Transcripts: Episodes 91-100

[expand title=”Episode 91: Classic Episode with Beth Tweddle”] Transcript Archived[/expand]


[expand title=”Episode 92: Classic Episode with Elizabeth Price”] Transcript Archived[/expand]


[expand title=”Episode 93: A Champion Makes Her Choice”] Forthcoming [/expand]


[expand title=”Episode 94: Women’s European Championships Part One”] Forthcoming [/expand]


[expand title=”Episode 95: WAG European Championships Part TWO”] EMMA: We must talk about Pavlova. Excuse me miss Valentina you can shove this medal where the sun don’t shine

JESSICA: [laughs]

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]


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

ALISON TAYLOR: Hey gymnasts, Elite Sportz Band is a cutting edge compression back warmer that can protect your most valued asset- your back. I’m Alison Taylor on behalf of Elite Sportz Band. Visit We’ve got your back

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.

BLYTHE: mm-hmm

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.

BLYTHE: Mm-hmm

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

BLYTHE: [laughs[

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.

BLYTHE: [laughs]

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

BLYTHE: true

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

BLYTHE: mmhmm

EMMA: The world and his wife is using that

BLYTHE: [laughs]

EMMA: I must have heard it ten times today

BLYTHE: [laughs]

EMMA: It’s just like every time it cranks up you’re like oh not again

BLYTHE: [laughs]

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

EMMA: [sighs]

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!’

BLYTHE: [laughs]

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.

BLYTHE: Mm-hmm

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.

BLYTHE: [laughs]

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.

BLYTHE: [laughs]

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

BLYTHE: Really?

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

[both laugh]

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.

BLYTHE: [laughs]

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

EMMA: Yeah

BLYTHE: For three weeks, in the Spring you know.

EMMA: Yeah.

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.

EMMA: Relax

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

[Both laughing]

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

BLYTHE: [laughs]

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

JESSICA: [laughs]

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

JESSICA: [laughs]

EMMA: She has got some serious moves, let me tell you.

JESSICA: Excellent

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.

EMMA: Yeah.

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.

JESSICA: Awesome.

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.

[Both laugh]

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

JESSICA: Totally

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

JESSICA: [laughs]

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!’

JESSICA: [laughs]

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.

JESSICA: [laughs]

EMMA: We must talk about Pavlova. Excuse me, Miss Valentina you can shove this medal where the sun don’t shine

JESSICA: [laughs]

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.

[both laugh]

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

JESSICA: [sniggers]

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.

JESSICA: Mm-hmm.

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

JESSICA: [laughs]

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.

[both laugh]

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.

[Both laugh]

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.

JESSICA: [laughs]

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

[Both laugh]

EMMA: That’s how I felt on the beam! Like oh my God, I’m gonna snap this thing

JESSICA: [laughs]

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. We’ve got your back

JESSICA: Visit 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, 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.



[expand title=”Episode 96: Men’s European Championships & Australian Championships “] GymCastic Episode 96

JESSICA: Remember this show is PG 13, so you might hear a couple of naughty words and I wanna remind you guys that we have a YouTube playlist, so if you aren’t familiar with the Australian gymnasts and you’re not familiar with the Russian men, then make sure to check out our YouTube playlist- you can watch it on your phone and watch while you listen to this episode. Ok, here we go.

JESSICA: I distinctly remember like running at recess and like being about to fall and just like one of those ones where you’re like 1, 2, 3! You know like when you’re gonna faceplant and then I just instinctively rolled then I just got up and kept running and everyone was like [child mimicking voice] ‘Oh, show off! Like, Oh, you do gymnastics!’, and i was like, excuse me for being a skilled acrobat!


JESSICA: This week, Ablyazin sets fire to the competition in Sofia, Australia commits HERESY, and Pavlova is a clutz just like us.

ALLISON TAYLOR: Hey, gymnasts, Elite Sportz Band is a cutting edge compression back warmer that can protect your most valued asset- your back. I’m Allison Taylor on behalf of Elite Sportz Band. Visit, we’ve got your back.

JESSICA: This is episode 96 for May 28th, 2014. I’m Jessica from Masters Gymnastics.

UNCLE TIM: I’m Uncle Tim from Uncle Tim talks men’s gym

EVAN: I’m Evan, find me on twitter @yoEv

[News music plays]

JESSICA: This is the best gymnastics podcast ever, bringing you all the news from around the Gymternet. Uncle Tim, tell us everything that happened with the men at European Championships. We are so excited to hear about a certain Mr. and Mrs. Euros.

UNCLE TIM: [laughs] Well before we get to Mr. and Mrs. Sofia, umm let’s talk a little bit about the team competition. Russia came in first with a 267.959, Great Britain came in second with a 265.953, and Ukraine came in third with a 262.087. I guess not too many surprises there; everyone kind of knew that Russia and Great Britain would be vying for the top spots, you know, it was kind of between Germany and Ukraine for the third spot I would say, and so yeah. I’m extremely happy obviously as a Oleg Verniaiev’s fan that Ukraine came in third and hopefully that will give them a little bit of funding for future gymnastics endeavours, I’m hoping.

JESSICA: Can’t we just get like Nike or Adidas, or you know what would be even more of a coup? If we get- what’s the company Li Ning,

UNCLE TIM: [laughs]

JESSICA: and they would like swoop in and sponsor Ukraine. It would just be a great story, you know? And it’s not like they don’t have the money, it’s like the Nike of- you know literally, with the swoosh, of China. So, Li Ning, can we get him on the phone? Someone contact him and let him know, pretty please, save Ukraine?

UNCLE TIM: [laughs]

JESSICA: I’m so stoked for them, so stoked for them, and what a great story, like they like barely make it, they have to get help from the FIG and they they, you know, place and they just looked freakin’ so happy like the entire meet, just out of their minds, like they wanted it bad.

UNCLE TIM: It’s true. And, yeah we’ll get to event finals in a little bit here, but to give you some sexy data, Jess


UNCLE TIM: I feel like we need a sexy data like sound bite.

[Smooth jazz plays]

UNCLE TIM: sexy data… Alright so Russia performed the most difficulty, averaging a 6.367 per event during the team competition, during team finals. Great Britain had the second highest difficulty level, averaging a 6.261, so roughly one tenth lower than Russia per event. What’s interesting is Germany performed more difficulty than Ukraine- Ukraine averaged only a 5.983 and Germany averaged a 6.061. But Ukraine ended up with the bronze medal so execution trumped difficulty for the Ukrainians.

JESSICA: Oh yeah! So let that be a lesson to you Germans, get your legs together.

UNCLE TIM: [laughs] Exactly. Here’s a little pop quiz for you, Jessica, let’s see how you do with this. Alright, who do you think performed the most difficulty on floor?

JESSICA: Umm I’m gonna say… Russia.

UNCLE TIM: Ding ding ding ding ding! Pommel horse?

JESSICA: Umm pommel horse- Great Britain.

UNCLE TIM: Wow! Two for two.

JESSICA: I’m so good, oh my God I’m so good. Ok give me another one, give me another one

UNCLE TIM: [laughs] Rings?

JESSICA: Ukraine?


JESSICA: [sighs]

UNCLE TIM: Russia. So floor: Russia was 6.6, Great Britain 6.733, Russia rings: 6.667 average, vault, Jessica?

JESSICA: Ukraine?

UNCLE TIM: They probably would have, they to count a 5.2 vault, which is not really hard, so it went to Russia with an average of 5.867.

JESSICA: But Igor vaulted for Ukraine and so he trumps everyone else, didn’t you know about that bonus point? Like if Igor does a Dragulescu then you just automatically your team wins.

UNCLE TIM: [laughs] Ok.

JESSICA: New rules! O’Beirne rules.

UNCLE TIM: Ok. Every time he performs he gets extra points.



JESSICA: It’s because of the neck tattoo. I mean, what is that neck, did you see that tattoo? Oh my God.

UNCLE TIM: This just reminds me- I’ve been watching Orange is the New Black, and one of the characters has like a neck tattoo as well and it just made me think of that. Um so anyway, I thought you were gonna say, like, there’s some kind of bonus situation with the size of your thighs and like-

JESSICA: That, too

UNCLE TIM: The bigger the thighs, the more points you get.

JESSICA: Yes, like if your if your thighs and your butt are actually like wider than your torso and shoulders, then it’s an automatic bonus. And then a neck tattoo on top of that [laughs] and if it’s like cursive neck tattoo, so like Sacramone’s neck tattoo is on the back, and it’s more of an- it’s an image, so that’s only like a tenth of bonus but if it’s like the more ghetto gangster like, side of your neck in cursive, then that’s extra extra bonus.

UNCLE TIM: Gotcha.

JESSICA: Just so you know.

UNCLE TIM: So just to continue our little quiz- parallel bars?

JESSICA: Ummm… I’m gonna say… uhh…Great Britain?

UNCLE TIM: No, Russia- 6.367 average. High bar, Jessica? I’ll give you a hint: It’s not Russia.

JESSICA: What, Germany? I’m sucking at this now.

UNCLE TIM: No, the Netherlands!

JESSICA: So good in the beginning

UNCLE TIM: I know, the Netherlands. I mean when you have a D the size of Epke Zonderland’s it’s really hard to for other men to compare.

[Both laugh]

JESSICA: Oh, that’s…ok, carry on. I’m done now.

UNCLE TIM: [laughs] So let’s talk about some of the individual routines that we saw- we’re gonna mostly talk about ones from the event finals. So one of the big stories coming out of event finals was Max Whitlock beat Krisztián Berki, our big stud of the pommel horse man Krisztián Berki. So, Sam- Sam, pardon, Max actually out-executed Krisztián Berki- he had- Max had an 8.866 in execution and Krisztián had an 8.733. I’ve many times praised Krisztián’s execution on pommel horse, and-

JESSICA: Oh, so gorgeous. And he wear white pants, hello? White pants. That’s how you should do it, and his legs, my God he could be a Rockette.

UNCLE TIM: Yeah, I- his flair work is so pretty at the beginning and then even when he’s just doing like a simple leg cut, he like throws his foot by his head and it’s just like that little extra, and, I mean, there were some problems during the routine- Krisztián had a hop on his landing, he had some little leg separations on his Russian Circles, but, I don’t know, I feel like the FIG needs to do something about distinguishing between, I don’t know it’s almost like Berki has some sort of virtuosity in his circles like it’s it’s so much more- it’s so much better than Maxes’ and I feel like they have to find a way to distinguish between a real circle and then Max Whitlock’s, which doesn’t really have the most pointed toes or the most extended hips. What did you think, Jess?

JESSICA: Well, that’s the thing, like Berki is, like I always, you know, anyone with like perfect perfect form, I always compare them to, like Courtney McCool, and, ‘cos I just think she is the example of perfect form. Krisztián Berki, he is just, he’s other-world-ly with his form, it’s so beautiful. And, but, I mean you can tell, like, if you, this is the thing, if you come in off the street and you have never seen gymnastics before, you can tell why that guy’s good. And I don’t know that necessarily you would see that, except- I mean you would see that a little bit with Max Whitlock but with Krisztián Berki you don’t have to know, you know, shit about shit and you will understand that he is the best.

[Both laugh]

JESSICA: But also, like he did his dismount and could barely make his handstand then shuffled. I was like ‘Are you kidding me?’, but, I mean that should not negate the whole routine, but it’s like, you got- it’s just a like handstand pirouette, come on, dude.

UNCLE TIM: Yeah that was a little bit of a bummer. But I would definitely say that Max probably did deserve to win just ‘cos his difficulty score’s so much higher, so-

JESSICA: I agree, like, I think that it was it was fair, especially after Berki landed and I was like ‘What?’.

UNCLE TIM: [laughs] Yeah. So, but I guess this- goes back to talking about team Great Britain, a couple of weeks ago we were talking about Louis Smith’s little temper tantrum online about the fact that he wasn’t named to the Euros team and I really think that, I hate to say it but I think Louis Smith in terms of making a Great Britain team- a major Great Britain team it’s… is kind of irrelevant, he’s unnecessary. You might have someone who’s a very good all-arounder who has high chances for medalling in an all-around competition like Ma- Max Whitlock, and then you have the same person who can, so, probably win gold on pommel horse at major events and Louis Smith is a one-trick pony and, you know, he doesn’t really contribute that much to the team score anymore and Max contributes across all the events so I don’t foresee really Louis Smith really making a major British team. He might make the English team for the Commonwealths and stuff, but a major British team? I don’t know. I don’t think so.

JESSICA: Yeah. I think English team for sure but British team he’d like have to add another event or basically bust out like a way harder routine. But, I have to sidebar for a minute because me and my gymnastics husband had like an epic fight on Saturday night all about Louis Smith

[Both laugh]


JESSICA: So, yes, so my gymnastics husband Scott- oh it’s a different Scott than Bregman of course I’m talking about my Scott, my gymnastics husband Scott called and he was the first thing he says is like ‘Did you read what Louis Smith you know wrote on Facebook dadadadada and the chocolate starfish blah blah blah’ and I had forgotten about the chocolate starfish part and I was like, so he says ‘He should totally be kicked off the team, can you believe that?!’, so we totally got in this fight and I was like ‘His entire, you know, body of work is all negated just because he was upset one day and said chocolate starfish?!’ like, ‘You- like, that doesn’t matter like he was upset that’s what makes people great is sometimes they’re super-passionate about what they do and they’re really upset and that’s not really what he’s complaining about, he’s complaining about how he was told’. And then Scott was like ‘Why, what did they say? Like, how did they-?’, and then we had this like long, drawn-out fight and I was like ‘We already talked about it on the show, like you don’t even listen to the podcast! Like, [laughs] you’re not even a good gymnastics husband! He was like ‘Oh, you discussed it?’ and I like ‘Yes!’ and then he, you know, then we got into a fight about how he doesn’t have enough time to listen and dadadadada, but he doesn’t have any storage on his phone, like ‘That’s why I downloaded Stitcher on your phone! ‘Cos it doesn’t take up any storage space! And you need to get a better phone [inaudible] anyway because you need it dadadadada’ and he was like ‘Well, i’m in the car-’ ‘There’s a car mode on stitcher!’. And so, anyway, he promised that he would listen and then we could discuss. But seriously?! Kicking someone off the team? For, I mean come on, like that is ridiculous. Honestly, that’s too much. That’s he was he was out of his mind.

UNCLE TIM: Oh, you mean your gymnastics husband Scott?

JESSICA: Scott. Yes he was

UNCLE TIM: Out of his mind, ok sorry I got the pronouns confused for a second


UNCLE TIM: So, um, yeah I don’t think… I don’t think that was worthy of kicking someone off the team, maybe, I don’t know what British Gymnastics has in place, but maybe a probation or a [laughs] I don’t know.

JESSICA: Or just a phone call, like ‘Hey, will you call us first when you’re upset’.

UNCLE TIM: [laughs]

JESSICA: Or maybe they should reach out, like I just feel like you should have a meeting, like, you know like when the NFL when they kick people off the team they take everybody in and they talk through it and they talk through their feelings and, you know, you have a moment and then you know and so it all happens in an office and then, you know, so you have that, maybe that kind of thing. I’m sorry I cut you off, go ahead.

UNCLE TIM: No, I agree. I think they need some kind of system and I think there is some kind system in place, we just aren’t privy to that information. Or hopefully there isn’t, but if you’re in charge of a gymnastics federation and you do not have a system in place for airing your grievances, get on that now.

[both laugh]

UNCLE TIM: So back to European Championships, the, one of the big big big stories was the fact that Denis Ablyazin of Russia won three event titles and I was trying to think of the last time somebody did that and I know it wasn’t in the last ten years. I don’t know when it was but it was not the last ten years. So, Denis won floor, tied for gold on rings and then won vault. And…so, just as a side note, if you’re looking for- to watch one event final and you really want to watch a really close competition, watch rings. A lot of the event finals were kind of blow-outs, but this one was a really close one. I mean there were only two tenths separating first from fifth on rings during the event finals, which was a very narrow margin, so that was pretty exciting. But let’s go to Denis’ floor because we love to to talk about floor on this uhh podcast. Jessica, what was your favourite tumbling pass?

JESSICA: So I had to like check myself and just be like ‘is this pass real?’, but he did a punch double front full into punch front double tuck. The whole- the crowd went nuts too, it was awesome. He is super bad-ass. I feel like he’s one of the ones like everyone else who kind of gets overlooked in the major world competitions because everyone’s just looking at K?hei and, you know, he is amazing and also umm the other little cutie who looks like a little mini

UNCLE TIM: David Beliavsky?

JESSICA: Yes, him.

UNCLE TIM: [laughs]

JESSICA:Oh my God, they’re so amazing. So, yeah.

UNCLE TIM: Yeah, I’m, my- I think my favourite tumbling pass was his double double layout, just because last year he was trying to throw it and it really looked like he was struggling, and I think he was probably having some shin problems just based on the- the sheer amount of tape on his leg, it looked like they were like trying to keep his bones in place there was so much tape on his legs last year. And this year- at this competition at least- it was much better. I don’t know if it was the spring floor or you know his shin splints are gone or something but his chest was much higher and it looked just very very easy, and the same could be said for David Beliavsky’s full twisting double layout; it was just very airy and floaty and I was very impressed with both of their tumbling skills. Speaking of tumbling skills, a GymCastic favourite, Mr. Alexander Shatilov came in third with bronze, and we have to talk about one little moment on his during his floor routine, Jessica. So, he does basically a hurdle into a roundoff back handspring, two and a half punch Branny and then he does a jump into a prone fall, Jessica, did you think he was gonna land on his head

JESSICA: [laughs]

UNCLE TIM: when he was doing that side pass?

JESSICA: There is something so weird about what he did. I don’t know what happened but he is like- he does this, you know, he is six feet tall, which we talk about all the time because he’s so amazing and he’s- so he jumps up it’s so beautiful his chest is open he’s in this beautiful like swan dive position and then it looks like he like ducks his head and he’s about to totally land head first and flip over! I was like [gasps]

[Both laugh]

JESSICA: And then he lands perfectly. It’s totally fine. I don’t know if it’s just the angle ‘cos he’s so tall or whatever, it’s like he’s fully in control of his entire body. But it was [laughing] very scary, it was very scary!

UNCLE TIM: It’s true, yeah. Yeah, and it’s interesting. So, one of the reasons that, going back to Denis Ablyazin for a second and one of the reasons that we sometimes overlook him is last year, for instance, at the 2013 Worlds he, if I recall correctly, went out of bounds like constantly and so he didn’t make event finals so he has struggles, he struggles to stay in bounds so Alexander Shatilov who’s like [gasps] a giant in gymnastics and he always seems to stay in bounds, which surprises me somehow.

JESSICA: ‘Cos he’s awesome.

