EMMA: We must talk about Pavlova. Excuse me miss Valentina you can shove this medal where the sun don’t shine
EMMA: Seriously, is that a big fat punch in the eye to Valentina or what?
EMMA:You said I was too fat and old and knackered and like an old donkey well screw you
JESSICA: [laughs] [[EXPRESS YOURSELF INTRO MUSIC]]
JESSICA: Today’s show is a behind the scenes report directly from Emma, who is at the European Championships in Sofia and she even went to the banquet
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JESSICA: This is episode 95 for May 25th 2014. I’m Jessica from Masters Gymnastics
BLYTHE: I’m Blythe from The Gymnastics Examiner
EMMA: And I’m Emma from Moominwhisky
JESSICA: This is the best gymnastics podcast ever, bringing you all the news from around the Gymternet. Today we’re gonna go back in time and get down to the true gym-nerdy nitty gritty from the European Championships. The first part of the show where Emma and Blythe talk about the smaller countries the fan favourites who didn’t medal- Belgium, Sweden, France, the Netherlands. It doesn’t have the best audio ever but I still thought you guys would really like to hear this especially since there’s so much talk about the countries that you know fans really love but maybe they didn’t medal but they have like that one person they love who has the best toe point ever. And so to fully enjoy this episode here’s what you have to do [music plays] for the first part you have to pretend that Blythe and Emma are your best gymnerd friends and you normally travel with them to meets but you couldn’t get out of school or work or whatever to go to Euros but you and Blythe called Emma in Sofia at 2 o’clock in the morning after prelims and you got all the details from her and Emma went out- scurried out into the hallway of the hotel so that she could get the best wifi connection so she’s sitting in the hotel h-hallway and she’s telling you all the details and then she’s on skype with you and Blythe until she couldn’t stay awake anymore. Um that’s what you have to do to really appreciate this first part cos the audio’s not perfect. So, put yourself in that mind set and you will thoroughly enjoy all of the details. If you love the show, please consider supporting us by shopping on our Amazon store, reviewing us on iTunes or Stitcher, um subscribing, and there’s a donate button thank you guys so much for everyone who’s donated, thank you guys all so much for supporting the show and let’s start.
BLYTHE: And Emma, you were in Brussels
EMMA: I was
BLYTHE: for the junior and senior European Championships two years ago. And compared to some of the gymnastics that we saw there, what are you seeing in Sofia in terms of teams on the rise, maybe teams that maybe have lowered their level a little bit? What are your impressions?
EMMA: Umm… well an immediate lowering of level, and it pains me to say it, but Ukraine erm I know that they’re going through troubles at the moment,
EMMA: We heard that the FIG actually funded them to come and they don’t have any doctors anymore and you know their gym’s in a shambles erm but you know one of their girls counted four falls on beam
EMMA: the other counted two. And all around you know they’re just…it’s just a sad sight to see. When they had you know Podkopayeva and you know all those wonderful gymnasts past. Erm on the rise is Spain and they’ve obviously got the beautiful wonderful amazing my new best friend Roxana Popa, but they also have, and I’m dreadfully sorry but off the top of my head I can’t think of the other competitor’s names but they have a lovely girl on bars and you know they they just- you can see they’re re-shaping their team, they’re you know, they’ve got some legitimate and lovely stuff to offer.
EMMA: I would say France are in a new era. They had a terrible time with injuries in the Olympic year and they’re just starting to put their team back together
EMMA: And we’ve got Sweden, who are on the up. Errr they didn’t have the greatest time yesterday. Errm I was a little disappointed I thought they could maybe challenge for a team final slot, but sadly not. I mean you know you’ve got Adlerteg who’s lovely on bars, you’ve got Emma Larsson.
EMMA: Sadly Gustafsson is not here. Err the Netherlands, I was quite surprised at their placing because erm I think they have a pretty strong team to be honest- you’ve got the two Wevers sisters, Julia Bombach
EMMA: And Lisa Topp. Lisa Topp was you know really and Sanne Wevers on beam and Lieke Wevers just lovely she was really nice. Erm of course Germany. I think they’re going through a bit of a new phase because obviously a lot of, you know Chusovitina’s now gone back to Uzbekistan erm and you’ve got that old face Kim Bui
EMMA: But they’ve got some nice new girls now: of course Scheder is very good. So they’re sort of going through a new phase as well. Italy- their team’s pretty much the same, isn’t it? They’ve got Rizzelli who’s new, we’ve got still Fasana, Ferrari erm you know Ferrari id Ferrari she is like a fine wine, she just gets better and stronger, tougher so
BLYTHE: what has impressed you about the competition so far in Sofia?
EMMA: Two letters- GB!
BLYTHE: [laughs] wooooo!
