a video of you doing gymnastics imitating your favorite gymnast. And it can be a pose, it can be a skill, it can be a facial expression, you can just send a picture of your wrist bent over past 90 degrees, if youre imitating some specific gymnast. And just hashtag it and tag us in it. You can put it on Twitter, you can put it on Instagram. The word is gymitation. G-Y-M-I-T-A-T-I-O-N. The Gymitation Contest. [LAUGHING] Hashtag it and tag us, and you can win chalk and fantastic t-shirts.
[END MUSIC PLAYING]
Until next week, Im Jessica, from Masters Gymnastics.
LAUREN: Im Lauren, from thecouchgymnast.com.
JESSICA: Thank you so much for listening and dont forget to visit The Couch Gymnast. And
thank you so much to Lauren for being on! Well see you guys next week!
[END MUSIC PLAYING]
JESSICA: Remember to enter. [LAUGHING] You want to write gymitation. G-Y-M, im-i-ta-tion contest. So
LAUREN: No, youre saying gym imitation.
JESSICA: Yeah, gymitation.
LAUREN: I thought it was gymitation, but you just said gym imitation.
JESSICA: Oh, I mean gymitation. Did I just spell oh
LAUREN: You had said Hashtag, gym imitation.
JESSICA: I totally have it written down!
LAUREN: I dont want anyone to be confused!
JESSICA: I totally have it written down two different ways, and my husband comes over here, hes like, waving his arms, like, Dont embarrass yourself! Hey! Stop saying it wrong!
[LAUGHS] Yeah, and Im like, Yeah, Laurens telling me the same thing in the headphones. Hes giving you, hes giving you the thumbs up, Lauren. Hes like, Thank you, Lauren. Hes like, This is what I have to put up with every day.
JESSICA: Okay. The name again is gym-i-tation. Its G-Y-M-M. No.
JESSICA: Oh my God.
JESSICA: [WHEEZING] I cant even Oh my God. [LAUGHING] My husbands on the couch with his hands over his face, shaking, hes laughing so hard. Okay, so. Let me try it again.