UNCLE TIM: [laughs]. He is pretty awesome, so he, he came in third and he tied for third with Daniel Purvis and I was happy to see Daniel Purvis get a medal, I feel like he’s the guy who will always finish like fourth or fifth, just outside the medals, and he is just kind of like the guy who just plods along and goes with the flow and just kind of like ‘Oh…’ I don’t know, I picture him as kind of like an Eeyore figure from Winnie the Pooh

JESSICA: [laughs]

UNCLE TIM: Just kind of like [singing] duh duh duh dee duh, I don’t know that’s just how I picture him, he’s probably like completely different

JESSICA: He’s a little party animal

UNCLE TIM: Another thing from event finals was Mr. Epke Zonderland. He won the high bar title by a full point. Part of that is due to the fact that Fabian Hambüchen fell on his second Kovacs, so he did a Cassina full twisting double layout over the bar, caught that, then did a piked Kovacs and peeled as he was coming through the bottom and it was, I don’t know, I‘ve had falls like that and it’s kind of a scary fall.

JESSICA: It was really scary and his like head bounced off the ground, so like it looked like he he definitely hurt his back but I think he definitely had a concussion after that, too, so he stopped his routine.

UNCLE TIM: Yeah, yeah. And I’m- I feel like fans are like ‘oh, it wasn’t that bad’, but like as someone who’s done that and had to get like carried out of the gym on a stretcher, you know, it’s better just to stop, you know. I don’t know.


UNCLE TIM: So that’s part of Epke’s success. I would say that the other part of Epke’s success is the fact that he had less floppy hair.

JESSICA: For sure.

UNCLE TIM: It was not as much of a mane, I mean the top is still a little poofy but the back was a little tighter. It makes me wondering if like, wonder if he has like doctor job interviews coming up or something. I don’t know.

JESSICA: He look so much younger, though when you can see his face. I mean, I mean it looks like he- it took like, I don’t know ten years off of him with less hair.

UNCLE TIM: It’s true. So,

JESSICA: It’s very strange.

UNCLE TIM: So, yeah. And you know when you’re part of the high bar final and you know that Epke Zonderland’s coming up and he has a seven plus, you know, a seven plus routine and you, have you know maybe mid sixes, upper sixes for your difficulty score, you’re just kind of hoping he falls [laughs], like I don’t know, like.

JESSICA: [laughs]

UNCLE TIM: I feel bad saying that, though. Like, you know, [mocking voice] it’s a good thing Fabian fell! But like I don’t know

JESSICA: No one else has a chance against them! They’re insane! And, not only that, but like Epke has, and I don’t wish them to get hurt, obviously, but Epke has totally-his form has improved, and maybe it’s because he has less weight on his head from his hair,

UNCLE TIM: [laughs]

JESSICA: But he- it really is better. I mean, you think that guy can’t get any better and then you’re like ‘Oh my God, his form is better, like how did that happen?’ It’s just-

UNCLE TIM: Yeah it’s a little- I mean there’s still places where he can definitely

JESSICA: Oh it’s not great,

UNCLE TIM: [laughs]

JESSICA: I mean, you know, But, you know, his legs like come apart every single time that he catches the bar but it’s better, like he used to be a mess. I think.

UNCLE TIM: Yeah, I say, like 2012 Olympics when he did do the four releases in a row- or three releases, I can’t remember. Anyway, he… yeah it was just kind of a sloppy mess. Now… I mean, there’s still definitely areas for him to improve on. One person who was part of the German team, he, in the past, had a lot of success at the European Championships and that is Marcel Nguyen. He finished first on parallel bars at the 2011 Euros; at the 2012 Euros he also won the parallel bar title, this year he didn’t even make parallel bar finals. I’m starting to wonder like how much of his heart is really in gymnastics anymore. You go on his Facebook page and he’s always in like Hong Kong and just like I don’t know how much he’s really training anymore and, but I guess he’s like some part of MTV German video that they’re making about gymnastics. Jess, did you watch that video and can you tell us like some of the German language highlights?

JESSICA: Yeah, it looks like- well basically they were talking about, uhh I don’t know if we saw the end product but I put it in the YouTube Playlist this for week so you guys can tell us and my German is like rusty, but they basically did like a special photo- like a video shoot with the kids that train in Stuttgart and they did like a special super-high frame rate so that they could do like these epic super-slow motion videos of their releases and their tumbling, and the- God, the director’s totally funny, he’s like ‘Yeah we want to have them in just like their normal street clothes; so we could get to know them as people, not just athletes’, and you know what normal street clothes means; that means men in jeans with no shirts. Because of course, that’s what everybody wears. So, so they talked about, you know, they kind of went around and asked people about how did you started gymnastics and asked each other like what do you think of so-and-so? And, there was nothing really big in that but they did say, one of them, Kim Bui, it’s interesting, she is studying biology at the University of Stuttgart. Damn, that’s no joke to be studying a- a real science, not that there’s a ‘non-real’, well, you know, there are, you know there are some fake-y majors that athletes take, but I don’t think they really do that in Germany. So that was pretty impressive, she was probably the most impressive person to me and she really talked about how much she loved gymnastics like the artistry and the uhh the beauty of it and all that but the thing is I don’t really consider her that kind of gymnast but you can see that she definitely respects that part of it, so that was pretty cool. And then one guy, oh my God I’m totally blanking on his name, they were like ‘what do you want to do in the future?’, and he was like ‘Well, I want to be President of the World, but that doesn’t exist, so

UNCLE TIM: [laughs]

I’m just gonna try- I’m gonna try’ he’s like ‘I wrote that down this year, for my for my goals, but I’m just gonna, you know, concentrate on World Champion.

[Both laugh]

JESSICA: It was very cute. So, it was like a twelve hour photo shoot and of course umm Marcel was there with like some super-hot chick and you know she looked to be- they were like off in a corner having like a snack together and uh so yeah it was cool I I wonder if this was like, the video is already up and we already posted it, it’s just like long- it’s just like them in slow motion doing gymnastics and like they’ve framed them all together so you can see four of them at once doing the same skill, kind of like how we did in the Olympics with the Maroney/Uchimura vault comparison. And… but I’m not really sure if this was like a making of you know behind the scenes and something else came out on MTV, but the German…where’s Supergymmie? Supergymmie, tell us about this! Do we have it all? Do we have it up on there or is something else missing? Are there are there important points that I missed? We need Supergymmie’s input. This is very important. So, yeah it was fun to watch, though. I enjoyed it.

UNCLE TIM: Yeah. I, I mean I even enjoyed it just watching, umm and not really [laughs] understanding anything that was going on! Umm you know they didn’t order a beer or anything or any of the expressions that I actually know how to say in German, so. For the sake of time, we don’t have too much time to talk about the junior males, unfortunately, but it was really a competition that was dominated by Great Britain, which speaks highly of the program’s future. It bodes well for them, definitely, and they kind of just dominated everything. So they won the Team Competition then Nile Wilson won the all-around. They won pretty much almost every event; they did not win vault and they did not- yeah vault and rings were the two events that they did not win. They did have a gymnast place- take silver on vault but I guess, looking towards Great Britain’s future where the team really really needs to improve is on rings. No juniors made event finals on rings and their senior team that is their weakest event. And so if Great Britain is going to eventually challenge China and Japan, I would say, for a team title, um I would say that they need really to find a way to start working strength and

JESSICA: Start taking Kriotine

UNCLE TIM: [laughs] They need to do something. I don’t know exactly how they’re going to do that, you know, and it’s always funny to look at the junior scores. Like, when you are a women’s gymnastics fan, you’re used to seeing like double twisting Yurchenkos and stuff from the juniors already. The men, on the men’s side, it’s really not that way. Your D scores are gonna be roughly at least a point lower than the senior’s if not more and it’s largely because they don’t have their man strength yet, [laughs] I don’t know.

JESSICA: Yeah, totally true. Thats why Kriotine, I’m telling you guys. Kriotine is like the greatest thing ever. And obviously, consult your whoever and make sure you drink tons of water. When you take Kriotine you have to drink tons and tons and tons of water. But- and you’ll be you’ll feel all bloated but that’s the only real danger is like you know if you get too dehydrated, but I swear to God it’s like the greatest thing ever, like if- I would just I would take Kriotine every day of my life if I was working in strength- I can’t say enough good things about it. Did you ever take it?

UNCLE TIM: I did not, no. It didn’t really become that popular until I was kind of ending my gymnastics career, I wanna say and I have a Dad who’s very anti-supplements and everything, so I don’t think he would have ever let me do that, for sure.

JESSICA: Hmm. Well the reason it’s so popular is ‘cos it freakin’ works. It totally works and it’s not, you know, there’s really not, I mean it’s not gonna have the side effects like human-growth hormone where you can’t control what grows and all of a sudden one of your ears is way bigger than the other ear or your intestines have grown and not your biceps. It’s umm, it’s- yeah it doesn’t have any of those weird side effects. Except for you have to make sure you’re super super hydrated: that’s the danger but I- it’s the greatest thing ever as far as I’m concerned. Can you tell that like I love it and it’s awesome?

UNCLE TIM: [laughs] I can tell

JESSICA: Ok. Alright.

UNCLE: And it’s not banned by the IOC or the NCAA so it’s, you know, fair game.

JESSICA: Yeah. I ha- I mean you know who probably takes it? Our entire men’s team, I bet takes it.

UNCLE TIM: [laughs]

JESSICA: Umm, Ok so I have a very serious question for you.

UNCLE TIM: Oh yes?

JESSICA: Yes. There was- as all of my questions are extremely important and very serious. Umm so, the Eur- so this meet, this Euros meet they had an award for Mr. and Miss Sofia? And I don’t know the full, you know, explanation of what this is but it seems like it’s a pageant-type award for

UNCLE TIM: I don’t know

JESSICA: We have no idea. We have no idea what this is. But it wasn’t the elegance award, it wasn’t it didn’t have anything to do with scores. Maybe it was like a congeniality award, maybe it was really like who’s the hottest competitor?

UNCLE TIM: [laughs] I feel like it went to the hottest competitors.

JESSICA: [laughs] Right?! I kind of think it was, it was like sexiest gymnast but were gonna call it ‘Miss Sofia’ I kind of think it was a- it was a beauty contest award.

UNCLE TIM: [laughs]

JESSICA: But no one knew they were entering the beauty contest. So my question for you is my very serious serious in-depth, practically like a, you know, 20/20 question, is do you think it’s appropriate to have a beauty contest award at a gymnastics meet? Like is gymnastics not hard enough while also worrying about if you’re, you know, the hottest?

UNCLE TIM: I wish that I had been practicing by Barbara Walters voice, ‘is this appwopwiate?’

[both laugh]

UNCLE TIM: So, let me think. Do I think this is appropriate? No. Umm that’s the short answer. I I…why? I just don’t understand why, like, I guess maybe, I get like elegance, I get, you know giving out an award for like execution. I feel like if you start going into like hotness factors, like I don’t know, like we said, we don’t know what this was totally based on. But if you start going into like hotness factors or even congeniality, I feel like that opens a door for… I don’t know problems. Because you want all judging at a meet to be, seem objective and you don’t want things like a gymnast’s demeanour or a gymnast’s look to influence judging, and when you put out an award- an official award to Mr. and Mrs. Sofia based on whatever criteria just seems ridiculous. Umm but that’s just me. What about you, Jess, what do you think?

JESSICA: No I don’t like this at all. I don’t like anything that has to do- I mean gymnastics is already- it’s it’s already focused enough on appearance. It’s already hard enough. I just, I feel like anything else is I mean the congeniality award is ok, like I think it’s cool to have an award for somebody who’s basically the one that cheers the most for every competitor who’s- like the Fabian Hambüchen of the meet, you know, like constantly you know

UNCLE TIM: [laughs]

JESSICA: Um, that’s kind of cool. That doesn’t seem like that was- I mean let’s just say look, Larisa won this, Iordache, and Shatilov.


JESSICA: The hotness from Israel won. Six foot tall. So yeah.

UNCLE TIM: Yeah. I feel if- I don’t know. And if you’re gonna do congeniality it should be called sportsmanship because


UNCLE TIM: It’s something that the Code of Points does talk about. And so who was- If you want to kind of… support people being good sports and stuff, I would say that that would be the way to do it is having a sportsmanship award or something. Although, like, I feel like sportsmanship awards usually go to the team that, you know, finish like fourth or something and didn’t get like really pissed off and throw their grips across the gym. So I don’t really know how effective sportsmanship awards are. But anyway, that’s a different topic.

JESSICA: Ok, so next we’re gonna talk to Brigid from the Couch Gymnast, we’re gonna talk about Australian Nationals. And I just want to preface this interview with her, by saying that you know I’m a huge fan of Georgia Godwin, as you know. But one of the things I think a lot of people saw her videos from the Nationals in Australia and also from the Nadia Cup when she was here in the United States and I think that one of the the things people were like ‘eh she’s like a level ten, like oh her form’s ok’, but there’s a video of her at practice before, oh was it last year’s Nationals or Worlds? Um, a couple of months ago, where she does her beam routine perfectly and it’s one of the most amazing beam routines I’ve ever seen in my life and her form is absolutely gorgeous, her [clears throat] execution is fantastic, the routine is super-hard, and I realise that, you know, what you do in practice is- doesn’t matter as much as what you do in competition but I want to say that my- my view of her potential is based on that and so… and she’s also been injured since then. So I would just like to say everyone just watch her with a little grain of salt; she’s been injured, she hasn’t been able to work out like she had in the past since that original practice video came and I just want to say that’s where my extreme love and emotion for her [laughing] comes from. I believe in her! Ok, let’s talk to Brigid

JESSICA: So we have Brigid from the Couch Gymnast here with us. Brigid, thank you so much for joining us on total short notice.

BRIGID: It’s a pleasure.

JESSICA: I’m so glad we can finally have you on the show because all of us are huge fans of the Couch Gymnast, we of course have Lauren on. And for our listeners if you don’t follow the Couch Gymnast, I don’t know what you’re doing with your life, first of all.

BRIGID: [laughs]

JESSICA: So, make sure to go follow the Couch Gymnast. It’s like the International Gymnast for all international news. We get the special updates about Australia, which we’re always dying for. So, Australian Nationals were this weekend, so can you tell us about there were some really exciting things that happened and a little bit of controversy as well. So, first of all let’s talk about Lauren Mitchell and her triumphant return

BRIGID: Absolutely. Of course we’ve seen Lauren on the international scene a little this year but I think that it was all timed towards these championships and towards the Commonwealth Games announcements. So, she returned this weekend doing her two events, she’s only working- well she’s actually working three events but beam and floor was what we were all waiting for, and she is back, baby! It’s, [laughs] it’s quite incredible. She’s got all her floor tumbles back, her beam is looking solid as a rock, um really really impressive. Little bit of fitness maybe, still trying to achieve it, but the Western Australians atime beautifully, they’re not timing towards these Championships; all Lauren had to do was get on that team and they’re timing her towards July, towards the Commonwealth Games. But yeah, she’s looking fabulous.

JESSICA: This is terrible because all I can think of her as is Stella Umeh’s sister but I know she has her own actual first name. Is she still doing her choreography?

[Both laugh]

BRIGID: Stacey Umeh

JESSICA: Thank you

BRIGID: No, that’s ok. I believe Addie Popa’s actually been doing Lauren’s


BRIGID: Floor choreography. I’m fairly certain she did the last one.

JESSICA: Exciting, ok

BRIGID: Yes, I blieve-

JESSICA: That’s kinda a big name. In the choreography world.

BRIGID: Yeah, absolutely, and I like Lauren’s new choreography, actually. I’m really…I’m really into it, surprisingly into it, actually. I sort of turned to my photographer, after the fi- I was like ‘there’s some really good moments in there. Probably better than I’ve ever seen, from her.

JESSICA: But we still have the squat turn of infinity, right?

BRIGID: Oh that’s never going, and it’s it’s it’s become the thing that Australian gymnasts do. And I’m ok with it on the beam, I’m ok. But the floor? I’m not so sure.

JESSICA: Yeah, that’s how I feel about it ‘cos on beam, you know, that’s hard but on floor it just never looks good, I- there’s maybe some day like a rhythmic gymnast like this Elisabetta from or Elisabett from Hungary.

BRIGID: Vasilieva, yeah.

JESSICA: Will come along and make, you know, something with her leg backwards over her head and it’ll actually look good, but like.

BRIGID: One of our girls is actually connecting it to a standing turn. I want to say it’s Kiara Munteanu ‘cos she has the leg strength to do it and that actually looks quite good.

JESSICA: That is the way to do it, and that sounds way hard, too, to stand up from that position on one leg. Hmm I like it.

BRIGID: Oh, yeah. ‘Cos you know the back-story of Lauren doing that turn is the fact that Peggy Liddick once said that Lauren actually couldn’t do any other turns? And even though it’s actually the hardest ‘cos it needs- especially on beam, anyway, the most core strength, for some reason was actually the only one that Lauren could manage, ‘cos she’s actually quite un-coordinated apparently.

JESSICA: [laughs]

BRIGID: Just stunning in itself

JESSICA: So let’s talk about Larissa Miller, who is on all accounts is the story of the meet. Can you give her background for those people who aren’t really familiar with her?

BRIGID: For me Larissa Miller was probably the most impressive thing that came out of this National Championships. So, if you go right back to 2008, Miller was actually in the mix for that Olympic team, but unfortunately sort of had a bit of a meltdown at National Championships, and I think at the camp, subsequently and wasn’t selected. Kept plugging away and I think the world sort of got to know her in 2010 in London at the World Championships when she qualified to the uneven bars finals with what some people sometimes described as the longest bars routine in the world.

JESSICA: [laughing] Yes!

BRIGID: And, yes, and for a young gymnast acquitted herself admirably, come 2012 she’s on the team, ‘cos basically she complements Lauren Mitchell beautifully with her bars, and I think at the time- oh no Larissa was just doing floor and bars. Larissa’s never been able to do beam very well [laughs]. So that’s ok because ‘cos we have Lauren Mitchell for that and she’s come back this year. So after London Larissa took some time off. And I’d spoken to her at the Championships before London and she was like ‘If I keep doing gymnastics after this, I just want to do it for for fun. I just want it to be sort of a good time.’, and she came back and she’d had a big break and she went on a cruise with Emily Little and she had a holiday, and then of course Larissa got bored, didn’t she?


BRIGID: And um she started training a bit, stopped again, and since just this year- she’s only just this year been training completely solidly. She’s moved down to Melbourne ‘cos she was in the Queensland programme. She’s working with John Hart at Waverley Gymnastics, who, John Hart produced Georgia Bonora and Emma Nedov. Not Emma Nedov, Emma Dennis, sorry. And she’s got all of her skills back, like Lauren Mitchell. Her bars is just beautiful and her floor is fantastic. It was- she was the only one you looked at and went ‘you are on this Commonwealth Games team with Lauren Mitchell’, there is not a doubt in my mind.