EMMA: I just- oh so so proud. I can’t be prouder. I sat in the GB camp today and the atmosphere was just fantastic. Also, shoutout to Larisa
EMMA: Miss Larissa because, you know, I love her all-around isn’t she top? I believe she was
BLYTHE: oh yes. Yeah. The second time in a row you know, she she wins it during the even years when the all-around isn’t
EMMA: I know
BLYTHE: technically contested but you know it’s such an important event and it really says something that they do give official results sheets with the all-around competition on it even when there’s no all-around winner technically
EMMA: Yeah definitely. Roxana Popa- great. Ferrari great as always. You never fail with Ferrari, can you?
EMMA: And Steingruber- very good.
BLYTHE: What about Mustafina?
EMMA: Mustafina- very good. Erm bars lovely she tied in first place with Becky Downie. Very very nice bars you know usual Mustafina. Beam very nice, couple of little balance checks and what have you but, you know, decent. Just worrying slightly that we saw her limping
EMMA: Erm which, you know, we all know she’s hurt her foot but you know still not very pretty to see. And apparently she’s erm she’s scheduled to compete vault tomorrow.
EMMA: Yeah. I’ve heard that I’ve not actually seen any start lists or anything myself but I’ve heard that so I hope it’s not true because Aliya needs a rest. We must mention Marta Pihan-Kulesza.
BLYTHE: mm yes
EMMA: Who has just had the competition to end all competitions as far as she’s concerned. She’s, you know, getting older in gymnastic years but getting better as well [laughs] if that’s possible. Who else have we got Blythe?
BLYTHE: We have Marta she’s in two finals is she not
EMMA: She is
BLYTHE: Really a wonderful achievement for her and for Polish gymnastics/
EMMA: Of course and you know her floor routine is amazing
EMMA: So get on Youtube and go watch it
EMMA: It is really really good and really unique and she can pull it off. She’s got the sass she’s got spice you know and she has that- those lovely erm coloured cornrows.
EMMA: Who else have we seen Blythe-y?
BLYTHE: Yeah well to go back to to Pihan Kulesza and her floor routine for just a second it is like the best version, the most sophisticated, elegant Pink Panther that you will ever ever watch.
EMMA: I mean there was the great Soviet Pink Panther back in ‘88 but you know
EMMA: I think that she does it amazingly well and, you know, I wouldn’t want anyone else to use that music now it’s it belongs to her. And one thing I have to mention is the new Pirates of the Caribbean is, I don’t know the name of the piece but that’s the music Aliya used in London
EMMA: The world and his wife is using that
EMMA: I must have heard it ten times today
EMMA: It’s just like every time it cranks up you’re like oh not again
EMMA: Because you know no-one’s gonna use it like Aliya.
BLYTHE: Yeah. You know some pieces of music just ought to be retired
EMMA: [laughs] definitely
BLYTHE: You know I give my hat off to Anna Rodionova on uneven bars. I was a bit shocked that they did not use her for balance beam. Wasn’t shocked that they didn’t use her for floor exercise.
BLYTHE: But erm she but she pulled out just a wonderful performance on uneven bars, I thought. Gorgeous line, lots of polish and i know that, you know, maybe it’s not the routine of the day but… ah I thought it was spectacular.
EMMA: Yeah. Very very pretty, very lovely yeah I agree.
BLYTHE: And, you know, Larisa Iordache- you cannot help but just applaud her energy, her enthusiasm
BLYTHE: The fact that she looks like she’s having a good time when she does gymnastics
EMMA: I think she genuinely is. I don’t know if you follow her on social media. Her… she does little tweets and posts and stuff and they’re always like- ‘Hello everybody thank you for the support, I love you all!’
EMMA: She just seems like the sweetest girl so I think that her and Bulimar they’re obviously very close friends… you know and it shows that they’re they’re good friends, they enjoy what they do, they’re very competitive and that’s lovely. Really really lovely.
BLYTHE: And Bulimar is totally the unsung hero of the Romanian team.
EMMA: She is the unsung hero
BLYTHE: That’s since like 2011 you know when she made her debut at the World Championships and was just rock solid for them.
EMMA: And you know when she got in the final in London and they pulled her out [mock sobbing noises]
BLYTHE: Yeah they should not have done that.
EMMA: No. That’s not fair.
EMMA: Erm she- yeah. Absolutely lovely, you know, really great and you know the crowd really loves them as well.
EMMA:And there’s a huge erm, you know, i don’t know if you’ve seen the arena at all from the footage you’ve seen but it’s a very big arena and there’s not many people at all, but there’s a very big Romanian fanclub.
EMMA: So yeah they, the Romanian girls have got a lot of support.
BLYTHE: How is the arena in terms of the number of fans who have turned out to watch?
EMMA: Errrrrrm well there is quite a strong contingent of people such as myself who are the typical gymnerd but I have to say the majority is there’s a lot of press erm and there are really mainly all federations. There’s really this huge arena and we probably half fill one side of it. And it’s been very very enjoyable and you know it’s it’s a nice place you know. I mean the championships are- all the guys in the crowd couldn’t be more friendly so,you know, that’s brilliant, you know all the different countries. And the guy I was chatting to yesterday, he was from Denmark and he said ‘oh your British girls they’re so so good’ and you know I’ve had other countries saying that and you know It’s really lovely.
BLYTHE: Yeah. And you were telling me the story about this guy from Denmark that you met and
EMMA: I was…
BLYTHE: he’d be of interest to gymnastics fans
EMMA: Yes let me tell you the- it’s very heart-warming, I think. You may remember back in 2006 the World Championships were held in Aarhus in Denmark and, and one of the most fun competitions I’ve been to. I was saying to this guy, this guy is a coach for a club in Copenhagen and I was saying ‘Oh, please could you have Worlds again!’. Because anybody who went to Aarhus knows that the city of Aarhus is very small, so is very contained and basically it was just gymnasts everywhere. Everywhere you went in the town: gymnasts, so it was the most fun. He was telling me that the gym he is the coach for purchased all of the Gymnova equipment that was used at worlds, you know the bars that Beth won gold on, the vault that Cheng Fei won gold on; historic pieces of equipment there.
BLYTHE: Oh yes
EMMA: Obviously they bought it all but they had to wait to be able to afford to build a new gym to put it all in, so they kept all this equipment in storage until 2009 and then they opened their new gym with the Gymnova equipment in it. So I thought that was lovely. I thought, you know, those kids are like learning gymnastics on pieces of history.
EMMA: You know.
BLYTHE: Let’s talk about the junior competition
EMMA: Yes, let’s
BLYTHE: It was the highlight of today, obviously
EMMA: It was indeed.
BLYTHE: And we had the young Russian Angelina Melnikova who has really come up in the last, you know,
EMMA: Yes, she really has
BLYTHE: She wasn’t on the junior Euros team two years ago
EMMA: I must be incredibly ignorant or something ‘cos I’d never even heard of her before.
BLYTHE: No, I only heard about her I think during the… err she went to Gymnix, maybe, earlier this year was the first I’d ever seen of her, and so to come out and to be Junior European Champion, yeah that’s pretty special.
EMMA: She- I mean she is very Russian, very lovely to watch, you know, just got on with the job
EMMA: Just… just lovely. Sadly her teammate had a fall so wasn’t able to contend with her. And then in second was Laura Jurca from Romania who’s, you know, such a crowd favourite, you know there was lots of Romanian support in the audience, but you know everybody else loved her too and, you know, there was a great- it’s very very quiet in the arena when there’s no floor music because they don’t have a background music, so when she was on beam there was nobody on floor and I love that bit of her routine where she does the diving underwater thing
BLYTHE: [laughs] scuba diver?
EMMA: The scuba diver. Love it or hate it, I love it. So, she was just poised ready to do it, you could hear a pin drop, and about five of us said at exactly the same time ‘Go on! Do it!’ And then she did it and she just got a huge cheer and it was so great.
EMMA: And then she’s got that really typical Romanian sort of floor music that got everybody going, you know, it was lovely. So she was great, and then in third place was the magnificent Ellie firecracker Downie, who, wow she is so like fired up, which is great. So she had a great competition and, you know a lot of support from the Brits in the crowd. And in fourth place was Catherine Lyons
BLYTHE: Yes. Princess Catherine
EMMA: Princess Catherine, that’s the one, who, I have a lovely little tale of Princess Catherine as well
BLYTHE: ooh, tell us your tale
EMMA: I do. So, yesterday the juniors were obviously watching the seniors and I went over and asked for the usual Moominwhisky photograph and I asked her if she would sign my flag, and she was just busy writing her name on it when I said please could you write Princess Catherine on it for me and she laughed and she said yes. She was truly lovely, really lovely girl. When she did her floor routine today, people in the audience were crying
EMMA: It was that emotional, the music is wonderful, her interpretation is wonderful and oh my goodness, it just brings up so many emotions. There’s lots of like glassy eyes people watching, there really was. We’re gonna see it again on Sunday so I’ll try to video some people crying while she’s doing it
BLYTHE: Yes please, we would like to see that
EMMA: [laughs] You go back to 2010, I mean, when GB won silver back then
EMMA: and then in 2012 we were in fourth place and so to finish qualifying in first place is just [exhales] as a Brit it’s it’s like they’ve won the Olympic gold
EMMA: It’s that great, it was that great today. Just and just the atmosphere was just brilliant as well, you know, so good old GB
BLYTHE: Yeah. Hats off to the British, truly.
EMMA: And whatever they’re doing, I don’t know maybe they’ve put Martha Karolyi in, I don’t know, but they meant business yesterday. They did business.
EMMA: Belgium, ooh, they’ve got Mys. Err but sadly they’re still without Croket.
BLYTHE: Yes. That’s a big hole in their team.
EMMA: I mean she’s their best ever. Their absolute best ever. And so come back please Croket, we need you. Belgium needs you. Is there anyone that caught your eye?
BLYTHE: Oh, well, in the senior division I was delighted with Claire Martin from France.