JESSICA: And just to remind people is- ok, tell me if this is an urban myth ‘cos you know how we love busting gymnastics myths on the show, so

BRIGID: Yes [laughs]

JESSICA: So, yes, do you have to train at one of the training centres to be an elite, like you have to be in the elite programme but do you have to actually train at one of the official like the QLD or one of those places?

BRIGID: Uh, not necessarily, no, because if you look at somewhere like Victoria, we have several high-performance centres. Most of them train within a high-performance centre but there’s no- there is the Victorian one, and they produce most of our top Victorian gymnasts. But no, not not necessarily. But we do have the sort of independent um sorry the international stream of levels, which the girls move up in.


BRIGID: But sometimes you’ll have all of a sudden a gymnast popping up from Nationals or State Levels and becoming an elite.

JESSICA: Let’s talk about, I mean for us, for the Americans, seeing Olivia Vivian come back is a huge thing because we got to know her and love her here when she was doing college gymnastics I think even more than when she was an elite and Oregon State has a history of having so many fantastic, beautiful Australian gymnasts come to that programme and so to see her come back, to see her kick ass at umm in, was it uh the Korea Cup?

BRIGID: Yeah, Korea.

JESSICA: Even though her hand was like the size of like a like friggin’ globe

BRIGID: [laughs]

JESSICA: And then, and then have such a great meet, tell me how she did and what’s happening with her hand?

BRIGID: Her hand seems to be absolutely fine at this point. Um, Olivia’s just she’s just delightful. She is delightful to have at a competition because, I mean gymnastics is great, let’s not forget that. But she’s a total lamb, she plays to the crowds, the personality of the meet, which, you know, comes from that collegiate background of course, you know they’re so used to playing it that way. She looked good. She particularly looked good on bars, obviously that’s sort of her strength. Um… and floor, surprisingly better. You know, she ended up coming- getting a silver in event finals on floor because she, you know, a few people faltered who should have done better than her really. And beam, she’s put together a decent beam routine that can be used in a team lineup, as well. So, she’s made herself very useful, it’s been sort of, in terms of, with people like Larissa Miller around, she couldn’t just rest on her uneven bars laurels and she really hasn’t, you know, which is fantastic.

JESSICA: Do you think that after she did her floor routine she felt like, you know ‘I gave it my best’ and that Olivia, Olivia she kind of waved to the crowd and she was like ‘well, I did everything I could’, and she kind of thought that she wasn’t going to make the team?

BRIGID: Well there’s two things there. I honestly don’t know. And I have to say that, you know, she was the surprise member of the team in some ways. Um… on- only because of what other gymnasts had to offer more than what Olivia presented. So maybe there was a little bit of, you know, that’s the best she could do, you know I think there wasa few gymnasts who might have been surprised to be on that team, in a way. Including her.

JESSICA: Ok. So you know how I am, which is immediately when my favourite gymnast doesn’t make it, it’s because there’s a conspiracy.

BRIGID: [laughs]

JESSICA: And it’s because, you know, someone is against her and nothing makes sense in the world and it’s straight to Twitter to talk about my outrage, and then I have to back I have to go back and be like oh maybe there’s a reason, and maybe it’s about where there’s team finals, where there’s, you know, and then I have to listen to people and calm down.

BRIGID: [laughs]

JESSICA: [takes deep breath] So let’s talk about, and I’m trying to be calm now, my favourite new Australian gymnast, Godwin, who- I feel like her beam could- she could be a world champion when she hits that beam routine.


JESSICA: It’s the- it’s so ridiculous and insane. She is the all-around champion from this weekend


JESSICA: But she was not named to the team

That’s right. And you know, I… cannot lie and I was standing there going- and because I was with my photographer, Nadia, and we could see the girls who had come out to watch the announcement, and when we saw Georgia Godwin standing there in her tracksuit pants not hiding down the stairs with the rest of the team, we pretty much knew who’d been named by who was absent. We were like ‘what is Georgia Godwin doing over there? What is she- why is she standing there? Why does she look like that?’. Actually she was being very classy and smiling, which, I would’ve been flabbergasted if I was her. Look [sighs], the only- there’s two ways. You know obviously, who knows what goes on in the minds of these people who make the decisions, but the only explanations I can think of for not putting Georgia Godwin on the team is that- the all um…medals. The number of medals is more important at this point so Peggy is going for event finalists. That’s some… you need people like Mary-Anne Monckton who could easily win a beam medal in a beam final. Because she’s the other person who was a slight surprise on the team. Or, she’s going for the tried and true what she did with the London games and she went for experience because all of those girls have been on Worlds teams, and they’ve all been or Commonwealth teams or Olympic teams. Now, that method would surprise me because that is the method she used in London and it didn’t work because it was actually the most experienced veterans, the two-time Olympians, it was your Georgia Bonora and your Ash Brennan who actually had mistakes they made in qualifying, not just that they didn’t qualify into team finals, so it’d be strange to think that’s why she would overlook Godwin. But really I’m not sure. It’s very surprising because she’s very competitive D scores and she’s also capable of a double-twisting Yurchenko. She’s been actually stopped training for six weeks because she’s also- I’m not sure what the injury is; but she’s had some sort of injury but she’s actually can pull in our highest vault score.

JESSICA: [indignant voice] And this is the thing that’s killing.

BRIGID: [Laughs]

JESSICA: So I’m glad I’m not, completely, you know out of, you know the far-left field with being completely outraged. Because you know the first thought is, ok she’s the all-around champ so she can really help us just get in the qualifying.


JESSICA: You know ok, maybe we’re not gonna win as a team, Australia, you know, it’s, because really who’s competition it’s gonna be the the British… and Canada.

BRIGID: Yeah it’s gonna be England and Canada. Yeah. I mean, even the Welsh could give us a run for our money, I can’t know how many of their little wonders are still juniors, though. They’ve got a solid little team up there, as well, so it it it’s a tricky one. The other thing that strikes me about um the Godwin factor is that, I mean the thing to remember is Georgia Rose Brown pulled out in the second day of the all-around. She probably would have been the National Champion had she not made any significant mistakes

JESSICA: Right. Because she was head by like a point something

BRIGID: Yeah, one or two points, I think. And yeah if they hadn’t pulled her out after, when did they- after did they pull her out after beam? Before she went up on floor, and she was sort of limping around down on the floor. Um, you know, Georgia Godwin would have actually been second. But at the same time, it’s the vault factor as well, and that high beam D score as well. And bars. Godwin’s actually got surprisingly great bars. I mean, all of which Georgia Rose has, but.

JESSICA: Yeah, and I think the biggest question was of course who’s gonna vault? And that brought me back to umm… I mean so many people were talking about this yesterday, when everyone was like shocked by who was selected on the team. I mean, I’m so happy for the gymnasts who made it and obviously I always want to re-iterate this has nothing to do with the the people who were selected, we’re so happy for them


JESSICA: We just always want, we always want our favourite to make it and always wanted to know what was the rationale. So some people were saying, you know, perhaps they’re saving some people for Worlds

BRIGID: Mm-hmm

JESSICA: and they want like Godwin to be back to full strength because she does have this potential. But then again, there’s the whole experience factor but the other thing was that people were like do they even have three people who could do a vault that’s-

BRIGID: Yes. But-

JESSICA: Ok, so who’s gonna vault?

BRIGID: It’s it’s well it’s [laughs] it’s not your most desired vault lineup by any means, so you know it’s a 4, 3, 3 I believe for Commonwealth Games so I’m assuming Peggy’s just putting three up on vault. That’s the risk she’s taking. So Georgia Rose Brown has a quite remarkably improved full-twisting Yurchenko. Sadly I think about a year ago she had a one and a half but I think she’s just got a single again. Mary-Anne Monckton is capable of a full-twisting Yurchenko, as well, she’s always been able to pull out a reasonable one. And then the other the third one’s gonna have to be Lauren Mitchell. Because she did vault. She’s only turning a Yurchenko at this meet but I’d say they’ll have it ready a 2/1 by July. They just wouldn’t have made her do it this weekend; it’s not worth risking any injury at this point.

JESSICA: And what’s happening with Australia with vault? Like I feel like when we look at the British, they all of a sudden everyone’s doing a a double-twisting Yurchenko, like they have totally upped their game. But Australia, I feel like are totally stuck on vault.

BRIGID: Yes. We we we do seem to be. It’s a real problem and we see girls come through the programme, who you go ‘You should be doing a DTY. Like there’s no reason why you are not’, [laughs] to be honest over, you know over the last sort of five years particularly that just aren’t getting trained, and I remember, you know, when Nikolae Forminte told the media he’d come to Australia and interviewed for a job; possibly for the top job, and I remember thinking ‘Ooh! Forminte! We’ll have a vault coach! You know, he he’s he brought Simona Amanar to Bellu, you know! But sadly he you know hasn’t come over. Um, yeah it it is a lack. And it’s funny, because we can produce tumbling, but we can’t produce vaulters.

JESSICA: Hmmm. We’re gonna (Inaudible)

BRIGID: I don’t know- I don’t know where the deficit is and I don’t know if we’re doing to improve it, but that is a problem.

JESSICA: So there were a couple of injuries, can you just give us an update on how people are doing and what happened?

BRIGID: Oh, sure. So the the two main ones were Georgia Rose Brown, obviously. She’s got this ongoing problem with it’s her Talus, apparently; I was in trouble for calling it her toe, which a naughty judge told me. Um, yeah it’s her talus, it’s a connecting bone in the foot. It’s an ongoing thing and I think they just didn’t want to push it with her as she was in a little bit of pain. The other sad one was Alex Eade, who um who came up sort of flew up the junior ranks and had some really impressive skills really early, but she’s been injured long-term. It was in the all-around final where she nailed her double layout on floor, like drilled it into the floor it was spectacular. Unfortunately really really hurt her- I don’t know whether it’s an ankle or foot injury to the point where she had to stop competing. She was she was sort of in the corner but I was sitting umm- but you could see her go ‘I can’t do it. I can’t do it.’, and you could see the judges going ‘Don’t do it! Don’t do it!’ [laughs], you know, in their eyes. And she stopped; she had to come off the floor, which was really sad.


BRIGID: Because she hasn’t really had a chance to work as a senior much.

JESSICA: And how are the- how did everyone react to Tsukahara? This was the first year that he was actually able to compete as an Australian, right?

BRIGID: I believe so. I actually did not- look ‘cos the problem was they had the MAG and the WAG on at the same time


BRIGID: Like, it was kind of awesome, for a fanatic but I could not watch any of the men’s gymnastics because I- it was on at exactly the same time as the all-around final and I’m furiously writing notes about the women and then even during the event finals, you’re sort of trying to catch up with your notes and stuff, but people are very excited by him, obviously. It’s it was, you know, it was it’s great to have him here and, you know, people were really excited about the men’s gymnastics, which was great ‘cos sometimes, you know you get smaller crowds.It was good to have it mixed in.



JESSICA: Yeah, I like that too. It’s so hard to watch but I always wish I could watch both of them at the same time and I have to say, I mean there must be something about the Australians because we have Umeh sisters I think who have both married Australians now and now we have Tsukahara married an Australian

BRIGID: [laughs] Yeah

JESSICA: Good work, whatever you guys are doing over there, maybe you have-

BRIGID: It’s great having the Umeh sisters around too because of of their artistry, and I mean that’s one thing i’ve got to say, that’s the other highlight of these National- these Nationals is: we have artistry in a lot of our gymnasts especially on floor- it’s a bit [sound cuts out] unique, it’s a bit different. And that is owing to people like Stacey Umeh, Lisa [sound cuts out] down in Victoria; she really likes to finesse the gymnasts, which is really fun to see, especially when you see someone like Georgia Rose Brown, like yeah


BRIGID: You know, they’re milking that flexibility and that body type for all it’s worth; it’s it’s fabulous to see. Basically I guess the other thing I’m waiting to see is what happens with Worlds because…if…Godw- the only thing I- the only thing I’m- my only hope is that Godwin is being preserved for Worlds, um and that they’re leaving her to get back her skills, like if she’s got her double-twisting Yurchenko in place and I believe she’s working a double layout they’re things that’ll be very very important come Worlds. And also Madeline Leyden, as well. I know that- I’m pretty sure that that was a decision to keep her safe as well, because there’s been injury issues with her and she’s another sort of very important all-arounder for Australia, so I’m- I’ll be interested to see how the World team different- um differs from the Commonwealth Games team, certainly.

JESSICA: Well this is excellent, we’re so happy we could finally have you on,

BRIGID: [laughs]

JESSICA: really. And I have to tell you guys, we have been trying to like plan some time when Blythe and Brigid can be on the show at the same time so that they can tell all their crazy stories

BRIGID: [laughs]

JESSICA: From travelling around the world, and, you know, seeing like cats run underneath the you know press area in Russia

BRIGID: [laughs]

JESSICA: And all kinds of crazy stories. But with- with the Switzerland and Australia time zone and then me trying to record in the United States, it hasn’t quite worked but we’re gonna try and make it happen because they have crazy stories and thank you so much for being on and we are going to make this happen very soon, with everybody. The Couch Gymnast, and you can also follow them on twitter and on Facebook, it’s just a great great great site, coverage everything and thank you again

BRIGID: My pleasure.

JESSICA: Before we get to the Gymternet news, I’m gonna let you guys know how to contact us, we love reading your feedback; we read everything even if we can’t always get to it. So, if you want us to review something, discuss something, if you want to tear us a new one about something, do it very nicely, email us at, leave us a voicemail on Skype for free our username is gymcasticpodcast or call us at 415 800 3191, and follow us on twitter.

JESSICA: Gymternet news. First of all. Very important. The 2015 World Championships tickets are going on sale. You know it’s in Scotland. And, I don’t know, Evan, do you know how much I love Scotland?

EVAN: Not uhh… I don’t. I can’t even. How much do you love Scotland?

JESSICA: I love Scotland. I feel like in my bones… how much I love Scotland.

EVAN: Like you call your yard at home Scotland Yard just because you love it that much?

JESSICA: [laughs] No but I have a Scottish- there’s a Scottish woman that I work with and I’m constantly harassing her and hanging around with her just so I can like hear her accent and stuff. She loves it.

EVAN: Nice. Yes

JESSICA: Let me tell you.

EVAN: Yes.

JESSICA: Evan, you can imagine. Who wouldn’t? I mean, who wouldn’t want me hanging around with them?

EVAN: Fanclub!

JESSICA: So tickets are on sale umm… May 27th, actually, so yesterday that would have been. But, you can get, those are for the people who already registered, which I hope all of you registered like good Gymnerds already registered to get your tickets and again this 2015. Not China, Scotland. Next year. But the regular sale is June 10th, so if you haven’t already registered, make sure you do so, so you get your awesome tickets and get the best best best seats. So, in other news, we found out that, just like us, Anna Pavlova is a giant clutz. Evan, have you ever injured yourself such that you could not do gymnastics or needed surgery for something that, you know, was not gymnastics-related?



EVAN: [laughs] I am very safe. I don’t know- yeah I’m I’m super-cautious.

JESSICA: [laughs] I don’t think- did I ever uhh no I think skateboarding was- I hurt myself the most non-gymnastics and I only ‘cos was a giant wimp. Like I went to go off a ramp and you know balked basically, and then just slid down the side of the ramp umm against the wood and just tore the back of my leg up from like the middle of my calf all the way to my butt and my gymnastics coach was not happy. I was like ‘oh I can’t do this level five compulsory bar routine ‘cos look at the back of my leg, I guess no bars for me this week’ [smug laugh]

EVAN: [laughs]

JESSICA: I hated bars

EVAN: I used to go really hard in gym class I don’t know, maybe like during some prison physical fitness testing, when it was like ‘oh, like just do as many pull-ups as you can’, and I was like ‘I can do that ‘till exhaustion! Um, I can’t straighten my arms now!’

JESSICA: [laughs]

EVAN: Umm probably that. But uhh yeah, I’d say never never really bad injury. One time I fell on ice though

JESSICA: [gasps]

EVAN: I was like carrying my drum set to middle school and I fell down the stairs but I think gymnastics like inherently just like gives you better body awareness, like also my body- knock on wood- is like well structured to like take trauma and not be injured

JESSICA: [laughing] to fall down stairs?

EVAN: So, right? Yeah! It was just like ‘oh, nothing happened!’ Like I I was always that kid who was like ‘I think, I think I need an ice wrap, it’s really bad, oh gosh!’

JESSICA: [laughs]

EVAN: And my Mom, who was a nurse, was like you- go go upstairs, you’re done here.


EVAN: Yeah.

JESSICA: I distinctly remember like running at recess and like being about to fall and just like one of those ones where you’re like 1, 2, 3! Like you know like when you’re gonna faceplant and then I just instinctively rolled then I just got up and kept running and everyone was like [child mimicking voice] ‘Oh, show off! Like, Oh, you do gymnastics!’, and i was like, um excuse me for being a skilled acrobat. I’m sorry.

EVAN: [laughs]

JESSICA: Hello, just because I didn’t fall on my face like you klutzes. Like, I’m trained, thank you very much.

EVAN: Well that’s bringing back some traumatic memories of the youth, when you’re just like out of control falling and-

JESSICA: [laughs]

EVAN: Injuries eminent.

JESSICA: And knees covered with giant black scabs. Yes.

EVAN: Yes. Yes.

JESSICA: Ok, back to Pavlova. So, an interview came out with her this week and she talked about how her second knee injury happened because she, oh my God [laughing] this is funny but it’s horrible but she laughed about it in the interview, it’s I think it’s ok for us to laugh. So, she is recovering from her first knee injury, her first ACL, she falls out of the- slips coming out of the shower and fell down a flight of stairs.

EVAN: [laughing] Why are the stairs that close to the shower?

JESSICA: Right?! Who designed this place? Clearly-

EVAN: Russia.

JESSICA: Russia, what is going on? This is-

EVAN: That is why she got her ass out of Russia, she’d like ‘I need to get to Azerbaijan, where the stairs are more than two feet away from the shower exit’, thank you.

JESSICA: They actually follow building codes, thank you very much.

EVAN: Right.

JESSICA: Oh my God, so there’s a-

EVAN: A stray dog pushed her down a flight of stairs by the shower.

JESSICA: [laughs] There was a whole row of stray puppies were crossing

EVAN: Right.

JESSICA:in front of the shower before the stairs and she didn’t want to step on them.

EVAN: She had no choice.