EMMA: That’s right yes. She’s in beam final I believe?
BLYTHE: And deservedly so. That routine was just, oh it oozed polish and sophistication and it was just a really beautiful piece of gymnastics.
EMMA: Yes, you’re right.
BLYTHE: Yeah. And she’s always been a stylish one but I think even now it’s it’s just been magnified and that’s that’s wonderful to see.
EMMA: Yes definitely. Can we talk about two people who sadly didn’t compete? One of them is Saša Golob from Slovenia, my dear friend.
EMMA: Who sadly had a bit of a fluke landing on beam and just smashed her toe up. Just awful- she sent me a photograph of her bloodied toe
EMMA: Just sad. She was so sad. There is like a thing especially with like a lot of the European girls who… if you think in recent weeks there’s been so many world cups
EMMA: I think by the time, you know, especially for like Saša who went to Ljubljana, then a week later she’s in Croatia then two weeks later she’s here. That’s a lot.
BLYTHE: Yeah that’s a good point
EMMA: You know, the competitions are all so close together.
EMMA: So, I know, is it you know too much all these world cups all grouped together so close to Europeans? I think probably yes.
BLYTHE: Yeah. Yeah that’s a very good point, I mean the guys at least they have another week of breathing room.
BLYTHE: But women, mm it’s a lot to stay in that whole sort of routine competition shape
BLYTHE: For three weeks, in the Spring you know.
BLYTHE: Hopefully they get a bit of a breather before prepping for Worlds but you know everyone who competes in this meet deserves to lie on a beach for a little while.
BLYTHE: You know, for a couple of weeks after.
EMMA: So, should I mention another disappointment?
BLYTHE: Well if you’d like, yeah
EMMA: Not to me personally because I thought she was great but unfortunately she just had the old toes out of the floor area so for her she was not happy at all and that was Erika Fasana
EMMA: She wanted to be in the floor final and she was devastated that she wasn’t.
EMMA: But what an absolutely lovely girl she is. She was just so nice. But yeah she was not not happy with herself at all
BLYTHE: Mm. And she had that new double double in her routine.
EMMA: She did, yeah. She did and literally like her toe went out, so… I think she stepped out a couple of times so obviously that brought the score down a bit. And… who else have we seen? Pavlova of course.
BLYTHE: Oh yes. One of the surprises of the competition, Really.
EMMA: You know her vault’s great; she’s in the vault final. But you know her floor just is lovely. Really lovely. It’s not going to challenge for world titles or Olympic medals her *inaudible* is plain to see. And her teammate Inshina didn’t have the greatest time ‘cos if you think she she made finals in 2011 was it?
BLYTHE: Correct. Yeah she was like sixth in the world on beam in 2011
EMMA: Well you know she got like an 11 yesterday
EMMA: Yeah, which was sad. And you know she’s probably kicked herself, I think. She wasn’t happy particularly. Very interesting to see what will become of Azerbaijan. I dare say they’ll be recruiting more people
BLYTHE: Yeah I definitely wanted to mention Pavlova because important, and nice, such a nice story so far for this European Championships
EMMA: Yeah. And God, you know if she gets a medal, everything’s crossed that she does, what a story.
EMMA: What a what a, you know
EMMA: You know, so what Chusovitina moved countries like 10 times, you know this is a genuine like, I was good enough to go to Worlds last year and you didn’t pick me.
EMMA: Because you thought I was too old and rubbish. Uhh, hello.
BLYTHE: And it’s been coming for the last, you know, three and a half years
EMMA: ‘Cos there’s no Russia in the finals, but, you know
BLYTHE: Oh not in the vault final, no
EMMA: Exactly. So it’s like here’s your medal, Russia. Stick it. Stick it, Valentina
EMMA: Who else have we seen that we liked? Oh. Makra. Noemi Makra
BLYTHE: Oh yes
EMMA: I love her. She is just small and pretty and points her toes and she’s lovely
BLYTHE: Yeah. Such clean gymnastics
BLYTHE: And between her and Boczogo- the Hungarian team looking quite good aren’t they?
EMMA: They really are and, sorry for my awful pronunciation, but Tunde is it Csillag? She I mean she’s good, too.
EMMA: So yeah they’ve got some nice gymnasts. And in other sad news, one of the Bulgarian competitors broke, I believe, her femur
BLYTHE: [pained sound]
EMMA: Femur’s leg, right?
BLYTHE: Yeah. It’s the big bone in- no that’s the tibia. I’ll have to look up what the femur is. Yeah. Ohhh.
EMMA: Yeah. Oh it was absolutely awful, she was vaulting and she just lay on the mat not moving for like the longest time, we thought she’d broke her neck or something. Erm yeah and sadly she was taken off to hospital
EMMA: So I hope she recovers well and she doesn’t give up. But yeah obviously puts a bit of a dampener on proceeding it and the Bulgarian competitor that went up after her Ralitsa Mileva
BLYTHE: Oh, their Olympian?
EMMA: Yes they call her Rali
EMMA: And they were all shouting ‘Go Rali!’
BLYTHE: Oh that’s nice
EMMA: Yeah that’s sweet. So I believe it was Rashkova that hurt her leg
BLYTHE: Oh that’s a shame
EMMA: Yeah terrible shame.
EMMA: So there’s one person that I’d like to mention briefly. And that is, I believe her name is Elisabetta Vasileva
BLYTHE: Oh yes
EMMA: Who apparently, i didn’t go the the junior team, I was in the sky at that point. But I believe she didn’t have a very good competition but if you see what she’s capable of and… she’s a former rhythmic gymnast I mean oh so she can bend
BLYTHE: She has the back flexibility like nobody’s business
EMMA: I want I really hope she can do something lovely because she’s lovely she’s just beautiful so get on YouTube, people, and look her up because her flexibility is the best I’ve ever seen ever.
BLYTHE: Emma, I think you have covered it.
EMMA: That’s wonderful, ‘cos I’m quite tired now
BLYTHE: Yeah I think you’ve merited a nice long sleep; you are supposed to be on vacation, after all.
EMMA: I know, you’d love it here- I know you came here last year but you’d love it. Everything costs nothing- I just get taxis every day to the arena because it costs like nothing
EMMA: Blythe, I’m going to bed.
[Harp music plays]
JESSICA: This is part two of our chat with Emma, this is when she was back from Euros last Monday when it was finally over and she was recovering from post-meet partum depression. First, let’s talk about how Roxana Popa is like basically everyone’s best friend and everyone loves her and runs to whatever event she’s on to watch her. Is this true?
EMMA: Yes, and can I just say I have adopted her.
JESSICA: Is she your official child now?
EMMA: She is. And best friend.
JESSICA: [laughs] So everyone is talking about how the Romanians would like run over to her event when she was competing?
EMMA: Well let’s just err Bulgaria is like walking distance to Romania so there was a very big Romanian support team there ‘cos they can obviously just drive across the border; it’s very close. So there was a huge- it was a GB support-fest, a Romania support-fest, and we both sat in the same block. But, I mean, they were like ‘Haiii Roxanaaaaa!’ You know and they were squealing for Roxi as much as they were squealing for, you know, Larisa and their own gymnasts.
JESSICA: Oh I love it. And she started out there, I mean she’s from Romania too, so…
EMMA: Yeah, she did, she trained in Deva. Yeah so she knows the old school, she knows Sandra and Catalina and Nadia and everybody, she’s everyone’s friend. So we’ve we’ve been chatting to her for a while, me and a couple of my friends on Instagram and Twitter and stuff, so anyhow we’d spoke to her on Twitter and stuff and we were saying ‘oh we really want to meet you’ and we wanted to introduce her to the mascot ‘cos she’s a big fan of Pandora the panda bear mascot. So we saw her in the stands and we went over and said hi to her and she was full of hugs and we took photos, she hugged the panda,
JESSICA: [laughing] there’s so many pictures of her with the panda
EMMA: She wrote- she did an Instagram post all about the panda and she loved him and everything, panda gave her a plaster ‘cos panda gives out plasters ‘cos obviously gymnasts need plasters
JESSICA: That’s right, Band-aids are very important.
EMMA: Yes, so the panda gave her some plasters and she put it- she put the thing on Instagram saying ‘it’s going in my grips bag’,
EMMA: and ‘I love the panda’, and all this stuff. So then, and this is a little bit sad so don’t cry Jess, so we’re obviously official best friends to her now
EMMA: Well, she’s my official child
JESSICA: right, of course.
EMMA: Errm, after the event finals, where I think she was a bit hard done by on floor to be perfectly frank. We waited, we were like little thirteen-year-olds waiting at the red carpet waiting for everyone to come out
EMMA: And they actually had a red carpet as well, like a corded-off VIP section. It’s hilarious.
JESSICA: That is because Yovchev is in charge of this and he knows what’s up- this is his meet, so
EMMA: We need to talk about the organisers in a minute and we need to identify the man of my dreams yesterday, he let us play on the equipment- but we’ll talk about that in a bit. So anyway, we were standing waiting and we saw her and she was with the coach and they were still doing the medals ceremonies ‘cos- you’ve got to skip the medals ceremonies if you want to meet everyone, kids. You really have to.
EMMA: So, she was just there with her coach and no-one had come out yet and I called her over and I said ‘Roxi!’ and I chucked my arms round her and she burst into tears and I was like ‘what’s the matter? What’s the matter?’ and she wanted a medal so bad, you know. And it was just heart-breaking, so we gave her hugs, we gave her more plasters, she had more cuddles from the panda, and then, we got to go- Oh my God, thank you so much to my friend who got us tickets to the banquet ‘cos we-
EMMA: We went up to the banquet in the evening and the first person we saw when we walked through the door was Roxi- there was more cuddles and she was much happier
EMMA: She has got some serious moves, let me tell you.