JESSICA: Oh my God, so this reminds me of a story that one of our listeners wrote in with, which is that- we asked for your most embarrassing moments and I can’t remember if I’ve ever told this but I’ve been saving it forever. So anyway, most embarrassing moments related to tripping in the gym, which we’ve all done. So he said, um I I was just getting back from vaulting and I was running back from the vault to get back in line and some rec kid, oh horror, left a hula hoop, a HULA HOOP, I mean come on, right next to the vault runway and he didn’t see the hula hoop until he was running back from vault to get in line and he stepped on one part of the hula hoop, which flipped the [laughing] other part of the hula hoop up and then he fell flat on his face and he said that he face-planted and I was laughing so hard and my coach laughed so hard at me, she nearly died. I love that story so much, I could envision the entire thing in my head how that’s happened because I have totally done that with a hula hoop when it like smacks you in the stomach or smacks you in the shins. I appreciate that story, thank you for sending that in, our listener with the unfortunate hula hoop incident. Now, the most adorable floor routine that we have come across in a very long time. There is a kid, a little British kid, I- her name’s Ellie, it might be Haverfield, I’m not sure what her last name is, um from South Wales Gymnastics, I think, and she does this floor routine and [laughing] I’ve never seen anything like this before. It is a cross between, um I think Laurie Hernandez and Lloimincia Hall. Even has a seat drop but it is like different than both, in that there’s a lot of points when this little kid with glasses and little buns in her hair stops, like looks, like angrily into the crowd and then shimmies her shoulders. So, Evan, what are your thoughts on this routine? Did you love it? Did you hate it? What did you think?

EVAN: I had a lot of thoughts and it was hard for me to sort sort them all out. Well first I had a lot of questions,what like, is this some sort of like open programme? But it’s kind of an optional routine so I was just like, how does this, you know, is it like an exhibition or what? But the YouTube video also says her first floor routine?

JESSICA: [laughing] Yes!

EVAN: So I’m thinking that maybe she’s a dancer who was like, ‘What can I do? Oh! We’ll do some tumbling!’ and then it happened. So I think she might be one of those over-achiever kids

JESSICA: [laughs]

EVAN: Who is trying to be the Tyra Banks of gymnastics and just do it all. That being said, I liked it. I thought her movement was really quality, she’s obviously like.. uh stepping up to the street umm and bringing her B girl A game, uh…which is great but it’s kind of in that realm of college- college gymnastics, where you kind of expect to see in that that fun arena, whereas at a compulsory meet, I don’t I don’t think the judges would evenknow what to do with that!

JESSICA: I thought it was so-

EVAN: But I liked it.


EVAN: But I liked it.

JESSICA: I just assumed it meant like her first routine of the season, or something. But I just-

EVAN: I think ever. I think ever.

JESSICA: Maybe it was. If that’s her first routine ever, you’re a total badass, first of all. Because who’s first routine ever looks like that? Oh my God, my first routine ever, I think I just like looked like I had to go to the bathroom and I wanted to run away and hide and kept like just glancing to the side to my coach like [gasps] ‘oh what’s going to happen next?’, um but this girl was bringing it. I think that that’s a good theory, that maybe she’s a dancer. I have just never seen anything like this and I- if I was the judge, I would just be beside myself with smiles, like my cheeks hurt after I watched this, like it is just so cute and she’s really really performing, like you are feeling something during this routine. Like I couldn’t get enough of it. I want to hear from you guys and tell us what you think of this routine. I just- I’ve never seen anything like it. I can’t wait to see what she does next. And can you imagine her beam routine? Oh my God, I bet there’s a head spin in it! New skills that were submitted at European Championships, so I just want to clarify, these are skills that someone’s doing and it’s not in the code so they need to know what it’s gonna be worth when they actually do their routines, so this is not ‘I’m submitting this to have it named after, you know, myself.’ This is what, you know, this is different. So let’s talk about some of the skills that were submitted. The one- the one that I loved- it’s not the one, it’s like the four or five. But is it six skills submitted I think total? Ok we’ve been talking about this girl for a while now; her name is Elizabet Vasileva and she’s the one from Bulgaria who used to be a rhythmic gymnast and now she’s switched to artistic and um she submitted like [laughing] every skill that’s in rhythmic that she’s added and I think she has come up with lovely ways to incorporate her rhythmic skills into gymnastics. I can’t get enough of it. And one of my favourite skills that she did was on floor; it’s a triple or double arabesque scale turn. Right? So you do like an arabesque and then you grab your foot and yank it up by your head and then spin around three times and she does it on beam, too, like a one and a half. I loved those and then the other one, is this is the thing is this girl, this Bulgarian girl is gonna kill it because her skills except the like leap into a scale, they didn’t give it anything, that’s like a B, but she’s gonna kill it because her skills are worth so much and she’s gonna dance the crap out of this, and she’ll just do like a double back and win because her her dance skills are worth so much. The other thing was we were talking about last week was Germany’s Pauline Schäffer, how she did that crazy-ass like half front side- you know like quarter flip quarter flip thing on beam, remember we were discussing that?


JESSICA: So, we discovered that this one was evaluated as a E on beam! What! Huge, so good for her. What were your favourites that were submitted, Evan?

EVAN: So, I have to kindly disagree with Vasileva’s skills.


EVAN: And your love- and your love of them.


EVAN: Though innovative, I think that we’ve seen them before because they’re rhythmic skills

JESSICA: [laughs]

EVAN: [laughing] I just knocked something down because I was emoting with my body. Um… it’s it’s interesting. I I think it brings a new dimension, but do we really want to stress those type of skills for like up and comer- you know for future generations to be like, yeah, like you can learn this triple turn in, you know, over-stretch you know back arabesque or… like a three and a half.

JESSICA: Who the hell else is gonna be able to do these skills? No one’s ever gonna do these again! Like once in a generation!

EVAN: Yeah… I just don’t umm… I struggle with them. I struggle with them, but I acknowledge them and think they’re beautiful, so.

JESSICA: Ok, hold on. I have to stop you for a second. Do you have- ‘cos this is what it sounds like to me. It sounds like your headphones are rubbing against your chin and you have a little bit of scruff. This is the sound I’m hearing.

EVAN: Ok. Ok. I’m gonna hold I’m gonna hold it up like this.

JESSICA: Perfect. Ok.

EVAN: Sorry.

JESSICA: I’m sure you look adorable with your scruff, though. Carry on.

EVAN: But I also really liked Lady Catherine of Genovia

JESSICA: [laughs]

EVAN: Which- that is from Princess Diaries, which is what I think about when I hear you guys refer to her as that, so she’s in the Princess Diaries- the gymnast Princess Diaries.

JESSICA: I love this movie!

EVAN: [laughs] And she does the switch to um cross… what do they call it? Cross leg split on beam. So, pretty simple but I think she does it really elegantly and I- that’s what I enjoyed the most. If it’s not gonna be like huge acrobatics, like innovation… um… I also struggle with Schäffer’s skill a little bit just because I don’t think anyone can really make sense of it. But, you know, for an acrobatics skill, I mean you look at a front aerial and that’s what- a C.

JESSICA: I’m looking at it. I think so. Yes

EVAN: Am I right? A C? Or a D, I mean, so something like that is a bit more complex has to be- you know it it it should be an E. But again, I don’t think anyone can really emulate that technique very easily.

JESSICA: All the more reason for it to be worth all the points, Evan.

EVAN: Right. And she will, she’s pro- she’s in the running to be the next all-around World Champion, so I can’t wait to see it broadcast all over the world.

JESSICA: [laughs] Oh I love that we disagree on everything. Oh my God

EVAN: That skill is gonna enjoy YouTube for a long time.

JESSICA: I will say that I have to agree with you that Catherine’s- Princess Catherine of Europa, her skill was-

EVAN: Genovia.

JESSICA: Genovia, excuse me. Her skill was by far… well I’d say three that were totally effortless and done performed perfectly, which her switch leap to land in split looks really effortless. Schäffer’s crazy-ass half flippy thing and the other one was- it’s just a straddle back on beam, which is- I thought that was in the code, I’m like, how’s that not in the code? But.

EVAN: Yeah I feel like I had seen that before, but there’s some, you know, you look at the list of of things that were submitted and there’s no video of this but it’s literally five Ukrainian girls submitting like the same A mount, so it’s like, ok the FIG, like they feel compelled to like, you know the FIG like loaned them the money to get there, so they’re like ‘oh, better make some shit up’.

JESSICA: [laughs]

EVAN: Just like submit it to the FIG, like oh ok let’s do like- let’s just like

JESSICA: This is our contribution!

EVAN: Some spastic movement, like ‘we just have to be here! We’re submitting so many skills!’

JESSICA: Oh my God, Oh poor Ukraine. [banging sound] Ouch!

[both laughing]

EVAN: I don’t know.

JESSICA: We’re a mess today. I’ll try not to hurt myself while we discuss this next part. Ok. So, of course, you friend. And ours. Mister Scott Bregman has put up some videos from- I tribute anything good that happens at USA Gymnastics is his responsibility

[both laugh]

JESSICA: Because I know that’s how he likes it! It’s all for him.

EVAN: No doubt. No doubt.

JESSICA: So, there’s some Ranch videos that came up, so the first that I’m so excited because you know how I love her, is that Laurie Hernandez is [sings] back! Laurie Hernandez! Baby Shakira! She’s back from her- I just did a lot of dancing while I was talking about her. She’s back from having a broken wrist and she looks great and I’m so excited that she’s back. So I hope that this means that we’re going to see her at Classics in Chicago. And then, MyKayla Skinner, now alright there are two sides to this and I’m gonna I’m gonna play the angel and and Evan can play the Devil’s advocate. ‘Cos that’s how it is- angel and devil’s advocate. So [laughs]

EVAN: There’s two sides to this. The My and the Kayla. Alright, you take the My.

JESSICA: So, MyKayla Skinner has clearly been working on her form, if- and she puts two hands on the vault in her, her Amanar now, like pretty legitimately. It’s not just like, you know, just for the sake of getting credit one, you know, there’s a hand there it looks like there’s actual repulsion happening. I mean, I wouldn’t recognise her except that her Cheng is still done with one arm, if I hadn’t, if I had just saw that video I wouldn’t know that it was her. And that’s how much her- her form has improved and how incredible it is, like what a huge difference it is. Evan, what are your thoughts?

EVAN: So, I- before I get all devil H E double hockey stick in here, you know I think that the the cards are stacked up against MyKayla just because of what she’s presented in competitions of the past, um in the past, excuse me. You know I don’t think it’s completely her fault. I know it can’t be. Those are her coaches, you know, making the active choice to be like ‘we’re gonna be the ones chucking skills out there at Nationals’. So, you know a lot of people unfortunately have kind of, not passed judgement but they kind of have an impression of her. She’s going to have to rise to the occasion; win the US some medals or, you know, do something crazy to get people back on her side.

JESSICA: And I also think if it- if it wasn’t for the changes in her form, we wouldn’t be talking about her. Which is is a bad- I mean it’s hmm what am I trying to say here? It’s not good-

EVAN: If there-

JESSICA: Yeah [laughs] Go ahead.

EVAN: I get it, I get it. You know, it’s you know, doing something- form shouldn’t be, you know somebody getting form or improving form shouldn’t really be a a talking point in the first place [laughs].

JESSICA: Right. Especially at this level.

EVAN: You know, it’s part of gymnastics. Right. That’s part of gymnastics. So seeing differences in athletes like this is not really that common because you really rarely see, you know, huge improvements, especially from an established senior, who’s you know been competing. You know if anything, you’re just trying to maintain it, maybe upgrade but you know she’s kind of taken the weird road less travelled, that’s like gravel and half like not road-

JESSICA: Scraggly trees

EVAN: Like impassible. Right, yeah

JESSICA: It’s like the Diagon Alley

EVAN: [laughs]

JESSICA: Version, route.

EVAN: You know who’s, who we should talk about though, from camp?


EVAN: Maggie Nichols and her full twisting Shaposhnikova.

JESSICA: [squeals]

EVAN: So we saw this earlier in the year from uhh Mustafina doing, now it’s it’s the half and it’s kind of a late delayed extra half to a mixed grip in Shaposhnikova. Maggie does it from a toe-on and it’s smooth. It’s really nice. I mean, I think that this is going to become a trend, especially with what value it’s given. The other thing that I really liked from her is she does a front aerial and steps into a full turn and I think that connection is so smart.

JESSICA: Love it.

EVAN: And it really speaks to the coaching that she’s getting on beam, to kind of- doing something just a little bit out of the box.

JESSICA: And that’s freaking hard, too. I mean I know it’s only a full turn, but that’s hard.

EVAN: Right and it wasn’t an immediate connection but it’s almost that you know, the front aerial’s one of those skills that’s like- it’s like a gateway drug [laughs].

JESSICA: [laughs]

EVAN: It allows you to do so much! Especially the way you do a you know like ‘I’m not gonna put my foot down, so I can do a… side somi’ and then you’re… you [inaudible]. Has anyone ever done that before? I don’t think so. That should be a, that should be a Twitter answer.


EVAN: Be sure to tweet us if you’ve ever seen anyone of note connect a front aerial to a full turn

JESSICA: So have you noticed that the FIG has changed their website? They updated it. They did a whole re-design.

EVAN: [cautiously] I had. Unfortunately I can’t say I perused too terribly much throughout the site. But it’s fresh, you know it’s it’s one of those like ‘oh hey, what what happened there?’.

JESSICA: Right? It doesn’t look like it’s like it’s the 1990-92 anymore on the website. It’s very exciting, I think. It’s- they’re also doing like lots of interviews and they don’t sound like they’re written by like a Soviet robot who was giving a speech in the 1930’s. [laughing] Some of their weird translations have in the past. I’m very excited about that. They just put an interview with Steve Butcher who’s the men’s Technical Committee Chair and some of us heard about the meeting which he talks about, which is aligning the men’s and women’s roles and were like [shouting] ‘What the hell? Like this is the worst idea ever!’ like ‘All you guys want to do is destroy gymnastics!’ But he gave an example and I was like ‘Oh. Well, now I feel bad for throwing a fit when I heard about this’. Which he was, he was like, well, here’s an example, it’s like you know a tenth to step out of bounds for women; they go to men’s and it’s three tenths. I’m just using this as random examples ‘cos I have no idea what it is in men’s, it’s probably like seven tenths. So, um he was like, you know if you’re watching on TV, it doesn’t make sense why for women it’s way less than it is for men and those are the kind of-I was like oh that totally makes sense. Like that’s the kind of, you know, aligning of the rules that I can get behind. And the other thing I liked about this interview is he said, the motto for my Technical Committee is: The coaches and athletes don’t work for us; we work for them. Hello? Who else has said that on this very show? Moi. That’s right. You know, that’s exactly the mentality of what the FIG should be and any governing body: you work for the athletes and just period. That’s who you work for. You’re supposed to make their lives easier; make things better for them; serve them. So, I like, you know, I just, you know I’m totally biased because I really like Steve Butcher so I probably shouldn’t be allowed to talk about him. Did you have any thoughts on this interview?

EVAN: Yeah. I mean, he’s a great guy, yeah. I don’t know if I’ve ever met anyone or cared to meet anyone with nothing less than a positive impression of Steve Butcher,


EVAN: So I also agree that he is awesome. And good to just drive the sport in a new and fresh way, you know, I think it’s only a matter of time before uh technology in gymnastics, you know, you’ve seen where it took tennis, and you know soon we won’t need line judges because you know the floor will just have sensors in it- we’ll know- we’ll know if someone’s stepped over the line. So, in most cases-

JESSICA: Do they have that in tennis?

EVAN: Yeah, with the Spot Shot technology is basically like a grid set up with a camera so, you know, if somebody- they have a challenge system and if the challenge system goes into place. The the technology shows you exactly where the ball landed off the court.

JESSICA: Oh my God. Why don’t we have this for vault like I’ve been saying so like height and distance should not be a thing that any human has to measure. It should just be a computer and a camera. Period. Grid. Done.

EVAN: Right. I mean there would be, there would be automatic automatic readings and this is so far off topic; Steve Butcher has nothing to do with, with these ideas that are coming out of my mouth right now.

JESSICA: [laughs]

EVAN: But I do think that, you know, pushing the sport in in new directions, um, aligning the rules, that’s kind of bringing us full circle, isn’t it? ‘Cos I feel like when I was competing in gymnastics, the deductions and structure was pretty similar, like-


EVAN: The compulsory base routines, like both started I think it like what was it an 8 2 and you build from there. Or optional routines, excuse me. And then, you know, five tenths of a point for a fall, a tenth of a point for out of bounds. You know that was pretty much all you needed to know. That’s why, you know fan fan growth was probably so drastic and and sustained throughout the decades from the 80’s up to the early 2000’s. So yeah, I think I think those were good changes, good thoughts.

JESSICA: And hats off once again to the FIG and all the- you know we complain a lot about the FIG I just feel like, you know these

EVAN: I don’t.

JESSICA: It’s- no. Evan never does.

EVAN: [laughs]

JESSICA: It’s only me, actually. But no, I feel like the Gymternet does and I feel like I don’t want like the the worker bees who actually like do all the work. These are the people that do all the day-to-day work, they put on so many meets and put out so much information and I never want them to think that we’re criticising them because when we’re criticising someone we will call them out by name [laughing]. That’s right!

EVAN: Mm-hmm.

JESSICA: [laughs] And it’s inevitably someone on the Technical Committee!

JESSICA: So, a couple of letters this week [laughing]that we got this week. The first one, uh we talked about in our last little episode we brought you an extra episode last week. We had Emma on and Blythe and they talked about some behind the scenes goings on at Sofia, at the European Championships and of course Yordan Yovchev was one of the organisers, as was Krasimir Dunev, who I only remember- and I mean, I know he won a medal [laughing] at the Atlanta Olympics and that’s like a huge deal.

EVAN: His poster.

JESSICA: But I only remember his poster.

EVAN: The poster. Me too.

JESSICA: Because it was so out of character for International Gymnast Magazine to have this uh gratuitous male like sex symbol, like he was in a

EVAN: From like a Playgirl test shoot from back in the day.

JESSICA: [laughing] right! He was-

EVAN: That’s what I thought as like an eight-year-old boy, I was like this is probably what it is. That’s what I’m looking at.

JESSICA: He’s like in a cave and he’s wearing jeans and no shirt, I was like ‘What is this?’. [laughs]

EVAN: I was also like ‘What is this?’, never stop doing that.

JESSICA: [laughs] More of those.

EVAN: Never get out of that cave

JESSICA: [laughs] So, anyhoo, oh Emma met him, of course. He let her on the floor and then afterwards of course he was like ‘did you enjoy yourself?’, and of course she fell into a heap and was like ‘I must marry you immediately!’

EVAN: She was like ‘Take me to the nearest cave!’

JESSICA: [laughs] Of course, she didn’t recognise him with his clothes on! ‘Cos I was like ‘I’m pretty sure that’s him’, and she was like ‘No no no that couldn’t have been him’ and I was like ‘Yeah, I think it is!’ [laughs] Oh, about the cave and the jeans and the no shirt. Ok, anyhoo, we digress. So, back to Yordan Yovchev, who she said looks exactly the same except he has a little more grey hair. So our comment was Yovchev deserves all the credit for making these championships successful as they were, he should be made FIG President, please can we make this happen, oh my God, let’s do it! Yordan Yovchev hashtag FIG President! Do you think- who would, who would win? Do you think he has- he would want to do it or do you think our next President will be Steve Butcher or Nellie Kim or Shannon Miller?