EMMA: But she said we couldn’t video her, we were like ‘please!’, she was like ‘no! no!’
JESSICA: What happens at the banquet stays at the banquet. These are the rules.
EMMA: Yeah, of course, I mean, anyone who goes to a banquet and, you know, it’s not, I mean we took a selfie at the banquet with her you know that’s perfectly acceptable but it’s not somewhere you go and you bother people for photographs and stuff; it’s purely a people-watching exercise and you very much sit and mind your business.
JESSICA: And dancing.
JESSICA: Because gymnasts love to dance.
EMMA: Oh my goodness, well, when, now I’m back, ‘cos Bulgaria has like the worst wifi in the history of the world, all my uploads have gone haywire, so as soon as- I did take a small video of everyone dancing just because I’ve never seen anything like it. I mean, the Berli- I went to the banquet in Berlin, and there was dancing there but this was like dancing on a whole new scale.
EMMA: There was literally every single person dancing all all in formation
EMMA: One of the Romanian guys was like busting all these moves; it was immense.
JESSICA: Oh I love it!
EMMA: And, can I tell you as well about the banquet.
EMMA: That… this is just a little secret erm, you know Laura Jurca? And we asked the Romanians it is Jurca not Yurca
JESSICA: Oh, good to know
EMMA: Yeah, she is adorable. We’ve named her Cute Boo-Boo and I’ll tell you why in a second.
JESSICA: [laughs] That’s so adorable I can’t handle it
EMMA: She has- she comes up to my waist, she has hair down to the floor like Rapunzel and she’s there dancing crazy, and while she’s dancing every so often she chucks in her nose move!
JESSICA: Her the swim?
EMMA: That she does on beam! She does it!
JESSICA: [laughs] That’s the cutest thing I’ve ever
EMMA: And we were watching her and we were like ‘She actually does it! This is amazing!’ This nose move, it’s obviously- it’s just her, someone hasn’t made it up- she does that!
JESSICA: I wonder if it’s one of those things she’s constantly doing it around the gym and then finally the coach is like ‘just do it in your routine already, we see it all day long’.
EMMA: [laughs] Yeah! She’s fantas- we call her Cute boo-boo because if you go on Instagram there’s an account called Cute boo-boo and its cute underscore b u b u and it’s the account of a chinchilla. And this chinchilla makes videos, and does- gets up to all sorts of antics, and we decided that if she was an animal, it would be Cute boo-boo.
EMMA: You must you must have a look ‘cos it’s hilarious.
EMMA: The little- he has a little table and chairs and everything. You’ve got to look at it.
JESSICA: OK. [laughs] I’ll totally look at it. So what else? What else? Tell me
EMMA: Well, we sat for the entire competition with all the Team GB mums and dads, which was just the best experience ever. But what an atmosphere, I mean, on event finals day when first Ellie won it was Helen in tears number one.
EMMA: And there was everybody screaming as well; the GB support was huge. And then honest to God when Becky landed her dismount and she started to cry the entire block of Team GB was in tears. I was in tears.
JESSICA: Oh it was amazing, just thinking about that. And the pictures are amazing.
EMMA: It was. And i took some photographs of when Ellie came up, and we tried her medal on for God’s sake! What’s that about? It’s like the best competition I’ve ever been to; I got the most treats I’ve ever had. I mean, who deserves that gold more than Becky?
EMMA: You know after all the, you know, she didn’t make the London team, she’s had loads of injuries, she fell in the final last year, she fell in the final at Worlds, and you know, we all know she can do it.
JESSICA: She finally proved it to herself and everyone else.
EMMA: Yeah and Hannah Whelan’s mum, before she started, she said ‘This is it, she’s gonna win it, I know it’, and it was just like- oh and even Helen said ‘I think this is Becky’s year’, and you know
EMMA: a couple of days beforehand, you know, GB are always a bit dicey on the old beam but they’ve hit every single beam this championship
EMMA: It’s like unheard of!
JESSICA: And God, Teal Grindle! Awwww! She was like a little maniac up there, she was just like ‘I own you, you will obey me!’, and it’s just-
EMMA: She’s amazing.
JESSICA: Killed it.
EMMA:And so fun, she’s so much fun. There’s a picture we took of Princess Catherine with her gold medal with Teal being a monkey in the background
EMMA: Mucking around, yeah.
JESSICA: For our listeners, you guys will remember Teal from when we talked about- I mean of course her gymnastics and her golf swing, but also, you know, she’s the one that steals the cookies. But also that she,
EMMA: I actually did squeal when she was about to go on her beam routine in the finals yesterday. They’re all going ‘Come on Teal! Go GB!’ and all this and I just waited for a silent pause and I shouted ‘GO little elf!’
EMMA: And they all they all laughed so
JESSICA: But she’s also the one that British err Team GB Media, the British Gymnastics media team, that they interviewed her and they left the whole bit where she was like ‘Don’t ask me hard questions! I know you’re going to!’ and she gives them the business before the interview! Oh my God I love her.
EMMA: Yeah oh it was hilarious. And, but sad as well because she came in fourth yesterday if I remember correctly, but she was not happy about that and she came up to the, you know, to see her Mum and there was massive tears. This championship was the championship of tears. Tears of joy, and tears of like, you know, Roxi was in tears, Erika Fasana was in tears, we’ve been- it’s a good job I had some tissues, I tell you.
JESSICA: And it’s not like they made any big mistakes,right? I mean they did a great job.
EMMA: They just, they just want it so much, they just, you know,
JESSICA: Yeah. I mean, she’s only a junior, and the thing is, like I saw where she placed and I was like wow, Teal is like, coming up but that’s why they’re such great competitors- that’s why they’re so good because they want it that bad.
EMMA: And poor Ruby, when they won the silver for the team seniors the other day, she was in floods of tears, she could not stop crying, and then again when Becky won yesterday again absolute floods of tears
JESSICA: Oh I love to see that because man it is so much pressure and so hard and just let it all out just let it out it’s the best thing.
EMMA: Yeah, definitely. So yeah the- I mean, we saw Erika after qualifying and she was very upset, she’d gone out of bounds a couple of times and wanted to be in floor finals desperately and, you know, she’s got hard enough tricks to be in there. So, she was sad about that but, again, we cheered her up with the panda and out general mucking around.
EMMA: We must talk about Pavlova. Excuse me, Miss Valentina you can shove this medal where the sun don’t shine
EMMA: Seriously, is that a big fat punch in the eye to Valentina or what?
EMMA: You said I was too fat and old and knackered and like and old donkey, well screw you! Amazing!
JESSICA: [laughs] the best vindication ever.
EMMA: Ever. And the whole week I’d watched Valentina all week and she’s just sat in the same seat every single day with a face with what my Mum would say is a smacked bum face.
JESSICA: And not in a good way.
EMMA: Yes. Not in a good way. [laughs] One thing that I thought was really lovely was obviously Romania had a huge fanbase there,
and they all waited for Larisa and Diana yesterday to come out of the interview area
JESSICA: The red carpet.
EMMA: To the red carpet, and Mr. Bellu came out and he said- I always call him Mr. Bellu ‘cos I think we need to keep it formal
EMMA: And he came out and he thanked them all for coming and he thanked them all for their support and they were all the fans were cheering him and he was such a nice guy, bless him. And then the girls came out and he let them sign stuff, he let them have photographs for as long as they wanted to, whereas when Aliya came out everyone was like ‘Aliya! Aliya!’ and she came over and she started signing things for people and the coach just dragged her away. You know, and it’s like, oh that’s not very nice. So erm, yes. Big up to the Ro- to Romania and Mr. Bellu. Errm we spoke to Sandra as well. We think we might have got filmed on Romanian telly, somehow.
EMMA: ‘Cos she was being interviewed by, well I’m assuming it’s Romanian TV, erm I’m sure she does commentary for them but she was being filmed and there was like a line of people waiting to meet her, so we obviously had to wait for the filming to end, and so she was signing stuff, having photographs and everybody was asking her stuff and we were like ‘We miss you Sandra! Come back for Rio!’ and she said ‘Don’t keep talking about Rio, you’ll make me cry!’.
EMMA: Yeah, she- she’s not done, let me tell you, she’s not done. She’s just, she says ‘I don’t know what I’m gonna do yet’ and we said, but there’s there’s still the glint in her eye, you know like she isn’t finished.
EMMA: You know, it was a really nice championship ‘cos there wasn’t that, you know, umm sometimes when you go to events it’s not, umm you know, say you have a giant contingent from one country and the other person falls they will all sort of laugh and think it’s great, there was none of that, it was all everyone cheering for everyone, you know.
JESSICA: Good, good.
EMMA: Which was great.
JESSICA: Great sportsmanship, that’s awesome.
EMMA: Yeah. Yeah. Little Makra; she’s still great. Noemi Makra from Hungary; we love her. She’s beautiful all around, she’s just, she doesn’t have like the super-top difficulty that’s gonna get her in, you know loads of medals and stuff but she’s just beautiful on the eye, she’s very very good. She got in vault final though.
JESSICA: How about, tell us about your future husband, who we need to track down, who let you onto the floor.
EMMA: Oh I need to find out who it is because I’m sure he’s someone famous in Bulgarian gymnastics, it wasn’t Yovchev so nobody suggest that because it wasn’t him
JESSICA: There was the other guy that was helping organise was, remember the guy who inexplicably had like a super saucy half-naked photoshoot in IG like, Dmitri something.
EMMA: No it wasn’t him either. Isn’t he Krasimir Dunev?
EMMA: But yes, he let us play on the equipment after the competition had ended and I mean… what?! Who does that happen to?
JESSICA: That is so cool, I love the picture you’re on the beam, holding the British flag with all the signatures flying on it it’s just the best.