EVAN: [laughs] Uh… well I think that it’s great to see a country like Bulgaria host a successful meet just because it gives some more options throughout the world. I don’t think we should necessarily say that he’s ready for FIG presidency yet. He’s very established in the sport but I think the history of the FIG is to take somebody who, though Yovchev is very seasoned, somebody with a little more presence previously on Technical Commi- Technical Committees etc, so I think Steve Butcher’s probably, you know, one of the, one of the great hopes but, you know, other people in USA Gymnastics who have been around for a while, you know you can never be surprised when, you know, somebody, I mean, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was like

JESSICA: Luan Peszek?

EVAN: Kathy Kelly [laughs]. Well, I would be surprised about that. Kathy Kelly or Ron Galimore [inaudible] heard for years and years and years


EVAN: And aren’t quite sure what capacity they work in.

JESSICA: [laughing] No one knows what they do!

EVAN: Right. Just like, oh yeah Kathy Kelly, yeah, definitely. I totally know what she does. not a clue. Forever.

JESSICA: [laughs]

EVAN: Like, who knew- yeah, I have no idea. So… I think- I think Yovchev is doing great for Bulgaria but not so much the World yet, and that’s an ok- that’s an ok place to be.

JESSICA: I would elect Paul Ziert for FIG President.

EVAN: Would you?

JESSICA: Mm-hmm. I would. I think he’d do a great job.

EVAN: Why?

JESSICA: Because he’s super

EVAN: Want more posters?

JESSICA: Well first of all the posters, but he’s like super-outspoken yet he maintains somehow he’s like in bed with the FIG except he can also can also publicly criticise them, with this impunity. Umm… and has this incredible network like if anyone’s doing a lot to build up gymnastics presence in the World, like he puts on these shows and gets them on freakin’ TV. You know, like,

EVAN: Mm-hmm.

JESSICA: That’s kind of a huge deal and he’s been doing that for years so… I don’t know, like not like I agree with everything but I’m just like here’s someone who’s been an Olympic coach, like runs all these successful enterprises, has been doing it forever, has been kind of in all rounds management production, you know.

EVAN: You know, I think in an ideal World, there would just be some type of like cabinet in place.


EVAN: Where… you know one doesn’t have more power than the other but they function as- they function as a group. When you have things like marketing, you things- you have things like technical skills, you have things like artistry, you know, possibly, where all of those aspects are discussed um and you know obviously you have someone dedicated to furthering the mission of the sport in that area, um which seems a bit more concentrated a bit more doable, in my place, than what’s currently in place.

JESSICA: You know who would-

EVAN: And maybe they do have that but I also don’t know about it. Maybe that’s what Kathy Kelly’s doing.

[both laugh]

EVAN: She’s… marketing the FIG.

JESSICA: Well no matter what, they should have a fan advisory board.

EVAN: Great.

JESSICA: Right, and we should all be on it.

EVAN: [laughs]

JESSICA: So, next letter. This letter is so nice, Evan, oh my God. This made me so happy. Ok, so here goes. Uh… this is an email we got. Thank you so much for your podcast, I listen at night after the kids are in bed and my husband is asleep. I laugh so hard at times I have to mu-muffle my gasping for air in the pillow. Love love love your podcast, particularly since my only continuing personal contact with a gymnerd after a gymnastics career after the 70’s and 80’s, which is now over, was my long-deceased mom, who incidentally loathed Shannon Miller’s wrists! Ha! Thanks for being there, thank you so much for doing the podcast and keep them coming, Mrs C.

EVAN: I love that we’re her- well not dirty little secret, like

JESSICA: [laughs]

EVAN: She has to sneak us into her life after hours, which I’m ok with.

JESSICA: I love that. I love her listening to it and like giggling away and trying not to wake up her husband. I love that we can be like be your gymnerd best friend that you don’t have in your regular daily life. I love it.

EVAN: Well… and it’s it’s furthering her, you know, her fandom of gymnastics, you know, to to ‘cos I Icould see how easy it would be for people to just fall off of it.

JESSICA: Mm-hmm.

EVAN: So to give anyone that opportunity, that’s awesome to be a part of.

JESSICA: Next letter comes from Zoe. Zoe said- and this is after we did our NCAAs show. So she said: after hearing the Epke story and the love for Sammy Shaprio on this week’s show, I wanted to share a similar story about her, um so we were talking about how great Epke was with the fans and how he made a point of coming up to people and I think he gave his flowers that he won with his medal at one of the World Cups to one of the fans that came to see him, so she says: I went to the 2012 U- 2010 Visas with my friend and after awards, alongside tons of other girls, we stood in line by the floor to try to talk to some of the gymnasts. None of them would stop and talk to us because they were all being rushed away by the media people except Sam, who stood there for probably ten minutes talking to us while USAG people tried to get her to leave. She was signing autographs but couldn’t get to me and my friend by the time they pulled her away, so she gave us her flowers that she had just won for placing at Nationals. That was one of the- she is one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met if you ever had any doubts, Zoe. Oh! I love that! See, these little things that you can do, you know, just to thank the fans for coming, it makes such huge impressions on people.

EVAN: It- it’s a humbling experience for the athletes, I think, um… that that people want your autograph, you know it’s kind of- that’s very like celebrity, or like Disney character

JESSICA: Disney character! [laughs]

EVAN: You know that’s what that- that’s that’s reserved for, in my mind. Um but you know to to have people, I mean it was my Mom a lot of the times, a lot of the moms were like ‘I just need more posters, yeah, I need another one.’ I love it. But, you know, but the little guys who- you can tell are kind of growing up with the sport and, you know, coming every every opportunity they have, that’s great to see. So, I think speaking personally, that was just something that you never really even expect going into the College experience was like people knowing you.


EVAN: Or at least I didn’t.

JESSICA: [laughs]

EVAN: So, um it was super-cute. Super-cute and memorable.

ALLISON TAYLOR: This episode was brought to you by Elite Sportz Band. – we’ve got your back.

JESSICA: Visit, that’s sports with a ‘z’ and save $5 on your next purchase with the code ‘gymcast’.

EVAN: Everybody, you need to know how to support us because you are like the bra for our two large bosom in this leotard we call the Gymternet, so you can use our Amazon bookmark. If you shop Amazon through us, a little portion of what you buy goes back to supporting the show and our figurative large breast increases.

JESSICA: [laughs]

EVAN: We’ve put a bookmark link in the about page of our website, so just go to the link, add it to your bookmarks and use the bookmark when you shop. You can review us on iTunes or stitcher- either or, but definitely not neither. And then, you asked for it, so we created it- it’s that donate button, also on the about page. All the money raised goes directly to the show to improve equipment and make everything better for the experience, as we’re swiftly approaching episode one honey- one hundred.

JESSICA: [singing] oh yeahhh

EVAN: One hundred episodes. I know! So take action because we love bringing this to you week after week.

JESSICA: That’s going to do it for us this week. Remember this week are the Canadian National Championships- Ellie Black. Who, if you go to out Instagram, you can see her sporting the prize that photographer Gracie Choo won from our gymitation contest. Yes, that’s right, the Canadian national champion is wearing one of our awards from our gymitation contest. So, Ellie Black and Hugh Smith will try defending their titles this week [music starts] in the Canadian Championships, so look for videos, we will discuss it next week and until then, remember to check out our YouTube playlist and our transcripts. Thank you so much for listening. I’m Jessica from Masters Gymnastics.

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

EVAN: I’m Evan, find me on Twitter @yoEv

JESSICA: Thanks for listening, see you next week.

JESSICA: What would you do?

EVAN: I don’t know. I would just want like a cup like a like a holograph- like a cup with a hologram of Shannon Miller on it

JESSICA: [laughs] A hologram where she’s doing like one of her tumbling passes? Or beam?

EVAN: Preferably beam. Preferably her back extension rolls.

JESSICA: [gasps]

EVAN: I could see that working really well.

JESSICA: [whispering] I love her back extension roll.

EVAN: Right, yes.

JESSICA: Have you ever tried a back extension roll on beam?

EVAN: Nope. Sure havent.

JESSICA: Hmm. You should try it some time. Maybe we could get Dom to try it. Maybe that should be his assignment for this week.

EVAN: [sighs] I don’t know. I think. I think that’s- I mean that would be like asking him to to like a Rufolva.

JESSICA: No! He doesn’t have to actually like straddle the beam and smash his crotch.

EVAN: You have to! If that’s what you’re-

JESSICA: No! He can start on his butt. He doesn’t have to start laying down like she did.

EVAN: This would be some weird Valdez, not back extension rolls.

JESSICA: No you just tuck your butt under

EVAN: I don’t know about all that.

JESSICA: [laughs] What I’m just saying this so confidently, like I have nuts. Like, no no no this is how it’s done [laughs]

EVAN: Right, yeah. I have like too much butt and like nuts present, so

JESSICA: [laughs]

EVAN: There’s no tucking anything in this hypothetical back extension roll



[expand title=”Episode 97: Anadia World Cup and Canadian Nationals”] GymCastic Episode 97- Anadia World Cup and Canadian Nationals
JESSICA: What would you- what if men had

UNCLE TIM: Beam music?


UNCLE TIM: Oh I have my beam music picked out, honey

JESSICA:Oh you do

UNCLE TIM: Yes of course

JESSICA: I thought you were going to do like *inaudible* music. Ok go. I’m ready. I’m ready.

UNCLE TIM: No. It would totally be Save the Best for Last.

JESSICA: [gasps]

UNCLE TIM: It would be a tribute to Shannon Miller’s 1992 beam routine

JESSICA: [laughs]

UNCLE TIM: during tour


JESSICA: This week: Ellie Black dominates at Canadian Championships, Mikulak travels to Portugal and J-Lo kicks some booty at the Anandia World Cup.

ALISON TAYLOR: Hey gymnasts, Elite Sportz Band is a cutting-edge compression back warmer that can protect your most valued asset- your back. I’m Alison Taylor on behalf of Elite Sportz Band. Visit We’ve got your back.

JESSICA: This is Episode 97 for June 4th 2014. I’m Jessica from Masters Gymnastics.

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


JESSICA: This is the best gymnastics podcast ever in the history of the universe, bringing you all the news from around the Gymternet. Let’s start this week with a little bit of a discussion about what happened at the Anandia World Cup. Did you enjoy your viewing of this event, Uncle Tim?

UNCLE TIM: Yeah, for the most part. I mean, I guess my question for you is is this a good time to hold the…this World Cup event? Because we’re two weeks after the Women’s European Championships and basically one week after the Men’s European Championships and now we’re hosting an FIG event in Europe. Um, what do you think about that?

JESSICA: I mean, it’s interesting because it seems like basically this is the meet that no Europeans go to and all of the South American countries go to. Um it seems like since no one from Europe is going to go ‘cause they were just at European Championships, it makes more sense to host a World Cup in South America after this; in a place that hasn’t just had these Championships, which is basically what, you know, European Championships are. So yeah i just, I feel like it should be in South America. Like, I would like to go to Argentina or Chile. So let’s- how about there? I would like to volunteer those countries [laughs].

UNCLE TIM: [laughs]

JESSICA: Things are really, when you look at the… who’s going to Portugal it’s all South American gymnasts, pretty much. I mean there’s a couple of like the Slovak gymnasts, the Portuguese gymnasts of course, um some people that were injured for Europeans.
UNCLE TIM: I think it was just bad timing on everyone’s end because this year both European Championships and this World Cup were moved, so the European Champions last year, in 2013, were held in April and Anandia was in mid June. And this year uh… the European Championships were pushed back from mid April to mid May and then the World Cup was pushed forward from mid June to end of May, beginning of June and it was just… I don’t know, it looks, it seems like a very bad… it seems like poor communication between the European Union for, of gymnastics, whatever it’s called. EUG is the uh… the acronym and the FIG. Yeah, I don’t know, it just seems like poor timing.

JESSICA: And then I wonder if this has something to do with the Ghent World Cup being cancelled because of the, it was a monetary issue but not enough participants, too, and then maybe the whole schedule needs to be re-shuffled.

UNCLE TIM: I don’t know, yeah. Something has to happen. Anyway, let’s move over to the results. Let’s start with the women. On vault, Teja Belak of Slovenia won with a 14.112. Bars, uh Jessica Lopez of Venezuela won with a 14.325.

JESSICA: Woo-hoo!

UNCLE TIM: She also won beam with a 13.850, and the home country girl of Ana Filipa Martins of Portugal won floor with a 12.875. It was interesting watching this meet because Port- uh the Portuguese had their little soccer banners and their flags and it is so clear that Ana Filipa is like a total rockstar in Portugal. Where- whenever she was up, the Portuguese were like going crazy in the sides the stands and they it was almost like a soccer match. But without the taunting and dirty chants.

JESSICA: [laughs] And she was so amazing when she won. I mean, it was so beautiful. She was crying and she was so excited, it just it shows, um Emma was talking about this just how much these like challenge events and World Cups really mean to the countries that you’re not gonna alw- you know, see always winning the World Championships, like this is their time to shine and that’s great to see everybody having success at their various levels and in their own country. It’s just really cool.

UNCLE TIM: Yeah. And also watching their celebrations got me thinking. So, you know, thinking of across the sports. They’re doing a lot of the things soccer people are doing without dirty taunting and stuff and it made me wonder why don’t we have the crude chants like we do in soccer? What is so different about gymnastics? Is it the danger level? ‘Cos gymnasts are going upside down so you don’t want them to get hurt? Is it a question of amateurism? The gymnasts aren’t necessarily professionals so you don’t feel entitled to yell at them? Is it a question of age? Sometimes they’re younger so they might have more delicate sensibilities? Is it a question of class, you know, gymnastics tends to be for the more affluent in terms of, you know, being able to train and in terms of being able to go to the events, um so do we expect spectators to be quote unquote more civilised? What do you think, Jess?

JESSICA: That’s a really interesting question. Um I just think like, I don’t know one thing is because I think everybody enjoys the sport; we don’t have gang mentality, uh like us against them because it’s… we enjoy the gymnastics, that’s what’s different it doesn’t really matter who’s going. You’re a fan of the gymnastics regardless of where they’re from. Umm… and I also think it is the danger level, I mean you’d never wish for someone to get injured because it’s so dangerous. It’s not an us versus them. That’s just not a thing, really. I feel like you only see that in the soccer countries, who become a fan because someone in their country’s doing really well. But, you know… we just don’t have that. Except in the NCAA I guess a little bit but even then it’s not… it’s it’s different compared to other college sports, gymnastics is-


JESSICA: Way less of that kind of stuff.

UNCLE TIM: [laughs]

JESSICA: I mean there’s a little bit but it’s so mild.


JESSICA: What do you think?

UNCLE TIM: I don’t know, I think it’s a combination of so many things. And I- I don’t know. I will have to think more about this. Listeners, if you have some ideas, please feel free to contact us on our website or on our Facebook page we’d love to hear your theories as well. Um but let’s move on. Let’s start with vault, and Belak of Slovenia. She… she did a handspring front full in the tucked position and she also did a Yurchenko one and a half and the funny thing about her is she just kind of walks out of these skills and then turns to the judges and salutes and it got me thinking because these vaults just seem so easy for her, like there was no squat on the landing of either event. She stood very upright and it just maybe seemed like her coaches might not be pushing her enough, like I feel like she could be doing harder vaults easily if she were in a different country, you know like Romania or Russia or the United States, some place like that would really push her on vault, she would be definitely performing more difficulty and it made me think Jessica who is your Te- Teja Belak…um you know, some gymnast who, if they just got the right coach, you they would be, mmm I don’t know maybe like five times better?

JESSICA: Well this is an interesting question because I feel like, you know you never know what the stra- I just wanna like play devil’s advocate for her for a second. You never know what the training thing is she in a gym without a pit? So you’re not- you don’t really go for things unless you know you’re gonna do it. And if you do, you only do it at a major championships where it’ll actually be worth the risk. Who’s from a different country? Well, you know what, that’s so hard for me to think about because I always think exactly the reverse, like what Americans could compete for a different country and do really well but they’re totally held back because we have way too much depth or we just don’t send enough women’s artistic gymnasts to events. Well tell me yours, and it’ll help me think of one.

UNCLE TIM: Well this was mine [laughs]
JESSICA: [laughs] I mean another one besides her! Um I would say per- perhaps Elisa Haemmerle of Austria, she also competed at this meet. She did a very simple first vault. She did a handspring front pike, I want to say, and it was… it looked just waaaay too easy for her; I thought she could have done something much much harder.

JESSICA: I don’t feel like I’m ever watching someone who if they… I feel like it’s coaching, I feel like it’s cultural.

UNCLE TIM: Huh, what do you mean by that?

JESSICA: So, a lot of times I’ll watch a gymnast and I just I can see what you’re saying, they could have harder stuff, they could have better form or something but I feel like a lot of… in a lot of countries there isn’t the mentality of all or nothing, like life…


JESSICA: should be more rounded, there’s the mentality that life should be, you should just have more elements of different things in your life than to devote yourself singularly to a sport in your youth is just not healthy and it’s not supported and um I just, I feel like a lot of the countries that don’t really excel, that has more to do with that. And I- it’s not that I don’t agree with that, either. I just think it’s um… there isn’t the cultural support for being basically a professional at such a young age.

UNCLE TIM: Gotcha. Ok, well let’s move on the to Jessica Lopez or as John Roethlisberger would call her J-Lo, and he would continuously call her J-Lo, as he did last year during the pro gymnastics challenge. Um she won bars and beam and she was pretty much a cut above the rest on both events um on bars she did a Tkatchev to an in-bar Gienger. Um… her pirouetting- so she does some Shaposhnikova variation and then does an uprise to clear hip to handstand pirouette, I want to say. And her pirouette just looks a little funny for some reason and I can’t figure out why it just looks different to me but it does. What did you think of her bar routine, Jessica?

JESSICA: I love it. I always thought she just looked so over-trained for a long time and I don’t think she looks that way at all anymore. And also, I love that she’s connecting two releases in a row. I wish that her toes were pointed on her in-bar Gienger because ugh it’s like all pretty pretty pretty and then like FLEXED FEET I mean like flexed feet and not just a little bit I mean like poof.

UNCLE TIM: Worse than Bridget Sloan?

JESSICA: Oh my God yes, they’re like Aly Raisman flexed feet. But but it’s really cool to see that so I just think she looks-

UNCLE TIM: Really cool to see what, sorry?

JESSICA: That she’s doing the two connected skills

UNCLE TIM: Oh! [laughs]

JESSICA: [laughs]

UNCLE TIM: I thought you were it was really cool to see such awesomely flexed feet. Ok. I was like uhh I don’t know if I can be on this podcast with you anymore, saying that.