EMMA: I know, I was too scared to stand up on it ‘cos I thought, I just felt like a big fat hippo on a string
EMMA: I did! I mean, goodness me, the girls make it look so easy, I just was like: there’s no way this hippo is gonna get away alive so I just sat on it. I… but it was hilarious.
JESSICA: Did you never do gymnastics, Emma?
EMMA: No! I was a swimmer back in the day. Yeah, not gymnastics for me. Yeah, so oh dear dear. But it was so much fun, I actually, I did put a video on Instagram of me doing a cartwheel, which, on the floor, and I was like ‘Oh my God, Larisa’s been here, and Vanessa Ferrari and everybody I love you know and Roxi was here a minute ago, you know and we’d chalked up our hands and everything. I stole some chalk as well. I don’t know whether I’ve, it’s still in my suitcase so I don’t know whether it survived the flight home. I thought I might get pulled over and they’d think it was some sort of cocaine or something.
EMMA: A little bit of white powder wrapped up in a tissue. Not suspicious at all, is it?
JESSICA: Not at all! Not in any way.
EMMA: Umm, so yeah the guy I need to find was like ‘did you enjoy playing on the equipment?’ I was like ‘Yeah! Cool!’
JESSICA: [laughs] And you’re like ‘Do you enjoy me? ‘Cos we need to get married.’
EMMA: Well, I need to find out who it is so I can send him at least a thank you note. If not my hand in marriage.
EMMA: Do you know what? You’ve got to all go to Sofia because I was there for however many days- five or six days and I haven’t even spent 100 pounds.
JESSICA: Oh my God [laughs]
EMMA: And I went I went out for three meals a day and I went in a taxi everywhere, like a blooming lady that lunches- ‘Taxi!’ [laughs]
JESSICA: You know my wresting- like my wrestling Mom; she’s Bulgarian and she’s- I would just be totally hooked up if I went to I seriously need to go. That’s another trip that we have to go on and someone should sponsor a GymCastic trip to Bulgaria to investigate the state of Bulgarian gymnastics and maybe the state of Jovtchev physical fitness since he’s retire, just check it out.
EMMA: He still looks exactly the same. I very first met Yovchev in Aarhus in 2006 and he looks exactly the same; maybe he’s just got a little bit more grey on the side of his old head, you know, he looks exactly the same. He’s not done like a couple of the former sort of gymnasts who just turn into hippos; he still looks the same.
EMMA: Some of them looks like they’ve been inflated with a bicycle pump don’t they?
JESSICA: That’s true, that’s how I feel
EMMA: That’s how I felt on the beam! Like oh my God, I’m gonna snap this thing
EMMA: Oh! One thing I did that was just ace was I had, I don’t know if you’ve seen Meg Twelve she’s a graphic designer and she does leo prints
EMMA: And I’d ordered a load from her and I actually got three of them signed and one of them- Larisa, and I asked Larisa to sign it and she just looked at it and said ‘Wow, that’s amazing!’, and she signed it and I got a photograph of her holding it up. That was great. And also, did I send you some of these, Jess? The little cards from the Glasgow
EMMA: They’re publicising Glasgow this year and they’re like little trading cards so I gave Ruby Harrold one ‘cos there’s one with her on it. I gave Larisa one, I said ‘I’ve got a present for you, Larisa’ and I gave her the card and she was like ‘Oh my goodness that’s so cool!’. So yay! Yay for presents.
JESSICA: I love that ‘cos they probably never see that stuff, the marketing material, you know.
EMMA: They don’t
JESSICA: And being on a trading card is like the coolest thing ever.
EMMA: It really is. I am off to the Commonwealth Games- yay! And my tickets were delivered when I was in Sofia so there’s no depression is gonna set in because we’ve already got the next batch lined up.
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 sportz with a ‘z’ and save $5 on your next purchase with the code ‘gymcast’
JESSICA: Contact us! Let us know what you want to review or discuss especially since Men’s Euros is going on right now we wanna talk all about that, we’re gonna talk about Australian Championships happening, and there’s so much to talk about this weekend so if you want to talk about something, email us, or if you have a crisis: you’re having like a leotard issue or, you know, your glitter keeps falling off at meets, just call us, let us know how we can help and we will solve your gymnastics problems for you. You can call us at 415 800 3191 or on Skype username GymCasticPodcast, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and of course we are very active on Twitter and Facebook, and our Instagram is fantastic, if I do say so myself, so definitely check that out. Alright. That’s going to do it for us this week, thank you so much to Emma and Blythe for doing that special recording for us, we’re looking forward to the report from the Commonwealth Games coming up soon and this week we’ll be back at our regular time on Wednesday and we’ll be talking about Australian Championships, Men’s European Championships and remember you can check out our YouTube playlist that goes with this episode so you can watch the routines that Emma and Blythe were talking about and you can also check out our transcripts if you like to read along they’re usually up about two weeks after the show’s done, thank you to our awesome transcription team for doing that. Thank you so much for listening, we’ll see you next week.