JESSICA: [laughing] No. It was awesome to see her going for it and doing that. And just- she just looks like healthy and happy and strong, so.

UNCLE TIM: Yeah [laughs]. And then she also won balance beam, and that I think… watching her routine compared to the other competitors routines, I can see that her splits were just a little more split than some of her competitors


UNCLE TIM: Yeah, on her switch leap, is was just… when she hit the split it was just a little bit better it was a more virtuosic performance, shall we say. I would have been shocked if she didn’t win bars and uh and balance beam, just because the level of competition wasn’t quite up to where she is. For instance, on bars, there was a lot of double pike dismounts. On beam, we saw the Gainer pike of the end. Um we saw a couple of double fulls off the end, so was more on lines with I would say NCAA routines in terms of difficulty and Jessica had you know more of an elite difficulty level. It’ll be interesting to see what happens at the World Championships if she’s able to make an event final. I know last year, many people were disappointed when she didn’t make the bars event final at World Championships, so she’s one to keep your eye out for. In interesting floor music choices, there was Elisa Haemmerle of Austria. She has a Lady Gaga mix on floor and we haven’t discussed her floor routine on the show yet. Jessica, how did you feel about Gaga for floor?

JESSICA: I mean, if you’re gonna do Lady Gaga, at least do some other instrument playing it like the violin or a whole orchestra or whatever this was, the hammer hammer…what’s that instrument called that they have over there?

UNCLE TIM: [laughs]

JESSICA: The hammer something with a hammer? What’s that called?

UNCLE TIM: I don’t know. Glockenspiel?

JESSICA: Glockenspiel! Yes, one of those. I don’t know why I’m just saying hammer over and over. So, I appreciate that element of her routine. I appreciate that she had the Born This Way music; I think that’s a fantastic anthem for the gay rights movement. Uhh… [tentative voice] but you know I mean at least it wasn’t European techno music

UNCLE TIM: [laughs]

JESSICA: So that’s my positive spin on it.

UNCLE TIM: Gotcha. My positive spin is that I prefer Haemmerle’s performance to the vomit artist who puked rainbows over Gaga at South by Southwest this year.

JESSICA: [laughs]

UNCLE TIM: You can google this. It’s on YouTube if you want. Um, I mean performance art is just not my cup of tea and so I liked this performance like 20000 times more than that.

JESSICA: [laughs]

UNCLE TIM: Umm moving on. I I find it interesting, usually we think about beam music in the NCAA, I mean I don’t think a lot about it but at this meet there was also beam music going on in the background. There were just random songs that I’m sure the competition uhh… the competition masters, I was going to call them. The people who putting on the competition.

JESSICA: [laughs] If I run a meet, I want to be called Competition Master! That’s it! New name!

UNCLE TIM: The competition masters were just playing in the background. For instance, Haemmerle during her beam routine, in which she did a lovely double turn, by the way, she got the Vengaboys ‘Boom Boom Boom Boom’ [Boom Boom Boom Boom plays in background] I want you in my room. And she also got La Bouche- ‘Be My Lover’ from the nineties.

JESSICA: [laughs]

UNCLE TIM: So Jessica, what would be your beam song?

JESSICA: It would probably be Shakira. But not like not now Shakira, like early like the original Shakira. [Shakira music plays] It would be one of the like the ‘Moscas En La Casa’. That one probably would be good because it’s like slow and it’s like, like beam I feel should be a little slow, a little whimsical, but it has a little beat. I feel like that’s how beam, beam is that kind of expression, for me when I do beam. I’m not one of those like fairy fingers, like Danusia Francis.

UNCLE TIM: [laughs]

JESSICA: On beam. That doesn’t work for me.

UNCLE TIM: What would you- what if men had-

UNCLE TIM: Beam music? Oh I have my beam music picked out, honey.

JESSICA: Oh, you do?

UNCLE TIM: Yes of course,.

JESSICA: I thought you were going to do like pommel horse music. Ok go. I’m ready. I’m ready.

UNCLE TIM: No. No it’d totally be Save the Best for Last.

JESSICA: [gasps]

UNCLE TIM: [Song starts playing] It’d be a tribute to Shannon Miller’s 1992 beam routine
during tour

JESSICA: [laughs]

UNCLE TIM: That was her song. And it’d also totally be snobby. You know like, ‘cos if I were a female gymnast, I would totally be last on balance beam because I would be a rock on balance beam.

JESSICA: [laughs]

UNCLE TIM: And I’d be the best.

JESSICA: Of course you would. And you, you would have correct wrist positions,so it would be better than Shannon Miller’s performance on tour.

UNCLE TIM: True. It’d be so much better, so. That would be my beam song. My pommel horse song would- I don’t know, is there like, probably like ‘Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy’

JESSICA: [laughs]

UNCLE TIM: Are those the lyrics or did I just like-

JESSICA: I was just- is that a real song? I’m gonna have to find it, if it is. [Music starts playing] Is that just like your sentiment, or is that just be ‘cos you’d be falling on the horse a lot?

UNCLE TIM: [laughing] It’s a country song. I don’t know, what are the lyrics?
[Save A Horse, Ride a Cowboy plays]

JESSICA: [laughing] Oh no!

UNCLE TIM: Yeah! Save a horse, ride a cowboy! Yeah, Biggie Rich, yeah. Ok. Yes, because I’d rather ride a cowboy than ride a pommel horse.

JESSICA: Who wouldn’t? [laughs]

UNCLE TIM: While we’re on the topic of pommel horse, let’s talk about the men’s results. Eddie Penev of the USA won floor with a 15.625. Alexander Naddour of the United States won pommel horse with a 15.225. Arthur Zanetti of Brazil won rings with a 15.7. Eddie Penev of the United States won vault with a 15.1. Kevin Antoniotti of France won parallel bars with a 15.5 and Sam Mikulak of the United States won high bar with a 15.45.


UNCLE TIM: And let’s- yeah, let’s start off with a little floor discussion. So, on floor we had Sam ‘dancecam’ Mikulak. We had Enrique Tomas ‘pornstache’ Gonzalez of Chile.


UNCLE TIM: We had Eddie ‘I used to be Bulgarian but now I’m American’ Penev. Um for those who don’t know why he’s called that, he used to compete for the Bulgarian team in the late 2000’s and now he’s part of the United States-

JESSICA: He competes for Stanford

UNCLE TIM: National team. He competed for Stanford, he finished up last year but yes he was part of the Stanford team for a long time. So, um Eddie came in first, Mikulak came in second and Pornstache came in third. Um, so of the three medalists, Sam competes first- he’s he’s pretty good. He has a giant hop on his back one and a half punch double front. His air flair is much improved but that hop kind of took him out of- took him maybe out of the runnings, you know, definitely opened up the door for Pornstache and Used-to-be-Bulgarian. Sidenote, Sam was sweating his butt off in the gym. As a result, there was no dancing to be had!

JESSICA: [groans] That’s no good. No good. Someone get him a Gatorade, God!

UNCLE TIM: Unless you’re into seeing hot guys sweat, then maybe that is your thing.

JESSICA: [laughs]

UNCLE TIM: So anyway, let’s move onto the next big player on the floor. And then we have the Pornstache, whoof! He gets out there and he opens with a Penev! He opens with the same skill that is named after Eddie Penev, who is competing in the same final!

JESSICA: *inaudible*

UNCLE TIM: I know. And his Penev was really piked, and like Fred Flintstone flexed feet. It was terrible.

JESSICA: I don’t think it was that bad.

UNCLE TIM: I think it was.

JESSICA: Okay, Shannon.

UNCLE TIM: I know. You can call me Shannon. So of course, Eddie gets up there and he nails the crap out of his Penev; it was like ten times better than Pornstache’s. Plus, Eddie opens with a Moors. I know that it’s not called a Moors in men’s gymnastics, but in terms of body position and knee bend, Eddie’s double double was pretty similar to Victoria’s.

JESSICA: [laughing] It was not the same! You’re so dramatic today!

UNCLE TIM: Says the woman who is like describing Oklahoma and they’re crying, and the coaches running across the gym and you gripping onto the bar and you getting arthritis because you’re holding on to the railing too hard and anyway.

JESSICA: All true, though. All true.

UNCLE TIM: [laughs] But we’ll forgive Ennie’s- Eddie’s somewhat bad form because his Penev was so rad and he opened with two F tumbling passes, which is also awesome. And because he had the World’s biggest smile at the end of his floor routine when he stuck his triple full. That smile made my week, Eddie Penev, because, Eddie you usually take yourself very very seriously. Eddie’s not one to really smile. If there were an NBC fluff piece about him, Al Trautwig would probably call him a diva. But not at this meet. He was smiling! He was smiling. He was not in diva-tude mo- mode, so yes that’s kind of what went down on floor. It was exciting. Everyone should watch the routines and see who does the Penev better. The Penev is a Tomayo with a half out, so a- arabian double layout with a half out, FYI.


UNCLE TIM: Now Jess. Oh go ahead.

JESSICA: I just wanna say Eddie Penev looks the best I have ever ever ever seen him. He looks incredible. He looks so solid, so confident. His landings were ridiculous. He is a star on floor. He’s amazing. And I say that after watching Enrique, who, despite his hipster ironic pornstache- or maybe it’s not in Chile, maybe it’s just like

UNCLE TIM: Cultural.

JESSICA: Yeah [laughs]. Um But he like he- he does- he’s just. Mm I don’t know, he does sexy floor. There are- there’s not a lot out there really isn’t. Who does sexy floor? The Cubans in the seventies and eighties, maybe. He like does a straddle pancake and he holds it and then he like lifts his arms all slow in the corner. And he’s got style, he’s got panache. He’s, you know and he does a little quarter turn out of his press handstand. He’s- he’s got something extra, but Penev smoked every fool there.

UNCLE TIM: It’s true. And now for my very important question, Jessica.

JESSICA: I’m ready.

UNCLE TIM: When is the right time to pick a wedgie?

JESSICA: Whenever you can work it into your choreography, do it.

UNCLE TIM: [laughs]

JESSICA: [laughing] I’m totally serious.

UNCLE TIM: I ask because Klavora of Slovenia finished his routine and then as he’s walking across the floor to the kiss-and-cry area or wherever he was going, he’s just going going to town on

JESSICA: [laughs]

UNCLE TIM: The butt of his leotard. I was like couldn’t this wait until you weren’t in front of the judges anymore? Like, he’s just like yanking on the butt of his leotard

JESSICA: I mean especially since the guys, like their tush isn’t even hanging out. Like if it’s a girl, like your whole butt cheek is hanging out. No one can see anything underneath your shorts, like just wait until you turn the other way! But maybe he had like something caught, and so it was like really painful.


JESSICA: [laughs]

UNCLE TIM: I don’t know.

JESSICA: We need a word for that when I say something like that. It’s not TMI- too much information, it’s too much speculation.


JESSICA: [laughing] TMS! Okay I’m ready. We can move on from that now.

UNCLE TIM: Alright so let’s talk a little bit about pommel horse. Alex Naddour won pommel horse with a 15.225, you know not as high as someone like Whitlock’s score or Berki’s score but I think that America’s really looking to Alex Naddour to make a final. If he does, that’s great, but I feel like Naddour, for America really needs to prove that he can hit pommel horse and rings consistently with a score of fifteen plus, ‘cos as we are looking ahead to the Team World Championships this year, it’s six- a six member team, so he doesn’t really have to worry about the five member, you know, pressure. So it’s six member team, you know America could take a rings and pommel horse specialist on their team and I think that he has a very good chance of making that happen if and only if he can continue to hit the fifteen plus routines on pommel horse and rings. His routine is interesting because it feels like it’s so fast. It’s like he really gets up and then he’s off right away. And it might be the composition a little bit but it’s also probably because he’s not doing the handstand pirouetting skills that for instance, Busnari of Italy and Max Whitlock are doing where they go up and then pirouette down and pirouette back and then come down and- those take a little while to get into and out of. So yeah I think the composition of Alex’s routine is smart. Get- get up there, get all the difficulty in and get off.

JESSICA: This is my question- uh slightly off topic but I think we should refer to him as Mr. Hollie Vise. I mean,

UNCLE TIM: [laughs]

JESSICA: I mean if we’re gonna give people- I mean if we’re gonna give people a way to remember everyone like Pornstache and Penev I-Used-To-Be-From-Hungary and Dancecam, I just feel like Mr Hollie Vise is very important. ‘Cos that’s a serious- I mean you know


JESSICA: That’s a serious get. I mean, that’s you know, well done sir. And my other question is uh why doesn’t he have a huge modelling contract already? I mean, he’s out of college; he can be a professional now. I mean, why aren’t I seeing him on more billboards? Is what I’m asking. Hollie, can you, can you make this happen, please? Like I would like to just… more photos of him please.

UNCLE TIM: [laughs] Alright.

JESSICA: Seriously. I mean, it’s good for gymnastics. I don’t see anything wrong with that. A calendar, maybe?

UNCLE TIM: How many gymnasts do you see on giant billboards? I think the last time that, I mean, probably Nadia was the last big one or the Jocky Underwear commercial [laughs]

JESSICA: Jocky Underwear! Uhh well I haven’t been in the South enough, so I know about the girls but a guy, a male gymnast on a billboard. [clears throat] I don’t think I’ve ever- maybe like in the eighties. When, in a very small town when the you know gymnastics tour came round?

UNCLE TIM: Who knows? Anyway, let’s talk about vault because

JESSICA: [gasps]

UNCLE TIM: On the Gymternet, we always talk about Yamilet Peña of the Dominican- where’s she from? The Dominican Republic? No. Santo Domingo- yeah Dominican Republic I’m right. Alrught.

JESSICA: Of course you are! Shannon Miller’s always right!

UNCLE TIM: [laughs] So. So we talk about her scary handspring double front on vault. But this past weekend, we saw a vault that was scarier than Yamilet Peña’s Produnova AND Fadwa of Egypt’s Produnova combined. That’s saying a lot. Jessica, tell me about what happened with Mirzaev of Uzbekistan.

JESSICA: Oh my God, this is terrifying. Ok and then I have a whole rant to go on about this.


JESSICA: But ok so he did a- he did his double pike vault. Was it or I think it was a Tka- a Tkatchev

UNCLE: Tsuk double pike!

JESSICA: A Tsuk double pike, yes. So he did his Tsuk double pike. And the weird thing was, it didn’t look like he was super low. It didn’t look he didn’t have enough height, like no one even moved around the vault, like normally when someone’s about to open,you know everyone starts to crouch, like ‘Oh my God, I don’t want to see this’, no one moved, the judges, the coaches, everyone’s just sitting there. But I don’t know if he didn’t open too soon or he didn’t pike enough or he just didn’t get enough rotation. He landed completely still, holding his pike position on his neck. So basically the tops of his shoulders, back of his neck were what touched first and his head completely tucked in. That took all of the weight and he crunched down on his ankles and then sort of, you know, hobbled off. And he’d definitely hurt one of his ankles really badly but I was like, I couldn’t believe he got up. I mean, he landed on his neck. Like, I think if he was an inch more rotated or an inch less rotated, he would not be here anymore. It was terrifying.

UNCLE TIM: Yeah his vault was definitely scary and then also Pornstache did a scary Tsuk double pike. His wasn’t as bad but it was very short. You could see it went out instead of up and it was really short, I’m surprised his ankles handled that. Umm and while we’re on the topic on injuries, we’ve talked about Jossimar Calvo Moreno in the past, he’s the cool g- he’s does the double back off the end of the parallel bars- a full twisting double back off the end of parallel bars. We’ve talked about him; he’s from Colombia. He hurt his ankle on the f- during the floor final. He did a front double full and punched.

JESSICA: [pained noise]

UNCLE TIM: And just kind of completely crashed and hurt his left ankle and I’m actually surprised we don’t see more of those kind of crashes on floor, especially with the twisty elements and the other twisty elements on floor. I feel like that’s umm an opportunity for injury to happen for some guys if you’re twisting into the floor and you don’t time things well.

JESSICA: Alright, so I have to rage out for a minute here and I’m already very depressed this week because, I don’t know if you’ve seen my Facebook posts over the last 24 hours, but…

UNCLE TIM: No. I haven’t.

JESSICA: You don’t stalk my Face- Facebook all day long? No wonder you can get so much done.

UNCLE TIM: [laughs]

JESSICA: Okay. First of all, I’m glad that you’re- I’m glad that I’m rubbing off on you and you say twisty now when we’re talking about floor. Secondly [clears throat], I’ve been very upset the last 24 hours because if you’re a Game of Thrones fan and you haven’t watched this week’s episode, fast forward this about a minute. [sighs] I’m very upset about this last episode because my favourite character, Prince O’Brien, did not make it and I-I’ve been basically in like a little a little cloud. A little rain cloud has been hanging over me. A storm cloud, all day. I’m just very upset and so I’m gonna take it out on this issue right now.
[Punching noises]

JESSICA: Rage o-meter!

[Boxing match sounds]

JESSICA: [aggressively] Rage o-meter!

JESSICA: It is totally sexist of everyone to say that the Produnova vault in women’s should be banned and not talk about roll-out skills for men or talk about the double-flipping backwards vaults for men. When men first started doing the double-flipping vaults, everyone said the same stuff: ‘it’s too dangerous, look at all the injuries’. Remember the 2003 Worlds in Anaheim? There were three of the male vaulters. There was like three of the male vaulters had to be carried away! They couldn’t even walk off of the podium. It was terrifying! And- but all of a sudden, the same thing’s happening for women and it’s all ‘Oh no no it has to be banned, it’s too dangerous. It’s too dangerous’. I just feel like it’s straight sexism. It totally is. Like I, there’s always gonna be a gymnast that shouldn’t do it. And you know men, when those vaults first started happening, think of the German gymnast who was paralysed doing the double-flipping backwards vault, and we had that horrible injury of the kid at Nationals last year. And this still happens. And he was luckily, you know, fine, but you know this is gonna happen with double-flipping skills. Period. And I just feel like there’s a- there’s a definite sexist element to women trying a harder skill. And I I just think that it’s disproportionate when it’s something that women are doing. Am I totally making this up, or? What do you think?

UNCLE TIM: No, I mean the first guy who performed this vault in I want to say at the 1980 Olympics was Jorge Roche of Cuba. It’s named after him and if you go on YouTube, you can see the video; we will not post it on our site but if you search for in on YouTube, it is the most terrifying vault ever. He is lucky he walked away from that.

JESSICA: Yeah it’s like one of those things, the same thing if you watch- I feel like the early skateboarding and half-pipe videos and stuff. I mean, they’re terrifying and it’s a combination of skill, expertise and equipment, honestly. Equipment and things like the advent of really good pits and resi-pits that allow people to do things like this safely. So, yeah that’s my rage o-meter for this week. Write in if you totally agree and think that I’m the one who’s sexist, which obviously I’m not.

UNCLE TIM: [laughs]

JESSICA: Okay. I’m ready for more Portugal.

UNCLE TIM: Alright, one last routine that we have to talk about, just because he was a major player in the past. Zhang Chenglong of China. He was the 2010 high bar gold medalist, 2011 high bar silver medalist. Last year, we talked about him at Chinese Nationals because he had the ugliest grossest bruise on his arm. I have no clue, it looked like he had gangrene or something.

JESSICA: [disgusted noise]

UNCLE TIM:Obviously he didn’t but it was disgusting. Anyway, he competed at this World Cup event and umm he performed a Cassina, which is impressive because one of Coach Rick’s criticisms of the Chinese gymnasts on high bar is the fact that they got away with doing really crappy releases. By that, Coach Rick means Jaegers, Tkatchev halves and no Kovacs style releases but uhh Zhang Chenglong did one at this meet. He performed the Cassina, the full-twisting double layout over the bar but unfortunately, he fell on it but it’s good to see that the Chinese are pushing the envelope on these skills, so.

JESSICA: It’s called male code-whoreing when they did that

UNCLE TIM: [laughs]

JESSICA: The Chinese- the way that they do high bar in this case. But what- I think we need a new word for this like… like code-slutting for the men. Code-whoreing for the wom- women.

UNCLE TIM: Isn’t that sexist to use a different term for the men and women?

JESSICA: Totaally, yes. For sure.
[Both laugh]

UNCLE TIM: Ok, that’s my fault we’re back to sexism. Anyway, let’s talk about Canadian National Championships. What happened, Jessica?

JESSICA: Well this was very exciting because I am like kind of blown away by this. So, Ellie Black repeated as champion, which obviously we knew she was gonna be this champion because she received her- a pass-along gift from the Gymitations contest. Tandoori Chicken, of course, won for Tandoori Chicken’s photograph of Ellie Black kind of catching the bar with her face, which is an imitation of Dannell Leyva catching the high bar with his face, and then Tandoori Chicken then posed catching the high bar with his little stuffed chicken face. So, it’s Tandoori Poulet, excuse me. He’s French Canadian. I- No offence meant. Excuse me. So, long story short, Ellie Black wore one of the awards this weekend before the competition started, holding Tandoori Poulet with his little GymCastic grip keychain. So obviously she was gonna win. That wasn’t the surprising part. But, do you want to guess what she scored? Her all-around?

UNCLE TIM: Ummmmmmm… 59.25?

JESSICA:No ok, that’s that’s a little too high, but

UNCLE TIM: Oh. Bummer.

JESSICA: But she did score a 58.05


JESSICA: Which is a- that’s a big-ass all-around score. And that puts her in the- with the current rankings as- the All-Around has them, which were updated like a month ago for women. That puts her in the top 5 in the World. For all-around scores.

UNCLE TIM: My question is, was there bonus, though? ‘Cos I know last year there was bonus if you did, for instance, a double-twisting Yurchenko on vault. At least for the Juniors, I know there was last year. I don’t know about the Seniors.

JESSICA: Editor’s note: there was no bonus for the Seniors. The score stands! Very exciting, but Ellie Black, oh my God like she is so incredibly incredibly fit. And her skills look so easy for her and she was incredibly incredibly consistent, I mean watching practice, like every routine she did. And um I wonder if she’s added- and this is a umm an element of artistry with her floor, because she has this like- I mean her floor is definitely I feel like more artistic and she’s emoting more. I really like that she like bangs on her own legs in her routine. I love that kind of thing. A little violence goes a long way with me. And she had- she had this like leo that was like half nude-y arm and half regular leo arm.

UNCLE TIM: Oh yeah, yeah.

JESSICA: A little something different, I mean, you know, pushing the envelope a little bit. I like- I like seeing something like that. Victoria Moors, one of our favourites, of course the one that does the double-twisting double layout on floor and had like one of the most beautiful routines in the World. I’d put her up there with Catherine Lyons. Princess Catherine of Genovia. Up there with her beautifulness- her artistry and her routines. She did not have a great meet. She still came in third, I mean

UNCLE TIM: Where’s Catherine Lyons from now, Italy?

JESSICA: Now she’s from Genovia, yes! Now [laughs] now she’s from the same country that the Princess Diaries Princess is from.

UNCLE TIM: Oh. Gotcha. I can’t keep up anymore, ok?

JESSICA: [laughs] This was all Evan.

UNCLE TIM: I thought you said Genova. I was like, hmm ok.

JESSICA: Europa, Europe, Genovia. She has many kingdoms. Including the kingdom in our hearts.

UNCLE TIM: [laughs]

JESSICA: Ok. I couldn’t stop myself. Ok Victoria Moors. Great meet. She’s fantastic. Didn’t
have the best meet, though. As her coach said, God was not there during her beam routine [laughs]. I was like is that a good thing or a bad thing, like if you need God, that should be scary, right? Um, she said that he was maybe in the bathroom or taking a bath. Um I- the conversations she has with her coach, I just kind of- totally bizarre. She’s doing a full-in freaking dismount on beam so, I mean, hello? That’s pretty badass, like we rarely see that on beam anymore so hats off to her for always increasing her difficulty. But she had a fall on that and then she also had on bars, instead of doing her dismount, she’s doing a double front dismount. She had a fall on that and now Ellie Black is actually doing the Moors dismount, so she does a toe-on layout half. Karen Cockburn, you now the trampolinist, remember her? From Canada, incredible Olympic medalist and she… last year took a year off to have a baby?

UNCLE TIM: Yes. I remember Coach Rick tweeting something about it.

JESSICA: So she has come back now, after having a baby, doing trampoline and she placed third. You know who she placed third behind? Oh, the Olympic Champion. So, not too shabby. And- trampoline, this is what I have to say to all of my friends, who after they have babies and can’t do gymnastics anymore-

UNCLE TIM: I knew this was coming.

JESSICA: Good. I’m glad you knew it was coming. Uncle Tim, what am I going to say?

UNCLE TIM: You’re gonna instruct us how- well, how women should do exercises to strengthen their vaginas after having babies.

JESSICA: That’s right. Because I don’t want to hear it, that you can’t do gymnastics anymore ‘cos you had a baby because every time you jump on the trampoline, you have to pee. Just do your kegel exercises if- listen, if Karen Cockburn can come back and do the G force routine that she is doing after having a baby, you can do your back tucks of two foot off of the trampoline without tinkling, ok? Let’s get to the kegels. Everyone squeeze, alright? I don’t want to hear anyone’s excuses.
[Both laugh]

JESSICA: It’s very important! I need all my girls in gymnastics! Ok, next.


JESSICA: Um, do do you want me to go on or do you want me to talk more about kegels?

UNCLE TIM: Uh I’m I’m good on that front, yeah.

JESSICA: [laughs] Ok. So the other thing that I wanted to discuss is just how amazing trampoline is in Canada, like they’re obviously leaking out Olympic Champions all over the place up there. But they have Jason Barnett who has the world record for difficulty and Coach Rick posted his routine on this- his site and I- he does a quad Driffus. I didn’t even know that was a thing. It’s like a Triffus, I’d heard of, so three- a triple front with a half but this is four- it’s a piked front flip four times with a half out. That’s insane. So and the other thing is the… trampoline they keep track of the freakin’ difficulty. They have the world record in difficulty. Uncle Tim, what are we going to have to do to get this world record thing going in gymnastics?

UNCLE TIM: Umm not change the Code of Points every four years? As someone who’s thought a lot about stats in gymnastics, it kind of sucks that we change the Code of Points every four years because for instance, when you have basketball, when you do stats, you kind of have before the shot clock and after the shot clock was instated. In gymnastics, there- you have the- you have the under the ten and then post under ten you have the open-ended scoring. The rules change all, every four years so you can’t really say ‘Ok, this routine is the most difficult’ because every four years, the criteria changes, so. You can do it for a quad, yes, but you can’t do it all the time.

JESSICA: I think we need to start just having this like for the quad. We should just do it. And like we’ll present it at the end of the quad. Congratulations, under this- in this quad- but it has to be in international competition, it can’t be people’s like National Championships and stuff. That should be our rule.


JESSICA: Don’t you think? Ok.


JESSICA: Alright, now that that’s decided

UNCLE TIM: [laughs]

JESSICA: So, [laughs]

JESSICA: We got a voicemail this week with a question about Ellie Black. I’ll play it right now.

VOICEMAIL: Hey GymCastic, this is Elle from California. Just watched the Canadian Nationals and Ellie Black’s beam routine was crazy. Do you think she could contend for a beam title at Worlds?

JESSICA: So to follow up on that question, her beam D score is a 6.5 and she got a 15 at this meet. So comparatively, what do you think? Could she… she does her roundoff full better than Iordache, if you ask me.

UNCLE TIM: Back handspring full. But yeah.

JESSICA: Yeah. What did I say?

UNCLE TIM: Roundoff. She does one of those funky back handsprings where she basically bends over and touches her toes and then does her back handspring. Uhh [laughs]

JESSICA: Yes. That’s my style. I like that. ‘Cos I can never sit. Sit like there’s a wall in front of you, I could never do that. I prefer the whip-it style.

UNCLE TIM: [laughs] Gotcha. You know, I’m not gonna make any balance beam predictions because last year when you look at the ranking throughout the World, there were a lot of scores that were 15 plus and then when it came to the World Championships, [laughs] like no one scored a 15 plus and the winner, yeah, the scores just did not compare to what we saw at the World Championships. Um… so I’m gonna hold off on this one. I mean it’s possible but beam can be a dicey event.

JESSICA: I think she has a chance to make beam finals. I think she has definitely has a chance to medal at Commonwealth Games, for sure, this summer. Worlds, I definitely think she has a chance to make finals. And if she did the same routine with no… like the bobble-athon that everybody else has, um I think she could… yeah maybe a bronze. Definitely in the top. But yeah I definitely think she could make a beam final. At Worlds

JESSICA: If you love this show, please consider supporting us. There’s a couple ways you
can do it. You can review us on iTunes or Stitcher. Have you done this yet? Have you written a review? What is your excuse? Do it right now. Stop whatever you’re doing. No even better yet, keep listening to the show [laughs] then go over to iTunes or Stitcher and write a review. It can just be like a star or it could be like ‘could not live without this. Best thing that ever happened to me in my life. I love this show. Someone please give them a butt-load of cash so that they can keep doing this for the rest of their lives. Where are you, venture capitalist funders?’. Just something like that. [laughing] Just sort of an example would be awesome. Angel Investors, if you’re looking for a good sports show, this is what you’re looking for. Um yeah something like that. And just that little thing will take you like two seconds and it totally helps us out and it you know helps support the show, helps people find us. And so we would love it if you would do that. You could also donate if you want. Other venture capitalists out there, looking to donate. Thank you to everyone who has donated, and all of you who’s set up their monthly donations. We appreciate it so much and all the money that you spend there donating or shopping through our Amazon link, that little portion goes back to the show and we put all of that money directly towards supporting our equipment and to paying for our bills. So, let’s talk about Gymternet news, shall we?

JESSICA: Uncle Tim, you got a very serious question on twitter this week and you revealed some rare sexy data. Like snow leopard level of sexy data sexy data
JESSICA: [singing] Sexy dataaaa! [Brass band plays]

UNCLE TIM: [sexy voice] Sexy data…

UNCLE TIM: So I looked at which are the worst events for each country. I looked at what is your lowest scoring event. I know that some people think I should do a comparison and say ok well, even if pommel horse, say, is your lowest scoring event, but you still, let’s say in Team Finals are ranked number one on pommel horse then it’s not really your lowest event but I disagree with that, so let’s say, you know, my team of 15 average on floor but like a 13 average on pommel horse, I still say that my team’s worst event is pommel horse. It’s not- I mean, even if I’m like ranked number one on pommel horse with a 13 average, I’d still say my team’s worst event’s pommel horse.

JESSICA: [laughs]

UNCLE TIM: So that’s what I’m saying. Anyway, I looked at that to see which events were the lowest scoring events and typically, pommel horse was the lowest scoring event. China and Japan also had difficulties with floor at different times. The United States, really, pommel horse but who’s surprised by that? Germany as well was pommel horse. Who’s surprised by that?

JESSICA: This is why we should get rid of pommel horse, I think.

UNCLE TIM: [laughs] Well, so I also did the women but I didn’t publish the data. So,

JESSICA: [gasps]

UNCLE TIM: I gonna have a little pop quiz for you

JESSICA: [squeals] I’m ready! I’m ready!

UNCLE TIM: Alright, so just looking at the last 10 years in gymnastics- 2004 to roughly 2014, whatever. Generally speaking, what’s the lowest scoring event for the women?

JESSICA: Across the board, I guess I’m gonna say vault.



UNCLE TIM: I’d say floor. It’s really floor. A lot of the top teams, you know teams that make team finals, it’s floor for them. Um, in terms of their lowest scoring event. There is one country that’s the exception to this rule. What is it, Jessica?

JESSICA: The United States?


JESSICA: China. Russia. Russia.


JESSICA: Uh… Romania?

UNCLE TIM: Yes. Why is that, Jessica?

JESSICA: [laughs]

UNCLE TIM: What is their lowest scoring event?


UNCLE TIM: Yes. Yes. Quiz for you. Quiz question. If we look at Romania’s World Championship performances over the past 10 years, bars was not Romania’s worst event one time or one year at the World Championships. In what year did Romania not post its worst score on bars? It was some- it was some other event but it wasn’t bars.

JESSICA: What year was that?


JESSICA: Oh, crap. Last 10 years?


JESSICA: Uhh…was there like an earthquake during beam?

UNCLE TIM: [laughs]

JESSICA: [laughs] I don’t know! I don’t remember!

UNCLE TIM: No, there was not an earthquake, Jessica. It was in 2007 and I’m not exactly sure why, but bars was not Romania’s worst event in 2007. At the 2007 World Championships in qualifications and Team Finals, floor was Romania’s lowest scoring event. I don’t know if it was because Steliana Nistor was part of the team and she was pretty good at bars compared- compared to other Romanians. I don’t know if it was because the code was still relatively new and they were still trying to figure things out. I don’t know, but it was not bars in 2007, it was floor for the Roma- Romanians. So there you have it, a little sexy data for you.
JESSICA: [laughs] I’m really shocked that vault isn’t the lowest scoring because I just figured the Amanar factor would make it so there’s only like, you know, one or two countries who ever can score that high but floor. Floor! This is fascinating! Ok. Now, something so freaking exciting is happening in the UK that we discussed um back in October because we are of course are awesome and totally on top of everything. And that exciting thing is that the BBC is now confirming that they are producing the gymnastics reality television show and it has a name. It’s called Tumble! [squeals]

UNCLE TIM: I was wondering how to say that with the exclamation point at the end. Is it ‘TUMBLE!’ or is it ‘Tuuuumble!’

JESSICA: [laughs]

UNCLE TIM: Is it like, how do you pronounce it? I don’t know. Yeah. Continue.

JESSICA: Ok. Um so, the even more exciting than the show being on is that the judges will be, in addition to some other people, Nadia, freaking Nadia, and Louis Smith. Oh my God, Nadia and Louis Smith together are gonna be hilarious ‘cos Nadia’s really funny, actually, she just says whatever she thinks. And Louis Smith of course we know does what he wants [laughing] and says whatever he thinks. And then Beth Tweddle is gonna be a mentor on the show. [squeals] I’m so excited! Oh my God, I can’t wait. So this is gonna start this Summer and there aren’t a lot of details; they haven’t really figured out all the details yet, but umm supposedly this Summer, maybe on Saturdays in the BBC and of course we will tell you all the ways to watch as soon as we find out. I cannot wait for there to be the equivalent here and I’m so excited for all of Britain. Great Britain. [laughs] For having this. What will the first terrifying moment be on this show? Will it be an injury or will it be a… wardrobe malfunction?

UNCLE TIM: [laughs] or maybe a combination of both.

JESSICA: [laughs]

UNCLE TIM: Mmmm…I don’t know. I feel like it’s going to be maybe a punctured breast implant.

JESSICA: [laughs] Oh my God! I feel dizzy! Oh I laughed too hard. Oh oh I need oxygen. I seriously just felt dizzy [laughs]. Oh my God, I’m gonna have to learn a new way to laugh. This can’t be healthy. Oh, ok. I’m fine. I’ve recovered. Ok [sighs]. Ok, so [laughs]

UNCLE TIM: [laughs] Sorry, I’ve been watching Orange is the New Black and that’s how Red hurts one of her friends.

JESSICA: Oh, that’s right, when she punches her in the boob. [laughs]

UNCLE TIM: Yep. Yep.

JESSICA: One of her frenemies. Oh my God [sighs]. I knew someone that wrestled that had breast implants. She’s a high school wrestling coach, actually. I was always like ‘how the freaking-’ well she was probably better than all the high school boys, so. But I was like how are those not gonna get just totally- ‘cos they just get smashed, you know. But maybe they’re that strong. Anyway.

UNCLE TIM: I don’t know. I do not know

JESSICA: [laughs]

UNCLE TIM: I’ll take your word for it. So, anyway what do you think’s gonna happen?

JESSICA: Um I think rips are gonna be a big thing. I think they’re gonna totally show everybody’s rips and that’ll be a thing. I really don’t think they’ll let them do anything where they can get seriously injured. I feel like it’s gonna be sort of circus-y, you know so kind of like Circus of the Stars, back in the day, like I think it’ll be a lot of spotted and um have belts on and all that kind of stuff, so I think rips. And then we can have a combo of wardrobe malfunction if you have like a rip and then your hand’s all bloody

UNCLE TIM: [laughs]

JESSICA: and then you brush your I don’t know- that could be… that kind of thing, so. In other gymternet news, [sighs] this I seriously, I don’t…this is one of those things, I’m like seriously, why do we even talk about this? Romanian head coach, Bellu, is threatening once again to leave the Romanian Gymnastics Federation blah blah blah, he does this every year. Like, I’m so over this guy. Like I just…I mean how many times- I guess if this is the only way that you can get a raise or a vacation or have any sort of, you know, rights in your job and this is what you have to do, I guess like that’s how it work in Romania, whatever. But oh my God, like every year he threatens to leave. And sometimes they do and then they always come back and so this time I guess he was running for President of the Romanian Olympic Committee and he didn’t get it; some other guy got it and he just totally threw a fit. I mean, to me- and he said that, you know, that it’s politics and that you know the election was decided before anyone voted and all of that may be true, but, I mean, when he goes to the press and goes ‘I don’t think that anyone will be hurt if I quit the gymnastics team. Now I have realised that I have lost 30 years and I went to seven Olympics but it doesn’t mean anything. It seems that what I have done for 30 years doesn’t matter’. I mean, hello? Drama queen. Seriously? Basically, he threw himself on the ground and pounded his fists and- on the floor like Moceanu did in her floor routine in 1996. This is basically the equivalent of what he said right here. I’m so over this.

UNCLE TIM: Well, I mean, it depends on how you view the World. Right, so if you view the World as a meritocracy, he would feel like he deserves a better position, right? Because he has done great things for the Romanian- Romanian gymnastics and for Romanians at the Olympics and, because the Romanians have been very successful under his guidance,he would believe that he deserves some kind of major raise and if he doesn’t get th- it then, you know, why- what has he been doing and why isn’t the meritocracy working for him?

JESSICA: That was very diplomatic. I just see it as a big baby. Big baby about this

UNCLE TIM: [laughs] I’m not saying that it’s right, I’m just saying maybe that’s his perspective on life in general.

JESSICA: In other news, there’s more and more Ranch videos coming out. Rachel Gowey and Alyssa Baumann.

UNCLE TIM: Did you say rant or Ranch?


UNCLE TIM: Oh, ok. It sounded like-

JESSICA: Ranch videos.

UNCLE TIM: It sounded like rant videos, I was like

JESSICA: [laughing] No.

UNCLE TIM: Really, [laughing] Jessica’s starting her own YouTube channel.

JESSICA: [laughs] I should! Get myself in even more trouble than I already do. [singing] Ranch videos! Uh, maybe there should be a rage o-meter, like a daily rage o-meter kind of video. No, that would not be a good idea. That- so, Rachel Gowey and Alyssa Baumann. Alyssa Baumann like holy crap and a half, like their beam is so good- their lines, their their form, I just-

UNCLE TIM: The United States of Amanar continues. Rachel gowey also performed a…Amanar in the Ranch video and it looked quite good. She also performed a three and a half and it also looked quite good. A three and a half on floor, pardon, not a Yurchenko three and a half, that’d be insane. Um, but yeah, she- she’s a little twister out there, um so yeah.

JESSICA: That’s exciting. And they also- who was it that one of our followers on Twitter suggested that we now call the front aerial, front aerial, side aerial combo the the Norah? The Norah Flatley? Yeah because she does it like so perfectly. Uh it’s just done- when it’s done so perfectly, it needs to be called that. Not that she’s the first ever to compete it but you know she’s kind of known for it. But it might just have to be called the Chow’s because- although Baumann, you know, she’s from WOGA. So another little Wogette, coming down the chain. You know you think not too much going on around there, they have a little pause and then poof! One year goes by and *inaudible* they’ve been training since she was in diapers comes in doing her three and a halfs. Gabby Douglas, speaking of the Ranch, is back at camp this month, which is huge. I, there was- I totally didn’t think she was gonna be back by now. Like, no way. Did you think she would be back this fast?

UNCLE TIM: No, although when Spanny was talking about her on the podcast a couple of weeks ago, she did make it sound like, she hadn’t really lost any skills and she was in good shape, so yeah I guess they thought she was ready compared to someone like, uh Aly Raisman, who still has not got to camp. Or Jordyn Wieber- she hasn’t been to camp either. So, yeah. Gabby kept working out even though she was going here, there and everywhere.

JESSICA: And the other person that is gonna be at camp is Mckenna Kelley, who is technically a level 10. I don’t think she qualified elite but um, maybe she just did, I’m not sure, but they’re inviting her to the camp. Do you have any thoughts on why they may be inviting level 10s to camp right now?

UNCLE TIM: I don’t know. Maybe because Marta wants to coach Mary Lou’s daughter after coaching Mary Lou? I don’t know!

JESSICA: [laughs] I think it might- I don’t know it it seems like they pull up level 10s for Pan Ams every year.

UNCLE TIM: That could be it, yeah.

JESSICA: Or not every year. Don’t we only have Pan Ams every like every other year? But you remember when like when was the last one? Shawn Johnson and Brandie Jay. I know there was something.

UNCLE TIM: And Jessica DeZiel.

JESSICA: Mm-hmm. It’s like one of those… we need to win here but we don’t want to spend our elites [laughing] on this meet, so let’s give some of the like amazing level 10s this opportunity and we’ll still win. So, mm. Just some thoughts. So the Youth Olympic Games are coming up and we are sending some trampoline uh athletes and I think rhythmic and men’s artistic but we’re- I don’t think we’re sending any women. So, why do you think we don’t send women to this when we send men?

UNCLE TIM: Sexism!

JESSICA: [laughing] Ding ding ding! That’s right! No I mean, think about like Russia. They sent Komova. That was the first time we ever saw her and it was like oh my God, you know, she was doing her Onodi front tuck combo and she just stunned everyone. But the US, we don’t send people to this, for- on the women’s side.

UNCLE TIM: Well we don’t send the juniors to too many big meets, right? We send them to Jesolo and we send them to maybe a friendly or two


UNCLE TIM: Well Tokyo is not juniors, right? So Tokyo World Cup was a World Cup with seniors.

JESSICA: But that about one that that Bailie Key always goes to? Hasn’t she gone like the last two years in a row? Like around Thanksgiving?

UNCLE TIM: Oh, that one. Yeah yeah that one. I was thinking of the Tokyo World Cup, sorry.

JESSICA: No, no, no. Sorry

UNCLE TIM: Yeah. What else? Pac Rims, we send some to. I mean, the United States is pretty selective on the women’s side as to where we send gymnasts in general. It’ll be interesting to see what happens once the FIG changes the qualification process for the Olympics, to see if the United States start sending gymnasts to more FIG-sponsored events. Um yeah, and I think that’s- maybe the FIG’s goal is to up the level of their um their sponsored events.

JESSICA: The Youth Olympic Games is a little weird though, because you can only send one gymnast per country, which is very I don’t know but I guess they don’t want to make it a huge thing but it is- I don’t know. I’m iffy on the whole Youth Olympic Games thing. Even though I want to see as much gymnastics as possible, so of course I’m totally for it when it comes to that but, you know, I’m a little mm. Ok, crazy insane maniac news out of the University of Florida. Macko- Mackenzie Caquatto was on the show before NCAA Nationals is also a World medalist and Marissa King from 2008 Beijing Olympics, she is for- from the British team. They were coming home from NCAAs; they were partying, being kind of loud, walking into their apartment and I guess one of their neighbours came out and pointed an airsoft rifle. Air soft style rifle at them and told them to be quiet, blah blah blah. Didn’t shoot at them but, you know, threatened them. And he was then charged with two felony counts of aggravated assault, according to the police report. I- ok so I’ve asked around a lot about this airsoft style rifle because I wasn’t sure what exactly that was; it’s super scary. And my understanding is that is that it is a BB gun but instead of metal BBs, they’re plastic and, if you can maybe hurt someone if you shot someone in the eye. But it’s not a… it’s not any kind of lethal weapon in any way.

UNCLE TIM: Yeah, I’ve been shot by one in college. Umm and it stings. It definitely stings but yeah you’re not gonna die unless you get shot in the eye or something. Yeah.
JESSICA:I guess it- I mean I kind of think of it as like being shot with a paintball gun.

UNCLE TIM: Kinda. I mean I’d say maybe a paintball gun would hurt a little less? And with paintballing you’re usually… you are under some kind of consent. You’re both agreeing to go paintballing, right?

JESSICA: [laughing] Yes.

UNCLE TIM: [laughs] Whereas where you’re walking up a flight of stairs and some guy comes
out with an airsoft rifle, I don’t think, you know, Mackenzie and Marissa just whipped out you know their airsoft rifles out of their back pockets and were ready to take him on, so. So yeah I mean there’s definitely some fear there. I think a lot of people though just assumed it was like a shotgun and it was, you know um… yeah it was a shotgun and Americans are just having gun problems- gun control problems. But yeah. That said, I don’t think it’s the right way to ask two girls to be quiet.

JESSICA: Yes. Exactly. And especially college campus women, gun, nighttime. No. These things don’t go together. So that’s pretty scary and that was really quite shocking. I’ve really never heard of, besides you know, women on college campuses in the United States being obliterated all the time [sighs], I’ve never heard of anything like this happening to gymnasts before um anywhere. So, that was really scary and I’m glad it- nothing- it was, you know, nothing more than a threat. I’m glad it didn’t escalate in any way. So, in happier news, let’s talk about who’s coming up at the American Classic. This is the qualifier meet that’s happening at the Ranch. The qualifier for National Championships.

UNCLE TIM: Right, so. We have many Classics in the United States. We have the American Classic, which will be July 5th and then we also have the Secret Classic shhh it’s a secret! And we have that one, so don’t get them confused. The Secret Classic’s the one that’s usually broadcast and the American Classic, you might be lucky if you get videos on Gymnastike or YouTube from the parents. Anyway, so big names coming up for the American Classic. Who will be competing? Sydney Johnson-Scharpf, the little girl who took the Gymternet by storm last year, last year in 2013 at the Nastia Liukin Cup with her little sassy floor routine. Also competing, a girl we’re gonna talk about in a little bit- Shilese Jones. She will be competing again and we’ll explain why she’s so exciting in a second. So a bunch of junior international elites or hoping to be junior international elites and a lot of senior international elites will be competing but not necessarily the ones who are already senior team members and the big names that you might be used to seeing like Mckayla Maroney etc. They will not be competing, or at least they’re not on the roster.

JESSICA: So, Scott Bregman, if you’re listening, you know what would be so awesome and would basically put you into the annals of gymnastics history forever would be if there was actually a broadcast from the Ranch. I realise that the Ranch is, you know, purposely in the middle of nowhere and you can- there’s barely wi-fi there. But you know maybe we could just bring in a satellite for this event and broadcast the Ranch Qualifier. That would be I think the most exciting thing to happen on the Gymternet.

UNCLE TIM: [laughs]

JESSICA: [laughs] I mean, it would be incredible, so…

UNCLE TIM: Until the deer start eating the satellite on the ranch and stuff, great.

JESSICA: Until the snakes get into it, until the camel comes by and takes it out. But, we really
think that you- if anyone can get it done, I mean, the Director of Communications at USA Gymnastics, Scott Bregman- legend of the Gymternet could do it. So, not that I’m putting out a giant, you know, challenge and saying, you know, it would be a failure if you couldn’t make it happen but I’m just saying, you know.

UNCLE TIM: Scott, send all of your hate-mail to Jessica, not me. This was not my idea.

JESSICA: [laughs] Okay.

UNCLE TIM: Anyhoo. Yeah.

JESSICA: let’s talk about Shilese Jones. Okay you should describe the skill because I- I think of her skill as a one and a half…okay so a double back with a one and a half flips.

UNCLE TIM: [pause] Yes. [laughs]

JESSICA: [laughs]

UNCLE TIM: The big thing is when do those flips happen? So some people are saying that she’s doing a full-in and then a half into the next flip. Other people are saying she’s doing a one and a half in front out. So almost like a double arabian with an extra twist during the first flip. In either case, it’s a skill that’s not really being done very often; it hasn’t been done that much in the past. Merly De Jesus of Brazil did the skill back in like 2004, London Philips did the skill and she also did the Biles, back in the day- she did the double layout half out as well. Um so yeah it is an interesting skill that everyone’s kind of excited about and it’s, you know, unusual; it’s kind of like Mustafina doing the one and a half twisting double back off of bars. You know it’s just that little something different.

JESSICA: You know, we got a voicemail this week, finally [sound of cheering children]. We’ve been asking you guys for voicemails. I was talking to my friend this week and she was like ‘What, like, really I can just call? Like like an answering machine?’ I was like ‘Yes! Like an answering machine! That’s what it is an answering machine! Like back in the day’. Yes that’s what a voicemail is. So have you guys called and left a message for us yet? Because that’s how you can get in touch and we can play your voicemail an answering machine message on here. It would be so awesome. You should definitely do that. Remember you can contact us by voicemail at 415 800 3191 or on Skype from anywhere in the World for free. Call and leave us that message at GymCastic Podcast, or you can email us at and of course remember to follow us on facebook- there’s always very very very lively discussion on our page so you will enjoy it very much. And now, let’s go the the mail bag.

JESSICA: First letter comes from Katie: Hey, GymCastic, so many things! [laughs] love her letters. Um, I completely loved your discussion about Aussie Nationals this week. Brilliant info- well communicated and explained, and this is me editorializing, that’s because we had the fabulou- fabulous Brigid from The Couch Gymnast and everyone should be following her of course. And now back to Katie’s letter. I’m a fan who- maybe I should do this with voices so that everyone can tell. I’m a fan who only really comes to watch Aussies at major internationals so it was good to take an interest in some other routines. And so she says a couple other things andthen she talks about Emmy. Next, Emmy’s awesome floor routine. Do you remember this little girl we talked about with the glasses and the little hip hop routine and she was so amazing and we were like ‘Is this her first routine ever? Is she a dancer? Who decided to add gymnastics? How incredible is she!’. We talked about her routine. If you haven’t watched this routines right now, it’s gonna be on our page again and it was up last week so you need to watch it. It will change your life. I’m not kidding you. It’s like- if you watch like puppy videos before you go to sleep like to like relax you or whatever, this is the kind of effect it will have on you [laughing] that’s how happy it’ll make you. So, she says, back to Katie’s later. Next, Emmy’s awesome floor routine. So, she’s from the Academy, which you should know because it’s where Ruby Harrold and Imogen Cairns are from. My new theory is that she must have taken an interest in Mincie or Ruby, since Ruby Harrold is committed to LSU. But that is just me speculating. She’s nine years old and her routines is a voluntary level 4 routine, so I’ve got fingers crossed that she makes it to the National Finals this Autumn. From Katie. Yesss! Oh my Gosh, they have Nationals for that level? That is so exciting! We don’t have Nationals for little kids here, we only have like state. That’s all we have for that level so that’s very exciting. And then we got anotherletter about Emmy that’s even more exciting! Uncle Tim, will you read this one?

UNCLE TIM: Sure, so it comes from Emmy’s coach and it says- Hi, in answer to your podcast questions it’s Emmy Turner from the Academy, the same gym as Ruby Harrold not Ellie Haverfield. Sorry to disappoint but this is her first time competing this particular routine; it wasn’t her first time competing period, as may have been suggested in the fa- on the YouTube video title. Anyway, so it was her first time competing this particular floor routines and she did have one last year that was nothing like this and nope she has never had a dance lesson in her life. This was a voluntary competition called GymStars and yep, the judges had nooo idea it was coming, which was utterly hilarious.

JESSICA: [laughs]

UNCLE TIM: Thanks for your lovely comments, just off to teach her to headspin on beam as Jess suggested last uh last week. Love, the badass coach.

JESSICA: [laughing] That’s so fabulous! Oh, hats off to you coaches for letting this girl be herself and be artistic. This is what makes you stand out when you’re utterly yourself. I just [squealing] love this kid! She’s so cute! I can’t wait to see her headspin on beam. [sighs] Oh, so and that letter came to us on Facebook; you can also message us on Facebook but really you should call the hotline and leave a message. I don’t know if I’ve suggested that strongly enough. Very strongly I suggest that. Okay. Now a comment from our website. This is from Art, he says: Hey, GymCastic, was just looking at scholarship numbers at University of Florida re. Silvia. Oh, so this is very interesting, this is what we were talking about when Jenni Pinches was on the show how Colussi-Pelaez, the one with the longitudinal aerial on beam named after her who competed for Spain at Worlds is transferring from the University of Florida to the University of Oregon and Jenni was horrified, she was like ‘I can’t even imagine doing that’ and we were speculating, we didn’t know why she was doing it um and what would happen, you know, [clears throat] no one really knew the reason that she was leaving. Colussi-Pelaez’s transfer, and University of Florida had to find room for another scholarship in 2015. Given how Colussi-Pelaez contributed in 2014- not a lot; I think she competed like twice I think? And anoth- you know that team is stacked, so. And how they needed to find a scholarship to stay under the twelve scholarship for Alex McMurtry to join the team for the beginning of 2015 season. They might even even encouraged her to look elsewhere, particularly given that Florida is bringing back- who they’re bringing back sorry, and the ridiculous freshman class that they have coming in. It might have been very difficult for Colussi-Pelaez to make her way into the lineup- something that might be significantly easier at Oregon State- at Oregon State. Keep in mind that the NCAA grant and aid agreements are not necessarily four year agreements. A lot of the time, they have to be renewed annually. Think Beckerman at UCLA. So, the interesting thing about this grant and aid I think is what the International Scholarships are called? But also every NCAA scholarship is a one year. There is no such thing as a four year scholarship- athletic scholarship in an NCAA division one school. That doesn’t exist. That is a whole thing that the NCAA probably wanted people to believe at some point but it’s not true. Every year, every athletic scholarship division one is an agreement’ you have to agree to it and be offered it every single year. There’s no such thing as a four year scholarship. Period. So [clears throat] I think that’s a… probably a very good guess. We don’t know- I mean this is all speculation, obviously and the other speculation there is that her sister has um committed to Oregon State so she would maybe get more time to compete at Oregon State and also she would be um able to be with her sister. So all speculation but I think that’s um…that’s a very good theory. Thank you everyone for all of your feedback and we have much much more so look forward to more of this next week and, Uncle Tim, what do you think the best way for them to give us their feedback is?

UNCLE TIM: I’d say probably call us. Because, you know, you emphasise that many many times. Leave a voicemail; you can leave us a voicemail at GymCastic podcast. You can also call us at

JESSICA: 415 800 3191.

UNCLE TIM: Exactly.

JESSICA: Which is not my phone number.

[Both laugh]

JESSICA: And remember no one answers the phone! You won’t have to talk to anyone! You can leave a voice message and don’t worry about anyone- having actually to talk to anyone and you can be anonymous. If you mess up in the middle, you can be like ‘Don’t play that! I want to start over again’ if you want to. I can edit you to make you sound brilliant. It’s great! [whispering] Call us!

UNCLE TIM: [laughs]

ALLISON TAYLOR: This episode was brought to you by Elite Sportz Band. We’ve got your back.

JESSICA: Visit, that’s sportz with a ‘z’ and save $5 on your next purchase with the code ‘gymcast’.

JESSICA: That’s gonna do it for us this week. Thank you so much for listening. Remember to check out our YouTube playlist and our fantastic transcripts online because we have a transcription team and they are fabulous and we love them and they do amazing work and they are our typing angels. Thank you to our transcription team. Uh, YouTube playlists, make sure to follow along to all of the routines. Thank you to everyone who wrote in, especially to Emmy’s coaches! And tell her hello from us. Until next week, I’m Jessica from Master’s Gymnastics.

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

JESSICA: See you next week. Thanks for listening.



[expand title=”Episode 98: Eddie Penev”] Forthcoming [/expand]


[expand title=”Episode 99: Princess Catherine Lyons and Coach Rochelle Douglas”] Forthcoming [/expand]


[expand title=”Episode 100: Biomechanical Booty Advantage”] Forthcoming [/expand]